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, December 18, 2018

Katsuhisa Hattori -- Secrets(シークレット)

Whenever I hear about the composer and arranger Katsuhisa Hattori(服部克久), my mind thinks of TV themes and soundtracks along with lush orchestrations such as the ones that accompanied a number of tracks on Tatsuro Yamashita's(山下達郎)1993 Xmas album "Season's Greetings". My mind wouldn't usually think of him brandishing a glass of Perrier while a pink sweater is wrapped around his waist.

Now, why would I even think of such a yuppie image for Hattori? Well, I wouldn't have until I encountered this song titled "Secrets" that was actually composed by the fellow himself. At first listen, I went "Wait a minute! Hold the Pepperidge Farm here!". Hattori actually did Smooth Jazz and AOR?

Well, one song doesn't necessarily stamp a genre on a songwriter but still I was surprised enough that Hattori made this very Perrier-friendly "Secrets" that I had to make sure that I had the right guy. And sure enough, I checked his website and indeed, he did compose the song for the 2nd album (1985) titled "Juicy and Crispy" in his very long-running "Ongaku Batake"(音楽畑...Music Field)series of music.

The mellow beat, the soulful sax and the post-disco strings had me in its loving embrace right from Note One, and I had the sudden great need to buy a yacht in California (luckily, looking at my bank account brought me back to Earth). Then, the key shifts midway to have Linda Hennrick's lyrics sung by someone that I couldn't identify. I would love to know who sang this last half (June 11th 2020: Well, this is your lucky day, past J-Canuck! I managed to find out from Discogs that the vocalist is Clara Shinzato from the group EVE).

Tried to search for some more examples from any of the "Ongaku Batake" series and found music more along the lines that I had envisioned by Hattori...pop classical and music that I would connect to some sort of soundtrack. As for "Juicy and Crispy", it seems to be more of a mix of AOR and Easy Listening tracks. I'm not sure whether I have found a new series of CDs to delve into, but certainly the 2nd album has my attention now.

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