Adolescent Sex

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Adolescent Sex
An oriental-style painting of the men in glam dress-up, alongside a red moon and "Japan" in big red letters, all in front of a black background.
Studio album by Japan
ReleasedMarch 1978
RecordedLate 1977
ProducerRay Singer
Japan chronology
Adolescent Sex
Obscure Alternatives
Singles from Adolescent Sex
  1. "Don't Rain on My Parade"
    Released: 31 March 1978
  2. "Adolescent Sex"
    Released: 3 April 1978
  3. "The Unconventional"
    Released: 17 August 1978

Adolescent Sex is the debut album by the English band Japan, released in March 1978 by record label Hansa. To avoid controversy over the title, the album was renamed simply as Japan in some countries.


According to AllMusic, Adolescent Sex "snarls with leftover punk intent, a few glam rock riffs, and a wealth of electronics that not only reach back to the band's youth, but also predate much of what would explode out of the next wave of British underground."


Though not a commercial success in their native UK, the album was better received abroad, particularly in Japan itself, where it peaked at No. 20, and in the Netherlands where the single "Adolescent Sex" reached number 27 in the Dutch Top 40 in 1979.

The Japanese release contained several mistranslations of song titles. "Transmission" became "Invitation to Fascination", "Suburban Love" became "Carousel of Love", and "Television" became "Temptation Screen".

The album was remastered and re-released as a digipak CD in April 2004, with four videos as bonus material.

Reception and aftermath

Professional ratings
Review scores
Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Trouser Pressunfavourable

Trouser Press wrote that the album "introduces Japan in all its guitar-rock misery, playing such Bowie-influenced tripe as 'Wish You Were Black' with less style than a sense of urgency". AllMusic retrospectively gave the album a 4.5 out of 5 grade, writing: "A more exciting album than just about anything else they'd ever record, Japan were young, hungry, and more than a little rough around the edges."

Within a couple of years of its release, the band publicly denounced the album.

"The band were not totally happy with the first album or the way it had been marketed, and were dismayed by its poor reception in the UK. Their record company were not that ecstatic with the British sales either and required another album, this time aimed at the lucrative US and European markets."

— Paul Rymer

David Sylvian also said in 1982:

"I regret the first album, 'Adolescent Sex', in the sense that we were too young, too naive to make it. The people around us should have realised that and not had it released. The second album is okay as a first album."

Track listing

All tracks are written by David Sylvian, except for "Don't Rain on My Parade" by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill

Side one
2."The Unconventional"3:02
3."Wish You Were Black"4:49
5."Lovers on Main Street"4:09
6."Don't Rain on My Parade"2:54
Side two
7."Suburban Love"7:27
8."Adolescent Sex"3:46
9."Communist China"2:44
Bonus material on 2004 remastered re-release
11."Don't Rain on My Parade" (video) 
12."Communist China" (video) 
13."Adolescent Sex" (video) 
14."Adolescent Sex" (rare alt. video) 


Japan Additional personnel



Year Chart Peak position
1978 Japan Oricon Albums Chart 20


Year Single Chart Peak position
1979 Adolescent Sex Netherlands Dutch Top 100 21
Belgium Ultratop 28


  1. ^ Terich, Jeff (22 February 2012). "10 Essential New Romantic Albums". Treble. Retrieved 4 December 2019. Having begun life as a trashy glam rock band with Adolescent Sex (a name we should all feel guilty Googling),
  2. ^ Ham, Robert (9 March 2021). "Japan - Quiet Life". Pitchfork. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  3. ^ Galens, David (1998). "Japan/Rain Tree Crow/Mick Karn/Polytown". In Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds.). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. p. 594.
  4. ^ a b c d Hanson, Amy. "Adolescent Sex – Japan | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  6. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 10, 1979 (Dutch)". Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press.
  8. ^ a b Robbins, Ira; Aswad, Jen. " :: Japan". Trouser Press. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  9. ^ Paul Rymer, liner notes, Obscure Alternatives, SONY BMG (2006)
  10. ^ "Smash Hits magazine November 25 - December 8, 1982 page 10".
  11. ^ "Top 100".
  12. ^ "Japan - Adolescent Sex". Retrieved 3 April 2019.