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, December 25, 2016

Yellow Magic Orchestra -- Kageki na Shukujo (過激な淑女)

Oh, have been holding out on me, haven't you? Had one more catchy tune, didn't you? Well, it helps out that I was only buying original albums and certain BEST compilations and that "Kageki na Shukujo" (Radical Lady) simply didn't pop up on the two compilations that I do have.

"Kageki na Shukujo" was Yellow Magic Orchestra's 8th single from July 1983. When I first got to know the group in the late 1970s through their amazing numbers such as "Rydeen" and "Technopolis", it was all about this wonderful musical thing called technopop...these instrumental pieces made through synthesizers and other computer devices that often played on old genres like surf rock and exotica. However, as I found out some years later, at the time I was really starting to get into them, YMO had already seemingly diverged musically. The techno and the pop were dividing up; going into the early 80s, I heard some colder and avant-garde techno but then I also came across poppier material that was actually sung by drummer Yukihiro Takahashi(高橋幸宏)that just used catchy synths.

"Kageki na Shukujo" is one of the latter in my estimation. I once reported in the entry for Taeko Ohnuki's(大貫妙子)"Romantique" that although Ohnuki was trying out technopop, she was reluctant to sound like the female version of her buddies at YMO and she was successful in carving out her own little niche in the early 1980s. However, hearing this particular song, I thought that YMO was ironically pulling a page out of the Ohnuki playbook with a melody composed by the band that sounded elegantly cabaret. However, it wasn't any of the members who took care of the lyrics. They were provided by Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆), Haruomi Hosono's(細野晴臣)old bandmate from Happy End from over a decade previously.

The song made it as high as No. 15 on the charts and it was placed on a YMO BEST album, "Sealed" from December 1984. It peaked at No. 64.

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