Japanese Song of the Day – “yume no naka e (Into a Dream)” by Yousui Inoue

I said he was going to come up – and here he is! The lyricist behind Anzen Chitai’s hit “WINE RED no kokoro,” singer-songwriter Yousui Inoue.

Inoue-san is a rock/pop/folk singer, lyricist, and composer who’s been around since the early 70’s. He’s pretty well-known for not just his songwriting, but also his ever-present sunglasses. He started writing songs in the 60’s, inspired by the sound of the Beatles. “yume no naka e” was his first big hit, however, one of many including “shounen jidai (When I was a Boy)” and “Make-Up Shadow.” He would go on to write songs with other artists such as Akina Nakamori, and later famously collaborate with Tamio Okuda. This union would result in several hits for pop duo Puffy (known as Puffy AmiYumi in the United States) in the 90’s.

This 1973 hit had a resurgence in popularity first in 1993 when a cover by Yuki Saito reached #2 on the Oricon Weekly chart, and then again in 1998, when it was used as one of the theme songs for the Gainax anime “Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (His & Her Circumstances).” Pop singer and former member of girl group SPEED, Uehara Takako, covered the song on her 2003 album “pupa” (one of two Inoue covers she did for that album – the other being “Make-Up Shadow”).

It’s a melody that can get stuck in your head pretty easily, and the lyrics are simple in structure, so its popularity is really no huge mystery.

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