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Formed in 1991, L'Arc~en~Ciel is one of the most popular rock bands from Japan.
The band consists of vocalist hyde, leader / bassist tetsu, guitarist ken, and drummer yukihiro, who replaced drummer Sakura in 1997. All four members are established composers which adds to the variety in their songs. Their music ranges from ballads to hard rock to light pop-rock tunes.
Their first single 'Blurry Eyes' was used as the theme for the anime DNA². In late 1996, L'Arc~en~Ciel gained worldwide attention for the first time after the release of their fourth album, True. This album includes the single 'the Fourth Avenue Cafe', which was used as an ending theme for the anime Rurouni Kenshin. Sakura (the drummer at the time) was arrested for drug possession and all L'Arc~en~Ciel merchandise was removed from shelves; the '4th avenue cafe' single was not released and the song was removed from the anime.
Sakura left the band, and yukihiro replaced him for the REINCARNATION concerts and served as a support drummer on their first single after the incident, niji. With that, yukihiro officially joined the band and in 1998 they released the album HEART.
After the release of their ninth album, REAL, L'Arc~en~Ciel went on a hiatus, only releasing compilation CDs, aside from their single 'Spirit dreams inside -another dream-.' They each engaged in their own projects - yukihiro with the band acid android, ken (and former L'Arc drummer Sakura) with SONS OF ALL PUSSYS, HYDE with his solo project, and tetsu as TETSU69. On March 31th, 2004, L'Arc~en~Ciel released SMILE, their first new album since 2000.
On July 31st, 2004, L'Arc~en~Ciel performed their first concert in the United States at 'Otakon,' a Japanese and East Asian cultural convention that focuses on anime. They performed for an audience of more than 12,000 in Baltimore, Maryland.
They are best known outside Japan as the band of the Fullmetal Alchemist song, 'READY STEADY GO', which was the anime's second opening theme, and 'LINK', which was the theme song for the Fullmetal Alchemist movie, 'Conqueror of Shamballa'. These songs gained them new fans and attention to their album, SMILE, which was released in the US by US label Tofu Records and single LINK.
Their most recent album is AWAKE, which was released on 6/22/05 and accompanied by ASIALIVE, L'Arc~en~Ciel's first tour to take them to Korea and China, and the Japan-only tour AWAKE.
The year 2006 was the band's 15th anniversary, marked by a boxset of books called 'L'Arc~en~Ciel BOX', re-releases of their first 15 singles and the albums ark and ray, and L'Anniversary concerts held on November 25th and 26th.
L'Arc~en~Ciel released the singleSEVENTH HEAVEN in 30th May 2007. Three months later, 29th August 2007 they released the single MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM. A month later, September 12th 15th L'Anniversary Live was released, it contains a live DVD of their performace celebrating 15 years of L'Arc~en~Ciel.
They are releasing DAYBREAK'S BELL a new single, on October 10th. Hurry Xmas also a single will be released on November 14th.
On November 21st L'Arc~en~Ciel will be releasing KISS a new album.
Also CHRONICLE 3 a music clip collection, will be released on December 5th.
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