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.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pink Lady/Teppei Shibuya -- Pink Typhoon (ピンク・タイフーン)

And here I thought it was just Hideki Saijo (西城秀樹)and The Pet Shop Boys who've done their tribute to The Village People. In the same year that aidoru heartthrob Saijo came up with one of his most beloved hits, "Young Man", the Japanese version for "Y.M.C.A", Pink Lady would see that bet and counter with another Village People song, "In The Navy" a few months later.

I hadn't heard this tune in the mighty Pink Lady discography before and I was interested in the duo after their peak, so I found "Pink Typhoon" as their 12th single from May 1979. Why they didn't just stick with "In The Navy" instead of going with that awkward title had me scratching my head although I know that there was a similar title alteration for Saijo's cover of "Y.M.C.A." In any case, according to J-Wiki, one of the triggers for bringing the song into being for Pink Lady was that someone in Japan (presumably the music industry) had heard the words " lady..." in the original version's chorus instead of " the navy..." I knew something sounded a bit odd when I was listening to the version above.

Perhaps it's because it needs a chance to grow on me, but the Pink Lady version of "In The Navy" doesn't have quite the oomph of Hideki Saijo's "Y.M.C.A.". Despite its status as a cover, Saijo was able to make the Village People song his own, something that didn't quite happen with "Pink Typhoon". Maybe I've been so accustomed to hearing the usual go-to songwriters of Yu Aku and Shunichi Tokura (阿久悠・都倉俊一)get represented through Pink Lady that hearing Mie and Kei through a different musical lens was a bit odd to me. Even the choreography was a bit subdued compared to the dynamic moves from their biggest hits. The Japanese lyrics, by the way, were provided by Fumiko Okada(岡田冨美子), a lyricist who later provided the words to Asami Kado's (門あさ美)"Fascination" and Ruiko Kurahashi's (倉橋ルイ子)"Glass no Yesterday".

"Pink Typhoon" cracked the Top 10 and peaked at No. 6, and ended the year as the 44th-ranked song for 1979. 

Strangely enough, in the same month and year that "Pink Typhoon" was released, singer Teppei Shibuya(渋谷哲平) had yet another version of "In The Navy", this time titled "Young Sailor Man". No idea how that one did.

And for those who are into Flashback Fridays, try the original version!

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