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, September 25, 2017

Yellow Magic Orchestra -- La Femme Chinoise(中国女)

Happy sweltering Monday! We're just some days away from October but I think we may have a Humidex of 40 degrees Celsius right now. I don't think we're gonna get relief from the July heat until Thursday at the earliest.

I'm surprised that I didn't cover this before. However, I remember "La Femme Chinoise" by YMO as being the 2nd song on Side B following "Tong Poo"(東風)on that old Alfa audiotape of the band's first self-titled album from 1978.

Both "Tong Poo" and "La Femme Chinoise" have that exotic Asian mood imbued into them but whereas the former has that dreamy feeling with a light funky City Pop centre later added with Minako Yoshida's(吉田美奈子)silky ruminations, "La Femme Chinoise" has this eager-beaver bounciness as if a tourist is rabidly exploring the Jiufen district of coastal Taiwan (also visited the area and it's worth the trip). I'd probably end my analysis and compare the two songs as two sides of the same coin.

Drummer Yukihiro Takahashi(高橋幸宏)and lyricist Chris Mosdell created the song, and although I have described "La Femme Chinoise" in the previous paragraph as this example of exotica, it's got plenty of those technopop bleeps and bloops. As for those sexy-sounding female French vocals, according to J-Wiki, Haruomi Hosono(細野晴臣)got the brainwave to recruit the secretary to the president of Alfa Records; not quite sure how she felt about adding her voice to what is now one of the classic YMO tunes.

Also, sticking with Hosono, (according to some interview in the Japanese journal "Aspect" in 2007) the bassist/keyboardist felt that "La Femme Chinoise" was an important entry in the mighty YMO discography since it opened up the opportunity for the band to be seen not just as an instrumental group but a vocal one as well. And it cemented Takahashi as the main vocalist with his somewhat droning delivery of "...Suzy Wong and Shanghai dolls". Not sure how the thrashing punk guitar fit into all of this, though.

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