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.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Milky Way -- Natsu no Hi no Koi (夏の日の恋)

Anyone who has reached my age must have heard the above song "Theme From A Summer Place" at least a few times through television or movies (including the titular 1959 film itself). Not only was the Percy Faith version from 1960 a smash hit on Billboard (stayed at No. 1 for 9 straight weeks), it has been used in a number of other movies and TV shows in the decades since, including one key scene from "National Lampoon's Animal House".

Little did I know that "Theme From A Summer Place" would even be adapted into a mellow Japanese AOR piece. But that's what happened when the band The Milky Way spearheaded by Makoto Matsushita(松下誠)and Kazuo Nobuta(信田一男)concocted their album "Summertime Love Song" in 1979. I already wrote about the album in general several months ago and knew that most of the songs were breezy covers of AOR tunes, but hadn't known about this first track since it was titled in Japanese as "Natsu no Hi no Koi" (Summer Day Love); by the way, it's the first track.

I was accustomed to hearing Japanese covers of American standards from the 1950s and 1960s being released in those same two decades, but I guess this might be the first time hearing something like this made at the tail end of the 1970s. The somewhat dated kitschiness of the original (due to it being used in everything from the aforementioned "Animal House" to the 1989 "Batman" to the 2001 "Ocean's Eleven") has been replaced by a rather smooth sheen here, although admittedly for those who don't like AOR/Smooth Jazz/Yacht Rock, perhaps the arrangement might also be considered a bit kitschy. Hey, I'm fine with it.

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