Presentation – ‘Two Tribes, United by Music: Western Pop in Japan’

How many times has the headline ‘Big in Japan’ been published in relation to some Western (i.e., North American or European) pop act? The reality is that, as an article by Guy De Launey’s in 1995 (‘Not-so-big in Japan: Western pop music in the Japanese market’, Popular Music, 40:1) pointed out, very few Western acts, beyond those such as Madonna and Michael Jackson, are ever big in Japan.

I will be giving a presentation on this topic as part of the JETAA/MEXT UK Academic Special Interest Group.

Keeping with the theme of autoethnographic research of the group so far, this presentation will look at two aspects of Western pop music in relation to Japan. First, it will look at the issues surrounding the success of Western acts in Japan. Second, it will look at the issue of people outside of Japan collecting the Japanese releases by Western acts. I will be doing this in particular in relation to my own experiences of researching, and becoming dragged into some form of collecting, in relation to Frankie Goes To Hollywood and how this ties to the book, Frankie Fans Say Welcome to our World, that I am writing.

Further information about the event and how to register for it can be found by following this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/two-tribes-united-by-music-western-pop-in-japan-tickets-163051883573

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