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, October 18, 2013

globe -- Feel Like Dance




Man, the mid-90s....the age of the Komuro. When I got into town to start my next stint as an English teacher in the Tokyo area, branches of the Komuro Family had already started making their mark: trf was the big dance band, Namie Amuro and The Super Monkeys were heading up to the top themselves, and Tomomi Kahala was just around the corner. And there was globe.

I was in my bedroom taking care of laundry as I let the television run on in the living room when I heard the unmistakable sounds of a new Komuro tune come out. At first, I had thought it was the latest from trf via YU-KI due to the familiar sort of voice. But then that voice sounded even more high-pitched. I returned to the living room to see the entire screen filled up with some sort of test pattern and the one word in small letters slowly fade into view: globe. Techno-Svengali Tetsuya Komuro(小室哲哉)just added to the family, and the delivery package was titled "Feel Like Dance".

"Feel Like Dance" was released in August 1995 as the debut single for this new unit comprised of lead vocalist Keiko Yamada(山田桂子), rapper/vocal Marc Panther (aka Ryuichi Sakai...酒井龍一) and the big man himself, Komuro, on instruments and chorus. I guess TK couldn't resist getting back into the performing saddle again after several years of primarily producing, writing and composing. I'm not sure if he had wanted to find another separate musical niche for his new project, but I found that globe had a distinct sound compared to trf although the Komuro Technopop was still underlying both bands. Perhaps it was just something as simple as the different voices involved or a different sort of techno.



In any case, "Feel Like Dance" was fun to listen to, but I waited a while to get my own copy of the song. In fact, I waited until the next five globe songs came out and became huge hits (two of which I got as CD singles) before I finally relented and bought their first album, "globe" the following year. And man, what a year for globe! That album merely ended up selling 4 million copies, getting a rash of awards, and became the top-selling disc in Oricon history at that time (it currently resides in 7th place). Being the No. 1 album of 1996 after its release in March seems rather small potatoes in comparison.

As for "Feel Like Dance" itself, it was no slouch itself. It sold close to a million copies (going Triple Platinum), peaked at No. 3, and was the 36th-ranked tune for 1995. It was also used as the theme song for the Fuji-TV drama "Hitori ni Shinaide"(ひとりにしないで....Don't Leave Me Alone).

2 comments:

  1. Wow, it's been years since I've heard this one! globe was one of the groups that basically launched my interest in J-Pop as a whole. "Feel like Dance" is a fun song, and I quite like Keiko's unique vocals, even though they can grate on my ears after a while. Komuro was definitely one of the hardest-working musicians in the 90's Japan. As far as finding a niche goes, I always found globe to be more "artistic" compared to his other projects, especially with their late 90's songs which encompassed various moods and genres beyond his signature dance-pop style. Songs like "Wanderin' Destiny" and "Perfume of Love" really show that. Of course, there's still an unmistakable Komuro-ness to those.

    Just a random observation, but I think Yasutaka Nakata kinda followed Komuro's steps in the new millennium with all his techno-flavored projects like Perfume, MEG and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Of course, he has also led his own unit, capsule, with which he would experiment more freely.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I guess globe may have been the more artistic wing of the Komuro Family. "Faces, Places" comes to mind when I hear that word.

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