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Videos (7)


Riuichi Sakamoto*Riot In Lagos

Label:Island Records – 12•IS•139, Island Records – 12IS 139
Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM


ARiot In Lagos (Long Version)4:06
B1Lexington Queen4:50

Companies, etc.



A1 taken from the album B-2 Unit.
B2 is listed as also being from B-2 Unit, but in fact B1 & B2 first appeared on Warhead / Lexington Queen. B2 only appears on UK pressings of the album.
B-side track times are displayed as a total "9.23" even though there is silence between them;
the listed durations are manually timed and do not appear on the cover or label.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A Runouts): 12 IS 139 A-1U-1-1-1 GRAEME
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B Runouts): 12 IS 139 B-1U-1-1-1
  • Barcode (Side A Labels): 12IS 139-A
  • Barcode (Side B Labels): 12IS 139-B

Other Versions (3)View All

Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Riot In Lagos (12", 45 RPM, Limited Edition, Promo, Stereo)Island RecordsIPR 2048UK1980
Riot In Lagos (12", 45 RPM, Stereo)Rocktopus600 679Germany1981
Riot In Lagos (7", 45 RPM)Island RecordsIS 139UK1983


jeromestewart's profile picture
Edited 15 years ago
A seminal track - Mantronix for one, cites this as a strong influence.
Some of the sounds here are reminiscent in parts to Walter Carlos' "Timesteps" that appears on the "A Clockwork Orange" but without the infectious beats that Sakamoto has conjured up.

I agree with another submitee that this track really is timeless and is a direct line through the follwing 26 years of electronic music.
The album from which it comes, "B 2 UNIT" is a challenging affair, with diverse and uncompromising ideas on display. That said, it shows just how developed technology actually was back in 1980.
The breadth of musical taste back then makes today's charts look like cynical, unoriginal fodder for the masses.

I am shocked to think I have been listening to this track since it was released all that time ago and, for me, it still cuts it against so many other electronic music artists that has followed.
djfrankiebones's profile picture
Edited 16 years ago
"Riot In Lagos". Mr. Sakamoto provided us with this recording 25 years ago and what many fans of electronic music do not realize is that this ''track" is the actual first recording ever made that connects history with what is happening today. There is no way anyone can listen to "Riot In Lagos" and detect any age as this track remains a timeless journey. I was fortunate to purchase this record in the early summer of 1980 when it first was released. The record itself never really got the respect it deserved, but always had an underground cult status of sorts, being known to only the few Dj's who spent $7.44 on the import which was a lot of money for 1980 standards.

If you are not familiar with this title, you should try and take the time to get yourself a copy. Because if it sounds this good 25 years later, I bet it will still sound good in 2030. You really can not lose with his.....
jonathan_armstrong's profile picture
I heard this title track just a few months ago for the first time and was highly impressed. This could very well be the most sophisticated piece of electronic music that I have heard made before 1990 or so. When you listen to music like this, it truly makes you realize how disposable most contemporary music truly is. This was made in 1980?!

How does it sound? Well, the electronics make you realize where Ken Ishii got his influences from - there are no Moogy-sorts of pads or arpeggiation, no filter sweeps - just all very tight, crisp, digital sounding synths over a very funky, almost electro-ish sort of breakbeat. The percussion is what is truly amazing - the programming on this track makes you wonder how this was even possible before Cubase cut 'n paste sort of editing. The end result is something that would have been suitable for the most avant-garde type dancefloor in post-disco New York.

I have to wonder that if perhaps Mr. Sakamoto was European instead of Japanese he would get a lot more respect in electronic circles. At any rate, this is definitely a must have for all fans of avant garde or electronic music. Considering that it still sounds fresh 23 years after it was made, it'll undoubtedly sound fresh 23 years from now. You just can't say that about 99% of today's releases.