Superfly (band)

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Superfly
Origin Japan
Genres J-pop,
Pop Rock,
Hard Rock,
Blues,[1]
Soul
Years active 2003–present
Labels Warner Music Japan
Associated acts Kōichi Tsutaya
Koichi Tabo
Matsuoka Motoki
Website www.superfly-web.com
Members Shiho Ochi (vocals) (2003–present)
Past members Kōichi Tabo (guitar) (2004–2007)
Shiho Ochi
Born (1984-02-25) February 25, 1984 (age 30)
Origin Matsuyama, Ehime
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Years active 2004–present
Kōichi Tabo
Born (1982-02-11) February 11, 1982 (age 32)
Origin Imabari, Ehime
Occupations Guitarist, songwriter
Years active 2003–2007

Superfly is a Japanese rock act that debuted on April 4, 2007.[2] Formerly a duo, the act now consists solely of lyricist and vocalist Shiho Ochi with former guitarist Kōichi Tabo still credited as the group's composer and part-time lyricist. Superfly's first two studio albums have been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan, and their four albums (the third being classified as a "single" by the group) all debuted at the top of the Oricon's Weekly Album Charts, a first for a female recording artist in Japan in over seven years.[3]

History[edit]

2003–2006: Formation[edit]

Shiho Ochi (越智 志帆 Ochi Shiho?) met Kōichi Tabo (多保 孝一 Tabo Kōichi?) in 2003 while they were students at Matsuyama University. They were both members of a music circle that covered songs by Finger 5 and the Rolling Stones.[4] In 2004, the group formed the blues band "Superfly",[1][5] naming themselves after Curtis Mayfield's song "Superfly". The group disbanded in 2005, with only Ochi and Tabo remaining when they went to Tokyo to seek out a label.

2007–2008: Superfly[edit]

After a battle between recording labels, the duo debuted on Warner Music Group with their 2007 single "Hello Hello". This was followed by their Shibuya, Tokyo, Apple Store performance and the subsequent EP Live from Tokyo. On November 8, 2007, a few months after their second single "Manifesto" was released, Kōichi Tabo announced on their website that he stopped appearing on the stage to concentrate on composing the songs.[6] Besides being active behind the scenes as Superfly’s composer & arranger, Tabo has also written music for artists such as Charice Pempengco, Mai Fukui, Yuna Ito, Maaya Sakamoto, BECCA, Saki Fukuda, and Asia Engineer. Later that month on November 28, 2007, Superfly released a single in collaboration with the Australian band Jet, titled "I Spy I Spy".

Superfly's debut album Superfly was released on May 14, 2008, topping the Japanese Oricon weekly album charts for two weeks. The release of the album was also celebrated with a free concert at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Following its release, Ochi, who has a great admiration for Janis Joplin, was given the chance to travel to San Francisco in 2008 where she travelled through Haight-Ashbury and met up with Sam Andrew of Big Brother and the Holding Company as part of a documentary titled Following the Steps of Janis on Music On! TV.[7][8] Ochi also counts Carole King, Maria Muldaur, and the Rolling Stones as some of her other favorite artists. In June and July, Superfly did a national tour titled the Rock'N'Roll Show 2008 Tour

2008–2009: Woodstock and Box Emotions[edit]

The asteroid 91907 Shiho was named after Ochi in 2009, as the asteroid was discovered at the Kuma Kogen Astronomical Observatory in Ehime Prefecture, her home prefecture.[9] April also saw the release of the Rock'N'Roll Show 2008 DVD set from the band's 2008 tour stop at the NHK Hall.

During the 2009 Heroes of Woodstock Tour for the tour's stop in Bethel, New York, the site of the original Woodstock Festival, Ochi joined Big Brother and the Holding Company on stage and performed "Down on Me" and "Piece of My Heart" as a follow up to the previous documentary.[10][11][12][13] The third single from Box Emotions, "Alright!!", was used as the opening theme to the Japanese television drama, BOSS, which began airing on April 16, 2009, as well as its second season which aired in 2011.

Superfly's second studio album, Box Emotions, was released on September 2, 2009,[14] which she celebrated by holding a free live show at the Roppongi Hills arena,[15] which hosted 4000 people.[16] Box Emotions debuted at No. 1 on the Oricon weekly charts, with the first week sales of around 214,000 copies.[17] For the Japanese iTunes Store Rewind of 2009, Box Emotions was the album of the year.[18][19] Superfly went on tour from October through December to support the album in the "Superly Box Emotions 2009 Tour".

Ochi has also teamed up with fashion designer Manami Kobayashi for the A.I.C (Another Important Culture) brand to create a line of Woodstock and hippie subculture themed clothing called "Cosmic Market".[20]

2010: "Wildflower & Cover Songs: Complete Best"[edit]

Superfly's first single since Box Emotions titled "Dancing on the Fire" won Best Rock Video at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards Japan.[21] April saw the release of Dancing at Budokan!!, Superfly's second video album featuring the band's performance at the Nippon Budokan in 2009.

Her first released song of 2010, "Tamashii Revolution", was used as NHK's 2010 FIFA World Cup theme song,[22] and was released digitally on June 18, 2010.[23] "Tamashii Revolution" was later included as a B-side on the single and cover album compilation "Wildflower & Cover Songs: Complete Best 'Track 3'", which became Superfly's third album to debut at number 1 on the Oricon.[24]

On November 30, 2010, Superfly performed at the Zepp Tokyo arena alongside a session band called "The Lemon Bats" (consisting of Mo'Some Tonebender's Kazuhiro Momo and Superfly's touring & recording guitarist Yoshiyuki Yatsuhashi on guitar, record producer Koichi Tsutaya on keyboard, Straightener's Hidekazu Hinata on bass, and Tatsuya Nakamura on drums) in a show called the Switch 25th Anniversary presents Superfly & The Lemon Bats Special Live "Rock'N' Roll Muncher". Performing as "Superfly & The Lemon Bats", Ochi performed covers of "Dr. Feelgood", "Beat It", "Barracuda", "White Room", "I Saw Her Standing There", "Land of a Thousand Dances", and "Born to Lose", in addition to covers of her own songs "Tanjō", "Manifesto", "Free Planet", "Alright!!", "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo", and "Bitch".[25]

2011: Mind Travel[edit]

Superfly's song "Beep!!" was used as the theme for the film Manzai Gang,[26] and was on a double A-side single with "Sunshine Sunshine", a song used for the KDDI "Meet the Music 2011" campaign. It was intended that she was to perform "Sunshine Sunshine" live at the Okinawa Namura Hall in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, on March 20, 2011, with the performance broadcast live over FM52 radio stations Tokyo FM, J-Wave, and FM Okinawa.[27] This performance, however, was postponed due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. In response, Ochi recorded an a capella version of "Sunshine Sunshine" which she posted on her blog on March 18, 2011,[28] and wrote the new song "You & Me", which she posted on her official blog four days later.[29] "You & Me" was subsequently made available for purchase on the iTunes, Recochoku, and wamo! digital music stores and all proceeds went to the Japanese Red Cross's relief efforts in Tōhoku.[30] By May, the song had raised ¥7,831,780 (approx. US$96.8k, €68k, or £59.4k) for the Red Cross.[31]

Superfly also had a national tour in 2011, visiting 32 cities and 35 venues. The tour, dubbed "Mind Traveler", supported the group's third studio album Mind Travel, which was released on June 15, 2011.[32] Superfly also held a free concert at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse to celebrate the release, and did a free stream on Ustream.tv.[33][34] On June 21, 2011, Mind Travel topped the Oricon's weekly album charts having sold over 166,000 copies, making it Superfly's fourth consecutive album to debut at number 1, a feat not duplicated by a female artist since Hikaru Utada in 2004.[3] In August 2011, Superfly announced that the band would go on an arena tour titled "Shout in the Rainbow!!", with shows at the Saitama Super Arena, the Nagoya Nippon Gaishi Hall, and the Osaka-jō Hall.[35] This news was followed by the release of the band's 14th single "Ai o Kurae", a song for their upcoming 4th album.

2012: Force[edit]

In 2012, Superfly participated in the JAPAN UNITED with MUSIC 30-member supergroup in recording a cover of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" to raise money for reconstruction efforts regarding the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.[36] For the band's 5th anniversary, Superfly is releasing the Shout in the Rainbow!! video album featuring performances from the band's December 2011 arena tour stop at the Osaka-jō Hall. Limited editions of the video release will include a CD featuring the previously unreleased track "Sasurai no Tabibito" (さすらいの旅人?, "Wandering Traveller").[37]

While doing a special live broadcast on Ustream and Nico Nico Douga to celebrate the Shout in the Rainbow!! release, Superfly announced that they would be releasing a fourth studio album titled Force on September 19, 2012. To commemorate the band's five-year anniversary, a special edition of the album including a bonus CD, a vinyl copy of the album, and a commemorative poster are to be released along with a standard single-CD edition, a limited two CD edition, and an edition exclusively released through Lawson convenience stores.[38][39][40] One week later, Shout in the Rainbow!! would top the Oricon's Blu-ray weekly rankings, making Superfly the fourth ever solo artist to top those charts.[41] After a free live concert at Tokyo's Yoyogi Park with livecasts on various internet services on the release date,[42] Force will be supported by a 35-stop concert hall tour called "Superfly Tour 2012 'Live Force'", starting on October 26, 2012.

Superfly has also recorded a duet with Tortoise Matsumoto titled "STARS" which will be used by Fuji Television as its theme song for its broadcasts of the 2012 Summer Olympics. It was released to truetone distributing stores on May 11, 2012, and was released as a single on July 25, 2012.[43][44] The release of "STARS" was followed by the double A-side single "Kagayaku Tsuki no Yō ni/The Bird Without Wings", with its title tracks used as the theme songs for the television drama Summer Rescue[45][46] and the film Ushijima the Loan Shark,[47] respectively. Force sold 119 thousand units in its first week, placing it at number 1 on the Oricon's Weekly charts, making Superfly one of only 4 female solo artists to have five consecutive number 1 debuts on the charts; she is included amongst Namie Amuro (fifth #1 in February 2000), Mai Kuraki (January 2004), and Hikaru Utada (June 2006).[48]

2013-present: Fifth anniversary and Superfly Best[edit]

The group announced it would release their first best of album on September 25, 2013.[49][50] During this time, Superfly recorded "Starting Over" which is used by J-WAVE as the theme song for their 25th anniversary.[51][52][53][54][55][56] The album was then announced to be simply titled Superfly Best, and includes the 26 singles Superfly has released since their major debut and three new songs: "Starting Over", "Always", and "Bi-Li-Li Emotion".[57][58] The album sold 157 thousand copies in its first week, earning the number 1 spot on the Oricon. Superfly Best became Superfly's 6th consecutive number 1 album, making Shiho Ochi only the second solo female artist to achieve such a goal.[59]

2014-present: 5th studio album[edit]

Superfly was chosen again to perform the theme song to the sequel of the film adaptation of Ushijima the Loan Shark, as the song "Live".[60] Superfly will also perform the theme song for the Tales of Zestiria video game.

Discography[edit]

Main article: Superfly discography

References[edit]

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External links[edit]