Japanese Song of the Day – “YOU MAY DREAM” by Sheena and the Rokkets

There were some awesome chick rockers coming out of Japan in the 80’s. Sheena and the Rokkets debuted in 1978 opening for Elvis Costello during his Japanese tour. This song is their second single, released in 1980, and is a frequently covered one. The album on which this song appears, “shinkuu PACK (Vaccuum Pack)” was produced by Haruomi Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra (a group I’ll probably feature tomorrow). The short spoken English words in this were penned by British lyricist Chris Mosdell, frequent YMO collaborator.

The title of this song is a pun – the Japanese word “yume” (sounds like “you may”) means “dream.” The lead singer, Sheena, is really named Etsuko – she got her stage name from the Ramones track “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker.”

The song starts with a 60’s classic rock ballad shuffle, then the chorus amps up the intensity with a heavy 1-2 beat. The mix of genres in it was unusual for the time but definitely awesome.

For something a little closer to the band’s usual sound, however, I highly recommend the also-legendary track “LEMON TEA.” I was conflicted on which of these two songs to feature, since this is more typical of their style and is just as popular, but I find “YOU MAY DREAM” a bit more interesting musically. “LEMON TEA” is straight up driving 80’s punk rock, and is a lot of fun to listen to.

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