J-Pop veterans Swinging Popsicle released their new digital single, “You’ve Got A Friend,” on iTunes America and Japan today.
Originally recorded by Carole King in 1971, James Taylor’s version hit number 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 that same year, and won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Often included in Swinging Popsicle’s live sets, vocalist Mineko Fujishima chose the song to thank the band’s fans for “their friendship of 15 years.”
Bassist and band leader Hironobu Hirata echoed the sentiment. “I feel that friends are one of the most important things in life. Respect and friendship have kept Swinging Popsicle together for 15 years, and there’s no way we could continue without the support of our fans. So we want to cement our friendship with our fans through this song.”
The release of “You’ve Got a Friend” is the band’s first digital release in 4 years, following 2008’s single “At Christmastime” and 2007’s album Go on.
Band members have kept busy in recent years with solo projects, including Hirata’s work with Japanese R&B singer Kusuo and producing Super Sonico’s Love & II+ Peace Plus, which debuted in the Oricon Top 50 in June 2012.