Shuraba

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The Rat's-Nest
)
"Shuraba"
A woman lies on a bed in a black dress, her hand holding a perfume bottle that says "Adult". In front of her are the words "Tokyo Incidents" in white.
Single by Tokyo Jihen
from the album Adult
B-side
  • "Koi wa Maboroshi (Get It Up for Love)"
  • "Rakujitsu"
ReleasedNovember 2, 2005 (2005-11-02)
Recorded2005
Toshiba EMI
Songwriter(s)
Tokyo Jihen singles chronology
"Sōnan"
(2004)
"Shuraba"
(2005)
"OSCA"
(2007)

"Shuraba" (修羅場, "Scene of Carnage"), also known by its English title "The Rat's-Nest"

Ukigumo and Ichiyo Izawa, who replaced Mikio Hirama and Masayuki Hiizumi. The song was used as the theme song for the historical drama Ōoku: Hana no Ran
.

Background and development

Tokyo Jihen was first formed in 2003, after Ringo Sheena decided on members for her backing band for her

Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Kyoto, Sapporo, Sendai, Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya
and Tokyo. [7]

After the Dynamite tour, two of the original members of the band made decisions to leave. Hiizumi left to focus on his activities with jazz ensemble Pe'z, while Hirama left to focus on his activities as a solo musician.[8] Sheena sought new members to replace Hiizumi and Hirama. She had known pianist Ichiyo Izawa since attending a solo concert of his in early 2004, though the pair had not talked together often since meeting. She wanted Izawa to join the band for both his piano and songwriting abilities.[9] Sheena contacted Izawa on February 17, 2005, a day after the final date of the Dynamite tour, however Izawa finally agreed in late April.[9] Sheena met Ukigumo through her brother Junpei Shiina, and the pair first collaborated in 2002 as a part of Yokoshima, a band formed to cover the Toto song "Georgy Porgy".[10] Ukigumo collaborated with Sheena during the sessions for her album Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana (2003) and Tokyo Jihen's debut album Kyōiku (2004), in which he played the guitars for Sheena's original demos.[9][11] Sheena liked Ukigumo's guitar playing so much that she left it in for the studio versions of "Meisai" and "Ishiki", and collaborated on the bonus track "Ichijiku no Hana", which was written by him.[9] Ukigumo did not want to join the band at first, however the band found that Ukigumo was the best fitting of all the potential guitarists. He agreed two to three days before Adult's recording sessions began in July 2005.[9] Hiizumi and Hirama's leaving was officially announced on July 1, 2005.[8] Two months later, the "Shuraba" single was announced, and on September 16, 2005, the two new band members, Ichiyo Izawa and Ukigumo were announced officially.[12][13]

Writing and production

The single is composed of two original songs written by Sheena, plus a cover of American singer Ned Doheny's song "Get It Up for Love" from his 1976 album Hard Candy. The single was mostly arranged by Izawa, created from scratch after listening to Sheena's demos of the songs.[9] Working with Izawa and Ukigumo was the first time in Sheena's career where she clashed on opinions for what was best musically for the songs. Izawa felt that "Shuraba" needed a classical guitar, however Sheena did not want instruments with a lot of reverberation, preferred Ukigumo's original guitar accompaniment from the demo. They compromised by Sheena purchasing a classical guitar especially for the single, and asked Ukigumo to perform with it.[9]

"Shuraba" was the last song recorded during the sessions for Adult. Sheena had wanted to use the single since creating the demo.[9] She wrote the lyrics after watching previous seasons of Ōoku, and was inspired by its depiction of women.[9] For the B-side "Koi wa Maboroshi (Get It Up for Love)", Sheena asked Ukigumo to perform the guitar in the style of Southern All Stars' 1983 song "Sonna Hiroshi ni Damasare". The remaining B-side, "Rakujtsu", dealt with more personal themes than "Shuraba". It was meant to be the final song on Adult, however Sheena felt that Izawa's composition "Tegami" suited it much better, after getting used to his style. The original demo was guitar-backed, however the band felt that Izawa's piano accompaniment suited the song better.[9]

A different version of the song appears on the album, entitled "Shuraba (Adult Ver.)", featuring a different arrangement.

Promotion and release

As the theme song of Ōoku: Hana no Ran, "Shuraba" was played during the drama's credits, as well as during promotional commercials for the drama. Tokyo Jihen performed the song at Music Station twice. First on November 4, 2005, and the second time on December 23, 2005 for their Christmas special broadcast.[14][15] The band also performed the song on Count Down TV on November 12, and made extensive appearances on radio shows between October 26 and November 14.[16][17]

The song was performed during the band's Domestic! Virgin Line (2006), Domestic! Just Can't Help It. (2006), Spa & Treatment (2007), Ultra C (2010) and Bon Voyage (2012) tours.[18][19] It was also performed at the Dai Ikkai Ringohan Taikai events in December 2005, however not released on the DVD. The B-sides were both performed during the 2005 Ringo-han events, with "Rakujitsu" being the only Tokyo Jihen performance featured on the DVD. Both songs were performed during Domestic! Virgin Line, with "Rakujitsu" also performed at Domestic! Just Can't Help It..[18]

Music video

A music video was first unveiled on October 12, 2005, and was directed by Shuichi Banba.[20][21] The video features the band performing the song in an entirely white set, with all the band members wearing exclusively white clothing. During the video, red droplets begin to stain the white set. The final scene features a high-heeled shoe filling up with red. The video was nominated for the Best Group Video award at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards Japan,[22] however lost to reggae group Def Tech's "Konomama".

In March 2006, a video was released for the song's B-side "Koi wa Maboroshi (Get It Up for Love)", much like how videos were created for past singles' B-sides. This was an edited version of the song entitled "Koi wa Maboroshi for Musician".

Critical reception

Listenmusic reviewer Yoshiki Aoyuki called the song a masterpiece, praising the "varied rhythm changing into a fat hip-hop beat" caused by the mix of processed and live drums, Kameda's bass-work, and the "stylish keyboards and classical guitar". He felt the new members acted like a "chemical reaction" on the band's music.[23] CDJournal reviewers called it "a funky pop song that fully realises [Sheena's] unwavering nature as a melody maker". They felt the version that appeared on Adult was more refined than the "hard" rock flavour of the single version. They praised the "solid rhythm and eccentric guitar".[24][25]

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Shuraba"Ringo Sheena4:10
2."Koi wa Maboroshi (Get It Up for Love)" (恋は幻, "Love Is a Phantom")Ned Doheny3:25
3."Rakujitsu" (落日, "Dusk")R. Sheena4:46
Total length:12:21

Personnel

Personnel details were sourced from "Shuraba"'s liner notes booklet.[26]

Visuals and imagery

Tokyo Jihen

Technical, production and other performers

Chart rankings

Charts (2005) Peak
position
Japan Oricon weekly singles[27] 5
Japan Oricon monthly singles[28] 5

Sales and certifications

Chart Amount
Oricon physical sales[29] 110,000
RIAJ physical shipping certification[30]
Gold (100,000+)
RIAJ cellphone download certification[31] Gold (100,000+)
RIAJ PC download certification[32] Gold (100,000+)

Release history

Region Date Format Distributing Label Catalogue codes
Japan October 12, 2005 (2005-10-12)[20] Ringtone
Toshiba EMI
TOCT-4936
November 2, 2005 (2005-11-02)[33][34][35] CD, digital download, rental CD
Taiwan November 4, 2005 (2005-11-04)[36] CD Gold Typhoon 34811125
South Korea November 10, 2005 (2005-11-10)[37][38] CD, digital download EMI 2319236

References

  1. ^ "The Rat's-nest / INCIDENTS TOKYO". Kronekodow. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  2. ^ 東京事変オフィシャルインタビュー第一弾 [Tokyo Jihen official interview number one] (in Japanese). Toshiba EMI. August 11, 2004. Archived from the original on August 17, 2004. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  3. ^ "椎名林檎、"東京事変"のバンドヴォーカリストとして活動開始!" [Ringo Sheena, starting up as the vocalist for the band "Tokyo Jihen"]. Barks. May 31, 2004. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  4. ^ フェスではじめまして。東京の夏、事変の夏 [Saying 'Hi' at festivals. Tokyo summer, Incident summer] (in Japanese). Kronekodow. Archived from the original on September 29, 2004. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  5. ^ ゴールド等認定作品一覧 2004年9月 [Works Receiving Certifications List (Gold, etc) (September 2004)] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. October 10, 2004. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  6. ^ ゴールド等認定作品一覧 2004年10月 [Works Receiving Certifications List (Gold, etc) (October 2004)] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. November 10, 2004. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  7. ^ 東京事変 全国ツアーが決定 (in Japanese). Vibe-Net. September 1, 2004. Archived from the original on July 24, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  8. ^ a b 東京事変セカンドシーズン突入 (in Japanese). Universal. July 1, 2005. Archived from the original on June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 東京事変 オフィシャルインタビュー [Tokyo Jihen Official Interview] (in Japanese). Toshiba EMI. Archived from the original on November 25, 2005. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  10. ^ "Georgy Porgyについて...。" [About Georgy Porgy] (in Japanese). Toshiba EMI. Archived from the original on January 27, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  11. ^ Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana (Media notes) (in Japanese). Ringo Sheena. Tokyo, Japan: EMI Music Japan. 2003.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
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  17. ^ 出演情報 (in Japanese). Universal. November 1, 2005. Archived from the original on June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  18. ^ .
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  20. ^ a b いろいろ解禁になりました (in Japanese). Universal. October 12, 2005. Archived from the original on June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  21. ^ 修羅場 (in Japanese). Space Shower. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  22. ^ "MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS JAPAN 2006 15 部門ノミネート作品一覧" (PDF) (in Japanese). MTV Japan. March 30, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 11, 2006. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
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  28. ^ 月間ランキング 2005年11月度 [Monthly ranking November 2005 edition] (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on December 15, 2005. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
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  31. ^ レコード協会調べ 7月度有料音楽配信認定 [Record Association Investigation: July Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. August 20, 2007. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  32. ^ レコード協会調べ 1月度有料音楽配信認定 [Record Association Investigation: January Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. February 20, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  33. ^ "【CDシングル】修羅場" (in Japanese). Tower Records. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  34. ^ 着うた (in Japanese). Universal. November 2, 2005. Archived from the original on June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  35. ^ 修羅場/東京事変 (in Japanese). Tsutaya. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  36. ^ 東京事變/ 修羅場 (單曲) (in Chinese). G-Music. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  37. ^ "東京事變(동경사변) - 修羅場 [아수라장/ SINGLE]" (in Korean). Hot Tracks. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  38. ^ 修羅場 (아수라장) (in Korean). Bugs. Retrieved June 6, 2014.