By Rain Tree Crow in 2009Updated Oct 2020
Rain Tree Crow is the sole album released by English band Rain Tree Crow, a reunion project by the members of the new wave band Japan. Recorded in 1989 and 1990 and released in April 1991, it was the…
Rain Tree Crow is the sole album released by English band Rain Tree Crow, a reunion project by the members of the new wave band Japan. Recorded in 1989 and 1990 and released in April 1991, it was the first time that members David Sylvian, Mick Karn, Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri had collaborated as a four-piece since 1982.
The album peaked at number 24 on the UK Albums Chart.
Background and content
Trouser Press wrote: "the album doesn't sound drastically different from any of their previous work together, but successfully revives Japan's late-period neo-tribal rhythms and vaguely Asian feel."
The name Rain Tree Crow was chosen to mark a break from Japan's past, with the intention of creating a new long-term project. As the music turned out to be less commercial than originally envisaged, all members of the band aside from Sylvian became amenable to the idea of retaining the Japan moniker, in order to gain maximum exposure. Virgin records pressured the musicians to let them market the album under the name Japan; however, Sylvian was adamant that this would not take place. Sylvian’s opinion prevailed and the album was released as by Rain Tree Crow.
Release and reception
"Blackwater" was released as the album's only single and reached number 62 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1991. The album reached number 24 in the UK Albums Chart.
The album was remastered and reissued on CD in 2003. The B-side track from the "Blackwater" single, "I Drink To Forget", was included on this reissue, but omitted on the later vinyl reissue of March 2019.
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