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, July 25, 2015

Flipper's Guitar -- Koi to Machine Gun (恋とマシンガン)

Back when I first heard about the Shibuya-kei duo of Flipper's Guitar in my Gunma days, they were very much a group that I only saw and heard on the late-night "MTV Japan" show. And along with "Friends Again", their debut single, there was one other video whose title I didn't catch which had Keigo Oyamada and Kenji Ozawa(小山田圭吾・小沢健二)quickly skipping about Paris with the song beginning with an old-fashioned scatting intro that I have heard a number of times on Japanese TV. For some reason, I couldn't find the video with that scatting back then, which was actually sampled from the theme song of the 1965 Italian movie "Seven Golden Men".

However, I got lucky tonight and finally tracked it down on YouTube. It was their 2nd single from May 1990, "Koi to Machine Gun" (Love and Machine Guns) which also has the English title of "Young, Alive, In Love". And the one sentence I can use to describe it and the video is "Those jaunty Japanese dudes dashing about in Gay Paree!" The song makes for a great musical companion for Keigo and Kenji running through the City of Lights. There's something very sparkly and fresh about "Koi to Machine Gun" that had me thinking that this would be the theme for Flipper's Guitar.

Not sure how "Koi to Machine Gun" did on the Oricon charts...perhaps it and Flipper's Guitar in general were just a little too hip to get too high there.  However, it did indeed find popularity on the telly as a catchy jazzy tune that would perk up the audience. It was used in a Nissan commercial, a TBS wide show as the theme song, and even for a TBS drama (as shown above) called "Yobiko Boogie"(予備校ブギ...Prep School Boogie)featuring some cool slacker students (I think one of them ended up becoming a cop in an old coat some years later). And I think that's what the charm is about "Koi to Machine Gun"/"Young, Alive, In Love", it is the perfect theme for those young turks just having fun about the town and getting into all sorts of trouble. The song was also a track on Flipper's Guitar's 2nd album, "Camera Talk" from September 1990.

And once again, the cover vocal stylings of Miku Hatsune(初音ミク).

Life on the Ginza!

P.S. Here is the theme song for "Seven Golden Men".

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