"Big in Japan" is the debut single of the German band Alphaville. It is from their 1984 album Forever Young.
The single was a great success in many countries, including Switzerland, Germany and Sweden. It was also the group's only UK hit, getting to No. 8 on the UK Singles chart. The song also reached number one on the Hot Dance Club Play in December 1984.
The title comes from a phrase Big in Japan, which was used to describe Western bands who are popular with Japanese audiences while garnering little attention in their home country.
In 1986, Marian Gold recalled that "I bought an album of an unknown British band named 'Big in Japan'. As you know, there's a considerable musical market in Japan. If you wanted to become famous, what you should do was to form a hard rock group and then release an album over there; it would definitely sell well... so the story went ... The statement fitted well to my storyline about a couple of drug addicted lovers and moreover provided the title for the prospective song.
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