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 8, 2021

Miki Matsubara -- Sannin de Odoranai(三人で踊らない)


As mentioned in my last article, I got together with City Pop expert Van Paugam in a podcast earlier this afternoon to talk on some of the works of the late Miki Matsubara(松原みき), and those included her first six albums released in the 1980s during her career. I had a chance to go through those albums and one of them was "Myself" which came out in March 1982.

Curiously enough, I don't think that I had ever chosen a track from this album for the blog before so this would indeed be fresh territory. And good territory as well since I enjoyed almost every track on "Myself". In fact, arrangement and performance of all of the tracks were done by the American fusion band Dr. Strut, a group of session musicians from both the East Coast and West Coast who formed up in 1977 to push some envelopes. They enjoyed a good deal of popularity in Japan, apparently, and so they got the gig for "Myself" and for Matsubara's previous album "-Cupid-" in 1981, Dr. Strut had been the backing band for the Side A tracks.

Track 2 is "Sannin de Odoranai" which literally translates as "Three Don't Dance" but perhaps I could posit that it means "Three's A Crowd". From what I could understand of the lyrics by Kazuko Kobayashi(小林和子), one "corner" of the love triangle has a major decision to make to revert this shape back to a line segment. The music is provided by singer-songwriter in the City Pop field Issei Okamoto(岡本一生). He and Dr. Strut create a nicely refined number with a moody intro and a fairly cheerful main melody with a touch of Latin class. There may be a painful rejection taking place but it's happening in the background of some cool music. However, there is also a sudden injection of an upbeat jazz interlude thanks to Dr. Strut's David Woodford and his honey-toned sax.

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