Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wedding Bell "live"

Someone - maybe TofuUnion? - posted a link to this in a comment a little while back, and it's probably worth dedicating a late post to:

This is actually one of my favorite songs on Bring It!, and this "live" video is well shot, but the lip-syncing really bothers me. They never used to do this, but I'm seeing it more and more... it's not just them either, but it seems industry-wide in Japan. They're following our lead, which is pretty unfortunate in this case - one of the things I always liked about Japanese pop music was that even the biggest, most popular and often least-talented singers always had to sing their own songs live on TV. So you'd finally get to hear how awful Leah Dizon really was without any studio tricks to back her up. (Go ahead, click the link and fast forward a bit - but I warn you, it's painful. It's saying something that AKB48 is actually the more talented bunch in that video.) Really separated the wheat from the chaff.

Anyway, what's the point of watching somebody just mouth the words to an album track?

But this is not really the case any longer, at least not with some shows, and even Puffy are now lip-syncing through most of their TV appearances. This performance seems to have some live instrumentation and possibly vocals over it, but it's mostly just them trying to look like they're singing. Which wouldn't have been so obvious at the time it was filmed, but is now.

EDIT: Anthony pointed this video out in the comments, and I thought I'd add it here because I think it's kind of hilarious. Puffy + SMAP singing the same song (all together), and this one sounds like it's not lip-synced - although it may have just been re-recorded in advance for this show. It still looks a little too effortless.


  1. Whether it's lip-synced or not, it's always good to see Takashi Furuta on the skins behind Puffy (at least, I'm pretty sure that's him on drums).

    Anyway, they also did "My Story" on the same TV show:

    And even with lip-syncing performances, there are still some "amazing" performances to be seen, like this one:

    (It's Puffy and SMAP singing "Wedding Bell" on SMAP x SMAP; the pairing doesn't really work, at least to my ears.)

  2. At least, it's not lip-synced in Puffy & SMAP version. SMAP are VERY famous in Japan if not very popular anymore, and each SMAP member is a celebrity in Japan. Seeing the video you realize Ami and Yumi are also celebrities in Japan.

  3. Anthony, I thought it was Takashi Furuta on the drums also, which is nice even if much of the performance is prefabricated. He is a tremendous drummer.

    I did not care much for the Puffy SMAP combo either.


    Jeff, how many TV appearances lately have Puffy been totally live? Seems like one half of it is always canned. Which is a shame, they and their support band should have no problems doing it, so it must be production choices by the TV side...

    It is a shame, but if it is well produced (Like Weddign Bell above) I mind a little less.

  4. Yes, it was real good to see Takeshi Furuta again. I couldn't be sure it was him in the "Wedding Bell" clip, but that's definitely Takeshi behind the drums in "My Story".

  5. Following is a perfect example of how the Live on TV can be. (Just a info.)

    1. Every audience at the hall knows " Planetarium ".
    2. Ai Otsuka wrote the song (lyrics and melody).
    3. The arrangement is different from the CD. Piano played by herself.
    4. Almost flawless performance. She looks pretty as well.

    In 2008 she sang it in Mandarin on her solo piano at Taiwan tour. What a effort.

  6. One thing I noticed about Yumi's look is she is now really skinny and wearing what amounts to clothes that are way too big. Unless this is an in look in Japan right now, which doesn't skew towards Yumi...