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.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Haruomi Hosono -- Sports Men(スポーツマン)

First and foremost, I've always associated Haruomi Hosono(細野晴臣)as one part of the amazing Yellow Magic Orchestra. It wasn't until much later that I discovered that the bassist-songwriter had also been part of another legendary band Happy End and had owned his own successful career for several years through some eclectic music between those two gigs. Of course, post-YMO, Hosono managed to keep the music going.

I have to quote this one fellow on YouTube, mikkabouzu, who commented on hearing "Sports Men", a quirky earworm from his 6th original album "Philharmony"(フィルハーモニー)which came out in May 1982. He said that listening to the song and Hosono, he felt that it was akin to "...a drunk Lou Reed crossed with New Order, through a Japanese accent filter". Before coming across that comment, I was going to say Bob Dylan, but I will go with mikkabouzu.

As I said, "Sports Men" is quite the infectious tune especially with Hosono bleating "Twitching, probing, twitching, probing". It's an innocent butterfly of a song that was written and composed by the fellow with Giles Duke and Peter Barakan also contributing to the lyrics.

Dang! Country music version as well? Amazing! Anyways, when I hear this, I think that the original version should be placed in some Hollywood comedy in which the main character, an overweight schlub, is desperately and comically trying to lose the pounds through some exercise montage. Another commenter even stated that "Sports Men" ought to be used as the official anthem for the 2020 Olympics. Fat chance (no pun intended) but I could imagine it being used as background music by one of the official broadcasting stations around the world. NBC? CBC? NHK?


  1. Hosono is a genius! Him and Yukihiro Takahashi have voices that I always end up associating with bands like New Order or Orange Juice (maybe Peter Barakan's British accent was an influence?).
    In the case of Sportsman though I can definitely see the Lou Reed reference!

    1. Hi, Beat Ratio. Good to hear from you again.

      Perhaps Hosono, Takahashi and Sakamoto may have had some good feelings toward the UK or even Europe in general. I could imagine Germany due to Kraftwerk.


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