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 17, 2012

Hiroshi Itsuki -- Aishitsuzukeru Bolero (愛しつづけるボレロ)

Male enka singers seem to take a certain angle in their field: Saburo Kitajima(北島三郎) warbles about the salt-of-the-earth blue-collar types while Takashi Hosokawa(細川たかし) gives jaunty renditions of drinking and romance. Hiroshi Itsuki(五木ひろし)always struck me as the suave enka balladeer. The men in this genre all have two modes of fashion when performing: yukata and suits. A lot of the guys look like they just came out of an office building, but Itsuki has always looked slick in his finery.

(karaoke version)

"Aishitsuzukeru Bolero"(Bolero of Continuing Love) probably will not pop up all that much in a Hiroshi Itsuki retrospective since he has so many other bigger hits in his large arsenal, but it's one song that I've enjoyed listening to since it has that European enka style that I've liked in Teresa Teng's repertoire. As the title may hint, the song sounds like something to tango to. It was written by Yu Aku(阿久悠)and composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平), so the pedigree is there. Released in March 1982, it only went up as high as No. 19 on the Oricon weeklies.

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