I’ve been a casual fan of Japan over the years, I own Tin Drum, David’s first LP and a couple of compilations but I’ve never really dug into the history of the band. I knew they had a pre-history as a sort of glam/trash band but that was it. So this was quite an intriguing read. Reynolds traces the history as school friends, and details the very slow rise to fame through the late 70s/early 80s. It’s fair to say Japan were not an overnight sensation, signed to the deeply unhip Sansa label they were a confusing proposition – looking like the New York Dolls but musically someway between the Alex Harvey Band and Chic. For years they were, somewhat ironically, big only in Japan. Once success arrived their were huge rifts within the band which are detailed here. They eventually hit upon a formula of elegant, stylish synth pop but perhaps were more influential than successful and seemed to quit just as they were on the verge of breaking.
It’s fair to say they weren’t the most rock of roll of bands in spite of their early image, so don’t read this expecting tales of hellraising » Continue Reading.