WICKED BEAT

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WICKED BEAT
Mini album by B'z
Released June 21, 1990
Genre Dance rock
Length 22:30
Label BMG Victor
Producer Masao Nakajima
B'z chronology
1st Mini
01m.jpg

BAD COMMUNI-
CATION

(1989)
2nd Mini
02m.jpg

WICKED BEAT
(1990)
3rd Mini
03m.jpg

MARS
(1991)

WICKED BEAT is the second mini album by B'z, released on June 21, 1990. As their second album of the type after the previous year's BAD COMMUNICATION, the mini album was the band's first attempt at an English album. Interestingly, the album contains no outright new songs, instead opting to re-arrange and re-record English versions of four previously released Japanese songs, including their first number one hit "Taiyou no Komachi Angel". Their earlier mini album effort contained two English tracks alongside the Japanese title song, and this concept would be revisited with the similar 1991 release MARS. The band continued to occasionally dabble in English songs over the years, culminating in their 1996 mega hit single "Real Thing Shakes"—their first one track single and their first only in English. Later, in 2012, the band would release their first worldwide album, the self-titled English album B'z.

This would be the first album release of any kind to be published by the band's then newest label, BMG Victor (later known as BMG Rooms)—a joint venture between BMG Japan and Being. The move had been a reprieve for the band that wished to have more control over their output and the rights to their master recordings. Now, they would be under the management of their mentor Daiko Nagato, the man responsible for introducing them originally. The album also has no space between tracks, allowing the songs to flow into one another. Later, with the move to digital platforms, an iTunes version was prepared that saw the tracks be remastered. The connective tissue between the songs was altered for these versions, however. This would also be the final release produced by Masao Nakajima before Tak Matsumoto took over all such duties beginning with RISKY.

Initially, B'z intended to release WICKED BEAT as a limited edition to bridge the gap between BREAK THROUGH and RISKY, both released the same year. Along with five singles including their first number one hit "Taiyou no Komachi Angel", it would be the busiest year in their history. Just before it was to be published on a limited basis, it was decided the mini album was capable of capturing enough interest that it should be a general release and would prove their highest-selling release to that point. Additionally, the front cover features only Koshi Inaba while Tak Matsumoto is featured on the rear art. This picture of Tak is actually re-used from the cover of "BE THERE".

At the time of its release, WICKED BEAT sold 101,250 copies in its first week, giving it a third place finish on the Weekly Oricon Album chart. The album ranked at number 21 on the year-end Oricon album chart for the year 1990, placing it ahead of both of their studio albums for the year in RISKY and BREAK THROUGH. Sales continued through 1991 where it ranked at number 30 for the year. As with all other B'z mini albums released to date, WICKED BEAT has been certified Million by the Recording Industry Association of Japan for sales in excess of 1,182,010 physical copies sold.

Track listing

All music and guitar by Tak Matsumoto. All lyrics and lead vocals by Koshi Inaba.

  1. I Wanna Dance Wicked Beat Style
    To open the mini album, B'z revisited their second single "Kimi no Naka de Odoritai" and OFF THE LOCK with an almost entirely English version. All of the song is now in English apart from portions of the chorus. The band also spent the most time altering its arrangement compared to the other tracks as well. Compared to the original, the song has the hallmarks of an external remix with a great deal of sampling and scratching used throughout. The frenetic pace and groove of the song and its arrangement has even seen it categorized as a "psychedelic" pop dance number. A portion of "BAD COMMUNICATION" is also used in the interlude. Due to the album's construction intended to allow each song to flow into the other, the song samples parts of the next song for the last few measures. This version of the song was performed nearly fifty times as part of B'z LIVE-GYM '90~'91 "RISKY" but has never been released on home video.
  2. Komachi-Angel Red Hot Style
    An English version of the band's first number one single "Taiyou no Komachi Angel", the English version was released here just one week after the aforementioned album hit shelves. While not the song that is changed most on the album, the arrangement features a different intro, interlude, chorus, and guitar riff. The song also utilizes a great deal of sampling. The "Red Hot" in the title is a reference to the American rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Nineteen years later, the band's famed drummer Chad Smith would join B'z to record their single "Ichibu to Zenbu/DIVE" and the year's studio album MAGIC. Notably, while this version has never been played live, the arrangement utilized here was transplanted onto the Japanese version performed as part of B'z LIVE-GYM "Pleasure'91".
  3. Bad Communication E.Style
    As one of the longest songs in the B'z catalogue and like its original version, the English version of "BAD COMMUNICATION" found here is almost seven and a half minutes in length. The arrangement of the original is retained almost entirely along with the spoken intro, though the song is slightly refined to have a heavier sound. All of the lyrics are in English and interestingly, the English version was actually prepared at the same time as the original Japanese mini album's title song. When this English version began to take prominence in the Japanese music scene due to being handed over to radio stations to be played a year ahead of its release here, it was so successful that it was listed as a Western song in one instance. When interviewed later for the compilation B'z The Best "Pleasure", which contained a trimmed version of the English song lasting only four minutes, Koshi stated: "I can't say which one is better, the Japanese or the English lyrics." It is one of only two tracks from the album to be played live when it was performed for all three dates of B'z BAD-CLUB GYM though it has not been released on home video.
  4. Lady-Go-Round "W-40" Style
    The arrangement is not markedly different to the original single and BREAK THROUGH album song. A vocal intro announcing the mini album's title was added along with a guitar riff prior to the song itself starting. Naturally, as with other tracks on WICKED BEAT, the song has been re-written with primarily English lyrics, though some Japanese lines in the chorus still remain. This version of the song runs for six full minutes, including a spoken word outro by Koshi accompanied only by Tak's guitar. The origin of the song's "W-40" subtitle is still unrevealed despite decades passing since its release. This version has also never been played live.

Live appearances

Live Performances

I Wanna Dance Wicked Beat Style [49 SHOWS]
crossbracket.png B'z LIVE-GYM '90~'91 "RISKY" [49/49 SHOWS]
Komachi-Angel Red Hot Style redx.png
Bad Communication E.Style [6 SHOWS]
crossbracket.png B'z BAD-CLUB GYM [3/3 SHOWS]
crossbracket.png B'z LIVE-GYM #001 "OFF THE LOCK" [3/14 SHOWS]
Lady-Go-Round "W-40" Style redx.png

Home Videos

I Wanna Dance Wicked Beat Style novid.png
Komachi-Angel Red Hot Style redx.png novid.png
Bad Communication E.Style novid.png
Lady-Go-Round "W-40" Style redx.png novid.png

Sales data

No. Cover Mini Album Physical Copies Sold Chart Positions Certification
FIRST WEEK LIFETIME WEEK MONTH YEAR
2 02m.jpg

WICKED BEAT
1990.06.21

101,250+

1,111,230+

3

21 (1990)
30 (1991)

Million

Personnel

B'z

Production