Japanese rockers THE YELLOW MONKEY shared the cover art and track list for their highly anticipated ninth studio album, called 9999, set for release April 17. The new album will be the veteran band’s first new studio set in 19 years.
THE YELLOW MONKEY experienced its share of ups and downs over the course of its long, illustrious career. After making their major-label debut in 1992 and shooting to superstardom, the four members took a much-needed break in 2001 that eventually led to the band’s dissolution in 2004.
The group came back in 2016 and kicked off its contemporary phase with renewed vigor, releasing a steady stream of distinctive new rock numbers including “ALRIGHT,” “Rosanna,” “Suna No Tou” (Tower of Sand), “Stars,” “Horizon,” “Tentomushi” (Ladybug), and their latest single, “I Don’t Know,” all included in the 13-track album.
The title of the upcoming set, 9999, is the largest four-digit number, which represents the best that the four members have to offer. The album’s website also explains that there is a play on the way nine can be pronounced in Japanese: “ku,” a term that can also mean “hardships,” and that the four members intend to overcome them together as they have in the past.
The cover art was designed by the German creative team Rocket & Wink, and the collage behind the stylized 9999 represents the cycle of life, the universe, the past and future, and conflict, while the graphics symbolize civilization, cities, life, animals, and flowering plants.
A DVD featuring the band’s performance of “Primal.” — from the opening night of the comeback arena tour held at the Yoyogi 1st Gymnasium in Tokyo on May 11, 2016 — will be given away in limited numbers on a first-come-first-served basis to fans who buy either the limited first edition — which also comes with a live DVD — and the CD-only regular edition.
The download version will include a bonus track of the newly recorded version of “Kegawa No Coat No Blues,” a previously unrecorded song from the band’s early indie days.