Credits

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, April 19, 2012

Feifei Ouyang/Ruiko Kurahashi -- Love Is Over



As someone noted on YouTube, this is to be listened over a good drink. Considering the lyrical content (a woman dumping a guy), that bar stool is gonna be occupied a long time.

The singer most associated with "Love Is Over" is Taiwanese singer Feifei Ouyang (欧陽菲菲) who had first started her career in 1967 in Taipei before coming to Japan in 1971. She became an instant hit with her first single there called "Ame no Midosuji"雨の御堂筋...Rainy Midosuji), which sold more than a million records and earned Ouyang a Newcomers Prize at the 1971 Japan Record Awards. She also appeared the next year at the Kohaku Utagassen.

In 1979, Ouyang first sang "Love Is Over" as a B-side to another song which only sold 20,000 to 30,000 copies. However, it seemed that the singer never gave up on the ballad and by 1982, the song was re-released as the A-side, hitting the big time throughout 1983 and 1984. At the end of 1983, it had finally reached the top spot on the Oricon weekly charts and stayed there for 2 weeks. It became the 18th-ranked song of the year in 1984. Furthermore, in 1991, she finally performed the song at that year's Kohaku. By the way, the song was written and composed by Kaoru Ito (伊藤薫).


In 1981, Ruiko Kurahashi(倉橋ルイ子) debuted with her album, "Without Sugar". On the album, she gave her own version of "Love Is Over"; it was similar in style to the Ouyang version in that it was recorded as a pop power ballad with Kurahashi actually openly sobbing near the end of the song. However, a later version was recorded in which the arrangement had been changed so that this newer rendition was done as a jazz ballad. In this case, it's just Ruiko's voice and a piano. This version can be found in a number of her BEST albums, but it seems like its first appearance was in the 1985 album, "Ballad wo Kaban ni Tsumete"(バラードをかばんにつめて....Put the Ballads in the Pouch).

Take a listen to both Ouyang and Kurahashi versions and tell me what you think. In any case, the song has been a popular one (for us older folks anyways) at the karaoke box.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. Is there any more commentary about the lyrical content? So far I know it's about a girl dumping a guy, but why? How do they both feel? What's next?

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    1. Hello, blasian FMA, and thanks for your comments. As for the lyrics behind "Love Is Over", it's never made crystal clear as to the meaning behind the girl breaking up with the guy, but the impression is that she feels she's not worthy of him although he disagrees with her (he's crying according to one line). She tells him that there is definitely someone better for him. For all that, she also tells him that she will never forget him, even when she's being held by someone else. As for what's next, there is no next. As far as she is concerned, the relationship is done, no matter how badly they feel.

      I think for that reason, even though Feifei Ouyang's version is the more famous one, I will always prefer Ruiko's cover.

      Allan

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  2. Firstly, I would like to say that I LOVE your blog!
    I absolutely adore Japanese music and your blog really helps when I want to find songs from previous eras.

    And here's my question,is the original version in Japanese? Because the first time I listen to this song,it's in Chinese. I'm a Chinese if you're wondering.
    I asked my mother about the Japanese version but she thought that it's a Chinese song because she has heard the song sang by several HK singers back in her days.

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    1. Hello, Melvin.

      And thanks very much for your generous comments. Part of the reason I put up the blog was in the hopes that people who are listening to J-Pop right now might discover that some of the older songs are not too bad either.

      You asked a good question about "Love Is Over", and so I went back to the J-Wiki article for the song. As mentioned, it was originally written and composed by Kaoru Ito in 1979 as the B-side for the single "Uwasa no Disco Queen" (The Disco Queen Everyone's Talking About) which didn't become a hit in Japan, although it became quite popular in Hong Kong and Taiwan. I'd say that it's very possible that "Love Is Over" became a hit and got covered in Chinese in HK and Taiwan before the Japanese gradually warmed up to it in the early 80s.

      By the way, Melvin, which Japanese singers are you also into? Hope to talk with you again.

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