Loudness - Lightning Strikes 12" Vinyl LP Album

"Loudness' 'Lightning Strikes' 12" Vinyl LP Album, the band's sixth studio release, is a seminal chapter in Japanese heavy metal. Released on July 25, 1986, the album exemplifies Loudness' evolving sound and impact. With powerful compositions and skilled musicianship, 'Lightning Strikes' solidifies Loudness' position as pioneers of the genre, leaving an enduring mark on the global heavy metal landscape."


High Resolution Photo LOUDNESS Lightning Strikes

"Lightning Strikes" Album Description:

In the vibrant year of 1986, a thunderous force from Japan struck the global metal scene. Loudness, a band that had already made its mark in the East, unleashed their sixth studio album, "Lightning Strikes," venturing into the western market with a bolt of sonic energy.

This album arrived at a pivotal time in heavy metal history. The Sunset Strip was ablaze with glam metal's flamboyant excesses, and thrash metal was gaining momentum with its raw aggression. Loudness, however, carved their own path, blending traditional metal elements with their unique Japanese sensibility.

"Lightning Strikes" was a testament to Loudness' musical exploration. While retaining their signature heavy sound, the album incorporated elements of hard rock and even hints of commercial appeal. Songs like "Let It Go" and "1000 Eyes" showcased their ability to write catchy anthems, while "Ashes in the Sky" delved into darker, more complex territory.

This musical exploration wasn't without its controversies. Some critics accused the band of compromising their sound for the sake of commercial success, while others praised their willingness to experiment and evolve. Regardless of the differing opinions, "Lightning Strikes" ignited a passionate debate among metal fans.

Recorded at Sedic and Take One Studios in Tokyo, "Lightning Strikes" captured the raw energy and meticulous craftsmanship of Loudness. The band consisted of Minoru Niihara on vocals, Akira Takasaki on guitar, Masayoshi Yamashita on bass, and Munetaka Higuchi on drums. Each member contributed their unique talents, creating a sound that was both powerful and refined.

At the forefront of Loudness was their charismatic frontman, Minoru Niihara. His powerful vocals, ranging from soaring highs to gritty lows, were a defining feature of the band's sound. Niihara's stage presence and passionate delivery further solidified his status as a metal icon.

"Lightning Strikes" was a defining moment in Loudness' career. It marked their bold foray into the western market and solidified their position as pioneers of Japanese heavy metal. While the album sparked controversy, it ultimately showcased Loudness' musical evolution and unwavering commitment to their craft.

Music Genre:

Japanese Heavy Metal Music

Album  Production information:

Produced by Max Norman

Legendary engineer Max Norman shaped iconic metal albums. Discover his story: Ozzy, Megadeth, and beyond!


Bill Freesh - Sound Engineer

Masashi Got? - Sound Engineer

Masashi Got? is a Japanese Sound Engineer and has been engineering some of Japan's major heavy metal bands: Earthshaker and Loudness.

Bob Ludwig - Mastering Engineer

Bob Ludwig is an American mastering engineer and record producer. He is widely regarded as one of the best mastering engineers in the music industry, and has worked with a diverse range of artists across various genres, including classical, rock, pop, and jazz.


Ludwig has been active in the music industry since the 1970s and has worked on numerous critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums, including records by Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and many others. He has also been recognized for his contributions to the industry and has won several Grammy Awards for his work.

Throughout his career, Ludwig has been known for his technical expertise, attention to detail, and his ability to bring out the best in recordings. He has also been a strong advocate for the preservation of audio quality and has worked to promote the use of high-quality analog and digital technologies in the recording and mastering process.

Overall, Bob Ludwig is a highly respected and accomplished mastering engineer who has made a significant impact on the music industry through his work with many of the biggest and most influential artists of our time.

Hiro Itoh - Photography

Hiro Itoh a photographer from Japan who has during the 1980s has made photos for most album covers of the Heavy Metal band Loudness, as well as for bands like Dokken, Stryper, Testament.

Hiroyuki "Otosan" Yoshihama - Photographer

Joe Cornish - Photography

Jon Furley - Photography

George Azuma - Producer, Supervisor

Additional notes on the production team:




Record Label Information:

ATCO 790 512 / LC 0120

Media Format:

12" LP Vinyl Gramophone Record 

Year & Country:

1986 Made in USA
Album cover photos of : Loudness Lightning Strikes
Photo of Front Cover 
High Resolution Photo LOUDNESS Lightning Strikes  
Photo of Album's Back Cover  
High Resolution Photo LOUDNESS Lightning Strikes  
Photo of Record Label 
High Resolution Photo LOUDNESS Lightning Strikes  

 Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).

Band Members and Musicians on: Loudness Lightning Strikes
    Loudness' Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Guitars: Takasaki Akira ( Takasaki Akira (Guitars) is an experienced guitarist having played guitar since 1973 in at least half a dozen bands, notable Loudness and M.T. Fuji.)
  • Vocals: Niihara Minoru (Niihara Minoru (Lead Vocals) is an experienced singer having sung since 1978 in at least half a dozen bands, notable Loudness, Earthshaker and M.T. Fuji.)
  • Bass: Yamashita Masayoshi (Yamashita Masayoshi (Bass) is an bass player having played bass since 1982 in half a dozen bands, notable Loudness, and M.T. Fuji.)
  • Drums: Higuchi Munetaka (Higuchi Munetaka (1958-2008) (Drums) is a drummer having played drums since 1981 in half a dozen bands, notable Loudness, Blood Circus, Lazy, Misako Honjoh, Sly.)
Track Listing of: Loudness Lightning Strikes
    The Song/tracks on "Lightning Strikes" are:
  • Let it Go (4'13 )
  • Dark Desire (4'19 ) Sample
  • 1000 Eyes (4'35 )
  • Face to Face (3'49 )
  • Who Knows (4'02 )
  • Ashes in the Sky (6'02 )
  • Black Star Oblivion (3'55 )
  • Street Life Dream (4'28 )
  • Complication (4'00 )


LOUDNESS - Hurricane Eyes 12" Vinyl LP
LOUDNESS - Hurricane Eyes album front cover vinyl record

In the realm of rock and heavy metal music, few albums possess the raw energy and melodic prowess as Loudness' "Hurricane Eyes". Released in the 1980s, this iconic album quickly gained popularity and solidified Loudness as one of Japan's most influential rock bands.

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LOUDNESS - Lightning Strikes 12" Vinyl LP
LOUDNESS - Lightning Strikes  album front cover vinyl record

"Lightning Strikes" was a testament to Loudness' musical exploration. While retaining their signature heavy sound, the album incorporated elements of hard rock and even hints of commercial appeal. Songs like "Let It Go" and "1000 Eyes" showcased their ability to write catchy anthems

Learn more