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, March 21, 2013

Kenji Sawada -- O-mae ni Check-in (おまえにチェックイン)

I've started diving into the old cabinet and taking out those ancient 30-year-old Canadian Tire tapes of "Sounds of Japan" broadcasts to see if I can find some long-lost songs. A number of them have already been profiled on the blog, but last night I came across an old chestnut that I hadn't heard in years: Kenji Sawada's(沢田研二) "O-mae ni Check-in" (I'm Checking In To You).

When it was released in May 1982, Julie was well into his Visual-kei (glam rock) mode. Knocking me (and most of Japan) for a loop when he appeared on the 1981 Kohaku Utagassen in feathers and make-up as he performed the down-and-dirty "Stripper", he left quite an impression on us. And then on the 1982 Kohaku, he came out in a more New Wave guise to perform "Rokubanme no Yuutsu"6番目のユ・ウ・ウ・ツ....The Sixth Depression). In between those two singles, there were two more, one of which was "O-mae ni Check-in" which was a lot more on the happy-go-lucky side.

Backed by his new band, The Exotics, Sawada also got help on the song from a chorus section consisting of Ginji Ito, Motoharu Sano, Yoshiyuki Osawa(大澤誉志幸) and himself. For years, I'd thought that the four were stuttering out Sawada's nickname until J-Wiki set me straight with the katakana writing of "churururu, ch-ch-churia..." "O-mae ni Check-in" struck me as synthpoppy rockabilly, which was probably a logical synthesis in the days of Yellow Magic Orchestra and dancing about in Harajuku garbed in 50s leather gear. Written by Hidemi (I hope that's correct) Yanagigawa(柳川英巳) and composed by the aforementioned Osawa (Ito handled the arrangements), the song happily goes about describing the joys of having that reunion tryst with a former lover in a hotel. As the last line goes, "Adam and Eve are getting it on!" Pretty teenage-racy lyrics for the time.

It took his 36th single about a month to break into the Oricon Top 10 after its release for which it peaked at No. 8 and sold close to 300,000 records. It was also the first track on Sawada's 17th album, "A Wonderful Time", which came out in June 1982 and peaked at No. 14 on the album charts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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