Turning Japanese

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Turning Japanese"
TurningJapanese.jpg
Standard European artwork
Single by The Vapors
from the album New Clear Days
B-side"Talk Talk" (USA/Canada)
"Here Comes the Judge" (live) (international)
Released1980
Genre
Length3:41[2]
LabelUnited Artists Records
Songwriter(s)David Fenton
Producer(s)Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
The Vapors singles chronology
"Prisoners"
(1979)
"Turning Japanese"
(1980)
"News at Ten"
(1980)
Audio sample

"Turning Japanese" is a song by English band the Vapors, from their 1980 album New Clear Days. It was an international hit, becoming the band's most well-known song. The song prominently features an Oriental riff played on guitar.

Overview[edit]

Songwriter David Fenton explained, "Turning Japanese is all the clichés about angst and youth and turning into something you didn't expect to."[3]

The band suspected they would score a hit with "Turning Japanese", even delaying its release in order to make it their second single, hoping to avoid becoming "one-hit wonders". Nonetheless, they never matched the single's success.[4] In Australia, it spent two weeks at No. 1 during June 1980,[5] and, coincidentally, the song was also a minor hit in Japan.[3]

The music video was directed by Russell Mulcahy.[6]

The lyrics relate teen angst or alienation following a romantic breakup to feeling like being from a foreign culture.[3]

Covers[edit]

Kirsten Dunst recorded a cover, with an accompanying video filmed in Tokyo in August 2009.[7]

The song was featured on the soundtrack of the 1997 movie Beverly Hills Ninja covered by the band The Hazies.[8]

On the Canadian sketch comedy series Second City Television, Rick Moranis performed a lounge-style version of the song as the character Tom Monroe.[9]

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[21] Platinum 100,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mason, Stewart. "Turning Japanese – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b "The Vapors – Turning Japanese". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Turning Japanese by the Vapors". Songfacts. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  4. ^ Davis, Andy. "On the Vapor-trail". Parengstrom.com. Retrieved 23 June 2008.
  5. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 320. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ Dendle, first (2012). The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, Volume 2: 2000-2010. McFarland & Company. p. 168. ISBN 9780786492886.
  7. ^ Schuker, Lauren A. E. (2 October 2009). "The Artist and the Director". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 19 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Where There's Smoke". Billboard. Vol. 109, no. 4. 25 January 1997. p. 27. ISSN 0006-2510.
  9. ^ "Rick Moranis' Classic Cover of 'Turning Japanese' on SCTV (VIDEO)". HuffPost. 17 July 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0274." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Vapors". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  13. ^ a b "The Vapors – Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013.
  14. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending NOVEMBER 29, 1980". Cash Box. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Songs from the Year 1980". TsorT. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  16. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Singles". RPM. Vol. 34, no. 6. 20 December 1980. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  18. ^ "UK Singles of the Year" (PDF). Record Mirror. London. 27 December 1980. p. 30. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  19. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  20. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1981". RPM. Vol. 35, no. 22. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  21. ^ "International Certifications" (PDF). Cash Box. Vol. XLII, no. 24. 25 October 1980. p. 43. Retrieved 3 December 2021 – via World Radio History.

External links[edit]