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, November 29, 2017

Shinichi Mori -- Inochi Karetemo(命かれても)

I gotta say...that album cover of Shinichi Mori(森進一)cradling that goblet there is priceless! Kudos to Steve in New York City for giving me the album of Mori's best work along with a lot of other kayo records. Just to get that photo in there, I decided to write about another one of his tunes.

Well, I found a classic Mori ballad...his 6th single from September 1967, to be specific, "Inochi Karetemo" which I believe translates to "Even If My Life Dries Up". I posit it as a classic Mori since my impression of his take on enka/Mood Kayo is that there is often a lot of suffering involved, perhaps more so than the average song from those two genres. Perhaps it's because of that near-weepy quaver in his gravelly voice.

The arrangement of "Inochi Karetemo" with the saxophone and guitar seems to place it solidly in the Mood Kayo territory but there is also that feeling of enka underneath as if the protagonist could have easily been living out in the countryside. In any case, Mori sings it from the woman's point of view. The woman has been done wrong by a guy but can't help but still be attached to him. That could explain the odd juxtaposition involved in the video I chose above with Mori singing while pictures of longest-serving Morning Musume(モーニング娘。)member Sayumi Michishige(道重さゆみ)pass by. Perhaps she "betrayed" the uploader by leaving the group.

Minoru Torii(鳥井実)provided the lyrics while Masao Saiki(彩木雅夫)came up with the gentle music. "Inochi Karetemo" became Mori's first million-seller while hitting No. 5 on Oricon (although Oricon didn't officially debut until January 4 1968). Not surprisingly, a little over a year after its release, a movie was made based on the song. Mori even had a small role as himself.

While listening to Mori, a thought came into my head that this would be the ideal song for Keiko Fuji(藤圭子), who knew a thing or two about songs of suffering. Sure enough, she did cover it although I couldn't find out when her version got released. Her take has a bit more defiance in there.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.