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, May 9, 2014

Yellow Magic Orchestra -- Insomnia

Off the top of my head, there are two songs in the mighty Yellow Magic Orchestra discography whose melodies are the closest to a perfect fit for the titles. One is "Technopolis" by Ryuichi Sakamoto (坂本龍一)which has that gorgeous feeling of a Tokyo barreling into decades of the 21st century at warp speed.

The other is Haruomi Hosono's (細野晴臣)"Insomnia" which musically describes the sensations and visions that an insomniac must encounter at 3 a.m. in the morning. I mean, it would be the perfect accompaniment to any scene in a movie in which the main character just cannot head off to La-La Land. At the same time, right from the opening notes, "Insomnia" also sounds like a techno version of a theme for some old Nosferatuesque movie with a bit of traditional koto thrown in. Halfway through the song, there is also that ominous synth-organ wafting in like an ancient vampire that makes the entire piece.

Chris Mosdell provides the vocals that come in right at the end of "Insomnia". Hosono is the one giving them, and apparently he was the perfect one to vocalize since, according to the J-Wiki article on the song, he was also suffering from the malady itself at the time. Considering how popular YMO was at the time, I wouldn't be surprised if all three members of the group were tossing and turning all night.

I actually heard the song for the first time on the group's 2-CD BEST compilation "YMO GO HOME!" from 1999, but originally it was a track on their 1979 2nd album, "Solid State Survivor", the No. 1 LP for 1980.

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