Quiet Life

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Quiet Life
Studio album by Japan
Released December 1979 (World)
4 January 1980 (UK)
Recorded 1979, Air Studios, London
Genre New wave, synthpop
Length 44:33
Label Hansa Records
Producer John Punter, Simon Napier-Bell, Japan
Japan chronology
Obscure Alternatives
(1978)
Quiet Life
(1979)
Gentlemen Take Polaroids
(1980)
Singles from Quiet Life
  1. "Quiet Life"
    Released: December 1979 (1979-12), September 1981 (1981-09)
  2. "All Tomorrow's Parties"
    Released: March 1983 (1983-03)

Quiet Life is the third album by the British band Japan, released firstly in Japan, Germany, Canada and other countries in December 1979, then in the UK in January 1980 (due to a delay in manufacturing the album).

History[edit]

Musically, the album was a significant departure for the band as their previous two albums had been more in the vein of alternative glam-punk (much-influenced by The New York Dolls), as opposed to the new wave leanings exhibited on this album. Quiet Life is often erroneously listed as one of the first albums of the New Romantic movement, though Japan always flatly denied they were New Romantics.[1]

Recorded in 1979, Quiet Life was the last of three albums the band made for the Hansa-Ariola label (they switched to Virgin Records in 1980), though Hansa would later issue a compilation album (Assemblage) that consisted of non-album singles and album highlights from the band's tenure on the label. The album is also notable for being the first album where singer David Sylvian used his newfound baritone vocal style, which became one of the band's most distinctive hallmarks.

Reception[edit]

Though initially unsuccessful upon its release in the band's native UK (where it peaked at #72 in February 1980), the album returned to the charts in early 1982 after the commercial success of 1981's Tin Drum and the Hansa Records compilation Assemblage. It then peaked at #53, two years after its original release,[2] and was eventually certified "Gold" by the BPI in 1984 for 100,000 copies sold.

The titular lead single "Quiet Life" was commercially unsuccessful and did not chart upon its release in late-1979. However, in line with Japan's increasing popularity and media profile, Hansa re-released the single in 1981; this time reaching the Top 20 on the UK Singles Chart.

The album appears in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by David Sylvian except for "All Tomorrow's Parties" written by Lou Reed.
All songs arranged by Japan.

Side A:

  1. "Quiet Life" – 4:53
  2. "Fall in Love with Me" – 4:31
  3. "Despair" – 5:56
  4. "In Vogue" – 6:30

Side B:

  1. "Halloween" – 4:24
  2. "All Tomorrow's Parties" – 5:43
  3. "Alien" – 5:01
  4. "The Other Side of Life" – 7:26

Bonus tracks on the 2001 UK CD reissue

  1. "All Tomorrow's Parties (12" Version)" – 5:17
  2. "A Foreign Place" – 3:12
  3. "Quiet Life (12" version)" – 4:50
  4. "Life in Tokyo (12" Version)" – 7:05
  • "A Foreign Place" was the B-side for the "Quiet Life" 12" single; the rest are remixes.
  • "Life in Tokyo" written by David Sylvian/Giorgio Moroder, produced by Giorgio Moroder.

Bonus tracks on the 2004 remastered UK CD reissue

  1. "All Tomorrow's Parties (12" version)"
  2. "All Tomorrow's Parties (7" mix)"
  3. "A Foreign Place"
  4. "Quiet Life (7" mix)"
  • Also includes the video for "Quiet Life".

Original planned track listing

  1. "All Tomorrow's Parties"
  2. "Fall in Love with Me"
  3. "Alien"
  4. "Quiet Life"
  5. "The Other Side of Life"
  6. "Despair"
  7. "In Vogue"
  8. "Halloween"
  9. "A Foreign Place"
  • As described in the notes that accompany the 2004 reissue. This original tracklisting was intended to form a travelogue, but was rejected for something more commercial. The band ultimately dropped A Foreign Place from the tracklisting, but it was released on the 1981 UK single of Quiet Life, and then on the 1984 compilation Exorcising Ghosts (although it was dropped from the CD version apart from on Japanese pressings). At one point, the band intended European Son and Life In Tokyo to be part of the travelogue (evidenced in their lyrics), but they were not included on the album.

Singles[edit]

  1. "Quiet Life"
  2. "All Tomorrow's Parties"

Personnel[edit]

Japan
Additional personnel

Production[edit]

  • Produced By John Punter (also engineer), Japan & Simon Napier-Bell
  • Colin Fairley - engineer
  • Keith Bessey - engineer (B2)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rimmer, Dave (October 1981). "Japanese Boys (an interview with David Sylvian and Mick Karn)". Smash Hits (EMAP Metro) 3 (22): p42–43. 
  2. ^ Japan albums Official charts
  3. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r10235