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, October 25, 2012

SMAP -- Shake


What can I say about SMAP(Sports, Music, Assemble, People)? During most of my stay in Japan from 1994 to 2011, these guys were just about everywhere: hosting and guesting on TV shows, starring in movies and commercials, and oh yes, they occasionally sang as well.

For the record, the lineup is:

Masahiro (Nakai-kun) Nakai (中居正広), the leader and the family-friendly emcee

Takuya (Kimutaku) Kimura (木村拓哉), the broody, snarly but righteous heartthrob

Tsuyoshi Kusanagi(草彅剛), the congenial Korean-speaking big brother

Shingo Katori(香取慎吾), the tall lanky funny other big brother

Goro (Goro-chan/san) Inagaki(稲垣吾郎), the quiet introspective type

And there was Katsuyuki Mori(森且行), the 6th member until 1996 when he retired to follow his passion for auto racing.

I'm sure maestro Johnny Kitagawa (of Johnny's Entertainment) must've seen these guys as not just an ordinary aidoru group but also also as a walking and talking variety show empire, and sure enough they were. But let's stick with the music, shall we?

Although I can't say that I was a huge fan of their musical side, I enjoyed "SMAP's 23rd single "Shake" released in November 1996, basically because I just liked the fun and hard-driving big band jazz arrangement. Apparently, so did a lot of other people since it hit No. 1 and got the guys their 6th consecutive appearance on the Kohaku Utagassen. Hiromi Mori(森浩実) was responsible for the lyrics while singer-songwriter Minoru Komorita(小森田実) composed the song.  The single also got onto "WOOL", the group's second BEST compilation released in March 1997 which got as high as No. 2 on the album charts.

I think even now with the next big Johnny's group, Arashi, at the top of the heap, "Shake" is still getting the customers up and at 'em in the karaoke boxes.

In fact, here is a remix version:




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