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

Frank Nagai -- Omae ni (おまえに)

It's already Saturday morning in Japan but Friday evening here so I can at least imagine it being Friday night in Tokyo, so weather permitting, a lot of the citizens are out carousing in the bars and karaoke boxes tonight.

Frank Nagai(フランク永井)has plenty of representation on the blog. Whenever I hear his name, I always think of one of the major drinking areas in Tokyo, be it Ginza, Yurakucho, Shimbashi or Akasaka, and whenever he sings, I can see the dazzling nightclubs, hear the tinkling of tumblers and smell the wispy cigarette smoke.

However, with this song, "Omae ni" (For You) which came out in November 1966, I can't help but feel that this was a tune that wouldn't have been out of place for some sort of historical drama featuring a wandering samurai hero or even an old-fashioned hero anime. It kinda has that sort of ippiki ohkami air to it, although I can also still hear that bit of Mood Kayo Latin in there but the pace of it and Tokiko Iwatani's(岩谷時子)lyrics about a man's undying love for a woman has it also feel like an enka ballad. And Tadashi Yoshida's(吉田正)melody sounds rather mournful as if the woman may have passed away rather suddenly or just left the scene.

Whatever the intent, Nagai may be at one of those swinging bars but I don't think he is in any mood to celebrate flirting, drinking or smoking. He's probably literally crying in his sake as he is singing this. Maybe on the other hand, he's shedding tears in appreciation of having the love of his life at his side.

The song came out pre-Oricon so I don't have any rankings for you but the above is the empty karaoke version, so feel free to sing along if you are in the enka state of mind tonight.

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