Japan – Tin Drum (The ’59) #143

The ’59 2018 #143: 180523

Japan – Tin Drum (1981)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 23 – 1981.

Tin Drum was the fifth and final studio album from Japan, released in November 1981 by Virgin. It peaked at No. 12 on the UK charts, and featured the top 5 single “Ghosts.” It has received acclaim as the band’s best work.

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Japan – In Vogue (Epic 2017 #136)

The Epic 2017 Project #136: 170516

Japan – in Vogue (1996)

Japan formed in 1974 in Catford, South London comprised David Sylvian (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Steve Jansen (drums), Richard Barbieri (keyboards) and Mick Karn (bass guitar). Initially a glam-inspired group, Japan developed their sound and androgynous style to incorporate electronic music and foreign influences, eventually becoming an influence on the UK’s early-1980s New Romantic scene.

They achieved success in the late 1970s and early 1980s, releasing nine UK Top 40 hits, including the 1982 Top 10 hit “Ghosts”, and scoring a UK Top 5 with the live album Oil on Canvas (1983). The band split in 1982, just as they were beginning to experience significant commercial success in the UK and abroad. Its members went on to pursue other musical projects, though they reformed briefly in the early 1990s under the name Rain Tree Crow, releasing an album in 1991.

In Vogue is a post-split compilation drawing on the first two albums (Adolescent Sex & Obscure Alternatives) with a couple of twelve-inchers thrown in for good measure.