The Guitars of DINOSAUR
With every new B’z release comes great anticipation from the guitar enthusiasts that follow the band due to the contributions of composer-guitarist Tak Matsumoto. Thanks to BARKS, we now have an in-depth look at the equipment utilized for the recording of the twentieth B’z studio album DINOSAUR released earlier this week.
With regard to the recording sessions, Tak explained: “I always try a couple of guitars for each song, but this time I ran a lot of amps to search for the best match too. It’s quite a rush. Our sound has remained so stable for so long and because it was the same every time, I thought it’d become boring [to not try something new].” This desire to change led to the eclectic mix of rock tracks that now occupy the released album. Unlike previous albums, though, the guitar was mainly recorded in Japan and not their usual Los Angeles studio. This allowed more ready access to his vast array of guitars and equipment without having to see them all shipped overseas.
In all, the album saw eighteen electric and acoustic guitars be used across the thirteen tracks. A full accounting of all guitars and much of the amplifiers and effects pedals used in tandem to create the album’s sound are shown in the gallery below alongside the songs on which they were featured. Check it out!
Gibson TAK MATSUMOTO 1959 Les Paul Standard
A recreation by preeminent guitar manufacturer Gibson in their custom shop, the Gibson TAK MATSUMOTO 1959 Les Paul Standard is a highly detailed replica of a valuable Les Paul guitar owned by Tak since the early 90s. All of the visual imperfections, including cracks and scratches from aging inherent in the original in its half-century of life, are preserved with no concessions. A limited run of these replicas was prepared for buyers in Japan, with a premium edition signed by Tak selling out immediately after being announced. The guitar is now often played live as a substitute for its more valuable sister instrument, which is never taken out of the studio due to its value and age.
Can be heard on Dinosaur / CHAMP / Still Alive / Seimei (★ Only guitar used for track) / Yowai Otoko / Purple Pink Orange
Gibson Les Paul Standard 1959 #9-1156
An extremely valuable 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard first acquired by Tak prior to recording for The 7th Blues in 1994. Due to its value and rarity, the guitar is not utilized live but has been used in the studio over the years. While the above replica is as close to the original as can be expected, the instrument pictured here has a “dry” character to its sound due to the age of the wood according to Tak’s guitar technician.
Can be heard on Haruka / Sore Demo Yappari / Yowai Otoko / King Of The Street / Purple Pink Orange
Gibson Les Paul Gold Top 1957 #7-3956
A true 1957 Gibson Les Paul Standard once owned by Andy Summers, guitarist of The Police. Tak acquired the guitar in 2002 and first used it on his solo album House Of Strings in 2004.
Can be heard on Haruka
Gibson Les Paul Gold Top 1957 Reissue 1991 #1-8283
A reproduction of a Gibson 1957 Les Paul Standard released in 1991. The guitar is all original apart from the removed pickup covers that reveal the zebra-styled humbuckers beneath. The guitar was utilized during both B’z LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2008 -GLORY DAYS- and B’z LIVE-GYM 2015 -EPIC NIGHT-.
Can be heard on Rooftop (★ Only guitar used for track other than an electric sitar)
Gibson Les Paul Standard 1961 #15712
Those familiar with the Gibson line of guitars may wonder why this guitar bears a “Les Paul” truss rod cover and is titled a 1961 model “Les Paul Standard” given it clearly has the body of an “SG”. In 1960, with sales of the flagship body design waning, Gibson introduced an alternate body style that would later be dubbed the “SG”. However, upon its initial release in 1961, this guitar was only an alternate Les Paul Standard. The guitar was first used live for B’z LIVE-GYM 2015 -EPIC NIGHT- but was used in the studio for Tak’s solo album enigma and 2017 follow-up Electric Island, Acoustic Sea with Hawaiian multi-instrumentalist Daniel Ho.
Can be heard on SKYROCKET
Gibson Flying V Korina 50th Anniversary 2008 #8-8163
One of Tak’s favored guitars in recent years which first appeared during B’z LIVE-GYM 2015 -EPIC NIGHT-, it has emerged as a go-to in the studio and on the live stage. Not only does Tak utilize it in the various photoshoots for the album cover and associated art, it was also wielded later in the title song’s music video as well. The korina-wood guitar is one of only 100 made in 2008 for the fiftieth anniversary of the original Flying V’s release.
Can be heard on Dinosaur (★ Used as part of introduction segment)
Gibson TAK MATSUMOTO Firebird Vintage Sunburst Prototype #1
The only of Tak’s signature Gibson guitars other than the 1959 replica used in the sessions. While the body is that of the celebrated Firebird style, the headstock is borrowed from the usual Les Paul models. A later prototype was given a mass market release in Japan in Gibson Custom Shop form in the above color as well as Trans Black.
Can be heard on Still Alive / SKYROCKET / King Of The Street
Gibson ES-335 Larry Carlton Signature Model
A Gibson ES-335 gifted to Tak by legendary American jazz virtuoso Larry Carlton, with whom he collaborated on the Grammy Award-winning TAKE YOUR PICK in 2010. The guitar is a “Mr. 335” Signature Model named for Carlton’s reputation as a loyal 335 player.
Can be heard on Queen Of The Night
Fender Stratocaster 1954 Tobacco Brown Sunburst #1090
A guitar that is no stranger to Tak fans, this is the original and titular “#1090” after which his 1992 solo single “#1090 ~Thousand Dreams~” draws its name. The guitar is a rare one with a black and brown sunburst body and a one-piece maple neck that delivers sharp, delicate tones with its single coils pickups.
Can be heard on Queen Of The Night
Fender Stratocaster 1962 #75457
Styled in a Fiesta Red finish and made in 1962 with a rosewood fretboard, the guitar was heavily used for the band’s seminal 1995 studio album LOOSE. However, it was not used for decades afterward, with Tak’s most recent technician saying, “This was actually the first time I’ve seen it used for recording.”
Can be heard on Sore Demo Yappari
Fender Telecaster 1952 #4085
This guitar was also acquired around the same time as the Fiesta Red Stratocaster above, just prior to the sessions for LOOSE. Tak said in an interview at the time that its “ridiculous tone can only be heard from this guitar”.
Can be heard on Sore Demo Yappari / SKYROCKET / Yowai Otoko
Ernie Ball Music Man AXIS #88923 (BLACK)
One of many guitars of the same sort owned and utilized by Tak throughout the mid-1990s. Specifically, this guitar was one of his primary instruments during B’z LIVE-GYM Pleasure’97 “FIREBALL”. The guitar is akin to the Eddie Van Halen “EVH” signature released previously. It was only after Van Halen and Music Man parted ways that it was renamed “AXIS”. The pickup selector was moved as one of the primary changes alongside the renaming.
Can be heard on Dinosaur (★ Used for the tremolo “wailing” roar in the opening; replaced in the music video by an ESP Black Star)
Martin 1937 000-18
As a guitar that is now 80 years old, Tak only uses it in the studio and never outside. It has remained his favorite acoustic since its use on LOOSE. The spruce body is complimented by a rosewood fretboard.
Can be heard on Itoshiki Yuurei / Purple Pink Orange
Martin John Mayer Signature Model #2463
First used by Tak on his solo album enigma and was purchased by him due to its smaller form factor that he found especially comfortable to play.
Can be heard on CHAMP
Gibson Les Paul 12-String
Can be heard on Dinosaur
Ibanez 7-String (Black)
Can be heard on Dinosaur
Jerry Jones Electric Sitar
Can be heard on Rooftop
Freedom Custom Guitar Research Sustainer Guitar Tak Proto #1
Can be heard on Purple Pink Orange
Used for distortion and can be heard on Still Alive / Haruka / Seimei / Rooftop / Yowai Otoko
Used for clean sounds and can be heard on Still Alive
Fender Showman ’61
Can be heard on Purple Pink Orange / Yowai Otoko / Rooftop / Queen Of The Night / Sore Demo Yappari / Haruka (★ Clean Part Only)
Can be heard on Dinosaur (★ Introduction) / CHAMP / Queen Of The Night / Rooftop
Can be heard on King Of The Street / Purple Pink Orange
Also used but not pictured:
Can be heard on Dinosaur / Seimei
Bogner Ecstasy Classic
Can be heard on Dinosaur / CHAMP
EVH 5150 III
Can be heard on Haruka / Sore Demo Yappari / SKYROCKET / Rooftop / Yowai Otoko
Used primarily for solos and featured in all songs EXCEPT for Yowai Otoko / Itoshiki Yuurei / King Of The Street
Can be heard on Still Alive / Sore Demo Yappari / Queen Of The Night
Note: The “FAT” brand is a boutique offering that is not consumer-based. The brand is owned by Being, the corporate entity that oversees B’z releases and their personal record label Vermillion Records. FAT in particular was established by Hatakeyama “hakkai” Katsunori, Tak’s original and foremost guitar technician earlier in his career who remains his tone guru. Those wanting to acquire the pedals or amplifiers will either come up short or fork over a great deal of yen, with prices having at least tripled in recent years for the few consumer models that were released.
Can be heard on Dinosaur (★ Introduction) / Rooftop / Purple Pink Orange
Can be heard on Dinosaur (★ Introduction) / Seimei
Can be heard on Dinosaur (★ Introduction) / Purple Pink Orange
Can be heard on Dinosaur / Still Alive
Jim Dunlop TM95 / TAK CRY BABY
Can be heard on Dinosaur (★ Introduction) / Haruka