The twenty-first B’z album NEW LOVE has debuted at the top of the Oricon charts with 207,000 physical copies. Though not led by a single (a first for them) and with the continued decline of physical sales for non-idol groups, the album outsold 2017’s DINOSAUR and almost matched EPIC DAY without television appearances or extensive marketing.
Oricon reports B’z album sales are now at 46,872,000. This extends the record for Most Albums Sold and Most Number-One Albums with their eighteenth consecutive studio album and twenty-ninth top album overall (when factoring in compilations and mini albums).
If you’re on the fence, check out three music videos from the B’z YouTube Channel:
The band has successfully released their 21st album, marking the start of a new era for B’z: New members, new touch, new sound. Just to be clear, though: B’z still sounds like B’z.
As usual, B’z has released a message for their fans on the day of the album release:
Extensive Interview with BARKS
Following the release of NEW LOVE, music magazine BARKS has published an extensive interview with B’z regarding the new album as well as the time leading up to the new album.
The interview reveals why Koshi has struggled with some shows during the 2019 HINOTORI tour. He has got asthma, which makes it hard for him to breathe — up to the point where it is difficult for him to sing at all. This put Koshi, who always strives for the best, in a very difficult situation. He started wondering what makes a good show. Is it a good show when fans go home having enjoyed the performance? No, Koshi says that he just simply wasn’t able to do what he wanted to do. And that had quite the mental effect on him until the end of the tour.
This tour also marks the end of an era. As previously announced, long time support members Shane Gaalaas, Barry Sparks, Yoshinobu Ohga and Takanobu Masuda were replaced with new faces. “We were thinking about making changes for quite some time now”, Tak Matsumoto says. They were thinking about advantages and disadvantages of making the changes, but ultimately the urge to set a new impulse won. “There wasn’t a problem with our support members, it was just part of the process”, Matsumoto adds.
With their new album NEW LOVE released, B’z will embark on a Japan-wide tour starting with a warm-up gig on June 4 entitled SHOWCASE 2019 -Makaitenshow-. The main leg of the tour kicks off on June 8 at the Kagoshima Arena. Koshi Inaba and Tak Matsumoto are looking forward to bringing a new groove to the stage with their new supporting band members.
Next month B’z will release their long-awaited twenty-first studio album with the title NEW LOVE. Billed as the next era for the band, the album sees new support members from the upcoming B’z LIVE-GYM 2019 shows and other guests joining recording for the first time. Notably, Robert Deleo of Stone Temple Pilots returns on bass after first aiding on three songs in 2007 while Joe Perry of Aerosmith is to be featured on album song “Rain & Dream”.
NEW LOVE will be released on May 29, 2019 in three SKUs: a CD-only version for 3,200 yen, a CD+T-shirt edition for 3,900 yen and a vinyl release for 5,000 yen.
The thirteen track album includes four tie-in tracks that began airing from late last year. “Tsuwamono, Hashiru” can be heard in a Rugby World Cup ad, “WOLF” is featured in the Japanese remake of drama SUITS (in both its original rock form and a ballad version), “Deus” in the Suzuki Escudo commercial and “Majestic” continues to be used in a series of Pocky promotional vignettes. A music video for “My New Love” or possibly other album songs should be expected, by precedent, within the next few weeks.
1. My New Love (マイニューラブ)
2. Tsuwamono, Hashiru (Run, Soldier – 兵、走る)
4. Deus (デウス)
5. Majestic (マジェスティック)
6. MR. ARMOUR
7. Da La Da Da
8. Koi Karasu (Love Crow – 恋鴉)
9. Rain & Dream
10. Ore yo Karma wo Ikiro (Living My Karma – 俺よカルマを生きろ)
11. Golden Rookie (ゴールデンルーキー)
13. Towa ni Wakaku (Forever Young –トワニワカク)
Editions & Pre-orders
Most major retailers will have specific promotional items tied to pre-orders. The standard CD edition for 3,200 yen is joined by a T-shirt bundled version for 3,900 yen and comes in a Japanese medium size. The vinyl version is 5,000 yen. Both Amazon Japan and CDJapan ship internationally (Amazon shipping is cheaper & CDJapan can be release-day delivery).
B’z LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2018 -HINOTORI- on Home Video March 13!!
Studio Debut of Title Track Included on Bonus CD
The long-awaited release of B’z LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2018 -HINOTORI- on home video has just been announced. The full finale concert will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD on March 13, 2019 for 8,800 yen. Pre-orders are now open from CDJapan or Amazon.co.jp on Blu-ray, or here and here on DVD.
In addition to the main concert, a feature-length documentary titled “Road to 20180921” is also being included. Backstage footage will be interspersed between six bonus, full performances of songs performed earlier in the tour but not on the final night.
A bonus CD rounds out the release featuring the studio debut of title song “HINOTORI” as its only track.
I. TOUR FINAL at AJINOMOTO STADIUM
The full two hour, forty four minute ending to the thirtieth anniversary tour on one Blu-ray or two DVDs:
1. ultra soul
3. Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~
4. Hadashi no Megami
5. Wonderful Opportunity
8. Koi-Gokoro (KOI-GOKORO)
9. OH! GIRL
10. Ichibu to Zenbu
13. LOVE PHANTOM
15. Real Thing Shakes
17. BAD COMMUNICATION
18. Pleasure 2018 ~Jinsei no Kairaku~
20. girigiri chop
II. TOUR DOCUMENTARY -Road to 20180921-
A 94 minute backstage documentary also featuring the alternate songs not performed on the final setlist:
・love me, I love you（NISSAN STADIUM 20180805）
・Mou Ichido Kiss Shitakatta（EHIMEKEN BUDOUKAN 20180811）
・Calling（EHIMEKEN BUDOUKAN 20180811）
・OCEAN（EHIMEKEN BUDOUKAN 20180812）
・TIME（AJINOMOTO STADIUM 20180921）
・Ai no Bakudan（AJINOMOTO STADIUM 20180921）
III. BONUS CD
B’z have announced the details for their upcoming 2019 LIVE-GYM tour that will support their 2019 Studio Album. Because the album has not been fully announced, the title for the tour isn’t available either.
The tour will also mark the departures of the band’s longtime support members: Shane Gaalaas on Drums (with the band since 2002), Barry Sparks on Bass (with B’z from 2003, 2008-2018), Takanobu Masuda (1992-1997 & 1999-2018) on Keyboards, and Yoshinobu Ohga (2011-2018) on 2nd Guitar. The decision was made by the band in order to try a new sound for their 31st year. Fans on social media have been overwhelmingly supportive of the outgoing members with many hoping to see them with the band again in the near future.
In their places will be all-new support members who have not performed with the band before though some have worked with Tak and Koshi in various capacities in the studio:
B’z LIVE-GYM 2019 Support Members
Mohini Dey (Bass) : 21-year-old Indian internet sensation who has been endorsed by Steve Vai. This is her first participation with B’z or Tak/Koshi solo activity.
Sam Pomanti (Keyboards) : Provided backing vocals for “Rooftop” and “SKYROCKET” on DINOSAUR.
Yukihide “YT” Takiyama (2nd Guitar) : Contributed arrangement and recording to all but one song on DINOSAUR and some backing vocals.
B’z LIVE-GYM 2019 Venues
Kagoshima Arena – 6/8 (Sat), 9 (Sun)
Mie Prefectural Sun Arena – 6/14 (Fri), 15 (Sat)
Kobe World Memorial Hall – 6/19 (Wed), 20 (Thu), 22 (Sat), 23 (Sun)
Sundome Fukui – 6/28 (Fri), 29 (Sat)
Osaka Jo Hall – 7/3 (Wed), 5 (Fri), 6 (Sat)
Yokohama Arena – 7/9 (Tue), 10 (Wed)
Zepp Nagoya – 7/16 (Tue), 18 (Thu), 19 (Fri)
Ehime Prefecture Budokan – 7/26 (Fri), 27 (Sat)
Saitama Super Arena – 7/30 (Tue), 31 (Wed)
Zepp Fukuoka – 8/3 (Sat), 4 (Sun)
Miyagi Sekisui Heim Super Arena – 8/8 (Thu), 10 (Sat), 11 (Sun)
Takasaki Arena (Gunma) – 8/24 (Sat), 25 (Sun)
Makomanai Sekisui Heim Ice Arena (Sapporo) – 8/30 (Fri), 31 (Sat)
Makuhari Messe Event Hall – 9/3 (Tue), 4 (Wed)
Hiroshima Green Arena – 9/7 (Sat), 8 (Sun)
Marine Messe Fukuoka – 9/10 (Tue)
B’z is kicking off the New Year of 2019 by posting an image with the hashtag #Bz2019 on Twitter and Instagram. On the same day, fans around Japan have also spotted B’z concert dates being advertised in their local cities.
Although there is no official announcement from the band yet, fans have compiled a preliminary list of dates spotted throughout Japan. However, details regarding the exact venue in which the concerts will take place is still under wraps. The following is a list of dates found so far, with the tour currently slated to run from June to September 2019:
B’z LIVE-GYM 2019 Tour Dates
Update 03/01/2019: Added dates for Fukui, Yokohama, Saitama and Gunma (a total of 36 dates)
Kagoshima – 6/8 (Sat), 9 (Sun)
Mie – 6/14 (Fri), 15 (Sat)
Kobe – 6/19 (Wed), 20 (Thu), 22 (Sat), 23 (Sun)
Fukui – 6/28 (Fri), 29 (Sat)
Osaka – 7/3 (Wed), 5 (Fri), 6 (Sat)
Yokohama – 7/9 (Tue), 10 (Wed)
Nagoya – 7/16 (Tue), 18 (Thu), 19 (Fri)
Ehime – 7/26 (Fri), 27 (Sat)
Saitama – 7/30 (Tue), 31 (Wed)
Fukuoka – 8/3 (Sat), 4 (Sun)
Miyagi – 8/8 (Thu), 10 (Sat), 11 (Sun)
Gunma – 8/24 (Sat), 25 (Sun)
Sapporo – 8/30 (Fri), 31 (Sat)
Chiba – 9/3 (Tue), 4 (Wed)
Hiroshima – 9/7 (Sat), 8 (Sun)
Fukuoka – 9/10 (Tue)