Don't Leave Me
|Don't Leave Me|
|Single by B'z|
|from the album The 7th Blues|
|Released||February 9, 1994|
|Promotions||#1 (Shinkuukou Monogatari Theme)|
|B'z singles chronology|
Don't Leave Me is the fourteenth single by B'z, released on February 9, 1994. As a dark and despondent song in many ways, the single was a major departure for B'z in what may be the most admonitory shift in their history that is already filled with many such changes. It was recorded for the sessions of and included on the 1994 studio album The 7th Blues and is very emblematic of the entire album. "Don't Leave Me" was additionally found on B'z The Best "Pleasure" in 1988 and is one of only a few songs to then switch to its sister album's sequel B'z The Best "ULTRA Treasure" for the twentieth anniversary in 2008. In 2013, B'z The Best XXV 1988-1998 gathered the song along with every other single to that point in time.
In an interview with a Chinese publication in the 2000s, Tak joked that he's heard fans call "Don't Leave Me" the "dark period song" due to its downtrodden narrative and the changes the band would soon be undergoing leading up to the release of "Negai". Conversely, Koshi recalled having a great deal of fun recording the vocals in the same interview. Notably, it was with this single that Tak's crediting was changed from "Takahiro Matsumoto" to "Tak Matsumoto".
During live performances, the band typically begin with a downtempo intro before building into where the song begins in its studio arrangement. Accordingly, Koshi frequently plays blues harp for the song in its numerous appearances. Especially memorable performances took place during B'z LIVE-GYM Pleasure'95 "BUZZ!!" and B'z LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2008 -GLORY DAYS-.
The dedicated music video for the title song was filmed on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Footage of the process can be witnessed on B'z OFFICIAL BOOTLEG. In its only television performance, it was combined in a direct medley with fellow The 7th Blues album song "Odekake Shimasho". Additionally, "Don't Leave Me" was also heard on television as the theme song to the TV Asahi drama Shinkuukou Monogatari at the time.
At release, the single debuted at number one on the Weekly Oricon Singles charts with over 791,000 copies sold, giving B'z their biggest single debut to that point in their career. To date, it remains their second biggest opening for a single, behind only 1995's "LOVE PHANTOM". The release retained the top spot for three consecutive weeks, giving it top sales honors for February 1994, second for March, and fourth for all of 1994. The single ultimately sold 1.4 million copies with 13 weeks on the charts, earning several distinctions including a Million certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan and being named one of the Best 5 Singles at the 9th Japan Gold Disc Awards.
- Don't Leave Me
- A song made in the blues tradition that stands in dark contrast to their previous single, "Don't Leave Me" is a song rooted in retrospection. The lyrics are reflective and introspective from the perspective of a man looking back on a past relationship. As a result of this and the melancholia of the music itself, fans have referred to it as the "dark period song". More grounded pop songs were considered singles candidates for The 7th Blues, but Tak said at the time, "I think we need to try something different in the short-term, and go with a single that is good on its own" instead of aiming for one that would simply be a surefire sales hit.
- Mannequin Village
- As a song that was born from another in its era, "Mannequin Village" is of special interest to B'z fans even beyond its catchy rhythm, inclusion of a sitar, and unorthodox lyrics. The lyrics were originally written to the melody of "Yami no Ame" on The 7th Blues. Not satisfied with that fit, Tak wrote new music to accommodate Koshi's lyrics and "Yami no Ame" received all-new lyrics. When the song was mentioned to Tak several years later in an interview regarding the B-sides selected for B'z The "Mixture", he laughed after realizing he'd forgotten they had even made it and commented, "Ah, that's right, there was a song like that." The song was revived after eleven years for all dates of B'z LIVE-GYM 2005 "CIRCLE OF ROCK". Tak stated in a Be With! interview at the time that the song was included to meet fan demand. This version featured a new interlude in the middle with newly-penned lyrics by Koshi, as well. The sound of the song was altered, however, to have more of a hard rock sound to acclimate to the band's latter day approach to live shows. Despite its popularity, the song has never been collected on any album or compilation.
|Original Song||Reversion History|
|Don't Leave Me
SINGLE & ALBUM SONG (1994)
- Don't Leave Me [150 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM '94 "THE 9TH BLUES -Part1-" [55/55 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM '94 "THE 9TH BLUES -Part2-" [32/32 SHOWS]
- Merry X'Mas ~ Mary Had a Little Lamb/Silent Night [1/1 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM Pleasure'95 "BUZZ!!" [12/12 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM '96 "Spirit LOOSE" SHOWCASE [1/1 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM '99 "Brotherhood" -Extra- [2/24 SHOWS]
- B'z SHOWCASE 2003 "BIG MACHINE" [1/1 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM 2003 "BIG MACHINE" [12/12 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM Pleasure 2008 -GLORY DAYS- [6/6 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM 2015 -EPIC NIGHT- [16/40 SHOWS]
- ROCKROCK 20th ANNIVERSARY LIVE "ROCK BEYOND ROCK" [1/1 SHOWS]
- 7-Eleven presents B'z PREMIUM LIVE [1/2 SHOWS]
- B'z LIVE-GYM 2017-2018 "LIVE DINOSAUR" [9/18 SHOWS]
- B'z SHOWCASE 2020 -5 ERAS 8820- [1/5 SHOWS]
- Mannequin Village [79 SHOWS]
- Don't Leave Me
- Mannequin Village
|No.||Cover||Single||Physical Copies Sold||Chart Positions||Certification|
Don't Leave Me
- Jun Aoyama: Drums
- Masao Akashi: Bass, Arrangement
- Kimiyoshi Nagoya from SKA-PARA HORNS: Trumpet
- Masahiko Kitahara from SKA-PARA HORNS: Trombone
- Tatsuyuki Hiyamuta from SKA-PARA HORNS: Alto Sax
- GAMOU from SKA-PARA HORNS: Tenor Sax
- Atsushi Yanaka from SKA-PARA HORNS: Baritone Sax
- Takanobu Masuda: Hammond Organ (Track 1)
- Ryuichiro Senoo: Harmonica (Track 1)
- Yuichi Ikusawa: Chorus (Track 1)
- Tomoko Urashima: Chorus (Track 1)