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, November 8, 2012

Ryoko Moriyama/Cherish/Toi et Moi/Mari Amachi -- Utsukushii Hoshi (美しい星)

Whilst I was in the midst of collecting these discs of 20th-century kayo kyoku around the turn of the century, I got Volume 3 of "Good Times Diva"(already profiled in the "Media"label) one day at Yamano Music in Ginza (also profiled under the same label). I usually just listened to a new disc in bed, and as I was nearing the end, this one track came up which caught my attention. "Utsukushii Hoshi"(Beautiful Star) by folk singer Ryoko Moriyama(森山良子) starts with a brass section sleepily waking up to a sunny day and then has the singer cheerfully delivering the lyrics as if they were part of a French oldie-but-goodie before going into a jazzy/gospel-like refrain. The lyrics, as would be the case with such a melody, talk of a happy couple relishing the fact that they live on this wonderful Earth and that each day and night should be savored like a fine wine. As sappy as that may sound, it's a short-but-lovely cheer-up tune.

The pop duo Cherish(チェリッシュ)did their cover of the song.

(I'm sorry but the video has been taken down.)

The Moriyama song was actually a B-side to her October 1972 17th single, "Sayonara no Sekai"さよならの世界....The Goodbye World), but it can also be found on one of her BEST compilations....or Vol. 3 of "Good Times Diva"(just check out The folk duo, Toi et Moi, also did a slower cover version.

And 70s aidoru Mari Amachi(天地真理) gave her own straight-ahead cover. The song, by the way, was written by Michio Yamagami(山上路夫), the prolific lyricist who had been responsible for Agnes Chan's "Hinageshi no Hana" and Akai Tori's "Tsubasa wo Kudasai"(both profiled). The composer was Kunihiko Murai(村井邦彦)who also had a hand in the latter song.

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