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The Very Best Of Japan [Original recording remastered]

Japan Audio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: 4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Mar 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000EIEJK0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,749 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ghosts (Single Version) (2003 Digital Remaster)
2. I Second That Emotion (Single Mix)
3. Quiet Life
4. Gentlemen Take Polaroids (2003 Digital Remaster)
5. The Art Of Parties (Single Version) (2003 Digital Remaster)
6. Visions of China (2003 Digital Remaster)
7. Taking Islands In Africa (Steve Nye Remix) (2003 Digital Remaster)
8. European Son (Single Mix)
9. Cantonese Boy (2003 Digital Remaster)
10. Life In Tokyo - Part One (Special Remix)
11. Nightporter (2003 Digital Remaster)
12. Methods Of Dance (2003 Digital Remaster)
13. All Tomorrow's Parties (7'' Version)
14. Canton (Live) (2003 Digital Remaster)
15. Ghosts (2003 Digital Remaster)

Product Description

2006 anthology from David Sylvian's enigmatic band featuring 'Ghosts', 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids' 'Visions of China' etc

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite The Best of Japan.... again 24 May 2006
Format:Audio CD
Well, here we are again, happy as can be..... well, not quite as it happens.

For the umpteenth time since 1984, we witness the arrival of yet another Japan compilation, or should we say the best of their Virgin Records years. Quite simply, this compilation takes us, in recording terms, from late-1979 to late-1981. It almost completely ignores the band's Hansa material from 1977-1979, including classic cuts from their two 1978 albums such as the reggae-infused Rhodesia, the post-punk sounding Communist China, the moody pop of Adolescent Sex, the edgy Stateline and the epic Suburban Berlin. Sure, their earlier years were patchy, but there were some masterful highlights which have been purposely ignored here.

Other notable exclusions include the brilliant synth-pop of Halloween, the 'Bond-theme that never was' which was The Other Side of Life, the swooning Swing and the sublime alt-pop of Still Life In Mobile Homes. The inclusion of the gorgeous Rain Tree Crow track, Blackwater, (Japan reformed under this moniker in 1990-1991) would also have been a nice touch with which to close this collection. Alas.....the compilers chose to include the stodgy album track The Art of Parties, the repetitive instrumental track Canton, the band's cover version of Lou Reed's All Tomorrow's Parties and for some reason, two versions of Ghosts.... err, why ?

Another (sorry) gripe is the non-chronological track listing which seems like the songs have been randomly shuffled from the Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum albums and then deposited nonchalantly onto this CD. Thus it is difficult to chart the development of this highly original band from their glam-esque punk art beginnings to being the 1980's first truly innovative new wave band.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Japan-compilation... 31 Mar 2006
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:Audio CD
At one point in time there were two Japan-compilations - 1981's 'Assemblage' (which gatherered together the years on Ariola-Hansa, cashing in on their success in 1980 & 81 on Virgin) and 1984's 'Exorcising Ghosts'- which was originally a double LP that focused on the Virgin years with a few concessions to before ('Quiet Life', 'A Foreign Place', 'The Other Side of Life')- bizarrely that ignored 'Oil On Canvas.' This unimaginatively titled compilation takes in 15 tracks (their biggest hit 'Ghosts' features twice...)and works as a fairly ideal primer to the band for those who don't want the reissues and might find the full-length 'Exorcising Ghosts' (never on CD) a bit too much. By taking the Ariola-hits (when reissued) 'I Second That Emotion','Quiet Life', 'European Son' & 'Life in Tokyo' a more cohesive selection of Japan's career is there. It could be subtitled 'the most obvious Japan album in the world, ever!'
The key singles are here - 'Cantonese Boy', 'Ghosts', 'The Art of Parties', 'Visions of China' and two firm favourites 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids' and 'Methods of Dance.' This is perfect avant-pop advancing on the climes of Roxy Music, Eno, Bowie & Yellow Magic Orchestra. This compilation offers a few more adventerous moments - the instrumental 'Canton' (which predicts a lot of Sylvian's later world music/intrumental directions) and another 'GTP'-double whammy in the form of 'Nightporter' and 'Taking Islands in Africa.' 'Nightporter', like 'Ghosts', dispenses with the band - Sylvian crooning like a blend of Ferry'n'Walker over a Satie-styled piano (directions confirmed by earlier tracks 'The Tenant' & 'Despair'). 'Taking Islands...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ghosts is excellent 6 Jan 2014
Format:Audio CD
I only bought this for Ghosts really as I used to have this on 7' vinyl....and this is one of the rare moments I can say I prefered my vinyl, reason being my vinyl version crackled slightly and that made the song a bit spooky in a strange kind of way.....Quiet life always sounds like Duran Duran if you ask me and Life In Tokyo backing music tries to be a sort of Gary Numan-ish
never a big fan of Japan but Ghosts and Quiet Life are my favourite 2 singles
Symph pop was ok and some classic bands came out such as Teardrop Explodes but im more the punk/newave fan and the 2-tone/ska sort of person anyway so I cant really judge Japan really but will leave that to the real fans......Ghosts is a 5* song in my opinion!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars japan, the very fair to middling of 4 May 2006
Format:Audio CD
This isn't a bad introduction to this wonderful band but with a little thought could have been so much better. Some of their most beautiful tracks are inexplicably missing: the brief Satie-esque Oil On Canvas, the sprawling ballad The Other Side of Life (the only Japan song Sylvian played on his last tour), the Bowie-esque Alien, the svelte Swing...What we do get is 2(?why?) versions of Ghosts, and on songs where the album versions were better eg Quiet Life they give a single version, and for those where the shorter mix would have been better (Polaroids, Canton live, Life In Tokyo) they've chosen the long version - also live versions of Art of Parties and Cantonese Boy have more life to them than the studio mixes here. All a bit if a shame really (and as for the credits, typos and lack of any photos of any band members aside from David...) Best bet is still to buy the Exocising Ghosts compilation and either Quiet Life of Assemblage, or better still to invest in David Sylvian/Steve Jansen's brilliant new Nine Horses album 'Snow Borne Sorrow'
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent value!
Published 1 month ago by Jeff Powell
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful sounds remind me of my old vinyl collection.
Had these tracks on vinyl and felt it was about time to get them on CD. For me this is; moody & quirky (sorry, but that's my sense of it). Read more
Published 9 months ago by dingle
5.0 out of 5 stars Cantonese Boy
This is the only Japan compilation which includes all the band's charting singles. At the time there seemed to be a prevailing view that "Japan are crap", which deterred me from... Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2012 by Rob
5.0 out of 5 stars We deserve a bit more
Before we listen to the music, let's start with the packaging. No pictures of the band, and strange excerpts in the sleeve notes about children playing and hot chocolate????? Read more
Published on 8 July 2011 by JB
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good moments but rather pretentious
Splitting up in the early 80s as they threatened to finally become very big, Japan were a highly regarded band amongst their slightly younger new romantic peers yet their influence... Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2010 by Greg Farefield-Rose
4.0 out of 5 stars Big up Japan
Sometimes I feel that I'm the only person in the land that loved this band. This a fairly good representation of their move into a more electronic sound and away from their... Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2009 by J. G. McMillan
5.0 out of 5 stars japan
turn the lights off close your eyes and return to the 80's in china, very atmospheric
Published on 6 Aug 2009 by Ian Darbyshire
4.0 out of 5 stars Life in marketing...
Quelle surprise! Another Japan compilation. Along with the immaculate Joy Division, they must be one of the most compiled bands around and, like the Mancunian legends, they are... Read more
Published on 21 April 2006 by sonik57
5.0 out of 5 stars I am 16 again!
What an absolute gem - thank you Virgin! This takes me back to 1983, when I had the (Betamax) video of Oil On Canvas. Read more
Published on 13 April 2006 by Caro
5.0 out of 5 stars From a casual fan's perspective (4.5 Stars)
Understandably there are a lot of serious Japan fans reviewing this so I feel a bit out of my depth here. Read more
Published on 2 April 2006 by Richard
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