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.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

JADOES -- Friday Night

(excerpt only)

Two of my favourite songs by Morning Musume (モーニング娘。)are "Love Machine" (1999) and "The Peace"(2001). Both had that disco-funk beat that I've appreciated and that can be laid at the feet of the fellow who arranged the two hits, DANCE☆MAN. But the question remained? Who was DANCE☆MAN? I asked that in the same way that an intrepid reporter would query about the identity of a superhero like Batman or Spiderman. Well, I dug into J-Wikipedia and found out that in a past decade, he was Hideki Fujisawa(藤沢秀樹), the vocalist and bassist for the 80s soul-and-funk band, JADOES(ジャドーズ).

The band name was familiar. The reason was that I had come across a couple of entries for JADOES in "Japanese City Pop", and none other than Toshiki Kadomatsu (Anri, Miho Nakayama, etc.) helped launch their music career. The surprising bit of trivia is that earlier in their university days, the band was more on the comical side of things...basically comedians who could play musical instruments. They even made the rounds on the variety programs with such comic teams as Utchan-Nanchan(ウッチャンナンチャン). However in 1985, Kadomatsu saw potential in their musicality and groomed them to debut in October 1986 with "Friday Night" with their first album, "It's Friday" coming out a month later.

(Sorry but the video has been taken down.)

And watching the video at the top and listening to these guys here in performance, Kadomatsu definitely must have seen something. These guys reminded me of The Dazz Band back in the early 80s with "Let It Whip" and "Let It All Blow". Maybe Fujisawa and his band funked it up with Toshinobu Kubota (久保田利伸)way back when. Speaking of DANCE☆MAN, he's got some pretty silky-smooth vocals here, and "Friday Night" sounds pretty good on the car stereo while cruising downtown through Ginza, Akasaka or on the Bayside Highway.

Unfortunately, it seems like JADOES didn't quite make a dent on the Oricon charts, but who cares? I've been privy to listening to a lot of fine and interesting singers and bands who didn't become superstars but still made quite a mark on their fans. And Fujisawa was able to make superstars out of a motley group of teenage girls.

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