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.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Berryz Kobo -- Dschinghis Khan (ジンギスカン)

A couple of hours ago my father showed me an old video and, knowing that I like 70s disco, asked if I knew the band. As I could see after the first second, It was a video of German band Dschinghis Khan performing their hit song, which is also called “Dschinghis Khan”. I answered to my father that I actually knew the band, and that the song has also been covered by a Japanese act, which is Hello! Project’s Berryz Kobo (Berryz工房). According to my father, this song was ridiculously popular in Brazil. Maybe it was a hit in Japan as well (I remember that in my favourite SMAP concert, from 1999, Johnny’s eternal boy band performed “Dschinghis Khan” live and the audience got really pumped up).

Released in March 2008, Berryz’s version of “Dschinghis Khan” is, in my opinion, as bizarre as the original. Although I’m not a big fan of the song, I acknowledge it’s catchy in any language (a Brazilian version also exists). But Berryz didn’t just record a new, high-pitched version of the song, but also released a remixed single, in September of the same year, that mixes the German band’s original vocals with their own vocals in a crazy Eurobeat/Techno arrangement. It’s called “Dshinghis Khan -Tartar Mix-” (ジンギスカン タルタルミックス), and that’s the version posted at the beginning of the post. What else could we expect from Tsunku (つんく), heh?

Talking about Tsunku, he seems to be a fan of this song, because Morning Musume’s (モーニング娘。) “Koi no Dance Site” (恋のダンスサイト) song is heavily inspired by “Dschinghis Khan”. The obvious inspiration is the catchy “Uh! Ha! Uh! Ha!” chants, but he also used a similar melody in the verses as well. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the similarities. Apparently, Tsunku deepened the key of “Dschinghis Khan” for “Koi no Dance Site”. Well, I don’t really understand technical aspects, but he surely took too much inspiration from “Dschinghis Khan”.

Berryz Kobo’s “Dschinghis Khan”single reached #5 on the Oricon charts, selling 37,096 copies. Japanese lyrics were written by Iori Yamamoto (山本伊織), while music was composed by Ralph Siegel. As for the arrangement, DANCE☆MAN (ダンス☆マン) was the responsible.



  1. Hi, Marcos.

    Thanks very much for putting up "Dschingis Khan". Now I know where Tsunku got his inspiration for "Koi no Dance Site". I was pretty impressed with the video and how they spliced together footage of the original Dschingis Khan and Berryz Kobo. I can believe that this could be called the Eurobeat aidoru equivalent of "Unforgettable" with Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole. :)

    1. Hi, J-Canuck.

      Tsunku liked to take some inspiration from unusual sources. I remember Morning Musume's "Souda! We're Alive", Tsunku inserted a bit of Russian folk song "Kalinka" into the instrumental bridge of the song.

      I had to look the "Unforgettable" performance you talked about, and I remember Pet Shop Boys did the same thing with Dusty Springfield in one of the duo's tours.

      About Berryz Kobo, unfortunately, the group is disbanding next year.


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