“Big in Japan” is a synth-pop song by the German band Alphaville, written by its members, Marian Gold, Bernhard Lloyd and Frank Mertens. It was released in January 1984 with “Seeds” on the B-side as a first single from their debut album, “Forever Young.”
The song reflects on the concept of success and the desire for recognition. According to Gold, the refrain “Big in Japan” symbolises the idea of being successful in another world, a fantasy about being drug-free, and the song is a bit autobiographical.
“Big in Japan” became one of Alphaville’s most well-known tracks and a signature song for the band. It gained significant popularity in Europe and beyond, charting in several countries and earning praise for its catchy melody, memorable synth hooks, and thought-provoking lyrics. The single topped the Eurochart Hhot 100, and Billboard Hot Dance CLub Play chart in the United States. The song’s enduring popularity has solidified its place as a classic ’80s synth-pop anthem.