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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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Akira Terao -- SHADOW CITY/Yokisenu Dekigoto(予期せぬ出来事)


Initially, I had intended just to write about "Yokisenu Dekigoto" (An Unforeseen Event), the B-side to Akira Terao's(寺尾聰)"SHADOW CITY", his 4th single from August 1980, but looking at the all-too-brief description of the A-side on my article for his huge hit album "Reflections", I felt that it was the written equivalent of bumping it aside for "Ruby no Yubiwa"(ルビーの指輪). Now, obviously "Ruby no Yubiwa", being the most successful City Pop song on Oricon, is nothing to merely sniff at but I now think "SHADOW CITY" should get some love from me, too.


For one thing, "SHADOW CITY" starts off brilliantly with a battery of guitars giving off some wonderfully Tokyo sounds of the day and night. Then the baton gets passed off to Terao who croons some "doo-da-du-doon" for several seconds before going into a smooth low vocal almost reminiscent of an urban lullaby. It's as if the music was describing his character from "Seibu Keisatsu"(西部警察), detective Takeshi Matsuda(松田猛), finally getting off work from the mean streets and hitting his favourite watering hole. He would be nursing his favored whisky on the rocks while watching the sun going down. How very shibui! The shadows are looking very long in this city as the night life gets started.


"SHADOW CITY", however, was actually used as the commercial song for Yokohama Tires. I probably would have preferred to have the car rumbling down the Kan-Etsu at night.


There is something a bit more 1970s City Pop with the B-side "Yokisenu Dekigoto". As with "SHADOW CITY", Masako Arikawa(有川正沙子)took care of the lyrics for this song with Terao handling music and Akira Inoue(井上鑑)arranging everything. "Yokisenu Dekigoto" also feels rather more upbeat although the coolness factor is still in there. This time, I can envision a nice outing with that special someone in Tokyo somewhere. I gotta commend Terao and Inoue for that just-right combination of flute and guitar.

"SHADOW CITY" managed to peak at No. 3 on Oricon, and as I mentioned in the original "Reflections" article, it did become the 19th-ranked single for 1981, selling about 850,000 records.

5 comments:

  1. Hello J-Canuck!

    Now, I like this! And I've also listened to the samples of the other songs from this album on iTunes.

    This is a keeper! The beautiful part is that it is still in print and easily available.

    Thanks again!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Chasing Showa!

      By all means, get "Reflections"! As they say, if you have to get one City Pop album, get this one. But of course, there are some other releases that are so City Pop, it hurts: "Love Trip" by Takako Mamiya and "First Light" by Makoto Matsushita.

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    2. Hi, J-Canuck.

      Can you tell me a little about the lyrics of Shadow City?
      I'm very curious about it, since the mood is so deep.
      I've tried to find an English translation of it, but I couldn't.

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    3. Hi, Henrique.

      Yeah, the mood is deep. I pulled out my copy of "Reflections" and went through Terao's lyrics. Basically, he is relating the final time seeing his lover as the day becomes night and she finally departs gloomily. Still, he finds the profile of her face and that fleeting smile very sexy. I think he will need a few glasses of whisky to get over the loss.

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  2. Hello J-Canuck,

    I already have those. I've had them for awhile. What I really should get my hands on is Chu Kosaka's "Horo." I've been meaning to buy it but other releases seem to get in the way.

    And yes, I did read nikala's article regarding this album - which was good. But I found about "Horo" over 10 years ago while searching for rare Haruomi Hosono material.

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