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Friday, November 11, 2016

The Friday Ten: Ten songs from the 80s that we’d love to see Hatsune Miku cover


List by Matt S.

Look, this week has been hell for a lot of us, so let’s not even pretend that this week’s list is anything other than a bit of fun to try and relieve some of the stress. We all love Miku, and she makes us all happy, after all.

Oddly enough, there aren’t that many official covers of classic music with Miku’s voice. I don’t know if that’s because the producers are more interested in making their own music, or the cost of licensing music is too high to bother. Or perhaps it’s just that Miku’s English voice bank isn’t all that popular, and her Japanese voice struggles with western lyrics. It’s probably a combination of those things. But hey, if anyone out there is up for the challenge, here’s my pick for ten tracks that Miku would absolutely nail. I reckon creative people could come up with some pretty damned good video clips to go with, too.

You Spin Me ‘Round

I’ve even tried to do this one myself, though I lack the time and/or patience to actually follow through and complete the track, let alone go through the licensing process. With the tragic death of the original performer of the song, though, it would seem that now is a good time to do it. And from what I have done I can actually confirm that the fun rock/pop beat and rhythms work really, really well for Miku’s voice.


Wicked Game

This is the sexiest song of all time, bar none. Chris Issak’s mellow tone smoulders and silks through the ears like nothing else. And that video clip. Wowzers is it one special video clip indeed. I must admit I’d like to see Miku perform this one as much because I want to see someone videoclip it, but more to the point, I think a vocaloid’s voice bank would do a good job in handling the pitch changes that Wicked Game demands in a breathtaking manner.


I Touch Myself

Yes, thetheme of the song is funny and so on and so forth, but the Divinyls classic pop masterpiece would be a very natural fit for Miku’s voice. The beat is nice and simple, and the original singer had a very distinctive voice, which works well for Miku, because her voice is distinctive too. Distinctive in a different way, sure, but this is a song that is comfortable with having the vocalist draw attention away from the music.


Maniac

I’ve got this track on the list mostly because I legitimately believe that if Hollywood ever makes the insane decision to remake Flashdance (my favourite film ever, so shut it if you don’t like it), they at least have the good taste to have Miku play the title role. Yes, I’m serious. With modern film technology it’s quite easy to have digital performers and live artists working together, and who doesn’t want to see Miku do the bra thing?... ahem. Okay, so that digression aside (that will no doubt come back to bite me on the backside), Maniac has the right kind of speedy pacing and 80’s pop simplicity that, together with a fun, dancey rhythm, which suits vocaloid music so well.


Poison

Yeah, I want to see Miku do hair metal, and who better to emulate than the master of the genre, Alice Cooper? I mean, could you not see Miku there belting out. “I wanna hurt you just to hear you screamin’ my name?” She’s got the hair to do a mean headbanging action, too. I could see this track in particular going all the way, too. I’ve got this image of her in those live concerts, with a live backing band, absolutely ripping that amazing chorus out.


Like A Virgin

Miku needs a Madonna song in her repertoire – from one artist will ahead of her time to another. There are just so many Madonna songs that would be perfect for the range that Miku does best; Material Girl, Justify My Love, What It Feels Like (To Be A Girl), and a good dozen others. Personally, though, my favourite Madonna track has always been Like A Virgin. It’s fun, lighthearted, and unlike some of Madonna’s other music, the track’s melody itself is quite simple, which would make it quite easy to arrange for vocaloids. It’s also quite flirty, and I actually think Miku’s voice works well for that kind of music, despite being rarely used for it.


99 Luftballoons

I have a special fondness for this song. I used to drive great distances to get to university, and as a result I would often find myself driving home quite late at night. On Friday nights there was a radio station that I liked to listen to while driving that would put on a “party mix,” I guess for the poor suckers like me that weren’t able to be partying on a Friday night. For whatever reason, 99 Luftballoons would come on almost every week, and almost every week I would immediately start singing when it came on. It's in German, and I didn't understand a single word, but you think that's going to stop me from making up my own words when I'm doing some car karaoke. Out of pure nostalgia I would love for someone to produce a Miku cover of that song.


I’ve Had The Time Of My Life

My other favourite film of all time is Dirty Dancing (and, yes, I also reckon Miku would make a great Baby). And, indeed, Dirty Dancing has a better soundtrack than even Flashdance. The best-known song from that particular film is, of course, the one that plays at the end. It’s a duet, so it would need a co-performer (KAITO?), but it’s a really quite special song, with a wonderful, nostalgic, positive, upbeat melody and set of lyrics. Admittedly this is a more difficult one to picture Miku’s voice bank doing, but still, it’s worth a shot at least, right?


You’re One That I Want

Actually, while we’re on the theme of classic musicals, we might as well go the trifecta and get Miku performing the concluding masterpiece from Grease. The video clip for this one would be especially delectable. I remember as a youngster watching Grease and wondering why on earth the adorably cute Sandy would give herself a wild hairstyle and put herself in tight leather pants in order to impress a guy, of all things. There’s certainly something very feminist to say about that, of course, but I must admit that for the sake of the performance I would quite enjoy a similar clip starring Miku.


Tainted Love

I’ve saved one of the best disco songs ever for last. Tainted Love is a ridiculously good piece of music. The early synthesisers are used to masterful effect in creating a pulsating rhythm that simply sounds electric and dynamite, and the lyrics, sung with such smooth precision over the top, create this delightfully eclectic performance that, to this day, makes me want to dance every time I hear it. This track is on the list simply because I love the song so much, and I’m not entirely sure how effective it would be if it was an electronic voice over an electronic beat, but hey, I’ll give full points to whoever tries.


Okay, that’s my list done. Your turn, dear readers! What music tracks by really real humans do you think Miku could effectively cover, if not do an even better job with? Let us know in the comments!

- Matt S.
Editor-in-Chief
Find me on Twitter: @digitallydownld
The Friday Ten: Ten songs from the 80s that we’d love to see Hatsune Miku cover
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