Ja, Zoo

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Ja, Zoo
Ja Zoo.jpeg
Studio album by hide with Spread Beaver
Released November 21, 1998
Genre
Label Universal Victor
hide with Spread Beaver chronology
Psyence
(1996)
Ja, Zoo
(1998)
Singles from Ja, Zoo
  1. "Rocket Dive"
    Released: January 28, 1998
  2. "Pink Spider"
    Released: May 13, 1998
  3. "Ever Free"
    Released: May 27, 1998
  4. "Hurry Go Round"
    Released: October 21, 1998

Ja, Zoo is the third album by Japanese musician hide, released on November 21, 1998. It is also his last studio album as he died on May 2 while recording it, and the only one released under the name hide with Spread Beaver.

It is his best-selling album, reaching number 2 on the Oricon chart and having sold over 1.4 million copies. It was also named "Rock Album of the Year" at the 13th Japan Gold Disc Awards, while its single "Pink Spider" was named "Song of the Year".

Overview[edit]

It is the only full-length record to be released under the hide with Spread Beaver name; hide had retitled his solo project to formally include his live band. It was completed without him, due to his death on May 2, 1998.

Although all songs are credited to hide, his ultimate level of involvement in the finished product is not entirely clear. In June 1998, Zilch bassist Paul Raven said in an interview: "He was under a lot of pressure to finish his solo record. He had three songs completed the day before he died, and now mysteriously a full album is coming out nine days before ours."[1] However, hide's brother and manager Hiroshi wrote in his 2010 book Brothers: Recollections of hide that at the time of his death hide had six out of ten songs finished for Ja, Zoo.[2] This is supported by the fact that I.N.A is credited with additional arrangement on four songs. The album's release was eventually postponed until November 21, 1998, with Zilch's debut album 3.2.1. released on July 23, 1998 and including the song "Inside the Pervert Mound" which is an English version of "Leather Face".

Eric Westfall, one of the album's recording and mixing engineers, revealed that a week or so after hide's death, he and I.N.A had an emotionally difficult time finishing the album as televisions they had on in the studio were still showing footage of and talking about the dead musician. He said that I.N.A had a particularly difficult task with the vocals for "Hurry Go Round", which were not fully recorded and have a "heavy" or somber lyrical theme to them. Westfall went on to state that hide's work is the best material he has ever worked on.[3]

A song called "Co Gal" was originally demoed for Ja, Zoo but was not completed following hide's death. Sixteen years later, the song was finished and commercially released after Yamaha utilized their Vocaloid technology to mimic the deceased musician's voice.[4]

Reception[edit]

Upon its release, Ja, Zoo reached number 2 on the Oricon album chart. When it was re-released on the Japan only format SHM-CD on December 3, 2008, it only reached number 248.[5]

By the end of 1998, Ja, Zoo sold 686,290 copies, becoming the 40th best-selling album of the year.[6] It sold an additional 722,080 by the end of 1999, making it the 34th best-selling album of that year.[7] With total sells over 1,408,270 copies, it was certified million by the RIAJ.[8] Together with the sales of both singles and albums in 1998 hide sold over 3,820,720 copies, and if merged with 1999, over 4,542,800 in total.

Ja, Zoo was one of the albums named "Rock Album of the Year" at the 13th Japan Gold Disc Awards and the single "Pink Spider" named "Song of the Year".[9][10]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by hide.

No. Title Length
1. "Spread Beaver" 3:24
2. "Rocket Dive" 3:41
3. "Leather Face" 4:05
4. "Pink Spider" 3:42
5. "Doubt '97 (Mixed LEMONed Jelly Mix)" 3:53
6. "Fish Scratch Fever" 3:46
7. "Ever Free" 3:39
8. "Breeding" 5:02
9. "Hurry Go Round" 5:04
10. "Pink Cloud Assembly" 2:21

Personnel[edit]

  • hidevocals, guitar (except track 9), surf guitar on track 1, bass on tracks 1, 2, 4, 6–8, 10
  • Chirolyn – bass on tracks 3, 9, chorus on track 6
  • Joe – drums on tracks 2, 4, 6–10, drum loops on track 1, chorus on track 6
  • Kiyoshi – lead guitar on track 1, electric guitar on track 9
  • KAZ – backing guitar on tracks 1, 6, chorus on track 6
  • Pata – backing guitar on track 6, acoustic guitar on track 9
  • D.I.E. – B-3 on track 1, piano on track 10, chorus on track 6
  • I.N.A – additional arrangement on tracks 1, 6, 9, 10, chorus on track 6, recording engineer
  • Eiki "Yana" Yanagita – drums on track 4
  • Eric Westfall – piano on track 8
  • Hide Fujiko – female voice on track 4
  • Tetsu & friends – chorus on track 6
  • Marron B – tambourine on track 7
  • Gotchin – acoustic guitar on track 9
  • Neko Saito Group – strings on track 9
  • Hiroshi Matsumoto – reading on track 10
Personnel per the album's liner notes.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strauss, Neil (1998-06-18). "The Pop Life: End of a Life, End of an Era". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  2. ^ Matsumoto, Hiroshi (2010). Brothers: Recollections of hide (兄弟 追憶のhide?). Kodansha. ISBN 4-0627-6640-X. 
  3. ^ Niwa, Eric Westfall (2014). X Japan Podcast: Episode 2, Part 1 - Eric Westfall/hide (Podcast). SoundCloud. Event occurs at 51:00. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  4. ^ "X Japan's hide Releases 'Last Song' With Vocaloid, 16 Years After Passing Away". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  5. ^ "hideのアルバム売り上げランキング" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  6. ^ "What's This Year - Music 1998" (in Japanese). interq.or.jp. Retrieved 2004-07-16. 
  7. ^ "What's This Year - Music 1999" (in Japanese). interq.or.jp. Retrieved 2004-07-16. 
  8. ^ "RIAJ CERTIFIED MILLION SELLER ALBUMS". ocn.ne.jp. Retrieved 2012-08-23. 
  9. ^ "The Japan Gold Disc Award 1999". golddisc.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  10. ^ "THE 13th JAPAN GOLD DISC AWARD 1999". riaj.or.jp. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  11. ^ Ja, Zoo liner notes, 1998-11-21. Retrieved 2013-05-06