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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.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Yosui Inoue/Yuki Saito -- Yume no Naka e (夢の中へ)



This was folk/rock singer Yosui Inoue's(井上揚水) first big hit in 1973. "Yume no Naka e"(Into the Dream) was released as the sunglassed, ever-grinning artist's 3rd single in March of that year. His first Top 20 hit, the jaunty Inoue folk classic peaked at No. 17 on Oricon and sold 200,000 records, and was used as the theme song for a movie titled "Houkago"(放課後....Afterschool) at about the same time. In "Yume", Inoue cheerfully asks about whether the listeners have aimed for a goal or a dream in life....so, pretty appropriate for the high school kids in the movie.


I vaguely remembered Inoue's original version through TV retrospectives and the odd listen to radio, but it wasn't until pop singer Yuki Saito(斉藤由貴) came up with her Eurobeat-ish cover in April 1989 that the memories of "Yume no Naka e" sealed themselves even deeper into my head. Listening to this version, I half-expected Rick Astley to jump in and harsh her buzz. But fortunately, the only celebrities to come in on the song were the aidoru duo BaBe who provided backup vocals. In terms of sales, Saito doubled Inoue's count at 400,000, making her version of "Yume" Saito's most successful single release. The song managed to peak at No. 2....it just couldn't dislodge Princess Princess' "Diamonds" from the top spot, but it did do quite well in the yearly count as it became the 14th-ranked song of 1989.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks J-Canuck for all your recent X-Mas entries as well as this particular post on 夢の中へ. I kind of like 斉藤由貴's version more as well. Maybe it's me but I always thought Yuki was singing a bit off-key in parts of the song. Maybe it was intentional but it bugs me a bit. Speaking of 井上揚水 covers, 中森明菜'x cover of his 飾りじゃないのよ涙は is another awesome song. I like both version but I always found Akina's version a lot more raw and powerful.

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  2. Thanks kindly for the compliments, JTM. Whew! I was getting pretty tired by the end of the Xmas song run.

    I've always found some elements of Japanese pop music to be counter-intuitive at times in response to your comments about Yuki's off-key notes. I think that a lot of folks in the West would react rather harshly if a singer was off-tune on a recording, but in Japan, it seems that when aidorus and even some other types of singers go a bit off, perhaps they seem more approachable in personality....and karaoke versions. So, it could be possible that the small errors were intentional.

    Also on a physical level, the snaggle-toothed grins that a number of 80s aidorus (early Seiko, Miyoko Yoshimoto, Naoko Kawai, etc.) possessed were seen as a sign of "kawaii", but I think over here in my country at the very least, there would've been an emergency call to an orthodontist.

    I've heard both versions of "Kazari janai no yo Namida wa", and, yep, I prefer Akina's funky defiant version. Yosui's cover is fine but it seems a bit spooky for a lack of a better word.

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  3. Thanks for those comments! I think you are spot on regarding the off-key notes. I do think Japanese J-Pop fans in the 80s tended to find those imperfections endearing in a way and かわいい. Even the 八重歯 thing was a turn-on for some (unfortunately I wasn't one of them). Now-a-days it's getting a little bit better with more polished divas like 倖田來未, JUJU, Misia, AI, 宇多田ヒカル, 安室奈美恵, Ayaka and YUI topping the charts but it's still the "girl-next-door" idols like Perfume, AKB48 and their subgroups and ももいろクローバーZ among others that still tend to be more popular among male audiences despite their being not all the bst of singers.

    I had to laugh at the last comment about 井上陽水 being "spooky". Maybe it's the dark shades or his sly grin but he does seem a bit やらしい when he sings. I think a lot of his songs seem to be meant to be sung by women like 飾りじゃないのよ涙は and ダンスはうまく踊れない. Of course his signature songs like 青空、ひとりきり, 少年時代, リバーサイド ホテル and いっそセレナーデ are classic Yosui and I can't imagine anyone else singing those the way he can. How about another entry for Yosui?

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  4. I think from a dental point of view, things have definitely transformed over the past several years. I think the last time I saw any sign of yaeba was perhaps on one of the Kiroro duo.

    I do remember seeing a number of AKB 48 groups and their other lettered sororities on TV while I was back in Japan. I can imagine someone writing a thesis about their huge popularity based more on their cuteness than on their singing ability...which can probably extend all the way back to the 70s during the first aidoru boom.

    As for another entry for Yosui, I think I may choose between Shonen Jidai or Dance wa Umaku Odorenai. The former is a heartwarming one and the latter has been covered by a few other singers, including his wife.

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Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.