Well, Happy Good Friday to all of you folks. I started my long weekend a bit early today by getting together with some old friends for some Jamaican jerk chicken and a patty. Very delicious!
I haven't spoken about lovely songbird Mariya Takeuchi（竹内まりや）in quite a while so with the holiday approaching, I thought it would be a nice time.
First, I just have to show you this adorable video of Takeuchi and folk singer/actor Tetsuya Takeda（武田鉄矢）. As Takeuchi explains, Takeda in his trademark role of Kinpachi-sensei apparently filmed part of his movie in America so she just wanted to do what I used to do on a regular basis and give a level check. On the NOVA level of things, I would probably put Sensei at about 7B while Takeuchi is perhaps as high as a Level 3 or Level 2 since she spent that one year at high school in Illinois.
The other reason I put up the video is that although I have heard Takeuchi sing in English, I had never gotten to hear her speak in her second language. Quite fluent, indeed.
Anyways, getting to the main matter at hand, I wanted to talk about Takeuchi's 15th single (written and composed by her) from July 1987, "Yume no Tsuzuki" (Keep On Dreaming). One of the wonderful things I've been able to get from the blog is knowing certain singers for years and years and yet still finding these hidden melodic gems.
The song didn't break into the Top 10 on Oricon, peaking at No. 43. However, it was one of the tracks on her 7th album "Request" from August 1987, and that release went all the way to No. 1, becoming the 17th-ranking album for that year and even hanging on the year after to rank in at No. 29.
Marcos V. helped bring back some of that high school and university feeling again for me via Satellite Young's brand of 80s-style music. And here is Takeuchi taking care of some of that feeling back in the day. Somewhat like Yumi Matsutoya（松任谷由実）, Takeuchi enjoyed adopting some of the melodies that have been popular in certain eras and making them her own. Of course, her early days liked to explore some of the 1950s and 1960s pop music of America but she also dove into some of the urban contemporary stuff such as through one of my favourites by her, "Morning Glory".
"Yume no Tsuzuki" has a soupçon of Eurobeat from the late 1980s with arrangement by her husband, Tatsuro Yamashita（山下達郎）. Of course, he also comes in as backup singer with some effective whoops. The song is so catchy to me that I feel there should have been a music video with choreography to boot. I think it makes for a nice prelude to her future Xmas tune, the dynamic "Kon'ya wa Hearty Party"（今夜はHearty Party）.
The song also became the theme for a 1987 movie called "Hawaiian Dream" starring Saburo Tokito（時任三郎）, Kaori Momoi（桃井かおり）and Tamlyn Tomita in which a couple of yakuza thugs escape Japan and start a new life in the Aloha State.