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 30, 2020

Kiyotaka Sugiyama -- Kaze no LONELY WAY(風のLONELY WAY)

It's a Tuesday night and you've just seen intrigue, murder, that final scene of resolution at the edge of a cliff (I gather that the front of a McDonalds wasn't going to cut it), and the killer go off that cliff or go sullenly into the back of a police car escorted by a beret-wearing seen-it-all done-it-all detective. Stress levels are probably too way up for the beginning of a work week, so what does a Japanese TV network such as NTV do? Simple...ensure that the theme song is dramatic but also as gentle and reassuring as a Febreeze spray.

So, between 1981 and 2005, NTV's "Kayo Suspense Gekijo"(火曜サスペンス劇場...The Tuesday Suspense Drama) supplied just that for its array of theme songs. Of course, we've had a few Hiromi Iwasaki(岩崎宏美)ballads helping out such as one of my favourites, "Ieji"(家路)in 1983, and then there was Mariya Takeuchi's(竹内まりや)"Kokuhaku"(告白)from 1990.

In between those two, there was J-AOR crooner Kiyotaka Sugiyama(杉山清貴)who contributed to "Kayo Suspense Gekijo" with his 5th single (and the 6th ending theme for the suspense program) as a solo artist away from Omega Tribe(オメガトライブ). "Kaze no LONELY WAY" (Lonely Way of the Wind) was released in January 1988, and it's everything that a Sugiyama fan loves in one of his songs: mellow keyboards, a summery arrangement (despite the season of release) by Tetsuji Hayashi(林哲司)that would have David Foster green with envy, and those caressing vocals by the singer who came up with the music. Shun Taguchi(田口俊)was the lyricist here.

Wow! Now, that's a properly dramatic entrance. Anyways "Kaze no LONELY WAY" was another No. 1 hit for Sugiyama, and in fact, it was his third consecutive No. 1. Moreover, it has turned out to be his final No. 1 on Oricon as of 2020. The song was placed onto one of his BEST compilations, "The BALLADS with Love" which was released in September 1990 with a No. 9 ranking on the weekly charts.

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