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 22, 2014

Shonentai -- ABC

I am becoming further convinced that prolific composer Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平)is capable of weaving up any song in any genre. You can take a look at the man's range via the Creator article I wrote up about him some time ago, but with this song, Shonentai's(少年隊)7th single, "ABC", he took on rapidfire Eurobeat.

Tsutsumi was once again paired up with lyricist Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆)to create "ABC", which was released back in November 1987. This was the same songwriting duo that took care of Hiromi Ohta's(太田裕美)classic kayo "Momen no Handkerchief"(木綿のハンカチーフ)back in 1975, but a dozen years later, Tsutsumi and Matsumoto went for some more high energy.

Among the various VHS tapes of the ranking shows that my family rented from Nippon Video back in the day, Shonentai's (which has been translated in Wikipedia as "Regiment of Boys"...OK, I can take that, although perhaps "Boys' Squad" might be a bit better) "ABC" was one of the heavy rotation appearances. So, on shows like "The Best 10", I got to see Higashiyama and the other two boys kick it up a notch fairly regularly to a beat that at the time sounded rather Latin (I had no idea about what Eurobeat was all about at the time) to me. It was definitely one of the catchier melodies that I've remembered throughout the years.

"ABC'...which stood for "Angel, Baby, Cupid" according to the lyrics...hit No. 1 on Oricon, and finished 1987 at the 81st position; not too bad considering the late release. But then it reached higher by the end of the next year when it finished at No. 67. For Shonentai, it was their 6th No. 1 hit of the 7 singles that had been released thus far.

I also came upon a remix version of "ABC" via Yasuharu Konishi's(小西康陽)remix album for 1996-2010.


  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    I’m not very familiar with Shonentai or other Johnny’s 80s acts (besides Hikaru Gengi and their “STAR LIGHT” hit), so it was good to hear what they were doing back then.

    My only particular contact with Shonentai was via Miporin’s “Mama ha Idol” drama (1987), as one of Miho’s “children” (she married a man in his 40s with three children), a 14 years old girl, was a Shonentai fan, with posters around her bedroom and all.

    Musically, though, “ABC” is quite catchy and groovy (I’ve already listened to it around five times). In my opinion, it was more modern (at the time, of course) than what SMAP or Arashi releases nowadays (I have the strange feeling that Johnny’s acts are somehow dated musically. And NOT in a retro/vintage/cult way).

    On a side note, a person that does not know about Eurobeat could easily think of "ABC" as a Latin song. The synths are kinda dubious at some points.

    1. Hi again.

      I can't really say that I was ever a huge fan of the 80s Johnny's groups either...I can say that I remember certain songs by them due to the frequency they showed up on "The Best 10", and they finally started to rub off on me...such as "ABC". As you said, quite a catchy one, that is.


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