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.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Hi-Fi Set -- Too hot day

As I've said before, the Japanese summer is one of the very few things that I've never missed when it comes to Japan following my return to Canada. I can only imagine how the athletes, journalists and tourists might be feeling when they hit Tokyo in July 2020 when the Olympics finally start off. Luckily, there are plenty of vending machines around but then again, the problem is with that much added population for the Summer Games, the machines may quickly run out of drinks. Let us hope for a cool and refreshing solution.

First off, let me introduce to you another YouTube channel connected to the genres of City Pop and J-AOR. Van Paugam's City Pop radio is still chugging along those night highways but in the last several days, I've also discovered that New J Channel has its own non-stop stream of like-minded tunes. From there, there have popped up a lot of obscure but pretty good tracks that I have started to scour the rest of YouTube for.

One such number is "Too hot day" by Hi-Fi Set(ハイ・ファイ・セット)from their 16th album "Eyebrow" which was released in March 1988. I've also reiterated that although I've known the trio during their 1970s heyday for a lot of their songs including their covers of Yuming's(ユーミン)classics, I knew next to nothing about what Hi-Fi Set was up to in the next decade.

Well, perhaps for "Eyebrow", they were embracing their inner late 80s City Pop/sophisti-pop because "Too hot day" has that arrangement which was urban contemporary for that time. The familiar vocals are there, led by Junko Yamamoto(山本潤子), but those synths and saxophone feel like a drive through Tokyo during the Bubble Era. In addition, I've noticed that Yamamoto's vocals are not quite subdued but they sound as if she had wanted to keep things very much to the lower register; interesting since I've been accustomed to her voice often soaring to the heights. Plus the rumbling bass in there reminds me of Minako Yoshida's(吉田美奈子)epic "Town".

Yamamoto provided the lyrics for "Too hot day" while Ryo Koizumi(小泉亮)took care of the lyrics.

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