New pubication on Aneka’s ‘Japanese Boy’

I’ve contributed a chapter to the book One-Hit Wonders: An Oblique History of Popular Music, edited by Sarah Hill and newly published by Bloomsbury Academic. My chapter is on Aneka’s 1981 chart-topper ‘Japanese Boy’. I discuss the song’s chart history, give a little bit of biographical detail about the Scottish singer Mary Sandeman and her ‘Aneka’ persona before analysing the song as an example of exoticism and ‘Pop orientalism’ (a term I borrow from Anthony Sheppard). I close by considering a ‘song itinerary’ approach (a technique I’ve been using a lot in my recent teaching and research), briefly listing the amazing variety of cover versions of ‘Japanese Boy’ that have been released in the four decades following the song’s first apperance (some of which can be seen and heard in the YouTube playlist below).

‘Japanese Boy’ – A YouTube playlist

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