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. =)