Japanwas a British rock, pop band which was formed in 1974, in Lewisham, London, England. The original members of the band were, David Sylvian (real name David Batt, vocals, guitar & keyboard player), Mick Karn (real name Anthony Michaelides , bass guitar, sax, and oboe player), Rob Dean (guitar player), and Steve Jansen (Sylvianís brother, Steve Batt, drummer & percussion). The groupís debut album was, Adolescent Sex, which was released in 1978. The followup album was, Obscure Alternatives. Both records sold well in Japan and the Netherlands and Adolescent Sex made it to number 30 on the charts there. They received some minor success in Canada but not in any other countries. The bandís third album, Quiet Life, in 1979, was quite a change in music style from the other 2 albums. They added a more electric sound to their music because the style of music about then was more punk and New Wave. This was the last studio album released under the Hansa-Ariola, but the label later released an issue of a compilation album called, Assemblage. The group released their last 2 studio albums, called Gentlemen Take Polaroids, in 1980, and Tin Drum, in 1981. These two albums were released under the Virgin label. The group became a part of the New Romantic Movement in the early 1980's. Tin Drum made it to the Top 12 album in the U. K.. The single from it called, Ghosts, reached number 5 on the U. K. chart, and became Japanís biggest domestic hit. Personality conflicts was the reason for this album being the last studio album released. In 1982, the band made itís last U. K. Performance which was a six night sellout performance at the Hammersmith Apollo, in London.
Oil On Canvas, was the bandís final recorded live album which was released in 1983 from their performance in Nagoya, Japan, in December, 1982.The band decided to split up just as their commercial success was beginning to take hold. Oil On Canvas was their highest charting British album and it reached number 5 on the charts in the U. K.
The band members went on to pursue other projects and have had some success. The most successful of the group is David Sylvian. He has recorded many solo albums and collaborations with other artists such as, Holger Czukay, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Robert Fripp. In 1989 the group reunited shortly and used the name of Rain Tree Crow, and recorded only one album. The band split up again in 1990, and in 1991 the album was released. The album was a great success in spite of the friction between Sylvian and the other members. The band released 31 Eps and singles, 10 albums and compilations, 4 DVDs and music videos, and 4 tracks that were recorded but not yet released.
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