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Life In Tokyo

A breakthrough single in many ways, this led to the "Quiet Life" album and greater UK success. A classic pop song with a big Giorgio Moroder production. There are a multitude of remixes and different sleeve variations of this song.

Original 1979 release

Unless otherwise stated, 7" singles include:

A: Life In Tokyo (Short Version) 3.30
B: Life In Tokyo (Part Two) 3.29

12" singles include:
A: Life In Tokyo (Long Version) 7.05 
B: Life In Tokyo (Short Version) 3.30

UK red vinyl 7" Hansa AHA-540
UK red vinyl 12": AHAD-540

Most copies were released in the sleeve above, though some have also been seen with an "Ariola Disco" sleeve. 

UK 7"

UK 7" label with press out centre

Solid centre

UK 7" with solid centre
12" sleeve

UK 12" single sleeve

UK 12"label

UK Promo 7" and 12" copies have a large A at the centre and "not for sale" above the Ariola Hansa logo. Both promos came with the standard picture sleeve.

life in tokyo UK 12" promo

12" promo label

German single 1979

Both  7" and 12" have the following article on the back sleeve (in German and English):

"JAPAN the most individual group of the London rockscene - always keen on experimenting - causes confusion once again: In the beginning of this year, the branch was amazed by the news, that the young rock-avantgardistes met an established disco-producer in a studio of L.A.: This years winner of the "Oscar" and "Golden Globe" Giorgio Moroder. Together they tinkered at a new song, in which the group digested the fresh impressions of the sensational live-concert in the Budokan Hall in Tokyo: "Life In Tokyo"."

German black vinyl 7" Hansa 100.641

German back cover

Back of the German 7" single sleeve

German 12"

German black vinyl 12" Hansa 600048213.
A side titled "Disco Version" - it is the same as the first UK 12" (AKA Long Version). 

12" back cover

German back sleeve

German 12" label

German 12" label
7" single

German 7"
French sleeve French black vinyl 7" Carerre 49.497

French label

Spanish sleeve

Spanish 7" Ariola 100.641
Spanish label
Japanese black vinyl 7" Victor VIP-2745.

back of the insert

Back of the insert

white label

Promo label


Stock label

Italian 7"
Ariola Hansa/Ricordi International SIR 20213

This is very hard to find. If you see it, even in poor condition get it!

Canadian 12" label. AHAD 12-540. 

Canadian rear sleeve

Canadian 7" AHA540X

The rear of the Canadian sleeve includes an advertisement for "Adolescent Sex" and "Obscure Alternatives". It's a really nice, thick card sleeve with the band and track details printed on the spine.

Mexican sleeve

Mexican 12" SL 7010. 

Note that it plays at 33RPM and unlike the other 12" singles here includes "Part 2" as the second track on Side 2. 

Two pressings exist with slightly different labels



Mexican 7"

Mexican 7" S-325
Same tracks on this one as the UK red vinyl 7" single
Dutch promo

Scandanavian promo 7"ARI 600377

A: Life In Tokyo (Long Version) 7.05
B: Life In Tokyo (Short Version) 3.30

USA promo 7" SPRO-7724

A: Life In Tokyo (Short Version) 3.30
B: Life In Tokyo (Mono Short Version) 3.30

Australian single

Australian 7" RCA Victor 103406, AHA-540

Same tracks as the UK red vinyl 7"

US promo

USA 12" promo PRO-7756
A: Life In Tokyo (Long Version) 7.05
B: Life In Tokyo (Short Version) 3.30

Life In Tokyo/Love Is Infectious USA single


There are 2 versions of the 7" label with subtle differences in the typeface and size of logos etc

Ariola America 7756 (thanks to Chris Rickards for the information)

A: Life In Tokyo 3.30
B: Love Is Infectious 4.08 


A: Life In Tokyo 7.05
B: Love Is Infectious 4.08

USA 12" Ariola Records America AR-9019

USA stock 7"

US 7" in Ariola America sleeve

Life In Tokyo

US 12" in sleeve

1st Reissue: April 1981 UK, Germany & Holland The 7" and 12" mixes of "Life In Tokyo" are the same as on the 1979 release. The 7" mix of "European Son" is the one found on "Assemblage" but the 12" is a rare extended version by John Punter. 

A: Life In Tokyo (Short Version) 3.30
B: European Son 3.37

Life In Tokyo

Dutch and UK picture sleeve front and back

back sleeve

UK label


Dutch label Dutch 7" 103269

UK 12": HANSA124
A: Life In Tokyo (Long Version) 7.05
B: European Son (Long Version) 5.00

Hansa 124

UK 12" label

German 7" 103 269-100
Back sleeve

Back of the picture sleeve
7" record

7" record

12 inch

German 12" sleeve 600377

Same tracks as the UK 12"

12" record

12" A and B side labels
European son
2nd reissue: October 1982 UK & Ireland This issue finally made "Life In Tokyo" a hit and it was supported by the group themselves, with Sylvian co-ordinating the sleeve design. Both sides are remixed and there is a new 12" remix too. The b-side, "Life In Tokyo Theme" is a slowed down mix which could be enjoyed at the usual speed if played on a 78rpm turntable. Listening to it again now it sounds like an Orb remix! It's quite cool really... Unfortunately, Radio One played this side a couple of times by mistake during the weekly Top 40 countdown, which I believe certain contributed to it losing a significant amount of sales. Chart position: 28.

Two slightly different 7" labels exist - the only difference is the position of the publishing info. One is a jukebox version of the single with a large centre hole.

The photo on this sleeve was taken in the Keio Plaza Hotel, Shinjuku, Tokyo. If you go there ask for a high floor room in the main tower looking towards Shinjuku Station. Sadly the view doesn't exist exactly as it was anymore due to more recently built skyscrapers.
This is a scan of the back of the 7" sleeve, showing the portrait of Sylvian painted by Mulligan from the group Fashion. One of Mulligan's original portraits was given away by Smash Hits as part of a competition. The competition version differs from this one as it includes a Japan logo and the song title. 

Uk 7"

7" version + jukebox single: HANSA17
A: Life In Tokyo (special remix) 3.59
B: Life In Tokyo (Theme) 3.54


12" version: HANSA1217
A: Life In Tokyo (extended remix) 7.05
B: Life In Tokyo (Theme) 3.54


Jukebox 7" with large centre hole

alternate label

This label has the Nomis Music credit on the right instead of the left side of the label.
Irish 7" sleeve (same as the UK version) and label.  Thanks to Toby for this one.

Polish postcard single from the 1980s

Tonpress R-0971.

Extremely rare. Thanks to Gary for providing the scan. There is a higher resolution version here.

DJ remix
2005 DJ remix 12" backed with Quiet Life. This is not an official release and has no catalogue number. Both tracks are re-edits, slightly speeded up with heavier bass drum beats added. 
Trivia: In the movie "Scanners" in one scene there is a crash in a record shop where there are displays of the original "Life In Tokyo".

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