Today we take a trip back to 1985 to a band who released an album that was the first album by a Japanese band to enter the Billboard 200 chart and remain on the charts for 23 weeks. The album: Thunder In the East which features the single Crazy Nights.
Loudness who hail from Osaka, Japan formed in 1980 after guitarist Akira Takasaki, bassist Hiroyuki Tanaka and drummer Munetaka Higuchi left their previous band due to creative differences. Takasaki recruited his childhood friend, Masayoshi Yamashita on bass and Minoru Niihara on vocals and Loudness was born. Their first four albums were sung in Japanese, however their fifth album, Thunder In the East released on Atco records was completely in English. The contract made them the first Japanese metal band ever to sign an intermational record deal.
Crazy Nights is catchy tune that showcases some great guitar and vocal work especially for a singer who only spoke Japanese at the time. The song, however has a part that for years caused people to ask the band: “What does M-Z-A mean?” In an interview, Minoru Niihara said that it actually means nothing. While doing pre-production on the Thunder In The East album, the producer asked Niihara to sing something and out came M-Z-A which ended up in the final track after the band could not find a line to replace M-Z-A! Niihara has also said that in past interviews he would tell people it means My Zebra’s Ass.
Loudness have had a long career, releasing over 30 albums, various singles and videos. The band has undergone several lineup changes and sadly orginial drummer Munetaka Higuchi passed away from cancer in 2009 at age 49.
Are you ready to get crazy tonight?