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, July 12, 2019

Anzen Chitai -- Moegiiro no Snap(萠黄色のスナップ)

As I mentioned in my article for Anzen Chitai's(安全地帯)very first album "Remember to Remember" (1982) back in 2014, my history with the band led by golden-toned Koji Tamaki(玉置浩二)basically started with their breakthrough hit 1983 single "Wine-Red no Kokoro"(ワインレッドの心)which was also in their second album "Anzen Chitai II". But I did find that 1982 album "Remember to Remember" and realized that there had been a past discography before "Wine-Red no Kokoro".

Now I've realized that there was that debut single that never got onto that first album. It was titled "Moegiiro no Snap" (Light Green Snap) and it was written by the band and composed by Tamaki himself. The lyrics were also co-written by someone named, I think, Umiko Sakiminami(崎南海子), but I couldn't find out how to read that family name properly (even couldn't help out this time).

But getting back to Anzen Chitai's first single, I wasn't quite sure what the title was referring to, and it hasn't helped that when I think of "snap", a big purple megalomaniac (no, not Barney) comes to least for this year. However, combing through the lyrics, I think what Anzen Chitai was trying to convey was a message of contented realization about finding that special someone and that happy place which I think is Hokkaido, the home of the band. The music is appropriately mellow despite the thumping drum beat and Tamaki's vocals are hauntingly beautiful. Perhaps the snap here means the snap of realization?

As I said, "Moegiiro no Snap" didn't get onto "Remember to Remember". However, it did get onto a BEST compilation by Anzen Chitai, "Anzen Chitai Best 2 ~ Hitoribocchi no Yell"(安全地帯ベスト2 〜ひとりぼっちのエール〜...A Lonely Yell)which was released in August 1993. That album peaked at No. 10 but the original single apparently didn't place anywhere on the charts.

Ironically enough, the J-Wiki article for "Moegiiro no Snap" didn't give too much insight on the single itself, but it did devote a lot of it to the origins of Anzen Chitai. I thought that all of that should have ended up on the article for the band itself, but it was educational.

The source was a 2006 book by Ayumi Shida(志田歩)on what seems to be a biography on Tamaki titled "Tamaki Koji: Shiawase ni naru tame ni Umaretekitan dakara"(玉置浩二 幸せになるために生まれてきたんだから...Koji Tamaki: Because I Was Born to Become Happy). Although Anzen Chitai's history has been stated to have begun from 1982, apparently the prototype for the band started in the early 1970s when Tamaki and guitarist Yutaka Takezawa(武沢豊)had met in junior high school and created the band Invader(インベーダー). At the time, Tamaki was listening to kayo kyoku and Group Sounds music while Takezawa was into Western music including the Beatles. Later on, when there was talk within the band to change the name, a classmate who had joined Invader as a bassist took a look through a traffic manual and saw the words "anzen chitai" meaning "safety zone". At the time, the peace sign was popular and the symbol for "anzen chitai" according to the traffic rules happened to be a "V" sign, and with the fact that there were popular Japanese bands at the time with four kanji characters making up their names such as Zunou Keisatsu(頭脳警察...The Brain Police)and Yonin-Bayashi(四人囃子), Tamaki's group was officially renamed Anzen Chitai.

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