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, February 3, 2014

Tatsuya Ishii -- Hi-Tension Love

If I were a fly on the wall....I think that's what the director behind the video for Tatsuya Ishii's(石井竜也) "Hi-Tension Love" was thinking about when he came up with the concept. But the fly here seems to be the mirror ball looking in on the hijinks at an old-fashioned disco (unfortunately the official video has been taken down.).

In any case, this was Ishii's 5th single as a solo singer away from Kome Kome Club(米米クラブ). I first heard it at a karaoke box along with several of my students at the time. One of them was a fairly timid young lady in the classroom but once she got into the lounge with a microphone, it was all hands on deck. And she was a huge Ishii fan, to boot, so she was more than happy to find "Hi-Tension Love" in the thick tome of listings. As I was listening to her warble the tune, I realized it was a pretty hyper song (as would be the case for a K2C single) with a tribute to good ol' disco.

Not long afterwards, I was doing a bit of rummaging through the used CD single section of one of my favourite music haunts, RECOfan, in Shibuya (just a few floors below The J-Pop Café where some of Rinko Kikuchi's scenes from "Babel" had been filmed), and I came across "Hi-Tension Love". It obviously was once in a CD rental shop according to the markings on the cover but the disc still sounded fine. It was indeed Carl Smokey's voice there but no sign of Big Horns Bee. Still, the thick disco bass was plucking away like a rabid turkey farmer before Thanksgiving. Not quite up there with K2C's best stuff but still fun to listen to nonetheless.

According to J-Wiki, all or most of the fawning women at the disco club where Ishii's character, the Disco King (or Pimp), held court actually belonged to his fan club. I can imagine that all of those expressions on their faces were quite genuine. I know that my student/No. 1 Ishii fan probably tore her hair out in envy. As for the almost unrecognizable Ishii, to me he actually looked a lot like the foppish Toshihiko Takamizawa(高見沢俊彦) from ALFEE right down to the dark nail polish.

Well, the above video has Ishii looking more like himself. "Hi-Tension Love" made it as high as No. 28 on Oricon after its release in December 1998, and was written/composed by Ishii. It's also a track on his 2nd album, "DEEP" which came out in January 1999. The album peaked at No. 10.


  1. Hi J-Canuck.

    I really liked this song and Tatsuya's voice. As always, disco sounds very fun and some of the synths used are very nice. Overall, it's very funky and groovy. I'll surely search for other Tatsuya Ishii's songs. As I said, his vocals are great, and that's coming from someone who doesn't like a lot of male singers.

    1. Hi, Marcos.

      When it comes to my collection, people will find that I'm also siding towards female singers. Along with Kazumasa Oda, Masayuki Suzuki and Koji Tamaki, Tatsuya Ishii is one of the relatively few male singers that I enjoy. He has that joie de vivre when he approaches the microphone, and makes his performances very lively. He's definitely one who will never phone in his songs. :)


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.