Hello Steve, Long time reader first time for a questioner :)…In relation to Japan did the band ever do demos of material before doing final recordings or was material worked up in rehearsal’s then committed to tape ? I ask as I am wondering if there might ever be a Japan box set released with unheard versions, demos, live material or has that well now run dry in terms of available material that could be released ?

As far as I recall, once we had a record deal we didn’t have to go the route of demoing material and since the first two albums were very well rehearsed and often performed live it was just a case of going in the studios and getting the job done. From ‘Quiet Life’ onwards we only rehearsed ideas without performing the songs live but there were no proper demos made. Perhaps Mr. Barbieri has progress/reference tapes from the band’s history as he was, for whatever reason, the keeper of tapes …  but not full-on studio demos. There are bound to be some live performances lurking around somewhere although the earlier you go the less likely that is since the technology then didn’t really make it easy. I think the earliest legitimate live recording I have is from a gig at ‘Hurrahs’ club in Boston which was broadcast on local radio probably around 1978/79.

Trafalgar Square, London 1978 (photo by Günther Rakete)

JAPAN in Trafalgar Square London 1978 photo by Günther Rakete

2 thoughts on “Hello Steve, Long time reader first time for a questioner :)…In relation to Japan did the band ever do demos of material before doing final recordings or was material worked up in rehearsal’s then committed to tape ? I ask as I am wondering if there might ever be a Japan box set released with unheard versions, demos, live material or has that well now run dry in terms of available material that could be released ?

  1. Thanks for all your responses Steve. Some really interesting insights. I do actually possess a demo reel of Japan. (MP3). It states that it’s prior to any albummm being recorded. The tracks include a lot that never saw the light of day: Keep on up, Wish you were Black, Stepping out, Stateline, Suburban Love, The unconventional, Momentos of your love, adolescent sex, Lover on Main Street, Diamonds, Body Rhythm, and Going Round. Lots of “studio chatter” between tracks. Ring a bell at all?

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