Thursday, June 12, 2014
Rina Chinen -- DO-DO FOR ME
If someone new to the J-Pop world, but aware of Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵) during the mid-90s, came across this video of Rina Chinen (知念 里奈) performing her debut single, "DO-DO FOR ME", in 1996, he/she would probably mistake one for another and believe that Namie Amuro was releasing another dance-pop hit. It was not the case! Rina Chinen, a former student from the same Okinawa Actors School that Amuro once attended, was kind of a Namie Amuro wannabe. As we can see in this performance, Rina Chinen, besides dressing like Amuro, was backed on stage by four dances, just like MAX did for Namie when she went solo one year earlier, in 1995.
Aside from this copycat marketing plan, Rina Chinen also relied heavily on this mix of dance-pop and eurobeat that dominated the Japanese charts at the time, thanks again for Ms. Amuro (and her famous producer Tetsuya “TK” Komuro [小室哲哉]). “DO-DO FOR ME” is a song full of atitude with very catchy lyrics, as, for example, the “What'cha gonna do for me? Nee, do do for me” phrase in the chorus. In the end, I’m satisfied with this new discovery, even though I came across it in a strange way: watching “Japanarama”, a compilation of mid-90s and early 00s weird Japanese television shows (mostly from Super Jockey and its overtly sexual games) mixed with commercials and some music performances from the same period. Just like MAX’s eurobeat hit “TORA TORA TORA”, which was also included on "Japanarama", was apparently strange by American standards, “DO-DO FOR ME” was considered something from another world to them, as the inclusion of it in the compilation was not based on a supposed American-friendy sound (I'm assuming here that "Japanarama" was put together by an American person. An European would probably not see eurodance inspired songs as something strange).
"DO-DO FOR ME" was released in October 1996 and reached #37 on the Oricon charts. Lyrics were written by Takahiro Maeda (前田たかひろ), while music and arrangement were done by Kouji Kubo (久保こーじ).