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.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Hideaki Tokunaga -- Natsu no Radio(夏のラジオ)

Hearing all those Hideaki Tokunaga(徳永英明)songs all these years, my impression of him has been as a lovelorn balladeer that could wring tears from a rock. The exception is the sunny "Yume wo Shinjite"(夢を信じて)which has been one of my touchstone songs representing my time in Gunma Prefecture.

So having said that, it was quite the surprise to hear his 2nd single "Natsu no Radio" (Summer Radio) from May 1986, since it's not only an uptempo number but it's also a tune that takes things into the City Pop realm, and perhaps even into J-Rock. In fact, listening to that downtown beat with the wailing guitar, it struck me as being rather Anzen Chitai(安全地帯), except that it's Tokunaga's vocals in there instead of Koji Tamaki's(玉置浩二)voice.

However, there was nothing Anzen Chitai attached to "Natsu no Radio". Tokunaga came up with the dramatic music while Ginshiro Akiya(秋谷銀四郎)wrote the lyrics. If I'm not mistaken, the whole premise behind the song was a fateful event in the water one summer day with a song coming from the radio on a boat being the symbol of the encounter. Since then, apparently, there has been no follow-through.

Supposedly, "Natsu no Radio" didn't really register on the charts, which is too bad, since I think it resonates with me. Being his second single, I gather that the powers-that-be were trying different styles with the singer-songwriter but it looks like the urban contemporary stuff wasn't quite working with him. The song was included on Tokunaga's 2nd album "radio" which came out a few months after the single in August.

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