The death of a lyricist who created some of SMAP’s most famous songs | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The death of a lyricist who created some of SMAP’s most famous songs

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The “Best of Breakup” album released in 2016 (AFLO)

The year 1991, exactly 30 years after December 2021, has finally come to a close. The so-called “collapse of the bubble economy” was slowly becoming more serious, but at this stage there were still many optimistic predictions about the economy.

One symbol of this optimistic mood was the Juliana Tokyo, which opened in May of that year. Juliana, which is often referred to as a symbol of the “bubble economy” itself rather than the “collapse of the bubble economy,” opened not in the 1980s, but in this year.

Incidentally, the best new word of the year was Charlie Hama’s “…Well, aren’t you?

SMAP’s second single, “Seigi no toryu wa yorenai,” was quietly released in December to close out the year of “Juliana jiranen ka.

When I picked up the nostalgic vertical single CD, I found the six members (at that time) still smiling, still reminiscent of their childhood. Katori Shingo (14 years old at the time) in the middle of the back row was so innocent and cute.

I don’t think there are many people who would disagree with that, but the debut of the six-member group that would later become such a huge entity was surprisingly low-key.

In September of that year, they debuted with “Can’t Stop! -LOVING-” in September of that year, but it sold only 150,000 copies (Oricon), a surprisingly low number considering their later great success.

SMAP bounced back two years later with “$10” (Ten Dollar’s) in November 1993, which sold 317,000 copies. This was followed by “Hey Hey Oooki Oooki Everytime” in 1994, which sold 401,000 copies, and “Gambarimasho” in the same year, which sold over 700,000 copies and made them the face of the times.

Back to the topic at hand, what kind of song was “The Ally of Justice wa Yarenai”?

–The main character of the song seems to be the class president, and the first half of the song is a school song, but in the second half, it becomes like a home comedy with mom and dad. (However, it sold only 129,460 copies, about 20,000 less than the previous album, and the highest ranking was tenth, just short of the top ten. (Yusuke Nakagawa, “SMAP and the Heisei Era” – Asahi Shinsho)

Just by reading this explanation, we can see that the song was still unfocused. In order to write this article, I listened to the song several times again, but to be honest, I found it difficult to feel anything more than this explanation.

According to “SMAP and the Heisei Era,” Janie Kitagawa wanted SMAP to be the “Crazy Cats of the Heisei Era. That’s probably why he chose a comical line like “a home comedy with Mom and Dad” for this song.

The relationship between “Ganbataro” and “Masayoshi no taisho wa yorenai

However, I would like to remind you of “Ganbari sasho,” which made SMAP the face of the times. What’s more, I want to remind you of the wonderful lyrics of “Ganbari Let’s”.

“It’s not cool. Let’s do our best in the morning.”

I believe that the fact that SMAP became the face of the times in 1995 was not unrelated to the fact that the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the sarin gas incident on the subway occurred that year. The sense of exhaustion and resignation sung in “Ganbarimasho” had a strong reality in the year 1995. That is why SMAP won the era.

The lyrics of “Ganbari Let’s” also had a strong sense of reality, shaking hands with the sensibilities of the youth of that time (including myself).

The words that stuck to the souvenirs I saw at Tokyo Tower in the past were “effort” and “perseverance.

When you think about it, the fact that there are lyrics like this in “The Ally of Justice is Unreliable” starts to make a lot of sense.

“Taxes, land, and rent won’t get any cheaper,” rants Mom.

Rather than taking a “comical route,” I would consider this lyric to be a “reality route” that is the germ of “Ganbarimasho.

It’s not a dream story unrelated to reality, but the first step toward a new image of idols who take on and carry the reality of the depressed daily life after the collapse of the bubble economy.

The songs “Ganbari Let’s Go” and “Masayoshi no tomoi wa tarenai” as well as “Tabun Orai” (1994) were all written by the same lyricist.

That lyricist’s name is Megumi Ogura.

–Megumi Ogura, the lyricist who wrote such songs as “Ganbari Let’s Do It” for SMAP, passed away on September 14 at the age of 61.
Ms. Ogura wrote lyrics for many idols’ songs, including “Kimi wa Kimi da yo” and “Tabun Orai” for SMAP. For Yoko Minamino, she wrote the 1987 hit movie theme song “Haikara-san ga Toru” and “Rakuen no Doa” (Asahi Shimbun DIGITAL, October 12, 2021).

The news reports about the death of lyricist Megumi Ogura in September this year were generally unremarkable like this. Nevertheless, we will never forget the lyrics of “Ganbari Let’s”, a song by an idol that spread the reality of fatigue and resignation in that turbulent year of 1995.

Now, the year 2022 is coming soon. This means that 30 years ago, the year 1992 will soon be upon us. The whole of Japan is heading towards an era where we have lost our compass, where we feel that we cannot rely on the side of justice.

  • Reporting and writing Suzy Suzuki Photo AFLO

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