Japan: A Foreign Place, by Anthony Reynolds

Japan_Paperback_Cover_2016a (1)

Anthony Reynolds’ gorgeous biography of the band Japan, detailing their journey from 1974-84, has now been licensed to Shinko in Japan.

Here’s the Goldmine review…

Of all the bands swept up in the so-called New Romantic movement of the early 1980s, Japan were always among the most inappropriate. Five years earlier and they’d have been riding the darker side of the glam movement, allied with Bowie, the Doctors of Madness, Be Bop Deluxe and Roxy Music; and even in their own time, they had more in common with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Eno and Robert Fripp than they ever did with the chart-topping concoctions of the funny haircut brigade.

But a few hits and a glamorous image were hard to argue with, even when you delved deep into their albums and became lost inside the convolutedly art-infused experimentalism that was their natural state of being. Nevertheless, Reynolds handles the contradictions well as the story tracks Japan from the alternative obscurities of their earliest guise (those first Ariola albums remain deathless classics) through the years of high conceit and ambition, onto the band’s somewhat sorrowful demise.

Punctuated throughout by band members and associates, and written with an enthusiasm that never flags, A Foreign Place is not simply a vivid document of a vibrant band. It is also a window into one of the most formative quarters of all that modern prog aspires to.