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Volume 1: 1981-85 Box set


Price: £14.62 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
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£14.62 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Volume 1: 1981-85
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  • Volume 2 : 1987-1989
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  • Volume 3 : 1990-1995
Total price: £44.17
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Product details


Disc: 1
1. My Concentration, Oh No
2. 2 Hearts = 1
3. If My Father Answers, Don't Say Nothing
4. Scientific Devices
5. Gift
6. Dumb Animals
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Dance When I Say Dance
2. Girl Athletes
3. Because I Love You
4. Danger Danger Rachel Lang
5. E.S.P.
6. Classical Music
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Firecracker Firecracker
2. On the One Hand
3. Too Bad About Elizabeth
4. Dearest Darling
5. Sing No Evil
6. Double Trouble
See all 13 tracks on this disc

Product Description

3CD version of 3LP RSD release (FIRELP342 still in stock now). Fire records followed up the deluxe reissue of Half Japanese's first album Half Gentlemen Not Beasts for last year's Record Store Day with another deluxe reissue. The first of 4 volumes containing 3 vinyl LPs of the next set of Half Japanese albums is now also available on a 3CD package. This first volume starts with 1981's Loud and also includes Our Solar System and Sing No Evil to bring them through to 1985. New artwork from Jad Fair adorns the outer sleeve, which also contains a booklet with liner notes by Jad and David. Half Japanese were formed in 1974 by brothers Jad and David Fair. Despite being lifelong music obsessives, their approach to the craft of writing and the art of performing was utterly unique. Heavily inspired by Jackson Pollock, Half Japanese were always more of an art project than a musical journey. More important than technical ability, was enthusiasm and a thirst for creation. They eschewed traditional ways of playing to explore different tunings, allowing them to coax new sounds from their instruments. Their first release, a seven inch, EP called Calling All Girls was more of an art project than a business venture, with nine songs, a poster with inserts and a printed cover. They never really expected it to sell, but much to their surprise distributors quickly gobbled up all 500 copies, so they rushed to repress 500 more and began making plans for a second record. It was well and truly a calling card. Fire Records continues their Half Japanese reissue campaign by bringing you the next three albums in the set, collected as Half Japanese: 1981-1985. In recording the follow-up, entitled appropriately as Loud, the band came into their classic line-up. Consisting of Jad and David Fair, as well as two Saxophonists; John Dreyfuss and Lana Zabko, and guitarist Mark Jickling, with Rick Dreyfuss on drums. Creating a barrage of enthusiasm and manic energy around rock and roll teen anthems and free jazz skronk, the band were well on their way to carving out a unique legacy. Our Solar System would bring further joys as they continue to focus on simple themes of love and romance and dancing with girls amongst the experimental noises sneaking out in the music, creating a soundtrack for a sock hop in an alternate universe. The album also featured covers of Buddy Holly, The Velvet Underground, Chuck Berry and Roky Erickson. Their approach to covers is explained by David Fair: 'We have covered many songs but never with the idea in mind of having it sound like the original. In fact, we often took only the words and made no effort, whatsoever, to recreate the melody.' On Sing No Evil, Half Japanese truly came into their own, with their DIY roots blending with free jazz touches to create a raucous indie rock classic. Containing songs like "Firecracker Firecracker" that remain set highlights even today, the band had established a voice like no other. This would be the last record with David in the core line-up, and all of the early records bear his powerful arty and experimental streak. Where would the future take Half Japanese with Jad at the helm? You will have to wait for Half Japanese: 1987-1989 to see.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Thanks Fire Records for the re-release. Extra song cd versions but no extra extra songs. That's cool. 2 Nov. 2014
By Chris bct - Published on Amazon.com
I went to the Fire Records site and learned that this is the first 3 lps, song for song. I have them as individual cd releases. Actually, as lps too. There's 2 versions of their original cd's, without and then with about a dozen extra songs per cd, included. This Volume 1 set is the expanded versions of the cds. I haven't purchased it (yet. I think I will) but that much I do know. If you don't have these 3 records you'll find my reviews of each of the cd's here on amazon, Horrible, Our Solar System and Sing No Evil. Horrible has that release and Loud 2 records combined. All 3 (4 if ya think about it) are excellent Half Japanese records and if I didn't already have them I'd jump on this. The great benefit of Fire Records re-issuing all the HJ albums is that they're all out of print and have been for probably over 10 or more years. Thus, they can get a little pricey. This makes them totally affordable and new. This precious music, this unique creation that sounds like zero other bands needs to be easily affordable for the few folks out there who appreciate it cuz it rocks, it rocks hard and they know how to do it soft too. My adult daughter is into Weezer and Jet and I selected nice HJ songs like Daytona Beach and a coupla soft love songs and she goes, "I like Half Japanese." with a big smile. I'm like "She has no idea what most of their music sounds like!" Try it. It works. It's clear the label is working with the band/Jad given his new drawings/cut out paper design for the covers. Course, Half Japanese isn't for everyone. What I've learned over enjoying them for about 4 decades is that cuz their music is so discordant that it still surprises me after all these years rather than say Led Zeppelin or most standard bands, I master the songs and without much distortion or hoppin' around musically, I just don't find the music very attractive as the decades pass. With Led Zeppelin they did the Mothership cd set which had original songs really remastered and suddenly I re-enjoyed hearing them. I also like well recorded live, demo and covers as well as alt recordings and outtakes, basically to shake up the songs so they're not exactly like the official release from 10, 20, 30 even 40 years ago. Like BBC sessions or Peel sessions. Those Zep BBC sessions, for example, are excellent as they're live in studio and fairly different than the studio released songs. Meanwhile, if yer into Half Japanese, get this. If yer not, try some samples and if it zings ya, yer in. I love 'em while, I'm positive, most folks just can't get it and never will and that's ok. I played one song by them once for, literally, about 1 to 2 seconds and my wife was pretty sure her DNA got adjusted. They can get pretty intense. I gotta say, I love when they have sax and they do, beautifully, on maybe 4 of their 10 or so albums. I just learned that at one point they had 2 sax players. This is the honor bestowed upon a truely great band, to re-issue amazing music so it can be in the hands of those who can enjoy it. Thank you Fire Records and Jad for making this happen. Cool. ps, God bless, it's a really short life and a really long eternity.
(Jad & David) Fair Play! 12 May 2015
By William Wort - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I'm originally from the Washington DC area, where Half Japanese frequently played. I loved their shows and music, and thought, "when the history of DC alternative music is written, these guys will prove to be the most important!" Well, of course I was wrong, but I still love'em, and these disks are a great reminder as to why.

These songs are paradoxical: They are simultaneously musically primitive and avant garde; simple and complex; naive and sophisticated.

Now, I'll admit, Half Japanese will not be to a lot of people's liking, but if you're someone who can enjoy a band like Pere Ubu, then you'll no doubt fall in love with Half Japanese.
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