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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Seiko Matsuda -- Natsu Fuku no Eve(夏服のイヴ)

This is another article for one of those songs that have percolated up from the deep crevasses of my memory after many years. I first heard it on some compilation or a Seiko Matsuda(松田聖子)BEST album, perhaps, but it's one of the more unusual Seiko-chan songs that I've heard.

For one thing, "Natsu Fuku no Eve" (Eve in Summer Clothing) begins as if it were the theme song for some major Disney fantasy movie along the lines of "Syrius no Densetsu"(シリウスの伝説), that animated feature that I had caught back in the summer of 1981 in Osaka, loosely inspired by "Romeo & Juliet". It was definitely not the usual bubbly aidoru tune that I usually expected from Matsuda. Another thing is that I hadn't known the title until only recently so it was quite the Dickens to track it down, but from browsing YouTube one day, I found the above video and realized that it was the B-side to her 17th single released in May 1984, the fun and snazzy "Jikan no Kuni no Alice"(時間の国のアリス)that I've talked about for her album "Train".

I'm OK with "Natsu Fuku no Eve" which has that classical fantasy romance feeling to it but as I've already pointed out, it's a bit off-kilter with Seiko sounding a little more off-tune (yes, even more than the usual adorable off-tune parts of an aidoru song in the 1980s) in key parts of the verses. There is also an inclusion of a very sad trumpet in the intro, the bridge and the end with that second part being surrounded suddenly by an orchestral City Pop arrangement in a not-so-perfect contrast with the Disney-esque atmosphere in the rest of "Natsu Fuku no Eve". Well, the man behind the horn was none other than jazz trumpeter Terumasa Hino(日野皓正)who also composed the song.

Hino, in fact, composed the soundtrack for the movie "Natsu Fuku no Eve", so yes, that means that the song was indeed a cinematic theme tune, just not for an animated feature. Not surprisingly, Seiko was the star in this flick that was partially filmed in New Zealand. I did find the movie but it's been sped up by around 4 times so this may be the world's first Tik Tok-ized motion picture on YouTube.

Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆)provided the lyrics to "Natsu Fuku no Eve" which describe a woman trying to elope with her lover as far away from the complicated world as possible. Those lyrics helped me in figuring out what the title was all about since I'd initially thought quizzically that "Natsu Fuku no Eve" referred to "The Eve Before Summer Clothing" since so many Japanese pop songs had that word "eve" being used as in "Christmas Eve". But actually, it was more the lady's Eve trying to run away with her Adam one summer day. Incidentally, the song is also included on one of Seiko's many BEST albums "Seiko - Town" from November 1984.

According to the J-Wiki article on the movie, "Natsu Fuku no Eve" was out in theatres as of July 1984. The following year, on June 24th 1985, Seiko-chan married actor Masaki Kanda(神田正輝), and in commemoration of that event, the movie was broadcast on NTV for the first time on the 26th.

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