Can you think of a pop song that has got an official music video from its record company 35 years after its release?
Well, this actually happened to Mariya Takeuchi’s 1984 tune Plastic Love. In 2017, the song unexpectedly became a smash hit on YouTube, accumulating well over 100 million views in total since then. It looks like in the light of this massive exposure the record company just did not want to remain passive any more.
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 feels after her loss. The song belongs to the genre of City Pop, a blend of Western disco and funk with a bit of Japanese flavor that became mainstream in Japan during the 70s and 80s. Check out my City Pop playlist, carrying you back to the days of the Sony Walkman, when the country was the world’s economic powerhouse.
Now And Forever
Dancing In The Moonlight
Bread & Butter
One More Night
Yume No Tsuzuki
Stay With Me
I guess it is safe to say that if it was not for the popularity of music streaming services, City Pop would never have come that far with its comeback. Platforms such as SoundCloud, Spotify, or YouTube revolutionized the way how people interact on music. They paved the way for niche genres to find new audiences.
Attracting Western Audiences
The biggest surprise about City Pop is probably that its comeback was not limited to East Asia alone. It reached Western audiences as well. 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.”