「Featured post」~Amuro Namie♥

Recently I’ve read some really great discussions on the idea of Hello! Project artists/groups venturing into overseas markets such as the U.S. and U.K. While most of the consensus agrees that such a move would prove to be too difficult due to social differences, financing, and the challenge of return of profit amongst other things…a mention was made of Utada Hikaru & Amuro Namie showing interest in such a venture. Back on May 14, 2000 Amuro Namie performed for the very first time in the U.S. and it occurred right here in Hawaii! With substantial financial backing and 2 years of planning this monumental concert took place at Oahu’s famous landmark, the Waikiki Shell. The announcement at the concert promised the hope of bringing Hawaii a continued string artists from Asia who regularly sell out stadiums and arenas in their own countries and I can still remember the optimistic air brought on by these words even though so much time has passed since. The concert was very successful at least from what I could tell but despite this first great big step into a Western market, albeit it being in Hawaii which already holds such close ties to Japan, the idea never came to fruition after this event. Just being able to experience such an event live for the first time and with such a beloved artist has kept very these very fond memories with me.

Amuro Namie Original Tracks Vol

At the time Amuro Namie was the youngest person to win Japan’s Best Artist Award which she received in 1996 at the age of 18 and I was fortunate to be able to see her perform just four years later. What made this concert even more sweet was that it was a benefit event with Amuro Namie presenting a sizable donation to Hawaii’s United Okinawan Association for scholarships and elderly assistance. Amuro Namie really helped pioneer Okinawa’s push into Japan’s pop music scene and she perhaps is still regarded as her region’s most popular artist today. My grandmother was pure Okinawan and has passed onto me 1/4th of her heritage and through this somehow I’ve kind of felt sort of a connection and joy in Amurochan’ music as silly as that may sound. 😛

In late ’92 Amuro Namie, Ameku Minako, Takushi Nananko, Arakaki Hisako, & Makino Anna released their debut single under the name “Super Monkeys.” Hahah I thought about having these 2 songs uploaded but I’m not sure how they’ll be received although they are ultra cute songs!! 🙂 Aww Amuro Namie’s in the center and isn’t she the most adorable!! She’s sooo small and yet her voice has always been incredible!! I love the look she has on her face it’s too cute!! 🙂 The Super Monkeys released 3 singles before Amuro would emerge as the leader of the group and the member lineup would go through 2 changes before a final lineup would be set. By their second release Makino Anna had left and now just four members remained. The final change would arrive when their fifth single was released as Arakaki Hisako would depart and Reina & Rina would arrive as the group would now be know as “Amuro Namie with Super Monkeys since the previous single.

Something that will always impress me is that by just their second single “Dancing Junk”, the b-side would showcase Amuro Namie’s incredible voice in what is still my favorite all time ballad by her, “Rainbow Moon.” Above is the back side of this single and Amuro is featured here in her first true solo song! Her voice even at this young age is so amazing and powerful!! You could really see how Amuro was emerging as the star of the group as she was featured once again with the solo track “Wagamama wo yurushite” on their very next single. This is another extremely beautiful ballad! 🙂

As Amuro Namie’s more recent work is very well known, the few songs that I’ll be sharing here are largely from her early catalog as they’re more than likely out of print and quite possibly harder to find.

~Amuro Namie “Rainbow Moon” mp3~

I love this song soooo much!!!

(Photo above is in major need of an update as I have her complete single discography to date.)

“Try Me~Watashi wo shinjite~” was the first Amuro Namie single that I bought and luckily her back catalog was still available at the time and since then I’ve collected all of her singles up to her latest which includes 40 total (at the time of this original posting) with the special edition of “Can You Celebrate?”

Pictured above is my Amuro Namie album collection (in need of an update) which is quite incomplete as I’ve tended to buy her singles recently rather than her albums. To the right is my program from her concert here along with the ticket stub which I’ve kept all of these years. 🙂

Above is her first live concert release along with her pv collection and I own just 2 of her shashinshuu’s.

Above, still two of Amuro Namie’s best collections in my humble opinion….I would listen to these over and over and over back then and still today =).
Amuro Namie  with Super Monkey's Original Tracks Vol (1)
Amuro Namie  with Super Monkey's Original Tracks Vol (2)
Okay here’s the complete “Original Tracks Vol.1” album as I’ve just edited in six of the songs which I originally didn’t include for all fourteen songs =). They’re a bit out of order here although the album does begin with “Mister U.S.A.” and ends fittingly with “GOOD-NIGHT.” The song writing as with most artists is much  much different from her debut and into her early years so if you’ve only heard Amuro-chan’s much more recent songs then these may be quite a surprise as she really began as a true J-pop artist versus her now R&B sound which she’s been producing ever since. (note: album track “Rainbow Moon” is above)
~Super Monkeys “Mr. U.S.A.” (live)~
~Amuro Namie w/ Super Monkeys “Mister U.S.A.” (mp3)~
~Amuro Namie w/ Super Monkeys “Koi no cute beat” (mp3)~


~Amuro Namie w/ Super Monkeys “Dancing Junk” (mp3)~


~Amuro Namie w/ Super Monkeys “Aishite Mascot” (mp3)~


~Amuro Namie w/ Super Monkeys “MEMORIES~ashita no tame ni~” (mp3)


~Amuro Namie w/ Super Monkeys “Heart ni hi wo tsukete” (mp3)~


“Paradise Train” would mark the group’s last “youthful” sounding track as Amuro Namie with Super Monkeys’ fifth release “Try Me~Watashi wo shinjite~” would shift the goups’ sound drastically and with that become their breakthrough single and with its success they could be seen on just about every popular music show in Japan including the year end specials. This single also marked the move from pure “J-Pop” to the then current rage of techno!! If you love Momusu’s “Onna ni sachi are” you’re very likely to love this song as well! 🙂

~Amuro Namie “Paradise Train” mp3~

~Amuro Namie “Try Me~watashi wo shinjite~ mp3~

And a live version of “Try Me~watashi wo shinjite~”….the song which put Amuro Namie and the Super Monkeys on the map!!

~Amuro Namie w/ Super Monkeys “Try Me~watashi wo shinjite~” (live)~

Their 6th single “Taiyou no season” would continue to ride the techno wave but here I’ve included the “Salsoulike Mix” instead as I’ve always loved this mellowed down bossa nova version a lot better!

~Amuro Namie “Taiyou no season” (Salsoulike Mix) mp3~

And below is a live performance of the Original Tracks techno version of “Taiyou no season.”

~Amuro Namie with Super Monkeys” Taiyou no season” (live)~

While their early singles would feature the entire group as an ensemble sharing the vocals it didn’t take long for Amuro Namie to become the sole vocalist while the “Super Monkeys” were to become her back up dancers and it is with this change coupling with the growing popularity of the Super Monkeys amongst fans that would eventually see them part ways and go on to form their own group, MAX which would debut in May of ’95. (I’ll write a separate post about MAX soon!) And with their very next single “Stop the Music”, just their 7th, it would be the last release featuring “Amuro Namie with Super Monkeys.” This single made a departure from techno influences and instead is a straight upbeat dance tune which couples with the beautiful ballad “Good-Night” which serves as a great vehicle for Amuro’s strong vocals.

After a flurry of single releases 2 compilation albums were released under the titles “Dance Tracks Vol.1” and “Original Tracks Vol.1” The latter being a proper representation of their songs in their untouched form while the earlier released “Dance Tracks Vol.1” album for the most part includes various remixes of the songs. I absolutely prefer the original versions vs. the remixes as I seldom actually like remixes with the one exception of “Taiyou no season’s” Salsoulike Mix which is on the first compilation. More early favorites♥…

~Amuro Namie “Stop the Music” mp3~

~Amuro Namie “Kanashiki Broken Boy” mp3~

~Amuro Namie “Wagamama wo yurushite” mp3~

~Amuro Namie “Goodnight” mp3~

A perfect song to listen to before going to bed. 🙂

While Amuro Namie’s later career has headed into a more Americanized style with strong ties to R&B and Hip Hop I still love to listen to her earlier works and these tracks are just a few endeared examples of this. For new fans I hope these will inspire you to buy her music and for familiar fans I hope this was a nice walk down memory lane for you. 🙂

About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
This entry was posted in Featured, J~Pop and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to 「Featured post」~Amuro Namie♥

  1. strawberrie says:

    Oooo your Amuro Namie collection is so big. I have her latest album and So Crazy tour. I just really want the Space of Hip-Pop tour, GIRL TALK/ the SPEED STAR and the two albums previous to PLAY.


  2. MyMelody5 says:

    I love Namie-chan!
    Her music releases are always so exceptionally amazing! *_* I even got my brother hooked with Baby Don't Cry… ^^


  3. That sounds like a great Amurochan wish list!! I like a lot of her recent releases as well and perhaps I should get updated on her concert DVDs too. I just have so many fond memories when listening to these older songs of hers. 🙂


  4. Amurochan has really stood the test of time as her career continues to grow strongly. It's amazing how long she's been in the music business and through so many changes in styles through the years! Ah there's so many great songs that you can share with your brother to turn him into a fan!! 😀 "Wishing on the Same Star" is a really sweet pop ballad too! I was so happily surprised when she released it as it's actually a remake of Keedy's hit song which I really love too.


  5. Mikey says:

    I love her too! I have most of her hit songs. My favorite is Something About The Kiss. I heard that she is 1/4 Italian. I'm glad that she's making something of a "come back". One of the first jpop stars I ever heard about… You have a very impressive collection!


  6. I think a lot of people were introduced to J-Pop through Amuro Namie as she really appealed to a larger audience and when her popularity peaked it seemed like she was everywhere! 1/4th Italian? Wow I may be more Japanese than she is! 😛 I'm 100% pure but I never imagined that she wasn't. I have a large tapestry of her in my room! 🙂


  7. Mikey says:

    She is great! I was disappointed when she kind of stopped making music a while ago. It was so hard to get videos and such before Youtube and the like came along. Getting the originals wasn't much easier then. But I got her video of Something About The Kiss and was smitten! 🙂 Do you have a picture of the tapestry? I have Ayu's Greatest Hits II Black and White CD posters, but I haven't had them mounted yet… (And I have those CD/DVDs)"Namie Amuro was born in Naha City, Okinawa, Japan. She is the daughter of Emiko Taira who is Japanese-Italian.
    Emiko's father's ethnic identity is Okinawan. Amuro's parents divorced
    when she was a toddler; Amuro is the last of three children her mother
    had with her biological father before their divorce."


  8. Mikey says:

    check this:US iTunes Store has J-pop! HERESeems they have alot! up till just before the latest releases. I guess they had to please the record companies in Japan. Last Namie release on there is 2006. Still, I got almost everything I didn't already have! 🙂 Still Dling it….


  9. Mikey says:

    Check this out! (H!P playlist on US iTunes) ^^Here


  10. Mikey says:

    yuna ito dot com


  11. denadel says:

    Great to see another post about some "old" stuff. You're right about
    the koi no cute beat single. But it is one of my favorite songs along
    with mr usa. This is the kinda music i grew up with (all though in
    english) and i remember my friends wearing the same clothes. I
    understand you not upping the songs. It is not like anything Namuro
    have released lately. And it is different from her releases when first
    becoming a solo artist!

    Is there any chance i could request the karaoke versions of koi no cute beat and mr usa?

    And Amuro's release of her sweet 19 blues album is intrueging. I heard
    they changed the cover for each 100 000 copies sold (or was it for
    every ime they had to press up more cds?). I have another front cover
    than you. I have also collected the others and some pictures too. I
    really like her pictures from this time, and i was so happy when i got
    her photobook. (Her first one). It is in japanese AND english, so it
    was great reading her thoughts and seeing pictures from that time. Can
    you believe that only a year after (or was it two?) she wouild be
    married and pregant?!

    I'll be posting some photos of mine at my blog in a few days if you wanna see what my cover looks like 🙂



  12. Hmm…my room has really low lighting so I'm not sure if the photo would come out okay. Wait, I think you may be able to see it in "My H!P collection zenbu" post as Momusu' autographed "Ai no tane" release is hanging in front of it. Sorry if it's not visible and I could take a photo of it. When Amurochan made her comeback it was such an emotional moment! She's a really strong person and I really respect her!I sometimes like to joke that Ayu's my cousin! 😛 When she first appeared in music I was like 'hey that's my last name too!' One can dream right!! 🙂 It's wonderful that you have her CDs and DVDs! My Ayu collection isn't large but I have a few of her releases. I'm waiting for her new album to arrive…probably sometime this week! I was so shocked and sad to hear that she's lost hearing in one ear completely. She has stated on her site that she will continue on as an artist despite this and I can't even imagine how difficult that's going to be! 😦 It's so great that J-Pop is being made available through iTunes here in the U.S.!! They're so many fans outside of Japan and it's wonderful that they're aware! H!P too! 🙂


  13. I wish that Ito Yuna had a personal blog as I would really love to read it and hear about her experiences in Japan. It must be amazing for her finding a music career there with so much success!


  14. I'll be happy to! I'll ask my friend to put them up for me and I'll post them here when they're ready. Haha I was hesitant to have these songs uploaded but I really love them too!! Both are such cute songs and I love when Amurochan sings about the 'big pink cadillac.'!! 😀 Her pronunciation is so cute too throughout these songs! Ah I'm not sure how it was decided but the shipment we received at my then record store job included 3 or 4 of them. A few of us were going through them and trying to decide which one to buy! 🙂 I liked this cover the best but I think I'm the only one at work who chose it at that time. I love photobooks and will have a look! I was so shocked when she got married and was pregnant too!! :O It was really great to see her come back to the music industry afterwards and all of her initial performances were very moving. I'll try to have the karaoke versions up this week! 🙂


  15. Mikey says:

    Ayuchan II! 🙂 You are so cute! :)So, you are a Hamasaki then? Is your family from Fukuoka like she is? I heard that several famous singers have come from there. (I see you now in her Surreal outfit!) ;)Sad to hear that she has hearing loss! 😦 There have been many advances in correcting hear loss lately. I'm sure that she'll get the best care possible. I hope she joins the campaign to have people protect their hearing! Apple iPods allow you to limit the maximum sound level that can be played. It's sad that so many people having pretty severe hearing loss before their 30's. Back in the day, I went to a Pink Floyd concert in Germany. In the "open seating" plan (sit on the floor were ever your can) the only open space was in front of the speakers that where literally taller than I was (5'11")! We couldn't hear for 2 or 3 days after! :O It was kinda' funny at the time (WHAT?!) but I'm glad that I didn't have many experiences like that. Think what a pro typically endures!I love Amuro and Ayu and most especially for some reason Hikki! They are all great role models for Japanese women, I think. 🙂 Have you seen any pictures of Amuro's kid?I hope you can take a picture of your prize (I want to call it your pelt). I'd like one of Ayuchan II also (your debut session!) :)If you can get your camera on a steady surface (or tripod) and set the self-timer, you can get a good photo, even in dim light. (Yes, I am a photo nerd too!) ^^Thanks for being you!


  16. Mikey says:

    Yes, I was a little disappointed too. I did DL two of her songs and read about her though. I hasn't been updated since 2006, it appears… You'd think that Sony would have a blog site setup for her. Or a Myspace, at least. I hear a lot of good singers that way – like Marie Digby for instance… 🙂


  17. I really wish I had had the chance to ask my Grandfather about our family history. He passed away quite a long time ago and he didn't speak much English but I guess being so young I never had the thought to ask him something like this. Pretty sad, I don't know which area in Japan our family traces back to. Hmmm…I'm guilty of playing music too loud at times but I never use headphones and it's usually in the car. 😛 I must be careful too! Live concerts are really loud and I wonder how artists can endure all of that over so many years as some do. I used to go to concerts but I rarely do now days. Almost never actually. One of the best concerts I saw was Harry Connick Jr. with his big band at a hotel here! He's such an incredible show person and he really was one of the most entertaining artists that I've ever seen perform live. After the show the Sony representative had a room set up where we could meet him but he chose to just say hello and leave…so my friend chased after him towards the elevator and of course I had to follow! He had some kind of funny line like…"if I give you this Sharpie would you sign this please?"….but it was worth it as I actually got his autograph that night! 🙂 I love big band music and I think that at least 30% of my CDs are jazz releases. 5' 11"?!! I wish I were taller. 5' 4 1/2" means that I'm usually looking up at people although I have a lot of friends who are of similar height…maybe it's something in Hawaii's water. 😛 Actually I haven't seen a photo of Amurochan's child before. It's sad that she got divorced. Hmmm…I think that my camera may be part of the problem. It's my very first camera and I love it so much but it's not one of the newer models. I'm very very low tech. If you saw my cell phone you'd laugh! Happily I just got a new one today but it's still not the latest…hmmm I'm still behind even though it's new for me. 😛 I didn't realize that Yunachan's site has been idle for that long. Maybe she'll create her own personal site soon. 🙂


  18. Mikey says:

    That's sad that you didn't get to find out more about your heritage… I didn't ask my grandparents enough either. I know the general outlines, but have no way now to go really far back. My mother's side is of English/German stock (Smith/Johnson) and my Dad's side (Avila/Cano) came from Mexico to California around 1900. With my Dad being in the Navy, and being stationed all over (including Hawai'i) we never got to spent a lot of time with the relatives. Glad that you are aware about hearing loss. I haven't been to many concerts lately either. Many concerts are just so expensive now! Many artists make most of their money that way. (This is even before the Internet). I love a venue we have here in San Diego called Humphrey's by the Bay. You guessed it, it's right on the beautiful San Diego bay. I used to go see The Nylons (a great a capela group) every year, till they stopped touring.I LOVE Harry Connick Jr.! Do you have his A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square??That certain night, the night we met,There was magic abroad in the air,There were angels dining at the Ritz,And a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.
    I may be right, I may be wrong,But I'm perfectly willing to swearThat when you turned and smiled at meA nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.
    The moon that lingered over London town,Poor puzzled moon, he wore a frown.How could he know we two were so in love?The whole darn world seemed upside down.
    The streets of town were paved with stars;It was such a romantic affair.And, as we kissed and said 'goodnight',A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.I first heard him on the soundtrack to When Harry Met Sally (remember the scene where she does a fake orgasm in the restaurant?!). That's so cool that you got to meet him and get his autograph!! :)Someone in a similar vein I think that you will love is Michael Buble from Canada. After I heard him, I rushed to the iTunes store and bought EVERYTHING thing they had of his! His performance of Sway is awesome!!When marimba rhythms start to play
    Dance with me, make me sway
    Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore
    Hold me close, sway me more
    Like a flower bending in the breeze
    Bend with me, sway with ease
    When we dance you have a way with me
    Stay with me, sway with me
    Other dancers may be on the floor
    Dear, but my eyes will see only you
    Only you have the magic technique
    When we sway I go weak…

    I'm glad that "you look up to me"! (kidding) Actually, 5'4" is about average for Japanese women. And I don't think that American woman are much taller, on average either. Remember the hula girl in the movie that was SO much taller than everyone else?? ^^I know that I am too much of a nerd with all my hi-tech stuff. I try to put it to good use though. I would love to offer Yuna an assist to update her web site for instance, but I don't have the time these days. 😦 Does she ever come to Hawai'i to perform? I'd love to see Hawai'i again after all this time! For all the hype, only about 5% of people in the US have "smart" phones, so you are certainly not alone. That you really care and are such a sweet person means more to me than any high tech hardware! 🙂


  19. Mikey says:

    I bought $100 worth of her songs that I didn't have before from the iTunes Store because of this post! ^^(Imagine the cost of tracking down all the physical versions of these now and having them shipped!)


  20. Wow you bought $100 worth of Amurochan songs?!! :O I'm so happy that you're supporting her and at the same time feeling a bit guilty as that's a lot to spend!! Much of her early catalog is out of print so it's great that it's being offered online this way so that fans can still acquire much of her music. I do have that Harry Connick song and I really love "When Harry Met Sally." 🙂 All of the dialog in this movie is so great and now that I'm reminded of it I really would like to watch it again soon. Ah "It Had to Be You" is my favorite song from the soundtrack and there's even a music video for it! I hope I get the song title correct…"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" or at least that's what I think it's called by the lyrics, without actually checking the CD. A lot of my friends who didn't particularly care for jazz actually liked this song too! It would be so special if Yuna did perform here but with her career taking off in Japan I somehow don't imagine her performing here. Perhaps I took a bigger leap with my new phone then I originally thought but with all of the touch screen versions coming out I just still feel so in the past.


  21. wu-san says:

    Ah, I could tie this in with your drama theme song post too. As I was watching a new drama the last two days – now my all time fave! and the theme tune was 'baby don't cry' by Amuro, and it just suited or added, perhaps even created to whole mood of the drama, and I really let myself get caught up in the song and the drama. Anyway, you blogged about this conncetion already XD.
    I downloaded the album 'Play', and I still hate the really urban songs like 'Hide and seek' and 'full moon', but I'm loving 'Pink Key' reminds me of early jennifer lopez – in parts – and of course 'Baby dont cry' on the album. Some live performances are really cool too, she moves really well O_O
    I think I'll stick with this album for now, and get more used to it. Don't know where to go from here.


  22. This is so great to hear!! Ah I wasn't even aware that "Baby Don't Cry" was used as a theme song…which drama? It really is so sweet when the theme song works so well with the show as it adds so much more for the viewer. Amurochan really is a wonderful dancer and has such great stage presence too! Ah next you should listen to some of her early songs…I'm thinking going all the way back to "Original Tracks Vol. 1." ^_^


  23. wu-san says:

    The drama is 'Himitsu no Hanazono' , although it doesn't sound very impressive in the synopsis, it's really a well-rounded drama. It's gripping in all the right places, and I fell for the characters. Again 'Baby don't cry' just, makes everything so 3D…a real bonus. Not sure if you'll like the drama though, as you're not too taken with more current dramas right?
    My latest Vox post is about another drama I'm watching, if you have time to check up on it in your busy shedule 😛
    I'll go in search of 'Orginial Tracks Vol.1' next then. Hope its good. Has Amuro done any duets or featured on other songs? I'm just interested to know.


  24. Hmmm…I'm still looking for my next J-dorama love…well something new as there are so many great older ones. But I'm always open to watch just about anything especially when a friend suggests it! 🙂 I hope that you can find "Original Tracks Vol.1"…it's such a great j-pop album in the older style!! Hmmmm…duets she did have a collaboration but I can't remember the other persons name right now… 😛 I'll have to go check.


  25. wu-san says:

    It's taking awhile for me to get used to some of her older works I have to admit. Still bopping to the half of 'PLAY' album that I love. Oh and after watching her 'PLAY' live concert I loved the 'Say the word (Breeze House mix)'. Do you know if it was actually recorded – the mix that is – as a studio track? as I really, really want it XD. Has such a feel good vibe to it, very relaxing. It was a great calm down track to help close out the concert.
    I'm currently getting through a few J-dramas too, although nothing to top 'Himitsu no Hanazono' for me right now. Getting through 'Hanayome to Papa' which I did a post about on my vox recently. Been so busy though, that it's been put on hold for over a week. Hope to get back into it soon.


  26. Ah you did find "Original Tracks Vol.1"? 🙂 Okay I just went to get my "Say the word" single…..and yes! track 3 is the "breeze house mix." 🙂 Wow she's performing a single from quite awhile back….release date August 8th, 2001! I like this song too! I can't remember what the remix sounded like…I'll have to give it a listen! Wow and she closed the concert with this song? It must hold some other significance for her I imagine….I wonder what it is… You're so lucky to have dramas to watch…our local station is just starting to air their new NHK Taiga drama and it stars Miyazaki Aoi…have you heard of her? I used to see her in idol magazines a lot and I even purchased a movie with her in it along with Ribbon's Nagasaku Hiromi who was actually the main reason for me buying it…but the movie was so sooooo soooo boring!!! It was painfully boring but I had to watch it all the way through since I paid for it! 😛 It's called "Suki da,"….stay away from it!! And you have to imagine that I'm rather easy to please. 😛 The new Taiga drama is a year long event…once every week for 45 minutes so it's quite a commitment to make if I start watching it! I'm still deciding whether to or not…..it's called "Atsuhime."


  27. wu-san says:

    I've got the Original tracks Vol.1, but have yet to really listen to it. I'm working my way backwards on this one 😛
    Ah, thank you for telling me where the 'breeze house mix' could be found. Trust it to be the most obvious place, and where I didn't think it'd be for some reason :P. Hmmm, I have to say I like the PLAY concert version a lot more. The energy to see it performed live of course helps lol, but also because the actual arrangement has been given a little more life. The extra voices that harmonise in the chorus, the beefed up syth-piano and drums makes it sound a little more alive than the song on the single. I think if they re-did the mix on record now, It'd be on of my fave J-songs. Still I can enjoy the mix as it stands on the single too, just not as much. 2001 release? that really is quite some time ago now! Yep she used 'say the word' to close out the concert, and it really capped off a good show, even if I don't like some of the songs so much.
    I will have to search out 'Miyazaki Aoi' then and see what she's all about. Haha, sounds like I should avoid the film. A year long event for a drama? that's quite something for a japansese drama. Most that I have seen feel more like feature lengths. so 10-13 episode affairs.


  28. I hope you won't be too shocked when you reach "Original Tracks vol.1" as it's really dare I say "old school" J-Pop in a sense but somehow I don't find it really dated sounding at all…I guess for me it brings back fun memories. 🙂 Live arrangements can breath so much life into a song and I especially like it when they "jazz" is up a bit. That's why Ayaya's concerts are so enjoyable and why Momusu's concerts could be so much better I think. If only they'd employ live musicians and rework the songs…I think it would be so incredible and I really think that fans would love it!! They could then seriously consider releasing live albums in the future as this would warrant such releases. I was just thinking that there must be a way to isolate the audio track from Amurochan's concert and make yourself a nice mp3 of "Say the Word." Hmm…10-13 episodes is what I'm most used to also but I did watch and record 2 Taiga dramas in their entirety…."Toshie to Matsu" and "Musashi" both of which were excellent!! Ah I decided not to watch this year's new Taiga drama…hmm I hope I don't regret it later if I hear the show's really great! 😛


  29. wu-san says:

    I must confess, I enjoy her later works – although I'm still picky with those lol. I admit to finding it a hard time to adjust to the 'old school' namie, as I'm caught up in her contemporary style.
    What do you think of her latest single? to be honest I've only heard it through once, and it was a quick listen.
    Ah yes, as we've discussed about Ayaya already, sometimes a liveband can really make a song stand out or just beef up or add an extra dimension, but sometimes it's a bit teasing lol. I mean, I'd love to get my hands on the version of 'Suki da yo!' at Rika's grad concert, Or Amuro's PLAY concert version of 'say the word'. I'm sure you have some performances going on in your head too.


  30. Ah but "Kanashimi broken boy" is sooo cute!! Haha I'm just kidding…but it really is! 😛 Have you listened to "Paradise Train", "Wagamama wo yurushite", or "Rainbow Moon" yet? Haha even "Dancing Junk" is a cute one. Okay I'm sorry I'm going overboard here! 😛 Speaking of Amurochan's new single it just arrived today and Cdjapan even sent me a poster although I haven't opened it up yet. They rarely send posters with my orders so I was really surprised when I saw the length of the box today when I got home. Just looking at the cd case it's amazing that they've included 3 pvs for all 3 tracks!! 😀 Hmmm…after Berryz Koubou Amurochan is next into the player!! I'll write up my thoughts here after I've had a listen. 🙂 Hmmm…I actually have a program that I got just the other day which can extract audio files from DVDs and turn them into mp3's….I can make one of "Suki day yo!" but sadly I don't own Amurochan's "Play" concert DVD. And since H!P doesn't release any live albums I was thinking about making my own compilation….ah so many concerts to choose from though and that will make it difficult to decide. I just know that after I've selected the tracks I'm going to think of a performance that I really love which I've forgotten! 😛 Let me know if you'd like me to make an mp3 of "Suki da yo!"


  31. wu-san says:

    for you, I will try all those songs XD, some of them again :P. I'm still not sure about them though ok.
    I know! three pvs and three tracks! so much amuro love to go around on this one. I think it's a pretty neat concept, and Namie's just the girl to be the face of it.
    I'd love the 'Suki da yo!' if you're able to do it!!!! 🙂 and also the 'morning coffee' performance on the concert too, if thats ok! but please dont go out of your way. whenever you get around to it.
    Ah, MB's H!P live compilations. I think they'd sell well :P. And I'm sure you have so many performances in mind.


  32. Well I'm still working my way towards Amurochan's new single and it's been watching me from atop my printer where it now sits waiting. 😛 I'm ridiculous aren't I?! Ah I'll work on those tracks today while I watch the Bristol race. 🙂 I'm really thinking about making a live H!P audio collection but first I have to sort through all of their concerts to find performances that I like audio wise and then there's the issue of volume discrepancies between DVDs. Hmmm…."…suki dayo!" is part of a medley and I'm not sure if I can extract it separately from the rest of the medley. If I can't would you still want it as a mp3 along with the other medley songs?


  33. momo says:

    Ned, it appears your vox account is being used to send spam, I have reported you by the vox feedback form. the text of "Вот и первый пост." hints that this is a bot account.


  34. momo says:

    disregard as MB deleted the spam comment


  35. Hi Momo,I didn't even notice the text of "Вот и первый пост"….but I just thought it was an oddly blank post. Really strange too that three of these from seemingly different senders appeared within a short period of one another. I'm so confused. :/


  36. momo says:

    well it's spam, and it can be confusing sometimes. you can read more about electronic spam at wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_(electronic)


  37. Thank you for the link Momo……I just wonder why someone would feel the need to create something like this. It's so sad and unnecessary. :/


  38. mikeymikez says:

    Wow! A blast from the past! Those were the days huh? ❤


    • We had just met too not too! It’s a great thing about blogs and their threads, always great to reminisce~♥ ^^.

      Well one good thing as you don’t have to listen to me talk about my personal life anymore xD..=D.


  39. philipleslie says:

    Hi! Thank you again for linking me to this post. It’s been a lovely experience as I’ve heard some very beautiful songs. I love the early SM songs a lot, and really warmed to the slightly later solo songs such as Paradise Train and Wagamama wo yurushite, and especially Goodnight. Beautiful songs, beautifully sung. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’ve not listened to much of her recent output (shame on me). I really ought to change that.
    You’ve probably seen this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBavHrUhuP8 It’s s superb performance, with a SPEED-like delivery (although the music is not SPEED-like).
    You’ve probably seen this too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS6CTZedDNg
    Another excellent performance. Try Me is a fantastic song! The sound connection with early Max is clear from this and Stop the Music. ‘Taiyou no season’ too: her vocals are amazing on that, and I really love the electro sound.


    • Ahhh no “Rainbow Moon?” Sorry I’ve got just mp3’s here but you did find two awesome clips and the Super Monkeys one is with their original lineup before the early changes with “Mister U.S.A.!!” They were pure J-pop back then before the R&B element and American influences took over, Original Dance Tracks Vol.1’s still my favorite because of just that. You can hear just how developed Amuro-chan’s vocals were even at such a young age to where the producers probably had no choice to rename the group Amuro Namie w/ Super Monkeys and likewise she got her very first b-side solo really soon after that. And on a side note with “Taiyou no season” here I sneakily put the alternate version here as I’ve always loved the bossa nova sounding version much more…and likewise with “Wagamama wo yurushite” one version is so much better to me as most (but definitely a not all) of the “Dance Tracks vol.1” versions fair in comparison to the “Original Tracks” with the songs losing much of their “J-Pop” arrangements and tones in those recordings. Amuro-chan was so tiny and cute with the Super Monkeys!!…so nostalgic seeing that!! One thing I’ve always wished for would have been a pv collection from the Super Monkey days as I’d always see these clips being played on the show Hey!Hey!Hey! whenever they’d do their top songs countdown and even if they were just like karaoke dance clips in appearance I’d so want to have those…but sadly nothing’s ever been released on DVD to my knowledge =(. Of course all of Amuro Namie’s music videos post-Super Monkeys I’ve gotten on DVD over the years as she’s released a few compilations and I even still have my original VHS versions =P…in hindsight it’s really funny how VHS back then for music releases have proven generally to be much more expensive than their latter DVD versions xD.


  40. Pingback: J-Music Survey | モーニングBerryz48…the morning after….. "Always wear protection before reading…(^q^)."

  41. djv124 says:

    Thanks for sharing this link with me. I liked Heart ni hi wo tsukete but I couldn’t get into any of the other songs. I briefly checked most of them out, and they are really excellent examples of the music of their time. Namie’s vocals are on point and strong as it is today, perhaps even stronger. For me, I think I really fell in love with Namie with her last four albums and just haven’t looked back any farther, except a song or too, in her back catalogue. This was a nice trip down memory lane though. Namie is the queen of JPOP, and this proves why…she can develop with the time period she makes music in, and really really adapt her sound to her surroundings. She does it well, though to me, there are few songs out there by her that beat Contrail, or Naked, or Hands On Me (My personal fav), or any of the songs on Uncontrolled or Checkmate! for that matter. Just…she really grew into her own, you know? But this is great, vintage love from you to the queen. I can respect it, even if I couldn’t listen much to it.


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