A recent post featured Nick Heyward while today’s has the talents of David Sylvian, two of the faces you’d find most regularly in the pop magazines aimed at teenage girls in the early 80s.
While Haircut 100 never got any critical acclaim due to being just too pop-charts orientated, the initial crime of Japan was that of making music deemed unfashionable. Three LPs released on Hansa Records in 1978 and 1979 were seen as rip offs of the arty side of glam, with Roxy Music and mid 70s Bowie no longer in vogue as punk and new-wave came to the fore. A move into Eurodisco working alongside Giorgio Moroder also brought nothing.
But to the surprise of many, Japan were snapped up by Virgin Records in 1980 at a time when the label was seen at the cutting edge of the new wave movement. The sound and feel of the band was different to what had gone before and the marketing men at the label were not slow in exploiting the good looks of Sylvian pushing all sorts of profiles into the magazines. And coming just as the New Romantics were bursting onto the scene, the look, feel and sound of new Japan was in the right place at the right time.
Chart success, and then some, followed thanks to the hits on Virgin and the shameless exploitation of the back catalogue by Hansa Records who seemed hell-bent on issuing a new single every few weeks. This time round, the radio stations lapped it all up, and thanks to effectively being on two labels at the one time, Japan enjoyed eight Top 40 hits in a little over a year, including a re-released remix of a 60s cover:-
mp3 : Japan – I Second That Emotion (extended remix)
It went all the way to #9 in the charts and was their second biggest hit of all behind Ghosts.
This was the b-side:-
mp3 : Japan – Halloween
Yet another single picked up for pennies during a rummage.