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.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Spoons -- Romantic Traffic


Yes, that is one of the entrances to Bay Station of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), the main bus, subway and streetcar network for our city. Before the onslaught of COVID over the last 15 months, I used to take the TTC fairly often to meet up with friends but the last time I did so, it was back in early September and perhaps with our province of Ontario opening up to Stage 2 next week, it may not be too long before I actually hop on a bus and a subway once more.

At my age, nostalgia looms rather large...hence the presence of this blog. It also extends to the subway since as a kid, I remember taking the really old red trains (the last one apparently was retired in 1990) when I went to Japanese Language School or field trips to the museum and such. The interiors were quite elegant for their time with the leather handstraps, old-fashioned lamps and firm cushioned seats, and it was often the case that during the often rocky run on the rails, those lamps would conk out suddenly for a few seconds.

All this talk of Toronto and subways and nostalgia is due to the fact that for this week's Reminiscings of Youth article, I'm going with the single "Romantic Traffic" by the Canadian synthpop/New Wave band Spoons. Spoons already has its ROY article thanks to my article on their "Nova Heart" back in February.

Released in 1984, the same year that I entered University of Toronto, "Romantic Traffic" is quite different from the 1982 "Nova Heart" in that there is no synthpop and I'm not even sure if I can really even consider it a New Wave tune. It strikes me as being more of a straight-on and fun pop tune with that "doot-doot" chorus, and the horns that come in during that point take me back to some of the swinging Bacharach 60s music. So even back when the song was new, "Romantic Traffic" was giving off that nostalgia.

Speaking of all that nostalgia, well, the music video for "Romantic Traffic" was shot at Yonge Station and Sheppard Station so I get to remind myself what the old stations and subways (nope, the video wasn't shot on the red trains) looked like before they got their facelifts some years later. Of course, I get to see all that 80s hair and winter fashion as well. 

I found this short interview with Spoons vocalist and bassist Sandy Horne giving her thoughts and insights on "Romantic Traffic" including how the song got its "doot-doot" which has become a popular thing at their concerts. Also, the Wikipedia article on the song goes into that as well.

Now, I couldn't find out exactly in which month "Romantic Traffic" was released in that year of 1984, so I'll just go with June since we are in June 2021 as I type this. So, what were the Top 3 hits on Oricon for that month?

1. Hiroko Yakushimaru/ -- Main Theme (メイン・テーマ)

2. Checkers -- Kanashikute Jealousy (哀しくてジェラシー)

3. Seiko Matsuda -- Jikan no Kuni no Alice(時の国のアリス)

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