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, October 16, 2017

Ramjet Pulley/Momoiro Clover Z/The Launchers -- Hello...good bye

Happy Monday! Back in early 2013, I wrote about Ramjet Pulley and their dreamy "Overjoyed" that I purchased on a whim after seeing their music video on one of the music channels one Sunday. It was quite the different song.

I had been wondering for a while about finding another Ramjet Pulley tune since until now it was the only such tune represented on the blog, and I was interested in hearing any other stuff from them. Well, this morning I encountered their debut single from November 2000, "Hello...good bye".

Written by RP bassist Satomi Makashi(麻越さとみ)and composed by guitarist Kazunobu Majima(間島和伸), vocalist Akiko Matsuda(松田明子)sings with a bit more of an understated smokier funk when it comes to "Hello...good bye". I couldn't quite understand the lyrics but they are a mix of English and Japanese, delivered in a way that made me wonder whether Matsuda wanted to reveal a new sort of pidgin language. Furthermore, the other remarkable thing was that the song in general reminded me of another band that was coming to the fore at about the same time, Love Psychedelico.

"Hello...good bye" was also on Ramjet Pulley's debut album "a cup of day" which was released in September 2001. It peaked at No. 100.

(from about 8:23)

In 2013, the group Momoiro Clover Z(ももいろクローバーZ)performed a cover version of "Hello...good bye" with a bit more aidoru oomph and completely different lyrics by Makoshi. It was recorded onto MomoClo's collection of their indies best, "Iriguchi no nai Deguchi"(入口のない出口...An Exit Without An Entrance)which hit No. 2 after its release in June of that year.

Another interesting thing I found out about "Hello...good bye" was that it had also been covered back in the same year as the original Ramjet Pulley release by The Launchers. This group is not to be mistaken with the Group Sounds band of the 1960s. Instead, these Launchers were born from a late afternoon BS Asahi variety program called "Harajuku Launchers" (Harajukuロンチャーズ I've dubbed the band in the Labels) which had its run between December 2000 and September 2003.

One of the things about Japanese TV broadcasting that I learned was that the near-dinner and dinner hours during the weekdays had some of the more local channels delve more into niche programming geared toward kids or housewives instead of the usual anime or news shows. "Harajuku Launchers" wove between 5 and 7 pm on the weeknights from Monday to Friday and touted itself as a girls' program made by girls and made for girls.

From what I saw on the J-Wiki article for "Harajuku Launchers" was that during its relatively brief time on the airwaves, there was a battalion of young women who represented the new up-and-coming members of the Stardust Promotion talent agency and some of them who appeared on the show included actress Erika Sawajiri(沢尻エリカ)and seiyuu-singer Megumi Nakajima(中島愛).

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