Vermillion Records is the private music label of Tak Matsumoto and Koshi Inaba that is responsible for all B'z releases. It is a subsidiary of Being GIZA and is managed by Vermillion, Inc., previously known as Rooms Records, Inc, a company established to oversee the assets of the label. In addition to publishing all B'z works, the label also handles all respective solo works.
The current label, formerly Rooms Records, was the direct result of a buyout by Being from their earlier joint venture with BMG Japan that oversaw B'z activities and releases as BMG Rooms. Its name was changed to Vermillion Records in 2002 beginning with the release of their thirty-third single, "Atsuki Kodou no Hate". The label is staffed by members of Being as well as staff formerly involved with the previously dissolved B+U+M.
History of B'z labels
|BMG Victor||AIR||September 1988||Dakara Sono Te wo Hanashite|
|BMG Rooms||ZEZ||August 1992||ZERO|
|BMG Rooms||Vermillion||May 1995||Negai|
|Rooms Records||Vermillion||September 1995||LOVE PHANTOM|
|Vermillion Records||———||June 2002||Atsuki Kodou no Hate|
Transition from BMG to Being
In August 1992, BMG and Being began a joint venture that established a new label by the name of BMG Rooms to handle B'z releases. Being, known for their Being GIZA group of artists, was directed and founded by Daiko Nagato, who was the mentor that originally introduced Tak to Koshi's demo tape and led to their first meeting.
By the mid-1990s, B'z had decided to leave BMG Japan and establish themselves under terms where they would have full control over their output. As of September 1995, Being had purchased all remaining stock in the joint label under which B'z had been operating, BMG Rooms, which had been co-owned by Being and BMG. With the purchase, a new subsidiary under Tak and Koshi's control was established with a new label: Rooms Records. Soon thereafter, beginning in January 1996, the band's distribution and publishing vendor was changed to J-DISC—now known as J-DISC Being—which was the distribution company in charge of Being releases. This severed the remaining ties that B'z had to BMG Japan.
While B'z had re-negotiated their deal after they had their first taste of mainstream success, the publication rights to their earliest works remained with BMG. This included their first three singles and their first three albums as well as their first mini-album, BAD COMMUNICATION. This led to the release of Flash Back -B'z Early Special Titles- by BMG in April 1997. The release was not authorized or endorsed by the band members, whose images and insignias were legally prohibited from appearing on any packaging or marketing materials. The songs included on the release were all drawn from albums still under BMG control, from their self-titled debut album B'z, their second album OFF THE LOCK, their third album BREAK THROUGH, and their first mini-album, BAD COMMUNICATION. One year later, B'z released their own official compilations under the titles of B'z The Best "Pleasure" and B'z The Best "Treasure" for their tenth anniversary. The pair of official albums would go on to become the second and fifth highest selling albums in Japanese history, respectively, with over ten million copies sold between them in their release year alone.
The relationship between the two groups had soured considerably following the release of the unofficial compilation, which to this day has not been officially endorsed or included in any B'z catalogues or discography listings. The legal entanglement continued three years later with the release of B'z The "Mixture" in 2000. The album contained remixes and re-recordings of various older B'z songs, some of which were still partially under BMG ownership. The release of the album came about as a compromise to settle the complex rights issues surrounding the B'z catalogue. As a result of the agreement, Being assumed the master rights to the recordings that came from the release while publishing duties would be handled by BMG Japan's BERG label.
By 2013, the remaining rights issues appeared resolved in time for the band's 25th anniversary singles collection B'z The Best XXV 1988-1998, on which the first three singles were collected on an official compilation for the first time.
Publishing and distribution
The band's works were originally published by BMG Victor. Publishing duties for the band's works were later handed over to J-DISC, who now operate as J-DISC Being, beginning with the November 1996 release of the mini-album FRIENDS II.
In 2004, Tak launched a sub-label by the name of House Of Strings that was to primarily publish guitar and strings-based music. The label has been responsible for Tak's solo releases beginning with House Of Strings.