The B'z Hype Topic! (New Album DINOSAUR Out Now!!!)

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Re: The B'z Hype Topic! (New Album DINOSAUR Out Now!!!)

Postby Jd- » April 8th, 2018, 4:09 pm

Hey JBLars, been a while! Some great thoughts there. I'll add some on top of that.

As far as Western exposure to Japanese acts goes, 99.9% of it comes from three arenas: anime, dramas, and novelty.

B'z have only really provided theme songs to one anime (the subject of this forum, conveniently) and it's not one of those that really broke out in the US/Canada (with better success in Europe but still nothing compared to the other major series that were more easily digestible). At best, exactly as you said, they will seem like "just" a Japanese rock band without a "visual" hook to make people care about it any more than they would Aerosmith or any Western rock act. Couple that with the fact that most of the songs are in Japanese and you'll have trouble getting most of the non-anime persuasion to even listen ("can't listen to nothin i dont understand [unless there's a girl dancin around]"; there are some strange fans of certain acts out there...).

It's also not a coincidence that (possibly aside from "ultra soul" being covered on endless karaoke programs and "Into Free -Dangan-" from the video game Dragon's Dogma) the best-known B'z song in the West is "Ichibu to Zenbu"—their only major drama theme song of the modern era, for the 2009 series Buzzer Beat. The drama was a huge success due to the star power of Tomohisa Yamashita with that audience, so the song became a "hit" with overseas drama watchers. One thing that's for certain is that there's an obvious consanguinity between "anime/drama fans" & "hardcore J-pop fans", but B'z don't really source their support from either of those communities, so that alone will reduce the amount of people that would naturally ever even hear of them without speaking with natives about non-anime music. Another problem will be that B'z falls under the hard rock & guitar music genres. Most in the anime communities lean much more toward pop music with minimal rock elements, which (especially by modern conventions) really isn't very compatible with what B'z releases. In terms of homeland success versus relative obscurity elsewhere, look no further than fellow rock band Mr. Children. There will even be people reading this that have no idea that such a band exists and those that do probably can't name more than one song (if that many). Yet in Japan, they, like B'z, are a household name with a long history of success.

All in all, outside of anime, unless there is some visual element to the novelty of the act like Babymetal or AKB48, it's really going to be tough for any groups to break out overseas. If not anime themes, the only other surefire way to get attention in the West is to skew as far from "rock music" as possible and head toward metal and be known as a visual kei band (Dir en grey, X Japan come to mind). There are some outside of the anime world that will try those bands more openly due to various reasons but B'z still doesn't fit that mold at all.

Aaaaaaaaaaall of that is without acknowledging that B'z are ancient by "pop" standards now (Tak is 57, Koshi is 53), so in terms of people who are jumping onto the idol train after whetting their appetite with anime, they're more likely to skew toward the 16-21 year old talent farm output than a rock band that's been around since before many of the prospective listeners were born. Unlike most "music idols" in Japan, B'z have never appeared on a variety show and apart from occasionally appearing for an interview every four or five years, they essentially only record music and tour. Neither member even has social media, so in this era of idol worship, it'll be a bit hard if you're interested in anything other than the musical output—especially if you're foreign.

In short, it's hard when B'z...
Doesn't do non-guitar music
Doesn't do non-Conan anime theme songs
Doesn't do drama theme songs often
Doesn't do metal music
Doesn't do visual kei
Doesn't use young girls to showcase the music
Doesn't do the variety show circuit
Doesn't give interviews
Doesn't do non-music photo spreads
Doesn't have the ability to start now to be young enough for those interested in idols
Doesn't produce a large amount of English songs
Doesn't do social media directly in any form

All of that makes it difficult even for those already engaged with Japanese culture to even get interested, much less invested beyond that (on top of the fact that not every band is for everyone, of course). Take all of that away and you're trying to get folks to listen to something in a language they don't understand—an even more daunting task, especially when coupling it with rock music. Plenty of musicians such as those you mentioned have been supportive, naturally. On a related note, American drumming legend Carmine Appice name-dropped B'z in an interview a few years ago:
“Japan has their own domestic artists that are huge. It used to be that Japan didn’t have any domestic artists until the mid 90’s. All of a sudden they started getting their own artists. So all the American and UK artists who used to go there and play the Budokan are now playing smaller venues. But their artists are playing stadiums. There’s a group over there called B’z and they can play three stadium nights in every major city in Japan. We’re talking 150,000 people. It’s a singer and a guitar player. I went to see them in Japan as a guest, they’re friends of mine, and I think it was the night before or night after I saw Kiss over there. Kiss was playing at the stadium too. The B’z production was bigger than the Kiss production. It was ridiculous…it was so big. Over there they don’t travel around in big semis, they travel around in these sixteen to twenty foot trucks … so they must have had about a hundred trucks going from city to city … it was crazy. But there just huge over there.”



I'd actually be curious to hear how those that check in here first heard of B'z. I know for many of us it was through some sort of connection to the Detective Conan anime. I first heard "girigiri chop" and was shocked how different it was to all of the other included theme songs to that point. By the time I heard "ONE" in the third movie in the franchise, I knew there was something special in a band that could produce songs of such radically differing archetypes. A few months later, "Shoudou", "Yuruginai Mono Hitotsu", and MONSTER hit and the totality of the work was so overwhelming in quality that I've followed 'em since then. I soon therafter saw MONSTER'S GARAGE on DVD and couldn't believe what I'd been missing all those years; while I appreciated the limited studio output I'd heard to that point, it was seeing the live presence that sealed it for me. I've met a lot of great friends entirely based on the music B'z has made, so for that alone, I'll always consider it time well spent. Even beyond that, I decided to finally learn guitar after seeing Tak's stage presence (something I had long wanted to do but never found the right inspiration until then). Those I've met based on that hobby alone and those I've gotten to know better because of it are all reasons I'm really glad I discovered B'z when I did (I've also gotten to, gratefully, pass on that interest in playing guitar to others in the years since and encourage them to give it a try).
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Re: The B'z Hype Topic! (New Album DINOSAUR Out Now!!!)

Postby Dopamine » April 9th, 2018, 4:12 am

I first discovered B'z when I decided to check out Japanese music. I saw that they were the best selling artist in Japanese history and decided to do a youtube search. The first thing I saw was the performance of "Zero" from the BUZZ!! 95 pleasure tour. I immediately went and checked out their whole discography after seeing that performance. Zero is actually my favorite B'z song. I have been into 80s hair metal for a long time. So when I heard that riff from Zero it hit me right away. I still think its one of the greatest guitar riffs ever.

I'm actually a big Detective Conan fan too but I found both totally independent of each other. I started watching DC in 2003-4 when it was released as Case Closed here in the US. But I never made it to the episodes with the giri giri chop theme. I've only seen like the first 80 episodes or so.

Have any of you seen this 30th anniversary "exhibition" B'z is doing? They are holding an exhibition for the next couple months where they will be selling exclusive merchandise. This includes a limited run of vinyls for all 20 of their albums. As a vinyl collector I have been dying to get B'z on vinyl. These vinyls are expensive though. 5000 yen each (except 7th blues which is 8000). I am thinking of importing a few of these by buying them on japanese yahoo auctions. I'm curious, do you guys think B'z will release their catalog on vinyl in the future outside of this limited run? I'd actually prefer to wait and not pay these prices lol.
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Re: The B'z Hype Topic! (New Album DINOSAUR Out Now!!!)

Postby JBLars » April 9th, 2018, 2:46 pm

All of that is pretty on the nose, Jd-. It's odd, though. I'm a musician myself (good on you, my man, for taking up guitar!) and run in muso circles, so one would think that crowd would pick up on it. Specifically, I have a pal who's a devotee of the Les Paul and its players. HE'D be a complete mark for Tak, right? Nope. Nuthin'. I can't get my head around it.

As for where I got hip, manga publisher TokyoPop used to print a magazine even before they got into manga. I'd grab it at a nearby Tower Records, and somewhere in what I think was the summer of 1998 there was a review of Brotherhood. Now, like Dopmaine above me, I was (am) completely steeped in '80s hard rock, so the review's mention of (IIRC) Aerosmith and the aforementioned Mr. Big got my attention with a quickness. Despite living reasonably close to a Japanese shopping center, I wasn't gonna drop $40 blind on a CD, so off to the Internet and the Wild West days of mp3 file sharing… "Real Thing Shakes" crossed my path first. A little searching to see what I was in for, and there's the cover to the CD single. Produced by the legendary Andy Johns. Again, right in my wheelhouse. When the download was complete and the song was finished playing, I was hooked for life. Going back to hear the more dance-grooved stuff (and discovering the TM Network lineage) was a treat. Going forward at a time when "Juice" was my first not-yet-heard B'z single was mind-blowing. I've loved some songs and albums more than others, but haven't been disappointed yet. That's not even to speak of Detective Conan, which I've only begun to unearth as a result of the synergy here.

BTW, anyone else have luck with the 7-Eleven lottery for the tour? Is there a service I should be using that has better customer service than the others?
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Re: The B'z Hype Topic! (New Album DINOSAUR Out Now!!!)

Postby shinichi'sapprentice » April 19th, 2018, 5:54 am

HAHAHAHA Yooooo

Spoiler:
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source: @Bz_Official

How can these people not recognize him?!

Classic Conan disguise though xD
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Re: The B'z Hype Topic! (New Album DINOSAUR Out Now!!!)

Postby Raiden » May 11th, 2018, 2:22 am

3DS FC:2809 8617 8608
“Tea is the magic key to the vault where my brain is kept.” ― Frances Hardinge
“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”
― William Ewart Gladstone



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Spoiler:
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Valentin
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Re: The B'z Hype Topic! (New Album DINOSAUR Out Now!!!)

Postby Valentin » May 22nd, 2018, 11:59 pm

Just when I started to wonder if they might not actually be saving it for later, the cat has been let out of the bag:
B’z LIVE-GYM 2017-2018 “LIVE DINOSAUR” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 4!

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Without Itsuka no Merry Christmas—not even an inserted one—, which I find rather surprising. But with MOTEL, and that’s far more important to me.

Most important to me, though, is to once again catch up with reality. When I did that for the last time, 7-Eleven presents B’z PREMIUM LIVE was about to kick off and DINOSAUR still nothing more than a sum of snippets because the samples provided on the official website were my only meds as long as my copy had yet to arrive. What has gone by since then is not only a hundred and sixty-nine days, but also just as many plays—at the very least. That’s why I’d dare to consider myself capable of spitting a few words on DINOSAUR—and will now do just that.

DINOSAUR

01. Dinosaur
As many others, I was relieved to learn that this piece that we had already known for about two months without knowing it would be more than a rearranged Introduction mimicking a dinosaur’s roar. By November 14, I had slowly but surely gotten anxious regarding the lack of, well, basically any promotional material, which had shown up in masses on the road leading to EPIC DAY at that point. Could it be that stuff wasn’t considered good enough to provoke a several-weeks-lasting impression? Enter the video. When I discovered its length of a whopping five minutes, I got all fidgety and just wanted to klick on that triangle, and was, upon watching, probably as blown away as the world Tak and Koushi were put in by those formidable-as-ever special effects. As the icing on the cake, then, the first listening to the album confirmed what the excerpt had already suggested thanks to a refrain ending slightly differently from the established version: The track is even longer. Everything about it is—pun intended—killer: the extensive guitar solo in the beginning, the thrill following the igniting “Yeah!” shout, the intensity of the “mane dekin darou” line (and even more of the “sora mo tobu tsumori”, “uta mo utau tsumori” and “koe mo suru tsumori” ones), the concise guitar solo fading into that relative silence of the middle, and—of course—the everlasting cry “shiranaaaaaaaaaai” that no tyrannosaurus could have kept pace with. What a monumental composition! While I have the hardest time comparing it to other eponymous songs like MONSTER, Endless Summer and EPIC DAY, I can pronounce with certainty that—unlike its animal counterpart—it won’t go extinct. Ever.

02. CHAMP
I guess everyone expected this to become a champion from matchday one as those fifteen seconds from the 7-Eleven commercial alone left no doubt that we have a winner here. Correspondingly, its images deliver a collection of evidence why B’z would triumph in every tournament that seeks to determine the best live act on the planet. “I’m a champ, I am a champ” is both catchy as hell and as powerful as lyrics can be. Unlike musikuss and contrary to my experience with Fukiarenasai, I’m not disappointed by the guitar solo, and, looking at its length (or should I say ‘shorth’?), I feel it’s jam-packed with energy, akin to the interlude of Shoudou, which is over before you realize how good it is. I’d wager there’s quite a chance that yet another CHAMP will be born this summer.

03. Still Alive
From my review of Seimei / Still Alive:
Valentin wrote:This is another instance where my initial impression fooled me: I had been so sure that I would see this tune as the fourth digital-exclusive single in late March that I was genuinely confused when it didn’t happen. Although I’m usually not too fond of such pop-oriented approaches with simpler melodies, this one has a number of cool tweaks here and there that make the overall picture more appealing. Not only does the vocal lead-in remind me of Yoru yo Akenaide; the style is evocative of the early millennium in general. (I wonder if this will be used as an opportunity to include some uncut diamonds from that epoch. How about … Yoru yo Akenaide?) The guitar solo is killer, but the short interlude preceding it is even killerer. (By the way: Am I the only one who used to misunderstand the last line, “Nani hitotsu owari ja nai”, as “Nani hitotsu owari tonight”?)
Nearly one year later, I don’t have anything to add. Although clearly not among my favorites, Tak’s portion makes me want to hear it.

04. Haruka
It’s no secret that Tak and Koushi’s solo activities have a major impact on their output as B’z, and this opening was the first instance where I found myself detecting a clear case of that as I struggled to recall such a groove coming from this band. Rather than sensing an echo of CHUBBY GROOVE, though, I noticed that it was the latter part of the guitar solo that appeared to be strikingly similar to another work created not too long ago. And since I’d asked myself where the influence of New Horizon had been anyway, I finally became aware that it’s the main title itself. While collating 02:24–02:32 from Haruka with 03:15–03:24 from New Horizon doesn’t necessarily prove the claim that one is a derivative of the other, those particular fragments are definitely related. My overall attitude toward this tune isn’t too distinct from the one I have toward Still Alive: It’s not my number one, but I appreciate the style.

05. Soredemo Yappari
Even though I seem to have a more favorable view of Exit To The Sun than others, I somehow perceive this as an improved rendition of it on any level. Proportionately, the guitar solo has gotten even more marvelous. Thankfully, however, it’s not quite as pitiful—that has always been a bit of a hardness preventing me from listening to the original more frequently. Likewise, I choose the piano over the strings.

06. Seimei
My thoughts haven’t changed:
Valentin wrote:To be honest, the first listen didn’t necessarily blow me away. While the rhythmic elements at the start—especially the drums’ powerful prelude—did arouse some curiosity in me as to what kind of new sound this composition would add to the band’s ever-expanding portfolio, the refrain seemed too generic to excite and left me wondering if it’s really strong enough to be an A-side. With every try I gave it, though, I gradually joined the groove and have come to appreciate the song as one of those that just rock without being particularly hard. The small passage immediately before the chorus (*guitar scale* “Seimei!”) and the interjections (“wake up wake up”, “shine on shine on” and “naked naked”) will go fantastically with the audience.
Concerning the last sentence, the performance on MUSIC STATION last fall has proven the obvious.

07. Queen Of The Night
Might this be another descendant of New Horizon? Interestingly, this is pretty much a representation of what I would have predicted EPIC DAY to be: a spiritual successor to The 7th Blues. The synergy of the vocals and the electric guitar during the verses, culminating in the bridge, is a massage. Unfortunately, it has suffered the same fate as Too Young and unplayed gems like THE BORDER and SLAVE TO THE NIGHT by not being included in the set list. Speaking of which, with the latter, it has more in common than the form of the name, doesn’t it?

08. SKYROCKET
Is this what you get when you crossbreed DAREKA with Pineapple Mango? I can’t shake the feeling it is. Needless to say that the popularity at the most recent LIVE-GYM will have been … skyrocketing. And yet, there’s a touch of jauntiness telling me that this might as well have originated in the nineties.

09. Rooftop
What just doesn’t cease to amaze me is that one single listen to the teaser was perfectly sufficient to ensure that I will never forget what the melody is. The other ones? Hm, dunno, must repeat to internalize them. This one? Familiar as ultra soul. And once you’ve obtained the CD, you get both an overture and a closing section with the exact same tone sequence on top. Because I like it, this is not a bad thing at all; it’s solely the mental image of Tak wanting to present this theme to you so ostensibly as if it was his new girlfriend.

10. Yowai Otoko
Did I mention stimuli from individual projects? I’ll eat my hat if this isn’t grounded on Rock The Rock from enigma; even Greg Vail strikes again. As has been stated by numerous fans, there is scarcely any better example to showcase the abilities of these two musicians. After the saxophone had checked in, I couldn’t stop laughing, and Koushi’s deep breath at the end is the ideal round-up. This unique weirdness must be one of the funniest entries in the catalog, and I can’t wait to see it live.

11. Itoshiki Yuurei
It’s standing to reason that the loudest track entails the quietest one. Its calm nature and the slide guitar remind me of enigma’s Mystic Journey, though I concede that’s about it. By courtesy of the tranquilizing keyboard solo in the bridge, I’ve never had a sleepless night since I became acquainted to it. Very relaxing.

12. King Of The Street
From the moment it accompanied the trailer for Dynasty Warriors 9, I was absolutely positive that this would be a thoroughly slick album. The key riff is demanding even for more advanced guitarists, and the keyboard in the background is refreshingly prominent. It’s exciting to observe how Tak relentlessly challenges himself even after three decades.

13. Purple Pink Orange
drive to MY WORLD meets Koubou? Or so was my initial sentiment: architecture of the former, dramatics of the latter. I might not be the only one who was left puzzled when the song concluded in a manner that isn’t the most usual finish.

To cut a long story short: This is unquestionably a magnificent sequel. I’m convinced that virtually skipping one era to the benefit of completely new endeavors like CHUBBY GROOVE and Electric Island, Acoustic Sea was the right decision to ultimately produce a compilation of the best of two eras—at any rate, that’s what I identify in terms of quality. I adhere to my proposition that, “compared to this, EPIC DAY almost doesn’t exist”: It’s not that the predecessor is bad, but that works with a characteristic flair are—to my mind—generally superior to those without them. It’s no coincidence that I rate LOOSE and MAGIC as candidates for the best album, but not C’mon and EPIC DAY—the former two provide custom thumbprints, whereas the latter two are a bit of everything. (ACTION, at the very least, explicitly received the concept of treading as many new paths as possible.) I’m eagerly longing for the advent of B’z LIVE-GYM 2017-2018 “LIVE DINOSAUR”, which may well be the most promising regular concert series in a while.

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On another note, this picture was posted two weeks ago. So rerecordings are indeed on the horizon, huh? I’ll take a wild guess and throw in that they will actually be contained in a publication called HINOTORI because old works will rise from the ashes, and the date will be August 15 because (i) the number in the upper left corner is (0)8.15.2018, (ii) which—as a Wednesday—is the only conceivable day for such a publication and (iii) right in the middle between the two halves of the tour so that the arena people can enjoy the updates before everyone else and the dome people know what to be pumped for.
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Re: The B'z Hype Topic! (New Album DINOSAUR Out Now!!!)

Postby Jd- » June 2nd, 2018, 5:58 pm

Epic write-up yet again, Valentin! I wanted to swing in and note something quite surprising. We just got some new information from the exhibit and it's something wild. As part of the guided audio tour version, where Tak and Koshi walk you through certain items and such, when you come to the end, they have these two displayed:

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(This is where the epic Zoma sourced his extrapolation from, of course)

Tak clarifies the notation in the upper right corner of the music sheet as part of the audio tour. Everyone speculated about it for a while, but when you compare the recently-revealed tour logo's font to a certain old single, it may be more clear...

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That's right: "HINOTORI" is a sequel to "LOVE PHANTOM" (!?), and it's framed from the female's point of view. Tak says exactly as much as part of the tour, so I have a feeling we're in for something special this year indeed!
Dopamine
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Re: The B'z Hype Topic! (New Album DINOSAUR Out Now!!!)

Postby Dopamine » June 6th, 2018, 6:32 am

musikuss wrote:Hinotori (zoma Version)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_Hu3e6KYKg&t=0s


Does anyone know how this guy got this song?
Link
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Re: The B'z Hype Topic! (New Album DINOSAUR Out Now!!!)

Postby Link » June 6th, 2018, 6:53 am

As Jd- posted above, it seems like they got the music and lyrics from the exhibit and created their interpretation of it from there
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Re: The B'z Hype Topic! (New Album DINOSAUR Out Now!!!)

Postby Dopamine » June 6th, 2018, 8:35 am

Link wrote:As Jd- posted above, it seems like they got the music and lyrics from the exhibit and created their interpretation of it from there


Oh I see, he took the sheet music and created the backing track himself. I thought he was playing the actual song in the background at first like many people do with guitar covers on youtube.

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