X Japan
 
About X Japan
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How it started
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Indie Years
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Albums as X
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A new name: X Japan
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Disbanding
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Aftermath
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Reunion and new plans
Members
Discography
 

 

How it started

Yoshiki was the bandleader and founder of X Japan. It is not an overstatement to call X Japan a legend. With their radical style they were one of the first Visual bands in Japan. With their unique music style covering a wide spectrum from heavy metal to ballads, from alternative rock to symphonic sounds, they created something new and they inspired many other bands and still do.

Of course the tremendous success of X Japan didn't come over night:

It all started when Yoshiki asked his friend Toshi if he wants to form a rock band, back then they were kids at school. Influenced by the American hard rock bands like Kiss, they played their first gigs at the culture festivals of their Chiba secondary school.

Because they were not able to find the "right" name for their band they decided on "X" as temporary solution.

X Japan

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Indie Years

They released their first demo tape called "I'll Kill You" in 1984, followed by their first EP "I'll Kill You" in 1985. X had problems with getting signed to a record label because their image and sound was too aggressive and outstanding. There was only one way: Yoshiki founded his own record label, Extasy Records. A few months later, in April 1986 he released the Orgasm EP on Extasy Records, combined with a tour to get more recognition. The lineup back then was Toshi, Yoshiki & Taiji. Pata first only helped the band out, because their guitarist had an accident, before becoming an official member.

The lineup back then was Toshi, Yoshiki & Taiji. Pata first only helped the band out, because their guitarist had an accident, before becoming an official member.

1987 Pata became an official member and hide joined the band. They finally were able to release their first album “Vanishing Vision” in 1988 which had to be repressed because it sold out. X were able to gain standing with the success of “Vanishing Vision” and signed contract with a major label, Sony Records, for their upcoming album, which was released only a year later.

X Japan

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Albums as X

1988 Blue Blood was released as second album, again followed by a tour (the Blue Blood Tour), which was so successful that by the time they finished it, the band was really popular. Many TV shows, interviews, cover stories, etc followed. Due to their increasing popularity they started another tour (Rose & Blood tour) after the release of the single Kurenai (X won the 'New Artist of the Year Award' this year).

In 1991, after a seven month lasting recording session in Los Angeles, Jealousy was released as their third album and went straight to number one in the charts.

Again a tour (Violence in Jealousy tour) followed the release of the album. In August X Japan played their first concert in the Tokyo Dome.

X Japan
In January of 1992, X became the first band to sell out the Tokyo Dome on all 3 days, an astonishing success! The live shows of X Japan were always very spectacular, with a lot of drama sometimes and a great atmosphere full of energy. Their live shows, were also partly a reason why the band became so popular. Those 3 days at the Tokyo Dome were the last concerts with Taiji. Differences with the band made Taiji decide to leave the band in January. X had to change their name into “X Japan” to avoid confusion with another band called “X” in America.

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A new name: X Japan

Becoming more and more popular, X had to change their name into “X Japan” to avoid confusion with another band called “X” in America.

It took some time to find the right replacement for Taiji, but a couple of months later Heath joined the band. By the time Heath joined, Yoshiki had a song ready... called "Art Of Life".

To call "Art Of Life" a song would be a huge understatement. This musical masterpiece is nearly 30 minutes long and covers Yoshiki's wide musical spectrum.

Yoshiki was not only the founder, but also the mastermind of the band and his musical style influenced the music the most, he never stopped improving and changing the music, every album sounds different. X Japan was sort of a musical evolution.

X Japan
1993, X Japan released the astonishing 29 minute long opus “Art Of Life” as a self titled mini-album, which was again a bis success for the band. Art Of Life was only performed twice live, on the 30th and 31st December 1993.

After that, X Japan took a well-deserved break and the members used their time to concentrate on their solo projects. They played their traditional New Year's Eve concerts in Tokyo Dome on December 30th and 31st in 1993 and 1994 though.

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Disbanding

After various maxi singles, the 5th album Dahlia was finally released in 1996. X Japan were at the peak of their success, just then Toshi announced that he was leaving the band.

Yoshiki decided that he won't continue the band without Toshi, and on the 22nd September 1997 X Japan held a press conference without Toshi to announce their disbanding and - at the same time - the date of their “Last Live” concert on 31st December 1997.

X Japan

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The Aftermath

After the disbanding, hide had a very successful career with his solo project "hide with spread beaver", were Pata joined in also. Yoshiki continued to produce various artists. Toshi joined a sect and never was able to reach the same success level as he had with X Japan.

X Japan released their last single “The Last Song” in 1998. Yoshiki still had plans to form a “2nd X” with the remaining members. In 1998 a tragedy happened, hide died. And with him of course the plans to form a "2nd X" too.

All the members of X Japan joined together for one last time at hide’s memorial and performed “Scars” and “Forever Love”.

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The Reunion and new plans
The X Japan reunion was officially confirmed on the 4th June 2007. The first new song recorded was "I.V." the title song for the movie Saw IV, this song features a previously unreleased guitar track from hide. In October 2007 the band appeared for the first time in the public, when filming the music video for IV on the rooftop of the shopping center Aqua City in Tokyo.

2008

In January 2008 X Japan announced two Tokyo Dome concerts, to be held on the 28th and 30th March, due to the huge demand a 3rd date was added on the 29th March. The first concert started 2 hours late due to technical difficulties and had to end a bit earlier cause Yoshiki was too exhausted to continue playing. The other two concerts were held as planned and without any incident. X Japan was joined on stage by guitarist Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit), Richard Fortus (Guns'n'Roses) and Sugizo (Luna Sea). During the show footage of hide appeared as a hologram on stage, his guitar was also placed on the stage for the entire show.

X Japan planned a world tour with dates in Paris (France), New York (USA) and Taipei (Taiwan) in July. Due to Yoshiki's health problems (he suffered a relapse with the painful cervical foraminal stenosis and worsening tendinitis) those dates had to be postponed til November (Paris) and February (Taipei). The New York show was cancelled.

In May 2008 X Japan performed at the hide Memorial Summit, a tribute concert that was held on May 3rd and 4th at the Ajinomoto Stadium.

In September 2008 Yoshiki announced that a new X Japan song is in the works and that X Japan would perform two concerts on Christmas and New Year's Eve. Plans for the Christmas concerts included a full orchestra on the stage with the band. The traditional New Year's Eve concert could unfortunately not be held in the previously used Tokyo Dome as it was booked already for the pop band News. Plans were that it was to be held at the Akasaka Blitz venue instead to provide fans with a more intimate setting.

Followed by a promotional tour to finalize concert dates for Hong Kong (17th Jan.), Bangkok (31st Jan.), Taipei (14th Feb.) and in Seoul (21st and 22nd March). There was also talk about further concerts being held in China, Germany and the United States.

Due to management issues the concert that was planned for November in Paris and the Christmas shows had to be cancelled. Even though no new dates were given, X Japan announced in a statement that they still had plans for a nation wide tour of Japan in spring and that the band would play further dates in Europe plus an additional concert in Scandinavia, along with playing the New Year's Eve concert.

In December the band had to postpone their announced Thailand concert due to the political turmoil in the country, the previously planned Taiwan concert suffered the same fate, the band's management cited a safety issue involving the venue. The New Year's eve concert was held as planned at the Akasaka Blitz.

2009

Plans for 2009 were to held the postponed concerts and additional concerts in Los Angeles, Germany and Finland.

In January X Japan held their opening tour performances in Hong Kong (January 16th and 17th), while the planned two shows for South Korea were postponed (possibly due to contract problems of Heath).

On the first May an official announcement revealed that Sugizo was officially joining X Japan. It was stated that Sugizo joined rather as a 6th member instead of joining as a replacement for hide.

Two completely sold out shows were held on the 2nd and 3rd May at the Tokyo Dome in Japan (performing their new song Jade amongst old material), followed by their first live show in Taiwan on May 30th.

2010

On the 9th January the band made it's first public appearance in the US. Shooting a new music video on the roof of the Kodak theater in Hollywood, LA (fans were able to participate). All in all there were four new videos shot for Rusty Nail, Endless Rain, I.V. and their new song Jade. According to rumors an additional video for Kurenai was shot too, filming is planned to continue until February. Yoshiki also announced on the 14th January that X Japan received an offer to play at the Lollapalooza festival (6th - 8th August in Chicago, USA) in 2010.

Following their Lollapalooza concert on the 8th August and their very successful US debut, X Japan played two additional shows at the Nissan stadium in Japan in August 14th and 15th. One day earlier the band revealed in a press conference that Taiji would join them on stage.

During the fall of 2010 X Japan set off to their first ever North American Tour and In conjunction with the band's first North American tour dates, X Japan has launched its first American website, XJapanMusic.

Please click on one of the dates to read the review of each concert!

September
25 Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
28 Fox Theatre, Oakland, CA

October
1 Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA
3 Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, BC CANADA
6 Riviera, Chicago, IL
7 Massey Hall, Toronto, ON CANADA
10 Roseland Ballroom, New York, NY

2011

The new year started with a new X Japan song called "Scarlet Love Song", the main track for the new Warner Bros anima movie "Buddha". In January 2011, X Japan and EMI Music signed an exclusive three-year manufacturing and distribution agreement that will have EMI Label Services handle the band's releases in North America. The first release was planed to be the track "Jade" on March 15, followed by the band's yet untitled American debut set for a Summer, 2011 release. Both releases got postponed due to the earthquake in Japan.

In April X Japan announced their 2011 global concert schedule. Tickets sold so fast, that most venues were sold out within 30 minutes and the concerts had to move to bigger locations.

JUNE
28 Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, UK

JULY
1 Zenith de Paris, Paris, France
2 Tivoli, Utrecht, Netherlands (Amsterdam)
4 Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany

AUGUST
13 Summer Sonic Festival, Osaka, Japan
14 Summer Sonic Festival, Tokyo, Japan

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