When I bought 'QL' on vinyl when it was first released, it quite simply blew my mind. I'd heard nothing like Mick Karn's basslines or Steve Jansen's drumming (Surely the most under-rated rhythm section in Rock?). Although the Japan of 'QL' fused many influences (Roxy, Bowie, Euro synth-disco, jazz sax etc), their overall sound was unique. 'QL' changed my (musical) life forever.
Most of the tracks on this release are already widely available on the plethora of Ariola/Hansa era Japan compilations- but it still becomes an essential purchase. I personally prefer to listen to these tracks as originally intended, i.e in their original sequence and album format (in my opinion pre- and post- 'QL' Japan don't mix too well). Standout tracks are 'Despair', 'Fall in love with me', '(The) Other Side of Life' (definite article strangely missing from the track listing on my copy) and 'Quiet Life' itself. The latter two were licensed by Virgin for the later 'Exorcising Ghosts' compilation. 'Quiet Life' (the album) is where David Sylvian took his first steps to greatness.
Of the four 'bonus' tracks, the 12" versions of 'QL' and 'ATP' add little, but the 12" version of the classic 'Life in Tokyo' and former b-side, 'A Foreign Place' are essential. In fact, this release only lacks 'I second that emotion' and 'European Son' (both inessential in my opinion) to be a comprehensive review of post-guitar, pre-Virgin Japan.
Add to this the faithful reproduction of the orignal LP's photographs on the CD booklet and the absolute bargain price, this becomes an essential purchase for anyone with an interest in 80's music. Steve S.