17 Seconds is sad to report that Mick Karn, who played bass in Japan from 1974-1982 has died of Cancer. He was just 52.
Japan were originally perceived as also-rans on the punk scene but as a band who were more than equal to the sum of their parts -in no small part due to Karn, they became commercially successful, releasing some of the most haunting and evocative music ever recorded. The three tracks posted below give a small idea of just how special and unique Japan were. ‘Ghosts’ must be one of the most unusual -but brilliant songs -ever to break into the top 5 and parent album Tin Drum is one of the classics albums of the period.
As well as his solo career, Karn collaborated with Gary Numan, Kate Bush and Peter Murphy of Bauhaus (with whom he formed the one-off project Dali’s Car). He had a successful solo career, and even a hit duet with Midge Ure ‘After A Fashion.’ He also joined Rain Tree Crow, the band that were to all intents and purposes a reformed Japan.