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davidatpreston

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  1. Perhaps it is old age, but I'm almost fully convinced now that there is very little worth listening to after about 1986. A few exceptions but the 90's were lacking in anything innovative (Britpop was a poor revival of mid-60s mod stuff) and then it got worse after 2000 and continues to worsen. Loads of younger music fans won't buy recent stuff and prefer going back to discover the treasures of the late 60s, 70's and some 80's stuff which proves my point a bit.
  2. The German 80's synth-pop trio ALPHAVILLE - their album Forever young is superb, especially the hit single 'Big In Japan' and 'Summer in Berlin'. 'Big In Japan' were actually a group themselves in Liverpool around 1978/79, who all went on to have fairly successful careers with other bands, most notably Holly Johnson of FGTH. Alphaville liked this fairly unknown Liverpool band, and decided to write a song named after them, and it became a massive hit in 1984 in a dozen or more countries (No 1 in some countries including Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, and No 8 in UK) at exactly the same time as FGTH were at No 1 in the UK with Relax. Big In Japan has extremely dark but touchingly subtle lyrics, which have been the subject of much argument, eventually the lead singer Marian Gold revealed that they told the story of a friend of his who fell in love with a girl who got involved with drugs (heroin) at Zoo Station in (West) Berlin, a notorious hard drugs meeting place. The girl had to become a prostitute to support ther habit, and forced her boyfriend to do the same - he becomes a heroin addict then has to support it by prostitution) then she dumped him, and he reflects on the experience. Not for the fainthearted, but a truly incredible single. The cold winter in verse one is the emotional coldness of hard drug usage, the crystal bits of snowflake are the drugs, and 'you did what you did to me' refers to the girl trapping then dumping her boyfriend.'I will wait here for my man tonight' is a clever but disturbing pun on male prostitution/ obtaining heroin and pays its dues to the Velevt Underground (Lou Reed)'s 'Waiting for the Man' - 'the man' being slang for a drug dealer. 'Shall I stay here at the Zoo' refers to Zoological Garten rail station. Some have suggested that the 'Big In Japan' refers to a sexual racist slur on Japanese men, as well as a nod to the Liverpool group from the late 70s. The singer finds it 'easy when you are Big In Japan'. The rest is up for debate, though the video on YouTube is exceptional and well worth seeing too. Lyrics to BIG IN JAPAN by Alphaville Winter's cityside Crystal bits of snowflakes All around my head and in the wind I had no illusions That I'd ever find a glimpse Of summer's heatwaves in your eyes You did what you did to me Now it's history, I see Here's my comeback on the road again Things will happen while they can I will wait here for my man tonight It's easy when you're big in Japan Aah when you're big in Japan-tonight Big in Japan-be-tight Big in Japan ooh the eastern sea's so blue Big in Japan-alright Pay! - Then I'll sleep by your side Things are easy when you're big in Japan Oh when you're big in Japan Neon on my naked skin, passing silhouettes Of strange illuminated mannequins Shall I stay here at the zoo Or should I go and change my point of view For other ugly scenes You did what you did to me Now it's history I see Here's my comeback on the road again Things will happen while they can I will wait here for my man tonight It's easy when you're big in Japan Aah when you're big in Japan-tonight Big in Japan-be-tight Big in Japan ooh the eastern sea's so blue Big in Japan-alright, pay! Then I'll sleep by your side Things are easy when you're big in Japan Songwriters: MARIAN GOLD, FRANK MERTENS, BERNHARD LLOYD If all that is a bit heavy, 'Summer in Berlin' and the rest of the album are much more uplifting and optimistic.
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