TBT: “Jikan yo Tomare” by Yazawa Eikichi

Happy Thursday! The song I chose for this week’s #TBT is perfect to listen to on a summer afternoon.


Today’s #ThrowbackThursday song is the 1978 classic “時間よ止まれ (Jikan yo Tomare, Time, Stop)” by rock star 矢沢永吉 (Yazawa Eikichi).

“Jikan yo Tomare” is Yazawa‘s 5th single and topped the Oricon charts when released in March 1978. The song continued to become a huge hit and eventually sold over a million copies.

The lyrics, written by Yamakawa Keisuke, revolves around a summertime love besides the beach. My favorite part is the lyrics right before the soothing acoustic guitar solo:

I don’t mind if it’s an illusion so time, please stop in the dizziness of life

The song featured great musicians in the recording process, including Sakamoto Ryuichi and Takahashi Yukihiro of YMO, along with the great bassist/composer Goto Tsugutoshi.

Here’s a more recent performance of this song. It’s amazing that even at the age of 65, he still sounds like he did when the song was first released over three decades ago.


The B-side “チャイナタウン (Chinatown)” also became a great hit. It has been covered by Nakamori Akina and also used as the ending theme of the music show HEY!HEY!HEY! MUSIC CHAMP in 1998.

“Jikan yo Tomare” has been used twice as a commercial song for Shiseido, once in 1978 and again in 2014.

Many artists have covered this song since its release including Itsuki Hiroshi and Otomo Kohei.

I sadly haven’t been able to find any videos of such covers… I would love to hear what these different versions sound like.

VAMPS also performed the song last summer during BEAST PARTY 2014. The cover quickly changed the venue’s atmosphere into a quiet, peaceful one, contrast to the rowdiness of the previous set.

As a little side note, the comedy duo TUNNELS has released a song called “バハマ・サンセット (Bahamas Sunset)” that has a very similar vibe to “Jikan yo Tomare.”

TUNNELS is a great fan of Yazawa, and mock his ways on several occasions. This may be one of their more obvious ones. I’m bummed I couldn’t find the original version of this number; it’s even more Yazawa-esque. (The actual song begins at 00:33.)

How did you enjoy this week’s #TBT, “Jikan yo Tomare”? See you next week!


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