Thursday, March 7, 2013

Japan: Quiet Life

Typically for my Thursday Repeats and Threepeats I only use songs that were released twice in the US; however, today I’m going to cross the Atlantic for a single that was issued twice in the UK. Japan’s “Quiet Life” album and single, to my knowledge, were never issued in the US. While Ariola-America released the bands first two albums in the US, I cannot find evidence that their third, “Quiet Life,” was released in the US by Ariola-America, Arista, or anyone else. This is getting to be a pattern this week – the third album not issued in the US.

The album was released in the UK in January 1980 and is often touted as the first “New Romantic” type of pop/rock album. You can see how this LP influenced bands like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, ABC, Ultravox, and others who saw greater success in the 1980s.

Originally released as the flip side their cover of “I Second that Emotion” in Marcch 1980, the cut was reissued as an “A” side in August 1981 and charted at #19. I love the synthesizers on this cut and during the days of monophonic synthesizers; it would have been difficult doing this live, but still possible. The main synth lines used an onboard sequencer to play the 1/16th notes that are found throughout the song. Richard Barbieri is the master of the keyboards.

Others on the cut include band members David Sylvian on lead vocals, Mick Karn on fretless bass, Steve Jensen on guitars, and Rob Dean on guitars. All but Barbieri provide backing vocals. Being that it was not an American release, I can’t tell you where I’ve heard this, but I had a friend (Geoff Gardner) during this period that was highly into the New Romantic movement and heard a lot of this kind of music at his house. I hope you enjoy this cut as much as I have rediscovering it.

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