98.12.28 男達の別れ [98.12.28 Otokotachi No Wakare] (live album) by フィッシュマンズ [Fishmans]

98.12.28 男達の別れ [98.12.28 Otokotachi No Wakare] by フィッシュマンズ [Fishmans]
(Live album)
Year: 1999
Overall rank: 314th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
88/100 (from 332 votes)
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Award Top 5 albums of 1999 (4th)
Award Top 100 albums of the 1990s (59th)
Award Top 500 albums of all time (314th)
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フィッシュマンズ [Fishmans] bestography

98.12.28 男達の別れ [98.12.28 Otokotachi No Wakare] is ranked as the best album by フィッシュマンズ [Fishmans].

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-98.12.28 男達の別れ [98.12.28 Otokotachi No Wakare]Long Season

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98.12.28 男達の別れ [98.12.28 Otokotachi No Wakare] track list

  Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 89 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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98.12.28 男達の別れ [98.12.28 Otokotachi No Wakare] ratings

Average Rating: 
88/100 (from 332 votes)
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This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 87.6/100, a mean average of 85.8/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 88.0/100. The standard deviation for this album is 17.7.

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From 11/03/2022 21:13
Never expected this to be as good as it is, but yeah, it's that good.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 07/14/2022 17:24
On December 28th, 1998, enigmatic frontman Shinji Sato gazed upon a vigilant crowd gathered lovingly at the Akasaka Blitz in Minato, Tokyo. It was here that his band, Fishmans, was prepared to bid adieu to their bassist, Yuzuru Kashiwabara, who was set upon leaving the group. Little did anyone know, the amount of finality and reverence this performance would carry would forever bathe the band in a balmy luster of posthumous praise. As the first reverberations of guitar are heard, a docility seems to rain over the multitude, almost entranced in a spiritual, reverent manner. Such things happen without warning, yet, when they do, they have the tendency to stifle the passing of time and render the present moment motionless. What happened on that December evening in Tokyo is exalted for the transcendent-nature of the musicality and Sato's passing in the months that would follow. What many don't perceive, is that it wasn't just Sato's passage that galvanized those proceedings. Every single soul on stage and in attendance would take part in the ascension to a higher state of musical consciousness, now permanent, invisible residents of both the Akasaka Blitz and another heavenly dimension.

Sato and company begin with the pleasantries and with 'Oh! Slime', which bestows respective introductions to each of the band's players. This preamble progressively evolves from a spacey, serene whirring into a bouncy declaration of jubilee. It's clear that the forthcoming ceremony isn't going to be colored by solemnity, despite it being Kashiwabara's swan song. The chants of "Are you feel good?" further blur the collective reality and affix the qualities of a fragmented dream. The band slips back into serenity with the arrival of their legendary cut, 'ナイトクルージング (Night Cruising)'. This 'Night Cruise' is more tranquil than its studio album doppelganger, exercising more force and dramatic heft. Sato's presence seems to emanate like vapor through the bright, twinkly guitar chords. The track unfurls at a measured tempo, conjuring images of summer-swept, evening car rides with the windows at half mast. Distorted guitar clangs charge into Sato's banshee wail which fuels the burgeoning sense of grandiosity as the track fades from view. Next in queue, is a revisitation of the band's sophomore effort, 1992's King Master George. The cosmic, percussive 'なんてったの (What Was It)', materializes in a form seemingly untethered and which could fly away at a moment's notice. It's Honzi's work at the keys that colors and elevates the track, as her exploits attach a perceptible sense of melancholy to the song. The bittersweet sensations persist as Fishmans slip into 'Thank You', a explicit championing of life and an unbridled expression of gratitude for its peaks and valleys. The track's somber essence is one of hindsight, as Sato's screeches of life pre-date the ending of his own just months thereafter. It, at times, seems like a conscious goodbye, adding to the mystical gravitas of the band's live farewell.

The band ceases to drag their feet as they decide to live within the present with 'Shiawase-mono (A Happy Person)', a bassy, simmering concoction of placid guitar tones which are ushered away gracefully by Honzi's egressing, endearing keys. The pace lounges more evidently with 'Tayorinai Tenshi (Unreliable Angel)', which shimmers like a calm before a storm, despite its aesthetic allure. Carrying distinct reggae and ska sheens, Fishmans re-enliven their dub roots with pastoral, matured sensibilities. The velocity does resurface, however, the piquancy remains with 'Hikōki (ひこうき; Airplane)', a noticeably more rosy affair fit with phosphorescent guitar and jovial vocals. The infectious guitar solo marks a triumphant break within the track, providing a raucous, screeching wall which firmly divides the two melodic sections. After a brief exchange, the mood swells, the crowd loosens and the stage at the Blitz is now shrouded. The band recrudesces with a signature composition, 'In the Flight', off of 1997's 'Uchū Nippon Setagaya (Space Japan Setagaya)'. The track is rife with gradual escalation, with a dream pop alpha flowing into a brief but elastic, omega. Often cooing as gently as a dove, Sato's vocals on the track are befittingly avian, fragile and susceptible to a soft breeze. Honzi's violin passage weeps softly and elegantly acting as the perfect placeholder and compliment to Sato's own delicate offerings. An arresting symbiotic relationship carries 'In the Flight' into the ether. With a pivot from one legacy-defining track to another, 'Walking in the Rhythm' manifests. This 'Rhythm' is not as melodramatic as it dutifully chugs along before cascading overtop of itself with an assortment of varying guitar sections. The eponymous chants have never sounded so weighty as the track spirals into a cosmic cauldron of intergalactic synth and dueling guitar before crescendoing with labored exaltations from all parties. It's an incredible, stream-of-consciousness adaptation of the band's original masterpiece.

Another trans-dimensional odyssey takes place with the subsequent, 'Smilin' Days, Summer Holiday'. This voyage is powered by guitars that swirl and circulate like maelstroms, but without carrying a semblance of menace or ill-will. They gleam brightly from portion to portion as a cluster of voices flow out, tucked in snugly beneath the ever-advancing strings. After a particularly upbeat, punchy rendition of 'Melody' off of 1994's 'Orange', the stage darkens once more and the disposition becomes one of voiceless consideration. Fishmans begin to perform 'Yurameki in the Air (Flickering in the Air)', a composition that brandishes the same genetic makeup of slow-developing staples such as 'Night Cruising' and 'In the Flight', but stretched out to infinity. It's here that they return to music so gauzy and ethereal that, if you adjust your gaze or shift too brashly, it may flee from view, like innocent fauna of the forest. This intimate mind-meld between artist and audience for 16 unbroken minutes is pure bliss. Penultimate effort, "Ikareta Baby (いかれた Baby; Crazy Baby)", uncoils in a very disparate fashion than its studio counterpart. Here, the piece prefers to wander amidst the expanded acoustics of the Blitz and ride a persistent tempo into the final act of Fishmans' final hour.

So, Fishmans and Shinji Sato offered their parting gift to the world and it began with a cosmic whirl which bleeds into the unforgettable keyboard centerpiece. 'Long Season' was now in full swing, and experiencing it in its fully-realized form makes it easy to forget that the project was once a microscopic idea. This idea continued to propagate from the original six-minute version to the now towering, 41-minute monolith of musical perfection. Albeit tragic, it seems utterly apt that this composition would be the last thing the first iteration of the band would perform. Sato's guitar solo creates the proverbial shriek of a imploding star, a ball of gas which burns so bright that it collapses in on itself by way of its own brilliance. This final 'season' is one which seemingly endures the changing of the leaves, the shifting of tectonic plates and causes the earth, for a brief moment, to cease its rotation and stand still.

The Akasaka Blitz was closed in 2020, now a musical tomb, further painting a picture of a night more reminiscent of a mirage than a historical event. Its memory remains eternally imprinted upon the site and in the hearts and minds of those who witnessed this performance. Until recently, few outside Japan knew of the majesty Fishmans could conjure, but their creative tree fell in the woods in December 1998. Few heard it's alluring reverberation then, but now, finally, all can take part in its auditory luster. You see, as the tree collided with the Earth below, its descent and demise fertilized a beautiful garden which blooms more vividly each day and remains an idyllic place to sit, listen and ponder the radiance of life itself.

"I hope you don't fade away today"
- ゆらめき in the Air

Standout Tracks:

1. Long Season
2. ゆらめき in the Air
3. ナイトクルージング (Nightcruising)
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 07/13/2022 02:01
I can honestly say, with no exaggeration, that this is the best live album by a Japanese trance jam band with a muppet lead singer that I have ever heard. Like, ever.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 04/14/2022 15:01

This is true. I have no balls.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (3 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 03/29/2022 18:50
This comment is beneath your viewing threshold.
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From 02/11/2022 00:31

Uno de los mejores albums en vivo de la historia interpretado por un grupo con un estilazo. Los Fishmans tocan varios de mis géneros favoritos, como el dream pop, el reggae, la neo-psicodelia. Es genial escucharlos tocar esos beats e instrumentales que podrían durar toda la eternidad y uno no se aburriría.
Mejores canciones: Unreliable Angel y Walking in the Rhythm. Este album se va directo a mis favoritos.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 07/31/2021 14:03
I listened to this album for the first time after I had been introduced to LONG SEASON and right from the first song it blew me away. I don't know why this group doesn't get hardly any of the acclaim that they deserve as this album is near on perfection. The vocals and the instrumentation blend together so seamlessly and the way that one track blends into the next is magnificent. There are so many highlights as well with Oh Slime kicking off this live album in style and then the quality just keeps going from one song to the next after that. My personal highlights would have to be Walking in the Rhythm and In The Air which both have such beautiful and delicate instrumentation on. The Peak of the album however definitely goes to the live version of LONG SEASON. It is just a 41 minute masterpiece that I can't seem to fault at all and the live version I would say is better than the album version. While there are definitely some parts of the album which do feel a bit slow due to the length of the record and the nature of the music but it never takes too long to kick back into gear. Overall, if you have never listened to anything by this group then you have to listen to this record or LONG SEASON or both if you want as this artist is a must listen.
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From 06/05/2021 22:46
Incrível viagem!
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From 05/02/2021 03:47
AMAZING- In the Air is the most beautiful I have ever heard
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From 11/27/2020 19:04
Soulful and beautifully. This is one of the greatest accomplishments of music ever, probably the best in the last 30 years.
edit: every single time I revisit this album, I am awestruck. Everything about it is perfect. The album is almost perfect.
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