One of the reasons that I'm surprised is that "Shishuuki"translates as "The Autumn of My Years". The lyrics by the legendary Yu Aku（阿久悠） express some major regrets about how youth and the once-strong bonds of friendship have managed to slip through the fingers as the person realizes that he/she has reached middle age. As one of the verses go:
The autumn that makes my heart shiver has come. My bitter tears.
Youth is a fragile thing. Even if I love, I get hurt.
Youth is a forgettable thing. I only notice it when it's gone.
Time to grab that bottle of Jack Daniels! Anyways, the surprise is that Iwasaki was all of 18 years of age when she first approached this song. Apparently, she had to stop the recording process several times because she couldn't stop crying....probably due to some frustration. Afterwards, she told Aku, "I just couldn't do it because it was strange how men in their forties could understand their lives and emotions." Of course, Iwasaki being of a different age and gender, how could she know?
And yet this teenager probably had mid-level corporate section chiefs running for their telephones to see about getting that old school reunion planned and executed. Takashi Miki's （三木たかし）composition comes off as something resembling distinctly European, almost chanson-like. And with Iwasaki's amazingvoice for someone her age at that time, I couldn't be surprised for believing "Shishuuki" was a song that was released far later into her career. In J-Wiki, this was labeled as an "aidoru kayo kyoku", but I don't think there is anything remotely aidoru about this song, which turned out to be her first ballad single.
People probably took some good notice of her talent when this song started to make the rounds on radio and TV. It was such a tenderhearted delivery, and I could imagine her tearing up whenever she performed this on the tube or on the stage. It did presage that part of her career as a musical actress later on.
I just wonder....what could Momoe Yamaguchi have done with this song?