The Vapors

The Vapors were an English rock band that released the 1980–81 albums New Clear Days and Magnets on United Artists–Liberty. They foreshadowed the Second British Invasion with their transatlantic hit “Turning Japanese.” 

Members: David Fenton (vocals, guitar), Edward Bazalgette (lead guitar), Howard Smith (drums), Steve Smith (bass)

The Vapors assembled in Guildford, Surrey, in 1978 when guitarist, singer, and songwriter David Fenton teamed with lead guitarist Edward Bazalgette, bassist Steve Smith, and drummer Howard Smith (no relation) — all newcomers to the scene. They gigged locally as The Vapours but soon switched to the American spelling (no “u”).

Their early show at the Three Lions pub in Farncombe impressed Jam bassist Bruce Foxton, who linked them with manager John Weller (father of Jam frontman Paul Weller). The Vapors were the opening act on The Jam’s 1979 Setting Sons tour. United Artists signed The Vapors and issued their first single that autumn.


  • New Clear Days (1980)
  • Magnets (1981)


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