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        The Very Best Of Japan
        C D


        • Japan: David Sylvian, Mick Karn, Richard Barbieri, Steve Jansen
        • Format: CD
        • Release Date: 27 Mar 2006
        • Catalogue Number: CDV3018

        • Number of Discs: 1
        • Type: Original recording remastered
        • Label: Virgin


        The Very Best Of Japan

        Japan, 2006

          While stocks last I will send 4 Sylvian cards out with each order.

      • Better than nothing but what a missed opportunity.

        There have been so many Japan compilations over the years which have all failed to do justice to a band that along with Talk Talk, were the most influential of their time. This has been entirely down to the two record companies in question, Hansa and Virgin who have shown not the slightest interest in releasing something that actually constituted the definitive guide to Japan. That would mean spending a bit of money, paying the ex-members for their input into the release as, after all, they would be best placed at putting a compilation out that at the very least had continuity.

        This compilation does not address these failings. To be fair, I found this CD better than most but it is really only useful to anyone just starting to get into Japan and anyone who just wants some of the best bits from their time with Virgin circa 1979-81 (though there are a couple of tracks from the Hansa era. Swing is missing as well as My New Career and anything from the reformation as Rain Tree Crow in the early 1990s ... well, forget it.

        But there is enough on here to make a mid-budget price reasonable enough. For even if this is frankly a lazy and uninspired release it is far better than anything else released in the 1980s by any other band. Sylvian was and is a musical genuis (what Scott Walker was to the 60s and 70s Sylvian is to the 80s onwards); the bass guitar has never sounded so inspired as it does when Karn is playing (and has there been a more neglected and underrated musician than the Godmeister of bass?); Barbieri could get sounds out of a keyboard that Kraftwerk could only dream of; and Jansen's drumming is as soft and subtle as to make it an artform. They were Japan and this is their time, this was their moment and these are some of the best of those moments, well according to Virgin. So the CD is not without merit.

        Perhaps this is a bit harsh on Virgin who released their later stuff (and much of their releases by Sylvian have been works of art in their own right) but I do think this release should have been done better. Hansa, who were responsible for the early Japan releases, have never shown the slightest interest in spending anything more than they could get away with! I mean, can you think of a back catalogue of a band that has been as poorly handled as Japan's? A mis-match of releases without rhyme or reason other than to cash in on Japan's fame when they switched to Virgin, Hansa and BMG, who bought Hansa out, have released some truly awful compilations (En Vogue anyone?). Never in the history of music has a back catalogue been so desecrated as Japan's by Hansa as Winston Churchill would no doubt have said had he been aware of the situation.

        The back catalogue is really just a mess. Until a company out there who could buy the back catalogue and spend some time and money releasing it with some sort of continuity plan then the problem will never be addressed. This has to suffice in the meantime

        I'd recommend this CD as let's face it, there is so little out there to get excited about when you think of Japan releases. Imagine though something similar to an all-encompassing Prophetique being released in the UK complete with hefty booklet and poster.

        We can dream, can't we?


          1. Ghosts (Single Version)
          2. I Second That Emotion (Single Mix)
          3. Quiet Life (7" Version)
          4. Gentlemen Take Polaroids
          5. The Art Of Parties (Single Version)
          6. Visions Of China
          7. Taking Islands In Africa (Steve Nye Remix)
          8. European Son (Single Mix)
          9. Cantonese Boy
          10. Life In Tokyo - Part 1 (Special Remix)
          11. Nightporter
          12. Methods Of Dance
          13. All Tomorrows Parties (7" Version)
          14. Canton (Live)
          15. Ghosts (Album Version)

          UK 2006


      • Price: 11.99
        UK Sterling (new) (includes UK postage & packaging)

        June 2011, this item will be sent out with 4 Sylvian postcards.

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          South Norwood
          SE25 6EP
          United Kingdom

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      • ALSO AVAILABLE: amazon.co.uk (uk) | amazon.com
      • JAPAN: amazon.com store


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