David Bowie: The Golden Years, by Roger Griffin

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This *treasure* has just arrived at Storm HQ, and I’m so delighted to see it has come out looking every single bit as good as we could have hoped for. This has to have been one of our favourite projects ever to be involved with: Roger Griffin’s David Bowie: The Golden Years, published in Tokyo in Japanese by our colleagues at Shinko.

It’s now just over a year since the great man left us, and in this house we have not stopped talking about him and his singular contribution to the history and culture of music. There will never be anyone like David Bowie, and we are naming our forthcoming cultural review after a lyric on his groundbreaking futuristic trash glam album Diamond Dogs.

David Bowie: The Golden Years has been in preparation for several years, incidentally, and in fact I had it on my catalogue for six book fairs before it finally got finished! The author, the editor and the design team (and now the Japanese translators and designers too) have really put an awful lot of work in, and how it shows. The “golden years” of Bowie’s career are 1970-1980 in Roger Griffin’s esteem, and I tend to agree. Like many others of my generation, Bowie’s songs during that period gave me a much-craved feeling of safety as a child (“Oh no love! You’re not alone”) and it’s notable how very many of us have said that since he died. And of course the manifold costumes and looks of those years have inspired way too many to count (hello, wonderful Tilda!) and will no doubt continue to, forever…

Very well done then to author Roger Griffin for getting this together. I wish Shinko much success with this superb edition. It’s been a pleasure helping birth it into existence.

Wishing all a happy and peaceful weekend.

Tune of the day: An absolute favourite from the era covered in this gorgeous book, although it will always remind me of being in a world of adventure as a young student in Paris in 1985/6

Japan: A Foreign Place, by Anthony Reynolds

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Seasons greetings!

Here at the agency we have had a wonderful year, with books of our own coming out in different languages and formats, as well as setting up and overseeing more than a dozen gorgeous editions of our authors’ works, and getting involved in some very exciting future film projects too.

We’ve now pared back our catalogue for next year in order to be able to devote more time to our cherished authors, as well as to launch our own literary magazine and start on our very own new book projects…

2017 is going to be all about quality.

Meanwhile, in Storm’s latest editorial news: the Japanese edition of Anthony Reynolds’ beautiful biography is now officially in translation/production, and will be ready soon from our dear friends at Shinko.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, restful and above all well-read yuletide!

 

Japan: A Foreign Place, by Anthony Reynolds

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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.