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.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Hysteric Blue -- Naze...(なぜ…)

Ah yes...that depiction of the number "1999" reminds me so much of a sci-fi show that I used to watch as a kid.

Yes, for a lot of us, it was "Space:1999" with the late Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. Considering how some of the science was portrayed in the episodes (such as the Moon breaking out of orbit), it's perhaps more seen as science-fantasy rather than science-fiction or science-fact, but I still can't deny the coolness of the Eagles and that theme song from Season 1...the one with the progressive rock goodness in the middle of the epic orchestra.

Now, we obviously never got ourselves a base on the Moon by 1999 although we are happy that we still have it securely in orbit around Earth but "Space:1999" has provided me with much nostalgia. I think the same goes for me and former students when it comes to this song that was actually released in July 1999.

The name Hysteric Blue automatically brings up some memories of the 1990s (near the tail-end, mind you) and their big hit, "Naze..." (Why....?). This song's video was a regular resident on the music countdown shows, and I recall that it used to be a popular one to be performed on that old Saturday-night celebrity karaoke hour "Yoru mo Hippare"(夜もヒッパレ)on NTV.

Released in July 1999 as their 4th single, "Naze..." was a song that seemed to brush upon a love that has yet to be but the figures involved are just chomping at the bit. Listening to it again after so long brought out those "Oh, man. I remember this one!" feelings, and the nostalgia didn't only come from the tune itself but also from the old band configuration of one female lead vocalist and two side men, just like Dreams Come True and Every Little Thing.

Hysteric Blue consisted of female vocalist Tama, drummer Takuya(たくや)and guitarist/leader Naoki(ナオキ), all from Osaka. Couldn't find out how the name of the band came about, but according to their J-Wiki file, Naoki discovered Tama and Takuya busking away at Osaka Castle Park in the summer of 1997. They soon banded together to form Hysteric Blue after which they sent out demo tapes, one which caught the interest of music producer/musician Masahide Sakuma(佐久間正英)who also occasionally pitched in as a support bassist. Almost a year later in June 1998, the band signed with Sony Records with their first major single being released a few months later.

"Naze..." peaked at No. 2 on Oricon and the song was used as the theme for a TBS drama "P.S. Genki desu, Shunpei"(P.S. 元気です、俊平...P.S. I'm Fine, Shunpei) starring one of the Kinki Kids. It ended up as the 35th single of 1999 and is a track on Hysteric Blue's 2nd album, "Wallaby" from February 2000 which got as high as No. 3 and became the 65th-ranked album of the year. The band did get onto the Kohaku Utagassen in 1999 but it wasn't to perform "Naze..." but another trademark tune from their discography "Haru~Spring"(春〜spring〜), their 2nd single.

In total, Hysteric Blue released 14 singles and 5 albums during their time between 1998 and 2004. However, in March 2004, Naoki was arrested on several counts of sexual assault and was subsequently imprisoned until 2018. As a result, Tama and Takuya announced on their website that the band would break up. Afterwards, the two of them joined another band Screaming Frogs, but in 2011, they would form their own duo, Sabão, which lasted until 2018.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.