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 11, 2015

NHK Jido Gassho Dan/Cosmic Invention/Polysics/Miku Hatsune -- Computer Obaachan (コンピューターおばあちゃん)

I realize that I've been getting a bit heavy on the technopop over the past few days, but after coming across this adorable piece of techno kayo, I just had to get it onto the blog.

"Computer Obaachan" (Computer Grandmother) is this song written and composed by Ryoichi Ito伊藤良一...I hope I've pronounced that correctly)and arranged by Yellow Magic Orchestra's Ryuichi Sakamoto(坂本龍一)that was placed onto the NHK children's segment, "Minna no Uta"(みんなのうた...Songs For Everybody)back in late 1981. I think at the time, a lot of pop music was going a bit YMO-happy so why not a kid's song? In any case, the NHK Jido Gassho Dan(NHK東京児童合唱団...NHK Tokyo Children's Choir)as led by moppet Shuuko Sakai(酒井司優子)took care of this catchy technopop ode to a grandmother so cool and smart that she is just like a living computer to her adoring grandkid. The song proved so popular that it kept coming back onto the segment off and on over and over again from 1981 to 2009. The music behind the choir was two-thirds of YMO with Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi(高橋幸宏)on the drums.

However, it was originally performed in the same year by a short-lived technopop band, Cosmic Invention (1979-1982). The original arrangement was by Hiroyoshi Oda(小田啓義)which sounded a little sluggish to me when it was performed by this group that was nicknamed YMO Junior. The reason for that lay in the fact that the members were all either elementary or junior high school students. "Computer Obaachan" was the band's 2nd of three singles before the breakup.

Over a quarter of a century later, technorock band Polysics provided their own fun cover of "Computer Obaachan" via a 2007 compilation album titled "Rock For Baby".

Then in 2011, Miku Hatsune(初音ミク)gave a groovier version via the album "Miku Hatsune Sings New Wave". I have to say that in each of the versions, it's the "Yay, yay, yay" and "Whoa, whoa, whoa" that keep it fun for me.

Roppongi Hills
February 5th 2019: I found out a bit of history concerning this classic.

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