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A Victim of Stars, 1982-2012 Double CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Double CD, 27 Feb 2012
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  • A Victim of Stars, 1982-2012
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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Feb. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Virgin Catalogue
  • ASIN: B006TX276C
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,607 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ghosts
  2. Bamboo Houses
  3. Bamboo Music
  4. Forbidden Colours
  5. Red Guitar
  6. The Ink In The Well
  7. Pulling Punches
  8. Taking The Veil
  9. Silver Moon
  10. Let The Happiness In
  11. Orpheus
  12. Waterfront
  13. Pop Song
  14. Blackwater
  15. Every Colour You Are
  16. Heartbeat (Tainai Kaiki II) Returning To The Womb

Disc: 2

  1. Jean The Birdman
  2. Alphabet Angel
  3. I Surrender
  4. Darkest Dreaming
  5. A Fire In The Forest
  6. The Only Daughter
  7. Late Night Shopping
  8. Wonderful World
  9. The Banality Of Evil
  10. Darkest Birds
  11. Snow White In Appalachia
  12. Small Metal Gods
  13. I Should Not Dare
  14. Manafon
  15. Where's Your Gravity?

Product description

Product Description

A Victim of Stars picks the best from David Sylvian's 30-year musical career, from '80s pop-funk via jazz in the 90s to the 2000s leaning to electronica. This compilation of the former Japan front man's greatest hits also includes a newly recorded single, "Where's Your Gravity?".

BBC Review

Scott Walker and Mike Patton aside, was there ever a Top of the Pops regular as thrillingly un-pop as David Sylvian? Even the fact he ended up there seems almost accidental; after all, when Japan emerged at the height of punk, they were all high art and preposterous glamour – a kind of Proxy Music, if you will, with the erstwhile Mr Batt as their Ferry-cum-Bowie – and if New Romantic hadn't happened they'd've been little more than a cultish footnote.

Not, mind you, that that would've stopped Sylvian ploughing the furrow spotlit by this retrospective, since him claiming to be captain commerciality would've been spurious at best. Take the opener here, Japan's ostensible swansong and zenith Ghosts: even in the eclectic landscape of 1982, its melancholic miasma, arcane synthalia and otherly distress calls made it a striking top five hit, while heard again here it might as well be from another universe to anything that's passed for pop in years. Indeed, as CD one here illustrates magnificently, he'd enjoy continued popular success with numerous aloof, oblique records that skipped unsettlingly between several overlapping melodies, the lachrymosely filmic Forbidden Colours being the most celebrated, with the puzzling Red Guitar remaining a standout.

In fact, it was only when he actually did start borrowing from the zeitgeist, all none-more-80s sax and Pino Palladino-style basslines, that he began to suffer, leading to the genuinely futurist and liberatingly atonal Pop Song, after which cavalierness sets thoroughly in, as dramatically showcased on the second disc, where we get toes dipped in improv waters, the deliciously unwieldy glory of The Banality of Evil, the 10-years-early invention of James Blake (hello, A Fire in the Forest!) and his adieu to top 40 life I Surrender, which is a nine-minute slice of Sade-ian sophisti-pop with separate flute and trumpet solos taken from the album Dead Bees on a Cake. It would be, wouldn't it?

Yes, it's a ridiculous, sometimes patchy affair, but that feels entirely apposite. After all, this is Exhibits A through Z and beyond in the case for Sylvian as practically the male Kate Bush, and, amid the rampant self-satisfaction evidenced by the BRIT Awards, it's a timely reminder that, at its best, the mainstream's been able to accommodate many kinds of magic.

--Iain Moffatt

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