Der Plan were invited to Tokyo in 1984 to play six concerts for Seibu, a Japanese department store chain. Seibu were staging a “German Week”. But how did they come to choose Der Plan, of all bands? Why not an Oktoberfest combo or the Scorpions? Moritz Reichelt explains: “German New Wave was really popular in Japan. They knew more about it than people here at home. Catalogues and magazines detailed every obscure record and depicted the covers. This particular department store chain was linked to ‘Wave’, a record shop and distributor—and they really knew their stuff.”
“JaPlan” documents the set list from these Tokyo shows. Featuring previously released songs from the “Normalette Surprise” album, the “Die letzte Rache” soundtrack and the double single “Golden Cheapos”, “JaPlan” also includes rare instrumentals produced for these very concerts … and one of the most famous songs by Der Plan: “Gummitwist”.
Der Plan and Japan—a good match, not only phonetically. Reichelt: “Japan had always been one of our strongest territories. Our records were exported there from the very beginning. When I arrived, I understood why. Japanese pop culture is really ‘planesque’ in a way. Artificiality with a twinkle in the eye. We stepped inside our hotel in 1984 and switched on the television. The first thing we saw was an advert with three dinosaurs singing a song. Pretty much like one of our shows.”
The reissue is graced with new artwork due to the fact that the Japanese simply adopted the cover of the existing “Golden Cheapos” EP. The relationship of form and content was thus absent and one significant change was made: the image of a faint square covering the exposed lower body of a lady in the hay was replaced by an opaque black square. A joke at the expense of the censors fell victim to actual censorship. This re-release could be said to correct an optical error in the band’s discography.