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
Quiet Life
Gentlemen Take Polaroids
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).


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]

Quiet Life was the last of three albums the band made for the Hansa-Ariola label (they switched to Virgin Records later in 1980), though Hansa would later issue a compilation album (Assemblage) that consisted of 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.


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.

Also initially unsuccessful, the title track and lead single "Quiet Life" would later be re-released and make the UK top 20 in 1981. Three other prominent tracks were also recorded and released by the band during this era and would later be re-released and become UK Top 40 hits for the band in 1982, but were not included on the album ("Life in Tokyo", "European Son", and a cover of the Motown hit "I Second That Emotion" which would make the UK Top 10).

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".

Alternative 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.


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


Additional personnel


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


  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