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, September 26, 2021

Yoshito Machida with Godiego -- Ame wa Knife no You sa(雨はナイフのようさ)


The first time that I wrote about Kochi Prefecture-born singer Yoshito Machida(町田義人)back in 2017, it was for his "Senshi no Kyuusoku"(戦士の休息), a mellow and reflective ballad from August 1978. The song was used for the movie "Yasei no Shomei"(野性の証明...Never Give Up) starring the late Ken Takakura(高倉健). Although I never watched it myself, I could imagine "Senshi no Kyuusoku" being the ideal number for a battle-hardened and world-weary person, whether a spy, soldier or office worker, taking a respite while also taking a long drag from a cigarette on a balcony overlooking the landscape as the sun is going down.

However, the previous month, Machida had released another single, "Akai Karyudo"(赤い狩人...Red Hunter) but it's the B-side to that July 1978 single that we're focused on here. "Ame wa Knife no You sa" (The Rain Cuts Like a Knife, Man) is quite different from the relaxing "Senshi no Kyuusoku" since it sounds like it's meant to accompany that person from the above paragraph in the middle of the battle itself. It's got the downtown funk thanks to the band Godiego(ゴダイゴ)helping out in the music, and what better group to help out since that band's vocalist and songwriter Yukihide Takekawa(タケカワユキヒデ)was responsible for the cool melody.

As for the lyrics, they were provided by movie director and producer Junichi Mimura(三村順一), who was behind the 1978 documentary "Kita Kitsune Monogatari"(キタキツネ物語...The Story of the Ezo Red Fox) whose theme song was "Akai Karyudo", and lyricist Yoko Narahashi(奈良橋陽子). They seem to establish a setting for any hard-bitten lone wolf ranging from police detective Baretta to "Cowboy Be-Bop" bounty hunter Spike Spiegel knee-deep in the middle of a case and all of the existential sludge that comes with it. Cold rain hurts much harder when folks are in a bad mood, after all. What adds to the tension is the wah-wah guitar, Machida's seemingly hushed and rushed vocals and that rollicking piano.

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