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, May 24, 2017

Shikao Suga -- Ogon no Tsuki (黄金の月)

Shikao Suga(スガシカオ)is a singer-songwriter whom I've often considered to be somewhat of a mysterious ghost-like figure. Part of the reason is that I haven't actively pursued his works, and by the same token, I don't think he has ever shown all that much need to be loved by Oricon although his singles have made their way up to various positions on the singles and albums charts. Plus, his music which I can describe as mellow guitar pop along with his slightly raspy vocals are fairly low key in an appealing way. But again, as being someone who is not particularly a fan of his, I've just seen him come and go over the years. Of course, he was also the fellow who came up with "Yozora no Mukou"(夜空ノムコウ), one of SMAP's biggest hits.

A few weeks ago, Suga showed up on an episode of "Uta Kon"(うたコン)to perform this number, "Ogon no Tsuki" (Golden Moon). This was his 2nd single released in May 1997, and although it got no higher than No. 72 on Oricon, I enjoyed the performance on the NHK broadcast. And then I saw the video above and appreciated it even more. It reminded me why whenever I did see a Suga performance, I was always quite happy for the experience although the song didn't stay in my head like any earworm. However, I am wondering about investing in one of his BEST collections.

There have been a few concert performances of "Ogon no Tsuki" but I have to admit that I prefer the original recording. It's just straight-ahead pop with no unnecessary frills and no vocal/instrumental acrobatics. However, I can understand why fans would love to hear it from him live. Apparently, the song was also used in the 2005 Fuji-TV anime "Hachimitsu to Clover"(ハチミツとクローバー...Honey And Clover), a show that Suga contributed a number of his tunes.

The single was also a track on his 2nd album from September 1997, "Clover" which peaked at No. 10.

Being someone who has a passing interest in the derivation of Japanese names, I was rather drawn to that name Shikao. It is his actual first name with the kanji appearing as「止戈男」. According to the J-Wiki article for him, it means "the man who stops wars". I also found out that the singer is quite the fan of idea whether he was ever a Pink Lady fan. However, that same article noted that his music has been influenced by the band Flying Kids (and yup, they're represented here, too) and is given a good injection of soul and funk.

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