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It should be noted that this is not a perfect history of Camui Gackt, and is more about his career than his life. But I wanted there to be some info about him, as his work means so much to me, and so many other fans of the japanese rock scene. More in depth nodes about the man are welcomed and encouraged.

Camui Gackt first made his ascent into fame in the japanese music scene as the vocalist of the visual rock band "Malice Mizer". He captivated audiences with not only his beautiful androgynous features and intense dramatic stage presence, but also his truly unique voice and remarkeable vocal skill. With him as their front man, Malice Mizer broke through into major success with their album, "Merveilles".

In 1999, much to the surprise and dismay of their huge fan base (myself included at the time), Gackt left the band and embarked upon a solo career. His first release, "Mizerable", was a great success which placed very high on the charts right away.

In my opinion, the song "Mizerable" was a wise choice to begin his solo career with. "Mizerable" had the same sort of melodic violin rock sound that fans of Malice Mizer was familiar with. By beginning with such a song, he provided an easier transition for his fanbase. His next release, "Vanilla", tested the foundation created by this initial success, by presenting a complete departure from what his fans were familiar with. "Vanilla" was an upbeat ska number with a horn section. Luckily for Gackt, his fans accepted this new approach with open arms, and his monumental success continued. He had secured his own identity, independent of the band that had brought him into the public eye.

After the release of two more singles: "Mirror", a socially commenting driving rock number with guitar and violin, and "Oasis", a poetic song with a unique electronic feel, Gackt released his first full album, "Mars". "Mars" met with the same success that was to be expected. "Mars" featured truly excellent production values, and stellar performances from all the musicians involved. Gackt's unique musical identity could be heard throughout. All of the songs carried a very powerful emotional resonance to them, and the album presented a wide range of feelings and expression. There were emotionally wrenching songs like "emu ~for my dear~", a song about Kami, the drummer from Malice Mizer who had recently died of a sudden anuerism, and "Kono Dare mo Inai Heya de", a song about his experience in solitary confinement in a mental ward as a child. On the other side of the spectrum were cheery and playful songs like the aforementioned "Vanilla", and "U+K" (which, in the live performance, featured Gackt joined by an ensemble of dancers in animal costumes.)

Since his seemingly instant success, Gackt has released several more singles, and another full album titled "Rebirth". Those of you interested in his work can find it at sites such as www.cdjapan.co.jp and www.yesasia.com. I personally recommend starting with the album "Mars" for those interested in his work. The Overseas (as in Hong Kong) versions of his albums can be found at www.yesasia.com for substantially less than their japanese counterparts.

Stylistically Gackt strikes me as a shape shifter. With each single he seems to grow and change and surprise me. His most recent releases present what seems to be a more positive overall outlook than his earlier work. In the beginning he had a reputation for being a very depressed, withdrawn, high stress individual. Perhaps this trend is a reflection of the direction his life is taking. I certainly hope so.

As the early work of Gackt (ガクト) has already been extensively discussed, this writeup will cover his work from the Rebirth album until his latest release, Crescent.

With his 2001 Rebirth album, the theme was one of rebirth from his earlier solo work and Malice Mizer days to his own style. Rebirth's prominent single was "Kimi no tame ni dekiru koto," a song which surprised a lot of his fans because of its definite pop sound. However, this was a wise marketing move on Gackt's part because the song had wider appeal to the mainstream music listener. Increasingly, as Gackt's career progressed, his fans were drawn to his music from two different directions. Either they liked his work in Malice Mizer and were drawn to his darker songs and earlier work, or they heard his major singles and came to his music expecting more of a pop-rock sound. Rebirth was followed later in the year by the Requiem et RĂ©miniscence tour.

In 2002, his third album, MOON was released. This album was the beginning of Gackt's much-publicized and, by everyone but Gackt, little-understood Moon Project. This album was published without lyrics, with only a note from Gackt that he wanted his listeners to discover the continuing story of MOON through sound, not words. The musical style of the album continued the trends begun in Rebirth with the major album singles, "wa.su.re.na.i.ka.ra" and "Another World" being poppier songs. However, many of the other songs on the album are more along the lines of rock, very dramatic, with intense vocals and lots of epic guitar.

Also in 2002 was the release of the "12gatsu no Love Song" single, a song which has become something of a continuing side project. It was released as Gackt's holiday present to his fans and included a b-side with an English version of the song. In 2003, he again released a single of the song, this time with a Cantonese b-side. Then in 2004, he rerecorded the song and released a Korean b-side. There has been some speculation as to if he plans to try recording the song in a different language each year and much speculation as to which language.

In 2003, the Moon Project continued with the spring release of the movie Moon Child, starring Gackt and Hyde from L'Arc~en~Ciel. The movie was both a Hong Kong action-style gangster film and a vampire movie and, as improbable as the combination sounds, was actually fairly good.

In December of 2003, Gackt released his latest album, Crescent. The album continues the moon theme and some of the liner art is taken from Moon Child. Along with the Crescent lyrics booklet, the album also came with the long-awaited lyrics booklet for MOON. In this latest album, Gackt has definitely taken his music in more of a rock direction, interspersed with a few ballads. Dramatic orchestral accompaniments can be found on many of the songs, as well as a harder guitar sound, much different from the more echoey guitar found on MARS. Notable songs on the album are the strange album opener, "Dybbuk" a surreal rap piece and the ending song, "Orange no taiyou," the full length version of a a duet with Hyde, recorded for Moon Child.

There were two tours for MOON. The first, Kagen no Tsuki, took place prior to the release of Moon Child. The second, Jyogen no Tsuki, took place after Moon Child and featured some cameos by members of the Moon Child cast. 2003 also saw the release of Gackt's autobiography, Jihaku.

In February of 2004, Gackt rerecorded and rearranged his previously released singles and released them as an album, The Sixth Day. This was followed in May by The Seventh Night, acoustic versions of his songs. The 2004 tour, The Sixth Day and the Seventh Night, will center on these albums and will feature older material.

As a final note, something should be said regarding Gackt's backup band, GacktJOB. Often referred to in liner notes and by Gackt himself as his "family," they appear to be his closest friends as well as his band. As of 2004, GacktJOB is You (lead guitar, violin), Yukihiro "chachamaru" Fujimura (guitar), Ju-ken (bass), Toshiyuki Sugino (drums), and Ryuichi Nishida (drums). Masa (guitar) was also a member up through the MOON album, after which he left to pursue his own solo work in the band Spiky. Recently, Ren (bass) has also left, to play in his own band, Lin Clover.

Gackt's website can be found at http://www.crownrecord.co.jp/gackt.htm But the website of his fanclub, Dears, at http://www.dears.co.jp/ is much more informative.

Discography (excluding singles)

  • Mizerable, 99.5.12 (CRCP-20220)
    • 1. Mizerable
    • 2. Story
    • 3. Leeca
    • 4. Lapis ~Prologue~

  • MARS, 00.4.26 (CRCP-20239)
    • 1. Ares
    • 2. Asrun Dream
    • 3. emu-for my dear
    • 4. U+K
    • 5. Vanilla (MARS Version)
    • 6. freesia-op.1
    • 7. freesia-op.2
    • 8. Illness Illusion
    • 9. Mirror (MARS Version)
    • 10. dears
    • 11. OASIS (MARS Version)
    • 12. Kono dare mo inai heya de

  • Rebirth, 01.4.18 (CRCP-40001)
    • 1. 4th . . .
    • 2. Secret Garden
    • 3. Maria
    • 4. uncontrol
    • 5. Sekirei ~seki-ray~(RR ver.)
    • 6. Kalmia
    • 7. Sayonara
    • 8. marmalade
    • 9. Papa lapped a pap lopped
    • 10. seven
    • 11. Kimi no tame ni dekiru koto(RR ver.)

  • MOON, 02.6.19 (CRCP-40009)
    • 1. Noah
    • 2. Lu:na
    • 3. wa.su.re.na.i.ka.ra
    • 4. Soleil
    • 5. Speed Master
    • 6. Fragrance
    • 7. death wish
    • 8. Doomsday
    • 9. Missing
    • 10. rain
    • 11. ANOTHER WORLD
    • 12. memories

  • Crescent, 03.12.3 (CRCP-40046)
    • 1. Dybbuk
    • 2. mind forest
    • 3. Tsuki no uta
    • 4. Kimi ga matte iru kara
    • 5. Solitary
    • 6. Hoshi no suna
    • 7. Lust for blood
    • 8. white eyes
    • 9. Kimi ga oikaketa yume
    • 10. Last Song
    • 11. Birdcage
    • 12. Orenji no taiyou

  • The Sixth Day - Single Collection, 04.02.25 (CRCP-40055)
    • 1. OASIS
    • 2. Seki-rey
    • 3. Secret Garden
    • 4. Kimi ga oikaketa yume
    • 5. wa.su.re.na.i.ka.ra
    • 6. Tsuki no uta
    • 7. Mirror
    • 8. Vanilla
    • 9. Mizerable
    • 10. Luna
    • 11. Last song
    • 12. Another world
    • 13. Kimi no tame dekiru koto
    • 14. Saikai - story

  • The Seventh Night - unplugged, 04.05.26 (CRCP-40067)
    • 1. Kimi no tame ni dekiru koto
    • 2. mind forest
    • 3. Kimi ga matteiru kara
    • 4. Hoshi no suna
    • 5. Kono dare mo inai heya de
    • 6. U+K
    • 7. Papa lapped a pap lopped
    • 8. Mirror
    • 9. Uncertain Memory
    • 10. Kimi ga oikaketa yume
    • 11. Last song

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