Chapter 6 ~ 1996
虹色に輝く素敵な時
A wonderful time that shines in rainbow color

     Another new year was starting and once again they started things off with another tour. After the release of the video "heavenly ~films~" on 3/21, as well as two photobooks, the next heavenly tour "kiss me deadly heavenly '96" started up. This was their biggest yet, playing 25 shows. They played almost exclusively their major works now; only a few songs were still being played from their indies period. Also of note, this tour contained the first appearance of D'ARK~EN~CIEL, a part change band in which DARK TETSU is on vocals, HYDE DARK on guitar, Suck-D'ark-La on bass, and Ken D'Ark on drums. They had five songs: "DESTROY", "minagoroshi", "BANANA MASK", "onigoroshi", and "bukkorosu".

D'ARK~EN~CIEL

     The tour ended on April 29th, and they played the last show "kiss me deadly heavenly '96 REVENGE" on May 26. This show sold out in just 10 minutes, even more impressive than the "heavenly '95" final show. It would seem like L'Arc~en~Ciel was on top of their game now. 1995 was the transition, and with this last "heavenly" tour, the transition was over.

sakura, hyde, tetsu, ken

     With all the "heavenly" promotion over with, the band entered the studio to begin work on their next album once again in June. July 8th saw the release of a new single, "kaze ni kienaide". A pop tune by tetsu, this was their best selling single yet. They had played this song a few times during their last tour, so some fans were expecting it already.

tetsu, hyde, sakura, ken

kaze ni kienaide PV kaze ni kienaide PV kaze ni kienaide PV kaze ni kienaide PV kaze ni kienaide PV

     Now in the middle of summer, L'Arc~en~Ciel did another quick tour, "BIG CITY NIGHTS ROUND AROUND '96". Once again, they were able to perform at Nippon Budoukan. This tour was only 5 stops, perhaps to keep fans interested while they worked in the studio. Two new songs were also featured in these concerts: "flower" and "sayounara". By October 17, long after the tour ended, the "flower" single was finally released with "sayounara" as the c/w. Once again, the sales figures jumped ever higher.

BIG CITY NIGHTS ROUND AROUND hyde and tetsu BIG CITY NIGHTS ROUND AROUND sakura BIG CITY NIGHTS ROUND AROUND ken

flower PV flower PV flower PV flower PV

flower PV flower PV flower PV flower PV

     Shortly later, another single, "Lies and Truth", a very pop song by ken, was released on November 21. While not as popular as "flower", it still sold very well and got fans excited for the new album that would be released just one month later. Fourth album "True" hit the shelves on December 24th, the day before Christmas, and L'Arc~en~Ciel finally got the #1 album spot they had been trying for for so long.

Lies and Truth PV Lies and Truth PV Lies and Truth PV

Lies and Truth PV Lies and Truth PV Lies and Truth PV

     "True" was an instant success. It stayed on the charts for ten weeks and sold over a million copies, their first product to do that yet. Even though MAX held the #1 spot on the first week, by January "True" had reached #1 on the album chart. This was the success they had always been struggling for, even when hiro and pero were in the band, and now they finally achieved it. This was such a magical moment for the band, it seemed they were on top of the world.

hyde, sakura, tetsu, ken

     By now the band had changed significantly. 1996 was coming to an end and no longer was it the same L'Arc~en~Ciel from just one year ago. The visual had changed entirely; all of them had cut their hair to a more "normal" length. The music was, for the most part, significantly more pop than before as well. Almost all traces of their indies period were gone. Even Tierra was starting to seem like the distant past.

ken, hyde, sakura, tetsu

     Touring had actually begun before the album was released. They played their first show for their new tour, "Carnival of True", on 12/19, called "Carnival of True EVE". This was another fanclub only event. The tour officially started 12/23, and ended in 1997 on January 29th, at Nippon Budoukan nonetheless. This new tour was for a new L'Arc~en~Ciel. They played almost exclusively songs from True and heavenly. Only "Blurry Eyes" and a couple of indies songs ever got play. This tour would end up being one of the last times songs from before 1995, other than "Blurry Eyes", were ever played.

Carnival of True sakura and hyde Carnival of True tetsu Carnival of True tetsu and hyde Carnival of True ken

Carnival of True

     D'ARK~EN~CIEL also made appearances throughout the tour as well. They had a few new songs too, "DARK IN MY LIFE", "ACCIDENT" and "INSANITY". These three songs were molded into one, called "DARK song". The song "the Fourth Avenue Cafe" from "True" was going to be recut into a single on March 31st, and this "DARK song" would be the c/w track for it.

To Chapter 7...