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Biography : X Japan

X JAPAN's history began in 1978, originally known as Dynamite and led by junior high students Toshimitsu "ToshI" Deyama and Yoshiki Hayashi, now more commonly known as YOSHIKI. Both the band's name and its supporting members remained in flux for several years; in the meanwhile, early songs such as I'll Kill You and the sampler track Break the Darkness saw commercial release and helped boost their popularity.

The mid-80's continued to sharpen the band's sound and presence, starting with YOSHIKI's founding of Extasy Records and the release of their second single, Orgasm. Support guitarist Tomoaki "PATA" Ishizuka would soon permanently join the group, along with lead guitarist Hideto "hide" Matsumoto and bassist Taiji Sawada, or TAIJI, joining soon afterwards. With vocalist ToshI and drummer/pianist YOSHIKI, the band had both its first consistent lineup and a "final" name: X.

An audition held by CBS Sony led to a contract in August of 1988, though X's first album, Vanishing Vision, was released under Extasy months prior. The album would lead to an extensive tour, unabated by time spent recording a cameo for the cult film Tokyo Pop.

Their second album, Blue Blood, was released in April of 1989 and took Japan by storm, with singles Kurenai and Endless Rain still being belted out at karaoke bars throughout Japan today. Through Blue Blood came their first home video, a VHS recording of a concert, a third album titled Jealousy and what would be their first of many sold-out Tokyo Dome shows.

Despite the years of continued success, albums and tours, even X couldn't stay intact for long. The early 90's marked a series of changes for the band, which had by 1993 been renamed X JAPAN perhaps to differentiate themselves from US or Australian bands of the same name. Bassist TAIJI would leave the band, eventually working with Loudness and Cloud Nine. In his place came Hiroshi "HEATH" Morie.

X JAPAN left Sony in 1993 and signed with Atlantic Records, releasing the 29-minute track Art of Life in August. Several years of singles and tours passed before their fourth and, presently, final album, DAHLIA, was released in November of 1996. By this point, the band had all but abandoned the old visual kei aesthetic in favor of a more modern look; by one report, some fans even cried at YOSHIKI's dramatic haircut.

Unfortunately, fans would have much more to cry about in the coming years. ToshI, recently married and pursuing a "simpler" solo career, opted to leave the band in 1997, with the band separating outright by the year's end. Not five months later, hide, who by this point had become a solo rock icon in his own right, died suddenly. His passing made international news; allegations of suicide did little to ease fans' hearts, with at least two fans committing suicide shortly thereafter.

Despite the tragedy, X JAPAN's individual band members continued to perform when they could. ToshI's solo career, largely acoustic-based with an emphasis on "healing" music, would last for several years. PATA and HEATH joined programmer I.N.A. and Joya Shimoji for the hard rock band DopeHEADz, which separated two albums later.

YOSHIKI, in the meantime, temporarily joined pop group globe, led by his old friend Tetsuya Komuro. In addition to producing songs for bands like TRAX, he also started work on Violet UK, an amorphous solo project with no album release as of 2010. In 2007, YOSHIKI teamed up with LUNA SEA guitarist Yune "SUGIZO" Sugihara, Gackt and MIYAVI, forming the supergroup S.K.I.N. for at least one performance in California.

After years of time apart, the band members finally took to a reunion in June of 2007, with a single and tour announced for later that year. They officially regrouped in October of 2007, filming the video for I.V. atop Odaiba's Aqua City shopping center. I.V., used as the theme for the movie "Saw IV," used previously unreleased guitar tracks by hide. As X JAPAN could not be without its lives, three Tokyo Dome shows were performed in March of 2008, with Wes Borland, Richard Fortus and SUGIZO filling in for hide. The band would later perform at the hide Memorial Summit along with several popular bands, all of whom paid tribute to the guitarist.

While a world tour was announced for later that year, the shows were delayed for several months due to YOSHIKI's disc herniation. After he recovered, further shows were announced, unfortunately also with delays some time later. The only major live performed in late 2008 would be the New Year's Eve Countdown show at Akasaka BLITZ.

2009 fared much better for X JAPAN, with two Hong Kong shows in January followed by SUGIZO officially joining as the band's sixth member. Their first six-member lives took place at the Tokyo Dome in early May, followed by Taiwan later in the month. In 2010, the band moved to the US in order to heavily push towards a major North American debut, yet continuing to perform lives in Japan.

The history of X JAPAN has yet to reach its end. With new songs such as Jade and Born to be Free hitting the airwaves—not to mention the band's own pachinko machine that came into existence in September of 2010—fans still have quite a bit to look forward to, in particular the upcoming shows in the North American tour that has already begun. Who knows what the future may hold.

Source : http://www.jame-world.com/uk/artists-biography-3-x-japan.html