Japan - Tin Drum (1981)


An extraordinary record that never fails to confound me. Japan wasn't really a band that fitted in at the time (or at any time for that matter!) They weren’t New Romantics or new wave posers (a little bit maybe!) but they did have a truly unique sound that resonated strongly with me as the change of decade tried to work itself out. 

Mick Karn remains one of my favourite musicians (unfortunately, he died in 2011). His remarkable bass playing gives every song its backbone. Combine this with Richard Barbieri's inventive electronic noodlings, Steve Jansen's impossible cadence on drums and brother David Sylvian's as-smooth-as-velvet vocals and you have a group truly beating their own drums. Some how it all came together.

It would never last, this was their last record.  On big hefty vinyl it sounds absolutely enormous!