I first encounter this amazing band in 2001 and I became one of their biggest fans since that year. The band itself was created in 1991. NEXT YEAR, 2011, will be L’Arc~en~Ciel‘s 20th anniversary and my 10th anniversary as a true Cielers….So in honor of these 2 anniversaries, I decided to make 2010 as my pre-celebration year.
What is L’Arc~en~Ciel? And what they mean to me?
L’Arc~en~Ciel means an arc in the sky or Rainbow. Japanese has difficulty in pronouncing this word, so they usually called them as Laruku An Shieru or Laruku for short. For me, Laruku is the best J-Rock band ever created in Japan. Laruku is my number 1 band of all bands ever exists in this planet. I am addicted to their music…that doesn’t mean I don’t listen to other kind of music, I listen to a lot of music, BUT you wouldn’t find me not listening to Laruku for more than a day!! Their song will always be in my play list.
Why do I love their songs?
Because… Their songs are beautiful. Hyde’s voice is so captivating. Tetsu plays his bass wonderfully. Yukihiro creates great beats from his drum. And the sound of Ken’s guitar makes all songs sound perfect. They have created a lot of songs, and some of them are sweet, some of them are dark, some of them are fun, some of them are odd, and all of them are great songs.
My favorite songs are always depending on my mood…that’s why it is so hard to put this collection of song previews (video below!) and these previews couldn’t represent all their great songs.
A Brief History of L’Arc~en~Ciel
Tetsuya Ogawa wanted to make a band with him as the vocalist, but when he saw Hideto Takarai’s performance, he fell in love with his voice and wanted him to be the vocalist of his band. Tetchan and Hyde (Hideto Takarai) found another member for their band, Hiro and Pyro. these 4 young men from Osaka named their band as L’Arc~en~Ciel in 1991. This formation soon changed before they released their 1st album, Hiro and Pyro were changed by Ken Kitamura and Sakura. In April 27, 1993, their 1st album, DUNE, was released. A year later, July 14, 1994, they released their second album TIERRA. Their 1st single that stood through the test of time is in this album, Blurry Eyes surely is an iconic single. In September 1, 1995, they released their 3rd album HEAVENLY. TRUE came out a year later, in December 12, 1996. Unfortunately, this great album was contaminated by the irresponsible act by Sakura. Sakura was caught using drug and it affect the whole band.
They recruited Yukihiro Awaji to take Sakura’s place and recorded HEART, it was released in February 25, 1998. One of the songs in this album, Niji, is a reflection of their current state…there always be a rainbow after a hard rain. Niji is a symbolic song. Then they became the 1st J-Band that released 2 albums at the same time, ARK and RAY, in July 1, 1999…both of them reached number 1 and 2 in Oricon Chart. Their 8th album, REAL, was released in August 30, 2000. They took a long break after this album. The entire member use this break time to explore themselves in solo project.
In March 31, 2004, they released their long awaited album SMILE. This album is their 1st international album, they even perform in Marine Arena, USA. They are the 1st and the only (at least up to today) Japanese Band that ever performed in that arena. Their concert was watched by 12.000 people, surpassing their expectation of only 5.000 people will show up. Their 10th album, AWAKE, was released in June 22, 2005. They started their second hiatus after the released (and of course after performing many concerts around the country) of their 11th album KISS in November 21, 2007. During the concert tour for this album, they manage to perform in another non-Asia country. Their performance in Paris was a big success.
From left to right: Dune, Tierra, Heavenly, True, Heart,Ray, Ark, Real, Smile, Awake, Kiss
Now…we are waiting patiently for the 12th album to come out in the same year as their 20th anniversary.
I have 12 months to write a series of tributes for L’Arc~en~Ciel before 2011 come. I will at least write 1 article related to Laruku for each month of this year.
My Tribute for this amazing band are:
- My choice of Laruku’s best music video in December 2009 >> here
- L’Arc~en~Ciel’s Album: Dune, Tierra, Heavenly, True, Heart, Ark, Ray, Real, Smile, Awake, Kiss
- L’Arc~en~Ciel’s Members: Hyde, Yukihiro, Ken, Tetsuya
- My collection of Laruku from bootleg to original DVD/CD.
- L’Arc~en~Ciel’s Long Breaks: 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Maybe you’d think that I am a bit obsess with this band and a bit crazy…and I have to say “you are so right!! And I won’t defend myself ”. If there is an institution for Laruku Addiction Rehabilitation Center, I have no doubt that I’ll be one of that institution’s patients.
I Love Love Love their songs so much.
This is The icon I’ll be using for each post
This series of tribute is over in February 1, 2011. It is replaced with Laruku no Tame Ni