“Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~/MOVE” Retrospective
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.
All music and guitar by Tak Matsumoto. All vocals and lyrics by Koshi Inaba.
- Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~ — Invisible Power, ミエナイチカラ
- Although the song was used as the first ending them to the television anime “Hell Teacher Nube”, the song was not actually written for the occasion. The song was already completed by the time the tie-in was arranged, and thus was not tailored to the anime itself. Koshi expressed regret over the timing, stating, “Consequently, the lyrics were completely irrelevant to the anime that the song was tied up with, and I felt sorry about that.” Tak noted that, “It’s a simple song, but it’s also hard to play,” citing the difficulty of nailing the guitar solo in particular. Kaichi Kurose, who served as drummer for B’z during the late 1990s and early 2000s, mentioned “Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~” as his favorite B’z song during the 1999 documentary The true meaning of “Brotherhood”?.
- Tak and Koshi commented that the song was meant to represent that “80s rock style in L.A., with a metal riff”. The song was a reflection of the type of music the band was listening to at the time. The song had been serving as the theme to a commercial for Benesse Corporation’s “Shinkenzemi” junior high study course for three months prior to release, beginning in December 1995. NBA star of the New York Knicks, Patrick Ewing, appeared in the basketball-themed promotion playing against a young Yuta Tabuse, who would become a professional basketball player in Japan years later. Although it was described as a “song for live shows”, it has only been performed at a handful of shows, including 2003’s BIG MACHINE tour, the 2000 “juice” Pleasure tour, the 1997 “FIREBALL” Pleasure tour, and LIVE-GYM 2008 “ACTION”.
- Tak Matsumoto: Guitar, Music Composition, Arrangement
- Koshi Inaba: Vocals, Lyric Composition, Arrangement
- Jun Aoyama (Track 1)
- Toru Soru (Track 2)
- Masao Akashi
- Masuda Takanobu
- Daisuke Ikeda: Manipulator, Arrangement (Track 1)