Yes, before he went New Wave, before he went Glam Rock, musical force of nature and bon vivant Kenji Sawada（沢田研二）had decided to take a fashion tip from Sgt. Peppers when he made his live performances of "TOKIO", his 29th single released on New Year's Day 1980. "TOKIO"is a rousing tune that Sawada rather makes into a fun tourism advertisement for Japan's largest city. According to the lyrics, it's the city where the kind girls sleep and the sad boys howl....whatever that means....must be kinda fun, though.
I first heard "TOKIO"on a spotlight episode on Sawada on "Sounds of Japan", and it reminded me of my time there in 1981. The frenzy of the electric guitar and the bubbliness of the synthesizer rather wrapped up my images of the big city....perfectly operating vending machines selling skinny 90-yen cans of Coke, cafes with video games played on the tabletops and the incredible humidity of that July.
As for those appearances by Sawada on TV, I'm not sure whether the Sgt. Peppers outfit was his idea, but apparently the parachute behind him was....which played into the oft-repeated lyric of flying. He was definitely an entertainer, that one. "TOKIO" was written by copywriter Shigesato Itoi（糸井重里）and composed by former Wild Ones guitarist Kunihiko Kase.（加瀬邦彦）. Tsugutoshi Goto（後藤次利）, who would later be involved in many of Shizuka Kudo's（工藤静香） songs, was the arranger, and for his efforts, he won the Best Arranger Prize at the Japan Record Awards for that year. The song peaked at No. 8 and became the 39th-ranked song of 1980, selling over 300,000 records.
The B-side to "TOKIO" is "I Am I", a much more subdued ballad which I've already profiled.