Thunder in the East is Japanese heavy metal band Loudness’ fifth studio album and the first released by a major American label, after the contract signed with Atco Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group. All the songs are in English. It is the first Loudness album produced by Max Norman, who also produced the album Lightning Strikes in 1986 and the album Soldier of Fortune in 1989. Thunder in the East features the single “Crazy Nights”, Loudness’ biggest hit in America, and the power ballad “Never Change Your Mind”. This album was the first of a Japanese metal band to enter in the Billboard 200 US chart, where it remained for 23 weeks, peaking at No. 74.
Check all AUDIO:
Minoru Niihara – vocals
Akira Takasaki – guitars
Masayoshi Yamashita – bass
Munetaka Higuchi – drums
Band : Loudness
Album : Thunder In The East
Type : Studio
Release Date : 1985-01-21
Label : Music For Nations
Country : Japan
Genre : Heavy Metal
Running Time : 41:26
1. Crazy Nights (4:04)
2. Like Hell (3:44)
3. Heavy Chains (4:18)
4. Get Away (3:55)
5. We Could Be Together (4:35)
6. Run For Your Life (3:48)
7. Clockwork Toy (3:55)
8. No Way Out (4:01)
9. The Lines Are Down (4:57)
10. Never Change Your Mind (4:09)
Loudness – Thunder in the East FULL ALBUM:
Who is your god? My god’s name is Akira Takasaki! (Okay, he is just one of my many guitar god , but I am trying to be dramatic here!) Takasaki was the real deal! With a preposterously AWESOME tone, plenty of flash, and most importantly, impeccable taste, Takasaki owns your ass on Thunder In The East!
Japan’s Loudness had already released a handful of albums by 1985, but Thunder In The East was supposed to be their grand introduction to the all-important American market. Thunder In The East was the first Loudness LP to see wide release in the United States. The great Max Norman was tapped to produce the album, and it was yet another fine knob job by one of metal’s best engineers. Try not to be swayed by the eyeliner worn by the band on the LP’s back cover photo, this is some great metal, and Loudness were top-notch musicians (to say the least). I will say this; it took me a few spins to get used to Minoru Niihara’s vocals, which come with a heavy accent. But props to him for delivering in a second-language, something we should admire and respect (not dismiss as novelty). I have a whole diatribe about how unfair it was that America failed to embrace Japanese metal in the eighties, despite, on the flip side of the coin, Japan’s complete immersion into America’s heavy metal culture. I’ll save that for another day. Fact is, look around and you will see high quality Japanese products everywhere in your home and garage. So why should metal be any different? It ain’t. Loudness rules. Irresistible faves on this album include Crazy Nights and Never Change Your Mind.
“like a knife in the heart, gimme hataaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Opening for Motley Crüe on the tour of the Theater of Pain in North America, Akira’s team marches on stage making audiences in most states demand and encore … Motley Crüe’s management urges Y&T to join them for the rest of the tour, as these Japanese musicians are stealing Motley Crüe’s thunder!
Loudness part of Cliff Burton’s vinyl collection presented by his dad
September 27, 2016 marked 30 years without Metallica’s Cliff Burton. His father, Ray, who keeps his son’s memory alive with his family, appeared in a video posted on the Cliff Burton Family fan page. Ηe presented some of Cliff Burton’s favorite records, which the bassist, had in his collection. According to Ray Burton, they have kept Cliff’s records and are trying to make sure they do not wear out. Ιn Cliff Burton’s collection we find Loudness.
1984’s Disillusion album turned some heads, especially when Loudness re-recorded the vocals in English. Now they were signed to an American label and worked with an American producer (Max freakin’ Norman), ready to break into that lucrative market. Thunder in the East was their debut to many fans outside Japan. For the occasion, the band shed some of its more challenging heavy metal arrangements in favour of mainstream rock and metal.
Out of gates first, “Crazy Nights” is a virtual sledgehammer. The riff is trademarked “heavy metal” and the chorus has the galvanised sheen expected from a song like this. The lyrics were designed for the concert stage, with lines like “Let me hear you all go wild,” and “Come on get on your feet”. But the line that confused fans worldwide was the chant “M! Z! A!” after every chorus. It turns out that “M-Z-A” stands for nothing. It’s just some filler lyrics that were meant to be replaced in the final version, but left in because it sounded cool. Fortuitous for Loudness, as it became a bit of a catchphrase.
Regardless, “Crazy Nights” is the one Loudness song you need to get if you only want one Loudness song. The riff just bites, like a mean old dog. It’s the “big hit” and deservedly so. Lots of chances to sing, shout and headbang. You are the heroes tonight.
A blistering “Like Hell” turns up the temperature in short order, with a fast blitz including melodic verses. The chorus however is a simple shout: “Like hell!” Loudness founder Akira Takasaki is not only a master of the six string (usually compared to Eddie Van Halen) but also a hell of a songwriter (pardon the pun). His knack for riff and melody resulted in a collection of songs running the gamut from vintage Priest to Dokken. “Like Hell” could have been on Defenders of the Faith. More on the old-school Scorpions side of things is “Heavy Chains”, a metal dirge with a foothold in early Maiden territory to boot. This brilliant track showcases singer Minoru Niihara’s impressive range and power. A frantic “Get Away” takes its speed and melody from Van Halen, but cranked up to 11. Takasaki’s multitracked guitar solo is neoclassical nirvana right up Malmsteen Avenue. Sheer melodic thrills embody “We Could Be Together”, a song Don Dokken could have felt at home singing, and with some licks that sound positively Lynchian.
The second side commenced with “Run For Your Life”, a complex track that sounds at times like a ballad and others like a heavy metal hurdle through a minefield. “Clockwork Toy” is more straightforward, solid riff and chorus.
Things take a cool, funky turn on “No Way Out”, a very different track but also very addictive. The guitar playing on tracks like this proved Takasaki could do a lot more than people assumed. Impressive too is the chugging “The Lines Are Down”, which is located right in Dokken Town. Except heavier, because make no mistake, Loudness are heavier.
The final track “Never Change Your Mind” is harder to categorize. Ballady, with light and shade, it’s unique. It sounds like an anthem at the halfway point…an anthem with guitar divebombs. It’s a dramatic way to end an impressive metal feast.
Since Thunder in the East contains Loudness’ best known hit, it comes highly recommended. It’s a solid piece of metal history. It might be their pinnacle; a damn fine album indeed.
REVIEW: LOUDNESS – THUNDER IN THE EAST (1985)
Japanese Heavy Metal pioneers Loudness have existed since the year 1981 and have recorded nearly 30 studio albums during the band’s long-lasting career. Talk about an achievement. Most of us undoubtedly remember Loudness mainly from the band’s fifth, and biggest selling, album Thunder in the East, released in 1985. Back then Loudness toured the whole world and the gates of mega-success were opened wide. After the successful years of 1985-88 the band went in for some hideous marketing strategies, like changing lead vocalist Minoru Niihara for Michael Vescera, who recorded a couple of albums with Loudness before joining Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s band in 1991. The damage was done and fans loyal to the original lineup of the band only wanted to hear albums with original vocalist Niihara. The songs of this album are super energetic. This is the mature-sounding Loudness on vinyl that you will ever hear. Their best ablum by far 5/5 stars