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.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Kenji Ozawa -- Tsuukai Uki Uki Doori(痛快ウキウキ通り)

(Unfortunately the video has been taken down)

Heh, heh. To be honest, I remember the music video for this song more than I do for the song itself (since it's been parodied on TV) but I've been rectifying this as I listen to it. However, kudos to the folks behind that video; it's a good one and I'm surprised that there has been no mention about it on the J-Wiki article for "Tsuukai Uki Uki Doori" (Street of Exhilaration).

The song is by fun-loving 90s popster and songwriter Kenji Ozawa(小沢健二)and it was his 11th single from December 1995. The video indeed has those Christmas images and Ozawa's lyrics talk about a fellow getting that request from his girlfriend to buy some Prada shoes for her, so he heads on down to what must be a truly happening shopping street and ends up enjoying himself far more than he expected in the hoopla. In fact, he ends up forgetting to get the shoes...and most likely losing his girlfriend in the bargain.

My first choice for that street the protagonist was on was Takeshita Street in Harajuku with all of the young folks and the variety of stores, but when the lyrics mentioned Prada shoes, I thought maybe this was Ginza. I know that neighbourhood better than I do Takeshita (although I can most likely afford the latter more than the former).

Still, the comical adventure in shopping and what-not is accompanied by Ozawa's merrily-as-we-go-along melody whose horn arrangement was provided by members of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra(東京スカパラダイスオーケストラ): Gamou, Nargo and Masahiko Kitahara(北原雅彦). Those horns provide some more of that lovely marshmallow to the cocoa that is "Tsuukai Uki Uki Doori".

The song hit No. 4 on Oricon and sold a little under 300,000 copies, and it's also a track on Ozawa's BEST collection "Setsuna"(刹那)from December 2003 which peaked at No. 29 on the album charts. One interesting piece of trivia about "Tsuukai Uki Uki Doori" from J-Wiki is that originally, lyricist Yasushi Akimoto(秋元康)had requested Ozawa to come up with a song for the comedy team The Tunnels. Thinking that it was going to be for a duo, the songwriter felt that a Wham!-type song would do and so he whipped up a tune that was inspired by "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" which had been titled for Japanese audiences as "Uki Uki Wake Me Up"(ウキウキ・ウェイク・ミー・アップ). But Ozawa just loved the sound of that uki uki so much that he ended up taking the song for his own.😜

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