Got my hands on Acid Black Cherry’s latest album and was surprised to find out that the band also had its own version of GLAMOROUS SKY. As many would have known already, GLAMOROUS SKY was specifically written for the movie adaptation of popular shoujo manga NANA. HYDE composed it while Yazawa Ai penned the lyrics. Since Mika Nakashima released it as single in 2005, a few artists had done their respective covers. To the best of my knowledge, Acid Black Cherry’s version would be the 5th.
Listed below are the links to the different versions and my two-cents on each of them:
- NANA starring MIKA NAKASHIMA version – Arguably one the highlights of the first NANA film was when Mika Nakashima was “singing along to the song that didn’t even have lyrics yet”. The song, of course, was GLAMOROUS SKY. Later onto the film, she and the Black Stones would perform GLAMOROUS SKY to an obviously impressed audience. What’s so good about this version is how Mika Nakashima’s vocal performance was able to inject a lot of soul into a rock song. While I highly doubt that GLAMOROUS SKY is the type of song a band would stake their career for (the song was pivotal in the film as hearing it convinced Nana to reignite the Black Stones), the NANA starring MIKA NAKASHIMA version is a very stirring piece buoyed by Mika Nakashima’s soulful crooning. To date, this was the only version of the song with female vocals.
- girugamesh version – I find girugamesh’s cover uncharacteristic for the band as it was totally different from what their sound was back then. If I’m not mistaken, this was recorded during their 13’s reborn days during which girugamesh embraced a darker, more aggressive sound. Their version of GLAMOROUS SKY, on the other hand, is very pleasant to the ears and is more upbeat by a teeny bit than the original. Toshi’s voice is also surprisingly subdued, just honest to goodness singing. Of all the versions, I must say I like this one best as it fully embraces what GLAMOROUS SKY is all about: a pop-rock song with a catchy chorus.
- HYDE (VAMPS) version – Having composed the song, HYDE had all the right to alter the arrangement and this he did by transforming GLAMOROUS SKY into an edgier rock song. His version is also the most sensual of all given the breathy vocals and numerous moanings he showcased in the song. Another advantage is the fact that it had English lyrics. To HYDE’s credit, his enunciation was acceptable. Overall, it was a cover that’s very hard to pass up.
- Bentley Jones version – The version of gaijin tarento Bentley Jones is distinct because it turned GLAMOROUS SKY into a seminal dance track. It’s definitely an interesting take on the song but requires getting used to.
- Acid Black Cherry version – Despite the minor alteration in rhythm, Acid Black Cherry’s version sounds the most faithful to the original. But as Acid Black Cherry was behind it, GLAMOROUS SKY was infused with good ol’ rock n’ roll vibe. Still , this version has yet to muster enough panache to topple the other versions.
- BONUS ENTRY: pseudo-HYDE version – Before HYDE officially recorded the song for his compilation album, a GLAMOROUS SKY cover floated in cyberspace purported to be done by him. While there were some who praised the version, a number of fans slammed it for not being the real deal. Sometime last year, it was revealed that the version was in fact, not sung by HYDE but by a impersonator.
So there you have it. As mentioned, my vote goes to girugamesh’s. How about you, what’s your favorite?