Tag Archives: Minoru Niihara

LOUDNESS – LET IT GO – METAL REWIND

loudness 2

Happy Friday Metalheads! Today we take a trip back to 1986 to the sixth album by the Japanese band Loudness called “Lightning Strikes” for the track “Let It Go.”

“Let It Go” is the opening track on “Lightning Strikes” and the video for the song received substantial airplay on MTV and Headbanger’s Ball. The album produced by Max Norman, who has also produced albums for Ozzy Osbourne and Megadeth peaked at #64 on the Billboard 200 chart and stayed on the chart for 15 weeks. Norman also wrote some of the lyrics for the album but was not credited.

The album is known as “Shadows of War” in Japan and has a different track order as well as a difference in some of the vocals and melodies on the album.

Although the band has has it’s ups and downs over the years and some lineup changes, they released their 27th studio album “Rise to Glory” in 2018 and toured in support of the album.

 

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO FOR LET IT GO

LOUDNESS – CRAZY NIGHTS – METAL REWIND

Today we take a trip back to 1985 to the song “Crazy Nights” off the fifth album by Loudness called Thunder In the East. They are the first Japanese band to have an album on the Billboard 200 chart and have it remain on the chart for 23 consecutive weeks.

loudness

L to R:  Masayoshi Yamashita, Akira Takasaki, Minoru Niihara  & Munetaka Higuchi

Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia and Discogs

Loudness who hail from Osaka, Japan formed in 1980 after guitarist Akira Takasaki, former bassist bassist Hiroyuki Tanaka and drummer Munetaka Higuchi left their previous band due to creative differences. However soon after Tanaka decided not to be part of the new group so Takasaki recruited his childhood friend, Masayoshi Yamashita on bass to replace him. Singer Minoru Niihara was hired and Loudness was born. Their first four albums were sung in Japanese, however for this album all the songs were sung in English. Their contract with their label, Atco Records made them the first Japanese metal band in history to sign an international record deal.

Crazy Nights is catchy tune that showcases some great guitar and vocal work especially for a singer who only spoke Japanese at the time. For years people would ask the band: “What do the letters M-Z-A mean?” In an interview, Minoru Niihara said that it actually means nothing. While doing pre-production on the Thunder In The East album, the producer asked Niihara to sing something for an unfinished part of the song and out came M-Z-A which ended up in the final track after the band could not find a line to replace it! Niihara has also said that in past interviews he would tell people it means My Zebra’s Ass.

Loudness have had a long career and have released over 30 albums, various singles and videos. The band has undergone several lineup changes and sadly original drummer Munetaka Higuchi passed away from cancer in 2009 at age 49.

For more on Loudness, visit their website here or visit their official Facebook page

Are you ready to get crazy tonight?

LOUDNESS – LET IT GO – METAL REWIND

loudness 2

Happy Friday Metalheads! Today we take a trip back to 1986 to the sixth album by the Japanese band Loudness called “Lightning Strikes” for the track “Let It Go.”

“Let It Go” is the opening track on “Lightning Strikes” and the video for the song received substantial airplay on MTV and Headbanger’s Ball. The album produced by Max Norman, who has also produced albums for Ozzy Osbourne and Megadeth peaked at #64 on the Billboard 200 chart and stayed on the chart for 15 weeks. Norman also wrote some of the lyrics for the album but was not credited.

The album is known as “Shadows of War” in Japan and has a different track order as well as a difference in some of the vocals and melodies on the album.

Although the band has has it’s ups and downs over the years and some lineup changes, they released their 27th studio album “Rise to Glory” in 2018 and toured in support of the album.

 

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO FOR LET IT GO

LOUDNESS – CRAZY NIGHTS – METAL REWIND

Today we take a trip back to 1985 to the song “Crazy Nights” off the fifth album by Loudness called Thunder In the East. They are the first Japanese band to have an album on the Billboard 200 chart and have it remain on the chart for 23 consecutive weeks.

loudness

L to R:  Masayoshi Yamashita, Akira Takasaki, Minoru Niihara  & Munetaka Higuchi

Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia and Discogs

Loudness who hail from Osaka, Japan formed in 1980 after guitarist Akira Takasaki, former bassist bassist Hiroyuki Tanaka and drummer Munetaka Higuchi left their previous band due to creative differences. However soon after Tanaka decided not to be part of the new group so Takasaki recruited his childhood friend, Masayoshi Yamashita on bass to replace him. Singer Minoru Niihara was hired and Loudness was born. Their first four albums were sung in Japanese, however for this album all the songs were sung in English. Their contract with their label, Atco Records made them the first Japanese metal band in history to sign an international record deal.

Crazy Nights is catchy tune that showcases some great guitar and vocal work especially for a singer who only spoke Japanese at the time. For years people would ask the band: “What do the letters M-Z-A mean?” In an interview, Minoru Niihara said that it actually means nothing. While doing pre-production on the Thunder In The East album, the producer asked Niihara to sing something for an unfinished part of the song and out came M-Z-A which ended up in the final track after the band could not find a line to replace it! Niihara has also said that in past interviews he would tell people it means My Zebra’s Ass.

Loudness have had a long career and have released over 30 albums, various singles and videos. The band has undergone several lineup changes and sadly original drummer Munetaka Higuchi passed away from cancer in 2009 at age 49.

For more on Loudness, visit their website here or visit their official Facebook page

Are you ready to get crazy tonight?