“B’z! B’z! B’z! B’z! B’z! B’z! B’z! B’z! B’z! B’z! B’z! B’z!” Eager fans of Japanese band B’z impatiently chanted before the band’s sold out September 30 show at the Best Buy Theater in Manhattan (their first ever East Coast performance). B’z took the stage and proceded to rock faces off thousands of fans. After selling over 80 million records and having their handprints and signatures put up in the Hollywood’s RockWalk per Steve Vai’s request, you may still may have never heard of them. But, with a new english album, their momentum has grown, and everyone in America is soon to know B’z.
For the uninitiated, NYMN has the cliff notes of the band’s history, so you can one-up your friends in true hipster fashion:
Guitarist Takahiro “Tak” Matsumoto and vocalist Koshi Inaba joined forces in 1988 to form B’z. Since then, the band has released 18 albums and 50 singles, many of those singles consecutively debuting at Number One on Japan’s Oricon Singles Chart. Matsumoto has shared the stage with the likes of legends Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Ace Frehley and Slash, and is only the fifth guitarist in the world to have his own Gibson signature Les Paul: the Tak Matsumoto Doublecut Custon Ebony Gibson.
B’z released their English-language EP, B’z, on July 25th and is available now worldwide through iTunes. The self-titled collection includes the single, “Into Free-Dangan,” featured in the Dragon’s Dogma video game, and the record’s opening track, “Love Bomb” (originally titled “Ai no Bakudan”) was a Number One hit in Japan in 2005. All of the songs on the new album have been re-produced with English lyrics to coincide with B’z upcoming North American tour, which kicked off at The Warfield in San Francisco on September 17th.
Matsumoto explains, “This will be our fourth U.S. tour. We love playing for American audiences, and are excited to share our first English-language release with our fans.” B’z will wrap up the tour on Sunday at Los Angeles’ Gibson Amphitheatre.
2012, New York