【こんなに面白いジャニーズソング】サンプリング駆使した名曲 SMAP『がんばりましょう』


嵐・関ジャニ ・SMAP・Sexy Zone・TOKIOと、ジャニーズから計5組ものグループが出演した2013年の紅白歌合戦。毎年恒例の「ジャニーズ年越しコンサート」も開催され、2013年の大晦日もジャニーズのグループたちがお茶の間を楽しませることとなった。

数年ごとにトップがガラリと移り変わる女性アイドル業界と違い、男性アイドル業界ではもう何十年もジャニーズ所属のグループがトップを維持し続けている。その理由は何だろう?


まず、所属タレントたちのルックスの良さが要因のひとつであることは言うまでもない。しかし、ルックスが良いタレントは他にも沢山いる。そこで可能性として挙げられるのが、ジャニーズ所属グループがリリースしてきた数々の楽曲のクオリティーの高さだ。超一流の製作陣によって作られてきたポップソングたちが、多くの日本人の心を掴んで離さないのである。

そこで今回は、ジャニーズ事務所がいかに楽曲のクオリティーにこだわり、かつ幅広いリスナーを楽しませようとしてきたかを説明すべく、ジャニーズソングにおいて行われてきた"オマージュ"、そして"サンプリング"を紹介したい。

最初に紹介するのは、大胆なサンプリングが駆使された1994年のSMAPの名曲『がんばりましょう』だ。その前に、まずはサンプリングについて説明しなくてはならない。音楽におけるサンプリングとは、過去の曲の一部のメロディーラインや音源を引用し、その音を再構築して新たな楽曲に取り入れる技法のこと。主にアメリカのヒップホップ・R&Bで積極的に取り入れられ、90年代初頭から日本のメジャーシーンでも使われるようになった。

そんな90年代前半の日本で、サンプリングを駆使して大ヒットし、今もなお多くの人に親しまれている曲が3曲挙げられる。それは、EXILEもカバーしたZOOの『Choo Choo TRAIN』(1991年)と、小沢健二・スチャダラパーによる『今夜はブギー・バック』(1994年)、そして、SMAPの『がんばりましょう』だ。本記事では、『がんばりましょう』以外の曲についての詳細な説明は省かせていただくが、『がんばりましょう』が特に大きな意味を持つのは、当時からトップアイドルであったSMAPの曲、つまり確実に売れるアイドルソングにおいて非常に高度なサンプリングが行われたという点である。

同曲において、まずイントロに使われているのが、アメリカのアーティスト・プリンスが91年に発売したアルバムに収録されている楽曲『Gett Off』の一部だ。歌舞伎の声ネタも入った『がんばりましょう』の印象的なイントロは、サンプリングの賜物なのである。しかし、こちらは非常に分かりにくい使われ方と言っていいだろう。その代わり、大胆に"そのまんま"使われているのが、70年代終盤から80年代初頭にかけて活動したソウルユニット・niteflyteの1曲『You Are』だ。

同ユニットは、その活動期間は短いものの、発売した2枚のアルバムにはソウルファンにとって馴染みの深い名曲が複数収められており、あの久保田利伸も憧れのアーティストとしてその名を挙げる、知る人ぞ知るユニットだ。『You Are』も、特別ポピュラーな曲というわけではないが、ソウルミュージックファンには思い入れの深い1曲。

『がんばりましょう』のサビの最初のフレーズ「Hey Hey Hey Girl どんな時も」という部分は、この『You Are』の同じくサビの最初のフレーズ「Hey, hey, hey you are all the reasons why」という部分のメロディーラインをサンプリングし、ほぼそのまま使用している。これにより、『がんばりましょう』は、(当時の)若い女性ファンだけでなく、ソウル好きの音楽通の人たちまでハッとし、ニヤリとするエッセンスの入った1曲となったのだ。



このサンプリング以降、アイドルの楽曲に70年代頃のソウルミュージックがサンプリングされる例は増加。まさに、"歴史的な"サンプリングといえるだろう。

まだサンプリングが広く浸透していない段階でこのような実験的な取り組みを行うことを受け入れたジャニーズ。その音楽制作に対する姿勢は、その後も度々垣間見られることとなる。

【参照リンク】
・Niteflyte - You are
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSaI1IndmS4

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