1. An Interview with Anthony Reynolds Jammerzine Exclusive 35:11

To be able to write about the things you love is one thing, but to write about those very things and get it published to a ready and willing audience is something completely different and all it’s own. And that is what Anthony Reynolds, author of ‘Japan – A Foreign Place (The Biography 1974-1984)’, and his new book ‘Cries And Whispers 1983-1991’, both about the iconic band known as Japan, has done. And done with the creative zeal and ambition only found in those that are not only talented writers but avid fans.

Today we talk about Japan as well as the writing process and the now ‘book-ended’ set of biographies that analogize two different eras of the band.

You can get your copy of ‘Japan – A Foreign Place (The Biography 1974-1984)’, and ‘Cries And Whispers 1983-1991’ HERE.

About Anthony Reynolds and ‘Cries and Whispers’
Detailing the fascinating musical adventures of David Sylvian, Richard Barbieri, Rob Dean, Steve Jansen and Mick Karn from the time following the band’s split in December 1982 until 1991, the book takes in David Sylvian’s work for his first three solo albums, The Dolphin Brothers, Dali’s Car with Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy, the brilliant but ill-fated album they released under the name Rain Tree Crow, and more.

The book also explores David Sylvian’s collaborations with Holger Czukay and Ryuichi Sakamoto, the latter of which resulted in their epic ‘Forbidden Colours’, which featured on the soundtrack album of the hit film ‘Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence’.

‘A Foreign Place’ was the first serious book on Japan. It was translated into Japanese and published in Japan, where it held at number one on the Japanese Amazon Pop Music Biography chart for four weeks. It has sold over 4000 copies to date, including the Japanese edition, without any external distribution.

Both books include previously unpublished photographs, including many from the private archives of the band members themselves.

‘Cries and Whispers’ also features a cover by renowned graphic designer Carl Glover, plus contributions from Bill Nelson, Johnny Marr, Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins/Bella Union), Ivo Watts-Russell (4AD Records), Bill Bruford (King Crimson), Martin Fry (ABC), Paul Morley (NME/ ZTT Records), Thomas Dolby and the late Colin Vearncombe (Black), among others.

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Initially, a glam rock-inspired band, their sound, and stylised visual appearance led to an unintentional association with the early-1980s New Romantic scene. The band split just as they were beginning to experience commercial success in the UK and abroad. They were unquestionably one of the most influential and innovative pop groups of the 1970s and 1980s.

“Is it shameful to be 40 something and still have a ‘favorite band’? If so, color me shamed. Japan is my favorite band and as a fan, I wanted to write and publish books on them that would enrapture and delight the fan in me. I hope I’ve done so, matching Style with content and mystery with beauty,” says author Anthony Reynolds.

Apart from ‘A Foreign Place’ and ‘Cries and Whispers’, Anthony Reynolds has published biographies on Leonard Cohen (a bestseller), Scott Walker and The Walker Brothers, and Jeff Buckley. He has also published two collections of poetry. To date, his books have been translated into 12 languages.

In 1993, Reynolds founded the critically acclaimed group, Jack, releasing three albums between 1996 and 2002. Since then, Anthony has released 10 other albums under various guises plus innumerable singles and EPs, playing various concerts around the world. He also scored the soundtracks for feature-length films ‘Open My Eyes’ and ‘Adrift in Soho’.

Burning Shed is an online record label/store since 2001 specializing in progressive and art rock music. Burning Shed hosts the official online shops for Jansen, Barbieri and Karn, Porcupine Tree and King Crimson, among many others.

In 212 pages, this 210 x 210mm square, hardback book is cloth-bound with a gold and silver foil debos and features approximately 260 pictures. All copies of ‘Cries and Whispers’ come with a postcard signed by the author. Both Japan books are available exclusively through Burning Shed.

About Japan

Japan are:

  • David Sylvian – vocals, guitars, keyboards
  • Mick Karn – bass guitars, saxophone, backing vocals (died 2011)
  • Steve Jansen – drums, percussion, keyboards
  • Richard Barbieri – keyboards, synthesizers
  • Rob Dean – guitars, backing vocals
  • Japan’s biggest UK album was ‘Tin Drum’ (1981), which featured hit singles ‘The Art of Parties’, ‘Visions of China’, ‘Ghosts’, and ‘Cantonese Boy’.

Japan achieved nine UK Top 40 hits in the early 1980s, most notably the ethereal oddity ‘Ghosts’, which reached No. 5 in 1982, and scoring a UK Top 5 with the 1983 live album ‘Oil on Canvas’.

“This compelling account of the solo careers of Japan’s ex-members has clearly been a labor of love: Reynolds has sourced an amazing selection of personal photos, eyewitness accounts, and technical details… The research here is exemplary”
– The Wire

“Anthony Reynolds has clearly put forth the most far-reaching and insightful publications about Japan and its members published to date”
– Big Takeover Magazine

On ‘A Foreign Place’:

“Favourite thing I read over Christmas was Anthony Reynolds’ wonderful book on Japan (the band, not the country). Older Suede types will remember Anthony from his band Jack – an early Suede fave”
– Mat Osman (Suede)

“A fascinating story”
– Classic Pop

“This is the big red book the defiant dons of delicacy deserve”
– Prog Magazine

“Written with an enthusiasm that never flags”
– Goldmine

“Anthony Reynolds’ biography is the first book to treat Japan’s career seriously and at length”
– The Wire