Japan

Ghosts

Song Review by

”Ghosts”, the second single from the band’s 1981 art-house monster, Tin Drum, never even cracked a boo in the United States, but it effortlessly haunted the UK Top 5, and helped, alongside album-mates ”Canton” and ”Vision of China”, to revolutionize the new wave’s burgeoning fascination with Asian tinged glam, stiltedly un-PC Orientalism and electronic whiz-jinkery. But, still, what ultimately emerged was a haunting cavalcade of empty spaces and turned corners, punctuated and illuminated by the strong points of singer David Sylvian’s spare notes and Richard Barbieri’s moody keyboards. By 1981, Japan were hipper than almost any of the other synth-wannabes that now hovered moth-like on their tremulous coattails, and ”Ghosts” only served to further propel the band into the light, pushing the envelope even further and proving that such studied, and astute dilettantism was more than just a fashion accessory; worn correctly it was a new way of sonic fulfilment.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Tin Drum 1981 Virgin 4:36
Gentlemen Take Polaroids/Tin Drum/Oil on Canvas 1990 Virgin 6:23
No Image 1993 Virgin 0:00
In the Air Tonight: Virgin's Greatest Hits 1994
Various Artists
DA Music
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Music for Heroes 1998
Various Artists
Bebutante 3:52
The Original 80's Album 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 0:00
Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the '80s Underground 2004
Various Artists
Rhino 4:32
Choice: A Collection of Classics 2006 Azuli 3:56
The Original 80s Box Set 2007
Various Artists
EMI 4:30
The Original Electro-Pop Box Set 2007
Various Artists
EMI 4:31
This Is 1982 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 4:29
Original Hits: Eighties 2009
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 4:30
Anthems: Electronic '80s, Vol. 2 2010
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 4:29
No Image
Various Artists
Parlophone
No Image
Various Artists
EMI / Mixed Repertoire 5:15
The New Romantics [EMI 2009]
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution