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, April 11, 2014

Morning Musume -- Ren'ai Revolution 21 (恋愛レボリューション21)

After the party song of the year that was Morning Musume's(モーニング娘。) "Love Machine" just went bonkers on Oricon and at the various year-end parties all over Japan in 1999, I was waiting for a similarly infectiously disco-esque follow-up by the girls. Not that I didn't enjoy the immediately following singles such as "Koi no Dance Site"(恋のダンス・サイト)or "Happy Summer Wedding" in 2000, but I do like my nostalgic mirror ball of music.

Well, happily enough, I got my wish...and some. At the end of 2000, Fuji-TV's annual "Kayo Sai"(FNS歌謡際...FNS Music Festival)in early December was televised so I took a look-see during dinner, and Morning Musume was on board to debut their latest single at the time some days before the initial release. Titled "Ren'ai Revolution 21" (Love Revolution 21), MM's 11th single sounded even more as if the songwriters had torn a piece from late 70s American pop music (with an echo of Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You") and patched it in. And I remembered watching the wacky but fun choreography including the throwing of shuriken ("Cho-cho-cho ii kanji"). It definitely kept my eyes on the television screen instead of focusing on my karaage bento (not that easy to do since I L-O-V-E Japanese fried chicken).

Not sure what the reaction was at the show or with everyone else after the performance. However, the beat was enough for me to get the CD single with the colourful cover. Tsunku(つんく) wrote and composed "Ren'ai Revolution 21" but it was DANCE☆MAN who imbued the song with the disco arrangement, and he was the same fellow responsible for doing the same for "Love Machine" over a year previously.

Just to see who was in the Morning Musume lineup at that time, you can check the Wikipedia article on the song. Natsumi Abe and Maki Goto (安部なつみ・後藤真希)spearheaded the singing, but in terms of the membership, I remember it as being the final song for the very first leader of the group, Yuko Nakazawa(中澤裕子), before her graduation. I also distinctly remember the farewell special for that graduation some months later; man, even considering the usual melodramatics of Japanese TV shows, that was over-the-top.

"Ren'ai Revolution 21" came out on December 13 2000 (supposedly the final Japanese pop music single to be released in the 20th century[according to the J-Wiki article]...hard to imagine), just in time for Xmas and peaked at No. 2 on Oricon. It eventually became the 5th-ranked song for 2001 while selling just a tad under a million copies.

As for the official music video, like the later "The Peace", it was only partially shown on TV for some reason (copyrights?), so it was only through YouTube that I finally got the whole goods.

The cover was so naturally shiny
that it gave birth to its own J.J. Abrams'
lens flare!

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