The Vapors were a New Wave band from England who scored a big hit with their 1980 song “Turning Japanese.” The song was a top 40 hit in the United States, and has since become a sort-of time capsule both culturally and musically. With Japan being a big business influence in the 1970s and 1980s, there was increased interest in the county and culture. The song features the Oriental Riff on guitar.

The lyrics of the song imply the singer likes to take pictures of his love. Some (including this author) conclude the song is about masturbation, though the band denies it. The song features the choppy lyrics and a peppy beat. The high energy guitar riffs were consistent with the New Wave trend, though the use of keyboards is fairly minimal. Lead singer David Felton’s unfortunate haircut and the band’s black clothing were also fashionable at the time. The song was a top 5 hit in Britain, the only major hit by the band. After two albums, The Vapors broke up and were never heard from again.