Watching TBS' "Countdown TV" in the wee hours of Sunday morning in Ichikawa, I was somewhat impressed at how much the producers were able to crunch in those rankings, sometimes all the way from No. 100 to No. 1 within 45 minutes (although I've read that "CDTV" has now been expanded to 70 minutes). The No. 50 to No. 100 songs were always given that one-second exposure at such a speed that if I hadn't had my lights on, I would have been afflicted with seizures.
The other night when I was watching "VS. Arashi"（VS嵐）, some of the Arashi fellows were reminiscing about dramas that they had appeared in years and years ago with one of them being "Bokura no Yuuki ~ Miman Toshi"（ぼくらの勇気 未満都市...Our Courage: Not Quite A City）back in 1997. Basically, this was a couple of years before Arashi even debuted as a singing and dancing Johnny's group. The sci-fi drama was actually a showcase for their senpai, Kinki Kids.
As they were referring back to "Bokura no Yuuki", the theme song was playing quietly in the background, but I heard enough of it to plunk myself on the head and go "OMG! I remember this one." It basically blew through the windmills of my mind all these years. The theme was "Aisareru yori Aishitai" (I Want To Love Rather Than Be Loved) by Kinki Kids.
Now, I did mention "CDTV" at the top there. Well, it turns out that I kept hearing excerpts of the song during the ranking reports on the show, and although it did very well on the Oricon charts (for which I will give the stats later), I could only remember the brief excerpts. I don't recall ever hearing the whole song.
Until very recently. As it turns out, "Aisareru yori Aishitai" sounds pretty darn good. As was the case with their hit debut single, "Garasu no Shonen"（硝子の少年）, created by the veteran hitmakers Tatsuro Yamashita and Takashi Matsumoto（山下達郎・松本隆）, Kinki Kids' 2nd single was also handled by a couple of vets, lyricist Hiromi Mori（森浩美）and composer Koji Makaino（馬飼野康二）, and "Aisareru yori Aishitai" also had that touch of past music infused into it...perhaps some 80s disco. I only ever heard the main refrain but on hearing the rest of the song with that decade's melodic essence in there, I could only go "Where have you been all my musical life?".
I mentioned in the "Garasu no Shonen" article that even songwriting masters Yamashita and Matsumoto felt a really large sunlamp on them since Johnny Kitagawa slapped down the conditions that the Kinki Kids' debut had to be a No. 1 from the get-go and a million copies sold. The song did deliver in huge spades but now according to the J-Wiki article for the 2nd song, Mori related that he had felt tremendous pressure in helping make this song due to the huge success of "Garasu no Shonen".
He and Makaino needn't have worried. Although "Aisareru yori Aishitai" debuted in November 1997, it not only did two 2-week stints at No. 1 on Oricon by the end of the year, it became the 59th-ranked single for that year and even ended up as the 8th-ranked single for 1998. In fact, it sold half a million copies in its first week alone and would become the second-best selling single in Kinki Kids' career, just below "Garasu no Shonen" with over 1.6 million copies sold. This may only be the second time that I've mentioned that a song actually went Quadruple Platinum.
Mori and Makaino must have really celebrated with a goodly amount of libation on getting the good news.