So last week we just finished up watching ‘Long Vacation” which remains as one of the greatest dramas ever made and gosh~! that was an eleven week journey and I hope everyone that watched enjoyed it as much as I did re-watching this timeless classic! Of course to Derek~kun and Rikki whom both watched along (arigatou!), I did promise a couple more “Long Vacation” related surprises didn’t I. =)
And so for tonight’s Idols♡ unzipped we’ll dive even deeper into the landmark drama “Long Vacation”, this time making its music and soundtrack the centerpiece. So go grab your favorite pair of headphones and Enjoy!! ^^
~La La La Love Song (piano solo)~
There are those special dramas which further draw and endear themselves to the viewer and I’ve sort of lost count on how many times I’ve found myself again reliving the Japanese drama “Long Vacation” as I’ve watched it quite a few times since its broadcast, of course most recently the eleven weeks leading up till today =) and it’s most wonderful that till this day it hasn’t fallen ill to that sense of ‘dated’ or stuck in an era as great love/ relationship stories can be truly timeless when of course the storytelling and development of characters is at a premium in writing and talents respectfully.
So tonight there will be “a bit” of cap~happiness of one of drama’s most memorable couples to the tune of its ever endearing soundtrack beginning with of course “Minami’s” song (Close to you) which Sena performs and repeatedly appears in poignant moments throughout.
~Close to You～セナのピアノⅡ (mp3)~
While drama theme songs (here it’s Kubota Toshinobu’s “La La La Love Song” which was most awesome and addictive!!) can really heighten a drama’s overall appeal there are in addition those which tug relentlessly at one’s heart~strings, you know those songs appearing at just the right moment to invoke inevitable tears and emotions ^^*.
Reoccurring drama theme songs (usually the instrumental ones) when placed just right can be so symbolic of the atmosphere of scene in which they’re supporting where the viewer immediately senses that a sadness, happiness, melancholy, an aloof~ness or one from many other emotions are occurring or about to occur in a particular scene =). “Long Vacation” was masterful in this sense too where individual melodies grew reminiscent of specific scenes and characters within.
~Minami- Piano Piece of Sena~
Everything builds up to Sena’s miracle appearing in Minami’s actions towards him (one of the most touching scenes in dramas ever!) and nearing the climax is Sena’s mesmerizing performance in the competition (mp3 and sheet music above). I actually have two different performances of Sena’s masterpiece however here I chose the version which I liked a bit more as it was really miniscule though as both versions are very similar in interpretation of the original music.
Still to this day, my most beloved♥ drama of all time, “Long Vacation”, and it’s always worth revisiting as I’m always touched equally as to my very first experience seeing this series all those many years ago.
Just above are all of the “Long Vacation” soundtracks which I own including Cagnet’s album along with of course my “Long Vacation” drama DVD box set. =)
And here a bit of an inside look at the packaging for my drama box set, it folds out digipak style and includes four DVDs.
Now go ahead and click on each of the mp3’s just below and they’ll instantly transport you back to “Long Vacation” where you’ll recall specific scenes, dialogue and these unforgettable characters and how each of their lives were enhanced, changed and nurtured throughout the story. Seriously you’ll be like hey I know that one by heart, love that one and that one makes me a little sad or a LOT sad. =) These songs are from the Cagnet version of the soundtrack and if you scroll a little back upwards to where I’ve photographed my albums, it’s the one in the middle where the cover depicts that oh so familiar “Don’t Worry Be Happy” sign.
~Close to me~
~Here we are again~
~Missing each other~
~What will I do~
~Under the moonlight~
~Deeper and Deeper~
~soba ni iteyo~
~La La La Love Song (piano solo/ another version)~
“Long Vacation” visual recollection………
(hint: play either “Minami- Piano Piece of Sena” or the “La La La Love Song” (piano solo) which is the first mp3 atop this post… and if scroll down through the collage of “Long Vacation” screen captures just below while listening to either song, and scroll at just the right speed you can match them up nicely for an even better reminiscing experience as my screen caps will take you from episode one all the way till the final episode eleven. Kinda like watching an entire drama through flash cards so to speak! ^^*
And for the second surprise of the night!
Here’s a special edition of “Fuzzy Memories…”
Looking back into the vaults (aka: my olllllllllllld VHS =P) here’s a special look @ one most memorable and inevitably fuzzy moment~* via an old VHS~~>Digital transfer… the fuzzy coming from this clip being perhaps either a 2nd or 3rd generation+ VHS dubbed transfer which originated @ one of our local Japan rental shops of yesteryear, all prior to the digital age =P.
Ahhhhh I truly miss the days of Japan’s 3 inch CD singles!! Just above is my copy of the song we’re about to listen to and those 3 inch singles were just so cool and unique. I’d buy those little jewel cases to protect my favorites and as you can see above YUP! this single’s a definite favorite!
Think mid nineties, the most popular drama series by far! The song, “La La La Love Song.” The man, Kubota Toshinobu! Gotta love that ponytail~thingy he had going back then but by the time of this performance he was looking all scruffy~cool♥! And joining with SMAP this little snippet is taken from their music collaboration on the show which was a medley of various hit songs of the man himself of J~pop r&b ♪♪～♥. Here just another memorable and powerful reminder of why “Long Vacation” is still one of the most beloved Japanese drama series~all~time. Just the sign of the times really gone transcendent, the ability to relate from oneself, the state of social relationships and yes! the amazing story, actors, episode to episode screenplay, the humor, the authentic delivery, the ramen♥!!!!!!!!! Best eaten in the warmth of Japan’s very best comfort spots I’d have to imagine!~Yamaguchi Tomoko, Takenouchi Yutaka, Inamori Izumi, Kimura Takuya at his acting best, Ryo, Matsu Takako, Hirosue Ryoko.. the young idol back then and so cute! Whom I’ve covered here before! And of course that guy w/ the camera! I tease I tease… Yep Long Vacation has it all (*´∀｀) ー♥♥♥！
~Kubota Toshinobu x SMAP (SmapxSmap live)~
Getting back to the song♥, one of the very best elite drama songs of all time, no arguing there! Here Kubota Toshinobu even takes the reigns of the back~up vocals which were originally performed by none other than super model Naomi Campbell for this monumental single☆. Kimutaku really gets into it from the start as he’s doing a duet with the r&b legend before the rest of his group~mates arrive and you just know it’s so special, well being that he’s the symbolic star of “Long Vacation”….all those years ago (sigh*…) (*´∀｀*) ♪♪ Again this is an edited portion of a larger medley so it’s a bit abbreviated but still it’s a gem! ^^
And here’s the original single version…
~Kubota Toshinobu with Naomi Campbell “La La La Love Song” mp3~
Still one of the top 10 J~Pop songs of all time!..really I think so!
“Long Vacation” and “La La La Love Song”, forever a drama phenomenon. =)
Thanks. I’ve been suffering “Long Vacation” withdrawal this week.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Had a lot of fun putting this together and really all of these songs whether they be the solo piano pieces or the many Cagnet songs which were featured prominently in the drama throughout, I think they’ll all definitely take you back there* =). The “La La La Love Song” solo piano atop is particularly moving and to listen with your thoughts alone is quite wonderful, and then of course Sena’s solo piano masterpiece he performed for the finale… plus I’ve included the sheet music here too for those daring enough on the piano to try. ^^
LikeLiked by 1 person
This really touched me. I mean, this is an epic post and a half, and yet, you did Long Vacation a solid here by completely showcasing one of the most important components of the dorama, i.e., the music. I think the best song out of all of the above has to be CLOSE TO YOU. I can’t listen to this song without tearing up. It’s the song I wouldn’t mind playing at my funeral, as morbid as that may sound. It really is beyond beautiful. I want to learn how to play it too. I just… this song means a lot to me now. I know it may sound weird to say, given we only just finished this dorama recently and all that, but… it instantly has a place in my heart now. When you hear certain songs, they capture a time in your life, as your post above so eloquently stated, and I think Close To You will do that for me. I’m in a position now in life that is beyond difficult, very frustrating, and super scary. Yet feeling hopeful in all this darkness too. Not giving up. And though the song I think is more meant to be a commentary between two people and their love for each other, I am using it as a means to let me never forget every time I hear the song from this day forward how my life was in summer of 2016. It’s going to be a song that will be something for me to always cherish until I die. I truly believe that.
The other songs are, of course, lovely, touching, inspiring, and every other adjective I can’t think of right now that would basically equate to perfection. And for what it’s worth, the SMAP performance was fun. Now, if Naomi would’ve shown up as a guest with them… well…lol. That would’ve been interesting, eh?
Thank you so much for this incredible post. Just one more final addition to the Long Vacation legacy you’ve shared with me. I am in awe of you, as usual, for doing this.
LikeLiked by 1 person
It’s most heartwarming to hear such an enthusiastic response!! I don’t get those very often and with Long Vacation the drama itself really says why! Music is such an integral part of life and it warms me to know that this one particular song will forever remain a part of your life. Your words make everything worthwhile, thank you~♡!
Oh and just waiting to hear back from you on whether or not I should begin posting the next drama here tomorrow as I know that you’ll soon be traveling to Japan and wasn’t sure if you wanted to wait until after you’ve returned? Please let me know soon as I’ll need time to prepare. ^^
Okay! I’ve chosen the next drama o(*´∀｀)o゛！I’ve just begun the encoding of the first episode to prepare the first post. I guess I will be posting it starting tomorrow =) ….? It’s really a great one which embodies so much of life’s truths with an amazing cast once again and the best storytelling. ^^
Hi how are you? Sorry for the late response. Was super busy all day and just now was able to respond. I hope it’s not too late!
Yes, definitely upload the dorama! Even though I’m going to Japan, I won’t be there for more than two weeks, and I of course will make time to watch the lovely show I’m sure you are going to pick for both of us to enjoy! I’m so excited you decided to do this again with me! Long Vacation will sit in my heart forever and never leave, so I am sure whatever you pick next will be just as awesome and memorable. I look forward to it, and thank you in advance for the hard work you put into doing this! I am so happy I get to have you a little while longer to talk to and enjoy shows with MB!!!!