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, May 28, 2013

Kome Kome Club -- Shake Hip!

The first time I saw Kome Kome Club(米米クラブ) was through a commercial (I think it was for Fuji Film) and the band was up there singing "Funk Fujiyama". They were all there in their full, glorious garishness; considering how glossed up bands were becoming during the late 80s and early 90s, I wasn't all that surprised by K2C looking like they stepped out of a mix of an avant-garde painting and a Cirque De Soleil show. However, when talking about this band, all roads will eventually lead to one of their earliest hits, "Shake Hip!"

Now, a little cross-cultural anatomy in North America, the hip represents either side of your pelvis. In Japan, though, one has to make a 90-degree turn. Yep, "hip"(ヒップ) over there is your butt, booty, gluteus maximus, ass. So, K2C's magnum opus can be translated as "Shake Your Booty!"....a Japanese spiritual cousin, so to speak, to a song by K.C. and the Sunshine Band. The original version of "Shake Hip!" came out in April 1986 as their 2nd single, and yep, they were pretty funky and crazy back then, too. Perhaps a bit too much so for that time...the song only went as high as No. 54.

Move ahead a few years to December 1990. The song was tweaked here and there, and then released as its 11th single under the subtitle of "Ishii Version", after the name of Kome Kome Club's ringleader, Tatsuya 'Carl Smokey' Ishii. Still funky, still fun....and with all of the changes going on in music at that time with kayo kyoku switching over to very much popular. This time, the Oricon charts brought this version up to No. 5.

And of course, it didn't hurt when the band was able to build a reputation of holding some epic concerts. I think at that time and for the rest of the 90s, "Shake Hip!" was not just a famous K2C title, but a direct command at the audience. I never got a chance to see one of their shows (which I regret) but at least there will always be YouTube.

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