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, March 23, 2018

Southern All Stars -- Oh! Claudia(Oh!クラウディア)

Some weeks ago on an NHK afternoon talk show, the amiable actor Goro Kishitani(岸谷五朗)appeared as a guest. As the usual interviewer tactic on such a lighthearted program, the list of favourites would be asked of the guest. But this time, the hosts actually asked a fellow actor and close buddy of Kishitani about Kishitani's favourite things including favourite karaoke song. The man showed his long friendship by answering all 5 questions correctly. Kishitani's favourite karaoke song happened to be "Oh! Claudia" by Southern All Stars(サザンオールスターズ).

Hold the fort here! I'd never heard of this one by Keisuke Kuwata(桑田佳祐)and company. Mind you, I'm not a die-hard fan of Southern All Stars so I should know that there are probably a lot of very good SAS tunes that I have not been apprised on. Up to this point, really, I've most likely only known the biggest hits such as "Itoshi no Ellie"(いとしのエリー).

"Oh! Claudia" is actually not a single, but a track on Southern All Stars' 5th original album "Nude Man". I think even a lot of folks like myself who aren't huge fans know the album through its cover which shows the bottom end of a naked guy diving into the ocean. According to Kuwata's own radio show "Kuwata Keisuke no Yasashii Yo Asobi"(桑田佳祐のやさしい夜遊び...Keisuke Kuwata's Gentle Evening Fun)from 2014 via J-Wiki, Kuwata himself said that the photo had been taken on the coast of either India or Pakistan and the fellow was a local resident.

But I digress. Listening to "Oh! Claudia", I can understand why Kishitani loves this ballad. It is very soulful and introspective, and it deals with a man pining over Claudia who's no longer with him for whatever reason. It's not quite as epic as another more famous Kuwata song featuring a beloved woman, the aforementioned Ellie, but it's still a wonderful number all the same. What's also notable about it is the instrumental bridge which almost sounds like something classical and European but then the electric guitar comes in to bring us back to the beach.

I've covered another song that was on "Nude Man" and that was "Niji Iro The Night Club"(匂艶「にじいろ」THE NIGHT CLUB), so I've mentioned that the album became the 3rd-ranking LP for 1982. I can also state that it hit No. 1 on the Oricon weeklies and stayed there for 5 straight weeks.

Ah, incidentally...Kishitani's wife, for those who may not know, happens to be the lead vocalist for another band.

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