Yesterday I went out with my movie buddies to catch the live-action version of "Ghost In The Shell" starring Scarlett Johansson down at the Scotiabank Theatre. Now I fully realize that live-action adaptations of anime have been horrible...the best I've been able to say about the one or two I have seen is that the visuals were fine. And I think that's also the case with this movie: visuals were fine while the execution was kinda OK/kinda meh. Still good try for all involved...I did like that gigantic version of Hong Kong.
Along with Beat Takeshi and Rila Fukushima, the other Japanese thespian in the movie in a small but pivotal role was the divine Kaori Momoi（桃井かおり）. My image of her on TV all these years has been that of the force-of-nature lady overflowing with ennui and charisma...if you can imagine a combination of Bette Midler and Greta Garbo. She seems to not so much speak with people than she does hold court with them. Her role in "Ghost In The Shell" in contrast was a lot more down-to-earth...as much as it could be in such a sci-fi movie.
Early in the blog's history, I wrote about one 1982 song that she performed with singer-songwriter Takao Kisugi（来生たかお）, "Nejireta Heart de"（ねじれたハートで）which played to her strengths...that of the seen-this-done-that diva residing in a chic nightclub. Even earlier than that, though, I came across another single she released in January 1981 titled "Bye-Bye Lullaby".
It was the opening theme song for a Momoi TV drama back then called "Downtown Monogatari" (ダウンタウン物語...Downtown Story) in which the actress portrayed a lounge singer/hostess of a bar in Yokohama who falls in love with a priest of a nearby church which has fallen on hard times. "Bye-Bye Lullaby", not surprisingly, has that feeling of a gospel hymn along the lines of "When The Saints Go Marchin' In" providing those uplifting notes. However the delivery is pure laidback and sultry Momoi.
The song was written and composed by actor-singer Ichiro Araki（荒木一郎）who provided his own cover of "Bye-Bye Lullaby" with a slightly more contemporary kick in 1983 for his album "Scene Phonic". Considering that I have already covered him in the blog through his "Kimi ni Sasageru Horonigai Blues" （君に捧げるほろ苦いブルース）, I'm starting to see that he had quite an interesting approach to his music. Perhaps he could have been labeled as one of those New Musicians along with Yuming (ユーミン) and Tatsuro Yamashita（山下達郎）back in the 1970s.