Thursday, February 23, 2012

The most beautiful man in the world - David Sylvian

David Sylvian is one of those rare creatures in music, who is completely unphased by commercial success or even critical acclaim and is really happy to remain true to his creativity (wherever that may take him). Of course David started in the late 70's as lead singer in the glam rock/new wave band JAPAN.
I was too young and naive in my musical taste to enjoy them when they hit their peak in the early 80's. Then one day in 2002, I managed to find the back catalogue of Japan on vinyl in a cat rescue charity shop in Walthamstow for £2.20 (Peter Dixon was with me at the time and he managed to wrestle the I SECOND THAT EMOTION 12inch out of my hands). I immediately fell in love with Japan! I then went through a Japan/David Sylvian phase and immediately started buying his solo cds etc. I actually prefer the early Japan albums to his solo efforts. Standout Japan songs for me are RHODESIA, SUBURBAN LOVE and ADOLESCENT SEX. Another great David Sylvian song is FORBIDDEN COLOURS which he did with Ryuichi Sakamoto and was on the soundtrack to Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence. A Beautiful song!
The last David Sylvian album i bought was 'Blemish' in 2003. It is very atmospheric and electronic. It's not the most easiest album to listen to and is quite cold and mechanical! I managed to find another David Sylvian fan in my friend Harry! We went to see him live in 2003 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. I couldn't believe all the male fans he had. It was amazing and he is treated like a God by his fans. David was once given the title of "the most beautiful man in the world" which may explain his God-like status. 
I have not followed his career closely since then but he is releasing a best of album titled 'A Victim of Stars, 1982-2012' in the UK on 27 February 2012. If you haven't fallen under the David Sylvian spell, I suggest you head down to your local charity/op shop and/or youtube him. The man is an artistic genius and there are not enough musicians like him!


  1. You know how much i love Sylvian! Japan were ahead of their time and deserved to be massive. The first DD album is heavily influenced by Japan...and Nick Rhodes has never really moved on from his Sylvian obsession!

    My fave Japan moments are the entire Quiet Life, Adolescent Sex, Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum albums...basically the whole catalogue lol.

    Their vinyl albums/12 inches had amazing of my prized possessions is a Japanese print of Quiet Life on vinyl...sounds amazing.

    I do recommend Sylvian's first LP Brilliant Trees...probably his most accessible.

    It's so sad that Mick Karn passed away last year as a Japan reunion will never happen...not that is was ever likely but we could have lived in hope. His bass playing was sublime and an obvious influence on John Taylor. The bass in Quiet Life is one of my favourite moments in music ever.


  2. I agree with everything you say Jimbo! My post wasn't too detailed and more or less a quick snapshot of my history of the God that is David Sylvian and of course to let people know of the best of! Japan made alot of great music and no-one has ever been like them since which i love.