Future KLF member Bill Drummond decided to call his late-70s post-punk band Big in Japan, and that group also introduced us to Lightning Seed Ian Broudie and Holly Johnson, soon to be of Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The name was a pun on what had become a music magazine cliché about Western groups hitting pay dirt in the East, and there were plenty of examples at the time, from The Beatles, to Queen, to the Bay City Rollers.
All those groups were, of course, huge news here too, but across the history of pop there have always been British acts that who have found greater fame elsewhere, and sometimes at the expense of being almost completely unknown in the UK...
Jessie J - China
News that Jessie J is currently competing in an X Factor-style reality TV singing competition in China blind-sided both the music press and many of her fans. We know Jessie well here, because of the hit singles she had in 2010/2011 (Do It Like a Dude, Price Tag, Domino) and for being a judge on a TV singing show (the first two series of The Voice), not a contestant.
But seasoned followers of Jessie's career will also know, as she said in an interview with Women's Health in 2016, that she's long been "sad" about her lack of recognition in the UK, despite her three albums going Top 5, and she's always sought to find fame overseas (2014's Bang Bang, with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj was a huge song in the US).
About entering China's Singer 2018, Jessie said: "There's nothing I can't do. That's how I feel in my heart. I'm turning 30 this year and I just think, why not? It's an experience I'll never forget and may never get again." And it may just prove to be the smartest move she's made in her career - she won the first round of the ongoing competition, giving her profile in a country of 1.4 billion people an enormous hike. Perhaps, it may turn out, she'll become famous in China like no British artist has been since Wham! became the first Western band to play there in 1985.
Taylor Jones - Belgium
Taylor Jones doesn't even have a Wikipedia page, but he's clocked up more than quarter of a million likes on Facebook, many of which are no doubt from his adoring fans in... Belgium.
The rapper, from London, started out here as a 16-year-old in 2010, had a minor hit with Fallen in 2011, but couldn't capitalise on the interest in him in the UK, so he forged a plan. "I thought, where can I go where there's nobody quite like me, a young British white rapper?" he told the Guardian in 2013. "It wasn't random - I did my research. And it worked. I signed a management deal in Belgium, and got some sponsorship and label support. It's all been pretty recent."
Before long, he added, he was "playing to a crowd of 42,000 over two days in the biggest arena in Belgium" and in 2012, he appeared at the Ostend Big Live festival, "which was amazing - girls were holding up signs saying, 'I love Taylor.'"
His more gritty, urban sound was quickly flipped into glossy Europop with rhymes, and although Taylor is still relatively small fry on the global stage, he'll forever have a place in the hearts of Belgium's music fans.
Charlie Winston - France
Singer-songwriter Charlie Winston is Tom Baxter's brother and he's a big deal in France, where his last three albums all went Top 10 (Hobo, from 2009, was a No.1). None of those albums dented the charts here.
Asked by MTV in 2009 how he found fame in France, Charlie said: "I was travelling through France in 2006 and bumped into a mate of mine in Paris and he got me gigs there. Eventually, in January 2007, my CDs started circulating and one was picked up by my French label Atmospheriques. It kicked off from there. We spent 2007 trying to work out a plan. We thought we would use France as a launchpad and test things out before going global. By the time the album came out pretty much everyone in the media in France knew who I was."
The plan to "go global" never worked out for Charlie, despite the Cornishman opting for a more electronic-pop sound in 2015 with songs like Lately, above.
Bush - America
London-formed rock group Bush have always had success in the UK, but it pales in comparison to their achievements in the America, where they've sold over 10 million records and had a debut album - 1994's Sixteen Stone - that went six-times platinum (compared to silver here).
All seven of Bush's albums have charted higher in the US than in the UK, and it's in the States that they became a singles band, too - enjoying 10 Top 10 hits, compared to just one here (Swallowed, above, which made it to No.7 in 1996).
Frontman Gavin Rossdale's marriage to Gwen Stefani between 2002 and 2015 undoubtedly helped to keep Bush's profile high in the American tabloids as well as the music press, but nonetheless they remain something of an anomaly. When Gavin landed a job as a judge on The Voice last year, plenty of articles turned up in UK newspapers, like the Telegraph, asking, "Who on earth is Gavin Rossdale?"
A1 - Norway and Indonesia
Okay, so the Norwegian success of boy band A1 isn't too hard to understand - they formed in London in 1998, but have a Norwegian member in Christian Ingebrigtsen. That helped all five of their albums to chart significantly higher there than here, and as a singles group, they've had a longer shelf-life in Norway than the UK. Their last Top 10 hit in Britain was 2002's Caught in the Middle, after which time they split up, before reforming in 2009 and having three more Top 20 hits in Norway.
And in their heyday of the early-2000s, they were massive across Asia and particularly Indonesia, where tragedy struck in 2001 - four fans were killed in a stampede to see the band during a mall signing in Jakarta. As BBC News reported at the time, a spokesperson said were they "devastated", adding: "They have cancelled the rest of the tour and their thoughts are with the families and friends of those killed and injured."
In 2004, The Best of A1 was released, but only in Asia.
Rita Campbell - Russia
Rita Campbell was a session singer doing backing vocals for acid jazz and dance groups like D:Ream and The Brand New Heavies before record label Hed Kandi asked her to sing lead on a number of club tracks in the late-1990s, including Runaway Love, which became a hit in Russia, Kazakhstan and Latvia.
Rita managed to keep her audience there, telling the Guardian in 2013: "Every time I step off the plane in Siberia, I make sure I have my 'diva coat' ready. It's a leopard print, and I wouldn't be seen dead in it in Waitrose, but people expect you to look the part. I'm prepared now - I was caught out the first few times looking tired and jetlagged.
"It's surreal when I arrive - like stepping off the plane on another planet. I've been greeted with bouquets, upgraded when airline staff recognise me, and I've signed everything from plaster casts to arms, legs and even a few pairs of boobs."
Meanwhile, back home in Britain, where very few people are aware of her fame in Russia, Rita keeps herself busy working as a songwriter and vocal coach, sometimes helping out on X Factor and Britain's Got Talent.
Kim Wilde - Germany
There's a long history of British acts finding more success in Germany than Britain, from Depeche Mode to Hurts, and you probably also know that American actor David Hasselhoff basically only sells records there. Less well-known is quite how big London-born Kim Wilde has always been in Germany.
Kim's 1981 debut single, Kids in America, was a worldwide smash and helped her self-titled debut album to become a No.3 hit here. Over in Germany, however, it was a No.1 and every album Kim has released since has achieved a better chart position in Germany than in the UK.
Kim's career faltered in Britain from about the early-90s onwards, but her fans never deserted her in Germany. In 2003, she teamed up with Nena of 99 Red Balloons fame on a new version of Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime (originally a Nena hit in 1984), and it went to No.3. Really, it took for Kim to be filmed singing on the tube before Christmas in 2012 - more than a little worse for wear - for us to remember how much we adore her. The clip went spectacularly viral.