I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ayumi Hamasaki -- SEASONS

Almost 3 years since I set up "Kayo Kyoku Plus", and even with the "Plus" in there, I had never put up an official Ayumi Hamasaki(浜崎あゆみ)entry until now. I did mention her in one article since she did a cover version of a much older song (I think it was an Akina Nakamori hit) but never registered her in officially.

As you would be expecting, I was never all that much of a Hamasaki fan. The majority of her songs never really pulled me in. However, there were a few, most of them being her early ballads that did catch my ear. One of them was her 16th single, "SEASONS" which came out in June 2000.

By 2000, Hamasaki was already the household name for the various music fans who watched programs like "Music Station" or "Countdown TV", when this latest mega-hit came along. In fact, I swear that "SEASONS" was a permanent fixture on the "Countdown TV" charts since I kept seeing that video of her in that black dress walking through a stylized desert over and over again for weeks and months on end. It was too bad that the video was so short, though. And I have to say that the ballad was just my type with the lilting piano and Hamasaki's pleading vocals heading up to the sky.

Hamasaki wrote the lyrics while D.A.I. composed the melody. D.A.I. happens to be Dai Nagao(長尾大), who at the time was the guitarist for the pop/rock group Do As Infinity. "SEASONS" became the singer's 3rd million-seller and her second-most successful single to date, hitting No. 1 for two weeks in a row. It became the 5th-ranking single for 2000, and helped her get onto the Kohaku Utagassen for the 2nd time.


  1. Hi, J-Canuck,

    A couple of months ago I concluded that nobody on Kayo Kyoku Plus was an Ayumi Hamasaki fan as, like you noted, the blog didn’t have any proper article about her before this one.

    I’m also not a fan of Ayumi Hamasaki, and I must confess that I tried to like her two or three times in the past, with no success. That said, I like a few of her songs, especially some of her late 90s hits, such as “Vogue”, “Trauma”, “Boys & Girls”, and the more recent “Feel The Love” (this one is more a guilty pleasure than anything).

    As for “SEASONS”, I remember listening to it in some of her concerts, probably the ones from 2000 and 2001, if I’m not mistaken. It never really stood out, as I’m not a big fan of this type of ballad.

    My problem with Ayumi Hamasaki, though, is purely Ayumi Hamasaki. In other words, I don’t like her ultra nasal voice at all, and that’s coming from an aidoru fan. Really, I don’t understand how she became such a sensation... maybe her songwriting skills, her fashion sense, and even the music, which was nice sometimes, helped her career, but her voice is a major let down to me.

    1. I think it was a combination of all the factors that you've mentioned. And obviously, there are people out there other than us who actually have enjoyed her vocals. For me, it's a matter on how those vocals were used. They worked for me on "SEASONS" and perhaps for a couple of her other songs but that's about it.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.