Dead End (band)
Dead End circa late 1987, from left to right:
Minato, Joe, Morrie, You.
|Years active||1984–1990, 2009–present|
Crazy Cool Joe
Dead End (stylized as DEAD END) is a Japanese heavy metal/hard rock band formed in Tokyo in 1984. They were one of few Japanese metal bands who had international exposure in the United States during the eighties. Originally disbanded in 1990, Dead End reunited in 2009 after almost two decades.
Although they achieved only limited commercial success in their homeland, Dead End had a significant impact on its rock scene, influencing numerous musicians in, or related to, the developing visual kei scene in the 1990s. Specifically, Morrie who inspired the visual appearance and rough vocal style of many prominent singers.
1984–90: Formation to disbandment
—Morrie, on the band's name.
Dead End was formed in December 1984 by singer Morrie and guitarist Takahiro, both previously in the band Liar, bassist Crazy Cool Joe coming from the band Rajas, and drummer Tano from Terra Rosa. They had their first show in March 1985, at the Osaka Bourbon House in front of almost 500 people.
In 1986, they went on a nationwide tour called Dademonium Break Tour '86 Vol.1, after which guitarist Takahiro left and was replaced by You from Terra Rosa. In June they released their first records, the singles "Replica" and "Worst Song" on the independent label Night Gallery. Followed by their debut album Dead Line on June 30, which sold 20,000 copies, a rare achievement for a "house" band not yet signed to a major label. To commemorate the release of the album, the band played the Osaka Bourbon House again, and this time had a crowd of 800 people.
In 1987, drummer Tano left the band due to poor health, just before Dead End signed to major label Victor Entertainment. He was replaced by Masafumi Minato from Saber Tiger after an audition held in May, completing the "classic" line-up that remained until their disbandment. On September 8 the band released their most successful album Ghost of Romance, which reached No.14 on the Oricon chart. At the end of the year Dead End signed with the American label Metal Blade Records for releases of Ghost of Romance and their next album. Ghost of Romance was released in December, and although it didn't enter the charts, it received a very good review in Kerrang! magazine.
On May 21, 1988 Dead End released their third album Shambara, followed by their first major single "Blue Vices" in December. That same month Psychoscape, a live video recording from their concert on September 24 at Shibuya Public Hall, was released. Shambara was released in the United States on September 1, and like the previous album it did not chart but received good reviews. Though music videos of "Danse Macabre" and "Blue Vices" were airing on MTV's Headbangers Ball television program, and their songs had decent airplay on rock radio stations, Morrie notes that "it just happened" and he "was not conscious of the US at that time."
The year 1989 started off with the band signing to major label BMG Japan, and they soon went to London, England to write songs and record video material until May. At this time their style changed, with the music being softer than their previous releases. On July 9 they held a concert in Shinjuku called Standing Convention Gig, where many new songs were played, that same month their second major single "So Sweet So Lonely" was released . On September 21 they released their fourth album Zero, in October they went on a live club tour and in mid-November a concert hall tour. It was this year when they started getting major exposure and promotion on TV. At the year's end they released their second live video Hyperd., which was recorded at their concert at Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall.
However, after a concert at the Nakano Sun Plaza on January 21, 1990, Minato left Dead End and the members decided to disband. On April 21 the single "Good Morning Satellite" was released, and on July 21 a self-titled live album recorded at their last concert was released.
2009–present: Reunion and current activities
On July 3, 2009, after almost 20 years, Dead End announced they would reunite on August 15 at Jack in the Box 2009 Summer at Makuhari Messe. On October 1, a new album titled Metamorphosis was announced for release on November 11 by Danger Crue Records. Also released was a remastered release of Dead Line (also available in a limited edition including a DVD from a concert in January 1987 at Osaka Manichi Hall), SHM-CD releases of Ghost of Romance and Shambara, and reissues of Zero and Dead End on Blu-spec CDs in December, all with bonus tracks. They went on to perform sold out concerts on November 17 at Osaka Big Cat and November 20 at Shibuya-AX, which Minato chose not to participate in. He later ceased to take part in the reunion altogether, with Shinya Yamada (Luna Sea) being support drummer before Kei Yamazaki (Venomstrip) took over the role.
On March 20, 2010, Dead End performed on the second day of the Rock May Kan venue's 30 anniversary concert Legend of Rock May Kan at JCB Hall, along with D'erlanger and 44 Magnum. Two days later, they performed at the concert Third Devour at Namba Hatch in Osaka, the third in a concert series called Four Wizards Night-Crawling, joined by Gastunk, Pay Money to My Pain and Cocobat. In August, they performed at Rock in Japan Festival 2010 in Hitachi Seaside Park and Jack in the Box Summer 2010.
In 2011, from January 22 to February 8 Dead End supported Acid Black Cherry on a Zepp tour. On August 8 they hosted a charity concert titled Fourth Devour at Shibuya O-East, where themselves, Pay Money to My Pain and Lynch. performed. All proceeds were donated to the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. In October they held a three-date tour called Death Ace 2011, with the final concert at Shibuya O-West on October 13 being broadcast live worldwide via Ustream. On October 23, they performed at the V-Rock Festival '11 held at Saitama Super Arena. On November 9, Dead End released their first single in over twenty years, "Conception", the first in a three-month series of consecutive releases. The second "Final Feast" was released on December 14, with the third "Yume Oni Uta" out on January 11, 2012. On the day of the third single's release, Dead End announced that their sixth studio album Dream Demon Analyzer would be released in March, and that the band will go on a nationwide tour, which ended on May 2 at Akasaka Blitz. On September 16, the band held a concert titled Kaosmoscape at Shibuya Public Hall to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their major label debut. A live video recording of the concert was released on December 12, 2012.
A tribute album to the band, titled Dead End Tribute - Song of Lunatics -, was released on September 4, 2013. It features many well-known artists, including Kiyoharu and Hitoki of Kuroyume, Hyde and Tetsuya of L'Arc~en~Ciel, Sugizo, Ryuichi and Shinya of Luna Sea, Yasu with Janne Da Arc members, Baki of Gastunk, Marty Friedman, members from Dir en Grey, La'cryma Christi, Versailles, Boris and many more. The album charted well, reaching No. 10 on Billboard Japan and No. 11 on Oricon. In 2014, Dead End performed abroad for the first time at Japan Music Fest on July 6 at the Olympia in Paris, France. The following year, they performed at the first night of Luna Sea's Lunatic Fest on June 28, 2015 and went on their own Witch Hunt Tour 2015.
A hard rock song from the album
Ghost of Romance.
A pop rock song from the album Zero.
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Dead End, both in local and in Western media, was seen as a non-typical metal band whose music is hard to categorize. Allmusic author Eduardo Rivadavia, wrote that they're a "prototypical Japanese melodic heavy metal band", while in the '80s Kerrang! magazine review on Shambara, their music was described as similar to those of the English bands The Mission and The Cult, whose music takes cues from hard rock, gothic rock, and post-punk. In the same review, Morrie's vocal style was described as an intermediate between Graham Bonnet and Wayne Hussey. Also in the year before their disbandment Dead End's style changed, with the music being softer and poppier in sound than their previous releases. Although opposite of the media, Morrie doesn't think of Dead End as a metal band. On the question "If there was one single song that best showcases the soul of Dead End" You said he's fond of some songs, but doesn't think there is a song that showcases Dead End, while for Morrie it is "Song of a Lunatic", that "is a look into the abyss, the back of my head".
The majority of the band's catalog of music is written by You, followed by Morrie, and then Takahiro, who wrote seven of eight songs on the first album. Morrie is responsible for all the lyrics, which are mostly in Japanese with some English lines, and contributed three songs on the second, and four (two with the band's producer Hajime Okano) on the fourth album. Joe composed one song in each of the first three albums, and they all showcase the bass. The band usually does not discuss their ideas on sound and style, yet Morrie says, "we individually do what we want to do based on the songs that You creates, even if it destroys the original concept of the song". In regard to band's music and lyrics, Morrie described them as explosive and outward with an incentive kind of a death drive.
Morrie's way of singing in the early years of Dead End was influenced by Ronnie James Dio, from whom he "learned how to crush the treble pitches", and by Baki of Gastunk, "who influenced him to establish his own style", leading to a combination of clean and distorted vocals. However, he claims his present way of singing and vocal approach are quite different now.
Dead End had a significant impact on the Japanese rock scene, influencing numerous musicians in, or related to, the developing visual kei scene in the 1990s, including; Sugizo and Shinya from Luna Sea, Tetsuya and Sakura from L'Arc-en-Ciel, the latter being a roadie for them in 1989, Hiro from La'cryma Christi, Yuana from Kagerou, and Hitoki from Kuroyume. Morrie also inspired the visual appearances and rough vocal styles of Ryuichi from Luna Sea, Hyde from L'Arc-en-Ciel, Yasu from Janne da Arc and Acid Black Cherry, Kiyoharu from Kuroyume, and Aki from Laputa.
- Motoyuki "Morrie" Ōtsuka (大塚基之) – vocals 1984–1990, 2009–present (ex:The Wild, Liar, Creature Creature)
- Tadashi "Crazy Cool Joe" Matsumoto (増本正志) – bass, backing vocals 1984–1990, 2009–present (ex:Rajas)
- Yuji "You" Adachi (足立祐二) – guitar 1986–1990, 2009–present (ex:Jesus, Terra Rosa, Goatcore)
- Former members
- Takahiro Kagawa (香川孝博) – guitar 1984–1986 (ex:Liar, The Willard)
- Masaaki Tano (田野勝啓) – drums 1984–1987 (ex:Terra Rosa)
- Masafumi Minato (湊雅史) – drums 1987–1990, 2009 (ex:Saber Tiger)
- Live support members
- Shinya Yamada (山田真矢) – drums (Luna Sea)
- Kei Yamazaki (山崎慶) – drums (Venomstrip)
- Takeo Shimoda (下田武男) – drums (Nuovo Immigrato)
- "Replica" (June 19, 1986, distributed for free at Osaka Bourbon House gig) Night Gallery
- "Worst Song" (June 1986)
- "Replica/Worst Song" (1986)
- "Blue Vices" c/w "Wire Dancer" (December 16, 1988) Victor Invitation
- "So Sweet So Lonely" c/w "I'm in a Coma" (July 21, 1989) BMG Victor
- "Good Morning Satellite" c/w "Genshi no Kakera" (April 21, 1990) Oricon ranking: No. 75 BMG Victor
- "Conception" (November 9, 2011) Oricon: 37# Billboard Japan Hot Singles Sales 32# Motorod
- "Final Feast" (December 14, 2011) Oricon: 39# Billboard Japan Hot Singles Sales 34# Motorod
- "Yume Oni Uta" (January 11, 2012) Oricon: 36# Billboard Japan Hot Singles Sales 32# Motorod
- Studio albums
- Dead Line (June 30, 1986) Night Gallery
- Ghost of Romance (September 8, 1987) No. 14 Victor Invitation
- Remastered release (November 11, 2009) No. 77
- Shámbara (May 21, 1988) No. 29 Victor Invitation
- Remastered release (November 11, 2009) No. 79
- Zero (September 21, 1989) No. 21 BMG Victor
- Metamorphosis (November 11, 2009) No. 14 Danger Crue
- Dream Demon Analyzer (March 7, 2012) No. 23 Billboard Japan Top Albums 17# Motorod
- Live albums
- Dead End (July 21, 1990) No. 54 BMG Victor
- Remastered release (December 23, 2009) No. 253
- Dead End ~Live Act I~ (May 24, 1995) BMG Victor
- Dead End ~Live Act II~ (May 24, 1995) BMG Victor
- Compilation albums
- All in One (June 21, 1997) BMG Victor
- Infinity ∞ (January 26, 2005) No. 198 BMG Victor
- Tribute album
- Dead End Tribute - Song of Lunatics - (September 4, 2013) No. 11 Billboard Japan Top Albums 10# Motorod
- Psychoscape (1988 VHS; September 22, 2004 DVD) No. 270 Victor Invitation
- Hyperd. (1989 VHS; May 23, 2001 DVD) BMG Victor
- Dead End 25th Anniversary Live Kaosmoscape at Shibuya Public Hall 2012.09.16 (December 12, 2012 DVD and Blu-ray) No. 54 Motorod
- Various artists compilations
- Shoot the Guitarist (May 2, 1990)
- 02. "Good Morning Satellite", 11. "Genshi no Karera"
- Ariola Meeting 1995 - Meet the Singles (April 21, 1995) BMG Japan
- 02. "Good Morning Satellite"
- Ariola Meeting 1995 - Meet the Ballads (May 24, 1995) BMG Japan
- 07. "Serafine"
- Ariola Meeting 1995 - Meet the Favorites (June 21, 1995) BMG Japan
- 12. "Promised Land"
- Legends of Japanese Heavy Metal 80s (September 26, 2003) Victor Entertainment
- On CD: 09. "Skeleton Circus", On DVD: 06. "Phantom Nation"
- Legends of Japanese Heavy Metal 80s Vol.2 - Brilliant Guitar Plays (February 25, 2004) Victor Entertainment
- 08. "Blind Boy Project"
- Rock Nippon - Rolly Selection (January 24, 2007) Sony
- 13. "I Can Hear the Rain"
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- "短期集中連載：増田勇一のDEAD END回想録（2）『GHOST OF ROMANCE』". barks.jp (in Japanese). 2009-08-07. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- Watts, Chris (10 December 1988). ""Shambara" review". Kerrang! no. 217.
- "短期集中連載：増田勇一のDEAD END回想録（4）『ZERO』". barks.jp (in Japanese). 2009-08-13. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "DEAD END Revival". jame-world.com. Japanese Music Entertainment. 2009-07-30. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
- "伝説のロックバンド・DEAD END、20年ぶりに復活" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2009-07-03. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "New Dead End Album: METAMORPHOSIS". J-Pop World. 2009-10-21. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- Andrew (2009-11-10). "Dead End Interview". J-Pop World. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
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- 【ライブ・レポート】鹿鳴館30周年記念ライブ. port.rittor-music.co.jp (in Japanese). Rittor Music, Inc. 2010-04-13. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "DEAD ENDとGASTUNKが歴史的激突、さらにP.T.P、COCOBATが伝説を迎え撃つ". barks.jp (in Japanese). 2010-02-22. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "DEAD END ROCK IN JAPAN FESTIVAL 2010クイックレポート". ro69.jp (in Japanese). Rockin'on. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- LuCioLe, Yurikoh (2010-08-17). "JACK IN THE BOX 2010 Live Stream". jame-world.com. Japanese Music Entertainment. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
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- "DEAD END、東日本大震災チャリティーイベント開催". pakila.jp (in Japanese). 2011-09-01. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
- "DEAD END、10月に東名阪ツアー「DEATH ACE」実施". natalie.mu (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. 2011-08-12. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
- "DEAD END、2年ぶり単独ライブで新曲立て続けに披露". natalie.mu (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. 2011-10-16. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
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- "DEAD END＆きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ「V-ROCK FES」初登場". natalie.mu (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. 2011-10-12. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- "DEAD END、2年ぶり新作音源は3カ月連続シングル". natalie.mu (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. 2011-09-09. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "DEAD END、3カ月連続シングルラストは「夢鬼歌」". natalie.mu (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. 2011-11-13. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
- "DEAD ENDシングル3部作に続きニューアルバムリリース". natalie.mu (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. 2012-01-10. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
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- "DEAD END tribute album, KIYOHARU, HITOKI, Hyde, and tetsuya take part". barks.jp. 2013-08-14.
- "Second Set of Artists to Participate in DEAD END Tribute Album Announced". barks.jp. 2013-08-15.
- "Third Wave of Artists for DEAD END Tribute Album Announced". barks.jp. 2013-08-18.
- "Fourth Wave of Artists to Participate on DEAD END Tribute Album Announced". barks.jp. 2013-08-23.
- "Billboard Japan Top Album". billboard-japan.com. 2013-09-16. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- "Japan Music Fest - Sadie, SuG et DEAD END à l'Olympia". jame-world.com (in French). Japanese Music Entertainment. 2014-07-14. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
- "LUNA SEA "LUNATIC FEST." LUNACY was announced as the opening act for both days". barks.jp. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
- Eduardo Rivadavia. "Dead End biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
Dead End was a prototypical Japanese melodic heavy metal band from the 1980s,...
- "Morrie: Guitars and the meaning of life". Metropolis. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
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- 『Laputa―from the cradle to the grave 1999 (Fool’s Mate extrax)』、 FOOL’S MATE、1999、ISBN 4938716186
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