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.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Mariya Takeuchi -- Okashina Futari(おかしな二人)

Aaargh...had a power outage that lasted two-and-a-half hours earlier this afternoon. Good golly, I thought we were going to have to cook dinner on the tiny gas stove. Well, we're back now thankfully.

Let's go with something more cheerful, shall we? For one thing, Happy Birthday to one Mariya Takeuchi(竹内まりや). March 20th is indeed her special day and unfortunately, I'm writing this when Japan has already passed into the 21st but as long as it's still the 20th here in Toronto, I think I can forgive myself.

I was wondering how to celebrate the occasion considering that I'd already written up my own choice of favourite Mariya tunes all the way back in 2015. But then going through her 1978 debut album, "Beginning", I realized that there was probably one or two tracks that I had yet to cover.

And one is "Okashina Futari" (Odd Couple), and no, for those Neil Simon fans, it isn't about Felix and Oscar in Manhattan. Actually, maybe some Bee Gee fans from those disco 1970s might have some more appreciation especially right from the intro which had me thinking all "Saturday Night Fever" and glitter balls. Not in my absolute favourite list of Mariya tunes (at least, not yet), "Okashina Futari" is still an interesting tune for the way that the dramatic Bee Gee arrangement of Kazuhiko Kato's(加藤和彦)melody by Shigeru Suzuki(鈴木茂)then gives way to a nearly country-and-western jaunty beat in the chorus as Mariya sings about what I think is a young party-loving woman who may finally be coming to the realization that all around her have already come to believe: that goofy buddy of hers is not only in love with her but she may also be falling for him. The words are by lyricist/writer Takeshi Matsuyama(松山猛)who has had some influence with the bands The Folk Crusaders and Sadistic Mika Band. In fact, he wrote the lyrics for "Imjin River" recorded by the former band.

"Okashina Futari" is an intriguingly odd song and it is indeed one that didn't have Takeuchi involved in its creation. If I were thinking of a Hollywood analogy for this odd couple, I would be thinking Penny and Leonard from "The Big Bang Theory". Maybe Penny and Sheldon would be even better.😁

In any case, all the best to Mariya!

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