Monday, August 24, 2009

Forbidden Colours

By the time David Sylvian had moved on from the group Japan and became a solo artist I hadn't really known Japan's songs. I first remember his solo song Red Guitar which I played a lot on my Now That's What I Call Music 3 album in 1984. It was years later that I started to like Japan's music. I Second That Emotion, Life In Tokyo, Quite Life and Ghosts are classic Japan songs. My favourite is Nightporter. With all the 80s music in the charts they surely are or should be one of today's greatest influences. For all the concerts I have seen in Dublin, David Sylvian in Vicar Street in 2007 was really the most disappointing. How I wished I would never write that line! It was really a concert for the most devoted fan as he played mostly songs from his more recent solo albums. I did the silly thing of looking at the check-list of the songs he would sing on the night in advance. Never do that again folks even if it's Madonna! The only song that myself and my friend Seamus knew was Ghosts and that was a very different version to the original. I wonder how many other people there on the night had gone along thinking that he might sing a few songs that made him a successful artist in the first place. I know artists should not have to constantly perform their older songs every time but I was very disappointed. The newer songs were all a bit bleak. I know he is an artist synonymous with a certain genre of music but at one stage my friend Seamus said (a bit Bridget Jones like too loud) 'sing a happy song!'. The song that I most wanted to hear him sing was Forbidden Colours, the song that Sylvian wrote the lyrics for with music by Riuichi Sakamoto. It was a vocal version of the theme to the 1983 film Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence. The film's plot included a story of forbidden love between two men and starred David Bowie, Tom Conti, Takeshi Kitano and Riuichi Oshima. Forbidden Colours got to number 16 in the UK charts in July 1983 and is in the top ten songs of all time for me. It is number 36 of my 40.
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