Rarely does a rock band undergo such a severe transformation in their short years in the public eye as Japan, health care whose debut album, “Adolescent Sex”, marked them as New York Dolls imitators in 1978, but as quickly as 1980, had morphed into pioneers of what’s known as the New Romantic sub-genre. I think they covered both areas pretty well, but it’s their second album from ’79, “Obscure Alternatives”, that’s their shining moment, a jagged, glistening hybrid of heavy guitar rock, post-punk synths and wheezy teenage flitterings.
Here’s a mix to get yourself more familliar with the best of their stylings. If you want a look at exactly how their heavily manufactured look quickly progressed along with their music, check out this great Japan image gallery here.
Also, Joe Stumble over at Last Days Of Man On Earth posted some great YouTube links last month, also detailing the band’s progression.
Automatic Gun (“Obscure Alternatives”, 1979)
Love Is Infectious (Obscure Alternatives”, 1979)
Adolescent Sex (Adolescent Sex”, 1978)
Obscure Alternatives (“Obscure Alternatives”, 1979)
Quiet Life (“Quiet Life”, 1980)
Fall In Love With Me (“Quiet Life”, 1980)
Gentlemen Take Polaroids (“Gentlemen Take Polaroids”, 1980)
Swing (“Gentlemen Take Polaroids”, 1980)
The Experience Of Swimming (“Tin Drum”, 1981)
Don’t Rain On My Parade (“Adolescent Sex”, 1978)