Yellow Magic Orchestra - Firecracker - The most unusual hit to hit the dance floors and all the way from Japan!!!
Yes I ventured into that old music box of mine again and pulled out yet another old track that I haven't heard for at least 15 years. It bought a smile to my face I can tell you. As I can remember trying to dance to this when it first came out.
It seemed as if as if I wasn't the only one who could fathoms out how to dance to this. People around me couldn't make up their minds whether to try and Body Pop to this tune. Or do the "Robot" move to this song! It was a long time ago, and my mind is a bit hazy as to which dance became the most popular way to dance to this single.
Anyway the group in question are from Japan and they are called Yellow Magic Orchestra. The single that caused the pandemonium all those years ago was this its/was called "Firecracker"
The single was so big that it saw the 3 members of the Yellow Magic Orchestra being featured on the Black Usa dance TV show known as Soul Train in December, 1980.
The show featured Stevie Wonder - Master Blaster, Kool and the Gang - Celebration and Donna Summers - The Wanderer.
Then the shows host of the time that was Don Cornelius introduced the trio to the USA public as the Yellow Magic Orchestra and their new single called "Fire Cracker". The song was a cover of a 1959 tune by Martin Denny called "Fire Cracker". Yellow Magic Orchestra decided to put their spin on it which became a smash around the world.
"It was quite intimating, says keyboardist Richi Sakayumato. "Everyone else on the show was black. The audience was black. The crew and the presenters were black.There was no white or Asian face there. Suddenly, it was the oriental guys who were being asked to make the dance music, which defied every stereotype".
(*Please click here to read more about it - http://www.theguardian.com/music/2008/jul/04/electronicmusic.filmandmusic11)
Please click on the You tube video below - Yellow Magic Orchestra and Soul Train appearance.
The single called "Firecracker" came from the bands first official album release called "Yellow Magic Orchestra" released in 1978 within Japan. It eventually got released within the same year that is 1979 via these countries - USA, England and Europe.
The album was one of the earliest examples of synthpop that the German Outfit called Kraftwerk were to popularise and even further via the UK Bands such as Visage, Gary Numan and Ultravox.
Kraftwerk have gone on record in stating that this record release was a major influence on their future work.
The song was a huge favourite with the New York B-Boys and B-Girls who were in to Hip-Hop/Electro music at the time (1980). In fact Afrika Bambaataa was to sample the track that was used within his debut album called "Death mix (1983 - Please click on this link to read more about this! - PAGE 901)
The song was also popular with the early Detroit techno music musicians such as Carl Craig; and further down the line with the England's Techno/Bleep group that was known as Sweet Exorcist. (They are actually from the city of Sheffield, in England). Sweet Exocist sampled the song via an influential club hit that they had called "Test tone" - Sweet-Exorcist -Testone -Discog link please clink here!!
The single eventually got released again as "Computer game/Firecracker" during the same year (1979) - which meant that the "Computer games" single that was found on the original pressing of the album that is called "Yellow Magic Orchestra" was added to the song that we know as "Firecracker" to great effect.
In fact by the end of the year the song that was now to be known as "Computer games/Firecracker" was to sell over 400, 000 units within the USA alone.
A simple, simple tune that when released in 1979 caused a minor sensation in Japan, Usa and Europe via the dance floors.
Have a listen to this single yourself and reminisce. Or if this is the first time you can hear for yourself what was all the fuss about?
Well that all folks for me now anyway.
Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show © www.electricsoulshow.com