Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Big in Japan" by Alphaville

Song#:  2133
Date:  11/24/1984
Debut:  90
Peak:  66
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Synthpop, New Wave, Dance

Pop Bits:  This German trio originally formed as Forever Young, but later changed their name to Alphaville. They signed on with Warner Bros. and recorded a debut album titled Forever Young. This first single was issued and it was a significant hit in Europe making many Top 10 lists and hitting #1 in their home country. When the song was issued in the US, it clicked in clubs and it got to #1 on the Dance chart. That action let the song bleed over to Pop, but the best it could do was a third of the way up the chart.

ReduxReview:  I remember this coming out, but don't think I had ever heard it. I'm sure I have this song on an 80s compilation, but I can't remember it. It has a nice, rolling synth beat, which certainly helped it at Dance. It's Europop sound was a bit on the dark side and it just didn't catch on nearly as well at Pop. It's a good 80s track, but it just doesn't stick in my brain like it should.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Alphaville member Marian Gold found inspiration for this song via another band. Gold purchased an album by a UK punk band called Big in Japan. That band's name was also a phrase used to describe Western music artists that would be popular in Japan, yet not do well in their home country. Hard rock acts were of particular interest to audiences in Japan around this time. That phrase seemed to fit along with some lyrics Gold was writing and a song was born. The band Big in Japan was never really big anywhere. They gigged around the UK and recorded only seven songs. However, they later became more known for its members who went on to have successful careers. Former members included Bill Drummond (The KLF), Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds), Budgie (Siouxie & the Banshees), and Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood).


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