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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Circus -- American Feeling

Circus' "American Feeling" has become a standard vocal song for all junior high school choruses, and in Japan, every student MUST go through the chorus. I heard the song literally dozens of times during my 2 years on the JET Programme(and somehow survived), not knowing that the original progenitor was the famed group behind "Mr. Summertime".

Given lyrics by Machiko Ryu(竜真知子) (who had also provided the Japanese translation for Circus' most successful hit, "Mr. Summertime" the year before), "American Feeling" was composed by Yuuichiro Oda(小田裕一郎)and arranged by none other than Ryuichi Sakamoto(坂本龍一) of the Yellow Magic Orchestra. It's an uplifting composition giving the impression of America as the place that all Japanese have just gotta see.

After its release in May 1979, it peaked at No. 5 on the Oricon charts and became the 21st-ranked song of the year. "American Feeling" was also used as the campaign jingle for Japan Air Lines "Come to America '79" commercials.

This is an onstage performance of the tune by Circus many years later on an NHK music program.

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