Why Alphaville's popular "Big in Japan" fails in Sandra's performance
"Big in Japan." - the famous hit of the German synth-pop band Alphaville! It is well known to every music lover, because after its release in the 1984 it became an international hit song! "Cool in Japan." remains the main masterpiece in the repertoire of the group, and it is not surprising that many artists have recorded their own interpretations of this famous hit... One of the inspired followers was also a popular favorite of Sandra! Only her version, despite the fact that today the singer is beloved by millions of listeners, turned out to be a complete failure...
A little about the song: history and lyrical meaning
The song was written long before graduation, in 1978: born "Big in Japan." from under the pen Mariana Golda. The author of the masterpiece later recalled:
"Japan was a place where the market was teeming with musicians... Any hard rock band could sell millions of records there! But in Europe it was much sadder... That was the problem that inspired me to write "Big in Japan". This song is about how easy it is to become cool in Japan!
According to Gold, the lyrical stuffing turned out to be quite comical and ambiguousand understood it only two person: one of the participants Bernhard Lloyd and publisher Andy Budde:
"This song is about a couple in love trying to push back from their dirty addiction. The young people dream about how cool it is to live a 'clean' life without substances, without stealing, with lively pupils and sincere emotions coming from deep within the heart... Berlin's Zoo Station has a grim reputation to this day, so I chose it for a reason..."
Regarding titles, Marian explained:
"It's easy to interpret. You can be a nobody in your homeland, but you can be the idol of millions in a foreign country... Just by changing places you can be king of the world! It seemed to me that this phrase and this meaning suited the story of a couple in love perfectly, so I chose it for the title..."
Gold also confessed that inspiration struck him on his way to the club, where he was to meet the David Bowie. At the time, the famous "rock chameleon" was temporarily settled in Berlin, where he was being treated for addiction. Hence, most likely, the lyrical meaning. And the phrase "Big in Japan." was inspired by the name of the band whose record Marian bought at the club. What's most interesting is that after its release, "Cool in Japan" struggled in the charts with Frankie Goes to HollywoodThe band, whose lead singer was an ex-member of the Big in Japan... That's really irony of fate!
What made Sandra record her version
Today Sandra is one of the most beloved singers of the time 1980s! Her artistic journey began in 1979: a 17-year-old girl joined the "Arabesque."The band was very much loved by the audience. The band was much loved in the USSR and JapanBut in her native Germany it was a moderate success... It was there that Sandra met her future husband Michael Cretu. When the popularity of Arabesque declined and misunderstandings began to grow within the group, the girl decided to leave the lineup and go solo... Cretu became her supportand together they began to work on the "brand" Sandra.
It happened in 1984, just when the radio was actively playing "Big in Japan."! That's why they decided to record a cover of such a high-profile hit, because it promised success and maybe a chart hit! But Sandra and Michael were very surprised and even dumbfounded when their version titled "Japan ist weit" It's hard to believe it today, but German-language single was sold in ridiculous numbers 125 copies... Nevertheless, it was Sandra's first big step towards building a solo career. And the first pancake, as they say, is often a bit of a harsh one.
Fortunately, the girl didn't give up. and went on to make solo records. And in 1985 she made a world-wide splash with the hit "Mary Magdalene."which took first place in more than 20 countries! From that moment the dizzying success began. Subsequently, Sandra released quite a few hit songs, which are pleasant to listen to even today...