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The Vapors


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Guildford, United Kingdom (1979 – 1981)

The Vapors were a / band from England that existed between 1979 and 1981.

Based in Guildford, United Kingdom, their members were David Fenton (songwriter, guitar and vocals), Howard Smith (drums), Edward Bazalgette (lead guitar) and Steve Smith (bass guitar and vocals).

Their early musical style owed a great deal to New Wave and influences such as The Jam, Secret Affair and The Jags. Indeed, they were discovered and managed by The Jam’s manager John Weller.

The song for which they are mainly remembered, “Turning Japanese”, was produced by The Jam’s producer Vic Coppersmith-Heaven and hit the Top Three in the UK at the same time that “Going Underground” was at number one.

The Vapors were not one-hit wonders. Follow-up singles “News at Ten”, and “Jimmie Jones”, both coincidentally reached number 44 in the UK Singles Chart.

The band released two albums: New Clear Days (the pun on “nuclear” being intentional) and Magnets.


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