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is a song by Japanese
city pop is a loose category of Japanese pop music that emerged in the late 1970s and peaked in the 1980s. It was originally termed as an offshoot of Japan's Western-influenced "new music", but came to include a wide range of styles associated with the co ...
singer
Mariya Takeuchi is a Japanese singer and songwriter. Regarded as an influential figure in the city pop genre, she is one of the best-selling music artists in Japan, having sold over 16 million records, and has received several accolades. Takeuchi was born i ...
, featured on her number-one hit album, ''
Variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in universal algebra Hort ...
'' (1984). Upon its release as a single a year later, it was moderately successful, selling around 10,000 copies. In 2017 "Plastic Love" saw a resurgence internationally when an eight-minute
remix A remix is a piece of media which has been altered or contorted from its original state by adding, removing, and changing pieces of the item. A song, piece of artwork, books, video, poem, or photograph can all be remixes. The only characteristic o ...

remix
of the song was uploaded to
YouTube#REDIRECT YouTube {{R from miscapitalization ...
. It quickly garnered more than 24 million views, before a copyright claim over the album art unintentionally led to its removal. It was subsequently restored in 2019 and has garnered over 63 million views.


Production and release

"Plastic Love" was written and performed by Takeuchi and produced by her husband,
Tatsuro Yamashita , occasionally credited as Tatsu Yamashita or Tats Yamashita, is a Japanese singer-songwriter and record producer who helped pioneer the style of Japanese adult-oriented rock/soft rock dubbed "city pop". Yamashita has been producing the majority ...
. In an interview with ''
The Japan Times ''The Japan Times'' is Japan's largest and oldest English-language daily newspaper. It is published by , a subsidiary of News2u Holdings, Inc.. It is headquartered in the in Kioicho, Chiyoda, Tokyo. History ''The Japan Times'' was launched by M ...
'', Takeuchi remarked: "I wanted to write something danceable, something with a city pop sound... he lyricstell the story of a woman who lost the man she truly loves." Yamashita also played guitar for the song, while Yasuharu Nakanishi played
electric piano An electric piano is a musical instrument which produces sounds when a performer presses the keys of a piano-style musical keyboard. Pressing keys causes mechanical hammers to strike metal strings, metal reeds or wire tines, leading to vibrations w ...
, Kōki Itō played bass guitar, and Jūn Aoyama played drums. The song was first released on Takeuchi's number-one hit album, ''Variety'' (1984). The single was Takeuchi's twelfth single to be released.


Twelve-inch single

A
twelve-inch single The twelve-inch single (often written as 12-inch or 12″) is a type of vinyl (Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC) gramophone record that has wider groove spacing and shorter playing time with a 'single' or a few related sound tracks on each surface, ...
was released on March 15, 1985, which included an "extended club mix" and "new re-mix" of the song and reached 86th on the Oricon Singles Chart.


Resurgence

On July 5, 2017, an eight-minute fan-made remix of "Plastic Love" was uploaded to YouTube by a user known as "Plastic Lover". The video showed a cropped version of the cover of Takeuchi's earlier single "Sweetest Music", taken by Los Angeles-based photographer Alan Levenson. In an interview, Plastic Lover said that their video was a re-upload of a now-deleted video on YouTube. Coinciding with the vaporwave genre's rise in popularity, Plastic Lover's upload spread rapidly throughout YouTube through the platform's recommendations algorithm. Its spread was also aided by internet memes, discussions on Reddit, and fan art of the "Sweetest Music" cover on platforms such as DeviantArt. The video garnered 24 million views before being taken down for a copyright dispute with Levenson, but was then restored in 2019 with credit given to Levenson in the video description and thumbnail. As of May 2021, the video had more than 63 million views. Ryan Bassil of ''Vice (magazine), Vice'' noted that the song is "a rare tune that doesn't exactly need words to expertly describe a specific, defined feeling – one of lust, heartbreak, love, fear, adventure, loss, all caught up in the swirling midst of a night out on the town" and called the song "the best pop song in the world". Cat Zhang of ''Pitchfork (website), Pitchfork'' reported that younger city pop fans commonly cite "Plastic Love" as their "gateway to the genre". On May 16, 2019, the short version of the official music video produced by Kyōtaro Hayashi was released on YouTube running 90 seconds long. The full version, which runs approximately 5 minutes, is included in the DVD and Blu-ray release of "Souvenir the Movie" released on November 18, 2020. Multiple cover versions of "Plastic Love" also exist, including by Tofubeats, Friday Night Plans and Chai (band), Chai.


See also

* Mayonaka no Door, a city pop song that also saw a resurgence in 2020


References

{{Authority control 1985 singles 1984 songs Internet memes introduced in 2017 J-pop songs Songs about heartache Music memes Viral videos Mariya Takeuchi songs