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Goin’ Japanesque!

B’z: The History of a Legendary Rock Band in Japan

The UK has the Beatles. The US has Bon Jovi. And Japan has B’z! They’re very big in the country. Their music has been loved by so many people for many years. B’z is one of the best-selling music groups not only in Japan but also in the world. They have sold more than 80 million units. By taking advantage of being a band of only a vocalist and a guitarist, their music style is very versatile and free. While being influenced by and combining different kinds of music, they create their own. Do you like rock music? If the answer is yes, read on and have a listen to their song. 

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Their Profile

B’z is a Japanese rock band that consists of a guitarist, composer and producer Takahiro “Tak” Matsumoto and a vocalist and lyricist Koshi Inaba. Takahiro Matsumoto is from Toyonaka City, Osaka. He started working as a guitarist professionally when he was about 20 years old, and he played for many records and at live shows. Koshi Inaba is from Okayama Prefecture. He graduated from Yokohama National University, which is a prestigious university in Japan, with a license to be an elementary school teacher and another to teach math at high school. He was so good at the subject, so he could have done a great job teaching it, but he chose to pursue his dream to be a vocalist. The two met and formed B’z in 1988. Takahiro plays the guitar for all of their songs. Sounds he creates by playing it are fascinating! Koshi writes all the lyrics, most of which he makes in English first and then translates into Japanese, and sings the songs with his powerful voice. He looks a little shy when talking, but he performs and sings in a very energetic way! 

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Their Early Works

Their first mini album “Bad Communication” went on sale on October 21, 1989. It consists of the Japanese version of “Bad Communication” and two English songs. It was on the Oricon Charts for 163 weeks. 

Their best album “Pleasure” was released on May 20, 1998. More than 5 million copies of it sold. It includes the English version of “Bad Communication”, “Easy Come, Easy Go!”, and 12 other popular songs of theirs. 

 

Their Induction in Hollywood

They became the first Japanese band to be inducted into the Rock Walk at Guitar Center Hollywood in California on November 19, 2007. It paved a path for other Japanese musicians to the walk for the spread of their music to the world, too. How about taking a stroll through the inductions to find theirs if you go to the Guitar Center on some occasion? 

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Takahiro Wins Grammy Award

Takahiro Matsumoto won his first Grammy Award (Best Pop Instrumental Album) for “Take Your Pick”, which was a collaboration with a well-known American guitarist Larry Carlton, in Los Angeles on February 13, 2011. He said winning the award had been one of his dreams and a big goal.

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Promoting Their Music Worldwide

To spread their music to more people abroad, they released their first English digital exclusive self-titled album “B’z”, on July 25, 2012. It contains 5 songs including the theme song “Into Free -Dangan-” for the video game “Dragon’s Dogma” by Capcom. The original version of the first song on the album, “Love Bomb” was called “Ai no Bakudan” and a number one hit for them in Japan in 2005. All the songs on the album are reproduced from a Japanese original with English lyrics. They can also be purchased through the iTunes Store. They began their North American tour “Live Gym 2012 -Into Free-” in San Francisco, California on September 17 that year. They played in Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Silver Spring, New York, and Los Angeles on the tour. 

B’z / Into Free -Dangan- × Dragon’s Dogma

 

Their Recent Works and News

They started their most recent Japanese tour “Live Gym 2015 -Epic Night-” in Northern Kyushu, Japan on March 11 last year.  This was a few days after they released their 19th album “Epic Day” on the fourth of that month. They managed to do 40 performances in five months on the nationwide tour. They went to various places, from big to small, and 520,000 people enjoyed their hot performance. They aimed at making the audience feel the maximum happiness and pleasure with their music and show. Big surprises during their show such as the fall and explosion of a racing car and the appearance of a floating giant balloon made the show even more entertaining. The last performance of the tour was recorded in Nagoya Dome, and the video was released in DVD and Blu-ray this month. You can experience the excitement of the concert by seeing it! 

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B’z / DVD & Blu-ray “B’z LIVE-GYM 2015 -EPIC NIGHT-” TEASER

Lots of Japanese people grew up listening to the music B’z had made, and many of them are parents with kids now. Their music lets them remember the time when they were young and it brings back good memories. Many fans say it can help them enjoy life and live strongly in a positive way of thinking.

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Author: Noriko

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