Japan’s Quiet Life Gets Another Listen

Released in 1979, Japan’s third album Quiet Life marked a stylistic turning point from the London group’s glam-rock beginnings and the electronic, experimental art-pop they’d pursue in the early ‘80s.

On March 5th, BMG will release an expanded CD edition of the album, appending B-sides, non-album singles, alternate mixes and an entire live show recorded at Budokan arena in Tokyo, Japan, where fittingly the group – vocalist/multi-instrumentalist David Sylvian, bassist/saxophonist Mick Karn, keyboardist Richard Barbieri, drummer Steve Jansen and guitarist Rob Dean – were quite popular.

“It’s as if we discovered sophistication, subtlety and nuance overnight,” Barbieri has acknowledged about Quiet Life. “A big change was that David started writing more on the piano and I think this produced stronger song material at that time. This lent itself toward more open and spacious sounding pieces and we started to understand about how to build arrangements.”

Vinyl fiends, take heart: the original album, half-speed remastered on heavyweight vinyl, but without the bonus material, will also be released the same day.

Photo by Fin Costello.