For tonight’s Idols♥ Unzipped we’ll take a little peek back into the origins of Morning Musume all those years ago…
..and while we have talent search programs like American Idol and X~Factor,
And this is how it all began
…during the Fall of 1997 the finale of a talent audition contest collaborated between Tsunku (Sharan Q) and the Asayan television program in Japan winded down to the final eleven idol/singer hopefuls which concluded with Heike Michiyo winning. However a second chance effort was created for five of the remaining talents which included Abe Natsumi, Iida Kaori, Fukuda Asuka, Ishiguro Aya and Nakazawa Yuko and their challenge was a formidable one in that they would only be allowed to debut as an official group if they could sell 50,000 copies of a specially recorded single of theirs within just five days total of sales events all on their own. I remember shortly after their final sales event day in Nagoya a mini documentary was released showing all of the challenges and various hardships and tears that the girls had to go through in bringing about the amazing feat to fruition, and really talk about spent blood, sweat and tears all going into their sales blitz and just the feelings of uncertainty if they would actually reach their 50,000 sales goal over such a short period of time was captured most intimately and candidly as each of the five girls fought so hard in keeping up their spirits~*~~* as the allotted sales event days were quickly winding down with much needed sales still needed. Sadly the clip I had documenting the events as well as their in between time together between events was lost when my old pc from then expired suddenly one day leaving a lot of pics and clips forever gone…mind you it was before the days of the external back up hard drives or at least I was unaware of them at the time =/. Although 1998’s single “Morning Coffee” is officially Momusu’s debut single release I still think of “Ai no tane” as being their debut single and song and with that a great attachment and sentiment for me personally will always remain with this single as you can always look back at its creation and the five original girls’ incredible feat accomplished as being the very reason and statement moment which lends to the very existence of Morning Musume of today. For without it, there would never have been a Morning Musume and likewise the long running and illustrious career its created for aspiring idol/singers over the many years since.
The symbolic statement of “Ai no tane” made it a must have single and while I would have loved to have been able to be one of the very first fans to have attended one of their four sales events, luckily through the help of a second hand music shop in Japan I was able to request through a ‘wants list’ Morning Musume’s “Ai no tane” single complete with signed post card and photo which were given out at each of the sales events for those attending who purchased a single in helping the girls’ sales challenge. Given the multiple fluctuations in Momusu’s popularity, members and sales over the years it’s difficult to imagine just what the market value would be today for this single but back then when I longed for it the asking price of various auctions were in the neighborhood of anywhere from $180.00 going as high as up to $300.00 depending on the singles condition an whether or not the signed post card and/or photo were also included in their original state. The complete set I received was in pristine condition with both the signed post card and group photo included in great shape as well and after years of it hanging upon my bedroom wall today I took it down for the first time since it was hung there and also scanned it for the very first time. So here with great sentiment is the origin of Morning Musume in original merchandise, its very first official live concert performance as well as its music video~.
For all successes,
there is always
~Morning Musume Asayan Project “Ai no tane”~
The song’s lyrics are most personalized too as the theme of ‘setting out’…’a new season’…’tears drying up’ and ‘aiming for the sky’ all are in perfect harmony with the girls’ outlook and efforts put forth for this very debut and how moving on and fighting for your dream no matter the pain and challenges defines the original five members of Morning Musume who had originally lost the audition contest but through a second chance~*~~* all found that shining rainbow out of the darkened clouds and in that they’d planted the ‘seeds of love’ all those years ago which continue to grow and persevere in the Morning Musume of years past and into today and beyond~.
~Morning Musume “Ai no tane” (Hello! First Live at Shibuya Koukaido)~
How adorable is Nacchi~♥!! and note Yuko’s already shorter hair style as she cut it shortly after the single’s cover shoot was done, prior to the music video production.
~Morning Musume “Ai no tane” (music video)~