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Japan – Quiet Life (1979)

February 25, 2020

[Album 728/1001]

The English department at my school has a fun new tradition this semester.

Each week, there is a new ‘song of the week’ category, and department members contribute their choices to a hand-written list (which eventually gets assembled in a spotify playlist).

Even though I’m not in the department, I’m grateful that I still get to participate!

The first theme week of this semester? Guilty Pleasure songs.

Our choices are below (the names have been redacted to protect anyone that is feeling somewhat remorseful / genuinely guilty about their choices).

Though I left my name as-is, seeing as I don’t feel any guilt whatsoever about my choice!


guilty pleasure


Even when I try to compliment, it comes out wrong
– The Big Short (Christian Bale’s character)

Sometimes, when I try to compliment, it comes out wrong.220px-Japan-Quiet_Life

And based on my song choice above, though I believe that this is a favourable reference point, I’m not sure if Japan (the band) would agree.

So my apologies, Japan, if this comes out wrong: but I’m trying to be complimentary when I say that Duran Duran reminds me of Quiet Life.

I suppose that overall, Japan’s third album has a few more minor chords and has more of a mysterious atmosphere.

But a lot of this (especially Fall in Love With Me & Halloween) wouldn’t sound out of place on Rio.

And that sounds like a compliment to me – so hopefully Japan feels that way too!


Verbalize the Positive

I will never grow tired of Ordinary World’s descending guitar pattern!

From → 1970s

  1. Hey, get there any way you can, Geoff! It took me a while to get inside Japan. In fact, David Sylvian’s solo work helped quite a lot.
    PS. Anyone who reckons Wilson Pickett is a guilty pleasure needs to make an appointment with their therapist, stat!

    • I don’t know Japan’s stuff at all, but I like a lot of Sylvian’s solo stuff too.

      • I see that he’s done collaborations with Holger Czukay & Robert Fripp, I imagine I could easily find something to like in those!

    • ‘guilty pleasure’ is one of the terms I struggle with (along with ‘one hit wonder’) – it feels like it says more about the person saying it than about anything else.
      I certainly feel no guilt about enjoying this Japan recording – I imagine I’d approve of his solo work too!

  2. Kudos to the person who put down Strutter by KISS! A guilty pleasure for one but for many a way of life hahaha..

    Good team bonding as well which is great to see.

    Japan I recall back in the day got a lot of press in Creem Magazine which would feature all genres of music. Even though I bought it for the rock stuff I would read all the articles to justify the cover price etc.

    Well thats what I told myself back than anyways haha

    • That return on magazine investment is a good way of looking at it – and it may have taken 40 years, but reading about Japan then finally came in handy when reading this review too!

  3. I love Duran Duran and Ordinary World is one of my favorite tracks by them. So, comparing Japan to DD is a compliment in my book! And I am with Deke, nice to see Kiss represented!

    • That’s good news, John – I certainly wouldn’t be insulted if someone told me my singing/playing sounded like DD!

  4. My mum loves this one

  5. 1000% better than Duran Duran, this was 3 years prior to Rio … was it INXS that did ‘Thieves Like Us’? ….

    • Very true – given the dates, DD reminded me of Japan. But I suppose rather than taking the formula and improving it, they took the formula & made it 1/1000th as good?!

      • Ignore me, I’m still bitter because all the girls in my year wanted Andy Taylor and Le Bon instead of 1537 …

      • I gather John Taylor was the object of many a fan’s affection too – the bassist doesn’t usually get to be the heartthrob!

      • Or the bald, married, middle-aged blogger. Wrongly, I say.

  6. Sarah would disagree with Duran Duran being a guilty pleasure. I’ll have to ask her if she knows this band. For me, I have no guilty pleasures! I have no shame about what I enjoy!

    • And I struggled with calling them a ‘guilty pleasure’ – but I wanted to participate in the list, and so I labelled them as such. But I’m afraid it was a lie – like you said, the song gives me pleasure, but I feel no guilt about it!

  7. Two things: 1) Ordinary World is one of my favourite songs of ever ever; 2) Rhythm is a Dancer! Yassss!

    Anyhoo, I’ve never listened to this but it’s on my radar. Perhaps I need to shift it onto the list.

    • We are in complete agreement with regard to those to things, J!
      That’s an interesting idea of how close an album is to being listened to:
      – on the list (very close)
      – on the radar (close)
      – heard of it (not as close)…
      That could make for an interesting diagram!

  8. There’s a definite Bryan Ferry/Duran Duran vibe about his vocal. The songs work on their own terms though

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