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.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Casiopea/Masae Ohno -- Take Me

I only did a Casiopea(カシオペア)article just a couple of weeks ago, but I'm going to break my own rule of no two songs by one artist in one month since I've been fascinated by this particular subject.

Oh, bring on some of that specially carbonated Perrier! I've been charmed by this one track on Casiopea's 7th album "Mint Jams" from May 1982 called "Take Me". It has taken me. The first thing that I was surprised about was that "Mint Jams" is also a live album, the fusion band's second, since "Take Me" at least sounds like a totally studio-recorded production.

As for "Take Me" itself, it's just another Casiopea classic bringing in plenty of sun, class and good vibes. Guitarist Issei Noro(野呂一生)took care of the composition of all of the tracks on the album but keyboardist Minoru Mukaiya(向谷実)especially holds court with this particular song that swings and funks it up at the same time.

(cover version)

What has doubled the pleasure for me in writing this article is that there was a cover version of "Take Me" by Masae Ohno(大野方栄). The Tokyo-born singer has been dubbed as "The Queen of Commercial Songs", and apparently according to the liner notes in her first solo album "Masae A La Mode" from 1983, she's been responsible for singing more than 800 commercial jingles.

Well, based on her cover of "Take Me" alone, I will buy whatever she's selling. With Ono providing the lyrics, there is some more swinging jazz in this take including a piano and her own vocals which have this wonderful harmony near the end. If I could describe her delivery, I would have to say that it's a mix between Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実)and Taeko Ohnuki(大貫妙子)with the nasality of the former and the whispery nature of the latter.

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