|Single by Aneka|
|from the album Aneka|
|B-side||"A Fond Kiss"|
|Released||10 July 1981|
|Format||7" single, 12" single|
|Genre||Disco, new wave|
|Aneka singles chronology|
"Japanese Boy" is a UK No.1 hit single by Scottish singer Aneka, released in 1981. The song became her biggest hit and provided the singer with a memorable Japanese image, which she found difficult to discard.
Written by Bob Heatlie and produced by Neil Ross, the song was recorded by Scottish folk singer Mary Sandeman. Realising that the name didn't fit the song, they decided to come up with a name to put to the single. Leafing through the telephone directory, they came upon the name of Aneka. This was then released as a single and Sandeman came up with a Japanese image under which to perform the song. To their surprise, the song became a major hit when it eventually reached No.1 in August 1981. The song went on to become a hit all over Europe and beyond, although according to Sandeman, it failed to chart in Japan itself because "they thought it sounded too Chinese."
The success of the single proved to be a problem however, as Sandeman was left with a dilemma of what to do as a follow-up, now that her image was so firmly associated with one song. She modified her image and kept the Aneka name, but future single releases failed to chart highly in the UK, although she did score two follow-up hits in many countries in Europe.
The song was released on 7" and as an extended 12" version and featured on Aneka's debut – and only – album, released later in 1981. "Japanese Boy" sold almost half a million copies in the UK, making it one of the best-selling singles of 1981, and the second-best seller by a solo female artist (behind Kim Wilde's "Kids in America").
Sandeman featured in a 2006 Channel 4 documentary titled 'Bring Back The One Hit Wonders'. Justin Lee Collins attempted to organise a one-off performance of as many 'one hit wonders' as possible but despite getting in touch with Sandeman, she declined to take part as she didn't want to travel to London from her home in Scotland and had 'no desire' to perform the hit that made her place in pop history. She revealed though that "Japanese Boy" sold 5 million copies around the world.
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||57|
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||4|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||1|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||42|
|Eurochart Hot 100 Singles||1|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||3|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||7|
|Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)||7|
|South African Chart||19|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||1|
|UK (Official Charts Company)||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play||15|
- In 1981, Marion performed a French version of the song called "Sayonara Monsieur Kung-Fu"
- Japanese pop idol Yukano Yamaguchi performed a cover version called "Chinese Boy" in 1983.
- Czech singer Hana Zagorová made her cover "Mimořádná linka Praha Tokyo" which became huge hit in 1982 Czechoslovakia.
- The Swedish punk rock group Psychotic Youth made a cover for their 1994 EP Pop and album Bamboozle!
- Hanaumi covered "Japanese Boy" and released it as a single in 1998 and on her album "Partylife".
- Swedish-Korean Bubblegum Dance artist Chong Lee recorded a cover of "Japanese Boy" around 2000, but it was never officially released.
- Taiwanese girl group S.H.E recorded their own version of the song and it appears in their 2004 album, Encore.
- The song has been used for the anime series Tenchi Muyo!
- In 2007, "Japanese Boy" was covered by Japanese Eurodance group Shanadoo.
- In 2008, the song was covered by Swedish bubblegum group, Smile.dk, on their album, Party Around the World.
- In 2009, the song was covered by Swedish rock band Sahara Hotnights on their album Sparks.
- In 2009, it was also covered in German by German pop singer Jacqueline on her album "Auf der erde". A video clip and CD-single of this version were also released.
- Justin Kantor. "Aneka review on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 23 May 2013. "Aneka may not possess the power of Donna Summer or Gloria Gaynor, but the sensitive ring and soulful restrain in her voice warrant her as more than a trendy member of the disco bandwagon."
""Japanese Boy," which is a unique fusion of new wave guitars and synths and disco rhythms."
- BPI – Statistics – Certified Awards – Aneka
- Last fm – Aneka
- Chartstats – "Japanese Boy" chart details
- Aneka chart discography in Germany
- IMDb.com – Bring Back the One Hit Wonders
- "Aneka – Japanese Boy – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – Aneka – Japanese Boy" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Japanese boy in Canadian Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Japanese boy in French Chart" (in French). Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Aneka"
- "Aneka - Japanese Boy". Charts.de. Media Control.
- "Japanese boy in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 1 June 2013. Only one result when searching "Aneka"
- "The best-selling singles of 1982 in Italy". HitParadeItalia (it). Retrieved 1 June 2013.
64. Japanese boy - Aneka [#16, 1981/82]
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Aneka search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Aneka – Japanese Boy" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Aneka – Japanese Boy". VG-lista.
- John Samson. "Japanese boy in South African Chart". Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Aneka – Japanese Boy". Singles Top 60.
- "Aneka – Japanese Boy – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "1981 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 29th August 1981". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- Amazon.com: Party Around The World: SMiLE.dk: Music
- CD album published in 2009 by HAPPY VIBES® RECORDS http://www.jacqueline-music.de/releases/releases.php
"Green Door" by Shakin' Stevens
|UK number one single
29 August 1981
"Tainted Love" by Soft Cell