Plastic Love

Mariya Takeuchi Souvenir Live Tour 2000

Can you think of a pop song that received an official music video from its record company almost 30 years after its release?

Well, this actually happened to Mariya Takeuchi’s 1984 tune Plastic Love. In 2017, the song became a smash hit on YouTube, accumulating over 100 million views since then. It seems the record company just did not want to miss out that momentum.

Plastic Love and more

Plastic Love tells the story of a woman who lost the man she truly loves. Any new guy pursuing her could not make her forget the loneliness she was feeling after her loss. The song belongs to the genre of City Pop, a blend of Western disco and funk with a bit of East-Asian flavor. It made it into Japanese mainstream during the 70s and 80s, while the country became the world’s economic powerhouse. Check out my City Pop playlist below.

A Million Miles Away by Macross 82-99 Cassette Cover Now And Forever
Macross 82-99

Mint Jams by Casiopea Album CoverTake Me

Love Trip by Takako Mamiya Album CoverDancing In The Moonlight
Takako Mamiya

Big Wave by Tatsuro Yamashita Album CoverMagic Ways
Tatsuro Yamashita

Wish by Hiromi Iwasaki Abum CoverStreet Dancer
Hiromi Iwasaki

late-late-summer-bread-and-butterSummer Blue
Bread & Butter

Love Trip by Takako Mamiya Album CoverOne More Night
Takako Mamiya

Mint Jams by Casiopea Album CoverAsayake

Yume No Tsuzuki by Mariya Takeuchi Single Cover.jpgYume No Tsuzuki
Mariya Takeuchi

Golden Best by Miki Matsubara Album CoverStay With Me
Miki Matsubara

Magical by Yunko Ohashi Album CoverI love You So
Junko Ohashi

Mint Jams by Casiopea Album CoverSwear

Mariya Takeuchi Souvenir Live Tour 2000Plastic Love
Mariya Takeuchi

Love Trip by Takako Mamiya Album CoverChinese Restaurant
Takako Mamiya

City Pop would have never come that far with its comeback if it was not for the popularity of music streaming services. Platforms such as SoundCloud, Spotify, or YouTube changed the way how people interact on music forever. In the end, they paved the way for niche genres to find new audiences.

Attracting Western Audiences

When City Pop appeared on streaming services, it did not made it comeback with Asian audiences alone. On the contrary, it was particularly in the West where it gained a sort of cult following first. Andy Cabic of the American folk band Vetiver attributes this success to the music’s similarities with US West Coast pop. Looking at City Pop from this angle, Cabic reasons it would be like “a fresh listen to the stuff you may have already heard and thought you knew.”