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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quieter Life suited Sylvian & Co.
Quiet Life (originally released in late-1979) was a defining moment in Japan's history. The glam-punk experiements of their two initial albums were thankfully ditched in favour of an entirely new sound, unique to themselves, yet perhaps owing a little to the likes of Roxy Music and the then-fashionable European electro-disco scene.
Quiet Life was recently recompiled...
Published on 5 Jun 2003 by chrishyams

versus
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where Sylvian began to get it right
Japan of the first two albums is a bit patchy, though I have great affection for 'Suburban Berlin' & 'Adolescent Sex'. 'Quiet Life' was where they moved from a New York Dolls sound to one close to 'Siren'-era Roxy Music (part. 'Both Ends Burning'); the addition of synths and Sylvian's stunning appearance created the New Romantic movement by default (where Japan wrote...
Published on 7 Dec 2001 by Jason Parkes


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quieter Life suited Sylvian & Co., 5 Jun 2003
This review is from: Quiet Life (Audio CD)
Quiet Life (originally released in late-1979) was a defining moment in Japan's history. The glam-punk experiements of their two initial albums were thankfully ditched in favour of an entirely new sound, unique to themselves, yet perhaps owing a little to the likes of Roxy Music and the then-fashionable European electro-disco scene.
Quiet Life was recently recompiled (in 2001) to incorporate several 12" versions of several album tracks, including All Tommorrow's Parties and Qiuet Life (superior to the 7" version album-opener), plus the B-side of the Quiet Life single, A Foreign Place. These are fairly needless additions (although they are OK in themselves) and do not improve the album in any way, as the incorporation of the superior 7" single version of Life In Tokyo and perhaps the Motown cover I Second That Emotion would have been a good idea, making the revised album sound like a truly fluidic and completed product (both these tracks in their 7" single versions would've made for a five-star album).
Minor gripes aside, the music speaks for itself, and with the likes of the brilliant 'Other Side of Life' and the breakneck bass/sax/synth-driven 'Halloween' onboard (plus of course the Top 20 hit Quiet Life), these tracks are worth the asking price alone. If only the Other Side of Life could've been shortened by a couple of minutes it would've made a classic single in itself.
The cover imagery is very much of its age, predating the New Romantic movement by a good year or so, although Japan were a relatively publicity-shy band who concentrated on their music rather than the style-conscious vagueries of 'the Movement', prefering the studio to clubland, which was left to the likes of their musically inferior contemporaries Spandau Ballet, Visage and Duran Duran etc (Talk Talk had a similar attitude). Having conquered the UK and much of Europe (and they were unsurprisingly massive in Japan too), they sadly split in late-1982, on the verge of their global breakthrough, with Sylvian wishing to pursue a solo (and far less commercial) career, much to the huge disappointment of Jansen, Karn and Barbieri who were clearly predicting greater things for this magnificently original band.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Life, 15 Dec 2005
By 
Mr. L. G. Rice "riceylad" (in a chair, shefield uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quiet Life [Digipak] (Audio CD)
Originally released in 1980,This was a bresk through album from a band who were still finding their creative feet. When I hear the intro to the title track with that sequenced synth, I get goose bumps every time. It has a fug about this album, covered in ciggy smoke and deep in side itself. Sylvian letting out some fantastic moments of soul and depair and really letting lose from their previous two albums, from a time when bands could develop a bit more, into this, I think a classic of it's time. I think its fair to say that Duran Duran were listening to this and claimed large chunks of its production style and refrain for their Planet earth.this album. Tracks like halloween, fall in love with me, other side of life show what they all could and would individually acheive, some cracking dramatic synth, fretless bass momnets that would have alan partrage air bass playing all night.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Class, 15 Nov 2006
By 
Paul Andrews (Rossett, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quiet Life (Audio CD)
Describing music is difficult, but if you like early Eno (e.g. "Music For Films", "Another Green World") Roxy Music's "For your Pleasure" or David Bowie's "Heroes" there is a good chance you'll love this album. It is beautifully played and put together; the production is top grade. The music is haunting and warm. These guys were some of the top musicicans of the time, yet most dismissed them as a glam pop rock outfit that arrived too late. They weren't at all. This album and its predecessor "Obscure Alternatives" go together well. They each have a different feel, "Quite Life" is slicker and less cold than "Obscure Alternatives", but there is a musical connection between the two that lets you see their progression as musicians. Highly recommended.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Life - Remastered CD at last., 3 May 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Quiet Life [Digipak] (Audio CD)
Finally the best Japan album is now available as a remastered CD with some bonus tracks.
For me, this was the best Japan album easily outshining all of their other output.
The band really were on top form with this album after two so-so (commercially speaking) efforts previously.
This album came at a time when Japan were under pressure to deliver from both their management and label who wanted chart success. This album has these tensions and more written all over it, fantastic lyrics allied with fantastic song arrangements, this is altogether a timeless album.
I've had the vinyl version since its release in 1979 and finally a remastered version finds its way onto CD to replace my creaking, cracking vinyl version!
The bonus tracks are a little superfluous adding nothing of real value to the original release, after all the album was pretty much perfect first time out.
That said the remixes sound sharper than the original versions so perhaps its good to hear them again.
This CD brings back so many memories of a great gig at London's Lyceum on this albums release. The sound system packed up, Japan off stage for 1/2 an hour, came back on to rip the place up and then a long walk home due to missing last tube home!!
Quiet Life, is the quintiessential Japan album.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars David Sylvian takes his first steps to greatness, 8 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Quiet Life (Audio CD)
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Romantic masterpiece, 6 April 2009
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This review is from: Quiet Life (Audio CD)
Was it really 30 years ago. In a short,slick move David Sylvian and his fellow cohorts created New Romantic music from the ashes of glam and the ennui of disco. Commentators often focus on Tin Drum as Japan's masterwork, but it was this album that spawned a 1000 imitators. Other than the innovation, what sets it apart is some clever musicianship - particularly Barbieri's keyboards and Karn's bass - some glorious poetry in the tracks (Despair, Other Side of Life)and some cracking tunes. Quiet Life and Halloween are the dance hall classics, while In-Vogue, Alien and Fall in Love with Me capture and bottle the zeitgeist that was to come. The only disappointment is the unimaginative choice of extra tracks. 7" mixes of Life in Tokyo and European Son would really have enhanced the album (six stars?), instead of which some unnecessary extended versions and an average b-side dissipate the quality.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey to the Otherworld..., 25 May 2009
This review is from: Quiet Life (Audio CD)
David Sylvian's elfin image, moving through the mist, sets the sensuous mood for Quiet Life.
These songs shimmer and smoulder from the stereo. The title track and "Life In Tokyo" with thoughtful lyrics, and hypnotic keyboards, touch popular appeal. This leaves the remainder in the weirdly beautiful 'alternative' category. "Alien" and the epic "Other Side Of Life" drift into other realms. "All Tommorow's Parties" oozes like a transmission from a strange, sun-scorched planet. "In vogue", "Despair" and "Fall In Love With Me" feature tortured bass and saxaphone , and whirling, weaving synths.
Finally, "A Foreign Place" sets the precedent for later albums with an experimental, oriental theme.
As a whole we are transported back to the early eighties, blending new-wave and new-romantic, in a band who were hidden behind the hot parade of the times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skin Deep Music, 24 Oct 2001
This review is from: Quiet Life (Audio CD)
If you are curious about the sound of Japan? This album will satisfy and let you know all you ever needed to know about a band who were ahead of there time. This was the album that spelt the end of Ariola Hansa but what a way to end. The music produced from this album is the defining transition from what Japan were to what Japan became. The pivital Jigsaw piece in the puzzle. Don't hesitate you must buy this album and if your hairs on your neck do not stand up it means you dead!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Japan, 2 July 2007
By 
Mr. M. A. West "mwest653" (london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quiet Life (Audio CD)
I must say this is there tour de force as far as I am concerned , less bombastic than Adolescent Sex, more smooth than Obscure Alternatives and just about better than Gentlemen Take Poloroids and Tin Drum.

Every Track is a winner as other above albums have highs and several lows.

Sylvians voice is on top form here between the screech and the drone,Its a a shame they couldn`t add on I Second That Emotion instead of 3 versions of the sublime All Tomorrows Parties and 2 versions of Quiet Life.

Cest La vie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brillinat album!!, 26 July 2014
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This review is from: Quiet Life (Audio CD)
This is one of the greatest albums of the late 70s / early 80s. This is, in fact, one of the first real New Romantic albums, but one that contains substance as well as style - and David Sylvian actually hated the group getting tagged with the NR label. It was said at the time that the band were given something like £500 at the time to get some clothes for the sleeve photogrpahs, but David Sylvian spent it all on the red leather jacket he wears on the cover. And when he was that gorgeous, who could mind??

There are really great tracks on here - in particular the title track and Japan's cover of All Tomorrow's Parties, but also less well-known ones like Halloween. It will appeal to anyone who likes good music, not just 80s / New Romantic fans.

Japan were never afriad to go their own way both musically and stylistically, and with David Sylvian's obv ious good looks and charisma as well as the brillinat music, they should have been up there with Duran Duran, but it's been said that they didn't want it enough. Also, they refused to compromise and become the poppy, media-friendly band that their manager seemed to want them to become (he later went on to manage Wham! - Wham! and Japan are bands at the opposite end of the spectrum if you ask me!).

This could maybe have benefitted from some better bonus tracks - perhaps some live versions? And a decent Japan DVD is WAAAAAY overdue!
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