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.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Original Love/Maki Nomiya -- Tsuki no Ura de Aimashou(月の裏で会いましょう)

Did anyone catch that Blood, Blue, Super...any colour in the Crayola palette...Moon a few days ago? Nope, I didn't. Didn't need to, either, since NHK's "News Watch at 9" was more than happy to batter us folks at home over the head with the coverage.

However, the cosmic phenomenon provides me with the perfect segue to a nice new discovery. "Tsuki no Ura de Aimashou" (Let's go to the darkside of the moon) by those grand funksters, Original Love. Now, I've been a fairly good fan of Takao Tajima(田島貴男)and his group since my friend introduced me to them back in the late 1990s but there is still a lot of their earlier material that I have yet to be exposed to. And I was delighted to first hear their 4th single "Sunshine Romance" from 1993.

This goes back even further. Their 2nd single "Tsuki no Ura de Aimashou" from November 1991 is another soulful and funky piece of moonglow. Tajima composed this one with Ryutaro Kihara(木原龍太郎) providing the lyrics. But the amazing thing about hearing this for the first time is Tajima's vocals. I'd been accustomed to hearing Tajima with this slight depth in his delivery but on "Tsuki", it wasn't there. His voice sounded almost whispery to the point that when I first heard it, I swore it was actually Flipper's Guitar behind the mike!

No worries though. It's still a great cool and happy song and it was the theme song for a Fuji-TV drama "Banana Chips Love" . There is something about an Original Love tune that can generate a ton of sunshine let alone moonglow inside an apartment. It did modestly on Oricon, only getting as high as No. 86 but that won't dissuade any newcomers or die-hard Original Love fans. The single also became a track on the band's 2nd album "Kesshou ~ Soul Liberation"(結晶 -SOUL LIBERATION-...Crystal)from May 1992 that did far better by hitting No. 10 on the album charts.

(excerpt only)

Tajima's replacement as the vocalist for Pizzicato Five, the divine Ms. Maki Nomiya(野宮真貴)provided her own lovely cover of "Tsuki" in 2014 through her album "Nomiya Maki, Shibuya-kei wo Utau"(野宮真貴、渋谷系を歌う。...Miss Maki Nomiya sings Shibuya-kei Standards). However, I'm not sure if I can really consider her cover of this particular song as being Shibuya-kei. It seems a bit too mainstream pop and I think even Nomiya's singing is a little different here. But nothing to complain about. Besides, I'm afraid if Tajima ever found out I categorized this song as Shibuya-kei, he'd probably have me mugged!

There are actually ballad-like covers of the song done by Tajima himself and Hitomi Shimatani(島谷ひとみ)but I think the more uptempo versions are better.

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