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.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Light House/Rei Nakanishi & Kazumi Yasui with Hiroshi Kamayatsu/Miki Imai -- Hatachi no Koro(ニ十才の頃)

Once in a while, I come across a song purely by accident that gives me the thrill up my spine or the warm and fuzzies or as they seem to call it on YouTube now, ASMR!

This particular song popped up from YouTuber Marty McFlies' account (for which I'm grateful) and at first when I took a look at the thumbnail image, I'd assumed that it was a severed arm holding a bloody tissue.💀 Perhaps it was a punk album, I thought. However and thankfully, I did realize that it was indeed an extended arm grabbing onto an orchid.

The cover was actually one for the 1984 album "A-bec" by Light House which was a side project consisting of one-half of the brother act Bread & Butter(ブレッド&バター), vocalist Satsuya Iwasawa(岩沢幸矢), and his wife, pop singer MANNA, aka Mariko Iwasawa(岩沢真利子), according to the J-Wiki article on the long-running duo. One of the tracks on "A-bec" is "Hatachi no Koro" (When I was Twenty), and it's this relaxing orange mimosa-friendly synthpop song with an infusion of bossa nova. As I mentioned above, I received that ASMR buzz as I was listening to whom I'm assuming is indeed MANNA (I couldn't find out for sure if Light House was just the Iwasawas or if there were other vocalist members involved). I don't know what the rest of "A-bec" is like...whether it's all synthpop or if "Hatachi no Koro" represented one of a number of genres on the first of two albums that Light House released (the other one being called "Box Seat").

After listening to "Hatachi no Koro" on "A-bec", I soon found out that this was actually a cover version of the original song from the late Hiroshi "Monsieur" Kamayatsu's(かまやつひろし)February 1970 album "Monsieur/Kamayatsu Hiroshi no Sekai"(ムッシュー/かまやつひろしの世界...Monsieur/The World of Hiroshi Kamayatsu). Composed by Kamayatsu and written by Rei Nakanishi(なかにし礼)& Kazumi Yasui(安井かずみ), the two lyricists even performed "Hatachi no Koro" along with Monsieur, a song of remembering one's youthful follies way back when. The bossa is still happily in there and considering the era, there is that sense of the genre's pioneers such as Jobim and Mendes.

Chanteuse Miki Imai(今井美樹)knows her way around a bossa nova tune and so it's no surprise that she also covered "Hatachi no Koro" as a coupling song for her 25th single "Toshishita no Suifu"(年下の水夫...The Younger Seaman)released in October 2006. There's some more jazz included in this version and Imai's vocals fairly wind themselves around the melody like a silk veil. Imai's cover is also included in her 2006 17th album "Milestone" which peaked at No. 35 on Oricon.

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