Wednesday, 14 January 2009
This week, I have mostly been listening to ..
One of my favourite bands from my youth, and the old tracks still sound great today. I have almost all of their stuff on vinyl from the early Hansa releases to the Virgin days before they disbanded in October 1982, plus the live final offering Oil On Canvas. It must be obvious that I was to young to hear the early stuff on first release, I got into them somewhere between Quiet Life and Gentlemen Take Polaroids. I have to confess though that aside from odd tracks that Sylvian did with Ruichi Sakamoto, I never kept up with his or any of the other members solo stuff and have never heard the Rain Tree Crow work (Japan briefly reformed under this name). The five studio albums - all superb as far as I'm concerned: Adolescent Sex (Hansa, March 1978), Obscure Alternatives (Hansa, October 1978), Quiet Life (Hansa, December 1979), Gentlemen Take Polaroids (Virgin, November 1980) & Tin Drum (Virgin, November 1981). Here's a couple of tracks which demonstrate how the differing musical style over the years was more of a development rather than step-change. Visually though they changed significantly! Communist China, from Adolescent Sex Quiet Life, from Quiet Life (!) The Art of Parties, from Tin Drum My two favourite Japan tracks though are as different from all of the above as they are from each other: Rhodesia, from Obscure Alternatives Nightporter, from Gentlemen Take Polaroids