Tuesday, April 10, 2018

With Juvenile Intentions

Japan : Adolescent Sex

On April 8, 1978 Japan released its debut album, Adolescent Sex.  The band may have looked like an 80's hair band but, like Ultravox, they drew their inspiration from harder rocking David Bowie and Roxy Music.  If you're a fan of the bands's sophisticated, Eastern-influenced later works, Tin Drum and Gentlemen Take Polaroids, this may come as quite the surprise.  Here is the birth of the New Romantic sound. that would be dominated by Duran Duran, Visage and Spandau Ballet.

Ripe for rediscovery, Adolescent Sex has received rave reviews from some of the band's biggest fans and was recently discussed in a Quietus article in which Chris Roberts tried to get singer/songwriter  David Sylvain to discuss an album the band would eventually dismiss.

I was interviewing David Sylvian for a career overview in 2004 and suggested we work though album by album, beginning with Adolescent Sex and Obscure Alternatives. “You can,” he shrugged politely. “I mean, I haven’t heard them since 1982 or whatever. I have no interest.” He wasn’t being rude or affected. He genuinely doesn’t see what he perceives as juvenilia being relevant to his body of work. On another occasion I asked him if he hated them as much as is generally made out. Can he not even hear them as youthful, buoyant “fun”? “I don’t cringe as much as I laugh,” he said, smiling. “I don’t take it so seriously as to worry about it. I understand the train of thought. It doesn’t bother me.”

Check out "Television" and "Suburban Love" for some of the more oustanding moments on the album.

The follow-up, Obscure Alternatives, is just six months away. The band's recording career would only last four short years.

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