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X Japan (Official Thread)

Discussion in 'Progressive Rock' started by Cosmic Harmony, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    (From left to right: Heath, Pata, Yoshiki, Toshi, hide)
    This was the last picture the band ever had taken together

    X-Japan Official Website

    I really didn't know where to put this band. At first I thought I'd put them in the "Metal" section, but I decided against it because of their focus on large, orchestrated, classical ballads, but at the same time the metal side kept them out of the classical section.

    In the late 80's X Japan was born. Captained by frontman Toshi and drummer/pianist/songwriter Yoshiki (in addition to guitarists hide and Pata and bassist Taji, who would later be replaced by Heath) they incorporated explosive metal with sweeping classically based ballads to great success.
    Originally known as just "X" they changed their name to "X Japan" to avoid confusion with the LA punk band of the same name after they started to gain success following the release of their second album "Blue Blood".
    Their live shows gained wide attention for their KISS inspired lights and pyrotechnics, their outrageous outfits (which pioneered the "visual kei" movement in Japan, which in layman terms is an even more glammy glam rock look), complex performances which included many pre-recorded sections (the orchestrated parts), a drum set that floated over the crowd during Yoshiki's solos, and Yoshiki having to run between the drum set and piano multiple times throughout the concert, sometimes during the same song.
    Later in their career they focused more on ballads (though did maintain some of the heaviest songs of their career) and gradually traded in their visual kei looks for a much more casual look, with the exception of hide.
    In 1997 it was announced that Toshi would be leaving the band because he found the life he was living to be unsatisfying and wanted to live a simpler life (though a popular rumor is that he quit to join a cult).
    On New Years Eve, 1997 they played what would their last show together at the Tokyo Dome. This show was documented and released as "The Last Live".
    Less than a year later lead guitarist (and arguably the most beloved member of the band, only rivaled by Yoshiki) was found dead. His death was officially ruled as suicide but it is very commonly believe that his death was an accident due to his inebriated state at the time of death.
    Over the course of their career X Japan has sold over 20 million albums in Japan alone and risen to legendary status in the country.
    In 2007 they announced plans to reunite, and in 2008 they began touring for the first time in over 10 years with a new lead guitarist, as well as video footage of hide that would play his parts in several songs.



    "Forever Love", one of the most emotional live performances I've ever seen


    "Kurenai", a phenomenal example of how they can blow the ****ing roof off the arena


    "Tears", a video someone put together that chronicles their entire career and how close they were as band


    "I.V.", the theme song for Saw IV, and thus far the only song to be officially released since their reunion (it uses previously unreleased guitar tracks of hide's)
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  2. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Meet X Japan

    Nice find, Cosmic. They sound very progressive metal, to me. I will have to take closer look at them when I get more time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  3. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: Meet X Japan

    Yeah, they've been classified as progressive metal before. They've also been called symphonic metal, power metal, and glam metal.
     
  4. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Meet X Japan

    I have been listening to more of their stuff on grooveshark, and to be honest, they are just symphonic/progressive rock, IMO. Excellent stuff, though. I am obtaining "Blue Blood" and "Dahlia" right now :D
     
  5. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: Meet X Japan

    Awesome. Those, in my opinion, are their best albums....not counting "Art Of Life" since I think of it more of a song than an album...though it's both. I suppose it's kind of like Australia being both a continent and a country.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  6. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Re: Meet X Japan

    Missed this one, must have been asleep.

    Never heard of them before reading your thread Cosmic, I'll see if I can find those albums laying around myself.:D
     
  7. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Meet X Japan

    The only problem I have when Listening to this group is the vocals. Not that they are bad, quite the opposite, actually. Since I am no expert on the band, and they are a new introduction to me, maybe you can enlighten me.

    When I listen to them, I get the feeling the vocals are not english, but yet I hear clearly spoken english at times. Am I just not hearing correctly or are the vocals in another language?
     
  8. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: Meet X Japan

    They're awfully hard to find their work since very few of their albums sold outside of Japan.

    The lyrics to X Japan's songs are written in a mix of both English and Japanese. Generally their lyrics are written primary in their native tongue but every X Japan song (that has lyrics) also has at least some degree English in it (most often in the chorus or the bridge of the song) whether because the lyrics flow in a more melodic manner in one language over the other at that point in the song, because not all words translate from English to Japanese (or vis versa) so they are the same word, or for any other reason.
    In some instances (most often with ballads) entire songs by X Japan are written entirely in English such as "Alive", "I.V.", "Crucify My Love", or the 29 minute epic "Art Of Life".
     
  9. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Meet X Japan

    I am glad you cleared that up for me, Cosmic. I was beginning to think I was crazy. so they do mix the lyrics in Japanese and English. Honestly, this is brilliant. The harmonizing vocals with the mixed languages is musical in itself.

    I would believe, as they become more internationally recognized, the musical mixing of languages will become more extinct in the songs. Which would be too bad too, because that to me is part of the beauty of their music. Can you imagine Sigur Ros taking the Icelandic chanting out of his music, it would not be the same.

    :cheers:
     
  10. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: Meet X Japan

    Yeah I think it's really cool too. If anything I think it's a pleasant alternative to just hearing everything in English.
     

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