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 17, 2014

SHOGUN -- Bad City

Over the years of this blog, JTM and I have covered some of the theme songs for various police series in Japan such as "Odoru Dai Sosasen"(踊る大捜査線). Well, here is another one from 1979 that popped up now and then on various retrospectives. I wrote about SHOGUN's "Otokotachi no Melody" (男達のメロディー)as the theme song for the NTV detective drama, "Oretachi wa Tenshi da!". Six months after their debut song, the band came up with another memorable opening theme song for a detective show of a similar bent, "Tantei Monogatari" (探偵物語...Detective Story)starring the late Yusaku Matsuda(松田優作).

Matsuda may have appeared as the fearful psycho gangster in Ridley Scott's "Black Rain" (1989), but in "Tantei Monogatari", he played the half-goofy/half-hardboiled good-guy private detective Kudo with the over-the-top fashion sense (may have been inspired by Lupin the 3rd). Going along with that feeling, SHOGUN inserted a bit of goofiness into the cool when they whipped up "Bad City". Written and composed by band member Casey Rankin, "Bad City" was actually the B-side to the band's 3rd single, "Lonely Man" which was actually the ending theme for the show. However, I think the B-side has had the far bigger legacy even if folks don't quite remember the band's name nowadays.

Listening to "Bad City", I was never quite sure whether SHOGUN was presenting the theme song for a hard-driving detective show or a parody of one. However, I can't deny that the horn section behind the guys works well, and getting further into the song, I am often reminded of some of the theme songs from shows like "Policewoman" and "Baretta" back in the States.

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