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, March 5, 2012

Southern All Stars -- Katte ni Sinbad (勝手にシンドバッド)

While bands like Off Course gave music fans a chance to slow down and smell the bara, Southern All Stars(サザン・オール・スターズ) promoted the opposite....a chance for fans to get off their butts and start having a good ol' time. This is the only band from way back in the kayo kyoku age that would still have relevance as a performing group today...if only they hadn't gone on hiatus in 2009.

Like the members of Off Course, the members that would make up SAS would meet via the Japanese education system. The leader of the group, Keisuke Kuwata(桑田佳祐), got everyone together as students at Aoyama Gakuin University(青山学院大学) in Tokyo; they were trying on a number of names for the being "Onsen Anma Momohiki Band"which translates as "Hot Spring Massage Longjohns Band"(just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?). But when keyboardist Yuko Hara(原由子) joined the group, they finally settled on "Southern All Stars" which originated from "Fania All-Stars", a salsa ensemble from New York City, and the American music genre known as Southern Rock.

Their debut single was "Katte ni Sinbad"which was also a linguistic amalgam of two other kayo kyoku hits: "Katte ni Shiyagare"勝手にしやがれ)by Kenji Sawada(沢田研二)and "Nagisa no Sinbad"(渚のシンドバッド) by the extremely popular Pink Lady (would just love to see Kuwata do a lecture tour on brand naming). The song just rockets off into the atmosphere and would not be out of place during the Rio Carnaval. Apparently, the All Stars created quite a stir with their wild eccentricities back in 1978. And Kuwata's gravelly voice was probably quite unique for a pop singer.

"Katte ni Sinbad"was released in June 1978 and got as high as No. 3 on the Oricon weeklies and No. 23 for the year. It was also part of the debut album, "Atsui Mune Sawagi".

Thank you again, J-Wiki.

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