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Tin Drum is the fifth and final studio album by the British band Japan, released on Virgin Records on 13 November 1981. Tin Drum continued the band’s now developed use of electronic elements coupled with traditional instrumentation, but leans far more towards Far Eastern influences than any of their previous albums. Guitarist Rob Dean had left the band by this point, with vocalist David Sylvian taking on his duties, which had become largely surplus to requirements in terms of their musical direction. On September 6, 2011, Tin Drum was awarded BBC Radio 6 Music’s ‘Goldie’ award posthumously for the best album of 1981.
The painstaking approach to synthesizer programming by Richard Barbieri and David Sylvian and the original rhythmic patterns of Steve Jansen and Mick Karn produced a sound that remains original to this day. Japan were the one of the most successful chart bands in Europe and Asia in 1982 despite the increasingly experimental nature of their music, and four of Tin Drum’s eight tracks were issued as singles including the UK Top 10 “Ghosts,” “The Art of Parties,” “Visions of China” and “Cantonese Boy.” Japan split up at the height of their popularity after a world tour in 1983.
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