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, September 12, 2017

Ruiko Kurahashi -- je t'aime/Itsuka Happiness (いつかHappiness)

The French "Je t'aime" seems to be one of those popular expressions that used to find itself in a handful of Japanese pop songs and even some of the titles way back when. It is rather ironic that for a people who don't (didn't?) express affection too openly, the ardent l'amour did make its way into kayo lyrics.

One example that is well known to me since I'm a big fan of the singer is "je t'aime" by Ruiko Kurahashi(倉橋ルイ子). Released as her 7th single in October 1984, the song may have all of its title in small letters but the way song comes out, it really seems to pour out all of the desperation of love and heartbreak like an avalanche. Going through the lyrics, I saw a lot of the tropes for the unhappiness involved in romance such as the dried and crumply leaves of autumn, the mark on the finger where a ring used to be, fog and even that new woman on the old flame's arm.

"je t'aime" isn't one of my favourite Ruiko songs partially due to the arrangement with a strangely dated synthesizer and because I usually like Kurahashi in a more languid style. But the song still pops up in my brain occasionally when her name comes up. It was written and composed by singer-songwriter Kuniko Fukushima(福島邦子).

The other song by her that I wanted to put up is "Itsuka Happiness" (Happiness Someday). This is one that I do like very much since it is in that languid style that I always associate with her. I've been hoping to find a YouTube video featuring this one all these years since I started the blog but I will go with the excerpt found at Apple. I'm not exactly sure when the song first appeared although it wasn't an official single. The first time I heard and fell in love with it was through its existence on a compilation tape that I got at Wah Yueh in Chinatown but it's also on the CD that is featured at Apple, her "NEW BEST NOW" disc from 1987.

Written by Kei Murayama and Junichi Kosugi(村山恵・こすぎじゅんいち)and composed by singer Yukio Sasaki(佐々木幸男), I'd always assumed that "Itsuka Happiness" was about that leisurely Sunday morning brunch at home. It just sounded really relaxing. However, the lyrics really talk about a lass waiting for that phone call in a foggy Tokyo one morning from her beau so that she can tell how she feels about him. Well, it's not exactly the same scenario but perhaps she could still be eating a bagel and lox. In any case, this is more my type of Ruiko.

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