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, August 5, 2020

Happy End -- Natsu nan desu(夏なんです)

We're halfway through the summer and things have been slightly cooler over the past few days although the high temperatures and humidity are forecast to return by this weekend. In fact, it felt downright brisk this morning as I went to the supermarket for the weekly grocery shopping.

I've picked out this track, "Natsu nan desu" (Hey, It's Summer) from Happy End's(はっぴいえんど)"Kazemachi Roman"(風街ろまん...Wind City Romance) because it is seasonally appropriate and Rocket Brown was surprised to discover that I had never heard of it before (I have yet to get my copy of "Kazemachi Roman"). Moreover, I recollect an article on another track on the 1971 album, "Kaze wo Atsumete" (風をあつめて)in which I stated that a fellow translator friend was a big fan of the band. He contacted me last week to see if we could all get together for that bowl of ramen (haven't had non-instant ramen in a season) now that we are in Stage 3 of the re-opening of the economy. Unfortunately, in an abundance of caution, I had to let him know that I wanted to wait a few weeks to see how the infection rates go since I'm by far the youngest in my household and so I can't really take any chances. But yep, I would like to go out for a bite someday soon.

Getting back to "Natsu nan desu", I was listening to the song as I was typing down that above paragraph, and it's very conducive to calm and relaxing musing. Haruomi Hosono(細野晴臣)is behind both the mike and the melody. His voice is quite the comfortable leather here and it's been a revelation about his time in the 1970s whether it be with Happy End or Tin Pan Alley since I first got to know him as one-third of Yellow Magic Orchestra, and he really didn't do too much singing in that group. It's quite the hammock-friendly song.

Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆)was responsible for the lyrics, and for those who don't know his role in Happy End, he's on the drums as you can see in the video above. Of course, there are also Shigeru Suzuki(鈴木茂)and the late Eiichi Ohtaki(大滝詠一)on guitar. "Natsu nan desu" was also the B-side to "Hana Ichi Monme" (花いちもんめ), also a track on "Kazemachi Roman".

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