So why 4 stars when, as noted by the previous reviewer, this is yet another Japan compilation that doesn't include anything unusual?
In part I bought this when I heard Amazon sample of the 12" version of "Life In Tokyo", as it is not the 7.09min version listed on the sleeve (presumably meant to be to 1982 Moroder 'dance' retweak from his 1979 original mix of the same length). It is the rarer slower 6.14 remix with oriental sounding keyboard stabs that replace most of the original sequencer in these other extended versions.
This 6.14 mix appeared on the recent jewel case remaster of Assemblage (albeit with last 5 seconds of fade-out hideously cut off) but not on all of the previous digipack version of the same remaster (instead its the 7.09 remix).So, if you haven't yet located this mix on CD (the chorus vocals distort slightly on all sources I've come across), this is the compilation to buy - as it even boasts the full fade-out this time round!
Aside from that tracklisting error (arguably a good thing) the timings of the 2 mixes of "All Tomorrows Parties" are swapped round, which is a very minor slip .
One of the main reasons I like this compilation is that it includes a couple of Virgin era tracks, and also the slightly quirky reverse chronology of the tracks. However I feel "Adolescent" sits a little uncomfortably after the previous smoother production, but that's down to personal taste. The choice of older album tracks makes it quite a different animal from the excellent "Assemblage" compilation, and it includes two favourites of mine, "In Vogue" and "Halloween". Sound quality indicates the tracks are taken from various recent remasters, as it sounds consistently crisp and fresh.
Artwork is basic, but informative enough, although no production/mixer credits.
So even though this is almost certainly another attempt to get even more funds out of Japan fans, this compilation is still worth investigating, particularly at its current budget price. The music is great and varied. Usually I'm a 'reissue/best of' cynic, but this selection deserves its 4 stars.
Who would have thought that a group such as Japan could have originated from the dump know as Lewisham,Sarf London(I live there).Such a sensitive beautiful organism,given the status of new romantic leaders in the early 80's,from such a faceless rough enviroment.Even more interesting is that Richard Barbieri,Japan's keyboard player,is now a member of the great neo-prog band Porcupine Tree,who have worked with Mikael from death metal legends Opeth.Who would have guessed.
The tracks here have been released in many ways but they are all brilliant,but maybe the other compilations have a slightly better selection. They only had five albums and they are all available cheapish,why not get them all,but don't forget the singles Life in Tokyo and European Son only available on the compilations.
It's like re living my youth : 0 ) Used to listen to a lot of Japan as a teeenager, but had never added any albums to my CD collection. What a great CD all the tracks that I remembered and still a great sound, I love it !!!!!