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 31, 2021
Anri/Ami Ozaki -- Namida wo Umi ni Kaeshitai（涙を海に返したい）
Here I was wondering what I was going to do for the final day of August 2021 when good ol' Van Paugam informed all of us via Twitter that Anri（杏里）just celebrated her 60th birthday today. So, definitely a very happy kanreki to her; not sure if she wore anything red but Ms. Eiko Kawashima（川島 栄子）would look fine in any colour anyways.
Anri was all of seventeen when she released her third single, "Namida wo Umi ni Kaeshitai" (I Want to Return My Tears to the Ocean) in April 1979. Just like her debut single, the iconic "Olivia wo Kikinagara"（オリビアを聴きながら）the previous year, singer-songwriter Ami Ozaki（尾崎亜美）was responsible for words and music for this melancholy song about loss and heartbreak. There is a touch of disco in there, but seeing that it's a very early song in Anri's discography, it doesn't sound like the usual summery City Pop tune that she's long been known for, and for that reason, it can be an interesting song to come across.
The arrangement was handled by Shigeru Suzuki（鈴木茂）, formerly of the rock band Happy End. I don't see any Oricon ranking for "Namida wo Umi ni Kaeshitai" on its J-Wiki article so perhaps it didn't even quite make the Top 100 (and even "Olivia wo Kikinagara" only got up as high as No. 65 in its initial release). In fact, the single didn't make its album debut until Anri's 5th BEST compilation, "MY FAVOURITE SONGS" which was released in July 1988.
To be honest, though, I have to say that I enjoy Ozaki's cover of "Namida wo Umi ni Kaeshitai" even more than the Anri original. First appearing on her second album of self-covers, "POINTS-2" from March 1986, the tempo is a little more appropriately slower for a sad ballad and the arrangement by Shingo Kobayashi（小林信吾）is lusher. The music seems to act like that box of chocolates that any broken heart needs to help recover.