I already wrote a post somewhat related to my 2014 for New Years (read here), but I felt like writing another. This post is also second one in my Original & Covers series.
The song of this post is called CAT'S EYE or キャッツ・アイ in Japanese.
And if you wonder how does this relate to my year of 2014: one of these versions is in my top3 of most listened songs in 2014 (I have no idea which song is the most listened).
by Japanese singer ANRI (杏里). The original version of this song was released in 1983. It was the theme song of Japanese anime series (which originally was also a manga series) of the same name (stylized as CAT'S♥EYE in English). I haven't seen the anime or read the manga, but the storyline sounds quite interesting, so maybe one day I'll check it out.
But the song I love. This original version especially has an "anime sound" to it. Especially in the chorus: it is fast paced and catchy. I like the music, but even more I like the way ANRI sings: her voice is fairly steady and easy-going with a nice shade to it. The music and ANRI's voice make an interesting combination, that's easy to listen to, but still highly catchy.
THE COVER #1
Cover version by a Japanese girl group called MAX. This group has been highly successful since their debut in 1990s and is the second highest selling female group in Japan (according to Wikipedia). MAX's style differs from the usual Japanese girl group style by being more adult, especially now when the members are already quite bit older than most members in popular Japanese girl groups. You can notice this in their music video for CAT'S EYE, which is far from the usual cute and girly style.
Their version of the song was released in 2010 as a lead single from their album which included covers of (quote from Wikipedia) "80s and 90s classics and anime songs". Wikipedia also states that the cover is in eurobeat genre. There is almost 30 years in between the release dates of this and the original.
MAX's versions does sound quite similar to ANRI's version, but more modern and more dance/disco style (eurobeat, I suppose). I already liked the original version, but with the changes they have made in this version, I absolutely love this song. This type of music is so much my style. And I also love how MAX's members' voices fit into this song. They add a lot of edge into it. Compared to the original, this version is heavier and rougher, which fits perfectly.
I mentioned that one of these versions was within my most listened songs in 2014; This was it. This song is also amongst my ultimate favourite Japanese songs. I honestly can listen to it multiple times in a row without getting a bit bored. I simply love it.
THE COVER #2
The second cover is by a special group formed from the members of Japanese girl groups Berryz工房 (Berryz Kobo) and ℃-ute. (I write the next out of memory, so my apologies if I remember incorrectly) These members performed in a theater version of the CAT'S EYE anime/manga. This song was released to promote this theater show. It was released in 2012.
This was the first version that I heard of this song. As these groups are within my top most favourite groups, I obviously knew of this song when it was released and of course had to listen to it. After I really liked this version, I needed to listen to other versions too.
This version does have the same main beat and lyrics (mostly), but otherwise it is very different, from the original especially. It is more "electric" (I know there is an actual term for it, but I suck with terms). Quite different from the roughness of MAX's version and simplicity of ANRI's, but it actually fits this song surprisingly well. There is always a high risk of going overboard with this type of music, but here everything works. It makes into an interesting version.