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David Sylvian


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Beckenham, Kent, UK (1958 – present)

David Sylvian (born, David Alan Batt, 23rd of February 1958, in Beckenham, Kent, UK) is an English singer, musician and who first rose to fame as the lead vocalist and main songwriter of the band Japan, and whose subsequent solo career has been influenced by a variety of musical styles and genres, including , music and music.

Japan - which also included Mick Karn, Rob Dean, Richard Barbieri and Sylvian’s brother Steve Jansen - started out as a confusing hybrid rock/sleaze outfit in the mould of David Bowie and The New York Dolls. Their music quickly evolved as, at least to begin with, they drew heavily on the influence of Roxy Music’s stylings. Their visual image developed in parallel and the band were (unwillingly) tagged as forerunners of the movement.

Japan recorded five studio albums between March 1978 and November 1981. Their biggest hit single, the minimalist Ghosts, which reached the Top 5 in the UK charts in 1982, was a clear pointer to Sylvian’s future direction. After a successful tour, the band split in late 1982, and Sylvian embarked upon a solo career.

Around the time of Sylvian’s first solo album he collaborated with 坂本龍一 (Ryuichi Sakamoto) on the soundtrack music for the Nagisa Oshima film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), which produced a Top 20 hit single, Forbidden Colours.


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