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Buck-Tick

Patriarchs of visual kei, Buck-Tick may not get as much international recognition as their counterparts X-Japan do, but they certainly have done no less for the development of the style, and have achieved stardom in their native country in the process. A versatile band, Buck-Tick moved from optimistic pop-punk and new wave to goth music and hard rock, dabbled in electronica, and returned to rock again, with bandmembers collaborating with musicians ranging from Cocteau Twins and KMFDM to Clan of Xymox and Spread Beaver along the way (though usually outside of their main jobs).

The group, initially named Hinan Go-Go, was started in the town of Fujioka in 1984 by Imai Hisashi, who couldn't even play any instruments at the time, and Higuchi Yutaka, who played bass. Imai chose the guitar, and the two completed the lineup with their high school friends Hidehiko Hoshino (guitars), Sakurai Atsushi (drums), and Araki (vocals). At this stage, the bandmembers limited themselves to covers, mostly of the radical Japanese hardcore band the Stalin, and began working on their attire and makeup. Within the same year, the group changed its name to Buck-Tick (derived from the Japanese word for "firecracker"), moved to Tokyo, and began writing original songs. Yutaka brought his older brother Yagami Toll into the fold, fresh out of his own disbanded act, SP. Yagami filled in as the drummer, and Sakurai took over as the vocalist, Araki getting the boot because of his lack of skill. Since then, Buck-Tick's lineup hasn't changed.

Buck-Tick began playing Tokyo clubs, still taking great care in their appearance (of special note were their foot-tall dyed hairdos), and debuted with their first LP, Hurry Up Mode, in 1987, released on the indie label Taiyou Records. Soon the major labels began courting Buck-Tick, and they signed with Victor, which promised them the most freedom and was rewarded by the band's second album, Sexual XXXXX! (1987), which reached number 33 on the Oricon charts despite being a major-label debut. Another CD, Seventh Heaven, followed in 1988, and for the next album, Taboo (1989), the band traveled to London, which lent its darker atmosphere to the record, allowing Buck-Tick, who were into pop-punk at the time, to shed the status of short-term pop wonders without losing their popularity.

The band scored some appearances on TV shows and in commercials; even Imai's arrest for LSD possession in 1989 (his sentence was suspended) didn't stop them: in 1990, they released the Baudelaire-inspired Aku No Hana (Flowers of Evil), their best-selling album that fully delved into goth sounds and cemented their popularity. Its release was preceded by a gig at the Tokyo Dome in front of 50,000 people -- shows of this size became a yearly event for Buck-Tick. The three subsequent albums that came out between 1991 and 1995 stuck close to the dark visual kei sound, drifting toward philosophical, conceptual topics but still enjoying success. In 1990 the band also released a disc of symphonic covers of their songs performed by the Berlin Chamber Orchestra, and in 1992 re-recorded their tunes for a greatest-hits compilation.

Buck-Tick hit some tumultuous times in 1996, when they went "cyberpunk," introducing electronic influences on their album Cosmos. The same year saw Sakurai almost die of peritonitis during a photo shoot in Nepal, and in 1997, the band changed from Victor to Mercury/Polygram, which released Sexy Stream Liner, another cyberpunk album with some Theremin thrown in. The single "Gessekai" (1998) was used in the anime series Nightwalker, which introduced the band to a Western audience, but for the next several years, Buck-Tick eased up the pace, releasing their next LP, One Life, One Death, in 2000, dabbling in side projects, and switching to BMG in the meantime. The band picked up steam in 2002-2003, releasing thematically connected albums Kyokuto I Love You and Mona Lisa Overdrive, the latter drawing its name from a William Gibson novel and serving as a closer to Buck-Tick's cyberpunk period.

Another year of solo work followed, and then came a head-on charge into goth music and a visual goth style for the album Juusan-Kai Wa Gekkou (2005) and its supporting tour, which featured an elaborate stage show involving a clown and a ballerina. In 2005 the band's 1993 song "Dress" was featured in the anime series Trinity Blood, and in 2006, Buck-Tick recorded the song "Kagerou" for the anime series xxxHolic, and also indulged in a major celebration of the 20th anniversary of their first major-label appearance, including an ambitious tour and a cover album that featured Abingdon Boys School and members of Luna Sea, Glay, and Thee Machine Gun Elephant, among others. Buck-Tick released another album, Tenshi No Revolver, in 2007, reverting back to a straight alt-rock sound, which was to be explored further on the LP Memento Mori, scheduled for February 2009. ~ Alexey Eremenko, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Kuchizuke I love that song shiki opening
we need more, more I tell ya !
harukaze
Still only one album and they can't even figure out track names. I know the site's in English, but this is 2014 -- if they can't figure out Japanese support by now, there's no hope for them.
por favor pongan la banda anabantha en pandora
Why is there only one album when they have more than 50? It irritates me a lot.
Atsushi is gorgeous. And not just looks-wise. There is no one like him. Vocal and otherwise.
their lead singer is great, its cool to watch them peform
Geez, come on Pandora, there really needs to be more of this. Anyone who collaborated with KMFDM has to be important!
I dont knw who this is or whst hes saying but i do like the sound of this song
michealr23
I hope Pandora will continue to expand the musical horizons we all view as the end line for listening.
The desire to ever search for new and beautiful sounds was started for me by this one exceptionall y expressive band... Buck Tick was my catalyst into that surging rhythm of sound that has a life all its own
Mums the Nightmare is my musical being.and Dress is my musical soul.

Neverstoplis t e n i n g .
harukaze
Also: we should really poke them about getting the song titles right, at least. Aoa? That's Uta. Not to mention that they don't even *try* with most of the tracks, even the ones like M・A・D which aren't even in Japanese.
harukaze
It's a shame that this is the only album Pandora has, but at least it's a start. We should certainly keep on them about adding more, though. If not individual albums, then at *least* more compilations like this one.
Was hoping I was going. To hear dress
I wish there was more Buck-Tick on Pandora, they're one of my very favorite bands.
My favorite band of all time.
I don't care who or what you are, you will like at least one song from them.
Atsushi's voice is so beautiful, and harmonious I fell in love with him the first time I heard him. My underpants were drenched.
I wanna marry this beautiful 46-year-old man, and I wish to meet him one day<3
I want him to serenade me with his deep meaningful lyrics all day, every day.
Atsushi Sakurai♡
very good band :D
Why Is this the only BUCK-TICK album, they need more !!!! :(
toll and yutaka are brothers..
Just fell completely in love with them and their versatile style~
My very best and top of the list fave band. Acchan's voice is sooo sexy, and love how they performed their music.

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