It was 1989 when I did my first tour of duty in Gunma Prefecture. Kayo kyoku was giving way to J-Pop through diversification. It was no longer just aidoru, enka and City Pop anymore. I was seeing glam metal via X Japan, ska from La-ppisch, and the beginning of Shibuya-kei via Flipper's Guitar. MTV Japan helped my education of the new wave, thanks to it appearing late Friday nights.
And one of the best acts I saw was from that program when a girl band from Hokkaido came up with this insanely fun song. "Ai ni Kite I Need You" （Come and See Me! I Need You) was the 5th single from Go-Bang's（ゴーガンズ）, a trio consisting of Kaori Moriwaka（森若香織） who was on lead vocal, Mitsuko Saito（斉藤光子） who was the 183-cm (taller than even Sigourney Weaver) drummer, and Misa Tanishima（谷島美砂） who was on bass. The group was around for a decade, from the mid-80s to 1994, and they played a pop-punk fusion which distinguished it from the other girl bands that had been trending for a years such as Princess Princess, Show-ya and Pink Sapphire. This song, though, sounds like something k.d. lang would go for in her early career; more of a country punk.
"Ai ni Kite I Need You" was the biggest hit of their career when it was released in the last week of 1989, and got as high as No. 2 on the Oricon weeklies. It was also later released on the album "Greatest Venus" in March 1990 which was at the top spot on the album chart for 2 consecutive weeks in that month.
There is some mystery about the group's name since it has never been confirmed if "Go-Bang's" was derived by mashing together parts of two well-known American girl groups' names: The Go-Gos and The Bangles. (If anyone out there can confirm or deny this, let me know.)
Kaori Moriwaka is still out there blogging and performing. I even saw her come out on the Fuji-TV music show, "HEY! HEY! MUSIC CHAMP"last year to sing her most famous tune one more time.
I'm proud to say that I have the original CD single of the song...not exactly easy to find now. One of my friends came to visit me during my years in Japan, and although he wasn't a huge J-Pop fan, he did search high and low for that CD, and eventually found it at a used CD shop, Recofan, in Shibuya.