B'z The "Mixture"
|B'z The The "Mixture"|
|Compilation album by B'z|
|Released||February 23, 2000|
(BMG Japan & Being)
B'z The "Mixture" is the third compilation album by B'z, released on February 23, 2000. The release brings together some of the band's most beloved early tracks for the first time in an official compilation, with eleven of its sixteen tracks being complete re-recordings or remixes. The re-recordings carry the moniker "Mixture style", indicating the entire song has been overhauled to more adequately match their more recent incarnation as a hard rock outfit. Those labeled "Mixture mix" were remixes carried out by the band in order to provide revisions to songs they wanted to revisit. The album also collects for the first time the latter half of their 1996 double A-side "Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~/MOVE" and previously uncollected B-sides "FUSHIDARA 100%", "Hi" and "The Wild Wind". A leftover song from the 1997 studio album SURVIVE titled "Anata Nara Kamawanai" is used to close the album.
At the time of its release, the album was considered not a "best album" as previous compilations had been known but a "must album". This was due to its precarious position in the band's catalogue as a result of being released by BERG Label—a joint effort by BMG Japan and Being formed in 1998 in which BMG would distribute while Being would retain master recording rights for the songs. BMG had been the original home for B'z in their earliest recording efforts prior to migrating to Being to have more control over their output and retain rights to their recordings. Because their original contract with BMG resulted in the entity retaining the master rights to the band's self-titled debut album, second album OFF THE LOCK, third album BREAK THROUGH, and mini album BAD COMMUNICATION, B'z were unable to source tracks from those releases for future compilations.
The situation came to a head when BMG Japan decided to preempt the release of the band's first proper compilations in their tenth anniversary year by releasing an unofficial compilation entitled Flash Back -B'z Early Special Titles- that compiled many of the recordings still under their control. After the band's two official compilations sold nearly ten million copies, and ranked as two of the type five highest selling albums in Japanese history, two additional years would pass before the two sides decided to use the project that became B'z The "Mixture" to help reconcile the relationship between the various parties. In more recent years, the album has been recast as a "best" compilation alongside the likes of B'z The Best "Pleasure" and B'z The Best "Treasure". Additionally, the original recordings of the band's first three singles that were once fully under BMG control were at last recorded in a B'z compilation with the 2013 release of B'z The Best XXV 1988-1998. Due to BERG Label being disbanded in 2003, digital distribution rights remain in flux, with the album never being made available for ringtone purchases or made available on iTunes.
The album featured enhanced CD functions when inserted into a PC that directed to bz-mixture.com. Most notably, this provided access to an English demo of "Raging River". The English version was never released elsewhere, but an extended Japanese version was released on the year-end studio album ELEVEN some months later.
Tak Matsumoto commented at the time that the recording had been a surreal experience, comparing it to B'z doing a cover album of B'z songs. Promotion for the album was light as the band were already in the midst of recording their remaining singles for the year as well as what would become their next studio album, ELEVEN. The band did appear on television to perform their then-most recent single "Konya Tsuki no Mieru Oka ni", and twice played "Dakara Sono Te wo Hanashite -Mixture Style-" during the round of promotions. In addition, the band appeared on a streamed broadcast for @llnightnippon.com in promotion of a B'z ~Media Mixture Special~. It was revealed on the program that a remix of earlier single "LADY NAVIGATION" had been prepared for the release as well but was eventually cut. Notably, the band also performed an acoustic rendition of "Konya Tsuki no Mieru Oka ni" during the occasion.
Upon release, B'z The "Mixture" debuted at the top of the Weekly Oricon Album chart with 1,101,440 physical copies sold in the first week alone. This places it as the third best-selling of their compilation releases. Additionally, B'z The Mixture finished as the eighth best-selling album of 2000. In total, the album would sell 1,500,000 copies and be certified a Million seller by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.
- Dakara Sono Te wo Hanashite -Mixture style- — So Let Go of That Hand, だからその手を離して
- [RE-RECORDING] To open the album, B'z decided to re-record their very first song that also served as their first single. To showcase the band's progression, the song was completely overhauled with their most recent, hard rock style taking precedent over the dance-centric focus of the original. As with all of the "Mixture style" tracks, the song's vocals, guitar, drums, and bass were all completely re-recorded. Additionally, the hard rock rendition of the song had been well-received when performed as part of B'z LIVE-GYM '99 "Brotherhood" some months earlier. This version would also be used as a B-side to the single "Konya Tsuki no Mieru Oka ni" weeks prior to the release of this compilation and later reprinted as part of B'z COMPLETE SINGLE BOX.
- YOU & I -Mixture mix-
- [REMIX] Compared to the original found as a B-side on "Negai", the digital sounds were substantially brought down in the mix while the levels on the guitar were elevated. In the original version, the guitar was subordinate to the overall digital sound whereas here it is the focused instrument. The vocals likewise can be better heard in the remix due to the reduced emphasis on non-traditional instrumentation. In terms of overall listening experience, this remix of "YOU & I" has the largest difference in sound when compared to its preceding rendition.
- OH! GIRL -Mixture style-
- [RE-RECORDING] Originally found only on the 1989 studio album OFF THE LOCK, this re-recording is a full reconditioning of the original song. As opposed to the pop rock sensibilities of the original and its digital-heavy arrangement, the "Mixture style" features distorted guitars as the primary instrument. As a full re-recording, the vocals, bass, guitar, and drums have been re-recorded entirely. Ultimately, this version is more akin to the live versions that have been played at LIVE-GYM concerts in the years since its original release. This includes the manner in which the track ends: in the original, the song closes with a fade out, whereas the reversion ends with a guitar riff as it does in live showcases. At times, such as during the guitar solo, the synthesizers are completely removed in favor of more rock-oriented instrumentation—for this section specifically, a guitar plays the part of the synthesizer in full. Despite finishing near the top for fan-selected releases B'z The Best "Treasure" and B'z The Best "ULTRA Treasure", this would be the only version of "OH! GIRL" collected on a B'z compilation.
- NEVER LET YOU GO -Mixture style-
- [RE-RECORDING] As with the previous track, the original song was sourced from the band's second studio album OFF THE LOCK and as a "Mixture style" version, was fully re-recorded with nothing retained. A much more substantial guitar part has been prepared for the reversion, whereas large portions of the original had no guitar or had it so far in the back of the mix that it was not prominent. Here, electric guitar has been inserted throughout much of the song. Additionally, some of the digital instrumentation has been re-recorded and utilized in a more distinguished manner. Additionally, the female backing vocalist is not present in this version with backing vocal parts removed. Similarly, the ending vocals that were once a backing vocal have now been promoted to a more eminent main part.
- JOY -Mixture mix-
- [REMIX] A remix of the B-side to the best-selling B'z single "Ai no Mama ni Wagamama ni Boku wa Kimi Dake wo Kizutsukenai", this version has an overall brighter and fuller sound. The volume of the drums track has been increased to give it a sound more akin to the band's then-recent later output. Additionally, the guitar solo has been changed somewhat to have less reverb. One much smaller addition was the removal of a backing vocal at the very end of the final chorus which had originally been a repeat of the title.
- Ima de wa... Ima Nara... Ima mo... -Mixture style- — Right Now... If Now... And Now..., 今では・・・今なら・・・今も・・・
- [RE-RECORDING] Originally released as an album track on 1990's BREAK THROUGH, this version—while fully re-recorded—is not as great a departure as others prepared for the Mixture album. The re-recorded guitar now has a more prominent part in the mix but is not changed substantially otherwise apart from the solos. The mid-song solo has been overhauled and is now much more complex than the original. The ending solo now has several altered sections, though the song still ends on a fade out and is the only song on the album to do so. The most notable change for longtime fans would be for backing vocals: in the original, Tak sang in one of his more involved appearances of the sort in the band's catalogue; in the reversion, Koshi does the secondary vocals himself. Notably, the vocals in general now exhibit less reverb than before.
- Kodoku no Runaway -Mixture style- — Lonely Runaway, 孤独のRunaway
- [RE-RECORDING] Originally found only on the band's third mini album MARS, this would be the only occasion in which it would be found on a compilation. As a "Mixture style", every part of the song has been fully re-recorded. Whereas the original version had a substantial keyboard part, the keyboard is mixed lower here. The most noticeable change would be the guitar. The solo has been almost entirely changed from one that utilized a great deal of vibrato—as Tak was playing guitars equipped with tremolo systems at the time—to one that is a series of scales akin to his more recent output. The backing vocal leading into the chorus has been given a larger role as well. Some years later, this version would form the basis for the live version played at B'z LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2008 -GLORY DAYS- and featured on its home video.
- [FIRST COLLECTION] Originally released as the other half of double A-side single "Mienai Chikara ~INVISIBLE ONE~/MOVE". The other half of the single had been included on B'z The Best "Treasure" two years prior. "MOVE" would later be re-collected on B'z The Best XXV 1988-1998 in 2013 and reprinted for B'z COMPLETE SINGLE BOX in 2017.
- Tokyo -Mixture mix- — 東京
- [REMIX] With regard to fellow remixes on the album, this version of the B-side to "love me, I love you" received the least drastic changes. The overall mix has been altered slightly, with backing vocals being less pronounced and some of the backing arrangement tracks having their volume reduced. This would be the song's only album appearance other than being reprinted as part of B'z COMPLETE SINGLE BOX in 2017, and to date it has never been performed live.
- hole in my heart -Mixture mix-
- [REMIX] With the band's revisit to touch up the B-side to "MOTEL", the song has a sound that is appropriately reminiscent of concurrent mixes found on the 2000 studio album ELEVEN. Both the electric guitar and acoustic guitar tracks have been stressed at differing parts of the song—particularly between verses and outside of the chorus. The drums have been brought down in the mix in favor of the guitar work for the most part. Overall, the biggest change to the sound is the benefit the song receives from the remaster treatment inherit in mastering the song years later. The remixed version is much cleaner with a crisp sound for all elements on the track.
- KARA·KARA -Mixture mix- — DROUGHT
- [REMIX] Originally found as the B-side to "Hadashi no Megami", the remix found here stands in stark contrast to its earlier rendition. The saxophone has been brought slightly forward in the mix, while the synthesized horns have a much more pronounced part in the song whereas they were much further back originally.
- FUSHIDARA 100% — SLUTTY 100%
- [FIRST COLLECTION] Collected for the first time here and on no other compilation other than B'z COMPLETE SINGLE BOX in 2017.
- Biribiri -Mixture mix- — Shiver, ビリビリ
- [REMIX] Originally the B-side to 1997 single "Liar! Liar!", this was the most recent track to be revisited for the album. At the onset, the guitar in the intro now has a crossfade effect from one stereo channel to the other—a touch that matches other channel switches found later in the song for guitar portions, such as the solo. The backing vocals are now more integral to the song as well. Overall, the track has more reverb applied throughout.
- The Wild Wind
- Anata Nara Kamawanai — I Don't Mind if It's You, あなたならかまわない
- [NEW RECORDING] A song that was recorded during the same sessions that resulted in ninth studio album SURVIVE but not included for unspecified reasons, "Anata Nara Kamawanai" was once considered for the eighth slot in its source album's track listing. The song has never been performed live or collected on any other B'z work in their catalogue.
|No.||Cover||Compilation||Physical Copies Sold||Chart Positions||Certification|
B'z The "Mixture"
- Tak Matsumoto: Guitar, Music Composition, Arrangement
- Koshi Inaba: Vocals, Lyric Composition, Arrangement (Tracks 1, 2, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
- Kaichi Kurose: Drums (Tracks 1, 3, 7)
- Hideo Yamaki: Drums (Tracks 2, 4, 6, 13, 14, 15, 16)
- Jun Aoyama: Drums (Tracks 9, 10, 11)
- Soul Tool: Drums (Track 8)
- Ikkoh Tanaka: Drums (Track 5)
- Denny Fongheiser: Drums (Track 12)
- Masao Akashi: Bass (Tracks 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15), Manipulator (Tracks 5, 10, 11), Synthesizer (Track 3, 4, 6, 7), Arrangement (Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11)
- Akihito Tokunaga: Bass, Synthesizer (Track 16), Arrangement (Tracks 13 & 16)
- Showtaro Mitsuzono: Bass (Track 1, 3, 7)
- Koji "Kitaroh" Nakamura: Bass (Tracks 2, 4, 6)
- Daisuke Ikeda: Manipulator (Tracks 2 & 12), Synthesizer (Track 15), Arrangement (Tracks 9 & 12)
- Akira Onozuka: Piano (Tracks 2 & 9), Synthesizer (Track 2), Organ (Tracks 14 & 16)
- Takanobu Masuda: Organ (Tracks 8, 10, 12), Moog (Track 12)
- Shiro Sasaki: Trumpet (Track 2)
- Fussy Kobayashi: Trumpet (Track 2)
- Hideaki Nakaji: Trombone (Track 2)
- Kazuki Katsuta: Sax (Track 2)
- Shin Kazuhara: Trumpet (Track 10)
- Toshihiko Furumura: Sax (Track 11)
- Maki Ohguro: Chorus (Track 5)
- Shinichi Furukawa: Chorus (Track 9)
- Naoko Iijima: Female Voice (Track 12)
- Shinichiro Ohta: Chorus (Track 14)
- HIIRO Strings: Strings (Tracks 2,5,9)
- Shinozaki Strings: Strings (Track 15)