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, April 28, 2018

Circus -- Ai de Koroshitai(愛で殺したい)

When it comes to the vocal group Circus(サーカス), I will always remember the quartet for "Mr. Summertime", the cover of the 1972 Michel Fugain song "Une Belle Histoire".

Well, I found out that their 3rd single following "Mr. Summertime", "Ai de Koroshitai" (Kill With Love), was another Michel Fugain cover, this time of "Chante la vie chante" from 1976, I believe. Released in July 1978, just a few months following "Mr. Summertime", "Ai de Koroshitai" has got a bit more of the Latin spice infused in there, trying to get folks onto the disco floor.

I will be honest...I'm not sure whether Circus' choreography during their onstage performances would have gotten viewers off their duffs here. Well, the song is still pleasant as an exotic kayo and perhaps even as a City Pop tune.

"Ai de Koroshitai" didn't rank as highly as "Mr. Summertime" but it still placed in at a respectable No. 28 on Oricon. Pierre Delanoe and Fugain were responsible for the creation of the original song but it was Rei Nakanishi(なかにし礼)who came up with the Japanese lyrics.  The song was also a part of Circus' 1st album, "Circus 1"(サーカス1), also from July 1978.

This is the original "Chante la vie chante" by Fugain. It's a bit more laid-back.


  1. Both this song and “Une belle histoire” are from Fugain’s “Le Big Bazar” period where he was backed by what looked like roughly 10,000 singers and dancers (truthfully, more like 35). Check out the performance of him singing it on French TV, it looks like a European, grown-up and mixed-gender version of Onyanko Club. Despite the fact that the Le Big Bazar spectacles looked extremely costly to produce, they must have been extremely popular, generating no less than eight albums, two of them documents of live performances at Paris’ L’Olympia Theatre. The first of those two live records, the one where Fugain looks to be dressed as one of the Three Musketeers, is a staple of second-hand shops round these parts for some reason.

    I also know of a Swedish version of this tune—“Synge”—performed by Lisa Linn.

    As for Circus, I can definitively say that “Mr. Summertime” will be a fixture of my Summer 2018 playlist. “Ai de koroshitai” isn’t quite that fabulous, but since “Mr. Summertime” had been such a smash, it makes sense that they’d attempt to draw from the same well again. That first Circus album also contains a rendition of “Could It Be Magic,” originally by Barry Manilow, though I reckon they modelled their rendition on the cover by Donna Summer. The spoken-word intro (“Prelude to Love”) and pounding disco beat are the keys here. A lot less heavy breathing than Donna’s version, though.

    1. Hi, Mike.

      I came across that performance by Fugain with what looked like a huge parade of dancers behind him. I can only hope that the floor below them was reinforced. It must have been quite the time for these huge groups singing joyful songs.

      "Mr. Summertime" will always be a beloved part of my kayo kyoku history since it was one of the first such songs that I heard when I got interested in Japanese pop music. At the time, since my vocabulary for the genre was so low, I just considered it to be "European enka".


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