Gentlemen Take Polaroids

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Gentlemen Take Polaroids
Original 1980 cover art
Studio album by Japan
Released 24 October 1980
Recorded 1980 at AIR Studios and Townhouse Studios, London
Genre New wave, new romantic, art pop
Length 46:26
Label Virgin
Producer John Punter
Japan chronology
Quiet Life
(1979)
Gentlemen Take Polaroids
(1980)
Tin Drum
(1981)
Singles from Gentlemen Take Polaroids
  1. "Gentlemen Take Polaroids"
    Released: October 1980 (1980-10)
  2. "Nightporter"
    Released: November 1982 (1982-11)

Gentlemen Take Polaroids is the fourth studio album by English band Japan. It was released on 24 October 1980 by record label Virgin.

Background[edit]

Gentlemen Take Polaroids was the band's first album for the Virgin Records label, after leaving Hansa-Ariola, who had released their first three albums, some months earlier. It continued in the vein of their previous album Quiet Life, utilising a combination of electronic elements coupled with more traditional instruments. This was the last Japan album to feature guitarist Rob Dean, who left the band in spring 1981.

Release[edit]

The album was preceded by the release of title track as a single in October 1980, which peaked at number 60 in the UK Top 100, the group's first single to chart.

Gentlemen Take Polaroids was released on 24 October 1980. It was moderately successful in the UK, where it peaked at number 45.[1] The album was later certified Gold by the BPI in 1986 for 100,000 copies sold.[citation needed]

No further singles were immediately taken from the album, though "Nightporter" (influenced by the works of French composer Erik Satie, most particularly his Gymnopedies) was remixed and released as a single in November 1982, just after the band announced that they were splitting. It peaked at number 29 in the UK Singles Chart, though both the edited 7" version and the full-length 12" remix remain unreleased on CD to this day.

The album was reissued in 2003, with slightly different cover art (taken from the same photo session as the original cover) and three bonus tracks (see below).

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Smash Hits 8/10 stars[3]

Gentlemen Take Polaroids has been well-received by critics.

In his retrospective review, Ned Raggett of AllMusic called it "unquestionably the album in which Japan truly found its own unique voice and aesthetic approach."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by David Sylvian, except as noted. 

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Gentlemen Take Polaroids"   7:08
2. "Swing"   6:23
3. "Burning Bridges"   5:23
4. "My New Career"   3:52
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Methods of Dance"     6:53
2. "Ain't That Peculiar"   Smokey Robinson, Warren "Pete" Moore, Marvin Tarplin, Bobby Rogers 4:40
3. "Nightporter"     6:57
4. "Taking Islands in Africa"   Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sylvian 5:12

Singles[edit]

Year Song UK Chart Additional information
1980 "Gentlemen Take Polaroids" 60 released as a double single pack: "Gentlemen Take Polaroids" (edit)/"The Experience of Swimming" and "The Width Of A Room"/"Burning Bridges" (a Sylvian-produced version unavailable elsewhere)
1982 "Nightporter" 29 released edited and remixed with "Ain't That Peculiar" (remix) on the 7" single and "Methods of Dance" on the 12" single

Personnel[edit]

Japan
Additional personnel
Technical
  • John Punter – production, mixing, recording, engineering
  • Colin Fairley – recording, engineering
  • Nigel Walker – recording, engineering
  • Steve Prestage – recording, engineering
  • Nicola Tyson – back cover
  • Stuart McLeod – front cover

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Japan | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Gentlemen Take Polaroids – Japan | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ Taylor, Steve (13 November 1980). "Album Reviews (Japan – "Gentlemen Take Polaroids")". Smash Hits (EMAP Metro) 2 (23): 29. 

External links[edit]