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, March 21, 2015

Toshinobu Kubota -- Funk It Up

I'd known about Toshinobu Kubota(久保田利伸)for some years since my JET days and during the years I was back in Toronto to get my TEFL Certificate. Then, returning to Japan in 1994, I started hearing word that Kubota was heading Stateside to record some stuff over there. He was big in Japan and he was trying to become big in America.

I didn't know what the name of what his first album in the USA was going to be, but when I did hear the title of his first single over, I almost guelphed up my coffee. The title was "Funk It Up". I simply misheard it the first time although for a few seconds I wondered whether someone in Kubota's marketing team had fu---...nope, I won't go there.

The singer was responsible for the writing and composition of "Funk It Up" which was first released in August 1995. I knew there was a music video but it was only tonight that I finally got to see it in its entirety. However, I remember hearing the song first thing when it came out and it was pretty cool and groovy in my estimation. I didn't think it was going to crack the Top 10 on Billboard but I was a bit disappointed for Kubota that it scored no higher than 91 on Oricon of all places.

As for the video, it's pretty slick and it was obvious that the producers were really to trying to make it big for the singer. For some reason, I started getting reminded of Jamiroquai although it would be another year before Jay Kay would hit pay dirt with "Virtual Insanity". Of course, there just had to be some of those images of Japan in there, and I was wondering who took care of the colourful cinematography. My bets were going down on Apple or United Colors of Benetton.

"Funk It Up" would make it onto Kubota's debut album in America, "Sunshine, Moonlight" which came out in September 1995. It would hit the top spot on Oricon.

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