Description: MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3.
Bit rate: 320 kbps.
Sample rate: 44100 Hz joint stereo.
Tags: ID3V1 & ID3V2.
Source format: CD.
Number of tracks: 16.
Playlists: original 16 track double album + 11 track CD version.
"It's not a true career overview, and given that the band only released two albums during its stint on Virgin, a collection that includes at least half of each of those efforts is ultimately a strange exercise in superfluity. That all said, though, if one needs to have a useful enough starting point for what made Japan so great, Exorcising Ghosts is a reasonable way to start. The emphasis is entirely on the moody, melancholic but energetic phase of Japan's career — there's nothing earlier than a couple of cuts from Quiet Life, and any hint of the band's trash glam rock start is carefully and quietly ignored. Tasteful is the word here instead, and, to be sure, the album cover and design, a beautifully striking effort from regular Sylvian artistic partner Russell Mills, is one of the best ever done. Sylvian himself oversaw the compilation, which leads to an important note: if there's a version of the album to get, appropriately enough it's the Japanese one. As the collection was apparently meant to be geared towards the band's namesake country first and foremost, that version includes a slew of extra tracks that create not only a better picture of the band's work, but provides more rarities of interest to fans. Besides such wonderful album cuts as "Swing" and "Sons of Pioneers," other Japanese-only songs include the single version of "Taking Islands in Africa," which features co-writer Ryuchi Sakomoto actually performing on the track, and which has otherwise not yet appeared on an album. Still, the stripped down U.K. edition does have a couple of less familiar takes: the 12" version of "The Art of Parties" and a take on "Talking Drum" which has different opening drums."
"When this was originally released in the UK I bought the vinyl and cassette versions. I recently updated to the CD and was taken aback to discover that not all the tracks are on there! No "Swing", "Taking Islands in Africa", or "Sons of Pioneers" (one of my fave Japan tracks) - it's also missing an instrumental track. It's a shame because some of the flavor is lost. Still, this is great music and a reasonable introduction for people new to Japan. I just wish record companies would stop releasing truncated versions of albums - is it really that much more expensive to keep everything intact?"
"Shame on EMI. Such a large and cash-rich record company that would stinge a few tracks off this original Double LP that would have made this a Five-Star collection. Shame indeed. Not having bothered to dig out my LPs, I bought this as Japan is one of the bands worth investing in AGAIN after having paid for the original LPs (and record companies who cry about people ripping and exchanging MP3s for free should think about this). The pleasure of hearing all these great tracks again made me forget the missing songs. But one fine day long after the return policy had expired, I discovered the omission and am sorely disappointed. For example, you'd be missing Swing, a remarkable and one infectious number, a marvel of Japan's subtlety. The minimalist saxophone riff, the imaginative Steve Jansen drumming, the punctuated Sylvian vocals and the uniquely oriental synths and Mick Karn's compelling bass slides makes this an essential part of the album. Taking Islands in Africa is another rarity that ought to have stayed. Now considering David Sylvian managed to fit 70 minutes of music into his Dead Bees In A Cake, the omissions by EMI are by no means technical. It is just pure shameful, just as how they ommitted the last and best instrumental track Silver Moon Over Sleeping Steeples from Sylvian's Gone To Earth. Just ONE more song... how hard could that be? Sheesh. Considering Japan is probably not getting royalties from this CD you might as well get the original albums as suggested. "
01. Methods of Dance (from 1980 album Gentlemen Take Polaroids)
02. Swing (from 1980 album Gentlemen Take Polaroids - omitted in UK/US CD editions)
03. Gentlemen Take Polaroids (from 1980 album Gentlemen Take Polaroids)
04. Quiet Life (from 1979 album Quiet Life)
05. A Foreign Place (non-album track 1980 - omitted in UK/US CD editions)
06. Nightporter (from 1980 album Gentlemen Take Polaroids)
07. My New Career (from 1980 album Gentlemen Take Polaroids)
08. The Other Side of Life (from 1979 album Quiet Life)
09. Visions of China (from 1981 album Tin Drum)
10. Taking Islands in Africa (Remix) (original version appears on 1980 album Gentlemen Take Polaroids - omitted in UK/US CD editions)
11. Ghosts (from 1981 album Tin Drum)
12. Sons of Pioneers (from 1981 album Tin Drum- omitted in UK/US CD editions)
13. Voices Raised In Welcome, Hands Held In Prayer (from 1983 album Oil On Canvas- omitted in UK/US CD editions)
14. Life Without Buildings (non-album track 1981)
15. Talking Drum (from 1981 album Tin Drum)
16. The Art of Parties (12" version) (original version appears on 1981 album Tin Drum)