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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,thegroupattracted attention not only for its music, but also its popularization of visual kei, a cultural/musical/fashionmovementwhoseemphasis on outrageous hairstyles and androgynous makeup was similar to glam rock. By the early '90s, Xhad alsowoven powerballads, 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 wa ...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,thegroupattracted attention not only for its music, but also its popularization of visual kei, a cultural/musical/fashionmovementwhoseemphasis on outrageous hairstyles and androgynous makeup was similar to glam rock. By the early '90s, Xhad alsowoven powerballads, 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.Childhoodfriends 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 (akaTomoaki 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 breakingintointernationalmarkets, X lengthened its name to X Japan (a decision meant to distinguish the Japanese group fromthesimilarly namedAmerican 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 Japanreturned in 1993 with Art of Life, a symphonic album consisting of one long, eclectic, 29-minutetrack.Yoshiki also released asecond symphonic album in 1993, working with producer George Martin to produceclassicalarrangements of several X Japansongs. 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 ofHide,whocontinued to favor the visual kei style, the musicians had largely abandoned the use of outrageous hairstylesandflashycostumes. They’d also pushed their sound into smoother territory, favoring ballads that highlighted Yoshiki’spianoplaying andToshi’s vocals over fast, furious rock songs. Even so, Dahlia proved to be one of X Japan’s most popular albumstodate; 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 September1997,withToshi announcing his desire to leave the group and pursue music on a much smaller level. Several months later, thebandheldits final performance at the Tokyo Dome on New Year’s Eve. In the months that followed, Hide quietly emerged astheband’sbusiest alum, playing shows in support of his second solo release and even forming an American-based sideprojectnamedZilch. 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’dhelped 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 aninternational tour followed. « hide

    Similar Bands: Galneryus, Sex Machineguns, Helloween, Loudness, Gamma Ray

    LPs
    Dahlia
    1996

    4.1
    209 Votes
    Jealousy
    1991

    4.1
    198 Votes
    Blue Blood
    1989

    4.2
    306 Votes
    Vanishing Vision
    1988

    4.1
    181 Votes
    EPs
    The Last Song
    1998

    4
    48 Votes
    Art of Life
    1993

    4.4
    629 Votes
    Kurenai / Endless Rain Promo
    1989

    オルガスム
    1986

    I'll Kill You
    1985

    3
    1 Votes
    ENDLESS DREAM
    1985

    3
    1 Votes
    Live Albums
    X Japan Returns 1993.30.12
    2008

    4.5
    4 Votes
    X Japan Returns 1993.31.12
    2008

    4.4
    4 Votes
    Aoi Yoru 1994.30.12
    2007

    4
    2 Votes
    Shiroi Yoru 1994.31.12
    2007

    4.2
    3 Votes
    The Last Live Video
    2002

    4.7
    6 Votes
    The Last Live
    2001

    4.6
    21 Votes
    Art of Life Live
    1998

    4.5
    29 Votes
    Live in Hokkaido 1995.12.4 Bootleg
    1998

    3.3
    2 Votes
    Live Live Live Extra
    1997

    4
    2 Votes
    Dahlia Tour Final 1996
    1997

    4.3
    2 Votes
    Live Live Live Tokyo Dome 1993-1996
    1997

    4.5
    2 Votes
    On the Verge of Destruction 1992.1.7
    1995

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

    5
    1 Votes
    BLUE BLOOD TOUR 爆発寸前 GIG
    1989

    4.3
    2 Votes
    1988.09.04 - Kyoto Sports Valley: LIVE OF LEGEND
    1988

    5
    1 Votes
    Compilations
    We Are X Soundtrack
    2017

    3.8
    2 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

    3.5
    1 Votes
    Star Box
    1999

    4.5
    1 Votes
    On Guitar
    1998

    4
    1 Votes
    On Piano
    1998

    4.5
    1 Votes
    Singles - Atlantic Years
    1997

    4
    1 Votes
    Ballad Collection
    1997

    4.5
    1 Votes
    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
    VISUAL SHOCK Vol.3 Shigeki2
    1991

    4
    1 Votes
    Symphonic Blue Blood
    1991

    3.5
    1 Votes
    VISUAL SHOCK Vol.2.5 CELEBRATION
    1990

    3.5
    1 Votes
    Shigeki! VISUAL SHOCK Vol.2
    1989

    4.5
    1 Votes

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