Ai no Bakudan
|Ai no Bakudan|
|Single by B'z|
|from the album THE CIRCLE|
|Released||March 9, 2005|
|Promotions||#1 (Japan Countdown ED Theme March 2005)|
#1 (Zespri's "Gold Kiwi" CM Theme)
|B'z singles chronology|
Ai no Bakudan (愛のバクダン, Love Bomb) is the thirty-eighth single by B'z, released on March 9, 2005. To date, it remains one of the most popular songs produced by the band, frequently seeing inclusion on the majority of their LIVE-GYM tours. One month after its release, it would be collected along with one of its B-sides on the band's fourteenth album, THE CIRCLE. In addition, "Ai no Bakudan" would be collected on B'z The Best "Pleasure II" later in 2005, as well as B'z The Best "ULTRA Pleasure" in 2008 and B'z The Best XXV 1999-2012 in 2013. A remixed version would also serve as the lead track from the band's first international EP on iTunes in 2007, but has since become unavailable. In 2012, seven years after its original release, an English version titled "Love Bomb" served as the opening track for the band's self-titled digital English debut and ensuing North American tour.
Recorded late in THE CIRCLE sessions, the title song was composed and arranged to be a "simple" song that could be covered by experienced and aspiring musicians alike. As such, the song features a "back to basics" approach with only vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. To compliment this approach, the limited edition came coupled with complete guitar tablature for "Ai no Bakudan" printed on the back of the lyrics sheet. For purposes of learning the song in full, it also included a karaoke track free of the lead vocals as well as a "Guitar Solo Less" version that would allow beginner guitarists the opportunity to play along with the song without the solo. With five total tracks, the limited edition also makes it the largest single B'z has released.
The colorful cover for the single was the result of drawings made for the occasion by a group of kindergarten children from Okinawa Prefecture where the band was filming a commercial for the release. In a rare turn, more than one promotional video was filmed and released. The primary version was filmed in Japan and features a performance on a sound stage with pyrotechnics surrounding the band. This video, which was also made available in full to members of B'z PARTY, featured an electric guitar intro as opposed to the original track's acoustic guitar. A secondary version filmed in the United States was also made public, as well as one that features Tak and Koshi on a playground swingset for the video's duration. The swingset video idea was not planned and came about by chance when Tak and Koshi spotted the swing at the school whilst filming the commercial. In addition to its promotional videos, "Ai no Bakudan" was also promoted as the ending theme to music show "Japan Countdown" for March 2005 and as being the theme song to commercials for Zespri's "Gold Kiwi" fruit line.
The first two tracks on the release, "Ai no Bakudan" and "Fever", would be permanent fixtures on the setlist for B'z LIVE-GYM 2005 "CIRCLE OF ROCK". Although a full home video release initially did not materialize, special editions for one of the band's three 2006 singles, "SPLASH!", came bundled with performances from the tour. Of note was the green-colored version being bundled with a performance from the tour of "Ai no Bakudan", while the yellow edition included "Fever". In 2013, B'z LIVE-GYM 2005 -CIRCLE OF ROCK- was finally released in full on DVD as one of three home videos to begin the band's 25th anniversary celebrations.
The single would make appearances on several television programs in a rare instance of B'z appearing on a number of stations. Televised performances took place on a number of occasions, including Music Fighter, Music Station, and CDTV, which would make it the song most performed by B'z on television. The most notable appearance of 2005 came on retrospective program Bokura no Ongaku (Our Music) in which the band were interviewed at length on a number of subjects, including the origin of the song. In addition to the interview, studio performances of "Ai no Bakudan", in addition to its B-side, "Fever", and classic single "love me, I love you" were shown. In 2012, for the annual Christmas special, "Ai no Bakudan" would return to the Music Station stage with B'z performing the song coupled with another recent hit, "Ichibu to Zenbu".
"Ai no Bakudan" became an immediate hit for the band upon release, topping the Weekly Oricon Singles chart for the week of its release—becoming the thirty-fourth consecutively for the band to do so—and remaining on the charts for fourteen weeks. It would be the twenty-seventh highest selling single for the year, becoming one of two singles released by B'z in 2005, with the other being "OCEAN".
- Ai no Bakudan — Love Bomb, 愛のバクダン
- Determining the lead single from THE CIRCLE did not come easily, and it was only toward the end of the recording sessions did the song come about. Tak came to the studio with the idea that he would like a song that could be easily covered, and the resulting song was the current version of "Ai no Bakudan". Originally, the song was going to have more of an "oriental arrangement", but this was simplified to the current version to better suit the idea of a musically accessible song. The "Bakudan" (Bomb) portion of the title was originally written in kanji, but concerned the kanji typically associated with "bomb" could project an atmosphere at odds with the song's meaning, "Bakudan" was instead expressed in katakana. During live shows, the song has become a staple, where it is often paired with other high energy songs (as with "Shoudou" in 2006 and "juice" in 2008). The song also has been known to become personalized to the location of the performance, with the line "Kimi no voice" (Your voice) being changed to appeal to the location of the show, such as Tokyo attendees hearing the line as "Tokyo no voice" (Tokyo's voice). The song's success and popularity has led to it being included in the majority of live setlists since its release, as well as an entirely English version titled "Love Bomb" that debuted in 2012.
- The catchy, hard rock-infused rhythm and feel of the song was conceived with "an image like KISS" in mind, according to Tak. The song proved popular on the CIRCLE OF ROCK tour, and was collected on the band's album THE CIRCLE along with the title song. This marked the first instance that both the A-side and B-side were collected on the following studio album since "LADY-GO-ROUND" in 1990.
- Amaku Yasashii Binetsu — A Sweet & Gentle Low-Grade Fever, 甘く優しい微熱
- One of several B-sides by the band never performed live, and can only be found on this release.
- Ai no Bakudan (TV STYLE) — Love Bomb, 愛のバクダン (TV STYLE)
- Available only on the limited edition. This version of the song is a karaoke version of the title song and removes all lead vocals, leaving only the backing vocals in place. This would be the first karaoke version released by the band since the two karaoke collections of B'z TV Style SONGLESS VERSION in 1992 and B'z TV STYLE II Songless Version in 1996.
- Ai no Bakudan (GUITAR SOLO LESS) — Love Bomb, 愛のバクダン (GUITAR SOLO LESS)
- Available only on the limited edition. This version, as the title implies, retains all aspects of the original version apart from the guitar solo.
|Original Song||Reversion History|
|Ai no Bakudan
SINGLE & ALBUM SONG (2005)
KARAOKE: Ai no Bakudan (TV STYLE) (2005)
- Ai no Bakudan [162 SHOWS]
- B'z SHOWCASE 2005 "Abashiri Extra Edition" [1/1 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM 2005 "CIRCLE OF ROCK" [41/41 SHOWS]
- B'z SHOWCASE 2006 "Yokosuka MONSTER" [1/1 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM 2006 "MONSTER'S GARAGE" [17/17 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE in Namba 2006 [1/1 SHOWS]
- B'z SHOWCASE 2007 -19- [6/6 SHOWS]
- B'z SHOWCASE 2007 -B'z In Your Town- [5/7 SHOWS]
- SUMMER SONIC 07 [2/2 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2008 -GLORY DAYS- [6/6 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM 2010 "Ain't No Magic" [19/19 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM 2011 -long time no see- [3/3 SHOWS]
- Music for Relief's Secret Show for Japan [1/1 SHOWS]
- TV Asahi Dream Festival 2011 [1/1 SHOWS]
- AEROSONIC [1/1 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2013 -ENDLESS SUMMER- [17/30 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM 2015 -EPIC NIGHT- [37/40 SHOWS]
- ROCKROCK 20th ANNIVERSARY LIVE "ROCK BEYOND ROCK" [1/1 SHOWS]
- B'z SHOWCASE 2015 -Shinagawa Uchouten NIGHT- [1/1 SHOWS]
- TV Asahi Dream Festival 2015 [1/1 SHOWS]
- Fever [42 SHOWS]
- Amaku Yasashii Binetsu
- Ai no Bakudan
- SPLASH! Limited Edition DVD: LIVE-GYM 2005 "CIRCLE OF ROCK"
- LIVE-GYM 2006 "MONSTER'S GARAGE"
- LIVE in Namba 2006
- LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2008 -GLORY DAYS-
- LIVE-GYM 2010 "Ain't No Magic"
- SHOWCASE 2007 -19-
- LIVE-GYM 2011 -long time no see-
- LIVE-GYM 2005 -CIRCLE OF ROCK-
- LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2013 -ENDLESS SUMMER-
- LIVE-GYM 2015 -EPIC NIGHT-
- Amaku Yasashii Binetsu
|No.||Cover||Single||Physical Copies Sold||Chart Positions||Certification|
Ai no Bakudan
- Tak Matsumoto: Guitar, Music Composition, Arrangement
- Koshi Inaba: Vocals, Lyric Composition, Arrangement