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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gyaru -- Bara to Pistol (薔薇とピストル)

I was doing some maintenance for the article covering Mayumi Kuroki's(黒木真由美) "Koibito to Yobarete" since the YouTube video had been taken down when I discovered the above video on the right side of the screen. It turned out that Kuroki hadn't given up the mike for good in 1976 after releasing 6 singles. Instead, her management company placed her with two other ladies, Michiyo Ishie and Hitomi Meguro (石江理世・目黒ひとみ)the year after to form the trio Gyaru(ギャル...Gals).

"Bara to Pistol" (Rose and Pistol) was Gyaru's debut single from October 1977, and watching the video of the three performing it on that music show, I got the impression that Gyaru had been molded to be some sort of synthesis combining the harmonies of Candies, the glitter of Pink Lady and perhaps even the fashion of the disco-age Pointer Sisters. I even found a Japanese page that gives much more information than J-Wiki on this group in which the writer refers to the trio as second-string aidoru who lasted basically for little more than a year.

To be honest, just looking at the performance, I kinda cheekily thought that Gyaru was a backup group missing a lead singer, but "Bara to Pistol" isn't too bad a song. Written by Yu Aku (阿久悠)and composed by Makoto Kawaguchi(川口真), it actually sounded like a Pink Lady tune tackled by Candies...without the frantic choreography. It pressed all of the right nostalgia buttons in my cerebrum, and there is a part where Mayumi (nicknamed Mami while in the group) is doing her solo where I especially liked the musical arrangement.

Gyaru released 4 singles and 1 album according to that Japanese page. The April 1978 album, "Gyaru no Space Opera King"(ギャルのスペース・オペラ・キング...Gyaru's Space Opera King), contained "Bara to Pistol" along with their 2nd single, "Magnet Joe ni Ki wo Tsukero"(マグネット・ジョーに気をつけろ...Watch Out For Magnet Joe)followed by covers of anison and even "Star Wars"!

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