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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tatsuro Yamashita -- Ride On Time (Single)

(from about 1:05)

Well, I figure if I have talked about the missus, I have to talk about the hubby. Yup, following Mariya Takeuchi (竹内まりや), I now introduce you to Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎), he of the falsetto and Beach Boys vocal effects. Yamashita was influenced by American pop and rock throughout the first two decades of his life, and started his band, Sugar Babe, in the early 70s which resulted in one well-regarded album, "Songs" in 1976. Among his bandmates was Taeko Ohnuki (大貫妙子)who has also gone on to carve her own successful career, albeit in a significantly different direction.

"Ride On Time" is a classic Yamashita song: summery and soaring with guitar and sax. Unlike his wife's initial retro-pop and later straight-ahead pop, Yamashita's tunes have a bit more rock, R&B and funk mixed in. It's ironic, then, that his most famous tune happens to be a Xmas song.

In any case, "Ride On Time" got as high as No. 3 on the Oricon charts, and its album of the same name, was at the No. 1 position for about a week in October 1980. Over 20 years later, the song became the theme of a popular drama called "Good Luck" starring Takuya Kimura(木村拓哉), which gave it a return to the charts, getting as high as 13th place.

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