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.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sadistic Mica Band - 「Boys and Girls」

With a name like Sadistic Mika Band (サディスティック・ミカ・バンド) one might halfway expect either an angry punk band or some kind of wacky performance group but they are in fact a unique musical collective which has been around from the early 70s and whose music has evolved over the years from Glam Rock to Electronic/New Romantic to Jazz Fusion and Progressive Rock. Formed in 1972 by husband and wife team of gutarist 加藤和彦/Kato Kazuhiko and his wife, singer 福井ミカ/Fukui Mika, the band name was in parody by John Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" and was said to have been inspired by Mika's insensitive sense of humor.

It's core membership consisted of a number of musicians who would later go on to successful solo careers and musical collaborations including guitarist 高中正義/Takanaka Masayoshi, bassist 小原礼/Obara Ray and drummer 高橋幸宏/Takahasi Yukihiro (who would later go on to join YMO)

The band's early music was heavily inspired by the Glam Rock music of T.Rex and David Bowie but over time slowly evolved as London's music scene changed (Kato was at the time living in Kensington, London). They would incorporate a number of musical influences especially the art rock of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music and pop rock of Badfinger.

They would release a number of albums during the 70s and had a minor memorable hit with the fun rock song Time Machine Ni Onegai/タイムマシンにおねがい.

The band would see a few member changes over the years as well as a name change to The Sadistics/サディスティックス in 1978 but as Kato and the various members pursued solo careers and other projects, the band temporarly disbanded.

The band has reunited three times. Each time Kato, Takahashi and Takanaka have formed the core of the band, with a different female lead vocalist and supporting musicians.

In 1985, they collaborated with 坂本龍一/Sakamoto Ryuichi and 松任谷由実/Matsutoya Yumi under the tongue-in-cheek name of "Sadistic Yuming Band" 「サディスティック・ユーミン・バンド」.

In 1989 they would go back to their original name only this time changing it to "Sadistic Mica (with a "C") Band".  With new vocalist 桐島 かれん/Kirishima Karen they would have their first Oricon Top 100 hit in 1989 with the very catchy single 「Boys and Girls」 which would also be used as a CMソング for Mazda's ファミリア (FAMILIA) car line. What really was unique about this the song was its heavy use of bilingual lyrics owing to Karen's native English ability. The above clip is from their appearance on the music variety program 夜のヒットスタジオ, one of my favorite music programs in the 80s along with ザ・ベストテン.

In 2006, pop singer 木村カエラ/Kimura Kaela would collaborate with the band and they would release an album under the quirky name "Sadistic Mica Band Revisited" AKA "Sadistic Mikaela Band".

Here's the original Sadistic Mika Band in 1974 with their song ハイ・ベイビー/Hey Baby in 1974.

And here's Sadistic Mica Band with 木村カエラ in 2007 singing their hit song タイムマシンにおねがい.


  1. Hi, JTM, and thanks for the details on The Sadistic Mika Band. I have always seen and heard the name over the years, but I never got to actually hear the band in action. As you've said (and shown through the videos), they've dipped their feet into a number of genres, and man, what a lineup. It's no wonder that they're usually mentioned alongside that other big group from the early 70s, Happy End.

    Ah, just one thing....I think you put Kaela Kimura's kanji beside Karen Kirishima's name by accident there. No problem, though. Good stuff.

  2. Nice post on The Sadistic Mika Band. I was first exposed to them through their album Kurofune, and it still remains one of my favorites to this day. The funny thing is that at that time I had no idea that Yukihiro Takahashi was part of the band. Took me a while to notice it. The Electronic/New Romantic style which they were going for in 1989, including "Boys and Girls", is actually similar to Takahashi's solo work at that time. Me like.

  3. I remembered seeing Karen Kirishima a lot on TV via her commercials. Very striking appearance. I finally got to hear the entirety of "Boys and Girls" and enjoyed the performance. I'd like to hear the studio version sometime.


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