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.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Shibugakitai -- Sushi Kui ne! (スシ食いねェ!)

I used to hear a clip of the horns from Shibugakitai's (シブがき隊)"Sushi Kui ne!" on at least one variety show revolving around food (which could mean that the holders of the song's copyrights are some of the richest folks in Japan), but I hadn't heard the song in decades. So, it was a bit of a reunion to hear this one after so long.

"Sushi Kui ne!" (Oh, Sushi!) was the Johnny's Entertainment aidoru group's 17th single released in February 1986. I first heard this on the 1985 Kohaku Utagassen....yep, you read that right. The single got the biggest advance campaign that it could get by becoming the very first song to be performed on the NHK special before its official release about a month later. I'd gotten accustomed to seeing shrill and bouncy boy groups on that show and episodes of "The Top 10", but it was the first time I'd ever seen a group performing a song purely on one of my favourite dishes from the land of my heritage....sushi.

The lyrics by Fumiko Okada (岡田冨美子)throw in tons of sushi restaurant terms (including "agari"...the jargon for "green tea") which the Shibugakitai boys deliver and toss around with the relish of a sushi master on multiple cups of cappuccino. I was pretty surprised who had provided the words considering some years earlier she provided lyrics for the relaxing ballads of Ruiko Kurahashi (倉橋ルイ子)including "Glass no Yesterday". Meanwhile, Tsugutsohi Goto(後藤次利)made the dynamic music with the feeling of the climax of a summer festival and befitting the crazy choreography of a Johnny's group.

"Sushi Kui ne!" peaked at No. 10 on Oricon, and a couple of months later, the English-language version of the song, titled "Oh, Sushi!", came out. It managed to get as high as No. 17. Neither song was a megahit for Shibugakitai but perhaps a lot of establishments in Tsukiji were grateful for a long while.


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