【MUST-HEAR】80s Japanese cool rock and pop song!

Hello, I'm "nekopiku"!

I am japanese, and I really love the japanese 80's cool songs.


I am not a native English speaker, so please understand that there may be mistakes in grammar, expressions, etc.


These days, city pop is becoming popular, but are people like you who have excellent taste in fashion and taste happy with it!



The 80's may have been a time of neon lights, flashy clothes, film cameras still in full swing, and what we now call "emo" photos.


For young people, that era may seem like a vision of Japan. The economy was booming, people were full of hope, and Japan was truly number one in both name and reality.


There's no reason why music from that era can't be good.


I am sure it will satisfy those who are skeptical or want to listen to some 80's music.



Bandname: REBECCA フレンズ(friends)

If you are busy, I hope you can watch it from around 55 seconds.

They were one of the bands that triggered the Japanese band boom and became popular because of vocalist NOKKO's distinctive voice, fadashon, and looks. Despite member departures and disputes with music producers, they influenced various quarters on the front lines of the golden age of Japanese music and disbanded in 1991.

It's a famous song in japan. I like the clothes and sound of this song.


The emo, sour and sweetness of the 80's are all in the sound.


Her singing ability as well as her expressive power is amazing. She sings sadly and powerfully, as if she is pouring out her emotions from the bottom of her heart!


It really is like a great film.

Her voice is also very distinctive. Recently, there seem to be a lot of calm and cool singers, but I don't think there are many who have such a unique voice and expressive power.


This song is about the passing of encounters, the sentimentality of partings, and the nostalgic shining past!

The lyric of "Collect the coins in your pocket," are probably meant to make a phone call. Nowadays, you can make free phone calls on your smartphone.


The song title "Friends", but this song is about lover. It means that now they are just frineds, not lovers. 


This song was one of the masterpieces spawned by Japan and was actually Rebecca's best selling song!

Here is another song from REBECCA!



Here is another live video. What a great I was so immersed in the world that I didn't care about that.


I was surprised at the volume of her voice even though it was a live performance. The live performance of the song is so hot that you may forget the lyrics.


This song is the story of my own daughter growing up and gradually becoming a delinquent and an "adult".


Some people call it an anthem for delinquents, but I don't think so.

This song also repeats the title of the song many times. It is a great song that is very impressive and emotional. I don't think such a song will be born in this era. I only hope there will be more songs like this in the future.


Also, there is a suspicion that this song was taken from, or perhaps inspired by, Madonna's song.


That is this song by Madonna

This one is from the daughter's point of view about her father. It was 30 years ago, so I don't think there's any need to say it's a rip-off or something, but the resemblance is definitely there.


This is unrelated, but as one would expect from the U.S., the images are extremely clear and vivid. Even in the film era, if the images are properly shot, they can be passed down to posterity.


Next is a legendary Japanese rock band!


BOØWY Marionette

This song is still popular at karaoke and other events 40 years later. To be honest, in terms of popularity, it is even more popular than Rebecca's.


BO∅WY was a rock band that mainly focused on 8 beats, with a sharp and edgy rock sound with a pop edge, and innovative visuals such as the use of Jean-Paul Gaultier for stage costumes and an inverted hair style that attracted a lot of support. Their 5th album "BEAT EMOTION" and 6th album "PSYCHOPATH" were million sellers, an unprecedented feat for a rock band at the time. In 1987, "MARIONETTE" became the first single to reach No. 1, and the band rose to the top in both name and reality.
Active in the 1980s, the band was formed in Tokyo in 1981 by Kyosuke Himuro, Tomoyasu Hotei, and Tsunematsu Matsui, all from Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture. Makoto Takahashi joined the group after their first show, and they made their record debut in March 1982 with "MORAL". The group initially consisted of six members, but two members left in the fall of the same year, and the group continued to perform as a four-piece until it disbanded.
However, at the height of their popularity, the band announced their breakup on December 24, 1987. This sudden announcement sent shockwaves throughout the world. The following year, on April 4 and 5, 1988, BOØWY put an end to their activities by performing "LAST GIGS" at the just-completed Tokyo Dome. 90,000 tickets were prepared for this concert, but they sold out in 10 minutes, and the phone lines in Bunkyo-ku were flooded with calls for reservations, resulting in a situation where the phone lines were flat. BOØWY Bowie's popularity developed into a social phenomenon.
The ∅ (empty set) in the band's name means "not belonging to anywhere or to anyone". The influence that BOØWY Bowie has exerted is tremendous, from his musicality and band style, his bullish attitude with little use of the media, his innovative visuals, his breakup at the height of his career, and his later sparking of a band boom that created numerous rock kids across the country. Even after the breakup of the band, their best-selling albums and unreleased material always ranked high on the charts when they were released, and even today they are firmly established as a legendary band that revolutionized the Japanese rock scene.


From wikipedia

It's kind of a bizarre song, isn't it? It has a unique worldview as if it were a song from an anime, and it doesn't smell like a band, and it's insanely catchy.


In fact, Gainax, famous for Evangelion and Boyfriend and Girlfriend Affairs, created the PV.


BOOWY was immensely popular at the time, so much so that the phone lines in Tokyo were punctured with ticket sales for their live shows. It could be said that the band created an era.


The quality of the music videos is also extraordinary because the band was that popular. A lot of money must have been spent on the music videos.


Marionette" became the best-selling song of BOOWY.


The title of the song is repeated in the chorus. The world view of the lyrics and the unique guitar phrases are wonderful.


The lyrics are a mixture of Japanese and English, and the rhyming is exquisite and comfortable. The tempo is quick and refreshing. The song may be over by the time you realize it is over.


The content of the song is to not be a marionette (= puppet) for others, but to live for yourself. It has a graceful quality that is typical of former delinquents (if that is a rude word).


The guitarist is Torayasu Hotei. The sound and unique riffs are not old-fashioned. Except for the guitar solo, I remember it was only the intro riff and power chords. It is not a flashy performance like the recent songs, but a simple song that fascinates listeners so much is not so common.


Less well known is that he created the theme for the Kill Bill. He remained active after BOOWY's breakup. It is said that he may have been the reason for the breakup.


Also one song from BOOWY (or rather, all of them are great songs, so I want to introduce all of them: ....)


"Finally, I give you the most beautiful of our love songs, ONLY YOU."


This song, which is often the last song in a live show, is actually a love song.


Most love songs are of the sweet, slow lyric delivery variety, but this one is a pop-rocker!


I think this live performance in particular is perfection at its best.




and then the downpicking starts to hit the strings in rapid succession.


Then suddenly, the song is enveloped in gentle arpeggios and the glazed voice of vocalist Kyosuke Himuro.


From there on, the song moves along as if it were flowing.


It really is a great song. It really is a great song.


I never get tired of this song. I don't know why. It was a strike without reason.


Everyone in the band is great, but the two most wonderful people are Tomoyasu Hotei and Kyosuke Himuro.


First of all, the guitar sound. It has a unique sparkle to it that I can't describe, and yet it's still very resonant. What is that sound? It is a mass of individuality, and you can tell who they are by their sound.


Other than the sound, I think it was the D chord (easy to play) that he strummed in the introduction, and from there he held the chord as if it was a half habit, and the performance continued in a flowing manner.


I think it is genius in every aspect of it. I'm not going to go any further, as my Japanese language ability is limited.

BARBEE BOYS 目を閉じておいでよ(Close your eyes and come over here)

This is an 80's (this live performance was in 1992) song. It's a mature song, and BARBEE BOYS has many such songs.


According to Imamichi, the name of the band originated from the name "barfly," meaning a ragdoll hanging out in a bar, but "fly" was not very elegant, so he changed it to "bee," meaning "bee," but he also said that it originated from a Barbie doll brought by KONTA at one of the launches. However, he also said that it originated from a Barbie doll that KONTA brought in at a launch one time. He also states that the reason why they call themselves "boys" even though they include women is because all the members were men before Kyoko joined, and that the name was derived from City Boys, but as a result, they regret that they have to keep calling themselves boys even though they are old, because of the contradiction caused by the addition of a girl. The live performance was carried out by the four members without any supporting members.

The lyrics are basically all about adult relationships. This seemingly heavy content is made elegant by the excellent guitar technique and sound.

This song also has a unique guitarist. The guitarist's name is Tomotaka Imamichi, a.k.a. Imasa. He also writes the lyrics. The guitarist's name is Tomotaka Imamichi, a.k.a. Imasa, and he wrote the lyrics and composed the music.


Anyway, there are a lot of notes. And it's very impressive. The lyrics and every single note create an 80's feel.


I can't leave the vocals out of this song, so let's talk about the vocals.


The vocals are, to my surprise, twin vocals, male and female. Normally, a male vocalist is supposed to be low-pitched and a female vocalist is high pitched, but in this band, it is the opposite. The male vocalist, KONTA, is in charge of the high notes, and the female vocalist, Kyoko, is in charge of the husky low notes.


As you can see, this is not just a male-female twin vocal group. Both of them have distinctive voices. And they both have beautiful looks.


Most of the songs are dialogues, as if they were spoken lines. This gives the lyrics realism and depth to the world. Also, the women are basically in a higher position in many of the songs.


At the time, I had the image of a Japan that had no connection to gender or anything like that, but in most of the songs, the woman is often a high-flying career woman who has the right to choose.


Not so with this song, though.


Let's get back to the story.


The beginning of this song is

Forget about that guy who's "only" nice to you...

It is quite aggressive.


The way this song starts is as impressive and tasteful as the intro of Tokyo Incidents' "Gunsei Biyori" (Shinjuku is raining heavily).


I read in an interview somewhere that they wrote the lyrics in a joking mood, but I can't help but wonder if they really did.


(There is an unauthorized reproduction of the song on Youtube, but I can't introduce it to you.

This is another great song, so please check it out.


The song "Close Your Eyes and Come Here" is a relatively slow song, and if you listen to it after BOOWY, you may find it a little lacking. However, the lyrics and the expressive power of the lyrics are wonderful, and you will be captivated by the song.


Rather than the light, pop rock of Bowie, BARBEE BOYS is more of an adult rock song with a strong, radical, and slightly bitter tone.


I think one of the reasons for this stickiness is KONTA's saxophone. He is also a vocalist and saxophonist. It seems to be a lot of work in terms of lung capacity and timing of singing.


It's a unique band with twin vocals, male and female, and a saxophone player. And a band with a saxophonist is also a rarity, I think.


I think BARBEE BOYS is the one and only band that exploded with such originality. There is still no successor to the BARBEE BOYS. They are still ahead of their time.


Let's go to Barbie Boys next!



It is a very up-tempo song, a complete change from the previous song "Close Your Eyes and Come Here". Depending on the live performance, it is even faster.


Personally, this song got me hooked on BARBEE BOYS, so I wanted to introduce it to you.


To be honest, I thought this song was strange. It doesn't sound like a band. You could say it's a rap song. The way they sing is peculiar, and then the chorus starts to flow, followed by an unusual guitar interlude.


It's so unique that it doesn't really sink in, but the more you listen to it, the more you appreciate it. The more I listen to it, the more I appreciate it. In fact, this strange (pardon the pun) rhythm is so addictive that I become obsessed with it.


Karaoke version does not have the same power as the original, and the rhythm is difficult to sing.


By the way, this song is their debut song, and there is actually a PV. Here it is

Nowadays, it is impossible to do so. It's a win-win situation.


This PV won the Grand Prix at the St. Tropez International Film Festival or something. I don't know why.


Nowadays, filming and editing techniques are much better than they were back then, and it's hard to tell what is fake. Considering that, I think it's a very good and tasteful video.


Next, let's move on to some authentic rock 'n' roll!


RED WARIORRS ルシアン・ヒルの上で(On Lucien Hill.)


Would it be better to say that they are delinquent type? This is a band that puts that kind of youthfulness to the fore.


No, in fact, they may have been a little bit arrogant for a while, but their music is very serious and cool. And catchy.


They are all great songs. I think they were made with Western music in mind. Japanese rock music still has some songs with a Japanese flavor, like enka (traditional Japanese ballad). However, I think they really aimed to create authentic rock music that is distinct from those songs.


The vocalist is Diamond Yukai. He is now a celebrity, but at the time he was a bit of a bad-ass rock punk.


His voice is really energetic and delicate. There are many other songs I would recommend, but I think this one is one of the most emotionally compelling and sad.


The guitarist Shake was a former member of Rebecca who left the band for various reasons, and this band was formed afterwards. It is said that this song may have been written about his days with Rebecca's vocalist NOKKO.


If so, the song may now be filled with his bitter memories. I hope not, but it is kind of hard to have a hit song about a relationship that has ended.



I'll leave it at that for now. I will update this page again when I have time, and I hope you can feel the passion of the 80's!