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.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Yuji Oda & Maxi Priest -- Love Somebody

Well, for the past couple of weeks, TV Japan has been playing each of the "Odoru Dai Sosasen"踊る大捜査線....Bayside Shakedown) movies. As I'm typing this, the second movie...the one dealing with the evacuation of Odaiba (the modern Tokyo Bay entertainment area in the Japanese capital) playing right now, and next week, the somewhat inferior 3rd movie will make its appearance.

Akihiko Matsumoto(松本晃彦) was responsible for the techno opening theme (already profiled), one of the most recognized themes in Japanese TV history. However, there needed to be a friendlier, more organic song to balance things out. Star of the show, Yuji Oda(織田裕二), was more than happy to oblige, and he brought a friend, British reggae artist, Maxi Priest (who I remember on this side of the Pacific for singing "Wide World"in 1989). Together they wrote the lyrics to the happy-go-lucky "Love Somebody", a musical reflection of Oda's character on the show, Shunsaku Aoshima(青島俊作).

The musical unit, GARDEN, provided the music and Matsumoto arranged everything. It's one of those light reggae-pop songs that has managed to insinuate itself into my brain all of these years with its lyrics of "love somebody tonight" and "never never never never never never never ever let love go". No matter how dire the situation got for Aoshima and the cops at the Bayside Precinct, "Love Somebody" at the end reassured the audience that everything was gonna be alright. Released in January 1997, Oda's 13th single peaked at No. 9 on Oricon, and was the 65th-ranked song of the year.

All things come to an end, and apparently that was true also for "Odoru Dai Sosasen" since the very last movie in the series came out in September. I'm not sure if this was the actual version of "Love Somebody" played during the end credits, but if so, it's a combination of all the past versions of the song played for the original TV series and the first three movies. I watched those first three at the theatre in Tokyo; the first two were great but the third one let down the side. I hope No. 4 left a fine legacy.

And these were the opening credits to the final movie. They had a pretty soft opening without the frenetic "Rhythm and Police" for the previous movie which may have foretold how the rest of the movie was gonna go, but with this one, glad to see that the techno and the excitement are back.

Goodbye, Aoshima!

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