Heya, and welcome to our nommy roundup of the Oricon Chart! We’ll be showing you some of the most popular new songs in Japan this week.
前向きスクリーム! – 関ジャニ∞
At number one in the singles charts we find Kanjani Eight, and their single Prospective Scream. They started, with their CD debut in 2004, as “Johnny’s modern enka group” (the johnny’s part comes from the talent agency that formed this group, Johnny & Associates). However their sound and style has become a mix of pop and rock. This has worked out quite well for them, as they were the 3rd biggest artist by total sales revenue in 2014.
BEAUTIFUL NAME – DANCE EARTH PARTY feat.The Skatalites+今市隆二 from 三代目 J Soul Brothers
At number two there’s a bit of a mash of artists. It’s a collaboration of DANCE EARTH PARTY, Imaichi Ryuji (who’s in Sandaime J Soul Brothers) and The Skatalites. It’s a cover of a 1979 song by the same name, made by GODIEGO. The original song was used for the 1979 International Year of the Child in Japan. Another, and for me a more interesting, thing about this single is that The Skatalites are a part of it. The Skatalites are one of seven “first-wave ska groups”, alongside legend Bob Marley’s group, Bob Marley and the Wailers.
sixxxxxx – 浜崎あゆみ
At number two on the album charts there’s a new album from Ayumi Hamasaki, called sixxxxxx. She can only be described as a headstrong person, as she achieved popularity in Japan and abroad by enforcing her position as an artist and refusing to be forced as a “product”, which was a common thing within the Japanese music culture. She writes all of her lyrics, produced her own music and has sometimes even co-composed her music. This clearly has paid off big time, as she’s one of the best-selling artists in Japan.
JOIN HANDS – SUPER JUNIOR-K.R.Y.
Korea Alert! At number three this week there’s the second single from Korean boy band SUPER JUNIOR-K.R.Y. called Join Hands. It’s made purely for the Japanese market though, so it’s only borderline K-pop. The group mainly does soundtracks back in Korea, but they tour all across Asia. And even though they have only released one single in Japan, their second concert in Japan was sold out in three seconds, and 1.5 million people in total applied for tickets.
Tiramisu love – ソンモ from 超新星
At number three in the album charts we got yet another Korean artist. This time it’s Yoon Sung-Mo with his debut solo album Tiramisu love. Sung-Mo, of Supernova fame, isn’t new to Japan, as his group has released several albums and singles in Japan, but this is his first time out alone.
わかっているのにごめんね/ためらい サマータイム – カントリー・ガールズ
At number five on the singles charts, we find Country Girls, and their new single I Know But I’m Sorry. This is their second single since the group was revived and renamed from Country Musume to Country Girls on November 5, 2014. Part of the Hello! project, their concept involves it being a group of country girls from Hokkaido. Their renaming was done with the hope that they would attract fans from outside Japan, but only time will tell if this worked.
長く短い祭/神様、仏様 – 椎名林檎
Number six this week is occupied by Sheena Ringo and her new single. The founder of the band Tokyo Jihen, or Tokyo Incidents, she still maintains a healthy solo career. One of the driving forces that caused a songstress boom in the last 1990’s, she was also one of the big Japanese fashion icons in the early 2000’s, with other girls being called Ringo Gal when they imitated Sheena’s clothing. Sheena is also a model for a lot of characters of manga, anime and video games, such as Nana Osaki (Nana) and Haruko Haruhara (FLCL).
夏よ止めないで〜You’re Romantic〜 – flumpool
And lastly, at number seven on the singles charts, there’s flumpool. A four-man pop-rock band, they derived their name from the English word “four”, as they are four members, then took the first letter, and combined it with the word lump (as in “mass”), then added pool after that. Now, as a Starcraft fan, I do hope they are also referencing the extreme zerg tactic called 4-pooling, but it’s probably more likely just coincidental.
That’s it for this week! I hope you had your fill of nommy songs, and I’ll see you next week for another roundup of the Oricon Chart!
The full charts can be found at oricon.co.jp
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