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Loudness

By the time they were introduced to the West by 1985's Thunder in the East album, Japan's Loudness had arguably already hit their peak. Their previous effort, Disillusion, was the fourth chart-topping release in their homeland, not to mention a critical triumph among members of the European press. But when faced with a contingency plan to conquer America, Loudness were gradually forced to alter their sound by unsuitable producers and clueless record company hacks, never coming close to translating their far-East success into Western stardom.

Guitarist Akira Takasaki and drummer Munetaka Higuchi first played together during the mid-'70s in a mainstream rock band called Lazy. Unhappy with the band's direction, the duo split and decided to follow in the footsteps of Bow Wow (the first ever Japanese heavy metal band), forming Loudness with vocalist Minoru Niihara and bass player Masayoshi Yamashita. Combining a classic metal approach with

Takasaki's Eddie Van Halen-inspired guitar heroics, the band immediately scored local success with their first three albums, which were sung entirely in Japanese. But it wasn't until the release of their first live album, Live-Loud-Alive, and fourth studio effort Disillusion that the group attracted any significant attention outside their homeland, eventually issuing an English version of Disillusion.

Atlantic Records soon came calling and the band's international career began in earnest with 1985's Thunder in the East, which sold quite well in the U.S. for its novelty value, giving the band false hopes about their acceptance by Western metal audiences. Subsequent efforts, Lightning Strikes and Hurricane Eyes, were "made to order" records geared for the American market, and saw the band slowly drifting away from their roots towards a more commercial, pop-metal sound. All to no avail, and after recording 1988's independently-released Jealousy, the classic lineup's glory years came to an end with the firing of Niihara and the arrival of American-born singer Mike Vescera for 1989's Soldier of Fortune. 1991's disappointing On the Prowl saw them resort to re-recording watered down versions of some of their Japan-only material and would be the last to feature Vescera, who briefly joined the temperamental Yngwie J. Malmsteen's band.

Yamada Masaki, from rival Japanese metal band EZO, was brought in for Loudness' 1992 self-titled effort, 1994's Heavy Metal Hippies, and 1997's Ghetto Machine. The latter saw the departure of the band's long-time rhythm section being replaced by bassist Shibata Naoto and drummer Homma Hirotsugu. This lineup recorded two more albums, 1998's Dragon and 1999's Engine, after which it has been rumored that Takasaki welcomed back the original members for an as yet unconfirmed reunion. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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rock intesly dudes
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great band
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Love this talented band ...always have. Long live to shred
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run for your life
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let it go
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crazy nights sounds better live
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mediocre vocals on crazy nights non live
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Mazinkaiser SKL
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let it go
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mfijut0
Killer band back in the day
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Like Hell,,, man I luv these guys haven't heard much from Pandora playing Loudness. Wat a great band back in a day... ROCK ON EVERYONE
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nicko252008
live show is epic.
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@jerryleetho m a s 6 ... it would be 'Rike Herr' ... hahahahahaha BONZAI !!!
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mfijut0
Crazy nights kick a** song man
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F**kin A!!rock on!!
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Where is lightning strikes ?
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" Rike rell "
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MZA!
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Shadows of war just kicks your a** !!!
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Great band live
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Loudness kicks a** seen them open for the crue f**king awesome show.
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Akira attacks the fretboard like Godzilla attacks Tokyo...... with fire!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !
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/KK/
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Raudonesu!
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I prefer the vocals of Minoru Niihara over Mike Vescera anyday.
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Loudness is a great band fucken rocks!
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Together.... f o r e v e r . . . . . . . w e are the rebels....so l d i e r of fortune..... r o c k s . . !
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Loudness is best album by far ...one of the grestest japan bands of the 80s...no doubt.rocks! ! !
.
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Loudness kicks a**, first heard them on KGB 101.5 San Diego on their metal shop show in 1983. Their Japanese stuff rocks and I was hooked on Japanese metal, Bow Wow, EZO, Anthem and Earthshaker just to name a few.
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gzr27
Eve To Dawn kills, check it out
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Akira. Takasaki. The Japanese Eddie Van Halen. Awesome track.
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80srockman
Wok and woll!
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jahdrick
Please add the album Lightning Strikes to the discography list. Thank you.
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One of the best riffs of the 80s
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Thank You Loudness For Your Music.
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Akira!!!.... h e still shredss in his 50s
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never gets any credit ,good drums and guiar!
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hell yeah ,seen them back in the day in 1985 \../. .\../
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i dont see them as underated sound like 1 hundred other bands
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eyeballs4u
I've always been a huge Loudness fan but I will admit that they're more of a cult musicians band rather than a general listeners band.. Any old skoolers that play an instrument & lean towards 80's shred/hair metal will know what I'm gettin at.. Loudness, like Dokken,Ratt, e t c , most definately played a valuable part in the foundation of 80's hair metal.. If you only buy one Loudness CD without a doubt Thunder in the East is a must have for any true rivet heads CD collection.. This definately does
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Too bad these guys didn't get more exposure here in the states.
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mjs195969
Playing Hard Rock/Metal. 24/7. Feed your head @ RedEyEsRadiO .
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I saw them open for a show in Cincinnati in the mid 80's. Good stuff but not my cup of tea.
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Akira is a EVH disciple with a lot better tone
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toddycaver
I saw them open for Stryper. They were on fire! They sounded just like the record they were touring for, 'Thunder in the East'. No mistakes that night...some o n e should have filmed that show!!! I'll never forget Akira constantly adjusting his Mesa-Boogie amps the whole time he played. His tone was incredible!
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Saw them open for OZZY in 1982 or 83. Can't remember.
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Their sound has gone a lot heavier over the years, and they are still putting out an albumn every year or so. Mostly Japanese these days, but still some English every once in a while. You ought to check out their newer stuff as well. Akira Takasaki still tears it up!
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Awsome guitar work from Loudness one of the best Axe men from the 80's and one of the most under rated as well
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yeah i find them too basic and cheesy.
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These dudes rock been listening to them since 1985.
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