36 Years Ago Today…
Way back in the late 70’s to early 80’s a truly superb band existed making highly original music seemingly following no particular style. They were amongst a small number of similar bands that the press at the time labelled the New Romantics. Japan competed against the likes of Duran Duran, Visage & Spandau Ballet etc but being much less commercial in sound they tended to hover in the shadows. For me, Japan were, and still are, the true kings of the genre, the real leaders who deserved the crown purely for cool, originality and ability.
Exactly 36 years ago today, October 24th 1980, ‘Gentlemen Take Polaroids’ was the first Japan album released on Virgin. It received moderate success reaching 51 in the album charts and the single of the same name reaching 60. Two years later in 82, ‘Night Porter’ reached 29 in the UK singles chart. For me, this album is one of the best there has ever been, admittedly, it is a matter of taste, all music is but something stirred real deep inside when I first listened. Something so refreshingly different, it really hit a nerve.
By 1983 the band was no more, disintegrating into history. I had the real fortune of seeing them live not just once but twice during two different tours, the last of which was promoting their final album ‘Tin Drum’. Another great album and tour but that first gig, one year before remains to this day the best band & live experience I have ever seen and this album being amongst the best of the best.
If you have never heard Japan you could be in for a treat, maybe dive straight in and play ‘Night Porter’ with its haunting aura, just simply wow, what a song, a timeless classic beyond belief.
Track Listing –
- Gentlemen Take Polaroids
- Burning Bridges
- My New Career
- Methods of Dance
- Ain’t The Peculiar
- Taking Islands in Africa