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  #1  
Old 20-04-17, 10:35 AM
foxwelljsly foxwelljsly is offline
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Japan's first album - Adolescent Sex

Well, I couldn't really start a thread just called 'Japan - Adolescent Sex', could I?

I marvel at this album every time I hear it. A wonderful mix of the polish of Steely Dan and the punk raunch of the New York Dolls, it's one of my very favourite rock albums and sounds like it's by a different band to their later efforts. And it's been utterly disowned by it's principal creator David Sylvian. Pretty sure the infinitely inferior Duran Duran and their ilk wouldn't exist were it not for this LP, either.

One thing I've always wondered though, it is so staggeringly polished and well played for a debut effort, were there significant contributions from any session musicians on this LP? Or were they really that shit hot straight out of the trap?
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  #2  
Old 20-04-17, 10:39 AM
guey guey is offline
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I saw them live around that time, and they were a really good live act; so I'd guess they were indeed shit hot even then.
Oddly, I heard Television for the first time in aaaaaages on Monday (the DJ before us at Spiritland played it), and it still sounds ace.
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  #3  
Old 20-04-17, 10:47 AM
Tony L Tony L is offline
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I get the impression that Sylvian has all but disowned all of Japan's work! I can't understand why, they were an amazing band IMO, and stronger than his solo work IMO (no weak links in Japan; all were superb musicians and played together so well). For me they really hit their stride on Quiet Life, that being the point they just nailed that unique sound of theirs, but Adolescent Sex is a good album too. I only bought it and the follow-up Obscure Alternatives fairly recently when buying Japan's back catalogue on CD (I had Quiet Life, Gentlemen Take Polaroids, Tin Drum and Oil On Canvas on vinyl from way back). A different thing, but still great, I must dig them out for a spin.

One that often gets overlooked is the Rain Tree Crow album, which is a Japan reunion album in all but name. It is stuningly good, a fabulous recording too.
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Old 20-04-17, 12:58 PM
fay spook fay spook is offline
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Her indoors was mates with the late great Mick Karn at that time. She loves the first 2 albums as much as I'm meh about them. Life in Tokyo into Quiet Life are where they hit it for me.

I asked her indoors if there were many session musicians and she says no. Also Mick Karn was quite a multi-instrumentalist. Biased but why not? I think they kept a regular guitarist for the first 2 albums.

There was some influence from Simon Napier Bell on their sound for these. He had been out of the country and got it wrong. That's probably behind some of the disowning.

It does them no harm being local lads to me.
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  #5  
Old 20-04-17, 01:18 PM
manicatel manicatel is offline
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When you listen to their album Assemblage, you can hear their musical style develop from their early "raunchiness" & syncopated rhythms through to their better known new romantic stance.
Quite a journey of development relative to most other pop acts, & certainly leagues ahead of the Flock of Spandau Durannies.
Talk Talk likewise could hold their heads high along with Japan as the best of that era.
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  #6  
Old 20-04-17, 01:23 PM
oneills oneills is offline
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I always sat and listened to " Nightporter " when i needed to calm down and chill
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  #7  
Old 20-04-17, 01:59 PM
spengenuk spengenuk is offline
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Japan are one of my all time favourites. They progressively made better music with each album. Tin Drum is fabulous.
Just had a look on the David Sylvian website and he has a new collaborative CD out next week but IMO it's been years since he made music that has interested me.
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  #8  
Old 20-04-17, 02:40 PM
AV8 AV8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneills View Post
I always sat and listened to " Nightporter " when i needed to calm down and chill
Playing now, a great choice & wonderful piece of music.

Tin Drum next sat here in darkness apart from a glowing candle, a mood calmer.
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  #9  
Old 20-04-17, 06:00 PM
RickyC6 RickyC6 is offline
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Tin Drum is one of my all time favourite albums. Stunning piece of work fusing eastern influences with modern western music. And all sung and played beautifully. Not played AS in years. Will fix that this weekend.
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  #10  
Old 20-04-17, 10:07 PM
irons1965 irons1965 is offline
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Gentlemen Take Polaroids and it's accompanying singles were the ones for me - I loved Width Of A Room instrumental from the Polaroids double 7".
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  #11  
Old 21-04-17, 02:35 AM
RickyC6 RickyC6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irons1965 View Post
I loved Width Of A Room instrumental from the Polaroids double 7".
That's also on the Canadian 12" of The Art Of Parties. They were one of those bands whose timeline got a bit messed up as their popularity grew and older stuff got reissued.
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  #12  
Old 21-04-17, 04:39 AM
Jonathan Ribee Jonathan Ribee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxwelljsly View Post
Pretty sure the infinitely inferior Duran Duran and their ilk wouldn't exist were it not for this LP, either.
Maybe this is the reason for the disowning. A sort of, oh dear - what we did led to this! Imagine Nietzsche looking at the ruins of Europe in 1946 and saying "OK, I was massively mis- and selectively quoted, but maybe if I hadn't said these things in the first place?"

If so, I'd suggest that David Sylvian should adopt the model of history that shows the pop trivialisation of the tenants of New Romanticism was an inevitable movement. And that it would have occurred independently of any individuals (or bands) actions. We cannot blame Gavrilo Princip for WWI. Nor can we blame Japan for The Reflex. Or the cultural devastation it caused.

(Tin Drum does it for me too)
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  #13  
Old 21-04-17, 04:58 AM
cooky1257 cooky1257 is offline
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Oil on canvas, excellent live album, I never considered Japan to be a part of the New Romantics:More glam, in the vein of early Roxy Music.
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  #14  
Old 21-04-17, 05:00 AM
guey guey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooky1257 View Post
Oil on canvas, excellent live album, I never considered Japan to be a part of the New Romantics:More glam, in the vein of Roxy Music.
Dug that out for the first time in years last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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  #15  
Old 21-04-17, 05:06 AM
Jonathan Ribee Jonathan Ribee is offline
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The live version of ghosts on Oil on Canvas is one of my favourite tracks. Ever.

Oddly it came as an extra CD in the remastered box set of Tin Drum a few years ago. That reissue is quite a nice object d'art in itself.
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