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Duty
Diva for the Masses in 2000 ━━ Hamasaki Ayumi
Date:31, Dec, 2019
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles



Duty
Release: September 27, 2000

avex trax

01. starting over
02. Duty
03. vogue
04. End of the World
05. SCAR
06. Far away
07. SURREAL
08. AUDIENCE
09. SEASONS
10. teddy bear
11. Key ~eternal tie ver.~
12. girlish



Blue lines are my recommendations.


All Lyrics: Hamasaki Ayumi
Sound-producer: Suzuki Naoto
Producer: Max Matsu-ura
Hello, everyone. Today I'm talking about "Duty" the 3rd studio album of Hamasaki Ayumi. It was released in 2000 September.

Have you ever heard Hamasaki Ayumi? She is a Japanese female singer who made her debut in 1998. Her debut single, however, didn't become popular. It "poker face" just ranked at the 20th of Oricon Weekly Chart. 1998 stars were GLAY and L'Arc-en-Ciel, but not Ayumi.

In 1998, I was 14 years old and belonged to a junior high school. From radios and televisions, countless songs came to me. "Timing" by Black Biscuits, "PARADISE" by Southern All Stars, "ever free" by hide with Spread Beaver, "SOUL LOVE" by GLAY, "HONEY" by L'Arc-en-Ciel. Doubtlessly, they enriched days of my youth. But I don't remember Hamasaki Ayumi. It means that she made her debut in silence.

Next year, 1999, she suddenly became a star.

She released her 1st studio album on January 1, 1999. It ranked at the 1st of Oricon Weekly Chart and became a million-seller. And Hamasaki Ayumi was already so popular that most Japanese people knew her in 1999 summer. That was natural. TVs and radios almost always broadcasted her songs. In 1999, she released 2 studio albums, 7 singles, and a remix album. Surprising pace! Don't you think so?

It is not so difficult to imagine that she was in an exhausted condition for the pace like a raging stream. All her songs' lyrics were written by her, by the way. I guess she was so hard. The masses consumed Hamasaki Ayumi in 1999 like scuffing heels.

Next year 2000, she was still a star. Her 16th single "Seasons" was out in 2000 June and sold about 1.4 million. On the other hand, she was almost burnt-out. In the April, she published that she suffered from sudden deafness. And her 2000 concert tour was partly put off.


In 2000 September, her 3rd studio album was released as mentioned above. It sold about 3 million, they say. 3 million! Great! However, I suppose the great popularity was in exchange of something important to her.

She was only a woman aged 22 at the time. Was she really happy? Did she truly gain glory? I guess she surely got something precious most people can't get. I don't deny that. I can't help imagining she was also in great pressure, but. From listening to the "Duty," I am difficult to feel happiness or joy. What do the songs give? I don't like to suggest an extra preconception. I would like you to hear the "Duty." And what the songs show. She sang for the masses, going through a hardship. I believe so.



Hamasaki Ayumi official website (Japanese)





 

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