22 comments on “Minor but nevertheless amazing Hello! Project songs

  1. “But nowadays all their singles are triple A-sides — any album they release would just be a kind of a best-of.”
    I think C-ute and Juice=Juice’s latest albums show there’s still a lot of room for new songs even when compiling so many multi-A-sides. Heck, even the S/mileage / ANGERME Best album had 6 new songs spread across editions.

    • I think UF strategy now is cramping every other “B-side” songs into an album. Forcing us to buy the album if we want something “different” from said groups.
      Pros: more awesomeness assurance for each album song. H!P albums in the recent years multiple A-sides, contains less boring and forgettable album tracks.
      Cons: less variations, since “B-sides” triggered Tsunku or any collaborating music producers to create more songs.

      • But see, now you’re making the assumption that “album tracks = forgettable”. Which is something that I (and the the people in the 2ch thread) don’t agree with. And like people said in the thread: an album with just A-sides is not really an “album” at all. It’s just a best of.

        • I didn’t said anything about “best of” albums. So please, don’t you make any assumption about it. In fact, I didn’t made or try to make any assumption. Don’t bring those cancerous “assumption” and “speculation” to here, please.

  2. 67 said exactly what I was thinking reading that tweet from Tsunku. The Vision would have definitely been better off as an album track. Just watching the MV for that song feels weird, since they’re applying the standard MV fare for a song that doesn’t have the power of a single.

    • Exactly. And though you phrased it kind of weird (“doesn’t have the _power_ of a single”), really everyone with half a brain can realize that whether a song is single material or not has nothing to do with whether a song is GOOD or not. Some songs just ARE singles and some aren’t. Dekiru Onna, KoiING, Sono bamen de bibiccha ikenai jan!, Yowamushi, Tomo… These were all B-sides. Does that mean they were shitty songs? That they were lacking? No, it does not. They were fucking awesome songs. But they were never meant to be singles. That’s all.

      • Singles are songs chosen because they are easily marketable, not because they will be remembered. It’s frustrating when people equate marketability with goodness, especially since so many overseas fans start to listen to J-pop and idol pop because it’s niche-y.

  3. Gosh, now I want to make a list of my own. I started, but it got too long too fast. I may actually end up blogging again.

    For now, props to the folks who named Koi no Shihatsu Ressha and Manatsu no Kousen. It’s sad that old A-sides count as obscure now.

  4. I gonna start listening to b-sides…
    Well anyways, for non-music fans like me, apart from the cute girls, I get into the song because of the MV too. Had Vision been a b-side, I might not have ever bothered to look it up just like all other b-sides. Ai no Gundan too was so good, I could’t have cared less if I have not seen its dance shot.
    I don’t disagree with you guys here, but it’s true that music industry is down the drain and no matter how much I say “I love H!P because of the quality so on”, I will still value its looks more than its sound (anyways they originally sounded weird to my taste had it been not for the cute girls that I adapted over time). And their idols, the music quality just come as a bonus or second.

  5. I always say : A-sides are for the public, B-sides and album tracks are for the fans.

    As an example, Seishun Oodoori (14th BK single B-side) is an almost-perfect song for me.

  6. I don’t understand this sentiment against double/triple A-sides…I mean, wouldn’t it be a good thing that the “secondary” songs get more promotion and spotlight? Especially if one prefers the secondary song to the main one: for example, despite all the hype for “Utakata” I actually thought “The Vision” and especially “Tokyo to iu Katasumi” to be better songs and am glad they got A-level promotion (I actually thought “Tokyo” was the main song for the single at first, and I wish it had been). There are a lot of songs that took me a while to find and get into because they weren’t pushed as much due to B-side status.

    Then again, I suppose the novelty of “hidden gem” status might be part of the appeal for y’all.

    But from a practical standpoint, there would definitely be one good thing about going back to B-sides: it could help ease the workload for everyone in the company with one less video and photo session to shoot and finance, one less song to promote on TV, et cetera…especially when you consider how some idols might be getting injured or otherwise breaking down from stress (see Chel, Chisato, Manakan) under their already busy schedules.

    • I think the point is (in a nutshell) that singles have to be catchy. B-sides don’t. With triple A-sides, you don’t have B-sides anymore. That means we now *only* get the catchy, single-oriented songs and none of the more experimental or “weird” songs. That’s what I miss.

      • But there’s nothing stopping them from being “experimental” with an A-level song if there are multiple A-sides on a single, and especially since these singles can still rely on one song being the “lead” song (such as “Utakata”).

        In fact, I’d argue they’ve been doing this already: “One and Only” was a risky move being an all-English song for a primarily Japanese market (us foreigners are still a small percentage of the overall fanbase), and then we have “Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi” and “The Vision”, somber midtempo songs that contrast with the speedy and intense expectations of traditional lead songs.

        The first song on the single already serves as the traditional A-side role and relegates the other songs to secondary status. Instead of asking for the traditional A/B format to return, I’d rather ask for more experimentation and variety in general given the increased number of songs promoted per single. The A/B labelling is an outdated concept anyway, remaining from the days of double-sided physical media.

        • Yes, you can be experimental with the A-sides too. But I don’t think you get my point. It’s simply not realistic that we’d ever get an A-side like (to list some B-sides from the thread): A MEMORY OF SUMMER ’98, Attakai Ude de Tsutsunde, Tatoeba, Purple Wind, A Rainy Day, Dekiru Onna… It’s just not going to happen.

          • A third of that list, though, are pre-2000 songs of a style that hadn’t been heard for a long time anyway, and another third are album songs. I don’t think they’re as strict with A’s as you seem to. I mean, they made a tertiary A-side out of a Morning Musume enka song.

            • This is an old thread, but I’ll add to this mini-sequence of discourse


              The reason why we had weird A-tracks (One and Only, Mikaeri Bijin) was because there was an -event- of sorts that they were promoting

              One and Only was due to them planning a trip to Houston since they had a member who could speak English. Mikaeri Bijin was paying respects to Sayu who was leaving with the longest tenure, and is a fan of slow songs in general.

              But no, other than that, the A-tracks -still- follow the same formula. And several are basically the same song, with slight variances for the sake of making it different (mainly in tone and sound). There really is no true “weird” songs or even questionable choices.

              Like, the song writers create songs in general – the songs are later assigned to a group – and then it’s worked to match said-group’s sounds. Some are made exclusively for the group, while some you can tell from the first note that it wasn’t (eg Juice=Juice’s next single has a song that was clearly wtf C-ute would’ve released).

              What I mean with that tho, is this means they must make every. single. song. A-track-quality. Songs that count as “abstract” – especially sounds not already commonly released by the group – don’t go to them, and go elsewhere within the company.

              Can they experiment?
              Sure, but it’s gotta resemble their already released stuff.
              Can they experiment beyond that?
              Sure, but it’s gotta be for a special occasion (eg Morning Misoshiru, Get You!!)

              We’ve truly yet to see them *EXPERIMENT* with an A-side track.
              And that was something they most commonly did with their B-tracks.

              So for that, I most certainly would prefer them releasing different B-tracks per version at the expense of more often released albums. We’d still get roughly the same amount of songs released in the end, and fans of various understandings will be able to enjoy it without H!P losing anything.

              And then we can go back to pointless “THEY SHOULD’VE MADE THIS THE A-TRACK INSTEAD” declarations. Which was, and forever will be, ridiculous ways of expressing they preferred its B-track more.

        • I’m pretty much with you. It seems to me like with the current way we’re only missing out on the really minor stuff. The “cover an old song and put it exclusively on one of six editions” stuff.

  7. I miss the b-side songs, some of those were good enough to be A-sides… Ones like 3,2,1 Breakin Out and Namidachhi are two of my favorites

  8. Umbrella ~ Tanpopo#
    or any of those newly remade shuffle units back in 2010!

    MM ~ Funwari Koibito Ichinensei/Watashi no Dekkai Hana

    C-ute ~ Bagel w Ham & Cheese/ Go! Go! Go!/The Party

  9. Tanpopo – Sentimental Minami Muki (and don’t even really like Yaguchi…but I do like Tsunku and disco)

    Morning Musume – Indigo Blue Love

    Goto Maki – Date Chuuihou

    Taiyou to Ciscomoon – Hey Mahiru no Shinkirou

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