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.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fantastic Plastic Machine -- Electric Ladyland

When I read the writeup for DJ Tomoyuki Tanaka(田中知之), aka Fantastic Plastic Machine, in Wikipedia, it mentioned that "Electric Ladyland"was used in a 2004 comedy titled "The Girl Next Door" with Canada's own Elisha Cuthbert (who played Kiefer Sutherland's daughter in "24"). Well, my experience with the song was that the first several seconds of it were being frequently used as musical segues in the morning or afternoon talk-variety shows in Japan at the time.

"Electric Ladyland" is a whimsically happy tune, almost comical. If Charlie Chaplin had been alive at the time, he would've danced to this. It seems to mix in elements of an old comedy instrumental soundtrack along with something from a pan-European movie from the 70s or 80s, and even DeVol, the master composer behind all those 60s American sitcom scores. Hey, that's what Shibuya-kei is all about, isn't it? And the lovely finishing touch is Yukari Fresh's chirpy vocals.

In the last few years, the term "earworm" has been gaining traction in the vernacular. Well, "Electric Ladyland" was my earworm. I had to itch that scratch so I decided to get the album it was on, FPM's "Luxury", the big man's 2nd album, released in September 1998. The album has both the English and Japanese versions of the song; the original Japanese version is at the very top while this one has the version with the cute English lyrics. And the anime tribute makes for a fine backdrop to this song.

As for information on Mr. Tanaka, the Wikipedia article can do this better than I can.


  1. Thanks J-Canuck for this great post on ファンタスティック・プラスチック・マシーン/FANTASTIC PLASTIC MACHINE's 「エレクトリック レディーランド」. What a campy yet fun song! I always wondered if that PV was the official video for the song as it seems to really do a great job of incorporating scenes from the Anime show 『HAND MAID メイ』 Maybe this song should have been the OP for the show instead of one that they used -
    I was halfway imagining/expecting 田中知之 to be some rail-thin EMO/DJ young guy but he's actually a big, tall burly older guy.

    1. I think whoever concocted the video must have tackled it as a labour of love. Saw the opening to "HAND MAID Mei", and yeah, I think the FPM video would've been nice, but perhaps it would've done even better as the ending credits!

      I saw FPM early on in the magazines. He kinda has that Orson Welles vibe to him, especially when his picture shown him smoking a cigar.


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