Posted 20 hours ago

Exorcising Ghosts

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As to fit the album onto a single disc, the original CD release omitted five of the sixteen tracks; "Swing", "A Foreign Place", "Taking Islands in Africa", "Sons of Pioneers" and "Voices Raised in Welcome, Hands Held in Prayer". David Sylvian and Mick Karn etc produced some great songs during their time together and this CD encapsulates that period brilliantly.

Limited edition print of the complete mixed media painting made for use on the gatefold album cover of Japan’s compilation double album Exorcising Ghosts (1984).To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. It features three recordings from the band's early career on the Hansa Records label (such as 1979's Quiet Life) but mainly focuses on material from their two studio albums on Virgin Records; Gentlemen Take Polaroids (1980) and Tin Drum (1981).

The print, has been made from a high-resolution scan of the original 5” x 4” colour transparency of the actual painting used for the album’s cover. Exorcising Ghosts' represents an interesting cross-section of much of the best material released by Japan in their all too brief career in the early 1980s.

Luckily, for me, I'm reasonable happy with the 11 tracks here - the listener gets comfortably more than 60 minutes of music and there are a number of classics included such as the marvellous 'Ghosts' - definitely one of the best singles of the 1980s, 'Nightporter' - a beautifully subtle song and surely too brilliant to have been released as a single, the superb 'The Other Side Of Life' as well as the pacey 'Quiet Life' and the classy 'Visions Of China'.

If you are expecting to hear a comprehensive collection of all the band's chart singles then I'm afraid you will be disappointed; similarly, because this is a truncated version of the original vinyl LP which featured 16 titles, other devoted fans of the group will be annoyed. Unfortunately, what was true in Japan was not true in the UK; therefore, the album's promotion, mentioning 'unreleased tracks', was incorrect for the domestic market, attracting criticism at the time.It's also for me really worth having for the both sides of the pre-Tin Drum 12" Art of Parties single, with Life Without Buildings b-side (one of their finest tracks for me) that has never been re-issued. Besides top 40 hit singles like " Quiet Life", " Visions of China", " Ghosts", and " Nightporter", the double-album set includes album tracks like "Methods of Dance", "Talking Drum" and "Swing" alongside a selection of rarities such as the single B-sides "A Foreign Place" and "Life Without Buildings", the 1981 remix of "Taking Islands in Africa", the instrumental studio recording "Voices Raised in Welcome, Hands Held in Prayer" included on 1983's live album Oil on Canvas and the 12" mix of " The Art of Parties". It also gives a good idea of what the band were about by including a couple of interesting instrumentals - A Foreign Place the Quiet Life b-side in particular sounds really good here. Mastering on LP1 was warm but a bit murky (vocals), however the instrumentation definitely did seem crisper and more detailed - just a shame neither copy were playable throughout. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.

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