Can you think of a pop song that got an official music video from its record company more than a quarter-century 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.
Now And Forever
Dancing In The Moonlight
Bread & Butter
One More Night
Yume No Tsuzuki
Stay With Me
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.”