Formed in London, England in early 1974, Japan comprised David Sylvian (vocals), his brother Steve Jansen (drums), Richard Barbieri (keyboards) and Mick Karn (saxophone/bass). A guitarist, Rob Dean, was added to the line-up when the band won a recording contract with the German record company Ariola-Hansa. Eminently unfashionable in the UK punk era, they first found success in Japan. After three albums with Ariola-Hansa, they switched to Virgin Records in 1980 and found their fortunes dramatically improving thanks to the surge of popularity in the New Romantic movement. Japan's androgynous image made them suddenly fashionable and they registered several UK Top 20 singles. Their albums Gentlemen Take Polaroids (1980) and Tin Drum (1981) were also well received. Disagreements between Karn and Sylvian undermined the band's progress just as they were achieving some long-overdue success, and they split in late 1982.The members diversified into collaborative work and solo careers, reuniting (minus Dean) in 1991 for a project under the moniker of Rain Tree Crow.
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