I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

BOOWY -- Marionette

One of the best 80s rock bands in Japan, BOOWY started up in 1981 with Kyosuke Himuro(氷室京介)on lead vocals and the towering Tomoyasu Hotei(布袋寅泰)on guitar/vocals, both of them coming from southern Gunma Prefecture. With a few lineup changes, the final band also included Tsunematsu Matsui(松井常松)on bass and Makoto Takahashi(高橋まこと)on drums. The name was originally Boi(暴威) or "tyranny" until they settled on the current name the following year. Plus, Hotei was an admirer of David Bowie, so they went for the more Anglicized version.

Their first live gig in May 1981 at the Shinjuku Loft had a grand total of 13 people: 9 men, 4 women (darn good researchers, those folks at J-Wiki). From such humble beginnings all the way to the time they broke up in 1988, when the 95,000 tickets for their final gig at the newly-built Tokyo Dome sold out in 10 minutes!

"Marionette"is the song that I know BOOWY by the best. Hotei's guitar just thrills along as Himuro's punchy vocals fly just as quickly. It was released in July 1987 and quickly hit the top spot on Oricon. Penned by Hotei and Himuro, the song became the 20th-ranked tune of the year. Going through the song lyrics, Himuro taunts and goads the marionette in the mirror to rip off his strings and make something of himself.  He and the band knew of what they spoke since they'd had some lean times earlier in the 80s when they broke ranks with their production company which was (and probably still is) professional suicide. But they proved with heads (and middle fingers) raised high that they could still come back triumphant

And even when the band broke up in 1988, Himuro went onto a successful solo career, and Hotei did the same himself as a rock singer. He also became famous internationally as the composer for the "Kill Bill" theme song. And more domestically, he ended up getting domestic with one Miki Imai(今井美樹) in 1999.

Rock rags to riches!

BTW, the single also came out on BOOWY's final album, "PSYCHOPATH", which was the 6th-ranked album of 1987.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.