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.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

More Than Paradise -- Fireworks

It would have been a few weeks ago that the Sumida River Fireworks Festival would have taken place in Tokyo as it would usually around that time every year. Maybe as much as a million people would have shown up in the traditional quarter of Asakusa in traditional summer garb risking a lot of sweat and privacy to watch an hour's worth of some of the most spectacular fireworks to soar into the night sky.

I had my opportunity to catch the festival up close and personal thanks to an English student (who unfortunately passed away many years ago) who opened up her apartment right by the Sumida itself to some of us to view the light show. But aside from that, my viewings of what is probably the most famous fireworks festival in Tokyo were restricted to watching it on TV Tokyo in air-conditioned comfort (not a fan of crowds or heat).

Regrettably, COVID-19 scrapped the 2020 edition of the festival although I read that TV Tokyo provided a retrospective of past highlights, and perhaps a lot of the fireworks fans have gone to sites like YouTube to get their fix of their hanabi.

So, it is appropriate that I provide my final KKP article for tonight, "Fireworks" by the 1990s three-member group More Than Paradise. I've actually written about these folks before in 2018 with their fun Shibuya-kei "Natsu Monogatari"(夏物語). More Than Paradise consisted of Yudai Suzuki(鈴木雄大), who has his own flock of songs here, along with Eiko Kamata(鎌田英子)and Jun Kageie(景家淳). 

I'm happy to read that the Japanese music blog "Music Avenue" also discovered the source album with "Fireworks", "Love Parade" (1992). Apparently, author kaz-shin fell for the charms of Suzuki and so have I when it comes to "Fireworks". But in comparison with "Natsu Monogatari", this particular song, which was written by Yui Natsumi(夏実唯)and composed by Hidetoshi Yamada(山田秀俊), has more of that sophisti-pop style that I've heard incorporated in a number of City Pop tunes in the late 80s and early 90s (so I gather that I might be watching the fireworks from the top of a swanky hotel bar as I listen to this). kaz-shin gives his compliments to bassist Tetsuo Sakurai(桜井哲夫)here and I'd like to give my praise to the bossa nova as well. The author of "Music Avenue" also swoons in the blog entry that on hearing this classy number, he imagines being at Haneda Airport in the evening and catching sight of the bright lights of Tokyo in the distance. However, as for the video above featuring the song, the city is actually Melbourne, Australia where "Love Parade" was recorded according to the uploader.

Is this album still around? From just casually looking around the Net, apparently it is (or was recently), although one site,, states that it will not deliver it to Canada and it costs more than it did when "Love Parade" was first released. No sign of it at Tower Records so perhaps it'll be one of those rarities to track down through auctions.

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