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.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Naoko Isamu -- Boom Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back To Your Room)

Sometimes, while discovering some obscure aidoru from the 80s, it’s not uncommon to come across some classic Eurobeat songs covered by them during the downfall of their already very fragile careers. That was the case with Naoko Isamu’s (勇直子) “Boom Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back To Your Room)”, which was a cover of the hit single released in 1987 by Greek-American model turned singer Paul Lekakis.

I just find funny that some overtly sexual Eurobeat songs were covered by Japanese female aidoru singers in the 80s. “Boom Boom” is surely a fun song, but it’s also full of sexual innuendos with Lekakis almost moaning during some lines. Also, it doesn’t help that the guy was a gay sex symbol at the time, which made the song even more raunchy. I don’t know... maybe they could have given “Boom Boom” to Shonentai (少年隊) or something like that. It would be a hot song in the Johnny’s group catalogue.

In the end, it was Naoko Isamu who recorded it, and her version even included a sax solo for whatever reasons. Arrangement-wise, I liked the cover a lot. However, I prefer Paul Lekakis’ vocals than Naoko’s softer voice for this type of song... well, that’s probably because I already associate the song with its dirty meaning, and Naoko Isamu was just too innocent looking in order to top Lekakis’ go-go boyish performance.

“Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back To My Room)” is one of those trashy Hi-NRG songs from the 80s, but I’m a fan of this stuff. My theory is that sometimes it’s better to know some dusted pop songs from a decade than its “repeated to death” classics.

Japanese lyrics were written by Yasushi Akimoto (秋元康), while music was composed by Stefano Montin and Tom Hooker (one of my favorite Italo Disco artists). As for the arrangement, Toshiki Kadomatsu (角松敏生) was the responsible for Naoko Isamu’s version (that explains the sax solo). At first, I thought it was a little bit strange to see Kadomatsu’s name on this "project", but he worked on a very similar arrangement in Miho Nakayama’s (中山美穂) “CATCH ME” around the same time.


  1. Wow! Just wow. "Boom Boom Boom" was something I heard at the university dances and at the discos in Toronto such as The Diamond and The Copa. In fact, some of the Japanese guys in our university club would dash...not the dance floor when Lekakis was heard on the speakers.

    I couldn't believe it when I read that Akimoto and Kadomatsu were involved in the Japanese version. Yes, I have to say that it's fairly weird to hear a Japanese aidoru tackling this one. Perhaps Masahiro Motoki from Shibugaki-tai I could have imagined behind this one.

    Then again, during a concert video on Akina Nakamori's "Bitter & Sweet" tour, she actually sang her cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax".

    1. "Boom Boom Boom" is bad, but I wouldn't resist it on a dance floor, either. I can listen to it on my Italo Disco playlists, but it's not one I'm very proud of. And I was sure you'd know it very well, because it's really the type of song that would get played during your disco days.

      I was astonished as well to see two big names involved in this cover of a trashy Hi-NRG song, especially Kadomatsu, who is known for composing funky City Pop tunes.

      You talked about this Masahiro Motoki guy, and I just had to google him... In fact, just like Lekakis, he also did some sexy photo shoots (probably after the end of his Johnny's career). If he could portray this persona on stage, he'd be a good option for recording "Boom Boom Boom".

      Akina-chan's version of "Relax" always confused me a little bit. While "Boom Boom Boom" was just plain silly, "Relax" was truly outrageous at the time (the song even got banned by BBC Radio). Maybe she was still trying to have a somewhat bad girl image (in the line of "Shoujo A").

    2. Oh, I forgot to mention... when I was doing some research for the article, I discovered two more covers of "Boom Boom Boom": one was from a Hong Kong female singer (in fact, she covered the Japanese version, as they both share Kadomatsu's sax solo), while the other was from a Soviet male singer.

      The song really crossed the globe. Even Soviet Union couldn't resist its charms, haha.


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