Japan

Adolescent Sex

Composed by David Sylvian

Song Review by

Broken down into its simplest components, ”Adolescent Sex” flays wide into classic funk bass-beating thumps, glammed out guitar, snotty punk vocals and proto disco cum wave synths. Put back together, though, and fed through Japan frontman David Sylvian’s pockmarked brain, the song is an onslaught of a bewildering battery of stylistic nervous breakdowns, all so gorgeously twined that the resulting brew is simply stunning.

Redolent of the New York Dolls, if they really had been as garish, glammed and gorgeous as their posthumous press insists, the title track of the band’s 1978 debut album packs a devilish freneticism that, just as the Dools themselves discovered, won the band very few mainstream fans, and left even the art-school fringe of Punk feeling nervous. What it did achieve, however, was a veritable sonic breakthrough, a climactic clash of new breed idealism and forward thinking experimentalism that, by the standards of the time, was simply staggering.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Adolescent Sex 1978 Sony BMG 3:46
Assemblage 1981 Ariola / BMG 4:15
No Image 1994 Import
The Singles 1996 BMG 4:13
The Best of Japan [Paradiso] 2001 Paradiso 4:15