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.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Koh Suzuki -- Sa-Ra-Vah Street

It was actually quite refreshingly cool when I went out to get the paper this morning. That's a pleasant contrast with the blast furnace that we'd been receiving for the past couple of weeks, but of course, the summer is still young.

I've had this in the backlog for some time now. This would be singer-songwriter's Koh Suzuki's(鈴木こう)1982 album "Sa-Ra-Vah Street", and I'm not sure whether there is any connection between this and Yukihiro Takahashi's(高橋幸宏)1978 release "Sa-Ra-Vah!" but I can say that Suzuki's creation has now gotten my interest and attention following a listen to a few of its tracks.

Pretty much no information on Suzuki himself and just a little more with "Sa-Ra-Vah Street" in terms of who helped out. It's fortified with City Pop/J-AOR goodness thanks to certain people such as Hiroshi "Monsieur" Kamayatsu(かまやつひろし)who produced it, Minako Yoshida(吉田美奈子)who was behind the vocal arrangements and chorus, and musicians such as Akira Inoue(井上鑑)on keyboards and Tsuyoshi Kon & Masaki Matsubara(今剛・松原正樹)on guitar.

The first track "Welcome, Tokyo Night" bodes well for my listening pleasure. Starting off with Mike Dunn's bass groove which reminds me of the intro for AB'S "In the City Night", Suzuki (who sounds a bit like Al Stewart at the beginning) greets us with some sultry summer City Pop in early 1980s Tokyo. I can go for some of those hotel bar cocktails right now on the patio (although at the time, I was only eligible for Calpis) with that flowing sax solo. Man, to listen to this while I was walking the streets just outside of the Tokyo Prince Hotel back then.

"One Night Chance" is actually the first track that I heard from "Sa-Ra-Vah Street" and it was the one that got me to bookmark it. It's more on the rock side of AOR and is ideal for that midnight bombing down on the highway in the sports car (without attracting police attention). I do love that guitar work.

One more track that I will provide here is "Tameshi ni Dou Dai?"(試しにどうだい...How About Giving It A Shot?), a happy-go-lucky hybrid of Doobie Brothers Bounce and City Pop chords. This also seems to be perfect for car stereo heaven, day or night. Maybe you can try it on a J-Utah YouTube driving video for Tokyo. By the way, although I couldn't confirm the songwriting details with "One Night Chance", the other two songs here were written and composed by Hiroshi Suzuki(鈴木浩)according to the JASRAC database. That first name kanji can also be pronounced as "Koh" so I'm assuming that is indeed the performer who's behind the songwriting, and he's not to be confused with Hiroshi Suzuki(鈴木弘)the trombonist who has his own article on KKP.

The above is the video for the entire album so give it a shot and tell me what you think. I will have to put this up on my Xmas wish list.

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