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Japan was a British rock group, formed in 1974. David Sylvian, Mick Karn, Rob Dean, Steve Jansen (Sylvian's brother) and Richard Barbieri began playing glam rock, debuting on record with 1978's Adolescent Sex and subsequently Obscure Alternatives, which both sold well in Japan, though nowhere else. Their second album, Quiet Life, included a hit cover of Smokey Robinson's "I Second that Emotion".
Their following two albums, Gentlemen Take Polaroids (1980) and Tin Drum (1981) continued to expand their audience as the band restructured its sound and became part of the early-1980's New Romantic movement. But Tin Drum ended up being the final album as personality conflicts tore the band apart. Nevertheless, the album's unconventional single "Ghosts" reached #3 on the UK pop charts.
Most of the original members of the band went on to work on other projects. By far the most successful is David Sylvian, who has recorded several albums with noted performers. An attempted reunion in 1991 with the Rain Tree Crow project was short lived, producing only one album.