X-Japan In-depth Biography
The music of X-Japan} is an eclectic mixture. The band's repertoire ranged from soft and tearful ballads} like "Crucify My Love"} and "Endless Rain"} to more shocking and hard-driving speed metal} numbers such as "Rusty Nail"} and the 12-minute "Rose of Pain."} Formed in Japan in 1982 as simply X}, the group lengthened its name within several years, partly to reflect a change of style that was beginning to become more internationally oriented, as well as a change from its original lineup.
X} was formed by vocalist Toshi}, aka Toshimitsu Dayama}, and pianist and drummer Yoshiki}, aka Yoshiki Hayashi}. Though not even teenagers at the time, they managed to draw some attention to their heavy metal} music. Before long they had added three additional members. The newcomers were lead guitarist hide}, aka Hideto Matsumoto}, guitarist Pata}, aka Tomoaki Ishizuka}, and bassist Taiji}, aka Taiji Sawada}. Early in 1985, the band independently issued "I'll Kill You,"} its debut single. Yoshiki}, with a bankroll from his mother, established Extasy Records} in 1986 with the sole intent of issuing only the band's recordings, and soon they put out "Orgasm."} Heath}, aka Hiroshi Morie}, stepped in and took over on bass for Taiji} in 1992. The band received little recognition outside of their local area before signing with Sony} in 1989 and releasing Blue Blood}, which launched the single "Endless Rain."}
The early years were difficult ones for the band. All of the members experienced some type of illness during 1987. In addition, some infighting erupted as well. Yoshiki} and Taiji} got into a physical altercation. The fight concluded with a broken arm for Taiji}, prompting him to drop out of the group. Toshi} decided to branch out as a solo artist in 1992 with Made in Heaven}, while simultaneously remaining with X-Japan}. The group embarked on its Dahlia Tour} in 1995 and continued touring through the following year. In 1996, CLAMP}, a Japanese comic book publisher, used X-Japan}'s "Forever Love"} as the theme for the movie version of its comic book titled X}. That same year, hide} released his solo effort Psyence}, which produced the single "LEMONed."} In 1996, X-Japan} played the Tokyo Dome}, the final stop of the band's Dahlia Tour}. X-Japan} decided to pull the plug the following year, but still continued to issue revamped material in album format. Two months after the decision to disband was made, the album Live Live Live} was released. Hide} passed away on May 2, 1998. Authorities attributed his death to suicide. ~ Linda Seida, All Music Guide