I hold many fond memories when it comes to the music of X Japan. Some are connected to the songs themselves, others to the people I’ve met through them. I want to share with you my thoughts on some of these pretty jewels and I’ll start not with the one I’d say is my favourite, although I do love it very much, but with one which served as a source of inspiration when I was writing a few years ago: Tears.
It was released in 1993 and it can be found on the album Dahlia. What I love about this ballad and about X’s music in general is that the songs are amazing, whether you listen to the recorded version or to the live version. And trust me when I say that the latter is much better than the former. The members of the band are talented artists and their performance never takes away from the quality of the music. On the contrary, I found that the songs truly touch the audience when they are sung in concerts, when the fans sing with the band… when you can actually see them. Kristen wrote about her experience at an X Japan concert and I can’t tell you how sorry I am that I couldn’t be there with her.
Yoshiki Hayashi (the drummer and leader of X Japan… but I imagine you already knew that) composed the ballad. When I discovered it, my thoughts turned towards hide’s death. As I learned not long after that, the song is about the death of Yoshiki’s father. Years went by, friends passed away, and now Tears seems to be more emotionally charged than ever. It’s always nice to listen to music that actually has a message you can relate to, where sound and lyrics complement each other in a way that makes you stop and pay attention. Remember and dream.
Sometimes softer, other times stronger, while listening to the ballad you’ll either be swept away by the lyrics or (and) get lost in your own thoughts. Watching different videos of this song, I can pinpoint a few things which I admire about the way it is presented in concerts. Everyone on stage is solemn and I’ve seen them crying, or at least having tears in their eyes, more than once. And, really… who can blame them? I love the interaction between Yoshiki and Toshl. They’ve been friends almost their entire lives and it shows. There’s also a deep sense of longing when this song is played and its role in the show as a whole is obvious the moment you watch an entire concert or at least more than ten minutes.
What else can I tell you? It’s sad, as if someone is mourning a loved one who’s no longer there: Loneliness, your silent whisper/ Fills a river of tears through the night/ Memory, you never let me cry/ And you, you never said good-bye. But the promise of moving on, of holding onto one’s dreams is also present. Will pain fade? It usually does… eventually. I’d say that the song means something else to each of us. Maybe someone went through a bad breakup and the lyrics remind them of that particular event. Or maybe the piano draws someone else’s attention. To me, Tears was – as I said before – a song which helped me visualize one aspect or another while I was writing. It’s also quite relaxing, despite the fact that its lyrics might bring forth painful memories.
In the end, it’s not about remaining stuck in the past and not being able to overcome the grief. It’s about hope and strength and the ability to move on and live a full life, holding close the image of those who are no longer here. To finish this with Yoshiki’s words, I will try to live with love, with dreams and forever with tears.
by Elena Atudosiei