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.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ringo Shiina & Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra -- Mayonaka no Junketsu (真夜中の純潔)

At times, it can be as hard to find an original YouTube video of Ringo Shiina(椎名林檎) as it is to track down one by Kazumasa Oda(小田和正). And I really wanted to find the original music video for her oh-so-cool 7th single, "Mayonaka no Junketsu" (Midnight Chastity). I did find one alongside a parody video but no problems. We can be doubly entertained.

Thanks to her father, Shiina, along with the rock/punk side to her, also inherited a love for jazz which she has brought into this song. Along with her writing and composing it, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra arranged "Mayonaka no Junketsu" to become this tune that sounds like the theme for some 60s TV spy caper taking place in Havana. And I think the singer was well aware of this fact, since the video has her...and her beloved cat, Goethe...taking part in an animated series of derring-do of intrigue. Actually, she was to have participated in a live-action video, but her pregnancy at the time nixed that thought. However, the shift to this old animation style was a blessing in disguise.

Released in March 2001, the single peaked at No. 2 on Oricon and was the 51st-ranked song of the year, selling a little over 350,000 copies. In addition to "Mayonaka no Junketsu", there is also a very lively Big Band version of Shiina's "Sid to Hakuchumu" (from the "Muzai Moratorium" album) arranged by Takayuki Hattori(服部隆之) that I've enjoyed listening to. The version below is more of a Burt Bacharach-esque cover.

Do NOT mess with this lady!
(P.S. March 19 2014: Well, I did track down the Big Band version of "Sid to Hakuchumu" right over here.)

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