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.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ringo Shiina -- Ringo no Uta (りんごのうた)

I don't quite remember the talk surrounding the November 2003 release of Ringo Shiina's(椎名林檎)9th single, "Ringo no Uta" (Ringo's Song), but the impression that I got at the time was that the iconclastic singer-songwriter was deciding to call it quits. It was Shiina behind the composing and writing but the arrangement by Takayuki Hattori(服部隆之)had the song in a wistful tango vein, rather unlike her usual rock-it-out-of-the-park style up to that point, and the official video (which unfortunately I cannot find anywhere on the Net...the above fan-made video, though, has stills from basically all of her videos) had new mother Shiina reliving the various characters she had played in her previous videos such as the sexy nurse from "Honno"(本能)and even her cartoon go-go spy from "Mayonaka no Junketsu"(真夜中の純潔). And there was the declarative title. All of those factors had me thinking that Ringo was gonna go out in style.

As it turned out, the single was a goodbye of sorts but only to the solo part of her career as "Ringo no Uta" was the final song before she became the core of rock band Tokyo Jihen (2003-2012). As for the change in style, Ringo had wanted to create a song that would be enjoyed closely by the kids and even desired the NHK kid's music program "Minna no Uta"(みんなのうた...Everybody's Songs)to broadcast it. The show did so, airing the song from October to November 2003. I never would've imagined a Ringo song to make it onto that program up to that point. And according to J-Wiki, her fame earned enough clout so that it was released on Tuesday November 25th which was her 25th birthday instead of the usual CD release day of Wednesday. "Ringo no Uta" made it as far as No. 2 on the singles charts and went Gold.

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