Why wasn't there a promo Video for Ghosts?

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Why wasn't there a promo Video for Ghosts?

Postby billster on Wed May 12, 2010 7:15 am

It wasn't a typical sounding single even then and you'd imagine Virgin would have wanted to push this as far as they could.

In addition to opinion, anyone have any FACTS why there was no promo video for this? (or C.Boy for that matter).
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Re: Why wasn't there a promo Video for Ghosts?

Postby Despair on Wed May 12, 2010 10:16 pm

Im guessing finances. Up till GHOSTS, Japan had only marginal success. Virgin didnt want Ghosts released as a single. Sylvian put his foot down and insisted, so perhaps Virgin agreed to that, but not to finance a video.
Having said that, The TOTPs appearence was a worthy piece of film in its own right.
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Re: Why wasn't there a promo Video for Ghosts?

Postby billster on Thu May 13, 2010 1:35 am

that wouldn't explain why they had videos made for earlier releases and even Bamboo music, though...
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Re: Why wasn't there a promo Video for Ghosts?

Postby karnsculpture on Thu May 13, 2010 4:17 pm

I'm not an ex-member of Japan so can't give you a definitive reason but the points below are worth considering:

1) The first reason Sylvian gave way back when in interviews was that he didn't believe in making music videos - he said he thought that they restricted the audience's opportunity to visualise the song themselves. Sylvian, though, contradicted this pretty soon as was pointed out earlier in the thread he made videos for his solo singles!

2) Money - by '82 the members of Japan were more switched-on financially and were aware that any money spent on promotion would have to come out of their royalties before they were paid anything. Given that Japan in the final year was partly operating to make what it could before splitting (confirmed in various interviews), they will have wanted to save where they could. True to say aswell, Virgin was not at that point swimming in money, though it would be with the Human League and Culture Club's success in the States a year or so later.

3) I need to re-read it to be sure, but Mick Karn writes in his book about how at the time "Ghosts" was released he was abroad and had to be convinced to return to the UK for the Whistle Test and Top of the Pops performances. This is the time when relationships within the band were at their most fractious, for reasons everyone is aware of now.

4) "Ghosts" and "Cantonese Boy" were only singles in the UK and one or two European countries later on. The Top of The Pops performance was used overseas as a music video clip. "Bamboo Music" on the other hand was released as a single in Japan, where Sakamoto had just had a No1 hit with "Ikenai Rouge Magic" (which itself had a music video that was given heavy rotation on music shows. So, any video featuring him would get played, and it did, with the single charting).
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Re: Why wasn't there a promo Video for Ghosts?

Postby Despair on Fri May 14, 2010 6:17 am

Thanx Paul.
A thorough answer there, as always.
Regards the Bamboo Music video .... i cant remember where i saw it, perhaps from your good self, but i once saw chart positions of JAPAN in the JAPANESE charts, and i always thought they were huge, but the chart positions were very poor, or certainly lower than i expected. Do you have a definitive chart of the time, regards JAPAN and Sylvian releases ?????
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Re: Why wasn't there a promo Video for Ghosts?

Postby karnsculpture on Fri May 14, 2010 4:43 pm

This page has the Japan Oricon chart positions:
http://park10.wakwak.com/~techno/japan.html

Non-Japanese artists rarely made it into the top 20 of that chart, and even acts like YMO, who were huge didn't have many hit singles. It is mostly j-pop or idol singers that had the really big hits (Seiko Matsuda, Hiromi Go, Kenji Sawada, Pink Lady etc).

Japan were a big act in Japan - in terms of media they appeared in all the major magazines, even titles that didn't usually feature western artists due to later interviews with YMO members; they also sold out the biggest concert venues of the time and have left behind a back catalogue that has been re-issued and repackaged even more than it has been in the UK.

Mick Karn managed the biggest Oricon chart hit of a Japan member with NiNa, a Christmas No1 no less. Steve Jansen had the next biggest hit with "Stay Close" - in both cases they were in partnership with established Japanese artists and did ample promotion. Steve claimed in an interview that Stay Close was No1 for 8 weeks but I'm not sure which chart that was...

Steve won't have lied as there are other charts in Japan, such as the Music Life chart of non-Japanese acts, and the Tokyo Hot 100, airplay based, which Sylvian/Sakamoto charted very highly on with "World Citizen".
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Re: Why wasn't there a promo Video for Ghosts?

Postby karnsculpture on Fri May 14, 2010 5:37 pm

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