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Exorcising Ghosts

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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). Japan’s 1984 compilation Exorcising Ghosts will be reissued as a half-speed mastered 2LP vinyl set, in October. Quiet Life' and 'Ghosts' sound immense on this pressing and that's just a couple of the highlights, a very enjoyable and superbly packaged release.

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 features three recordings from the band’s early career on the Hansa Records label (including 1979’s ‘Quiet Life’) but largely focuses on material from their two studio albums on Virgin Records; Gentlemen Take Polaroids (1980) and Tin Drum (1981). 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. 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).

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And while I was always a bit dismissive of this compilation because I had all of the tracks, listening to it now, it's really well sequenced - it flows really well. Exorcising Ghosts (1984) is a 16-track 2LP set compiled and produced in consultation with lead singer David Sylvian, two years after Japan dissolved. 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.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. This new 2022 pressing is really excellent - there's detail I can hear that I have never heard before.

The album was compiled and produced in consultation with lead singer David Sylvian, two years after Japan dissolved. This career spanning ‘Best of’ features three recordings from the band’s early career on the Hansa Records label (including 1979’s “Quiet Life”) but mainly focuses on material from their two seminal studio albums on Virgin Records; Gentlemen Take Polaroids (1980) and Tin Drum (1981). I used to have this on vinyl and it includes all their best known material from 'Quiet Life', 'Ghosts' and 'Night Porter' to the less familiar but equally brilliant 'Other Side of Life'. 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". Exorcising Ghosts was compiled and produced in consultation with lead singer David Sylvian two years after Japan dissolved.Exorcising Ghosts is a compilation album by the British band Japan, released in November 1984 by record label Virgin. The LPs are housed in a gatefold sleeve with printed inner bags, a print of the band, the all important Abbey Road half-speed master certificate, and a cover-empathetic obi strip. It’s notable for a few song variations, including the 1981 remix of ‘Taking Islands in Africa’ and the extended version of ‘The Art of Parties’. Not sure if this just applies to later batches as couldn't find anyone else commenting about warped vinyl. It must be mentioned that the selection of tracks was most definitely geared towards the Japanese market, with a large proportion of tracks previously unavailable on an album in that country.

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