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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hi-Fi Set/Shigeru Suzuki -- Sei Do Ya (星/導/夜)

This is one of the lesser known songs from Hi-Fi Set (ハイ・ファイ・セット). Not only is it hidden deep as an album track from a lesser known album, "indigo" from February 1985 to be exact, but it also sounds nothing like the rest of their songs. It’s mysterious with a multilayered fusion arrangement, almost New Age. I’ve grown accustomed to hearing Junko Yamamoto (山本潤子) and the guys in classic pop mode through their collaborations with Yuming in the 70’s and catchy pop from the 80’s. In “Sei Do Ya”(星/導/夜), the group seems to have taken trip to a mythical kingdom in the Middle East. Their classic harmony is still there, but the overall delivery gives off a howling wind effect.

The music is also intriguing. It starts off with quiet pounding of Motoya Hamaguchi’s (浜口茂外也) percussions, which is joined by Shigeru Suzuki's (鈴木茂) mysterious guitar strumming, Akira Inoue’s (井上鑑) synths and Tatsuo Hayashi’s (林立夫drums. The instruments weave around one another in interesting ways throughout this piece. The bridge around the 3:00 minute mark is particularly epic. The song was composed by Suzuki and written/arranged by Inoue, while the late Toshihiko Yamamoto (山本俊彦) arranged the chorus.

Later in May that year, Suzuki released his own version of “Sei Do Ya” as a title track from his seventh studio album. His arrangement is less showy than Inoue’s for Hi-Fi Set, with more rock and less New Age. He has also changed some of the lyrics, including the refrain, where he replaces the group's echoing of the title with the more grounded “bu re ra…”,

I acquired Hi-Fi Set's "indigo" a while back in 2013, but the song kind of stuck with me so I hunted down Suzuki's album as well.

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