Big In Japan: From Y to X And Never Again


Zoo 1978 (Bootlegged 1989).  Zoo 135


Big In Japan are more interesting for the line-up than the music.  Everyone in the band went on to be pretty successful in future ventures, although didn’t show much promise here.  It was like a supergroup in reverse.  So we have Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes To Hollywood), Bill Drummond (KLF), David Balfe (Teardrop Explodes), Ian Broudie (The Lightning Seeds), Budgie (Siouxsie and the Banshees) and others.

The music was conceptual art-punk with little emphasis on proficiency and is really only of interest as a curiosity.  It’s listenable though and worth a download if you’re into any of the bands these guys were later successful with.

My copy is a bootleg, bought in Virgin.  I do find it irritating that the music industry makes such a fuss about piracy, but are more than happy to stock dodgy product if they think they can make a few quid.  This had the tell-tale “Import Licence” which is usually a sign of a bootleg.  As a result the sound quality isn’t great – it sounds like it was ripped (poorly) from an original 7″.

  1. I have the original Zoo 7″, the lovely To The Shores of Lake Placid LP and The Document Boxset if you are interested in some super shiny high quality rips.

  2. Hi Lanark, Yes please, that would be great.

    I didn’t know Shoes Of lake Placed was an LP – I have a Bill Drummond book with that title but no music. I’m guessing the Document box is a label retrospective?

    Thanks again

  3. To The Shores of Lake Placid” was a Zoo Compilation LP (Zoo 4) from 1982. Finely packaged. “From The Shores of Lake Placid” was a short story in a booklet of the same name (Penkiln Burn Book One) published by Bill Drummond in 1998. It was later included in his fine collection “45”.

    I’ll zip them up.

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