LIVE-GYM 2008 “ACTION” DVD & Blu-ray Release Message

Posted on January 30, 2013 by Tobias in News

B'z LIVE-GYM 2008 "ACTION" is out now on DVD and Blu-ray! Tak and Koshi have released a message for their fans concerning the long awaited home video release of this LIVE-GYM tour. Among pre-orders of upcoming releases, this home video release was ranked 2nd with only NEWS' home video release of their "LIVE TOUR 2012~Utsukushii Koi ni suru yo~"  tour gathering more pre-orders. Now, without further ado, here's the message from Tak and Koshi!

Message from Tak and Koshi regarding B'z LIVE-GYM 2008 "ACTION"

Action Daimaou(Devil)!
Tak

–NOTE: This is actually a joke by Tak. He is referencing an anime show from the 70s called "Hakushon Daimaou"(link). Japanese people pronounce ACTION as "akushon" which almost sounds like "hakushon".

When I rewatch the footage of our Action Tour now, my body is getting exhausted once again. Please enjoy watching a Live-Gym soaked with sweat!
Koshi Inaba

“Live Life” Digital Exclusive Single Now Available World-Wide

Posted on January 16, 2013 by Tobias in News

Live Life CoverWhile Tak Matsumoto's "Strings Of My Soul" has been available on iTunes by the time it went on sale in the U.S. and in Europe, "Live Life" from the very album has now been released as a digital exclusive single. It is available for purchase on iTunes internationally and contains two tracks: An instrumental version of "Live Life" and the regular album version of the song.

Live Life is one of the new tracks on Tak's album and features English lyrics sung by Sam Drysdale. The lyrics for the song are available in the wiki: http://bzwiki.offthelock.com/Live_Life_(Lyrics)

Grab it on iTunes here.

Strings Of My Soul Receives Award, PLAYER Readers’ Poll 2012

Posted on January 10, 2013 by Tobias in News

Tak Matsumoto's critically acclaimed Strings Of My Soul album has received the Golden Disc Award for "Instrumental Album of the Year" at the 27th annual Golden Disc Awards in Japan. The album contains Tak's selection of songs he considers his finest works and show the true nature of his sound.

Furthermore, Japanese music magazine PLAYER has published its 2012 readers' poll in the latest issue. Check out the ratings below. You can find last year's readers' poll here.

Category "Best Artist": B'z ranked 4th (5th in 2011, 5th in 2010, 3rd in 2009)
Category "Best Album": Strings Of My Soul ranked 5th
Category "Best Live Performance": B'z ranked 3rd
Catagory "Best Vocalist": Koshi Inaba ranked 3rd (1st in 2009, 2010, 2011)
Category "Best Guitarist": Tak Matsumoto ranked 2nd (2nd in 2011, 1st in 2010, 3rd in 2009)
Category "Best Drummer": Shane Gaalaas ranked 13th (16th in 2011, 8th in 2010, 9th in 2009)
Category "Best Bassist": Barry Sparks ranked 9th (6th in 2011)
Category "Other Musician": Takanobu Masuda ranked 3rd

“Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~/MOVE” Retrospective

Posted on January 10, 2013 by Jd- in Retrospectives

With this being the 25th anniversary year for B'z, we have decided to run a series of retrospectives throughout the year celebrating the band's achievements and accomplishments. Essentially, we will be providing extensive write-ups on certain B'z albums, singles, tours, and related subjects on a regular basis for the entire year. All articles pertaining to this feature will also be simultaneously archived in the B'z Wiki for posterity.

Today, it's a look back at the band's first double A-side single that spawned two of their most beloved early singles: "Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~/MOVE"!

Should you prefer to read this article in Wiki form, you can do so right here!

Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~/MOVE

Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~/MOVE (ミエナイチカラ, Invisible Power) is the nineteenth single by B'z and their first double A-side, released on March 6, 1996. Tak stated that with the songs in question and the tie-up promotions attached to them, it made the most sense to couple the two songs as a double A-side. It remained the band's only double A-side single until "Ichibu to Zenbu/DIVE" was released in 2009.

Although this would be a non-album single, both tracks would be collected on future compilation albums. "Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~" was voted for inclusion on the band's first fan-selected best of album B'z The Best "Treasure" and would also be included on the first of the band's two 20th anniversary collections, B'z The Best "ULTRA Pleasure". In 2000, "MOVE" would be included on the remixes and re-recordings album B'z The "Mixture", although it was in its original, unaltered form. Later, in 2008, the song was nearly voted onto B'z The Best "ULTRA Treasure" where it finished fortieth in the voting.

Both of the songs that made up the single were performed during B'z LIVE-GYM '96 "Spirit LOOSE", where "Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~" was used to close out all dates on the tour. The two songs would be included sporadically in setlists over the years, including a revival of "MOVE" for LIVE-GYM 2010 "Ain't No Magic" and "Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~" seeing its North American premiere during LIVE-GYM 2012 -Into Free-.

A promotional video for "Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~" was filmed through the first chorus, but was canceled and shelved when the band found the concept unclear. Instead, the promotional video featured behind-the-scenes footage from the "Spirit LOOSE" tour. The video aired for "MOVE" featured footage from the then-recent recording of "Real Thing Shakes" in Los Angeles. Concurrently, the two songs were both used in tie-in promotions. "Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~" served as an ending song to the anime "Hell Teacher Nube", a first for the band, while "MOVE" was used in a commercial for one of Benesse Corporation's "Shinkenzemi" junior high study course programs.

B'z made no television appearances for the single due to preparations for their upcoming tour, but did grant several magazine interviews to promote the release. The double A-side single moved 715,000 copies in its first week on shelves, making it the fifth fasting-selling B'z single to date. It would later be given the Million certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan with over 1.2 million in physical copies sold.

“Real Thing Shakes” Retrospective

Posted on January 8, 2013 by Jd- in Retrospectives

With this being the 25th anniversary year for B'z, we have decided to run a series of retrospectives throughout the year celebrating the band's achievements and accomplishments. Essentially, we will be providing extensive write-ups on certain B'z albums, singles, tours, and related subjects on a regular basis for the entire year. All articles pertaining to this feature will also be simultaneously archived in the B'z Wiki for posterity.

Today, we're heading back to 1996 to revisit the only physical English single by the band! A pivotal track from the band that has been a karaoke staple in Japan since release: "Real Thing Shakes"!

Should you prefer to read this article in Wiki form, you can do so right here!

Real Thing Shakes

Real Thing Shakes is the twentieth single by B'z, released on May 15, 1996. The single is notable for many reasons, the chief of which being that it remains the only English single B'z has released and is also the band's only one-track single. Upon release, the single was a massive success for the band with sales in excess of 600,000 copies in its first week on shelves. Additionally, the release also set a record for being the first English single by a Japanese artist to sell one million copies and, in doing so, secured the record for thirteen consecutive one-million selling releases. As of 2012, the record remains unbroken.

The release offered other firsts for B'z, with the cover being the first in which the band members were not pictured and also became the only B'z song to date not produced by Tak Matsumoto himself. The producer role instead went to Andy Johns, who had previously served as an engineer to both Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. This was only one of many occasions in which B'z collaborated with Western engineers and musicians. At the time of recording, English renditions of "FUSHIDARA 100%" and "WILD ROAD" were also planned as Johns was quite impressed with the guitar riffs Tak had written. Neither was ever officially released. Footage of the recording process with Johns can be seen on both the 1998 official bootleg and the 2008 official bootleg.

"Real Thing Shakes" has only been collected on a Japanese-released B'z album on one occasion: 1998's fan-selected compilation, B'z The Best "Treasure", where it finished in 10th place. Ten years later in 2008, the song narrowly missed being included on the band's 20th anniversary collection B'z The Best "ULTRA Treasure" when it finished 36th in the voting. In 2002, in order to promote the B'z and Aerosmith appearance at the 2002 FIFA World Cup International Day hosted jointly by Japan and South Korea, B'z released an album exclusively in Korea titled DEVIL that contained "Real Thing Shakes" as well as four other English tracks. The song was again given an international release when it was released in the United States on a compilation chosen by Japanese Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka entitled Music from the Mound.

An original promotional video was shot for the single that mixed live performances of the song with original footage shot specifically for the occasion.


 

Be With! Vol. 95 Interview Translation

Posted on January 3, 2013 by Tobias in Translations

Be With! Vol 95 Cover

After a short hiatus, we are now able to bring you the latest B'z interview to date! The interview was conducted right after their Pepsi PREMIUM LIVE in August last year. This issue covers a lot of behind the scenes information on the band's debut English album, the involvement of drummer Shane Gaalaas in its production, and the band's latest plans for their then-upcoming tour, B'z LIVE-GYM 2012 -Into Free-.

You can find the interview in our B'z wiki: http://bzwiki.offthelock.com/Be_With!_Vol._95_(September_2012)

The next issue, Be With! Vol. 96, is expected to ship in the upcoming weeks. The interview will most likely feature Tak and Koshi's impressions of their North American tour. Look forward to it!

Don't forget to stay hype.

“B’z (English Album)” Retrospective

Posted on January 3, 2013 by Jd- in Retrospectives

With this being the 25th anniversary year for B'z, we have decided to run a series of retrospectives throughout the year celebrating the band's achievements and accomplishments. Essentially, we will be providing extensive write-ups on certain B'z albums, singles, tours, and related subjects on a regular basis for the entire year. All articles pertaining to this feature will also be simultaneously archived in the B'z Wiki for posterity.

Today, we're looking back into the very near past for an in-depth look at the recent English album B'z, with as much information as you could possibly want on the recent English songs!

Should you prefer to read this article in Wiki form, you can do so right here!

B'z (English Album)

B'z is the self-titled debut English album by B'z, released worldwide via iTunes on July 25, 2012. The five-track album contains new English reversions of a selection of popular B'z singles released between 1998 and 2006. The newly-written English lyrics were a collaboration between Koshi and longtime drummer of the band, Shane Gaalaas. Along with Cory Churko, Shane was entrusted with mixing of the album due to the band's trust in his familiarity with the B'z sound and vision.

"Love Bomb", an English version of 2005 B'z single "Ai no Bakudan", served as the opening track to the album as well as the theme to a summer campaign for Pepsi NEX in Japan. Months before, the closing track "Into Free -Dangan-" was made the global theme to the Capcom video game Dragon's Dogma and was released as a digital single on April 3, 2012.

The release was supported by B'z LIVE-GYM 2012 -Into Free-, a seven date tour of both coasts of the United States and Canada in the fall of 2012. All songs were performed on the tour, with "Splash", "Juice", and "Into Free -Dangan-" having debuted in the setlist to the previous year's tour, B'z LIVE-GYM 2011 -long time no see-.

Upcoming Changes to OFF THE LOCK

Posted on January 2, 2013 by Tobias in Website News

Hello B'z fans!

We are currently working on restructuring the site and, of course, want to offer you more content. As B'z 25th anniversary is coming up and tour dates are going to be announced soon, we want to ensure that you'll be able to grab tickets to one of those shows if you can afford it. Yes, that means we'll show you how to sign up for the fanclub – B'z Party! Additionally, to ensure that you'll show up dressed as a B'z fan, we'll show you how to order merchandise from B'z the Store!

But that is not all... we're going to provide more interview translations and backstage reports in the near future. And subtitled videos as well! We will also be looking for dedicated B'z fans who can help us extend the wiki and help with translations. Look forward to that, too.

To kick off our celebrations for the 25th anniversary... I'm sure you've already checked out the picture of the new 2013 calendar... Awesome, right? Head to the Wallpaper section which can be found under Media of this site to grab it in high quality!

Keep on rockin'

–Tobias

Filed under: Website News 3 Comments

2013 B’z Calendar

Posted on January 2, 2013 by Tobias in Website News

Just in time for the new year, I have received the new B'z calendar 2013 from B'z Party! As with previous editions of the calendar, there are two versions of it: a monthly one and a weekly one. The monthly one is the larger version which is hung on a wall. I ordered the monthly version just like the past years. But this time, they spiced up the calendar! Compared to the previous edition, the 2013 is much larger in size. Unfortunately, that means it won't fit into my scanner anymore and thus have to resort to taking pictures of it.

The cover of the 2013 calendar

The cover of the 2013 calendar

The pictures for the 2013 calendar were shot in California during their 2012 North American tour. Also, for the first time, Shane and Barry have joined Tak and Koshi for the photoshoot. The four are on just one picture, though. Look forward to seeing it! I won't tell you which month. 😉

Size comparison: 2012 calendar vs. 2013 calendar

Size comparison: 2012 calendar vs. 2013 calendar

You can now take a look at the picture for January. We are starting out with a very cool picture! Enjoy!