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Oct 22, 2012

Featured Japanese Band : X Japan


I bring you my favorite Japanese Visual Kei Band the "X Japan". Founded in 1982 by Toshimitsu "Toshi" Deyama and Yoshiki Hayashi. Originally named "X". The group achieved their breakthrough success after releasing their second album called "Blue Blood". Plans for the band started when Toshiro and Yoshiki are still in high school and only 12 years old. They named it X while they tried to think for another name, but the name stuck. X began to actively perform in Tokyo area in 1985 with a frequently changing lineup. They record their first single called "I'll Kill You" and was released on Dada Records in June. 

In 1986, Yoshiki founded a independent record label called "Extasy" and releases their second album called "Orgasm". Taiji Rejoined the group and the songs " Stab Me In The Back" and "No Connexion" are recorded under Victor Records  with Pata (Judy) as a support guitar player. Hide "(Saver Tiger) joined as a guitarist.


X was finally ready to record their first album "Vanishing Vision" in 1987 after Pata officially joined and completing the groups first well-known lineup. Vanishing Vision consisted of many speed metal songs and the first half of the ballad "Unfinished" but for some reason one of their songs called "Orgasm" was not on the album.


After finishing Vanishing Vision, X released their second album named "Blue Blood" in 1989 which is by far the most  successful album. it is listed as number 6 in the Oricon chart and  its success earned the band the "Grand Prix New Artist of the Year" award at the 4th Japan Golden Disc Awards in 1990. It contained speed metal song like "Blue Blood", "Orgasm" and "X"; Rock songs like "Weekend" and "Celebration"; and two ballads, a finished "Unfinished" and "Endless Rain". It also contained the unique song "Rose of Pain", an 11 minute rock symphony.


Recording for their follow up album "Jelousy" tool place in Los Angeles. It was released on July 1, 1991 and debuted number one, selling over 600,000 copies. It was certified as million by the RIAJ. It contains the orchestrated rock song "Silent Jealousy" which is considered one of their  best song. it also had the acoustical ballad "voice Screaming", and the hit ballad "Say anything".

After releasing "Jealousy", became one of the most popular bands in japan. Yoshiki decided to focus on selling albums in America. Since in America, there was already an "X" (L.A punk band), they decided to change their name to "X Japan". after this, a feud between Taiji and Yoshiki caused Taiji to leave the band. Heath (Media Youth) joined the band  as their new bassist on August 24.


In 1993, X performed Yoshiki's epic song "The Art Of Life". A 29 minute orchestrated titled rock displaying Yoshiki's piano and drumming abilities as well as his poet lyric writing skills. "The Art Of Life" became known as one of the greatest composers of all time but it is not released on America even though the lyrics were entirely in English. "Dahlia" their fourth album was released around 1996. they showed that "X" have changed since their earlier years. The song were more psych. rock than metal, but were more complex and mature. The album reached number 1 on the charts. after releasing "Dahlia", they went on Dahlia Tour which is considered as one of their best tours. Many of their show was released on DVD. after the tour Yoshiki told Toshi that he had great plans for X in the future. Unfortunately, this is when everything for X Japan ended.

In May 1997 Toshi announce he was leaving the band. which led to its dissolution in September 1997.  X Japan performed their farewell show, aptly tittled "The Last Live" at the Tokyo Dome on December 31, 1997, making  it the last of five consecutive New Years Eves the group performed at the stadium.

 

The band Split up and have their own solo careers. Hide had a successful solo career. In 1998 there was a rumor that X Japan will reform in 2000 with a brand new vocals. Unfortunately, no one would have ever known this would happened. On May 2, 1998 Hide committed suicide after a long night of drinking. Japan was shocked by Hide's death and many fans fainted. Some fans even tried to commit suicide. Hide's death ruined the bands plans of reuniting. Toshi, Yoshiki, Pata and Heath all played "Forever Love" at Hide's Funeral. Yoshiki started a new band called Violet UK, Pata and Heath formed a band called Ra:in. In 2007 to 2008 Toshi visited Yoshiki in Los Angeles to work on a song "Without You" as a tribute to Hide. However they instead decided to reunite X Japan. they made their first public apperance on October 22, 2008. on the rooftop of shopping center Aqua City in Odaiba, Tokyo to film their newly recorded song "I.V" which later used as the theme of the American horror movie Saw I.V. The song was written by Yoshiki and recorded with all X Japan members of the breakup lineup. as its utilizes previously unreleased guitar tracks by Hide. "I.V" was released through iTunes on January 23, 2008 topping the store's charts on that day. Present,  X Japan signed a three year agreement with EMI. they also postponed the released of their new album called "Jade"

Due to 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Yoshiki also decided to auction off one of his used signature Kawai crystal grand pianos, of which all proceeds were sent to help provide aid to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. In June 2008, "Scarlet Love Song" was released in Japan and their first worldwide album "Jade" was released both in iTunes. In April 2012, X Japan won the Revolver  Golden Gods Awards for "Best International Artist"



Members:
The members of X Japan are credited exclusively by their stage names. 
  • Toshi – lead vocals; acoustic guitar (live) (1982–1997, 2007–present)
  • Yoshiki – drums, piano, leader (1982–1997, 2007–present)
  • Pata – guitar (1987–1997, 2007–present)
  • Heath – bass, backing vocals (1992–1997, 2007–present)
  • Sugizo – guitar, violin, backing vocals (2009–present)
Former Members:
  • Yuji "Terry" Izumisawa (泉沢裕二 Izumisawa Yuji?) – guitar (1982–1985)
  • Tomoyuki "Tomo" Ogata – guitar (1984–1985)
  • Atsushi Tokuo – bass (1984–1985)
  • Kenichi "Eddie Van" Koide (小出健一 Koide Kenichi?) – guitar (1985)
  • Yoshifumi "Hally" Yoshida (吉田良文 Yoshida Yoshifumi?) – guitar (1985)
  • Mita "Zenon" Kazumitsu (三田一光 Kazumitsu Mita?) – guitar (1985–1986)
  • Hisashi "Jun/Shu" Takai (高井寿 Takai Hisashi?) – guitar (1985, 1986)
  • Hikaru Utaka (宇高光 Utaka Hikaru?) – bass (1985–1986)
  • Masanori "Kerry" Takahashi (高橋雅則 Takahashi Masanori?) – guitar (1986)
  • Satoru Inoue (井上悟 Inoue Satoru?) – guitar (1986)
  • Isao – guitar (1987)[86]
  • Taiji – bass, backing vocals (1985, 1986–1992)
  • hide – lead guitar, backing vocals (1987–1997)
  • Although hide is deceased, the band still considers him a member and introduces him at every concert, with the group going as far as to play sound/video clips of his voice/guitar for some songs.
Reference:
Wikipedia



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