Takara was originally formed in August of 1987. After a few months rehearsals Takara made their debut in October with a show in Hollywood. With this debut show came the start of Takaraís career. Takara proceeded to play many more shows throughout 1987-88. In November of 1988 Takara went into the studio to record their first demo with producer Jeff Scott Soto. As Takara entered the studio it became apparent that the current singer of Takara was not ready to record. In order to finish the new Takara demo, Jeff Soto was asked to help out, and sing on the demo. Thus then began a very long and prosperous relationship between Takara and Jeff Scott Soto. In 1990 Takara again with Jeff Soto producing, and singing went back into the studio to record what would then become their debut CD "Eternal Faith" Takara recorded ten new songs for this soon to be CD. Between Neal Gruskyís guitar work, and Jeffís vocals it seemed like a perfect match. In 1992 Takara regrouped and added new members that would be a part of the Takara debut CD " Eternal Faith". Takara line was now complete with Jeff Soto on vocals, Neal Grusky on Guitar, Bob Duda on Drums and Gary Schutt on Bass. In August of 1993 Takara was rewarded for all their hard work and sacrifice. Zero corporation (Japan) and Now and Then records (Europe) offered Takara a deal to release their first CD "Eternal Faith". "Eternal Faith" was released in December 1993 to a very receptive audience. This new CD entered the Burrn Charts at #16, and European charts at #8. With songs like "Spotlight", Two Hearts", "Restless Heart", "Colors Fade", and "Passions of the Heart" is was easy to see why "Eternal Faith" had such a strong impact for a debut album. Takaraís new CD went onto to sell 15,000 worldwide. These were very impressive numbers for a band that didnít even tour Japan or Europe. Takara received much acclaim for this CD in the magazines, and radio.

After a short break the band began work on what was to become their 2nd CD "Taste of Heaven". With the excitement created from their 1st Cd "Eternal Faith" many fans eagerly awaited this new follow up 2nd release from Takara. Right before rehearsals began for "Taste of Heaven" Bassist Carl Demarco joined Takara. With this lineup together Neal,Jeff, Carl, and Bob set out to pick up where "Eternal Faith" left off, and produce an album that takes Takara fans to new heights. Takara once again had to not only come up with a great CD, but avoid the sophomore jinx that had so commonly plagued many other bands after a excellent debut CD. After a short break Takara returned to the studio to record their long awaited 2nd CD "Taste of Heaven". This time around the band had some very special surprises in store for their fans. This time around the band enlisted Bob Daisley on bass, from Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, etc. The band felt his guest performances on two songs, and his direction from all his years of experience would be important to the outcome of this new CD. Also, The band provided two acoustic bonus tracks, "Restless Heart" and "Your Love.". Once again Takara proved that it was here to stay. With songs like "When Darkness Falls ", "December", "Days of Dawn", "Your Love", and "Lonely Shade of Blue" who could deny this was a band to be reckoned with. "Taste of Heaven" was released in May of 1995. Magazine and radio play attention was quickly focusing their eyes on this new and exciting band that had emerged from nowhere creating one hit after another. Zero corporation (Japan) and Long Island records (Europe) released this standout CD and never looked back. Upon its release "Taste of Heaven" was selling so well that Long Island records brought Takara to Germany for a promo tour. After one week in Germany Takara returned home to find that their new CD had broken into the Billboard chart for Japan and hit #96! Quite an accomplishment for a non Japanese band. To help things along Takara had been given a feature article in BURRN that helped to really propel Takaraís career in Japan and elsewhere.

In 1996 Saraya recordings a new U.S. label asked to release "Eternal Faith" and " Taste of Heaven" as its first releases. Now for the first time Takara had a U.S. label. The band felt that there was momentum starting to build and wasted no time in going back to work on itís third release. In 1998 Takara released itís third CD "Blind in Paradise". "Blind in Paradise" was released through Zero corp(Japan), Point Music (Europe), and Saraya recordings(US). With this release Takara added keyboardist Eric Ragno. Takara had been looking for quite sometime for a permanent keyboardist and Eric seemed to be their guy for this new CD. With this release, the combination of Jeff and Neal writing was really starting to mature. With songs like "Take You Down", "Your Love Tonight" "Donít Wanna Be Alone", "Love is Gone", and "What Do You Want From Me" their certainly was no stopping Takara. The band by now had gotten a reputation of a band that always put out consistently put out great records.

Shortly after the release of "Blind in Paradise" All of Takara's labels celebrated their short but very successful career by releasing "Eternity" Best OF... This CD was celebrated by press and radio alike to glowing reviews. The sales of the "Eternity" was nothing short of excellent. What more could a band ask for, the supreme compliment!

Late in 1998 the Takara line-up went through an enormous change. Two thirds of Takara had exited the band for various reasons. Many people wondered if a band so young in their career could survive this sort of change, and continue on, and still please their fans. After the smoke cleared all that was left was Guitarist leader Neal Grusky and Bassist Carl Demarco. Now the search was on to find people that shared the same ideas on music, and dedication that Neal and Carl viewed important to the bands continued success. First came Drummer Chad Clark. His addition provided a solid backbone that Takara sorely needed. He also brought with him years of experience playing live and recording that had a profound influence that no one could deny. Most importantly he brought this chemistry that Carl and Neal had yet to feel ever! Second, came long time friend, and keyboardist Brook Hansen. Brook and Neal had known each other for years, and always shared similar ideas on music. With Brookís addition, the band was very excited, and ready to go. There was no explaining what was going on, but you could feel it, just growing by the day. Finally, the last to come aboard was vocalist extraordinaire Michael James. Michael from Portland Oregon was the dream singer they all had dreamed of, but wondered if he really existed. By a stroke of luck Neal found Michael through and mutual friend. With the band complete, Takara entered the studio in February of 2000 to record their 4th CD, "Perception of Reality".

After one year "Perception of Reality" was completed. The band felt it had created one of the best, and most exciting CD's yet in the Takara career. With songs like "Miles Away", Shadows in the Night", "Simple Man", and "Without You" who could deny Takara had missed a step with this new line-up and new album. With this new line-up Takara is the most energized it has ever been, and ready to embark on a tour with the release of their new CD. "Perception of Reality" will be released on November 21, 2001 on Avalon Marquee entertainment Japan. The European release will be on December 5, 2001 through Lion Music. With the early buzz of excitement, and anticipation of the new CD from Takara, "Perception of Reality" is set to be a blockbuster release for Takara. It is sure to take the band to new heights not yet experienced by Takara in any of their previous albums. Takara will be looking forward to tour Japan, Europe, and the US in 2001 and 2002 to support the release of this new album.

Since the release of 'Perception Of Reality', Lion Music has reissued all previous Takara releases. The band also contributed the Rainbow classic 'Can't Let You Go' to 'Blackmore's Castle volume 2'.

 


Takara
Perception Of Reality

LMC2112 2
Out Now

Takara
Eternal Faith

LMC22142
Out Now

Takara
Taste Of Heaven

LMC2207 2
Out Now

Takara
Blind In Paradise

LMC065
Out Now

Takara
Eternity - The Best 91-98

LMC093
Out Now

Blackmore's Castle
Volume II

Takara perform 'Can't Let You Go'
LMC121
Out Now

Byrd
Anthem
Michael Flatters on vocals
LMC2218 2
Out Now

Byrd
Flying Beyond The 9
Michael Flatters on vocals
LMC2102 2
Out Now

Uli Jon Roth Tribute
Beyond Inspiration

Michael Flatters sings on 'Still So Many Live's Away'
LMC078
Out Now