I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Chage and Aska -- LOVE SONG

It's been a couple of weeks since my internship at AVA has ended, and while I'm definitely glad that I don't have to do anymore live fish experiments - the fishes' fate was usually grim, so I didn't enjoy it - I can't help but miss some of the people from there. There's this chatty middle-aged gentleman whose hobby seems to be treating everyone and anyone to (especially) food; there's the elderly, Sudoku-loving lady who tried to help me in every way she could experiment-wise... And then there's this nutso Nishikigoi maniac who loves harassing me at any given point of the working day. For easy reference I shall call him Mr. J.

Indulgence Part I: Birthday cake. It's
corn flavoured. Weird, but it was good.

The latter sounds like quite a nightmare compared to the first two, and believe me, he kinda did drive me up the wall during the first couple of weeks. However, after settling in and getting used to Mr. J's lighthearted brand of madness/chaos, I got to see the softer and caring side of him. I think we hit it off well as he was willing to share stuff regarding his passion for Koi fish and dogs, and in turn it made me comfortable enough to share about my interest in enka and my "Japanese old men", something I don't really like to do outside this blog. When I hit a wall in my experiments or admin work, Mr. J would usually be the one to help me work around it; and when I got stuck in a pit of misery (partially self-dug) after getting harassed (this one's in a bad way) by the ever absent supervisor, he'd be the one to haul me out. To top it off he's got an indulgent streak that often brought unexpected but delightful surprises. He was able to bring out my happy side, which is by no means an easy feat.

With all that he had done, I knew halfway through the attachment that I was going to do an article on KKP to dedicate something to Mr. J as one way of thanks. But the thing was figuring out what song or what bit of a song should best summarize what I had been wanting to convey. Eventually, I picked Chage and Aska's "LOVE SONG". Now, let me make it clear that although "LOVE SONG" is easily one of C&A's romantic ballads, that's definitely not what I mean. So why did I pick it? Well, firstly, I'd think he'd find this mellow J-pop piece fronted by the familiar vocals of Aska to be easy on the ears, as compared to the Mood Kayo that was my other choice. Secondly, a few lines written by Aska (he did the melody too) resonated with me, the first of which being:

Kimi ni deai honoka ni koi wo shite
Nagai aida uchiakerarezuni 

Those are the classic tropes of a romantic movie: The protagonist falls in love with this special one when they meet for the first time, but is unable to confess. It's only after a long period of time when he plucks up the courage to profess his feelings for her. Good story material right there. In my case, it was more of being surprised at how easily I could converse with Mr. J at the start. Then, as time went by and aforementioned the events happened (post chaos), the urge to tell him how much I appreciated his efforts was strong but I kept saving it till the last few weeks because... it would've been awkward otherwise... ... 

Anyway, the other line that caught my attention was the one that ultimately decided which tune I was to choose. It also happens to be my favourite line from "LOVE SONG":

Kimi ga omou yorimo boku wa kimi ga suki

I am really bad at expressing my feelings in the real world so I tend to come across as rather aloof or shake things off easily even though I feel the opposite. This line, which means "I like you more than you think I do", aptly represents that. I very much enjoyed Mr. J's wacky company and the horribly funny inside jokes we had. Dang, he really is the uncle I wished I had.

Okay, that's enough sentimentality to last my entire lifetime - let's move on to the stats for "LOVE SONG". It originally came out in 21st June 1989 as C&A's 24th single. At that time, it fared respectably on the Oricon charts by placing 20th on the weeklies. A few years later on 25th March 1992, during the band's heyday, it was re-released with another late-blooming hit, "WALK", and their best selling album to date, "SUPER BEST II", where both songs were included. It was then when "LOVE SONG" managed to peak at 1st place on the weeklies, became a certified Platinum Record, and was one of the works that allowed the duo to win "Artist of the Year" for the second time in 1993

Another thing I read on the J-Wiki was that the working title for "LOVE SONG" was "SOUL". The latter sounds more interesting, but perhaps it wasn't as direct/simple as the former and as a result may not have been as attractive, hence the change?

Aska's new version.

Aska himself did a self-cover of "LOVE SONG" in 2010 and is a track in his album "12", where he covered twelve C&A songs. His new rendition has got a more upbeat and modern rock vibe to it which I find quite refreshing.

"LOVE SONG" is at the 1:06 mark.

As for other covers, one that I was surprised but glad to find was by Naoya Urata (浦田直也), the leader of the song-dance unit AAA. Released in his cover album "UNCHANGED" from 2013, his version is smooth with a R&B vein, his falsetto almost sounds like Aska's own delivery at times. I think he did a pretty good job with "LOVE SONG".

Indulgence Part II: Arnie the mastiff. My best
friend from a dragon fish farm.

"You are horribly (that and/or other exaggerated adjectives) spoiled rotten..."
"Says the one who's spoiling me right now."


  1. Hello, Noelle.

    Your story was very uplifting...finding out that a fellow who had first driven you nuts was actually a very decent sort. Doesn't always turn out too happy so it was good that it worked out for you. To be honest, before I came across your disclaimer halfway, I had been wondering whether you guys were going to take it to the next level. :)

    I remember this song by C-and-A but never knew the title. It's got that nice bouncy and friendly beat. It's a toss-up between the original version and Urata's cover as to which one I like better!

    1. Hi J-Canuck.

      I knew I should've put the disclaimer at the start! Yeah, but I was surprised for things to turn out the way they did, and it had me counting my lucky stars.

      As for "LOVE SONG", Urata's version put up a strong fight, but in the end I think the original remains my favourite.

  2. Hi!
    I actually wondering why this song is very familiar..could it be a song for anime or jdorama? Because i dont usually listen to japanese song unless it was featured in anime or dramas.
    Help me sister and i been headache wondering where we were listen to this song in the very 1st place.

    1. The first time I heard this song it was a Korean cover by singer Jo Jang Hyuk. It's the theme for the drama "Successful Story of a Bright Girl." Don't know if that's where you know it from though.

    2. Hi aikiross.

      Well, besides what heavysyrup mentioned, I don't think "LOVE SONG" had been used in any J-dramas nor anime. It was used in a JAL commercial in 1992 though... by any chance could that have been where you guys heard it...?


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