Japan

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ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
edited January 27 in Music
Having rediscovered how deeply ingrained Ghosts by Japan is in my psyche, I thought I would post their albums in this thread for everyone else to explore.

I hadn't listened to their first two albums before (not keen TBH, although the seeds are there)), they are somewhat of their time (Sylvian does punk!  o ), as they all are I guess.

Edit: First discovery was actually through Quiet life, (not as I originally wrote here ~ "as I originally discovered them with Tin Drum (& Ghosts unsurprisingly)", still it was a long time ago...

I thought I would post them in release order anyway.

There is still something fresh in their approach IMO, viewed from this current age of homogenised music (again IMO).

Ghosts was originally posted in my "Your favourite track ~ right now ?" (linked below)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Japan performing 'Ghosts' from their 1981 album 'Tin Drum' on the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1982. Guest musician: Ryuichi Sakamoto

SORRY I didn't realise you have to go to YouTube to watch the OGWT version, so I've posted the album version below it.


Duration 4:47

https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij089OiN8cc


Duration 4:33

https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOW4-oWnDPw

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
http://thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/116883/your-favourite-track-right-now#latest

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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    edited January 27
    The band began as a group of friends in 1974. Brothers David Sylvian (guitar and vocals) and Steve Jansen (drums), keyboardist Richard Barbieri and bassist Mick Karn studied at the same school, Catford Boys', Brownhill Road, South London. As youngsters they played Sylvian's two-chord numbers mainly as a means of escape; sometimes with Karn as the front man, sometimes with Sylvian at the fore.

    The band, who were initially nameless, opted to call themselves Japan just before their first live gig in the mid-1970s. The name was intended by Sylvian to be temporary until they could think of something else, but ultimately became permanent. The following year they were joined by lead guitarist Rob Dean, and signed a recording contract with the German disco label Hansa-Ariola in 1977, becoming an alternative glam rock outfit in the mould of Lou Reed, David Bowie, T.Rex, Roxy Music, and The New York Dolls although their initial material was guitar-based funk.

    After winning a label-sponsored talent contest, they were signed to Germany's Ariola-Hansa Records in 1977 and debuted a year later with a pair of LPs, Adolescent Sex and Obscure Alternatives, which received little notice at home or in the U.S. but did find favor among Japanese audiences.

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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    edited January 27
    Japan ~ Adolescent Sex


    Duration 47:50

    https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ36ZAOr_VQ

    Release date: March 1978
    Producer: Ray Singer
    Label: Ariola Hansa

    1. Transmission (00:00)
    2. Unconventional (04:50)
    3. Wish You Were Black (07:56)
    4. Performance (12:47)
    5. Lovers On The Main Street (17:25)
    6. Don't Rain On My Parade (21:35)
    7. Suburban Love (24:31)
    8. Adolescent Sex (32:00)
    9. Communist China (35:45)
    10. Television (38:32)

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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    Japan ~ Obscure Alternatives


    Duration

    https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn7ZNw_Yryo

    Label: Ariola Hansa ‎– AHALH 8007
    Country: UK
    Release Date: 27 Oct 1978

    1. Automatic Gun (00:00)
    2. Rhodesia (04:08)
    3. Love Is Infectious (10:58)
    4. Sometimes I Feel So Low (15:11)
    5. Obscure Alternatives (18:54)
    6. Deviation (25:50)
    7. Suburban Berlin (29:14)
    8. The Tenant (34:48)



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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    David Sylvian – vocals, guitars, keyboards (1974–1982, 1990–1991)
    Mick Karn – bass guitars, saxophone, backing vocals (1974–1982, 1990–1991; died 2011 RIP)
    Steve Jansen – drums, percussion, keyboards (1974–1982, 1990–1991)
    Richard Barbieri – keyboards, synthesisers (1974–1982, 1990–1991)
    Rob Dean – guitars, backing vocals (1975–1981)

    Live personnel:
    Jane Shorter – saxophone (1979-1980)
    David Rhodes – guitars (1981)
    Masami Tsuchiya – guitars, keyboards (1982)

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Richard Barbieri moved on to become the keyboardist for progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, a role he has filled since 1995's The Sky Moves Sideways. Although band members would work with each other again on various individual projects (including Sylvian and Jansen's Nine Horses project), no further full Japan reunions were planned in any form.


    Throughout the 1990s Karn, Jansen and Barbieri reunited in instrumental projects with different guitarists such as David Torn and Steve Wilson.

    Somehow there seems to be a link through to Steve Wilson and Porcupine Tree, for me at least.

    Twenty years after their reunion as Rain Tree Crow,
    Mick Karn died from cancer in January 2011 RIP  

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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7382
    In the unlikely event I’ll ever be invited on Desert Island Discs then Ghosts is always the starting point for my 8 tracks.
    I don’t know the band’s output in detail but there are some superb individual tracks like Ghosts and Talking Drum. David Sylvian’s album Gone to Earth ( I think that’s right) is a superb extension to the Japan catalogue as well. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    Japan ~ Quiet life

    (This is where the story started for me)


    Duration 52:08

    https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2GyO7mrd_I

    1979
    full album + B sides

    1. Quiet Life 0:00-4:54
    2. Fall In Love with Me 4:55-9:32
    3. Despair 9:35-15:34
    4. In Vogue 15:36-22:07
    5. Halloween 22:11-26:35
    6. All Tomorrow's Parties 26:38-32:22
    7. Alien 32:24-37:29
    8. The Other Side of Life 37:30-44:53
    9. Life in Tokyo 44:54-48:26
    10. European Son 48:27-52:08



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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    edited January 27
    In the unlikely event I’ll ever be invited on Desert Island Discs then Ghosts is always the starting point for my 8 tracks.
    I don’t know the band’s output in detail but there are some superb individual tracks like Ghosts and Talking Drum. David Sylvian’s album Gone to Earth ( I think that’s right) is a superb extension to the Japan catalogue as well. 
    Well said !

    I haven't heard Gone to Earth, so thanks for your recommendation @EricTheWeary ;;.  I think I need to explore David Sylvian's back catalogue more thoroughly.  (off to YT land again)  


    Edit:  ~  and, believe it or not, there it is on my YT recommendations, result !

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  • GrangousierGrangousier Frets: 180
    One guitar I've always wanted was the one Rob Dean played on Whistle Test in 1980 (I think the tracks were My New Career and Swing): A Gibson RD Artist, a slightly curvier Explorer with active pickups (although that wasn't obvious on the telly, of course). The only other person I'm aware of playing one is the Japanese singer Shiina Ringo, who's made it her signature guitar. 

    (Actually, I think I prefer Shiina's white to Dean's sunburst, but still, his slinky Ebow playing on Swing is still groovy.)



    I must confess my recent snark has been that Gentlemen Take Polaroids is my favourite Duran Duran record.
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  • GrangousierGrangousier Frets: 180
    (Firebird-like, not Explorer-like, obvs.)
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7382
    In the unlikely event I’ll ever be invited on Desert Island Discs then Ghosts is always the starting point for my 8 tracks.
    I don’t know the band’s output in detail but there are some superb individual tracks like Ghosts and Talking Drum. David Sylvian’s album Gone to Earth ( I think that’s right) is a superb extension to the Japan catalogue as well. 
    Well said !

    I haven't heard Gone to Earth, so thanks for your recommendation @EricTheWeary ;;.  I think I need to explore David Sylvian's back catalogue more thoroughly.  (off to YT land again)  


    Edit:  ~  and, believe it or not, there it is on my YT recommendations, result !
    Not a lot of hummable tunes but very atmospheric. I had it on the other week and was surprised at how much guitar there actually was as well. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    Japan ~ Gentlemen Take Polaroids


    Duration 46:34

    https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiaEQ7cnzT0

    1980
    1. Gentlemen Take Polaroids (0:00) 
    2. Swing (7:07) 
    3. Burning Bridges (13:34) 
    4. My New Career (18:54) 
    5. Methods of Dance (22:47) 
    6. Ain't That Peculiar (29:41) 
    7. Nightporter (34:22) 
    8. Taking Islands in Africa (41:20)

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  • Adolescent Sex is a marvellous album I have it on vinyl still gets a regular listen.
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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 528
    Anyone know the name of the Japan album that has one side which is a bit late 70's rock and then morphs into the Japan style (heavy bass) that made them famous. A mate had it many years ago and it was an interesting look at how band's evolve.

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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 528
    This always reminds me of Japan (although it's apparently Gary Numan)




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  • Anyone know the name of the Japan album that has one side which is a bit late 70's rock and then morphs into the Japan style (heavy bass) that made them famous. A mate had it many years ago and it was an interesting look at how band's evolve.

    That could be Assemblage which was an early compilation album
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    Adolescent Sex is a marvellous album I have it on vinyl still gets a regular listen.
    Thanks for the recommendation, embarrassingly, I still haven't got round to listening to it yet.  I'll try and put a bit of time by later, once the day's duties are done, cheers...  :)

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  • AlexCAlexC Frets: 1489
    One of my favourite bands of all time. First discovered them when I was about 16 and got the Assemblage album. Then went and got the albums proper. Brilliant musicians.
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    edited February 3
    Japan ~ Tin Drum


    Duration 38:00

    https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Kct2Z8S2Qo


    A1 The Art Of Parties 00:00:00.00
    A2 Talking Drum 00:04:08.00
    A3 Ghosts 00:07:34.00
    A4 Canton 00:11:55.00
    B1 Still Life In Mobile Homes 00:17:15.00
    B2 Visions Of China 00:22:45.00
    B3 Sons Of Pioneers 00:26:17.00
    B4 Cantonese Boy 00:33:15.00

    PRODUCED BY STEVE NYE, JAPAN
    Engineered by Steve Nye

    DAVID SYLVIAN – vocals, guitar, keyboard, keyboard programming, tapes, cover concept
    MICK KARN – fretless bass guitar, African flute, dida
    STEVE JANSEN – acoustic drums, electronic drums, keyboard percussion
    RICHARD BARBIERI – keyboard, keyboard programming, tapes

    Yuka Fujii – backing vocals
    Simon House – violin
    Steve Joule – design
    Phil Bodger – assistant engineer
    Fin Costello – photography

    Label: Virgin – V2209
    Format: Vinyl LP
    Country: UK
    Released: 28 Nov 1981

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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7382
    I had quite a strong memory of seeing Sylvian on tv doing an acoustic version of Ghosts. This was probably it, not quite perfect but the song writing, the voice and his gorgeous looks all there.

    https://youtu.be/ZGCB6Fyn58M
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    An interesting version of Ghosts there @EricTheWeary , I hadn't heard that before.  The occasional awkwardness of the vocals over guitar shows how his time feel and relaxed  delivery is so important to the song.  It also doesn't resolve into simple guitar chords very well IMO.  That atmospheric complexity is every bit as much at the heart of the song as the vocal lines.

    Having said all that, I really enjoyed listening to it, and I also learnt a lot from the experience, cheers  :)

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3480
    Sylvian made one collaborative album and tour with Robert Fripp. 

    My favourite song that the Japan lot did between them was this.


    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    Japan ~ Oil on Canvas

    Live album


    Duration 59:50

    https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwGb6GZ7-l4


    1. Oil on Canvas 0:00
    2. Sons of Pioneers 1:25
    3. Cantonese Boy 6:25
    4. Visions Of China 10:10
    5. Ghosts 15:51
    6. Voices Raised In Welcome, Hands Held In Prayer 20:09
    7. Nightporter 23:39
    8. Still Life in Mobile Homes 30:26
    9. Methods of Dance 36:04
    10. Quiet Life 42:11
    11. The Art of Parties 46:46
    12. Canton 52:14
    13. Temple of Dawn 57:58

    Label:  Virgin
    Released:  June 1983

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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    edited February 10
    Rain Tree Crow (feat. David Sylvian) ~ Rain Tree Crow

    (Japan under the name Rain Tree Crow)


    Duration 48:40

    https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=dr-6lUMWvws



    Tracklist:
    01. Big Wheels in Shanty Town 0:00 - 7:12
    02. Every Colour you are 7:12 - 12:02
    03. Rain Tree Crow 12:02 - 14:10
    04. Red Earth 14:10 - 17:52
    05. Pocket full of Change 17:52 - 24:03
    06. Boat`s for Burning 24:03 - 24:51
    07. New Moon at red Deer Wallow 24:51 - 30:07
    08. Blackwater 30:07 - 34:30
    09. A reassuringly dull Sunday 34:30 - 35:55
    10. Blackcrow hits Shoe Shine City 35:55 - 41:14
    11. Scratchings on the Bible belt 41:14 - 44:03
    12. Cries and Whispers 44:03 - 46:43
    13. I drink to forget 46:43 - 48:40

    Label:  Virgin
    Released:  1991

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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4965
    Adolescent Sex is a marvellous album I have it on vinyl still gets a regular listen.
    I bought it many, many years ago because I imagined they'd be like the New York Dolls or something.  Never particularly got into it, but it's very different from (and more guitary than) their later more famous stuff.
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    So, on to a little of David Sylvian's albums in the wake of Japan's breakup...

    They start to get a little too "atmospheric" for my taste as time goes on, but I'll post a link to David's YT channel later on if anyone wants to explore his catalogue further.

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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1117
    David Sylvian ~ Brilliant Trees


    Duration 40:11
    https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=udiCalKVYZE


    01. Pulling Punches 0:00 - 5:06
    02. The Ink in the Well 5:06 - 9:40
    03. Nostalgia 9:40 - 15:26
    04. Red Guitar 15:26 - 20:42
    05. Weathered Wall 20:42 - 26:30
    06. Backwaters 26:30 - 31:27
    07. Brilliant Trees 31:27 - 40:11

    "The Ink in the Well (2003 - Remaster)" by David Sylvian

    Sylvian's debut solo album, Brilliant Trees (1984) included contributions from Ryuichi Sakamoto, trumpeter Jon Hassell, and former Can bassist Holger Czukay. It featured the UK Top 20 single Red Guitar.

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  • fnptfnpt Frets: 473
    Didn't Sylvian work with Peter Murphy later on?
    ____
    "You don't know what you've got till the whole thing's gone. The days are dark and the road is long."
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 390
    Oil on Canvas :)

    wasnt Sylvian the “most beautiful man in the world” ?  Not my descriptor (is that a word?) but was used a lot in the early 80s about him?
    and then he had an accident ? Am I remembering that right?

    And presumably “Forbidden Colours” you are about to mention ? :)

    https://youtu.be/jsG2M66-_xc
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  • Bloody hell, had no idea they were from Catford. That's my old neck of the woods and it's hard to believe such a glamorous/arty band came from somewhere so 'naff'
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