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, April 21, 2014

Princess Princess -- Julian/Rock Me

(karaoke version)

Of all of the five consecutive No. 1 singles (No. 7-11) that Princess Princess (プリンセス・プリセンス)had between 1989 and 1991, single No. 10 "Julian" (ジュリアン)was the one that I considered "cuddly". Although it was created by band members Kanako Nakayama and Kaori Okui(中山加奈子・奥井香), and had the familiar vocals of Okui and the Princess Princess guitars behind it, I couldn't help but feel that "Julian" sounded more like a tune that Misato Watanabe (渡辺美里)would tackle. Mind you, Watanabe was also along the same veins of pop/rock that Princess Princess were, but I guess it must have been that I was accustomed to hearing the band's A-side entries as the upbeat and/or rock-out tunes. In comparison, "Julian" was pretty laidback.

The question I had about "Julian" was "Who is Julian?" The way the lyrics were set out by Nakayama, it sounded like some guy the girls were pining for with fluffy pink valentines. I'd thought it was some sort of unlikely tribute to Julian Lennon, the son of the late John Lennon, who had his 15 minutes of fame during that time. Well, after a bit of Internet digging, I found out from Nakayama via her July 2012 entry in the Princess Princess blog and through the band's J-Wiki article that the title was gleaned from the 2nd name of the band, Julian Mama, that was settled upon moving to a new recording company, Ongaku-za(音楽座), in 1985. And it also happened to be the name that the guitarist gave to her cat.

"Rock Me" was the coupling song to "Julian" that had Princess Princess kicking things up as I usually imagined them. I'm sure it was the song to have on the play list at their concerts and I heard it tons of times when Sony was pushing their audio tapes on TV. Okui took care of both writing and composing duties for this one, and I can believe that the vocalist probably ran straight for the honey and lemon after singing this.

As mentioned, the single went to No. 1 after its release in November 1990 and became the 13th-ranked song for 1991. Both "Julian" and "Rock Me" also appeared on Princess Princess' 5th studio album, "Princess Princess" which came out in December of the same year. It would also hit No. 1 (almost 1.4 million copies in sales) and later became the 4th-ranked album of 1991.

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