The “Two-sided Strategy of Love & Eroticism” in Southern’s Famous “Tears in Kisses
That man sang it too…!
In this installment of our series on hit songs from exactly 30 years ago, we take a look at the hit song “Nada no Kiss” by Southern All Stars, which was released on July 18, 1992.
According to the “1968-1997 Oricon Chart Book” (source of sales figures below), the song sold 1,535,000 copies. The ballad “Midsummer Fruits,” which was released in July two years prior to this song and also arranged by Takeshi Kobayashi, sold 533,000 copies, which means that it sold about three times as many copies as this song.
A national smash hit, so to speak. As a result, he actually sings it often at karaoke.
–When asked what his favorite karaoke song is, he replied, “For our generation, it’s Southern (All Stars). After revealing that he often sings “Nada no Kissu” (Tears for Kisses), he sang “Tears for Kisses Again, I Love You More Than Anyone Else” and performed part of the chorus a cappella (Nikkan Sports / September 11, 2020).
Two years ago, on September 10, the current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who at that time had announced his candidacy for the LDP presidential election, made a statement in the live broadcast “#Kissy live answers everything”. This means that he had not only the “ability to listen” but also the “ability to sing.
But still, there was a plot to have Mr. Kishida called “Kissy”, wasn’t there? The current situation, which is not at all popular, is truly “Kissy in tears.
Now, like the other songs discussed in this series, “Tears of Kisses” also had a strong tie-up. It was for the TBS drama “Zutto Kimi ga Suki Datta” (I’ve Always Loved You), which aired during the July-September season of that year.
＜–This romantic drama attracted attention for the perverted character of Fuyuhiko, a mother-confessed otaku played by Shiro Sano, and triggered a boom that has been called the “Fuyuhiko phenomenon. (omission) As an expression of his crazy love for his wife, Fuyuhiko’s many eccentricities became the biggest topic of conversation, such as his lower lip sticking out in the middle of the night to confuse her and riding on a carousel horse.
The description on the official TBS Channel website is also out of whack. But perhaps because it was that crazy, it showed a crazy excitement, and the final episode achieved a viewer rating of 34.1%, which, in hindsight, is also a crazy big record.
Incidentally, what triggered the excitement of “I’ve Always Liked You,” was an ad-lib by Yoko Nogi, who plays Fuyuhiko’s mother, a mother-conscience character. Producer Seiichiro Kijima said, “I was so excited when I saw the scene.
–She ad-libbed, “May I lick Fuyuhiko’s injured and bleeding finger? That was the beginning of the drama becoming a big hit” (Nikkan Sports/June 16, 2017).
In other words, the “kiss of tears” and the “kiss to the finger” made “I’ve Always Loved You” a drama that will be talked about for years to come.
What is the two-sided strategy of love and eroticism?
Now, what is the single released on the same day as the title “Tears to Kisses”? The answer is – “SHULABA-LA-BAMBA SHULABA-LA-BAMBA”.
This was also an insert song for “I’ve Always Loved You,” but it sold 956,000 copies, which was behind “Tears’ Kisses” (although it was still a big hit, selling about 1 million copies).
So why were “Nada no Kiss” and “Shrabba★La★Bamba” released on the same day?
In fact, Southern also released two singles on the same day on July 21, 1993. Erotica Seven” and “Suteki na Birdie (NO NO BIRDY)”.
Two years later, in 1995, although not on the same day, they released “Mampi no G★SPOT” on May 22 and “Anata Dake wo Mamoru ~Summer Heartbreak~” on July 17, quite close to each other.
What do “Shrabba★La★Bamba”, “Erotica Seven”, and “Mampi’s G★SPOT” have in common? It is – eroticism.
In addition to “Erotica Seven” and “Mampi’s G★SPOT,” which are erotic from their titles, “Shuraba★La★Bamba” is also quite erotic, with “Shuraba Anaba Joshi Ukiyu” and “Ainojo Nakuba Danshi Banyu” (these three songs are sometimes referred to as the “Eros Trilogy”).
What I am thinking of here is the “two-sided strategy of love and eroticism” by Southern during this period. In other words, by presenting both sides at the same time, i.e., melting love songs and erotic songs, I believe that there was a strategy to prevent their image from becoming obsolete due to a bias toward “only love” or “only erotic” songs.
The target audience for the “double-sided strategy of love and eroticism” was probably Southern fans from the early days like myself.
As a lover of the early, unprecedented Southern music, I honestly felt “Oh, it’s become so easy to understand” when I heard “Nada no Kiss” and other songs at the time. But when I heard “Shuraba★La★Bamba,” I thought to myself, “Oh, but Kuwata hasn’t changed.
(For more details, please refer to my new book “Keisuke Kuwata Theory” (Shincho Shinsho).
Finally, let’s look at the number of copies sold related to the “double-sided strategy of love and eroticism.
●July 18, 1992 release
Love-type “Nada no Kiss”: 1,535,000 copies
Erotic “Shraba★La★Bamba”: 956,000 copies
Released on July 21, 1993
Love-type “Suteki na Birdie”: 499,000 copies
Erotica Seven”: 1,727,000 copies
Released May-July 1995
Love-type “Anata Dake Dake”: 1,118,000 copies
Erotic “Mampi’s G★SPOT”: 500,000 copies
To sum up the above, the total sales of “Love-kei” was 3,150,000 copies, and the total sales of “Ero-kei” was 3,180,000 copies–almost the same number of copies sold! A perfect two-sided strategy and a careful sense of balance! Southern is not a simpleton after all.
Text： Susie Suzuki
Music critic, born in Higashiosaka City, Osaka in 1966, currently appearing on bayfm's "9 no Oto Iki" Mondays. His books include "80's Ongaku Kaitai Shinsho" (80's Music Kaitai Shinsho) (Sairyusha), "Checkers' Music and Its Era" (Bookman-sha), "Intro's Law 80's" (Bungeishunju), "Southern All Stars 1978-1985" (Shincho Shinsho), "Koisuru Radio" (Bookman-sha). His articles are serialized in Toyo Keizai Online, Tokyo Sports, Weekly Baseball, and other publications. His new book, "EPIC Sony and the Era" (Shueisha Shinsho) and "Keisuke Kuwata Theory" (Shincho Shinsho) will be released on June 17.
Photo： Sankei Visual