“Shinku Pack (Vacuum Pack)“ is the second album by Japanese rock band Sheena & the Rokkets.
Background of the Production
Sheena & the Rokkets were formed around Makoto Ayukawa (guitar, vocals), ex-lead guitarist and composer of Fukuoka-based blues rock band Sonhouse, and his wife Sheena (vocals) in Tokyo in 1978.
Sheena’s real name is Etsuko Ayukawa. The name “Sheena“ derives from the song “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” (1977) by American punk rock band Ramones.
Sheena & the Rokkets released their debut single “Namida no Highway (Tearful Highway)“ and debut album “SHEENA & THE ROKKETS #1“ from Elbon Records in 1978.
Yukihiro Takahashi introduced the band to Haruomi Hosono after seeing their performance as the opening act for Elvis Costello’s Japan Tour in 1978. As a result, the band transferred to Alfa Records, where they produced their second album with the three members of Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO): Haruomi Hosono, Yukihiro Takahashi, and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Ayukawa participated in the recording of the album “Solid State Survivor” (1979) by YMO, and played the guitar on the two tracks: “Day Tripper” and “Solid State Survivor”.
Sheena & the Rokkets
- Makoto Ayukawa – guitar, vocals
- Sheena – vocals
- Kazuhide Kawashima – drums, chorus
- Takeshi Asada – bass, chorus
Special Guests: Yellow Magic Orchestra
- Yukihiro Takahashi – drums, chorus
- Ryuichi Sakamoto – synthesizers
- Haruomi Hosono – keyboards, bass
“Shinku Pack“ is an album produced with full cooperation by YMO and Hideki Matsutake, a computer programmer who had been known as the “fourth member” of YMO at that time.
The album is made by the combination of the elements of rock and roll, pop songs, new wave, and synth-pop.
The album was recorded at Alfa Records’ Studio A in Tokyo in 1979, and was released by Alfa Records in the same year.
It was produced by Hosono.
Hosono, Matsutake and Sakamoto operated Roland MC-8.
The lyrics are Japanese and English.
“Batman Theme“ is an instrumental track that covered the title song of the TV drama series “Batman“ (1966), which was composed by Neal Hefti.
“You May Dream“ is a pop song composed by Hosono and Ayukawa. It was released as a single in 1979, and reached number 20 on the Oricon Weekly Chart. It was used as a commercial song for Japan Airlines (JAL).
“Omae Go Hoshi (One More Time” is a track that covered the song “1970” (also known as “I Feel Alright”) by the Stooges with Japanese lyrics.
“I Got You, I Feel Good” is a cover of the song “I Got You (I Feel Good)” (1965) by James Brown.
“You Really Got Me” is a cover of the song (1964) by the Kinks.
“Radio Junk” is a pop song composed by Takahashi.
“Rocket Factory” is an instrumental track composed by Sakamoto.
“Radio Junk” and “Rocket Factory” had been performed in YMO’s live concerts.
In 2007, “Rolling Stone Japan” rated the album number 44 on its list of the “100 Greatest Japanese Rock Albums of All Time”.
- Batman Theme – 1:05
- You May Dream – 3:50
- Sentimental Fool – 3:26
- Omae Go Hoshi (One More Time) – 3:48
- Lazy Crazy Blues – 4:18
- Moonlight Dance – 3:21
- Stiff Lips – 2:12
- Heaven Or Hell – 2:43
- I Got You, I Feel Good – 2:40
- You Really Got Me – 2:22
- Radio Junk – 2:57
- Rocket Factory – 1:47