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, August 7, 2018

Frank Nagai/Mari Nakamoto -- Koibito yo, Ware ni Kaere (恋人よ我に帰れ)

Through the usual browsings of YouTube, I encountered some Frank Nagai(フランク永井)tunes so I wondered what his debut single was.

At first thought, I had assumed that it would be some sort of crooning Mood Kayo since he was the master of the genre. However, his first song recorded was actually an English/Japanese cover of the Oscar Hammerstein II/Sigmund Romberg standard "Lover, Come Back to Me", first published in 1928 and covered in Japan as "Koibito yo, Ware ni Kaere". Nagai's version was released in October 1955 and includes Japanese lyrics by Seiichi Iida(井田誠一).

What got it noticed by me was Nagai's voice. I was already accustomed to his velvety vocals in some of those Mood Kayo classics such as "Yurakucho de Aimashou" (有楽町で逢いましょう)and "Tokyo Nightclub"(東京ナイトクラブ), but hearing him sing in English and with an arrangement that made his "Koibito yo, Ware ni Kaere" sound like some of the sweet music from at least a couple of decades prior, I gained further appreciation of his talent. Whoever was taking care of him and the recording must have rubbed their hands in glee.

This article is not only a feature on the debut of Frank Nagai but also a follow-up. Actually, I did write something about "Koibito yo, Ware ni Kaere" back last October as it was covered by a number of Japanese singers. That article included jazz singer Mari Nakamoto(中本マリ)as she went for an unusual computer music collaboration with technopop gods Yellow Magic Orchestra.

However over here, I am now featuring the native of Sendai in her own element of swing jazz doing a lively version of "Lover, Come Back to Me". I'm pretty sure that Nakamoto has performed the song countless times over her career and provided recordings in her many albums but I did find one such recording in her "Montreux The Best '78" from 1978.

Gotta leave off here with Patti Page's take.

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