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X Japan

X Japan was one of the most influential rock bands in Japanese history. Formed as a speed metal band in the early ‘80s,thegroup attracted attention not only for its music, but also its popularization of visual kei, a cultural/musical/fashionmovementwhose emphasis on outrageous hairstyles and androgynous makeup was similar to glam rock. By the early '90s, Xhad alsowoven power ballads, pop, and classical music into the band’s catalog, creating a sound that helped the group enter-- and,for several years, dominate -- the Japanese mainstream. Before signing with a major label in 1988, X was ...read more

X Japan was one of the most influential rock bands in Japanese history. Formed as a speed metal band in the early ‘80s,thegroup attracted attention not only for its music, but also its popularization of visual kei, a cultural/musical/fashionmovementwhose emphasis on outrageous hairstyles and androgynous makeup was similar to glam rock. By the early '90s, Xhad alsowoven power ballads, pop, and classical music into the band’s catalog, creating a sound that helped the group enter-- and,for several years, dominate -- the Japanese mainstream. Before signing with a major label in 1988, X was one of the country’s first independent acts to achieve nationalsuccess.Childhood friends Yoshiki Hayashi and Toshimitsu Deyama formed the band as high school students, and Yoshikiestablishedhis own label, Extasy Records, to release the group’s material. With lead guitarist Hide (aka Hideto Matsumoto),rhythmguitarist Pata (aka Tomoaki Ishizuka), and bassist Taiji (aka Taiji Sawada) filling out the lineup, X released severalsingles andone full-length album, 1988’s Vanishing Vision, before signing with Sony toward the end of the decade. The group’smajor-label debut, Blue Blood, appeared in 1989. Blue Blood went multi-platinum on the strength of three hit singles. The band’s follow-up effort, Jealousy, wassimilarlypopular, becoming the 12th bestselling album of 1991 despite its mid-year release. With the intention of breakingintointernational markets, X lengthened its name to X Japan (a decision meant to distinguish the Japanese group fromthesimilarly named American punk band) and signed a new contract with Atlantic Records. The guys also hired bass playerHeath(aka Hiroshi Morie) to replace the departing Taiji. Drawing from the classical background of Yoshiki, who’d emerged astheband’s leader, X Japan returned in 1993 with Art of Life, a symphonic album consisting of one long, eclectic, 29-minutetrack.Yoshiki also released a second symphonic album in 1993, working with producer George Martin to produceclassicalarrangements of several X Japan songs. Released later that year, Eternal Melody became the best-selling classicalrecord inJapanese history. Meanwhile, Hide, Heath, and Toshi all released their own solo discs, with Hide's Hide Your Faceenjoying themost popularity. When X Japan returned in 1996 with Dahlia, the band both looked and sounded different. With the exception of Hide,whocontinued to favor the visual kei style, the musicians had largely abandoned the use of outrageous hairstyles andflashycostumes. They’d also pushed their sound into smoother territory, favoring ballads that highlighted Yoshiki’s pianoplaying andToshi’s vocals over fast, furious rock songs. Even so, Dahlia proved to be one of X Japan’s most popular albums todate; foursingles topping the Japanese charts, and another song, “Tears,” peaked at number two. X Japan had become a national institution by the mid-‘90s, but the band nevertheless pulled the plug in September 1997,withToshi announcing his desire to leave the group and pursue music on a much smaller level. Several months later, the bandheldits final performance at the Tokyo Dome on New Year’s Eve. In the months that followed, Hide quietly emerged as theband’sbusiest alum, playing shows in support of his second solo release and even forming an American-based side projectnamedZilch. He died in May 1998, however, the victim of an apparent suicide. Nearly ten years after Hide’s death, X Japan began laying the foundation for a reunion. Former Luna Sea guitaristSugizo,who’d helped popularize the visual kei movement alongside X Japan during the '90s, was brought aboard as thegroup’snewest member, and the band began holding rehearsals in mid-2007. By the end of the year, they’d recorded a newsong,“I.V.,” and an international tour followed. « hide

Similar Bands: Galneryus, Sex Machineguns, Helloween, Loudness, Versailles

LPs
Dahlia
1996

4.1
194 Votes
Art of Life
1993

4.4
600 Votes
Jealousy
1991

4.1
183 Votes
Blue Blood
1989

4.2
277 Votes
Vanishing Vision
1988

4.1
163 Votes
EPs
The Last Song
1998

4
47 Votes
Kurenai / Endless Rain Promo
1989

オルガスム
1986

I'll Kill You
1985

ENDLESS DREAM
1985

3
1 Votes
Live Albums
X Japan Returns 1993.31.12
2008

4.4
4 Votes
X Japan Returns 1993.30.12
2008

4.5
4 Votes
Aoi Yoru 1994.30.12
2007

4
1 Votes
Shiroi Yoru 1994.31.12
2007

4.3
2 Votes
The Last Live Video
2002

4.7
5 Votes
The Last Live
2001

4.6
19 Votes
Art of Life Live
1998

4.5
26 Votes
Live in Hokkaido 1995.12.4 Bootleg
1998

3
2 Votes
Live Live Live Extra
1997

4.5
1 Votes
Dahlia Tour Final 1996
1997

4.5
1 Votes
Live Live Live Tokyo Dome 1993-1996
1997

4.5
1 Votes
On the Verge of Destruction 1992.1.7
1995

4.6
7 Votes
On the Verge of Destruction (DVD)
1992

5
1 Votes
Compilations
We Are X Soundtrack
2017

3.5
1 Votes
The World: X Japan Hatsu no Zensekai Bes
2014

4.1
4 Votes
Best
2004

4.2
18 Votes
Trance X
2002

1
1 Votes
X JAPAN BEST 〜FAN'S SELECTION〜
2001

Rose & Blood [Indies of X]
2001

3
1 Votes
Perfect Best
1999

Star Box
1999

4.5
1 Votes
On Guitar
1998

On Piano
1998

Singles - Atlantic Years
1997

Ballad Collection
1997

B.O.X - Best of X
1996

X SINGLES
1993

4.5
1 Votes
A Music Box for Fantasy ~Yoshiki~
1992

Orchestra Selection ~ Blue Blood & Jealousy
1992

Symphonic Silent Jealousy
1992

4.3
2 Votes
Symphonic Blue Blood
1991

3.5
1 Votes

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