I first heard of this single in the mid-Eighties, when a picture of it appeared in a magazine. The writer of the piece mentioned that this single could be found in the sale bins in Japan. That's nice, I thought, but how the hell do I get my hands on it? This proved to be a problem. I had to wait for almost five years until I saw a copy. When I did, I nearly froze. I considered whether I could shell out the amount the seller wanted for it, and in the end, I did. Caution to the wind, eyes closed, and just do it. Of course, in the 20 years since then I've seen this disc for fractions of the price. I can console myself with the thought that this is still a mint copy. But I'd never pay this much for a single ever again.
'Bitter is better' was released to coincide with an ad campaign for a Bitter Lemon softdrink in Japan. The track was written by Masami Tsuchiya (from the Japanese pop group Ippu Do) and Bill Crunchfield. The single was only released in Japan, in early 1982. I'm still curious whether it was a hit there - but there's no way to find out I'm afraid.
My collection: 7" single no. 1517
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 1991
Cost: 100 guilders
Tracks: 'Bitter is better' / 'Boys'