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 6, 2016

RC Succession -- Transistor Radio (トランジスタ・ラジオ)
Thanks to Ash Dowie
A couple of my friends who are far more tech-savvy than I ever will be got together with me earlier this week for our seasonal dinners at our usual sports bar. One of the topics of conversation was about the horrible kerfuffle with Samsung's exploding Galaxy Note 7. We all agreed that despite Samsung's current woes that in all likelihood, Japan's electronics makers will not be able to capitalize on the Korean manufacturer's lapse since companies like Sony have all gone into their own quagmires long ago. I really haven't heard anything great from Sony since the PlayStation 1 and that grand invention was 20 years ago.

Even further back was the Sony Walkman. If you were into jogging in that day-glo fashion back then, the Walkman was one of those needed accessories to be seen while all your favourite songs could be heard at a touch of a button. Somewhere in my apartment, a blue Walkman is languishing somewhere as a technological relic of the 20th century. If my niece ever lays eyes on it, she would probably give a look with a message of " very quaint". However, I would still be happy to play any of my old tapes on it as long as the internal machinery is still intact.

Maybe that's why I got so nostalgic listening to "Transistor Radio" by rock group RC Succession (RCサクセション). Led by the late colourful Kiyoshiro Imawano(忌野清志郎), I saw these guys as this glam rock unit with a New Wave bent which would have had me avoid them when I was a teenager since that genre was a tad too extreme for me at the time.

I actually heard this being performed earlier this afternoon on NHK's "Nodo Jiman"(のど自慢)by a middle-aged guy from Fukuyama City in Hiroshima Prefecture, and although he got those "nice-try-but-no-cigar" 2 dings on the bells, I actually liked what he sang. So I decided to give RC Succession a try.

And so here is "Transistor Radio" above which has Imawano bopping about in his light cosmetics and rock wear. Plus, there is that early 80s New Wave-y music but then I see a couple of soprano saxophones playing in the backing band, and I thought that this was certainly not a usual sight for a rock concert. Imawano and some fellow under the moniker of G1,238,471 were responsible for the creation of the cheerful "Transistor Radio" about a teenager skipping school and smoking out his lungs while listening to those great songs from the States and abroad. Yup, good times were had.

The one thing I will always remember about Imawano along with his spiky hair and war paint on his face is his strangulated vocals. Love them or not, they will always identify him. "Transistor Radio" was RC Succession's 11th single from October 1980 and was also a track on the band's special album "EPLP" from June 1981 which peaked at No. 22 on Oricon.

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