Ohhhh, man, when it comes to live solos, I gotta bring up "Koubou" from LIVE-GYM 2008 "ACTION". When Koshi just leaves the stage and Tak takes over with one of his best extended solos of his career... it has that same sort of power as does "Brotherhood", where the solo just serves as an answer to all of the lyrics to that point. Koshi also left everything on the stage in that moment with some of his best singing of that entire era right there in that one song. Now that they're revisiting more of their older ballads like "GOLD" and "C'mon" (not quite as old), I'd love to see this one come back too. This version of "Koubou" is in Weekly B'z 35 somewhere if ya missed it
; it's a stunner.
The guitar work to "LADY NAVIGATION" from the 2013 live version really reinvigorated the whole song for me. That song is begging for a hard rock studio revision sometime, for sure. They actually did prepare a "-Mixture mix-" for B'z The "Mixture"
in 2000 but it was left off that album in the end... No better time than the 30th anniversary to solve that!
And "TIME", you're right—it's structurally a perfect song that really is "time
less". That's one of those songs that when they play it live (and they play it live often, especially considering it's a ballad and
a B-side released over two decades ago), you can tell they are both completely at home with it. Koshi always drives home the lyrics and Tak ensures each performance has a slightly different feel to keep it fresh. The lyrics especially are one of Koshi's best efforts, for sure:
On a sunny day like today, we climbed the hill together
That hill where we could see across to the bay
Tell me what comes to mind when you see that sky
From that atmosphere that made me long to kiss you
We spent the entire afternoon doing nothing except watching ships come and go
What should I do? The time is going back, to that day under the dazzling sun
No matter the frequency with which the tears flow, the sea still spreads out silently before me...
In the midst of continually pouring rain, we walked along, soaking wet
Our hands were fastened together, while our voices were raised higher
We seamed through a bridge adorned by flocks of umbrellas
Let's continue walking until we reach your place
Your long hair spreading, the water dripping from it...
I still didn't see the confidence cracking in you back then
What should I do? The time has passed by that street corner where the rain fell so heavily
No matter how I blame myself for doing nothing, my heart continues to ache
Just like the night where we ran away together,
Who was it that tightly embraced together with me?
Even in the face of unamusing topics, who was it that laughed with me?
(TIME . . .)
What should I do? The time is going back
Right now, where are you? What are you doing?
Even if I were to throw everything away, the guilt will always accumulate
What should I do? The time has passed me by—I can never realize my own words now
Your voice from that day can no longer reach me anymore...
Another one that's not on the list whose live version exceeds its studio sister is "Ashita Mata Hi ga Noboru Nara". I'm afraid we may never see that one live again with all the great songs they have that fans expect, but it's still a beauty.
Tak + P-90s + an LP = pure gold. I always loved that era of his sound quite a bit. Tak really started to hit all strides in the late 90s and early 2000s as far as exploring the full breadth of what guitar sounds he could achieve. You remember "Hana" and "Koi Uta" from his Hana
solo album in 2002? Steve Vai (who helped release it in the U.S. back then under his Favored Nations label) said those were among the most beautiful guitar sounds/songs he'd ever heard at that point.
Oh yeah—I'll send along a PM to update you on my latest guitar-related pickups once I get the chance; I've got some stuff that I think you'd definitely like giving a look. And, I'm sure we'll be doing more countdown-related business in the future, so if you'd like to be consulted on those, I'm sure we'd come up with some hype stuff!