Guitar Spotlight: Akira Takasaki


Photo by Hiro Photo

This weeks guitar player hails from Japan where he is well known for his early contributions to the 80’s Metal scene.  His name is Akira Takasaki of the rock band Loudness.  The first time I heard Akira play guitar it totally blew my mind! He has the ability to use a special mix of melodies and harmonies, while at the same time, keeping the volume on his Marshall set to 11! Aside from his soloing, the rhythms of his songs are very catchy and constructed outside the standards of normality.  No doubt he would have been a good fit for Queensryche when they started out.  The possibilities are endless in terms of the metal that could have been… but what he did with Loundess was pretty damn awesome to say the least.

As a native from the land of the rising sun, Akira never got the recognition he deserved worldwide like Malmsteen, Vai, Lynch and Hammett did during that same period of time, but his efforts on vinyl clearly stand out from the rest.



The band’s international career began in 1985 with “Thunder in the East”, which sold quite well in the U.S. for its face value,  giving the band false hopes about their popularity by western metal audiences.  Subsequent efforts,   “Lightning Strikes” and “Hurricane Eyes” were records geared for the American commercial market, and saw the band slowly sail away from their roots towards a more bubble gum, pop-metal sound.  All to be short lived soon thereafter.


  • Loudness, was the first Japanese metal band ever signed to an American recording contract.
  • Akira considered by many as the greatest Asian guitarist ever.

Below is a list of his most notable shredding:


  • The Birthday Eve (1981)
  • Devil Soldier (1982)
  • The Law of Devil’s Land (1983)
  • Disillusion (1984)
  • Thunder in the East (1985)




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  • Steven Cooper

    Hey Mickey.  How are you bro?  For some reason every time I try to logon, and come to this page it shows I’m not logged in?!?!?  Akira is one of the guitarist I had suggested getting on the list along with Paul Gilbert.  He is an amazing talent.  Was the Eddie Van Halen of Japan back in the day.  But he has progressed far beyond since then.  Loudness still puts out new product practically every year or 2.  SHREDDING to the max.  Some of the best albums by Loudness were from the era of 1992 – 98.  This was the period where the vocalist and drummer were Masaki Yamada and Hiro Homa from EZO.  Awesome stuff.  If you haven’t heard any of the albums, I’d advise it.  I have all of them if you want copies.  Teheheh. – Steven Cooper

    •  Hey Steve! We changed the privacy on the SMG Social Network so that in order to access certain info, you must be a member of the site. However, the SMG Blog is wide open to everyone. Let me know if you have any other questions man.

  • Bob Fay

    I met Akira in the late 80s at the Keg House, here in New Haven CT. Actually, the whole band, Loudness, was there watching and basically auditioning their future American singer, Mike Vescera, with his band at the time, Obsession. The whole place was stoked that night, and I got to see a personal acquaintance get picked by a major metal band as their new singer. A night I will never forget.

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