Turning Japanese – Songs About Japan

In NME the other week, British new wave band Klaxons talked about Japan being a head-trip and one of the maddest and most different places on earth which got me thinking (admittedly not for the first time) about international artists who feel the need to put pen to paper and write some lyrics about something to do with Japan which is usually based on culture shock of some sort.

As a result, I made a compilation CD last weekend featuring such big names as Blur, Deep Purple, The Stranglers, Weezer, Gwen Stefani, Air and erm, Ace of Base who, along with many others, have recorded songs about the land of the rising sun. To be honest, the anticipation of making and compiling it was greater than the finished article for most of the songs are far from being their greatest work and thats putting it mildly!

The full tracklisting is:

* Turning Japanese – The Vapors (1980)

* Mr Roboto – Styx (1983)

* Japanese Boy – Aneka (1981)

* Alone In Kyoto – Air (2003)

* Yuko And Hiro – Blur (1995)

* Harajuku Girls – Gwen Stefani (2004)

* Across The Sea – Weezer (1996)

* Woman From Tokyo – Deep Purple (1973)

* Tokyo Nights – Bee Gees (1998)

* Made In Japan – Buck Owens (1973)

* Japan – Vertical Horizons (1995)

* Big In Japan  – Alphaville (1984)

* Outside Tokyo – The Stranglers (1978)

* Nothing But A Blur From A Bullet Train – Lambchop (2004)

* Tokyo Girl – Ace Of Base (1998)

* Japan Is An Island – The Spinto Band (2005)

* Cherry Blossom Girl – Air (2003)

* Big In Japan – Tom Waits (1999)

* Anarchy In Tokyo – 30 Seconds To Mars (2002)

* Bank Holiday – Japanese Blur Fans (1994)

Here is a list of songs which either didn’t make it onto the CD compilation or which have been released since I originally posted this in March 2008

* One Rainy Night In Tokyo – Brenda Lee (1965)

* Love In Tokyo – The Honeycombs (1965)

* Tonight In Tokyo – Sandie Shaw (1967)

* 30 Seconds Over Tokyo – Pete Ubu (1975)

* Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry (1977)

* Touch – Lori & The Chameleons (1979)

* Life In Tokyo – Japan (1981)

* My Private Tokyo – Vicious Pink Phenomenon (1982)

* Tokyo Storm Warning – Elvis Costello (1986)

* Don’t Make Me Wait – Bomb The Bass (1988)

* Smokin’ Japanese Babe – The Future Sound Of London (1994/1995)

* Tokyo Eye – Sonic Youth (1994)

* Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1 – The Flaming Lips (2002)

* Bullet Train To Osaka – The Smashing Pumpkins (2005)

* Lovers In Japan – Coldplay (2008)

* Left My Heart In Tokyo – Mini Viva (2009)

* Ichiban – Ash (2010)

* Kamakura – Ash (2010)

* Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) – The Wombats (2010)

* Welcome To Japan – The Strokes (2013)

* (I Miss The)Tokyo Skyline – Manic Street Preachers (2013)

* Hello Kitty – Avril Lavigne (2014)

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
This entry was posted in Japan Life, Music and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Turning Japanese – Songs About Japan

  1. Gideon says:

    Sounds really interesting (pardon the pun!) I am looking forward to listening to this.

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  9. nezcream says:

    Burning Airlines Give You So Much More – Bryan Eno

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