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 10, 2012

Off Course -- Yes-No

Another one of my Off Course favourites...."Yes-No" was released as the band's 19th single back in June 1980 and as part of their 8th album "We Are" released in November 1980. I've always liked the quiet intro of the faint fluegelhorn before the guitar starts blasting away and Kazumasa Oda(小田和正) comes in.

The lyrics are even more interesting. It's a song of challenge in which the protagonist confronts the woman in his sights with the daring line "Kimi wo daite ii no?"(君を抱いていいの....Can I hold you?). Besides the direct translation, there is a somewhat deeper meaning to the request. In the J-Wiki writeup for the song, Oda admits that the lyric ".... the lyrics of that time crossed a line. But it's because it crossed the line that everyone stood up and took notice. In the world, there are lots of good songs but they are boring songs. Those lyrics didn't cross the line so noone took any notice. But no matter how much it would've made people take notice, we couldn't make the title 'Can I Hold You?'..."

Oda also points out: "It was always constructed to be a question. In addition, in the end it's a song that makes the woman take responsibility. She's confronted with 'Well, how about it?'"

Although the title never appears in the lyrics themselves, it serves as the final question "Yes or No?" And although after going through the lyrics, I thought there was something slightly sinister, Oda noted that whenever that line was sung at concerts, there were lots of screams...of the approving kind.

In any case, "Yes-No" got as high as No. 8 on Oricon.

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