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 16, 2016

SPEED -- All My True Love

Last week saw those Upper House elections in Japan coming to pass with one of the notable things being that for the first time, the voting age was brought down to 18. So there were a number of teens still in their school uniforms going to the booths. The other notable thing for those J-Pop fans of the 1990s is that Eriko Imai(今井絵里子), formerly of the teen group SPEED, was elected as an Upper House Member of Parliament. She and her fellow mates were in the boom time of their existence as highly energetic entertainers when some of these new voters were born. And my hair simply gets grayer (well, it's all fait accompli now).

As she gets comfortable sitting with a larger number of colleagues who are pretty much guaranteed not to have the same dance moves as she does, we can all reminisce the days of loose socks with another old SPEED song, "All My True Love". Mind you, the way the logistics worked in the group was that Eriko and Hiroko Shimabukuro(島袋寛子)were primarily the songstresses while Takako Uehara(上原多香子)and Hitoe Aragaki(新垣仁絵)provided more of the dancing.

The ladies didn't exactly bowl me over with their singing but I can't deny their spunkiness as they burned up the charts during the latter half of the 90s. SPEED was all over the media and "All My True Love" was another one of their hits that got plenty of heavy rotation on TV. This was their 8th single from October 1998 and as was usually the case, the song was written and composed by Hiromasa Ijichi(伊秩弘将).

What I found out about the song from J-Wiki is that although "All My True Love" was supposed to be released for sale on a Wednesday at the CD shops, there were already eager SPEED fans waiting in line from the previous Sunday at some of these establishments. As a result, some of those places relented and started selling early which meant that Oricon started registering the song about a week earlier than anticipated so it actually entered the charts at No. 113. The effect had "All My True Love" soaring up to the No. 1 position (where it stayed for a couple of weeks) from that lowly ranking, a record that had been held by Pink Lady's "Chameleon Army"(カメレオン・アーミー). Talk about All My True Dough!

Breaking the million barrier, the song became the 13th-ranked single of the year and got SPEED another ticket to the Kohaku Utagassen. It was also a track on their first BEST album, "Moment" from December 1998. That super-seller not only hit No. 1 but it also managed to sell 3 million albums!

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