On a recent episode of "Banana Zero Music"（バナナ♪ゼロミュージック）, there was a reunion with the current incarnation of Morning Musume（モーニング娘。）and a few members of the original group from the late 1990s. Nothing ages me more than realizing that the kids of some of the first members such as Yuko Nakazawa（中澤裕子）and Kaori Iida（飯田圭織）will not be too too far away from being of recruitment age into a future MM team.😲
Anyways, here is Morning Musume's 5th single all the way from the 20th-century date of May 12th 1999, "Manatsu no Kousen" (Midsummer Ray of Light). I remember the music video when it first came on TV and apparently the ladies were filming out in Saipan.
When I was watching that episode of "Banana Zero Music", either the announcer or Hello Project Svengali, Tsunku (つんく...who wrote and composed the song), mentioned that in the first era of Morning Musume's history from 1997 to the first half of 1999, sales of their singles were steadily dropping with each release, which I'm sure was alarming to all concerned. Still, "Manatsu no Kousen" didn't do too badly, selling over 200,000 copies and hitting No. 3 on Oricon. Plus, the song included on the group's 2nd album "Second Morning"（セカンドモーニング）, released in July 1999. It also hit No. 3 on the charts.
And there is something rather quaint about seeing the first and second generations of Morning Musume back then, although for the first time it was without Asuka Fukuda（福田明日香）who left MM beforehand, thus starting the tradition of the revolving door of entry and graduation for the group. Listening to this single for the first time in a long while was quite good. Vocals weren't that great but Tsunku's melody and Shin Kouno's（河野伸）arrangement made the song fun, and there is something about it that even sounded old-fashioned, perhaps as far as back as the 1970s or 1960s.
Well, at this rate, Morning Musume will be joining other pop cultural legends such as Gundam and "Star Trek" in terms of attracting multi-generational fans. As for me, I will be shopping tomorrow for my bottle of Grecian Formula 21.