Vanishing Vision

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Vanishing Vision
X Japan - Vanishing Vision.jpg
Studio album by X
Released April 14, 1988
Recorded 1987–1988 at Echo House, Magnet Studio[1]
Genre Heavy metal, speed metal, power metal
Length 42:03
Language English, Japanese
Label Extasy
Producer X
X chronology
Vanishing Vision
Blue Blood

Vanishing Vision is the debut studio album by the Japanese heavy metal band X Japan, then named X. It was released on April 14, 1988 by Extasy Records, topped the Oricon indies chart and reached number 19 on the main one.


Vanishing Vision was released on vinyl record on April 14, 1988 on Yoshiki's own label Extasy Records. Despite being an independent record label, it sold more than ten thousand copies, causing it to top Oricon's indie music chart.[2] But it also reached number 19 on the main chart, being considered by some as the first time an indie band has achieved this.[2][3] A limited pressing of five thousand picture discs was also made, that included a separate flexi disc of "Stab Me in the Back". This version of the song was originally included on the February 1987 Victor Records sampler Skull Thrash Zone Volume I, was recorded with Pata as a support guitar player,[4] and is different from the one that would later appear on their third album Jealousy in 1991.

The band toured extensively in support of the record, their Vanishing Tour Vol.2 took them to 20 locations for 24 shows from June to July, while the Burn Out Tour had 12 performances throughout October.[2] The September 4 show at Kyoto Sports Valley,[2] is a popular bootleg recording of the tour, however, only audio of "Stab Me in the Back" from it was officially released, being included on the 1999 Perfect Best compilation.

Vanishing Vision was re-released on CD on October 15, 1989.[1] This was after the release of the band's second album Blue Blood on the major label CBS/Sony. In 1990, with 158,220 copies sold Vanishing Vision was the 78th best-selling album of the year, and stayed on the charts for 47 weeks. By 1997, it had sold over 800,000 copies.[3] A digitally remastered CD version was released on September 13, 2000 by Warner Music Japan.

Composition and analysis[edit]

The album's title, Vanishing Vision, was chosen to mean the band was shedding the shameless image they had acquired for a fresh start. Its cover art drawn by Shiro Nishiguchi was inspired by the track "Sadistic Desire", with input from each band member.[5]

Yoshiki said that "Vanishing Love," which has roughly half Japanese and half English lyrics, represents human weakness. The other members pointed out that despite being a fast song, the twin guitars and melody are more important. "Phantom of Guilt" has a 16-beat rhythm with lyrics, according to Toshi, about conflict within the human spirit.[5] "Sadistic Desire" is a song from hide's previous band Saver Tiger, originally called "Sadistic Emotion."[6] Yoshiki rewrote the lyrics about violent sex, inspired by the 1986 film Blue Velvet. Unusually, Taiji played the bass with his fingers for the track and it contains something of a bass solo.[5] An alternate version of the song would later appear on X's 1991 single "Silent Jealousy".

Taiji wrote the 16-beat rhythm, slap bass song "Give Me the Pleasure" after watching a news report on a murder. The piece is unusual for X in that it uses minor seventh chords and has an ethnic drum beat that also used instruments such as the timbales and cow bell.[5] "I'll Kill You" is a reworked version of their 1985 debut single. Yoshiki explained that the song is not about killing people as the title would suggest, but is a love song in the vein of a disgruntled married couple.[5] Yoshiki wrote the lyrics to "Alive" to be about human life and life or death in a dream. The intro contains an excerpt of the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.[6] hide stated that the guitar solos in this song contrast with the others on the album because they are more melodic; "a crying guitar."[5]

The lyrics for this version of "Kurenai" are entirely in English, it would later appear mostly in Japanese on Blue Blood and be released as their major debut single, becoming one of their signature songs. While seemingly a love song, Yoshiki stated that "Kurenai" is actually about the struggle of ones heart. hide revealed that it was his favorite X song before he joined the band and was disappointed that they did not perform it when he did, so he had to nag to get them to play it. Both Toshi and Taiji felt that it has a very Japanese feel to it, with Taiji stressing that each member helped arrange it.[5] Just as its title suggests, "Un-finished..." is a short incomplete ballad that suddenly cuts off.[6] Yoshiki came up with the song after the album was completed feeling it needed an ending theme.[5] It would also later be reworked and "finished" for the band's second album.

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Dear Loser"     Taiji 2:27
2. "Vanishing Love"   Yoshiki Yoshiki 6:01
3. "Phantom of Guilt"   Toshi Taiji 5:18
4. "Sadistic Desire"   Yoshiki hide 6:09
Side B
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Give Me the Pleasure"   Yoshiki Taiji, hide 2:57
2. "I'll Kill You"   Yoshiki Yoshiki 3:29
3. "Alive"   Yoshiki Yoshiki 8:24
4. "Kurenai"   Yoshiki Yoshiki 5:46
5. "Un-finished..."   Yoshiki Yoshiki 1:32


  • Kinya Maekawa – director
  • Seiji Komura – director
  • Masanori Chinzei – recording engineer, mixing engineer
  • Hikaru Sawamura – mixing engineer
  • Akinori Yoshino – assistant engineer
  • Norio Kaziki – photography
  • Shiro Nisiguchi – sleeve design[1]
  • NOBU – art direction & design (on CD only)
  • Mitsukazu "Quincy" Tanaka – digital mastering engineer (on CD only)


  1. ^ a b c "X - Vanishing Vision". Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Indies eXplosion: The Early History of X JAPAN". JRock Revolution. 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  3. ^ a b Yang, Jeff; Can, Dina; Hong, Terry (1997). Eastern Standard Time. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 264. ISBN 0-395-76341-X. 
  4. ^ "SKULL TRASH ZONE I". Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Kawamoto, Hirotake (June 1988). "Track by track analysis of Vanishing Vision by X". Rockin'f. 
  6. ^ a b c "X JAPAN - Vanishing Vision". 2006-09-19. Retrieved 2013-02-03.