My, my, my! 2019 is blazing by too quickly! I can’t believe that spring will be here in less than three weeks!
According to the National Days calendar, tomorrow is Hinamatsuri (or Doll’s Day here in Japan, click to read more about this special day) and March 8 is International Woman’s Day. March is also Woman History Month. So to pay tribute to these special occasions, it’s an all-female band battle in this edition of Battle of the Songs.
Fuzzbox – Pink Sunshine
Fuzzbox was one of my most-played artists on my Spotify last year. Initially named as We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It, this all-female English band got their start in 1986 with the release of their punk rock single “XX Sex.” They continue to release a couple of indies singles and an album until they were picked up by the major label WEA Records by 1989.
“Pink Sunshine” is the band’s second single off their first major album Big Bang!. The sound found in “Pink Sunshine” is entirely different than the band’s punk rock beginnings. Gone was the punk sound and replaced with a pop dance-rock beat, complete with over-sexualizing of the lead singer. I wonder if this change was the band’s choice or WEA’s. I wonder what the members thought about the sudden makeover was.
Whatever may be the case, “Pink Sunshine” is a delightful upbeat tune. I feel like the guitar part featured at final of the verses was influenced by the ones found in beach tunes of the 60s. But, it still sounds really wicked, thanks to Jo Dunne. Another part that I like is the deep synthesized sequence that leads up to the instrumental interlude.
If you like Fuzzbox, you should check out their cover of Yoko Ono’s song “Walking on Thin Ice”. It is even better than the original.
PRINCESS PRINCESS – Sekai de Ichiban Atsui Natsu (世界でいちばん熱い夏)
PRINCESS PRINCESS is one of the influential girl bands in modern Japanese music history. And also, the first all-girl Japanese rock band. However, the girls had trouble during their rise. Picked from 1,400 applicants in a contest sponsored by TDK Records in 1983, Kanako, Kaori, Atsuko, Tomoko, and Kyoko didn’t release their first real single until 1987. Between those three years, the band, which was named Akasakamachi, was transferred from TDK Records to another agency in 1985 with a new name JULIAN MAMA and a new mission: pop idol. They changed their name to PRINCESS PRINCESS a year later and became a pop-rock band.
However, before the release of their first major single “Koi wa Balance” Love is Balance, the band was transferred again to CBS Records as the previous management refused to represent an all-girls band. The band went onto release many singles and albums. They also saw their first #1 in 1989 with the release of “DIAMONDS.”
“Sekai de Ichiban Atsui Natsu” The Hottest Summer in the Earth is an 80s power-rock song. Although Kaori’s vocals are a bit sweet, they are powerful and packs a punch. The instrumentation, too, packs a similar punch as it is lively, heavy, and interesting. “Sekai de Ichiban Atsui Natsu” is my favorite PRINCESS PRINCESS song because of the power and energy emitted from Kaori’s vocals as well as the instrumentation.
You can find the translation of the lyrics here at this Tumblr account.
The Nolans, a pop girl group who was very popular in Japan during the 80s, released an English cover of this song in 1992, which sounds like this:
Ranetki Girls – O Tebe (О тебе)
I don’t know much about Ranetki Girls. I just picked them out a list from Wikipedia containing all-girl rock groups. I wanted to throw a curveball of sorts by adding something unique and different.
The band was formed in 2005 and starred in their TV shows as well winning a couple of TV competitions. The song that I featured today, “O Tebe,” was featured on the soundtrack for the video game Grand Theft Auto IV.
“O Tebe” About You seems like a simple pop-rock from the 2000s, sounding something like a tune from Avril Lavigne’s discography. It starts slow and quiet. But by the chorus, its tempo completely changes by transforming into a powerful tune that is focused a lot on the electric guitar. Yes, “O Tebe” seems like a calming, generic pop-punk song of the 2000s. But, the combination of the guitar and the strong vocals provided by Valeria Kozlova makes “O Tebe” a tune packed with lots of power.
Here is a rough translation of “O Tebe” done by Google Translation (which I usually don’t use, but I don’t know Russian and can’t find the lyrics in all English):
If you want to know about me now,
I’ll be there for you.
Maybe too late, maybe too late.
Or run after you.
All thoughts about you, all tears about you,
For you all the songs until the last day.
Maybe not too late, maybe not together,
Maybe forget and leave forever.
If you want to forget about me now,
I will be bad alone.
Yet it is impossible to love so desperately
But I want to be with you.
All thoughts are on you, all tears are on you.
Maybe not too late, maybe not together,
What Will It Be?
Now it is your turn to vote! Who will be the victor of the first-ever “Battle of the Songs”? Tell me in the comments below! Also, tell me why you choose a particular version! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!
I am also part of The “Battle of the Bands” blog collection. After you vote, please visit the other battles from this blogger circle. There are really exciting battles!