Credits

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.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rats & Star/Kumi Koda -- Me Gumi no Hito (め組のひと)





Well, I'm kinda smacking myself upside the head right now for thinking that I had already put up "Me Gumi no Hito" (The Girls of the Eye Tribe) by doo wop group Rats & Star....and it's arguably up there with "Yume de Aetara"(夢で逢えたら)as their most famous tune. Ah...live and learn. It's also one of my favourite pop tunes from the 80s which makes my forgetfulness even more surprising.

I love the rat-a-tat intro that reminds me of an old Chaplinesque heist coming off chaotically and then leader Masayuki Suzuki (鈴木雅之)with his shifty syncopated delivery of the refrain before his more soulful verses. From comic to cool to comic once again. I have to admit, though, that I initially couldn't figure out what the title was all about. But apparently it's about one guy and his buddies on the beach admiring the scenery...the ones that come in string bikinis, if you know what I mean.

Released in April 1983, "Me Gumi no Hito" was written by Masao Urino (売野雅勇)although he used the pen name of Reiji Aso(麻生 麗二) for some reason. The popping music was by Daisuke Inoue(井上大輔), a composer who also came up with another hit that year with "Bohemian"(ボヘミアン)for Yuki Katsuragi(葛城ユキ). It hit No. 1 and won Rats & Star the Gold Prize at the Japan Record Awards. By the end of the year, it was the 10th-ranked song with sales in excess of 800,000 records.

The song was also the first one released by Martin and the gang following their name change from Chanels to Rats & Star. Everyone can thank an uptight cosmetics company for that.



J-R&B diva Kumi Koda(倖田來未)did her own pumped-up version of "Me Gumi no Hito" on her October 2010 album of covers "ETERNITY - Love & Songs". The album peaked at No. 3 on Oricon and came in at No. 95 on the annual charts. It's kinda too bad that Avex Network couldn't provide the full video of the song above but you can always try the link below for the full song.



2 comments:

  1. Ah, Rats and Star! I'm only familiar with them through Yamazaki Hiroaki, who was in Ducktails with Yokoyama Ken. Good stuff! I'm not sure how well their makeup would go over these days, though :)

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    1. Hi there and thanks for your comments. Yeah, I like their music although I was never sure about their choice of blackface in their performances. Rather glad that leader Masayuki Suzuki dropped that gimmick when he went solo.

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