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.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Yosui Inoue -- Isso Serenade (いっそセレナーデ)

Yosui Inoue (井上陽水)has been called a folk-rocker, which he is, but I know him better as a balladeer. He was born in Fukuoka where he was inspired by The Beatles to take up music as a profession. He debuted in 1969 and had his first big hit with "Yume no Naka e"夢の中へ...Into The Dream) in 1973. He also gained fame as a songwriter and lyricist for everyone from Akina Nakamori (中森明菜)to Puffy. And along with Koji Tamaki(玉置浩二), he helped create "Wine-Red no Kokoro"ワインレッドの心) which became Anzen Chitai's (安全地帯)first big hit in 1983. In fact, Anzen Chitai was Inoue's backup band in the very early 80s before their very first album.

Inoue has cultivated a larger-than-life figure due to his perpetual wearing of sunglasses, a somewhat eccentric personality (something that he shares with Tamaki), and a taller-than-average height in Japan (178 cm) for that time.

In 1984, he composed and wrote this haunting, atmospheric ballad called "Isso Serenade"(Preferably a Serenade) which was released in October, peaking at No. 4. It also appears on the album "9.5 Carat" which was released a couple of months later. "Isso Serenade" is the only original song on the album which reached No. 1 on the Oricon weeklies. The rest of the album are covers of other artists' hit songs such as the aforementioned "Wine-Red no Kokoro" and Akina Nakamori's"Kazari Janai no yo Namida wa"飾りじゃないのよ涙は), both of which were written by Inoue.

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