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 6, 2018

Keisuke Kuwata & Mr. Children -- Kiseki no Chikyuu(奇跡の地球)

Happy Sunday to you all! A little drier out there and some nice and comfy temperatures. Nope, still haven't caught "Avengers: Infinity War" but that should be rectified by around the middle of next week. Try as I might, I haven't been able to avoid some of the plot material leaking out, notably the death count.

Anyways, speaking of heroes...with all of us being fans of Japanese pop music to varying extents, imagine being back in the 1990s and hearing a couple of singing superstars collaborating on a single together. One has already become a legend of sorts while the other fronts a band that is eating up the rankings like candy.

Keisuke Kuwata(桑田佳祐)of Southern All Stars(サザンオールスターズ)and the band Mr. Children did just that when they joined up to do their part for the Act Against AIDS movement and released a charity single "Kiseki no Chikyuu" (Earth of Miracles) back in January 1995.

I remember "Kiseki no Chikyuu" always showing up on the Oricon rankings and the countdown shows, but for whatever reason, it wasn't quite enough for me to buy the single which only had a limited selling time between January and June of that year.

I have to admit, though, now that I have heard the full recorded version, that the funky arrangement with the horns makes "Kiseki no Chikyuu" hum pretty well. Almost think that Kuwata and Kazutoshi Sakurai(桜井和寿)of Mr. Children could have played cool and hardened police detectives out on a case in a conceptual music video. While Kuwata wrote and composed the song, Takeshi Kobayashi(小林武史)and Mr. Children handled the arrangements.

My initial indifference aside, the song blasted up to the top spot of Oricon and ended up as the 7th-ranked single for 1995, selling 1.7 million copies (Kuwata's top-selling single as a solo artist). I don't think that I've ever encountered a single that actually went Quadruple Platinum before, and in terms of the top singles in Oricon history, "Kiseki no Chikyuu" is ranked at No. 48.

I can imagine that the original single must be a pretty expensive and rare item at the auction sites, if it even exists there. However, the song is on Kuwata's 2nd BEST compilation "Top of the Pops" that was released back in November 2002. It also hit No. 1 for 2 weeks in a row and became the 4th-ranked album for 2003, breaking the 2-million barrier.

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