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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

LOOK -- Shinin’ On - Kimi ga Kanashii(シャイニン・オン 君が哀しい)

Commenter Matthew K. asked me recently if I had heard of the following band.

I replied that I hadn't heard of LOOK but hearing this power pop ballad by them, I recognized it as something that I did hear in years past but never found out who had originally sung it. I believe that I did hear it being covered, perhaps not officially, but sung by other celebs on those karaoke variety shows. Well, now I know happily enough.

"Shinin’ On - Kimi ga Kanashii" (You Are Sad) was LOOK's debut single released in April 1985, and though Matthew remarked that he was initially reminded of bands such as Omega Tribe, the soaring pipes of vocalist Tohru Suzuki(鈴木トオル)and the power pop balladry had me thinking across the Pacific of bands such as Journey and Survivor. Y'know, if an English-language cover had ever been made of "Shinin' On", then I believe Steve Perry would have been the guy to sing it.

Written and composed by LOOK pianist Masashi Chizawa(千沢仁), "Shinin' On" had actually been used for a wine cooler commercial and sales were sluggish at the beginning but according to J-Wiki, once the band performed the song as a special spotlight segment on TBS' "The Best 10" in a July 1985 episode, it went up the rankings to reach No. 8 and sell around 200,000 copies. As another piece of trivia, it was supposed to have been Chizawa behind the mike but because he was unable to hit the high notes, and it's those high notes that help make the performance, it was Suzuki who took over as vocalist to deliver the anguish of a fellow drinking and singing Billy Joel tunes following a romantic breakup. Well, as they say, the rest is history.

Between 1985 and 1988, LOOK released 8 singles and 4 albums. The other two members of the band were saxophonist Cheep Hiroishi(チープ広石)and keyboardist Harukichi Yamamoto(山本はるきち). According to Suzuki in an interview via J-Wiki, the name of the band was derived from the Fujiya confection called Look Chocolate since it had four different flavours and each of the four members had their own different musical tendencies.

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