Japan – Quiet Life (1979)

Some contemporary critics dismissed Japan as Roxy Music imitators. “Although [Japan] may seem full-steam ahead, seamlessly ‘European’ to you,” NME’s Ian Penman wrote, “it all seems slyly Roxy Stranded to us ancients. Ferry’s smoky closure accentuated and crowded into one watery fiction.” The album nonetheless received positive reviews from other critics such as Melody Maker’s Steve Gett and Sounds editor Geoff Barton, garnering the band some of their first real support from the British music press.

In his retrospective review of the album, AllMusic critic Keith Farley wrote: “Quiet Life is the album that transformed Japan from past-tense glam rockers into futuristic synth popsters, though they’d been leaning in that direction for a while. It’s also a solid proto-New Romantic synthesizer record”. Trouser Press viewed the selection of John Punter to produce the album as “significant, as the band’s sights had shifted from gutter-glam to elegant decadence.” Writing for The Quietus, Joseph Burnett called Quiet Life “an album that pushed the elegant, improbably-coiffed Sylvian into the limelight, aided and abetted by some of the band’s best songs,” and found that it “deserves to be placed alongside Travelogue, Mix-Up and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark as one of the key early British synth-based pop/rock albums”

Track Listing

No. Title Length
1. “Quiet Life” 4:53
2. “Fall in Love with Me” 4:31
3. “Despair” 5:56
4. “In Vogue” 6:30
Side two
No. Title Length
5. “Halloween” 4:24
6. “All Tomorrow’s Parties” 5:43
7. “Alien” 5:01
8. “The Other Side of Life” 7:26



Schill Score: 4.5/10


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