On this day in music history: June 7, 1993 - “Elemental”, the fourth studio album by Tears For Fears is released. Produced by Roland Orzabal, Tim Palmer and Alan Griffiths, it is recorded at Neptune’s Kitchen in Bath, UK from Mid 1992 - Early 1993. Issued as the long awaited follow up to “The Seeds Of Love”, the project is essentially a solo album by Roland Orzabal released under the TFF moniker, as bassist/co-lead vocalist Curt Smith had left the band in 1991. Orzabal soldiers forward, recording the album mostly on his own at his home studio in Bath, writing the bulk of the material with Alan Griffiths, and is augmented in the studio with various musicians including co-producers Palmer and Griffiths and bassist Guy Pratt (Pink Floyd). One of the album’s singles titled “Cold”, is directed at former Tears For Fears manager Paul King (who is imprisoned for fraud in 2004), in which Orzabal accuses him of stealing money from the band, stated in the scathing lyric “King got caught with his fingers in the till. Where’s your calculator - did you leave it in your will?”. The album spins off four singles including “Break It Down Again” (#20 UK, #1 US Modern Rock, #25 US Pop). “Elemental” peaks at number five on the UK album chart, number forty five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
Let’s start with the fact that they get the closing credits all to themselves. And truth time, here, I could just loop the closing credits and be happy. Right now, the closing credits is my “happy place.”
I just love the way they’re holding each other, that their bodies turn to each other, the way they’re looking at each other.
But more than that, the closing credits aren’t just Usagi and Mamoru. In fact they’re not in them at all. The spotlight isn’t on the “miracle romance” that is so often at the center of Sailor Moon. It’s on Haruka and Michiru, and that alone tells us that, for those behind SMC, they see these two and their romance just as important.
I don’t know Japanese, so I’m going to have to skip detailed exegesis of this song (though I really wish I could…um…*puts my inner scholar nerd away*). I will say that there are, in the English translation (assuming it’s right), echoes of the idea of a miracle romance here.
There is no question that theirs is a love that transcends lifetimes. (Plus, can we just squee over the whole hand thing…I’ll be back while I just…the hands, you guys, the hands!)
Ok, back now.
SMC also, as so many have already discussed, kept the image of Michiru and Haruka paralleling Usagi and Mamoru. Not just in the closing credits, but with Uranus wearing mask and cloak to echo Tuxedo Mask.
The relationship between Haruka and Michiru is every bit as miraculous and emphasized as that of Usagi and Mamoru.
And can we just talk about the intimacy? I know. It would have been great if they had shown them kissing, but some things are actually more intimate than kisses. Don’t get me wrong, I love kisses, but look at this (my screen shots aren’t awesome, so here is a better and moving version).
The vulnerability in this scene is amazing. And so is how they both respond to it. Comforting, strengthening, and reassuring each other, even while they acknowledge that they might be too late, that all might be for naught. The way it’s clear that they are bearing this burden together.
And even without that, this moment would be intimate. Haruka embracing Michiru. Michiru leaning into Haruka and placing her hand over Haruka’s. This is as intimate and as beautiful as any kiss.
The way they’re looking into each other’s eyes. Michiru’s moment of vulnerability, Haruka’s unwavering support. Again, their hands. This is intimate and beautiful.
You cannot convince me that SMC isn’t getting Michiru and Haruka right. This is beautiful. This is love, love that transcended time and space and death and rebirth.
This was the first hit for The O'Jays after years in a slump. In the late 60s they got picked up by producers Gamble and Huff for a career revival and over the next 4 years they would become an international sensation. “One Night Affair” was originally issued as a single, and it was later included on The O'Jay’s album In Philadelphia which was originally released on Gamble and Huff’s early record label, Neptune Records, in 1969.