Thursday, April 3, 2008

review - X Japan Blue Blood 2007 Remastered double cd

My review and photos of the out of print remastered X Japan's Blue Blood rereleased in 2007 with the 2nd cd of instrumental versions.

Dah lama aku tak cerita pasal album2 yang aku anggap perfect. Those yang special gitu untuk diri aku. So nari aku cerita sikit pasal album X Japan - Blue Blood. Dikeluarkan tahun 1989. Aku ada versi cetakan Taiwan pasal nak beli Japan print mahal giler ler. Tapi bila keluar ni special edition remastered tahun 2007 aku berjaya tangkap jugak, tapi cdjapan dah sold out tu jam, so memang susah sikit nak carik. Special nye release ni ialah dia ada bonus cd, lagu2 album ni tapi versi instrumental.

I discovered X Japan very late (after they disbanded, and Hide had died ). I think it was around 1999 when I was reading a european metal message board discussions about some of the better heavy, power melodic metal songs. One guy vouch for a song called 'Silent Jealousy' by X Japan from their album 'Jealousy' which was after Blue Blood. He sounds convincing so I took the trouble to find and listen to that song...

Its one of those moments where all the planets seems to be aligned together. This song has everything in it, piano sentimental intro, dual Iron Maidenish guitar harmonies, superb lyrics even if more than 50% are in Japanese, loud drums, everything is loud, and with that passion that only Japanese bands can have.

Its a love song but it has metal written all over it, the kind of metal that I like. I try to find a few more X Japan songs, like what I hear, on my trip to Kuala Lumpur at that period I bought the X Japan made in Taiwan boxset of all their studio albums on cd, and the rest is history. I do have a few of their dvds but being Japanese bands, their releases tend to be super mega expensive and hard to get, so it is difficult most of the time. Seeing them play to a capacity crowds at Tokyo Dome is something.

Anyway, X Japan is actually known as X till the Jealousy album. Then they add Japan behind it when they have a proper global release for the next few albums to prevent any confusion. This is why the covers are all identified just as X for the earlier albums including this one.

If I have to choose only one Japanese band that I like, I'm so sorry Loudness, but X Japan it will be. They have that Manowarish attitude in them, to do what they like - fast,chaotic speedy songs one moment, and a slow ballad with only a piano with vocals the next.
Not forgetting they look good whether in the early days of weird hairdos and 'overdressing' in the costumes they choose, or in their latter days with Hide being the coolest, and Yoshiki is just being Yoshiki haha.

The songs on this album are
Disc 1
1. Prolouge ( World Anthem )
2. Blue Blood
3. Week End
4. Easy Fight Rambling
5. X
6. Endless Rain
7. Xclamation
8. Kurenai
9. Orgasm
10. Celebration
11. Rose Of Pain
12. Unfinished

Disc 2 ( instrumental tracks )
Features- Blue Blood, Week End, X , Endless Rain, Kurenai, Celebration, Rose Of Pain , Unfinished.

Left to Right - PATA on guitars / TAIJI on bass ( who will later join LOUDNESS ) / TOSHI the singer who from what I understand caused the band to disband and should have been hammered by Yoshiki on stage during that Last Concert LOL! / YOSHIKI the drummer whom I so like to see and hear, and the piano player too, and of course the most prettiest or should I say most good looking :-) / HIDE the guitarist, the best dresser, who accidently died because I dont think he meant to commit suicide, and cause a wave of hysteria of schoolgirls crying and wailing on the streets of Japan ( check out the youtubes of the footages, I hope these can be found in Youtube ).

My song by song opinion
1. Prologue - Orchestra like intro. Very majestic instrumental. Very bombastic. Suits that World Anthem title well. About 2 and a half minutes long.
There are words being whispered, trust me I didnt realise Toshi was actually saying them in English till I carefully check the lyric sheets. Ooo the beauty of Japanese rock bands singing in English.

2. Blue Blood - Fast tempo song. Mixture of Japanese and English lyrics. Depressing type of lyrics. The break in the middle is very melodic. Helloween-like instrumental break. About 5 minutes long.

3. Weekend - Reminds me of Roxette. I always think Roxette as a heavy rock band trapped in a MTV pop channel body. Their songs are very melodic, catchy, full of harmonies ( just like Iron Maiden or Lost Horizon who are also from Sweden like Roxette ) but there is a sense of heaviness in them that I prefer compared to Poison, Warrant or any other so called Rock bands that I am scared even to give them a try. Motley Crue? still around? vomit blood, but I do like the Dr Feelgood album, a bit.

4. Easy Fight Rambling - What a silly title isnt it? Sounds like a very happy jovial song. The lyrics ( the English portion that is ) sounds weird.

5. X - Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath all have their own self titled songs, and X Japan has one too and its great. Fast and exciting. I really like watching their live performance on dvds on this song, with all the Japanese fans ( mostly girls ) shouting together on the chorus " X !!! X!!! X !!!! ".

6. Endless Rain - One of the most famous X Japan song. Yoshiki is really brilliant. He should write with Steve Harris LOL!!. Toshi's voice is a bit rough, so when he sings these sad slow heartbreaking ballads, it dont sound wimpy but instead makes the song even more realistic.
This is a song to be heard. The song to be played for all the lovers out there who's hearts are broken. " I am a rose blooming in the desert " \m/
The English translation for this song is so lovely, that I often wonder how touching it is for those who understand Japanese when listening to this song. No wonder some in the audience cry when this song is played live.

7. Kurenai - I think the translation is Red Blood.
One of my most favourite X Japan songs. Starts slowly and all hell break loose type of song. Very fast but melodic. This is the type of song that I love. The instrumental part is very Maidenish , very Helloweenish.

8. Xclaimation - Instrumental. Seems each member has a chance to be in the spotlight for this song. Different moods during the 4 minutes of the song.

9. Orgasm - Fast song but I dont really get the idea of what this song is about haha. With this kind of title the meaning must be interesting.

10. Celebration - This album is a mix of very happy and sad songs. Another cheerful party sounding song.

11. Rose Of Pain - 11 minutes 50 seconds of a roller coaster ride. Slow moments, speedy moments. Remember, this was in 1989. The impact would have been more for me if I had listened to this song back then. This song begins with that classical melody that Yngwie Malmsteen also did. I forgot the title.

12. Unfinished - This song first appeared on their 1st album, and as the title say, this song was actually unfinished. But on the Blue Blood album, I guess they finally complete it.
The only song from this album with 100% English lyrics. Nice love song with simple but memorable lyrics. Its one of the lyrics I used to sing to myself when I am alone haha. As an asian, I do enjoy the way Japanese bands sings and write lyrics in English.

The 2nd cd features what seems the exact recordings minus the lead vocals, except for unfinished intro vocals before the piano kicks in.

All Blue lineup.. The one beside the Blue Blood cd is the promo of Iron Maiden's No More Lies. Very nice yes..

I always dream of seeing the X Japan live spectacle for myself. I know its near to impossible as they tend to play only in Japan and it will be beyond what I can afford, but it took me 25 years to see Iron Maiden live, so maybe just maybe, my dream to see X Japan live will come true one day.


Takilala said...

Yeah, X Japan mmg best. Aku mula tau band ni pun masa album ballad collection diorg (mp3). pastu cari rilisan2 diorg, tp hampeh, tak jumpa. last2 dpt mp3 version je. Yang jumpa tshirt diorg je. Tu pun thailand punya printed. Endless Rain dan unfinished antara fav ballad aku. Bila baca ko punya review ni, rasa mcm nak cari jugak la cd tu.

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