Anzen Chitai (安全地帯) was one of Japan's most successful pop bands in the 1980s.Read More...
Formed in 1973 as the high-school garage band Invader in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, its original members included vocalist Koji Tamaki(玉置浩二), guitarist Yutaka Takezawa (武沢豊), and guitarist / keyboardist Toshiya Takezawa (武沢俊也, Yutaka's brother). Later in 1973, drummer Kazuyoshi Tamaki (玉置一芳, Koji's brother) and bassist Takahiro Miyashita (宮下隆宏) joined. In 1977, the band changed its name to Anzen Chitai ("Safety Zone"), and Kazuyoshi Tamaki left the group, to be replaced by Ichiji Ohira (大平市治). By December 1977, Anzen Chitai merged with another band, the Haruyoshi Rokudo Band (六土開正バンド), and added three more members: bassist Haruyoshi Rokudo (六土開正), guitarist Wataru Yahagi (矢萩渉), and drummer Yuji Tanaka (田中裕二). By this point, they had expanded to an eight-member group. Within the next three years, Toshiya Takezawa and Takahiro Miyashita would leave. Yuji Tanaka would also leave at this point.
In 1981, they began work as a backup band for singer/songwriter Yosui Inoue (井上陽水), and released their debut single, Moegi Iro No SNAP (萌黄色のスナップ) in February 1982. However, the final personnel change would occur as Ichiji Ohira would leave, and Yuji Tanaka would return in his place, establishing the current lineup.
Under the guidance of their producer and co-arranger Masaru Hoshi (星勝, lead guitarist and vocalist of the psychedelic rock group MOPPS), the band continued to refine their craft in the studio. Their status as a backup band would soon change: in 1984, WINE RED No Kokoro (ワインレッドの心) reached No. 1 on the OriCon charts, to be followed by among others, Kanashimi Ni Sayonara (悲しみにさよなら) and Suki Sa (好きさ) (featured on the anime series Maison Ikkoku). Koji Tamaki was credited as the sole composer in virtually all of Anzen Chitai's music, with Goro Matsui (松井五郎) being the lyricist frequently. Their popularity in the 1980s culminated in a five-day soldout concert tour at the Budokan in 1987 which had a total attendance of 60,000.
Despite a couple of hiatuses for the sake of solo careers (July 1988-March 1990, 1993-2001), Anzen Chitai continued to record and tour. A new studio album was released in 2004, titled Anzen Chitai X (their tenth studio album). After their Japanese concert tour in support of the "Anzen Chitai X" album, the band announced at the end of 2004 that they are taking yet another indefinite hiatus.
As of 2006, Koji Tamaki remains active as a solo performer and television actor, with Wataru Yahagi performing in both his solo albums and concerts. Yutaka Takezawa is also active in the music business as a composer, producer, arranger and session guitarist.