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Subject: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: midnite on 04/27/08 at 5:32 pm

I was listening to some of my 80s music and realized that there are numerous Asian-themed songs.  Interestingly, all of the musicians (but one) in my collection are European.  The exception, that I could find is Red Rockers. They are from the US. 

There are also two European bands with Asian-themed names - Asia and Japan

Here are some of the Asian-themed songs that I have.  Please add any other other Asian-themed songs to the list?

Alphaville - Big In Japan  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXPUkrz7Uow
Red Rockers - China  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmevO2V2JxA
David Bowie - China Girl  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSfndZfKFNU
Fancy - Chinese Eyes  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wccHFyWaoiU&feature=related
Murray Head - One Night In Bangkok  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDh3tu49obc
New Baccara - Tokyo By Night (no video available)
Lee Marrow - Shanghai  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDMvx68ftIA
Michael Cretu (Enigma) - Samurai  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evC79YQNhp0
Sarah - Tokyo Town  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wzhl9C0MIGg
T'Pau - China In Your Hands  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSh6SQd8UrI
Heaven 17 - Geisha Boys And Temple Girls (no video available)

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Tanya1976 on 04/27/08 at 6:12 pm

You forgot "Turning Japanese" by the Vapors. It's not really Japanese-related, though. It's more of an homage to masturbation  ;).

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Davester on 04/27/08 at 7:05 pm


  From Hold Your Fire (1987) Rush has "Tai Shan"...

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruIjBi9v13k

  Not a Rush music video but images of China set to the song...

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Henk on 04/28/08 at 1:46 am

Wang Chung (when they were still Huang Chung) had a song called "China". Can't find the video for that one... :(

They also did
"Rising In The East"


Ten Sharp (Dutch band) had a song called "Japanese Lovesong". No video on YouTube either.


And let's not forget this classic... Ah, never mind - I see you already had that one covered.

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: whistledog on 04/28/08 at 2:06 am

Life in Tokyo - Japan (1979, 1982)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiM3uw32Ifw

Tokyo - Bruce Cockburn (Canadian Artist) (1980)

Japanese Boy - Aneka (1981)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIFWXXaEEjY

Living in China - Men Without Hats (Canadian Artist) (1983)

Walking on the Chinese Wall - Philip Bailey (1984)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHQhOzeE6Q4

Shangri-La - Steve Miller Band (1984)

Shangri La - Roman Grey (Canadian Artist) (1988)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a8HeOuFS1M



There are also two European bands with Asian-themed names - Asia and Japan


Hanoi Rocks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanoi_Rocks

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Philip Eno on 04/28/08 at 2:31 am


I was listening to some of my 80s music and realized that there are numerous Asian-themed songs.  Interestingly, all of the musicians (but one) in my collection are European.  The exception, that I could find is Red Rockers. They are from the US. 

There are also two European bands with Asian-themed names - Asia and Japan

Here are some of the Asian-themed songs that I have.  Please add any other other Asian-themed songs to the list?

Alphaville - Big In Japan   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXPUkrz7Uow
Red Rockers - China   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmevO2V2JxA
David Bowie - China Girl   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSfndZfKFNU
Fancy - Chinese Eyes   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wccHFyWaoiU&feature=related
Murray Head - One Night In Bangkok   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDh3tu49obc
New Baccara - Tokyo By Night (no video available)
Lee Marrow - Shanghai   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDMvx68ftIA
Michael Cretu (Enigma) - Samurai   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evC79YQNhp0
Sarah - Tokyo Town   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wzhl9C0MIGg
T'Pau - China In Your Hands   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSh6SQd8UrI
Heaven 17 - Geisha Boys And Temple Girls (no video available)

One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head, is more than just a song, it came from the musical Chess by Tim Rice and ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson.

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: cinnabon on 04/28/08 at 5:05 am





Hanoi Rocks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanoi_Rocks


It's too bad that their drummer Razzle was taken from us too soon due to a lapse in judgment by Motley Crue singer Vince Neil - who knows what direction the band could have gone in otherwise. :\'(

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: KKay on 04/28/08 at 6:59 am

not just the theme, but the sound- you can hear it in a lot of songs by The Cure and old Bowie tunes....

what was going on?!  well, the look really went well in the over-applying-make-up-adrogynous youth.

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: karen on 04/28/08 at 8:05 am


not just the theme, but the sound- you can hear it in a lot of songs by The Cure and old Bowie tunes....



There was also the film David Bowie was in - Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.  The theme to that (by Ryuichi Sakamoto) did well in the UK charts (don't know about US charts)

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: KKay on 04/28/08 at 8:20 am


There was also the film David Bowie was in - Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.  The theme to that (by Ryuichi Sakamoto) did well in the UK charts (don't know about US charts)


i don't know if it made the charts but I know it.  Good film!  He and Sakamoto did a few songs, right? 


Oh and Sakamoto recorded Field Work with Thomas Dolby, too

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Stinkyy on 04/28/08 at 2:43 pm

Awesome thread.

China Crisis - _____ -  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj20LKdg8-8

Japan - Visions of China - www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhC8LnFd2LE
Japan - Cantonese Boy - youtube.com/watch?v=ZKKQp8iG6sM&feature=related
Japan - Communist China - www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SrCMpP9H0g

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: whistledog on 04/28/08 at 2:47 pm


One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head, is more than just a song, it came from the musical Chess by Tim Rice and ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson.


To this day, I still find it odd that that song fully qualifies as a broadway musical song ;D

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Paul on 04/28/08 at 2:52 pm

And another...

(This must have been one of their first British mainstream pop programme appearances in the UK...Wow! They look so young!  :D)

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: whistledog on 04/28/08 at 2:53 pm


And another...

(This must have been one of their first British mainstream pop programme appearances in the UK...Wow! They look so young!  :D)


I'd forgotten about that one.  Man, I still laugh at how Mark King plays the guitar.  In LEvel 42's later years, he played the bass with his thumb ;D

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: johnny5alive on 04/28/08 at 9:05 pm

oriental boy  ........  the flirts            http://youtube.com/watch?v=87LCHyFXaDg

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: midnite on 04/30/08 at 6:12 pm

all great songs.  Its funny how in the 80s, there was a special fascination with Asia.  Lots of songs about China.

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: midnite on 05/15/08 at 6:07 pm

Just stumbled across another one:

Wish Key - Orient Express http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcahxye2Urw&feature=related

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Shacks Train on 05/17/08 at 1:45 am

Some lesser known ones!
Blancmange - Vishnu  ( east indian)
http://www.zshare.net/audio/121458233dbf94b8/
CCCP - Orient Express (pogo mix)
http://www.zshare.net/audio/12145937ec5965d5/
Vicious Pink - My Private Tokyo
http://www.zshare.net/audio/1214624936b54425/
Siouxsie & The Banshees  - Hong Kong Garden
http://www.zshare.net/audio/12146522d16654e6/
Jon Vangelis - China      :)      Great Instumental!
http://www.zshare.net/audio/12146649d362ea07/
Rational Youth - Holiday in Bankok
http://www.zshare.net/audio/121466866d4d6411/
Mentioned from above posts!
Payolas - China Boys
http://www.zshare.net/audio/12146901a2377be7/
Murray Head - One Night in Bankok
http://www.zshare.net/audio/1214720246ae98be/
& a 7min remix
http://www.zshare.net/audio/1214721731d1d39d/
Out in Left Field!
Monty Python - I Like Chinese
http://www.zshare.net/audio/12147265d12cf1ba/

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: midnite on 05/18/08 at 8:04 pm

Wow! Good songs!  I like Vicious Pink's "My Private Tokyo."

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: SpaceHog on 05/19/08 at 9:29 am

A taste of honey had Sukiyaki.

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: midnite on 05/22/08 at 11:18 pm

Sukiyaki - is that a food? Mmmmmm.

A few more from the 80s:

Mozzart - My Jasmine China Girl

Brian Ice - Tokyo

Oscar - Japanese Joy

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: whistledog on 05/23/08 at 6:45 pm


Rational Youth - Holiday in Bankok
http://www.zshare.net/audio/121466866d4d6411/

Payolas - China Boys
http://www.zshare.net/audio/12146901a2377be7/


DOH!  How could I have forgotten about those.  Those are great ones indeed :)

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: loki 13 on 05/23/08 at 8:24 pm

Holiday In Cambodia....Dead Kennedys    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R11x32WoxrM


Beach Party Viet Nam.....Dead Milkmen


I assume you mean Oriental themed songs, if not and it's Asian in general then there is:

Nikita.....Elton John    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9wBEA_PYnE

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Shacks Train on 05/24/08 at 7:38 am

One more comes to mind & it was "OVERLOOKED"!!/
The Vapours - Turning Japaneze  was it forgotten?
"I Really Think So"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWPE_VkssEw

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: midnite on 06/02/08 at 7:30 pm

Cantonese Boy by Japan (one of my favorite 80's groups).

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Philip Eno on 06/03/08 at 2:02 am


One more comes to mind & it was "OVERLOOKED"!!/
The Vapours - Turning Japaneze  was it forgotten?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWPE_VkssEw

You forgot "Turning Japanese" by the Vapors. It's not really Japanese-related, though. It's more of an homage to masturbation  ;).
Not forgotten!

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: midnite on 06/03/08 at 7:32 pm

The Creatures - Japan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KINVcqDDSKQ


Europeans song-writers were obsessed with the Orient in the 80s.

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: karen on 06/03/08 at 10:05 pm

Not sure of the year but heard this on the radio today and it reminded me of this thread

My Woman in Tokyo - Deep Purple

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: David on 12/16/09 at 3:18 pm

I had a friend in High School that was really into 80s New Wave, New Romantic, Post Punk, and Goth. He told me about this 80s fascination with the Orient. He also told me a name for this movement, but I completely forgot what it was.

I had googled and searched wikipedia but couldn't find an answer. I stumbled on this list of great songs today. I'm hoping this post will spark someone else memory and get an answer. If you know the name of this genre or musical movement please reply.

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Laurel on 02/05/12 at 3:17 pm

I think the term could be called New Wasian.

there's also Fun Fun "Living in Japan"

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Doc Brown on 02/05/12 at 9:35 pm

OH, FOR THE LAST TIME!
"Turning Japanese" is NOT and ode to self-loving! Members of the band have been telling us that for years! The lines 'No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women, no fun, no sin, no YOU, no wonder it's dark... Everyone around me is a total stranger, everyone avoids me like a cyclone ranger...' clearly explains the whole song: The singer is separated so far from his girl, and for so long, compounded that he doesn't know anyone near him, that he may as well be in Japan! That's what the song and its title means.

Your Pal,
Doc

8)

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Doc Brown on 02/06/12 at 2:53 pm

Moving right along, I also do not believe that the music industry's fascination with Far Eastern culture is rooted in New Wave, and the connection goes back much farther than the early 80's. There were hints of it at least as far back as the early 70's(Doobie Brother's "China Grove" and Carl Douglas's "Kung Fu Fighting").
It is altogether possible that the connection is related to the fact that Rock Music's biggest push into the mainstream came around the time of an ignorant government ineptly waging war in Southeast Asia, and many songs of the time were protests against it.
Beyond Vietnam, there is also the undeniable influence of the biggest band ever, The Beatles, and their explorations of Eastern philosophies, which they brought back and shared with the world through their later albums(George Harrison even continued this theme in his early solo work).
A final note, Popular music albums are often released in the Orient long before they come out in Europe or the Americas, so a lot of world tours begin over there, which may also contribute to the influence. I hope I've given all some food for thought!

Your Pal,
Doc

8)

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Fairee07 on 03/03/12 at 4:53 pm

Add: Tokyo Rose----Idle Eyes

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: ken on 02/05/13 at 9:51 pm

gee, sorry it took me 5 years to find this. here are some others:

Men Without Hats    "Living In China"
Japan    "Communist China"
Ultravox    "White China"
Gary Numan    "Slow Car To China"
Japan    "Cantonese Boy"
Red Rockers    "China"
Siouxsie and the banshees    "Hong Kong Garden"

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 02/05/13 at 10:18 pm


OH, FOR THE LAST TIME!
"Turning Japanese" is NOT and ode to self-loving!

8)



YES IT IS! IT'S ABOUT MASTURBATION. IT IS.  IS IS IS IS IS IS IS IS IS IS IS  IS AND IS!!!!

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Mushroom on 02/14/13 at 3:55 pm

And as long as this has been going on, nobody seems to have caught one that I immediately thought of...

Thomas Dolby, She Blinded Me With Science.  IN it Miss Sakamoto plays a major role, being the obssession of the Scientist singing the song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiwAYSwBWH8

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: warped on 02/14/13 at 6:48 pm

Mitsou ~ Les Chinois  (translated; The Chinese people)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_odYGS7S50

This song had some radio play in Canada back in 1988 or 1989

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Bobby on 02/14/13 at 6:50 pm

'Shanghai Surprise' - George Harrison
'Cambodia' - Kim Wilde

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Mushroom on 02/14/13 at 10:49 pm

A few others.

Still In Saigon - Charlie Daniels Band
Goodnight Saigon - Billy Joel

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 02/15/13 at 9:52 pm

A Flock of Seagulls: Tokyo
Thompson Twins: Kamikaze
The Cure: Kyoto Song
Split Enz: Albert of India
Dead Kennedys: Holiday in Cambodia
Dead Milkmen: Beach Party Vietnam
Stan Ridgeway: Camouflage
Heaven 17: Geisha Boys and Temple Girls
Howard Jones: China Dance

Subject: Re: 80s Asian-Themed Songs

Written By: Howard on 02/16/13 at 6:40 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScljKz-dvgo

Brothers Johnson-Tokyo

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