[the Tokyo Tower, built in 1958 and "inspired" by the Eiffel Tower, only 8.5 metres taller and painted white and orange]
I was whittling songs down last week for a mixtape for Blow-up Doll, and this is one that ended up on the cutting room floor. It triggered a memory of when I first heard it in a cramped record shop in Kyoto: as we flicked through the vinyl and chuckled at the section (mis?)labelled 'Gram Lock', this kitsch bit of 60s Jap-pop came on with an ear-catching chorus of "Yé-Yé! Yé-Yé!". The shop owner was playing an Ace Records compilation called 'Nippon Girls - Japanese Pop, Beat & Bossa Nova 1966-70'. I would have bought it there and then, but seeing as it was an import it was ridiculously expensive. So I tracked it down when I got home.
It's not actually even in French but since most of the lyrics are just "Yé-Yé", I thought I'd just let it slip by.
Confusingly the pronunciation of "Yé-Yé" is very close (to my ears) to the Japanese for "No": "Iie". So is it positive homage to the 60s Euro-pop fad or a playfully negative riposte?
"Yé-Yé" or "No-No"? I dunno, but it's a shifty little number!
[buy the Nippon Girls comp from Amazon.uk or via Ace Records]
***I also can't believe the terrible events that hit the beautiful people and landscape on the 11th of March this year. The country is still recovering from the huge earthquake and tsunami and the fall-out and devastation it left behind. You can make a donation to the Red Cross relief effort via the Japan Tsunami Appeal.