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.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Daddy Takechiyo & Tokyo Otoboke Cats -- Itsuwari no DJ(偽りのDJ)

This is a band that seems to have had a fair bit of history. I found Daddy Takechiyo & Tokyo Otoboke Cats(ダディ竹千代&東京おとぼけCATS)on one of the "Light Mellow" CDs, "Dream", and the name of the band alone grabbed my attention immediately.

Daddy Takechiyo was born Tsuyoshi Kajiki(加治木剛)in Kagoshima Prefecture although his family moved over to Yokohama when he was little. Soon after graduating from high school, he got involved in live performances and then he joined the staff of the band Carmen Maki & Oz(カルメン・マキ&OZ)for which he had songwriting duties and overall management at one point.

In 1976, he took on the stage name Daddy Takechiyo and brought together the musicians that would form the comic band Tokyo Otoboke Cats with a debut single coming out in 1978, "Denki Kurage"(電気クラゲ...Electric Jellyfish). Then in 1980, the band released their first album, logically titled "First" with a follow-up release called "Idiot Plot" (イデオット・プロット)in 1981. The Cats broke up that same year but then got back together a number of times up to the present day with a few more albums released.

Supposedly, being a comic band (with talented musicians), Daddy Takechiyo & Tokyo Otoboke Cats were happy to take the piss out of all musical artists through parodic songs and controversial lyrics, and they became known for some over-the-top performances. According to their J-Wiki article, they were even banned from performing in some of those venues. Still, despite all of the potshots, the guys had good connections with a number of singers and musicians, and that included who I would call The First Couple of City Pop: Tatsuro Yamashita and Mariya Takeuchi(山下達郎・竹内まりや).

In fact, Yamashita composed The Cats' 3rd single "Itsuwari no DJ" (False DJ) with Daddy's lyrics under his real name. When I first heard the song on "Light Mellow ~ Dream", I got all sorts of Electric Light Orchestra vibes along with some Elton John and Billy Joel feelings to a certain extent. Daddy takes a good poke at that smooth-talking disc jockey as he attempts to salve broken hearts as an ultimately superficial pop psychologist. I thought that for a comic band, the recording of "Itsuwari no DJ" is just as smooth as that DJ they are making fun of, but perhaps that is the point. It's well-produced and performed slick City Pop and New Music but there's nothing deeper than that.

Along with Yamashita whipping up the melody for "Itsuwari no DJ", Takeuchi also participated in "First". Then, Daddy along with the First Couple of City Pop, rocker Masanori Sera(世良公則)from the band Twist, and Keisuke Kuwata(桑田佳祐)of Southern All Stars(サザンオールスターズ)decided to create a band, Takenoya Central Heating(竹野屋セントラルヒーティング), within (what I think is) Takechiyo's radio program. As a treat, you can listen to this group handle The Beatles' "Twist and Shout" below with Kuwata on lead vocals. Talk about an all-star lineup!

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