Like this one best?

topic posted Tue, December 20, 2005 - 11:00 PM by  Mike マイケル
Ok what is your favorite song?
What is your favorite Album?

And why? Is there a story behind why you like it?
  • Re: Like this one best?

    Wed, December 21, 2005 - 12:09 AM
    Oh, spleesh! There's no way I could list just one favorite song. But here are some that come to mind:

    "Let's Spend the Night Together" (NOT the Stones song)--from "By Her Majesty's Request"


    "Hippie Day"--from "Overdose"

    "I Hear a Symphony" (fast version)--from "Big Hits & Jet Lags"

    "Cleopatra 2001"--from "Bossanova 2001"

    "AEIOU"--from "Ca et La du Japon"

    "Nonstop to Tokyo"--ibid (with Shigeru Matsuzaki on vocals) I always hum this when the plane takes off for Narita.

    Favorite album? That's easy: "Couples". It might seem an odd choice--their first album, and one never released in the US--but I'll explain. I've been a fan for almost 20 years, but had only heard P5 with Nomiya Maki, so I was used to the more up-tempo, '60s soul and R&B-influenced stuff (which I love). Then, a couple of years ago, on my first trip to Japan, I found a used copy of "Couples" at RecoFan in East Shinjuku. When I got back to my hotel room that night, I put it on the stereo, and I was simply knocked out.

    First, it's totally unlike any other P5 album, although it has some things in common with "By Her Majesty's Request". It's much more Burt Bacharach and Henry Mancini than it is kitsch and disco and Northern Soul. And instead of Nomiya Maki's strong, soulful voice, it has the gentle, unison vocals of Mamiko Sasaki and Ryo Kamomiya. The soft strings and (mostly) laid-back rhythms are perfectly offset by really strong melodies and evocative moods. It's perhaps the most intimate record I can think of since say, Nick Drake's "Bryter Layter" (although it sounds very different).

    Many critics miss this album entirely. AllMusic Guide calls it "unfocused" and "lacking in emotion". I disagree. I just think that--as the Japanese sometimes do--they prefer to let the music provide the emotions, rather than the vocals or lyrics. It's romantic, sexy, nostalgic, sleepy, joyous and a perfectly suited to listening to late at night. If you haven't guessed, I'm crazy about this CD. It finds its way into my player once a week or so.

    In second place, I'd put "The Sound of Music", as it has an amazing number of great songs. Sorry for the long post, but it's a great question you asked.
    • Re: Like this one best?

      Sat, December 24, 2005 - 8:12 AM
      What a fantastic question, and so difficult to answer!!!

      As per songs... there are a few that are deep in my heart and some that simply knock me out.

      I think there is an incredible Big Band excitement of '20th Century Girl' that still leaves me speechless.

      'LOUD LAND!' also leaves me shivering. The edits, the relentlessness of the beatles-inspired piano sample, Nomia's steady, insistent voice - and it just fucking ROCKS.

      the Taki version of 'Sunny Side of the Street' would be an all time favourite... The earlier P5 version (the ballad) is very beautiful - what I like so much about this remade version is the absolute, unequivocal optimism of the instrumentation... I've often listened to this on the headphones walking through subways and escallators and onto elevators, and it moves all around me.

      My favourite album would have to be 'Playboy And Playgirl' - there are just far too many amazing songs there to ignore. The jump from 'Twin Candle Tale' to 'Concerto' is enough to cause anyone to jump up! What's that sound!!!
    • Re: Like this one best?

      Sun, December 25, 2005 - 9:18 PM
      I only have 5 CD's. I have not heard most of the one's you listed. I got mine in Itones. Where else can I find them? I will have to try harder. I
      • Re: Like this one best?

        Sun, December 25, 2005 - 9:22 PM
        The five I have.

        1 The Fifth Release from Matador
        2 Playboy & Playgirl
        3 Happy End of the World
        4 The Sound of Music by Pizzicato Five
        5 Made in USA
        • Re: Like this one best?

          Sun, December 25, 2005 - 11:26 PM
          Well, I think I've got somewhere around 35 P5 disks, but you've already got 3 of their best , IMHO (#2, 4 & 5). To put that in perspective, P5 recorded about 275 different songs, and many of those were done in multiple versions! That's a good thing, because it means you have a lot of pleasant surprises ahead. Like the day before yesterday, when I picked up a 3" single that I've never seen before: "A Message Song". It also has 2 really good songs I've never heard before, and an instrumental of the title cut.

          But if I were going to recommend a few more records for your collection, they'd probably be "Overdose", "Bossa Nova 2001" and "By Her Majesty's Request" or "Couples". They're all quite different, and show how versitile the band was.

          For what it's worth, I would highly recommend getting actual CDs rather than downloads. If for no other reason, because P5 really pioneered complex and interesting CD packaging; often CDs come with illustrated booklets. EBay is a good place to search, as are and

          So, which of your records do *you* like best?
          • Re: Like this one best?

            Tue, December 27, 2005 - 9:14 AM
            "when I picked up a 3" single that I've never seen before: "A Message Song". It also has 2 really good songs I've never heard before, and an instrumental of the title cut. "

            Do you get all of these online "Ebay" and so on. I wish I could just go out and buy them.

            So Far I like "The Fifth Release from Matador"
            followed by "Happy End of the World"
            • Re: Like this one best?

              Tue, December 27, 2005 - 12:56 PM
              Here in the US, I get most of them at Amoeba Records on Haight St., here in SF; that's where I got the 3" I mentioned. I get a few of the more rare ones on eBay. In Tokyo there's one particularly good store where I find the *really* rare stuff. I've only bought one P5 item on, but it was the third VHS video collection, which is pretty hard to find.

              If you want, I could put together a sampler of some stuff that isn't on the disks you have, and mail it to you. Let me know.
              • Re: Like this one best?

                Wed, December 28, 2005 - 3:58 PM
                My favorite instrumental of sorts is “Roma”.

                “This recording is a collection of unintended indiscretions before microphone and camera.”

                Is there a video for this?
    • Unsu...

      Re: Like this one best?

      Fri, March 17, 2006 - 5:00 PM
      hi Curran!

      wow. "Couples" sounds neat. I'll have to look for it now. :)

      um, my favorite songs are Fortune Cookie and Domino. my favorite cd is Playboy&Playgirl (and add Beautiful Girl like You is a favorite song also :).

  • Re: Like this one best?

    Wed, January 18, 2006 - 9:06 AM
    The first P5 song I ever heard was Twiggy (actually, I saw the video for it). This was really the first contemporary Japanese music I'd heard that I liked at all--in fact, it immediately grabbed me, and I started searching for the source.

    So that'll always be a standout for me. Also especially like The Night is Still Young and The Awakening.
    • Re: Like this one best?

      Sat, March 18, 2006 - 7:11 PM
      So far I have not seen any of thier Videos.

      Maybe someday.
      • Unsu...

        Re: Like this one best?

        Mon, March 20, 2006 - 5:31 PM

        Bark's has a few samples of videos.

        the site is in japanese, but the section next to the P5 picture is marked in english, so it shouldn't be difficult to make one's way around.

        hope that helps. :)


        ps. they have a sample of Such a Beautiful Girl like You. yay! :)
        • Re: Like this one best?

          Fri, April 28, 2006 - 3:44 PM
          Great link!

          My favorite album is Happy End of the World, followed closely by Made in USA and This Year's Girl. I only have about 12 of their CDs at this point, I really ought to get more.

          It's funny that you mention the kind of memories attached to their music. These were some of the first Pizzicato 5 CDs that I got. It's that perfect kind of Bacharach/Breakfast at Tiffany's early 1960's era kitschy airport style music that makes them so endearing to me. I wish there were more modern bands like this, Saint Etienne to some extent, but I can't think of any others (suggestions, anyone?).

          Because of this, I always take these 3 CDs with me when I travel, and so listening to the music reminds me of all these wonderful places I've visited, and a kind of innocent wonder in exploring new destinations across the world. My favorite songs would have to include Sweet Soul Review, Magic Carpet Ride, and My Baby Portable Player Sound, but it's hard to choose with so many beautiful songs.

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