The Vapors TURNING JAPANESE: Best New Wave Songs

Turning Japanese

Photo: By Alex Tora (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If there ever was a song that could define the sound of the start of the New Wave era it would be the Vapors “Turning Japanese.” The song was issued in 1980 on the band’s New Clear Days album.The song “Turning Japanese.” reached the No 1 position on the music charts in Canada and Australia. As popular as the song was in the United States, it barely cracked the top 40 charts stalling at the No.36 position. However, the songs was a top 10 hit in the U.K , Ireland, and New Zealand. Chart success aside, it can be easily argued that the song has became ingrained in popular culture because of it’s lyrical content and use of the famous oriental riff in a rock and roll groove.

As with any successful popular song, many people will misinterpret the meaning behind the song’s catch phrase. However, it eventually was described by the band’s guitarist Rod Kemp as being a song simply describing the awful feeling of a broken heart. The pain that becomes so unbearable that actually makes you feel as if you were tuning into something else. Kemp described that the phrase “Turning Japanese,” could have easily had been Turning Lebanese or Turning Portuguese. There was nothing racial about it, it was simply trying to describe the pain of a broken heart. Yet the use of the oriental riff and the term Japaneses is what made the song so famous.

Sometimes you get lucky in the music business and the perfect song and arrangement just falls into place. For the Vapors they hit it big with one of the most original sounding songs of the New Wave era.  The band never had another hit after the success of “Turning Japanese.” They disbanded only a few years later. Yet their song “Turning Japanese,” remains one of the most famous songs of all time and a definite representation of the New Wave Era.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Maroon 5 Songs
Top 10 Maroon 5 Songs
Charles Brown Songs
Top 10 Charles Brown Songs
Easton Corbin Songs
Top 10 Easton Corbin Songs
Lead Belly Songs
Top 10 Lead Belly Songs
Blue Oyster Cult Albums
Top 10 Blue Oyster Cult Albums
Rolling Stones Albums
Top 10 Rolling Stones Albums
Van Halen Albums
Top 10 Van Halen Albums
10 Best Final Albums Released By Classic Rock Artists
10 Best Final Albums Released By Classic Rock Artists
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Interview
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Brings Backroads Blues Festival To Bethel Woods NY
Sammy Hagar & The Circle Release New Single "Crazy Times."
Sammy Hagar & The Circle Release New Single “Crazy Times.”
Best Websites To Buy CDs and Vinyl
Best Websites To Buy CDs and Vinyl
David Gilmour The Beatles
David Gilmour’s Great Cover Of The Beatles Here, There and Everywhere
Don Kirschner Rock Concert
Before MTV, There Was Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert
Rock Stars Appearing And Selling Their Songs Out In Commercials
Discovering U2
Discovering The Band U2
Classic Rock History Rock And Roll Quiz # 4
Classic Rock History Rock And Roll Quiz # 4
Vulgar Display of Power – Pantera : Album Review
Electric Light Orchestra's Out Of The Blue Album
Why We Loved Electric Light Orchestra’s Out Of The Blue Album
Brian Eno Taking Tiger Mountain
Brian Eno Taking Tiger Mountain: Album Review
Frank Zappa Trilogy
Zappa Trilogy Review: Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt, Orchestral Favorites
Devo Albums
Complete List Of Devo Albums And Discography
Jennifer Hudson Albums
Complete List Of Jennifer Hudson Albums And Discography
Children Of Bodom Songs
Top 10 Children Of Bodom Songs
Harry Chapin Albums
Complete list Of Harry Chapin Albums And Discography