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.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Hideki Saijo -- Sweet Half Moon


There was apparently a partial eclipse last week that I missed out upon since it happened pretty early in the morning here, and well, the standard operating procedure for me is that sleep eclipses eclipses any time. It was quite spectacular from what I've heard, though.

Just a few minutes ago, I wrote up a tribute to composer and actor Asei Kobayashi(小林亜星)who has recently passed away, and I remember that his mid-1970s TV show "Terauchi Kantaro Ikka"(寺内貫太郎一家...Kantaro Terauchi's Family) was his first foray into acting. One of his many co-stars in the series was aidoru superstar Hideki Saijo(西城秀樹)as his son.

Therefore, I figure that it's time to put up another Saijo song on board, and I found this calming song called "Sweet Half Moon", a track from his 9th album "First Flight/Hideki Saijo"(ファースト・フライト/西城秀樹)released in December 1978. Written by Kazuko Kobayashi(小林和子), composed by Saijo himself and arranged by Kazuo Otani(大谷和夫), I haven't yet encountered too many Hideki songs where he himself was responsible for the music, but it looks like for "First Flight", he composed at least half the album.

"Sweet Half Moon" is indeed sweet and Saijo did a remarkable job with this ballad that has some really sunny soul in there, perhaps even some Motown. Just judging from this song, I'm a little surprised that he didn't do more with his songwriting since the song even has some hints of City Pop that he would jump into in earnest in the mid-1980s. In any case, I do love the arrangement including the warm horns and the strings. I can imagine "Sweet Half Moon" being the finale song for his concerts back in the day; the ladies would have swooned.

To wrap up, I've always been rather fascinated by the cover for "First Flight" with Saijo looking like he stepped out of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" cover while sitting on a pretty snazzy space jet. I have to admit that I'm also rather enamored by that old futuristic font for the title.

from YouTube

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