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.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pizzicato Five -- Happy Sad

It's probably been a bit of a happy/sad 24 hours for the "Doctor Who" fandom. As an old fan of the BBC sci-fi series, I've found that companions to the good ol' Doctor usually get polarizing responses, and last night with the tragic departure of the latest of his companions, Clara Oswald, a certain corner of the Twitterverse was exploding in reaction. As for me, I was sorry to see the lass go but at the same time, I was also looking forward to who would become the Time Lord's new buddy (and frankly a bigger shakeup in the series proper).

A bit of a tortured pop-cultural cross-pollinating start to this article "Happy Sad" by Pizzicato Five, I know, but I wanted to go with something. In any case, it had been a while since I came up with a Shibuya-kei song, and "Happy Sad" is a tune whose title I have come across for years but never covered. I'm glad to hear that despite the title, the song is a very happy tune throughout its measures. And as usual, the divine Ms. Maki Nomiya(野宮真貴)looks her retro-mod self (almost like the lost member of the B-52s) in the video above hoofing it up with the cool hipster guitarist.

Written and composed by P5's Yasuharu Konishi(小西康陽), I read from one of the YouTube commenters that "Happy Sad" sounds like something that the UK's Swingout Sister would do, and I have to admit that it would be interesting to hear Corinne Drewery's version of "Happy Sad". As for the song's lyrics, there is an English-language version in which Nomiya takes some playful pokes at her good buddy (maybe more) for bouncing quickly between emotional states, but despite the very un-Vulcan nature of her friend, she'll stick by his/her side no matter what.

"Happy Sad" was released as Pizzicato Five's 6th single from April 1994 which went as high as No. 66 on the Oricon weeklies. It was also a track on the group's 4th album under the Columbia label "Overdose" which came out in October of that year. The song was also apparently used in a 1995 movie about the modeling industry, "Unzipped" with Isaac Mizrahi. The above link features the English version of "Happy Sad" with the supermodels appearing in that film.

During an NHK news telecast this past week, I heard that Shibuya-kei may be making a comeback of sorts. It should be interesting how the music sounds.

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