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.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

KAYOCO -- Toy Boy


(August 1 2014: Regrettably, the only source of KAYOCO's version of "Toy Boy" has been taken down, but Miku and Rin are here to pinch hit!)


OK, first off....I actually heard the original of "Toy Boy" by Sinitta on that New Year's special, "Kakushigei Taikai" on Fuji-TV back in the late 80s. It came up as the backing song when aidorus Iyo Matsumoto and Yoko Oginome were actually performing their little magic act. To be honest, I think I remember the song more than the act itself although both Matsumoto and Oginome were wearing something pretty darn close to those tight-fitting bodicon dresses....whoo-hoo!

As my fellow collaborator on this blog, Marcos V., has mentioned in a number of his articles, Eurobeat was the adopted genre of choice in Japan in the late 1980s, and you couldn't get more Eurobeat than "Toy Boy" by the producers (law office?) Stock, Aitken and Waterman. And singer KAYOCO was more than happy to pick up the beat by using this song as her debut tune in January 1988. The Japanese lyrics were provided by Yumi Morita(森田由美), and I think she did a pretty good job shoehorning them into this lively song, although I'm still not quite sure about the "Ear, ear (イヤイヤ)" line there. KAYOCO's cover version was used as the theme song for a teenage love drama on Fuji-TV called "Tokimeki Zakari"(ときめきざかり). The high energy in both the Japanese and English versions probably did fit the racing hormones on display in that show.




Speaking of ears, "Toy Boy" was quite the earworm in a time when the term "earworm" didn't even exist in music, especially with the line peeling off all of the days of the week. If I were to use "Star Trek" terms, I think it was as effective as those Ceti Alpha eels that the insane Khan Noonien Singh shoved into the heads of poor Commander Chekov and Captain Terrell in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan". After first hearing Sinitta's version on that New Year's show, the earworm was duly injected and then the KAYOCO version pretty much implanted it into my cerebral cortex....to continue growing....slowly.



2 comments:

  1. Hi J-Canuck.

    "Toy Boy" is one of my guilty pleasures. It's a strange song to hear in full blast, because the lyrics are very, very girly. But I just ignore the girly and campy nature of the song and play it loud (I always remember a scene from the "White Chicks" comedy movie where the great Terry Crews, playing a tough and rich guy, sings "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton in a girly and funny way. The same actor, playing Chris Rock's father in the sitcom "Everybody Hates Chris", sings "I Will Survive" when left alone in the apartment).

    Like you said, "Toy Boy" is an earworm, and a big one. The eurobeat synths are also on top. Also, as I like to extend my guily pleasures at the maximum limit, I always listen to the "Extended Bicep Mix", which goes over seven minutes.

    About the line where Sinitta sings the days of the week, I always remember of Rebecca Black's "Friday", a song that was bashed a couple of years ago because of its cheesy nature. Maybe the West isn't prepared for the return of cheesy pop numbers like in the 80s.

    As for KAYOCO's version, I discovered because JTM talked about it somewhere in the past year. Listening to it again, I remember that some slight and positive differences in the arrangement caught my eyes. And the "Ear, ear" line is surely a funny one.

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    1. Believe me, Marcos. I got plenty more of those guilty pleasures in my memory. :) They're basically songs that professional music critics love to hate, but they just sound too fun to ignore. On the Western side of things, I've always loved "We Built This City" by Starship and all of Billy Joel's discography....frequent targets for the critics.

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