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, November 15, 2018

Kenji Ozawa/ -- Tsuyoi Kimochi - Tsuyoi Ai(強い気持ち・強い愛)

Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平)...the one Japanese composer who can be identified with a song and folks would go "HE MADE THAT?!". A few days ago, I had just written about one of his early creations in the late 1960s for Taeko Kawabe(川辺妙子), and "Midnight Tokyo"(ミッドナイト東京)reflected those times.

Well, listening to his special 50th anniversary 2-CD collection recently, I came across a number of surprises, and the subject of this article is another one.

All I can say is that Tsutsumi must have really liked his disco time (incidentally, disco never died; it merely moved to Japan and became an English teacher) since I can still recollect his handling of TOKIO's "Ambitious Japan" in 2003. Almost a decade earlier, even, he collaborated with happy popster Kenji Ozawa(小沢健二)to create "Tsuyoi Kimochi - Tsuyoi Ai". It translates literally as "Strong Feelings/Strong Love", but the official English title is "Metropolitan Love Affair".

After Shibuya-kei darlings Flipper's Guitar split up, the biggest song that I remember by Ozawa has been his mellow and jazzy "Otona ni Nareba" (大人になれば). Little did I know that he had indulged in his disco suit a few years earlier. Cue the mirror ball and do the Hustle! Ozawa took care of the lyrics while Tsutsumi provided the nostalgic dance music of the 1970s and the image of riding at supersonic speed on that Soul Train.

Ozawa's 7th single was released in February 1995, and to rather illustrate that Japan❤disco relationship, it went all the way to No. 4 on Oricon and went Platinum. In fact, it is his 2nd-most successful single next to his previous single "Corolla II ni Notte"(カローラIIにのって...Get On The Corolla II). By the end of the year, "Tsuyoi Kimochi - Tsuyoi Ai" was the 92nd-ranked song on the charts. The song was also placed on his BEST compilation album, "Setsuna"(刹那...Moment)from December 2003 which peaked at No. 29.

I remember Marcos V. talking aboutでんぱ組.inc)back in 2014 and introducing the hypersonic genre of denpa music through them. Well, their May 2012 double-A side 4th single included their cheerful technopop cover of "Tsuyoi Kimochi - Tsuyoi Ai", and I think like their "Sakura Apparition"(サクラあっぱれーしょん), it's perhaps a more restrained outing (at least until the last number of seconds in the shortened music video above) of their warp speed performances judging from some of their other videos.

The single did fairly well as it went up to No. 37 on the charts, and this version was arranged by Kenichi Maeyamada(前山田健一).

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