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, November 22, 2012

Sugar -- Wedding Bell




I remember back in the 1982 Kohaku when the Southern All Stars gave their bizarre performance of "Chako no Kaigan Monogatari" and ended up having the NHK switchboard light up like a Xmas tree with tons of complaints. But I also remember just before the band came on, the Red team had this other unit, Sugar, appear for their first and only time.

The three members, Miki Kasamatsu(笠松美樹) (lead vocal, keyboards), Kumiko Nagasawa(長沢久美子) (vocal, guitar), and Kimiko (?) Mohri(毛利公子) (vocal, bass, leader), sang their only big hit, "Wedding Bell". They started off with a harmonious intro before going into a bossa nova swing worthy of listening while drinking cocktails by a swimming pool. Kasamatsu's really high vocals made the aidorus sound like the baritones in a barbershop quartet, but all three were aiming for the stratosphere. Since I'm also a casual bossa nova fan, it was nice to hear this song as a contrast against some of the aidoru pop songs that had preceded it. And at the end of their performance, their harmony started quivering a little before they all gave a very cute "Domo Arigato"in unison.

Sugar was formed in 1981. Mohri and Nagasawa first met in high school in Kanagawa Prefecture and then formed the unit, Karinto (named after the sweet crunchy Japanese snack). When Kasamatsu joined up, there was the name change. As for the reason for choosing "Sugar", they simply said "We are not the salty types". Uh....yeah. In any case, their debut song was indeed "Wedding Bell" released in November 1981.

However, as sweet as the music and vocals are, the lyrics by Yoshiaki Furuta(古田喜昭) (who also composed the song) are pretty bitter. "Wedding Bell" tells of the story of a young woman invited to her old flame's wedding, and her grousings of resentment against the groom and bride. And the final line in the refrain is "Kutabacchimae! Amen!"(くたばっちまえ!アーメン!)That first word roughly translates as "F**K YOU!" Kinda like getting cursed at by Minnie Mouse. I'm sure a lot of the more refined audience members were waving their sensu a little more quickly in front of their faces after that one....but then again, Southern All Stars may have trumped Sugar in that department.



The song peaked at No. 2 on Oricon and became the 13th-ranked song of 1982, so the band waited over a year to get their limelight on the Kohaku. Sugar released 13 singles and 4 original albums before breaking up in 1987. By that time, the members had given up their instruments and became known as a purely vocal group. Sadly, in 1990, the leader Kimiko Mohri passed away at the age of 29 due to complications during pregnancy.

2 comments:

  1. I nknow this post is old, but, there is a way where i can get all their CD´S? Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Ian. Thanks very much for your question. I found the site for Disc Legend in Japan which had quite a few examples of Sugar's discography. Apparently, the store takes payment via Paypal. But here is the link:
      http://www.disclegend.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1150&sort=20a&language=en

      Hope you get what you are looking for.

      Also, Tower Records in Japan has a limited supply of the Golden Best compilation of Sugar's music. They take credit cards but you have to set up a Tenso address in Japan for any CDs to be shipped outside of the country:

      http://tower.jp/search/item/%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A5%E3%82%AC%E3%83%BC?

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