A senior member of the All Music Guide family once appeared on a VH1 talking-heads show discussing the "true story" behind the Vapors' sole U.S. hit single, which a generation of junior-high students knew in their hearts to be about masturbation. (See, the guy's been at it so much that his O-face is becoming a permanent expression....) The final consensus was "maybe, maybe not," mostly because Vapors singer/songwriter David Fenton keeps changing his story on what his lyrical intentions were. Regardless, the reason "Turning Japanese" has remained a perennial classic of the new wave era decades after its release isn't so much about the lyrics as it is the giddy power pop rush of the song itself. From the cheesy faux-Oriental guitar riff at the opening to Edward Bazalgette's ripping high-register guitar solo at the song's, um, climax, the wildly energetic "Turning Japanese" is the truly classic pop single that the Knack never quite managed to record, a song as rocking as it is slightly seedy. Although "Turning Japanese" was only a minor chart hit in the U.S., peaking at number 36 in November 1980, it's one of the most beloved singles of the new wave era, partially due to the memorable video, which features the band playing in front of Japanese shoji screens and Fenton showing off some surprisingly nimble samurai sword skills.