Credits

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 7, 2015

Miki Ito -- Shakishaki Beach Town (しゃきしゃきビーチタウン)


What I present here today is a marvelous Stock Aitken Waterman rip-off, something that was not rare in Japan during the late 80s.

The first time I listened to Miki Ito’s (伊藤美紀) “Shakishaki Beach Town” I was instantly mesmerized by its cheap electronic sound in the form of Eurobeat-esque synths and a very catchy chorus. In addition, Miki Ito’s aidoru voice singing “I love you” near the end was almost too much for me to handle. I almost questioned myself why this kind of music is not considered cool nowadays.

After one or two listens, something started to bother me: “Shakishaki Beach Town” sounded like a very catchy SAW song, and I needed to remember which one. Well, it wasn’t that hard, as I quickly associated it with Rick Astley’s classic “Together Forever”, one of the most “cookie-cutter” songs that came out of SAW’s hit factory. In fact, the melody during the first lines of “Shakishaki Beach Town’s” chorus is exactly the same of Astley’s hit, and the cute keyboard twinkles repeated in the background just keeps the ongoing fun. It can’t get more sugary than that.


After this discovery, I checked some Japanese sites to see if someone commented about this little curiosity, and, of course, there was one site. It was sad, because I truly believed I had invented the wheel (not really... I was certain other people had done the same easy association in the past), but whatever. Click here for the link.

“Shakishaki Beach Town” was released in July 1988. It reached #38 on the Oricon charts, selling around 8,000 copies. Lyrics were written by Jun Tochinai (栃内淳), while music was composed by Yoshimasa Inoue (井上ヨシマサ). As for the arrangement, Ryo Yonemitsu [???] (米光亮) was the responsible.

Source: http://33.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_nss2f9g7BE1qf331vo1_1439060805_cover.png

3 comments:

  1. Hello, Marcos.

    Ahh...it's been a while since we've had a Eurobeat tune here, and what is more appropriate than something that is reminiscent of Rick Astley? I'll definitely have to remember your expression of "cheap electronic music" for future articles. I do recollect some songs from the 80s that I've written about which had some good examples.

    It was very amusing watching this lady way back when since I knew her only as the actress as she is now. I'm not quite sure if she would be too thrilled to see that video above with her in a swimsuit pulling off Astley moves but I certainly had some fun with it. :)

    Ah, by the way, your writing of Ryo Yonemitsu is correct!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, J-Canuck.

      Yeah, now that you pointed out, the last Eurobeat entry was in August. Sometimes I think about writing a post about late 80s aidoru songs that are in the Eurobeat vein, but I instantly remember how much I've already written about this subject here since I started contributing to the blog... in the end, I just try to diversify a little bit (I'm not very good at diversifying, though).

      Like you said, Miki Ito would probably not be very satisfied with the swimsuit video, but it's a part of her career, so I can't really be blamed for it. Also, the video is fun and evokes the typical 80s "plastic" summer feeling on us.

      Finally, the "cheap electronic sound" line may seem like a pejorative thing, but, as you probably know very well, I actually like its sound a lot. Tomorrow I'll surely be jamming to "Shakishaki Beach Town" around 7 o' clock in the morning on my way to college.

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    2. No worries here, Marcos. I can always use the occasional Eurobeat song on the blog since it also has that nostalgic ring for me. :)

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