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    X Japan

    Become fan 10 Rate 5 Like & Share
    Genre:Classical, Metal
    Rank:3328 history »
    4.2/5 from 5 users

    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Dear Loser lyrics
    2Break The Darkness lyrics
    3White Poem I lyrics
    4Celebration lyrics
    Orgasm lyrics
    Jade lyrics
    Kimi Wa Inaika lyrics
    Kurenai lyrics
    9Miscast lyrics
    Endless Rain lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1I.V. [2008]
    Art Of Life [1993]
    Vanishing Vision [1988]
    4X Singles [2009]
    5On The Verge Of Destruction [1995]
    6The Last Song [1998]
    Dahlia [1996]
    Jealousy [1991]
    Blue Blood [1989]


    FOREVER LOVE X-JAPAN (GILLU, gill-e@hotmail.com)

    Toshi - Vocals
    Pata - Guitar
    Heath - Bass
    Yoshiki - Drums, Piano

    Former members
    Hide - Guitar (1987-1997)
    Taiji - Bass (1985-1992)

    X Japan is a popular Japanese band founded in 1982 by Toshimitsu "Toshi" Deyama and Yoshiki Hayashi. Originally named X, the group achieved its breakthrough success in 1989 with the release of their second album Blue Blood. They started out as a power/speed metal band and later gravitated towards a progressive sound, at all times retaining an emphasis on ballads. After three more albums, X Japan disbanded in 1997.

    Besides being one of the first Japanese acts to achieve mainstream success while on an independent label, the group is widely credited for pioneering the visual kei movement, though most of the group's members toned down their on-stage attire in later years. As of 2007, the band has sold over twenty million records and over two million home videos.

    On June 4, 2007 it was announced the band would reunite, with the band performing on October 22, 2007, during which a music video for a new song, titled "I.V." was shot. The music video was featured as a special feature on the Special Edition DVD of "Saw IV" and the song played through the end credits of the film.

    1982-1987: Early years

    X can be traced back to a high school band created in 1982 by Yoshiki and Toshi. In 1984 they moved to Tokyo to pursue a career in music, leaving their previously planned routes into further education. "X" began performing in live houses in the Tokyo area to strangely good attendances for a new band. By this time the first band line-up was complete and consisted of Toshi on vocals, Terry and Eddie on guitar (Eddie having recently replaced Tomoyuki), Atsushi on bass guitar and Yoshiki on drums.

    This proved the platform for the band to release it's first single "I'll Kill You" on Dada Records in June 1985 to unexpectedly good sales figures given the fact that the band were debuting. As a follow up to this, X participated in the Heavy Metal Force 3 compilation album in November of that year, this is notable as Hideto "Hide" Matsumoto's (a future fixture of the group) was also contributing with his band, (Yokosuka Saver Tiger). During that same month bassist Taiji Sawada joined X for a brief period, but ultimately left the band soon after citing "artistic differences" with Yoshiki. Following this the band's line up consisted of Yoshiki on drums, Toshi on vocals, Hikaru on bass and Jun on guitar. This lineup persisted until late 1986.

    To ensure a continuous outlet for the band's publications in the future, Yoshiki founded the independent label Extasy Records in the following year on which a sophomore single ("Orgasm") was to be released (with the band choosing this route over the several offers from larger record labels at the time).

    Pressing towards the end of 1986 Yoshiki and Taiji started talking again at a chance meeting which ultimately resulted in Taiji joining X. The following January proved notable as Yoshiki contacted Tomoaki "Pata" Ishizuka (former leader of the band Judy for which Yoshiki temporarily performed with as a favour) and asked him to play with X for the recording process on the Heavy Metal Sampler Skull Thrash Zone Volume I as they were lacking a guitarist; Pata agreed. This proved to be a short lived fixture at the time, as after the recording Pata left X to return to his day job as a Video Rental Salesman.

    On January 28, 1987 "Yokosuka Saver Tiger" (an independent rival of X) disbanded and its members branched off in different directions. Hearing of this, Yoshiki made contact with guitarist Hide and persuaded him to fill the empty guitarist slot in X, abandoning his plans to become a professional cosmologist. Shortly after, Pata also decided to join X on a permanent basis. This created the lineup for which the band is most famous for with Toshi on vocals, Hide on lead guitar, Pata on rhythm guitar, Taiji on bass and Yoshiki on drums and piano.

    1988-1992: Breakthrough success

    The group's debut album, Vanishing Vision was released on April 14, 1988 through Extasy records having reportedly taken around 300 hours of studio time to complete. In June they began their much subscribed "Vanishing Tour" in support of the album, following it up in October with the "Burn Out Tour" covering the majority of the cities in Japan. The band also made a brief cameo appearance in the 1988 comedy Tokyo Pop, starring the late Carrie Hamilton and Diamond Yukai.

    After winning an unsigned bands competition, X was signed on by Sony Records prompting the band to start recording their second album on January 6, 1989. The band embarked on the "Blue Blood Tour" in March, weeks before the release of the album Blue Blood. While X was performing in concert and during the "Rose & Blood Tour", singles "Kurenai" and "Endless Rain" were released to high positions in the Japanese charts and would go on to become fan favourites and anthems which are synonymous with the group. As well as this, a VHS recording called "Blue Blood Tour Bakuhatsu Sunzen Gig" was released by the band, containing one of the concerts of the Blue Blood Tour (this was later re-released on DVD). That year the band received several prestigious awards and reached a high level of popularity with the Japanese youth and a place in the country's pop culture.

    While touring on the "Rose & Blood" tour Yoshiki suffered a serious injury while performing with the band, causing the tour to be halted to give him chance to recover. The tour was eventually resumed in March 1990 after a hiatus of several months and ended in May with X performing two live shows at the Budokan and Osakajo Hall. Recordings for the follow-up album Jealousy started on November 24, 1990 and took place in Los Angeles. The album was released in July 1991 and shortly followed by the band's first performance in Japan's largest live venue, the 50 thousand capacity Tokyo Dome. The performance in the dome would be the first of five high-profile performances which the band has staged there to-date, and would later be released both on CD and VHS/DVD. This concert has become known to fans as "On the verge of destruction" and proved to be the final show with Taiji on bass, with the musician leaving for the final time - once again citing creative differences with Yoshiki. He went on to work with Loudness and Cloud Nine in following years and is currently pursuing a solo career.

    By 1992 the band's ongoing success in Japan made an international breakthrough appear likely enough to warrant the renaming to "X Japan", in order to distinguish the group from the United States punk band X. Around the same time the vacancy created by Taiji's departure was filled by Hiroshi "Heath" Morie, this being around 8 months after the position become available.

    1993-1997: Dahlia and breakup

    The X Japan logo, as it has appeared on the band's releases after the name change in 1992.For the release of their next album, X Japan left Sony and signed a deal with Atlantic Records. Art of Life was released in August 1993, notable for containing only one track nearing 29 minutes in length. It would only be performed three times for a live audience, and only twice as a band. By then the members of the group also maintained several side projects, for example: 1994 saw the release of Hide's first solo album, Hide Your Face, which featured a distinctively different sound from X Japan's music - leaning more towards alternative rock. Yoshiki collaborated with Queen drummer Roger Taylor on the single "Foreign Sand". And provided the Japanese contribution to the international Kiss tribute album Kiss My Ass, an orchestral arrangement of the song "Black Diamond". A compilation with orchestral treatments of X Japan songs, titled Eternal Melody was also released. It was performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and among others featured The Beatles producer George Martin as an arranger.

    In 1996, Dahlia, the band's first studio album in more than three years, was released - though with relatively little new material given that singles included on the record had been coming out as early as a few months after Art of Life. Around that time, the group dropped most of its original visual kei aesthetics in favor of a more casual look. Dahlia would be the band's last major release, as vocalist Toshi opted to leave the group. The subsequent dissolution was rumored but officially announced in September 1997 at a press conference featuring the band sans Toshi. X Japan performed their farewell show at the Toyko Dome on December 31, making it the last of five consecutive New Year's Eves the group performed in that stadium.

    Much has been made of Toshi's departure, including allegations of him joining a cult and being influenced by it. Toshi has since denied these claims, stating that his decision to leave X Japan dated back as far as April 1996, more than a year before he met the organization's leader, Masaya and that the glamorous, success-oriented life of a rock star failed to satisfy him emotionally, as opposed to a simpler life and career.

    After the breakup

    X Japan at the end of The Last LiveWhile re-issues, compilations and live footage continue to be released until today, the former members of X Japan have since pursued various other projects: Hide continued his solo career as Hide with Spread Beaver, which now formally included his previous live band. With initial success through the single "Rocket Dive" much was expected of this project. The group did not last long though, with Hide's death on May 2, 1998 which left fans and colleagues equally surprised and shocked.

    Toshi has released several solo albums, along with numerous acoustic performances for smaller audiences. According to his website, his Utatabi Traveling Concert tour has included over 3.000 concerts, between 1999 and 2003.

    Pata and Heath, along with Spread Beaver percussionist/programmer I.N.A., founded a band named Dope Headz in 2001 which released two albums but then ceased activity after losing two vocalists in so many albums. The trio also provided a track for the Hide tribute album Tribute Spirits with Heath also providing vocals. Heath is currently pursuing a solo career and Pata is a member of RAIN (Rock and Inspiration) along with Spread Beaver Keyboardist DIE amongst others.

    Yoshiki took the death of Hide and the break-up of X particularly badly, retiring from the public eye for several years and moving to America vowing to never play drums again.

    Much has been said of his depression and in one interview he was quoted as saying that he was at one point prescribed horse tranquilisers to help him deal with his depression and avoid harming himself. He also stated that he took the breakdown of friendship with Toshi with mixed emotions of sadness and anger and at one point during the band's "Last Live" performance he planned to publically and physically attack him infront of the 50 thousand fans who they were performing to.

    In more recent years he has been more active and emotionally stable, engaging in numerous activities such as being briefly a member of the pop band Globe, producing singles for the Korean rock band TRAX and working on his solo project Violet UK, which as of 2007 has not yet published a major release. He has also contributed music to the movie Catacombs and will be producing the soundtrack of Repo! The Genetic Opera. On May 25, 2007, the formation of the supergroup Skin was announced, which besides Yoshiki consists of pop/rock artists Gackt and Miyavi, as well as former Luna Sea guitarist Sugizo. The band gave its debut at the Anime Expo convention in Long Beach, California on June 29, 2007.

    Reunion (2007)

    X Japan performing "I.V." on October 22, 2007 at Aqua City Odaiba in TokyoSpeculations about a reunion started in February 2007 when Toshi announced on his website that he had agreed to join the band again. In March, Toshi announced that he and Yoshiki had recently resumed working together for the first time in 10 years, stating that a "new project" would start soon. A reunion was officially confirmed on June 4, 2007, with Yoshiki announcing a tour (not announced officially yet), as well as a new single (a re-recording of the song "Without You", originally from Yoshiki's 2005 solo album Eternal Melody II) to be underway and that he was in talks with Heath and Pata, regarding their participation. About ten, still undisclosed guitarists are to fill in for the late Hide during concerts.

    After a long period of rumours, X Japan web site confirmed on October 18, that X Japan was officially reuniting with a new song. The band had its first live performance to 10 thousand fans on October 22, 2007, on the rooftop of the shopping center called Aqua City in Odaiba, Tokyo, 10 years and one month exactly after the disbanding announcement. During the performance, a music video for the song "I.V." was filmed. The new song, published through Extasy Music and 901 Highland Music, is the main theme for the movie Saw IV. It is written and composed by Yoshiki and recorded with all living X Japan members of the pre-breakup lineup. It also uses previously unreleased guitar tracks by Hide.

    On January 20, 2008 Yoshiki announced in a press conference three new X Japan concerts (X Japan Attacks Again 2008 Destruction Night and Creation night) on March 28 and March 30 both at Tokyo Dome and a tribute concert for Hide on 10th anniversaries of his death May 2 at Tokyo Stadium, with Sugizo playing as a guitarist. Also, the release of I.V. as a single in 23 countries via iTunes Store was announced too, along with a new best album containing Without You. Both "I.V." and "Without You" will eventually be released in both English and Japanese, no release dates for said versions have yet to be disclosed. Toshi also stated that other new songs could come too with Yoshiki not ruling this out in an interview conducted with Jrock Revolution for Myspace. Upon release, "I.V." went swiftly to the top of the Japanese Itunes chart followed by a significant increase in the sales of other and older X Japan songs. The song "Rusty Nail" moved into the top 10 while "Forever Love" moved into the top 20 with another mix of the same song, "The Last Song" and "Scars" currently stationed in the top 100. Around the world the song failed to chart, as of January 28, but is currently featured under the "What's hot" section of the American iTunes store.

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