Credits

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.

Friday, June 7, 2013

TM NETWORK -- GET WILD '89



(Unfortunately the performance video has been taken down.)

EDIT NOTE: In this particular performance of "GET WILD '89" Tetsuya Komuro is not playing the keyboards. In his place we can see Daisuke Asakura, another keyboard/synthesizer legend as well as Komuro's pupil during the late 80s/early 90s.

1989 surely was a great year for Eurobeat in Japan. Many notable acts in the aidoru world were relying in this dance music genre to conquer the charts. Among those, Wink and Chisato Moritaka (森高千里) were the main exponents of the trend, but newbies like Minako Tanaka (田中美奈子) and Eriko Tamura (田村英里子) were also trying to have the same success.

Aside from the aidoru world, synth-pop/rock band TM NETWORK self-covered one of their signature songs, the infectious “GET WILD” (released originally in 1987), in purely Eurobeat fashion, releasing it as their nineteenth single in April 1989. This version was called “GET WILD ‘89”. You can check  a live performance of the original 1987 “GET WILD” from Yoru no Hit Studio below to make the comparisons.



If “GET WILD” is a fun song, “GET WILD ’89” can be called an epic song. The Eurobeat arrangement and the bouncing bass line worked so well together that this revamped version could really be seen as an update if the Eurobeat sound didn’t became even more outdated than the original synth-pop one nowadays. But that’s not important at all, because like in almost any musical genre, we need to find the beauty of what that particular sound represented when it was originally conceived. And to be honest, Tetsuya “TK” Komuro (小室哲哉) certainly did his homework in the late 80s (and in the 90s as well), so kudos to him.

If anything, “GET WILD ’89” is a very exciting and true Japanese Eurobeat song, and not an Eurobeat pop cover from Italian, British, Yugoslavian or Swedish artists. I’m saying that because it was common, especially with aidorus (hey Wink, I love you but I'm looking at you right now), to cover songs from poppier Eurobeat artists that were signed to, or influenced by, SAW’s “hit factory” PWL (artists like Kylie Minogue, Sinitta, Bananarama, Yugoslavian duo Moulin Rouge and Swedish singer Annica). Combined with the aidoru system, those poppier Eurobeat songs started to influence Japanese composers and arrangers to really adopt the style, which resulted in a number of original songs as we can see in some late 80s songs by Noriko Sakai (酒井法子), Kyoko Koizumi (小泉今日子), Wink, Chisato Moritaka, Eriko Tamura and Aya Sugimoto (杉本彩), while also in some early 90s songs by Akiho Sendo (千堂あきほ), Minako Tanaka, Yamadakatsutenai Wink (やまだかつてないWink) and Megumi Hayashibara (林原めぐみ), for example. To illustrate that I selected "GUANBARE" (1988) by Nori-P, "Glass no ECSTASY" (1990) by the sexy-but-bad-singer Ms. A(qu)iho Sendo and "DON'T SIGH" (originally recorded in 1991) by Megumi Hayashibara. The videos are in this particular chronological order. Take a look at the Eurobeat music style portrayed on each of the songs and how it differs from the clubby Eurobeat sound.







(Megumi Hayashibara's "Don't Sigh")

“GET WILD’ 89”, different from the songs above, is an Eurobeat song projected with club ambitions, like the hits imported from Italy and presented in compilations like the “That’s Eurobeat” series. The energetic and groovy feel are there to prove that. However, one can point out that I’m generalizing a lot here, as the poppier and aidoru Eurobeat songs were also used in clubs. To this one I reply that I’m aware of that as I even saw on YouTube the mellow “Ai ga Tomaranai ~Turn It Into Love~” by Wink playing alongside “Bye Bye Baby” by Max Coveri, an Eurobeat classic. You can check this out in the video below between the 6:30 and 7:58 mark (unfortunately that video has been taken down but you can still hear "Bye Bye Baby" below).



What I’m trying to say is that “GET WILD ’89” left a personal mark as the first mainstream club-oriented Japanese original Eurobeat song that I listened (okay, that’s very specific). This fact alone made me think that most of the clubby Eurobeat songs were imported and not produced in Japan. In conclusion, the poppier Eurobeat songs created in The Land of The Rising Sun were more radio-friendly and aidoru-oriented than the original Italo-Disco/Eurobeat productions, which represents an important characteristic of the mainstream Japanese music market per se with its poppier inclinations.

Now to the technical information, “GET WILD ‘89” was another hit single released by TM NETWORK as it reached #3 on the Oricon (source: Japanese Wikipedia), selling over 129,000 copies (source: generasia). The song was written and composed by Tetsuya Komuro. As for the arrangement, Komuro did it together with Pete Hammond, a sound engineer from SAW’s “hit factory” PWL.

(August 30 2017: J-Canuck has his own take on the original version.)

4 comments:

  1. I love your blog!!!!

    Lot of info about idols from the 80-90s hehehe!

    By the way... Guanbare by Sakai Noriko truly sounds eurobeat/dance-pop... and several of her songs sound like that too.

    Saludos!

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  2. Thanks. I'm just one of the contributors on this blog. There are several other writers here too. But the creator of the blog was J-Canuck, and he's the one who wrote the majority of the posts.

    About Nori-P, I enjoy the "Nori-P Ondo" song a lot. She was a truly cute aidoru at the time, one of the cutest for sure. And I agree with you. Her music team combined the eurobeat/dance-pop sound of the time with her sugary cuteness resulting in some very bubbly eurobeat-influenced songs.

    I've noticed your "Saludos" greeting. Are you from Latin America like me? I'm from Brazil.

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  3. Hey, Marcos. Great article on TM Network. "Get Wild" is my favourite song by the band, and I had never heard the ramped-up version of the song before now. Would like to get that into my collection. Wasn't it also the theme song for "City Hunter" at one point?

    I remember Akiho Sendo pretty much only for her time on the drama "Tokyo Love Story" and for one little blooper on a variety show in which she toppled over on her overly high heels. Cute screamer, though.

    Edu, welcome to the blog and thanks for your comments. But I cannot take credit when it comes to Eurobeat-influenced J-Pop. Marcos is the master here!:)

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    1. Hi J-Canuck. Thanks a lot for your kind words. I try hard to understand better the dynamics between J-pop and Eurobeat.

      Yes, "GET WILD" was the ending theme song for "City Hunter". I didn't know it was an anime song until I researched a little for the post.

      I found this revamped version of "GET WILD" when I came across a three disc TK compilation some years ago. I discovered a lot of great songs produced by him in that compilation, and "GET WILD '89" was one of them. I fell in love with the bouncing bass line and the Eurobeat synths.

      I started watching "Tokyo Love Story" some days ago and it was a nice surprise to see Ms. Akiho in it because before that I only knew her singing career. I just wish she had a bigger role in the series. I didn't finish watching yet, but she seems very secondary, unfortunately. And I'm loving "Tokyo Love Story" because I met Takaaki's Ishibashi wife, the cute Honami Suzuki, and Chisato's Moritaka husband Eguchi Yosuke. The only problem for me is that I've already watched "Love Generation", which was based on "Tokyo Love Story". But I'm liking Yuji Oda better than Kimutaku on the lead role.

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