Dahlia (album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dahlia
Dahlialbum.jpg
Studio album by X Japan
Released November 4, 1996
Recorded July 1993–July 1996 at One on One Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California
Genre Progressive metal, symphonic metal
Length 57:37
Language English, Japanese
Label Atlantic
Producer Yoshiki
X Japan chronology
Art of Life
(1993)
Dahlia
(1996)
Singles from Dahlia
  1. "Tears"
    Released: November 10, 1993
  2. "Rusty Nail"
    Released: July 10, 1994
  3. "Longing ~Togireta Melody~"
    Released: August 1, 1995
  4. "Dahlia"
    Released: February 26, 1996
  5. "Forever Love"
    Released: July 8, 1996
  6. "Crucify My Love"
    Released: August 26, 1996
  7. "Scars"
    Released: November 18, 1996

Dahlia is the fifth studio album by Japanese heavy metal band X Japan, released on November 4, 1996 by Atlantic Records. It is the band's last album before breaking up the following year, and the last to feature new work by guitarist hide, due to his death two years later. The album is composed largely of ballads, with only a few tracks retaining the band's heavier musical traits seen on previous releases. It topped the Oricon chart and stayed on the chart for only 15 weeks, but managed to sell over half a million copies. Seven, nearly all, of the album's songs were released as singles, most of which also topped the singles chart and sold well.

Overview[edit]

Only a few months after the release of Art of Life in 1993, X Japan began recording and releasing singles that would appear on their next studio album Dahlia, which released in 1996 turned out to be their last. 1994 held few performances for the band as the members were focusing on their solo and side projects, but they did play two consecutive New Year's Eve concerts at the Tokyo Dome, titled Aoi Yoru (青い夜?, Blue Night) and Shiroi Yoru (白い夜?, White Night) respectively.[1] These concerts were released on DVDs in 2007 as Aoi Yoru and Shiroi Yoru. The following year was also slow, until November 19 when the band began the tour for their next album, Dahlia Tour 1995-1996. Around this time, is when the group dropped most of its original visual kei aesthetics in favor of a more casual look.[1]

Dahlia was recorded from July 1993 to July 1996 entirely at One on One Recording Studios (later named Extasy Recording Studios) in North Hollywood, California, which Yoshiki bought in 1992. The cover of the album was taken on the street of Broadway in New York City. The Dahlia Tour continued from 1995 into 1996 with quite a few dates cancelled after the March 13 show, because of Yoshiki's neck injury.[1] They returned to the stage for the tour's final concerts Resurrection Night (復活の夜?) and Reckless Night (無謀な夜?), once again two New Year's concerts at the Tokyo Dome.[1] The latter was recorded and partially released as the Live Live Live Extra album, and later in its entirety as the Dahlia Tour Final 1996 DVD.

Besides a handful of releases, the beginning of 1997 was quiet for the band, with no concerts performed. Until September 22, 1997, when it was officially announced that X Japan would disband as vocalist Toshi decided to leave the group.[1] X Japan performed their farewell concert at the Tokyo Dome on December 31, making it the last of five consecutive New Year's Eve series the group performed at that stadium.[2] It was later released as a live album and on home video. Although later that same day they played "Forever Love" at that year's Kōhaku Uta Gassen, marking their true last performance.[1]

Composition[edit]

Dahlia contains relatively little new material considering most tracks on it had been released as singles. The album is composed largely of ballads, with only a few tracks (i.e. "Scars", "Dahlia, and to some extent "Rusty Nail") retaining the band's heavier musical traits seen on previous releases. The track "Dahlia" is one of Yoshiki's last compositions in his signature blend of speed and symphonic metal. The ballad "Tears" was written and composed by Yoshiki about the death of his father, though credited as co-authored by one of his aliases Hitomi Shiratori.[3] While, the two songs written by hide, "Scars" and "Drain", are distinctively industrial rock. The instrumental "Wriggle" is Heath's only contribution to the band's catalogue, which he wrote with Pata.

Release[edit]

The album was released on November 4, 1996, by Atlantic Records. In the third counting week of November it reached number one on the Oricon chart, with sales of 429,280 copies[4] and was certified platinum.[5] By the end of the counting year, which ends around the third week of November, it had sold 500,710 copies and was the 50th best-selling album of the year. It charted for 15 weeks, the shortest of all the band's major studio albums.[6] In addition to the standard CD, a limited pressing of picture disc vinyl LPs was also created.

All of the singles, besides "Scars" and "Crucify My Love", the latter being certified Gold (meaning at least two hundred thousand copies sold) by the RIAJ, were certified platinum or double platinum (meaning at least four hundred thousand copies sold). Prior to the album's release, their best-selling single "Tears" was released in 1993. It reached number two in the fourth counting week of November, with sales of 284,350 copies.[7] By the end of the counting year, with sales of 380,150, it was the 77th best-selling single of the year. As it charted for 16 weeks in 1994,[8] with 456,790 copies, it was the 50th best-selling single.

In 1994 their second best-selling single was released, "Rusty Nail". It reached number one in the third and fourth counting weeks of July, with sales of 204,290 and 130,730 copies respectively.[9][10] It charted for 20 weeks.[8] In 1994, with sales of 712,390 copies, it was the 28th best-selling single of the year.

In 1995, two singles with different variations of the same song, "Longing", were released. The first "Longing ~Togireta Melody~", which was included in the album, reached number one in the second counting week of August, with sales of 244,460 copies,[11] and charted for 11 weeks.[8] By the end of the counting year, with 476,170 copies sold, it was the 76th best-selling single. The second "Longing ~Setsubou no Yoru~", reached number five in the fourth counting week of December, with sales of 85,900 copies,[12] and charted for 7 weeks.[8]

In 1996, three singles were released prior to the album, "Dahlia", "Forever Love" and "Crucify My Love". The fourth single "Dahlia" reached number one in the second week of March, with sales of 256,330 copies,[13] and charted for 8 weeks.[8] By the end of the counting year, with 412,810 copies sold it was the 72nd best-selling single.

The fifth single, "Forever Love", has been reissued several times. The original edition reached number one in the fourth counting week of July, with sales of 224,010 copies.[14] As it charted for 15 weeks,[8] with 509,920 copies sold, it was the 47th best-selling single of the year. A different mixed version released in 1997 reached number thirteen, and charted for 11 weeks.[8] While the 1998 release, which was a reissue of the original, and the 2001 one, which contained all previous versions, reached number eighteen and nineteen, and both charted for 4 weeks.[8]

The sixth single, "Crucify My Love", reached number two in the second counting week of September, with sales of 153,570 copies.[15] In the upcoming three weeks it would manage to stay in the top 15,[16][17][18] but with sales of 246,800 copies in four weeks and as it charted for only 9 weeks,[8] it wasn't even in the top 100 yearly singles.

The seventh single, "Scars", was the only one released after the album and is the band's only single to be written by someone other than Yoshiki, as it was written by the band's lead guitarist hide. It reached number fifteen in the first week of December 1996, with sales of 47,010 copies,[19] and charted for 5 weeks.[8] Following hide's death, it was reissued in 1998.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[20]
RockGarage 10/10[21]

Dahlia is generally positively received. Alexey Eremenko of Allmusic said that "despite being a heavy metal act at heart, X Japan was always a deceptively diverse band, and this trait is in full bloom on Dahlia", and it "made sense for the members to go their separate ways" because "the group sounds tighter than ever -- but the music is really wide-ranging." The album begins with two "classic metal ballbreakers", but "Scars", and "Drain", sound like hide's subsequent "experiments with industrial rock than a proper speed metal hit". Besides "plenty full-on piano-and-strings ballads" it also has a "U2-like speedy ditty, some semi-psychedelic experiments (the quite catchy "White Poem I")", and "a ten-minute epic that puts "November Rain" to shame with its turgid bombast". The album is "drenched in the '80s", "embracing all the genuine traits of '80s rock without discrimination, be it melodrama, classic heavy metal shredding, left-field guitar excursions, neo-classical leanings, or more melodrama". Eremenko, who gave the album a three and a half out of five stars rating, praises the album because what "should have been a recipe for disaster turned out to be a testament to the band's songwriting skills and simply a formidable album", and concluded with though "Dahlia is kitschy and sappy", it's proof "that X Japan split because they were bursting with creativity not running out of ideas."

Legacy[edit]

Several songs from the record remain mainstays in X Japan's live sets even after reuniting in 2007, such as "Rusty Nail," "Tears," "Forever Love" and "Drain."

"Rusty Nail" was used as the theme song for the 1994 TV drama Kimi ga Mienai.[22] Swedish metal band Dragonland added a cover of the song to the Japanese edition of their 2004 album Starfall.[23] hide's latter band Zilch reworked "Drain" into "What's Up Mr. Jones?" for their 1998 album 3.2.1..[24]

"Forever Love" was the theme song of 1996 animated feature film of the Clamp manga X.[25] In 2001, "Forever Love" was used as background music in several commercials for the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party.[26] LDP member Junichiro Koizumi, at that time Japan's Prime Minister, is a well-known X Japan fan.[27][28][29] A remix of "White Poem I" was used as the B-side of the "Scars" single, while "Scars" was used as one of the many opening themes to the music television show Count Down TV.

"Tears" was used in the soundtrack for the 2004 South Korean film Windstruck.[30][31] The song was covered by South Korean rock band TRAX in 2004, as a B-side on the Japanese version of their "Scorpio" single, which was produced by Yoshiki.[32] They also covered it in Korean on the Korean version of the aforementioned single. "Crucify My Love" was covered by Spanish gothic metal band Gothic Dolls on their 2008 album The Last Breath.[33]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Dahlia" Yoshiki Yoshiki 7:55
2. "Scars" hide hide 5:08
3. "Longing ~Togireta Melody~" (Longing ~跡切れた Melody~) Yoshiki Yoshiki 7:42
4. "Rusty Nail" Yoshiki Yoshiki 5:27
5. "White Poem I" Yoshiki Yoshiki 3:16
6. "Crucify My Love" Yoshiki Yoshiki 4:30
7. "Tears" Hitomi Shiratori, Yoshiki Yoshiki 10:30
8. "Wriggle"   Heath, Pata 1:24
9. "Drain" hide, Toshi hide 3:22
10. "Forever Love (Acoustic Version)" Yoshiki Yoshiki 7:54

Personnel[edit]

X Japan
Additional musicians
  • Violin, soloist: Gilles Apap
  • Cello, soloist: Ron Leonard
  • Orchestra arrangements: Dick Marx, Shelly Berg
  • Score: Tom Halm
Production
  • Co-producer: X Japan
  • Engineer: Rich Breen, Mike Ging, Rob Jacobs, Motonari Matsumoto, Shinichi Tanaka
  • Assistant engineer: C.J. DeVillar, Paul J. Falcone, Brad Haehnel, Cappy Japngie, Richard Landers, Tal Miller, Carl Nappa, Mike Stock
  • Engineer, mixing: Stan Katayama
  • Mixing: Mike Shipley, Yuji Sugiyama, Eric Westfall
  • Programming: Geoff Grace
  • Mastering: Chris Bellman, Stephen Marcussen
  • Photographer: Hideo Canno[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Jrock Legend: X JAPAN". JRock Revolution. 2007-08-26. Archived from the original on 2015-10-23. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  2. ^ "Interview with Toshi". iyashi-no-concert.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  3. ^ Hartmann, Graham. "X Japan's Yoshiki Plays 'Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?'". Loudwire. Retrieved 2014-09-18. 
  4. ^ "Oricon Weekly Album Chart for the third week of November 1996". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-18. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ "月次認定作品 認定年月:1996年 11月" (in Japanese). RIAJ. Retrieved 2017-05-11. 
  6. ^ "X JAPANのアルバム売り上げランキング". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  7. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the fourth week of November 1993". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "X JAPANのシングル売り上げランキング". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  9. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the third week of July 1994". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-09. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the fourth week of July 1994". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the second week of August 1995". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-13. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the fourth week of December 1995". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the second week of March 1996". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the fourth week of July 1996". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the second week of September 1996". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the third week of September 1996". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-08. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the fourth week of September 1996". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the fifth week of September 1996". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Oricon Weekly Single Chart for the first week of December 1996". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-09-08. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Eremenko, Alexey. "Dahlia - X Japan" (Review). Allmusic. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  21. ^ Danzo, Cristian. "Dahlia - X Japan" (Review). RockGarage. Retrieved 2015-09-02. 
  22. ^ "Rusty Nail" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2017-05-05. 
  23. ^ "Starfall". cdjapan.co.jp. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  24. ^ "Zilch - 3.2.1 ZILCH". Jame World. 2007-01-25. Retrieved 2017-05-05. 
  25. ^ Brian Camp, Julie Davis (2007). Anime Classics Zettai!: 100 Must-See Japanese Animation Masterpieces. Stone Bridge Press. p. 402. ISBN 9781933330228. 
  26. ^ "LDP unveils new TV commercials, poster featuring Koizumi". thefreelibrary.com. 2001-05-16. Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  27. ^ "Yoshiki seeks global rock glory for X Japan". The Washington Post. 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  28. ^ "Koizumi Junichiro". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  29. ^ "Japanese PM's son seeks limelight". Japan-Zone.com. 2001-08-01. Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  30. ^ "WINDSTRUCK - Original Soundtrack". cdjapan.co.jp. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  31. ^ "<내 여자친구를 소개합니다> 일본 도쿄 프리미어 대성황!" (in Korean). 코리아필름. 2004-12-02. Retrieved 2017-05-05. 
  32. ^ "Scorpio". cdjapan.co.jp. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  33. ^ "Gothic Dolls - Rotten Cuteness" (in Spanish). Rtve.es. 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2017-05-05.