Thursday, December 27, 2007

my klasik - LOUDNESS' Disillusion ( English Version )

Segmen baru dimana saye pilih koleksi2 saye yang saye anggap "perfect album" dan memang favourite. Jenis album yang mula sampai abis semua lagu gerek giler. Saye tak mau pilih album kompilasi dan kalo boleh elak Iron Maiden pasal Maiden releases semua pun mesti la perfect kan? So lets begin.

( click all photos to make bigger )

To kickstart a new segment about my personal favourite " Perfect Albums ", I have choosen to review and post photos of the Japanese band Loudness " DISILLUSION ( English Version ) album.
There will never be an album like this again. No rock band especially from the West can ever do an album like this because its so unique.

DISILLUSION was actually released in two versions back in 1984, same music but Minoru Nihara recorded his vocals twice, one in Japanese, and the other one in English ( try imagining a Japanese Rocker in 1984 trying his best to sing in English with his Japanese accent all over the place and simple uncomplicated English lyrics which seems to be a direct translation from Japanese ) - the result, mind boggling. Together with one of the most exciting, thrilling and lots of surprising change of tempo and melody, loud entertaining playing and solos by Akira Takasaki, heavy rhythm section by Masayoshi Yamashita and Munetaka Higuchi, plus one of the most beautiful and haunting slow rock of all time "Ares Lament" and you have for me the best rock album of all time to come out from The Land of the Rising Sun.

released 1984
1. Anthem
2. Crazy Doctor
3. Esper
4. Butterfly
5. Revelation
6. Exploder
7. Dream Fantasy
8. Milky War
9. Satisfaction Guranteed
10. Ares Lament

Total Running Time - 40mins 18sec

Ask any older rock and metal listeners in both Singapore and Malaysia about Loudness and 99.9% of the time, they can either sing or humn you a favourite Loudness song of theirs, start talking about guitarist Akira Takasaki or maybe all you get is just a simple, " Heavy Chain ", which arguably is one of the most famous foreign song in the history of the Malay Rock Annals.

I first discovered the cassette tape of DISILLUSION back in 1987 when I was in secondary school, it was on the Roadrunner label with the " DRUGS ARE NO FUN " campaign slogan prominently displayed on the inlay. The cover was not as above but the Japanese language version artwork ( mosaic of an ancient Samurai warrior climbing some cliffs ). It was so exciting that the cassette stayed in my walkman all the time, till the old routine of lending it to a friend who lent it to another friend and you wont see your stuff again. But the album sticks on my mind all the time and it was one of the first cd I ever bought back in the 90s.

song by song review-
I ever read in an old Hit Parader interview that Minoru Nihara said DISILLUSION was the heaviest and most metal album ever done by Loudness. And rightly so.. This album was from my understanding recorded in Europe, and this was the album that was promoted by Loudness travelling to perform in the Western countries, which then result in them getting the international major label Atlantic signing them up to release their 1985 Thunder In The East album worldwide.

For me, Loudness prime was on this album and even when they were an international act later in the 80s to 90s, even later on with a " white man " Mike Viscera taking over the vocals, and the famous four reuniting in 2000 till now, I cant love any other Loudness era and albums as I love DISILLUSION. Except maybe on 2001 reunion album Spiritual Canoe there was this two songs called End Of Earth and Stay Wild which is super great for me, unfortunately the singing is in Japan so I dont understand them.

1. Anthem ( Loudness Overture )
The introduction. An instrumental of " light " music, sort of a national anthem of some country, which kinds of makes the anticipation of whats next all the more higher.

2. Crazy Doctor
When the singing starts, I am not surprised if some people asked " What language is he singing in? Is that in English? " :-)
Up to now, I believe this song is still a live staple when Loudness performs. It still appears in most live dvds of Loudness gigs after their reunion from the 2000 onwards.
Very catchy, very heavy, and that Akira guitar solo at the middle of this song - The kind that makes the world stands still.

3. Esper - The fast, heavy but melodic tempo continues with this song. Esper relates to science fiction imaginary. " Oh yeah never ending fire, Energy, secret mystery..Energy.."

4. Butterfly - The tempo drops a bit for this song. Seems to compare some woman with a butterfly, flying here and there. Not sticking to one place. The song has dramatic change of pace during the solos.

5. Revelation - In the 80s, its nothing out of the ordinary to have a heavy rock n roll band with all the fancy clothes and hairstyles singing praises for their parents in a metal song. " Father Wishing I was you, Good and strong as you ".
Those were the innocent years where everyone is having fun and life is good and balanced, when we work to live, not live to work. 20 years later to present times, its more about work and worrying about money.

6. Exploder - Akira's solo that makes the world stands still.

7. Dream Fantasy - favourite fast track. Especially for that "OI!!" after the solo. The lyrics is so hilarious " Under the spell of a foxy girl ". The Japanese bands have all these incredible English lyrics ( check out X JAPAN my favourite Japanese band ever ).

8. Milky Ways - The best vocals for this album must definitely go to this song. It sounds like a teenybopper singing about Superman, The Galaxy, The Universe. The most beautiful song for me.

9. Satisfaction Guranteed - " You want Wock and Woll? You want it lowd? We'll drive you cwazy , knocking our heads ". Fabulous!!! A fantastic heavy metal song.

10. Ares Lament - which begins with " You made me smile when I think of you.. ", sigh..
This is the predecessor of So Lonely, that famous Loudness song from Hurricane Eyes album which appears in most Loudness compilations.
I guess this song is so good that they remodify it to become So Lonely, I wonder why cant they just use this song instead of remaking it as So Lonely. For me, Ares Lament is the best Loudness ballad every followed closely behind by Never Again.
The ending of this song with Minoru's melodic humming and Akira's solo is so perfect. What a way to conclude this album.

The OBI strip, anyway, the cd that I have is just a normal one. Maybe one day I want to get the remastered version of both the English and Japanese version if I can afford it, because DISILLUSION have so much great memories for me.

So you guys out there, maybe you just want to check out DISILLUSION. No regrets.

You make me smile when I think of you
Although you're many miles away, far away
But my heart's lonely, I love you still
This clown can't laugh today

* My arms are open for you
I need to hold you closer
Can't you see, you leave me so breathless
Why do you do this to me
I can't go on without you
I'll never leave you any more

** I am so lonely, so what can I do?
Oh baby, oh baby
I am so lonely, so lonely for you
Oh baby, oh baby

I have nowhere to go, no one to hold
Nothing to keep me here, I've thrown it all away
My heart is lonely, but still I'll try
This clown won't cry today


1 comment:

ed_the_red said...

Agreed..The best sentimental but hard rock love song ever..Bro..if you got a copy of the mp3..let me know..i ve search high and low but to no avail..the most is listen to it on you tube..