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, March 13, 2017


Happy Monday! But perhaps not Happy Tuesday! Winter has decided to throw perhaps one more blast of snowstorm on us about a week before spring officially arrives. The possibility that Toronto will be getting 15-20 cm in the next 24 hours looms large. Luckily, though, I will probably be at home typing away instead of battling commuting hell.

There had been a chafing question niggling at the back of my mind for years and years and it had to do with the 90s song-and-dance group MAX. Back in February 1996, they released their 3rd single, "TORA, TORA, TORA", and I'd thought that was a really odd choice for a title since the first thing that had come to mind was the Hollywood movie of the same name about the attack on Pearl Harbor. I mean, it certainly didn't sound like it was a celebration of World War II but neither did I think it was some sort of ironic choice either.

"TORA, TORA, TORA" was a song that I had heard in excerpts all the time on the music shows but now that I've heard it in its entirety, I've gotten all nostalgic at the old-style dance music stylings with the vocal whoops and the "Dance Dance Revolution"-like arrangement. Oh, man, was that game a thing back in the day! My old Canadian buddy living in Mie Prefecture was always practicing at the game centres. Of course, I was more the looker than the participant in such endeavors.

I think "TORA, TORA, TORA" has become one of MAX's trademark tunes although it didn't quite reach the heights of "Ride On Time" that came out a couple of years later. It peaked at No. 19.

As for the story behind the title, well, MAX's single was actually a cover of the original by the Italian Eurobeat singer, Domino. The original came out back in 1994 with credits to the Tiger Boys and Andrea Leonardi while Kazumi Suzuki(鈴木計見)provided the Japanese lyrics. So I'm left with the question about how the Tiger Boys and Leonardi came up with the title.

That Wikipedia article on Domino also mentioned that because of her Eurobeat version of the "Mickey Mouse March" on an episode of the late "SMAP X SMAP" as performed by Takuya Kimura(木村拓哉), it helped bring back the Para Para dance craze for a third time...had no idea about the first two times. I knew about Para Para from a disco called Twin Star near the station by one of my old schools, Iidabashi Station. Actually attended a wedding reception there once. No Para Para from me, though...that would have been a crime against humanity.

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