February 27, 2024

Life after Japan: New book traces members’ developments after breakup


Burning Shed is an online record label/store since 2001 specializing in progressive and art rock music as it hosts the official online shops for Jansen, Barbieri, and Karn, Porcupine Tree and King Crimson, among many others. Burning Shed has announced the Cries And Whispers book, the long-awaited follow-up to A Foreign Place book (2015), the hugely successful biography of iconic British new wave innovators Japan by author Anthony ReynoldsIn 212 pages, this 210 x 210mm square, hardback book is cloth-bound with a gold and silver foil debos and features approximately 260 pictures. It is being made available from April 5, 2019, as a limited deluxe hardback first edition and all copies of Cries and Whispers come with a postcard signed by the author.

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-feted 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 Both books include previously unpublished photographs, including many from the private archives of the band members themselves.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 book also features a cover by renowned graphic designer Carl Glover, plus contributions from Bill Nelson, Johnny Marr (The Smiths), 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.

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. 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’.


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 book 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.

photo by Cathy Boyce

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.




Keep up with Anthony Reynolds





Anthony Reynolds at Burning Shed

Keep Up with Burning Shed






About Mike D 282 Articles
Hey people I'm Mike D from Athens GR (43). I'm a sound engineer, radio producer, and certainly a music "freak." I couldn't be anything else, you see: I grew up in a musical home (my father was a composer), and wanted to be a rock-star but wasn't patient enough to study music. Instead, I studied the technical stuff and went really "nuts" when I started writing articles about the bands and artists I love. It all started back in 2002 in a printed magazine (Sound Maker - RIP) and I still do it because I really like sharing my libraries, discotheque, info, connections, knowledge, and all. I'm involved in all "waves" music (new wave/darkwave/post-punk/shoegaze), punk, industrial, EBM, alternative rock, indie, electronic, avant-garde/ experimental/ freestyle...but on the other hand I can easily throw a classical CD in the player, or a jazzy tune, or...ok you get it: Music! I'd like to read your comments on my writing because you know how it goes, and you all know the glorious song by Placebo,"Without You I'm Nothing"...Thanx and enjoy Freedom and Music, Loud!
Contact: Website