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A taste of honey - Sukiyaki (1981)

  • Video Views 4,784,299
  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.36
  • Genre(s): R&B
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"I Look Up as I Walk", alternatively titled "Sukiyaki") is a song recorded by Japanese crooner Kyu Sakamoto, first released ...

"I Look Up as I Walk", alternatively titled "Sukiyaki") is a song recorded by Japanese crooner Kyu Sakamoto, first released in Japan in 1961.

 

A Taste of Honey version

A Taste of Honey vocalist Janice-Marie Johnson would recall how at age 9 she had heard Kyu Sakamoto's "Sukiyaki" on the radio in the summer of 1963 and said: "Mom! Buy me this record!", as despite not understanding the lyrics she was deeply moved by the song. Constantly playing the single, Johnson phonetically learned its lyrics and taught them to her sister, with the pair participating in neighborhood talent shows singing "Sukiyaki" while performing their approximation of an Oriental dance number. Years later, after A Taste of Honey had scored their 1978 #1 hit "Boogie Oogie Oogie", Johnson had heard the Linda Ronstadt hit remake of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "Ooo Baby Baby" on her car radio causing Johnson to realize that remaking a 1960s hit could be a good career move for A Taste of Honey, with Johnson's obvious choice for the remake being her beloved "Sukiyaki". Johnson contacted the song's Japanese lyricist Rokusuke Ei who provided her with a literal translation of what he had written: as this translation did not yield complete sentences in English, Johnson endeavored to write a new set of lyrics she felt would capture the spirit of the song. To Johnson, it seemed the song's original lyrics had 3 possible interpretations: as the mindset of a man facing execution; as someone trying to be optimistic despite life's trials; or as the story of an ended love affair: Johnson decided; "me being the hopeless romantic that I am, I decided to write about a love gone bad."

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