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.

Friday, August 4, 2017

BaBe/Nami Tamaki -- Give Me Up

Friday is today and it is a good day to talk about this one since I'm going to start off with my Fridays from 30 years ago. As I've mentioned in the past, Friday nights were spent alternately on visits to karaoke Kuri and disco dancing in downtown Toronto.

One of the songs that got a lot of the kids back then (they're probably chewing out their own kids these days) on the dance floor was Bananarama's "I Heard A Rumour" which was created by the group and the producers Stock Aitken & Waterman (that name still sounds like a legal firm). A couple of the other big draws were "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order and "Boom Boom Boom" by Greg Lekakis. Yes, I have truly carbon-dated myself.

One day, I was watching one of my rental videos for one of the Japanese pop music-ranking shows when this fellow with the mullet (considering the time back then, yeah I know, I'm not narrowing things down much) by the name of Michael Fortunati appeared to play this song "Give Me Up". And after hearing the first several seconds, I just went "WHOA!". I exclaimed that this sounded just like "I Heard A Rumour", and almost automatically, I assumed that the chiseler went out and copied the tune with slight variations.

As it turned out, it was actually the other way around. Fortunati's "Give Me Up" first came out in 1986, and it even lasted 4 weeks straight on Oricon's Western singles chart at No. 1. According to Wikipedia, "I Heard A Rumour" which was released on June 29th 1987 was based on "Give Me Up". So I guess that the video I was watching must have been a far older episode of "The Best 10" or "The Top 10". Furthermore, apparently Samantha Fox's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" adopted some parts of "Give Me Up" as well. Stock Aitken & Waterman must have really liked to pay tribute to Fortunati.

Now, to be honest, I actually like BaBe's cover of "Give Me Up" better although I enjoyed their big hit "I Don't Know!" even more. I'm not quite sure what it is...maybe it's the pitch of the voices and the nifty choreography. Plus, I guess I like spunk and BaBe always did strike me as being a pair with plenty of spunk when they performed songs like "I Don't Know!". Man, Eurobeat was quite the thing back then, eh?

Yup, "Give Me Up" was BaBe's debut single from February 1987. The original song was created by Michael De San Antonio, Pierre Michael Nigro and Mario Giuseppe Nigro but the Japanese lyrics were provided by Yukinojo Mori(森雪之丞). It didn't hit No. 1 like the original but it did break the Top 10 on Oricon by peaking at No. 8 and ending the year as the 73rd-ranked single for 1987.

I've heard about the singer Nami Tamaki(玉置成実)before but never really heard her music. I think part of the reason that the name did get stuck into my head is because of Koji Tamaki(玉置浩二), the lead singer of Anzen Chitai(安全地帯). However, there is no familial relationship to talk of here. But I did find out that the singer is from my ancestral home of Wakayama Prefecture.

Tamaki was someone I heard about mostly during the 2000s and I couldn't even really pinpoint what kind of music she sang. But with her March 2009 cover of "Give Me Up", I can surmise that she was into dance-pop. Perhaps "cover" may not be the accurate way to describe it, though, since the lyrics by Kanako Kato(加藤哉子)and the overall melody has been changed by Susumu Kawai. Basically, I think that it's more of a shoutout through the "Give Me Up" yell.

According to some of the comments from YouTube, this particular song hasn't gotten a lot of love although the impression I'm getting is that fans might have been more disappointed with this one in comparison to her past work. I don't know (no pun intended)'s not too bad to me but I've yet to explore the rest of her discography. Tamaki debuted in 2003 and her "Give Me Up" is her 16th single. It got as high as No. 18.

Well, whaddaya know? I found the music video for "I Heard A Rumour". Ahhhh....the 80s!

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