Ayumi Hamasaki is one of the most prolific artists in Japan of all time. After debuting in 1998 with "Poker Face", Ayu quickly became a powerhouse in sales, topping charts, breaking records and slaying the competition. Times have changed though, and Ayu no longer sells the way she used to. With the lack of singles she has released in recent years, avex seems to be afraid of letting the singer lose her records, preferring to preserve her pristine record on paper rather than facing declining sales head on.
During the start of Ayu's career, there was always a constant flow of new music from the singer. In 1999 and 2000, Ayu released 7 singles per year; however, the last time Ayu has released a single was 2 years ago on September 29th with "L". During this span, Ayu has released 2 albums, a compilation album, a mini album and even plans on releasing a new mini album on November 8th.
Ayu currently holds the record for most consecutive #1 hit singles (25 in a row). A new Ayu single means risking breaking the streak, something that avex seems determined to prevent by breaking tradition and releasing albums with no prior single releases or sticking new songs as part of a larger package like they did with "You & Me". It's as though avex doesn't believe Ayu can bring in sufficient sales with her singles to be the chart topping queen her image is modeled to be.
"LOVE", the title of her new mini album, has 12 tracks, but only 3 of them are new. Ayu used to have more new songs and total tracks packed into 1 single than what is being marketed as a mini album today (remember the quadruple A-side "A"?). After announcing her new mini album yesterday, some were left wondering why such a release was being called a mini album. The answer is simple: avex's obsession with maintaining Ayu's records.
Ayumi Hamasaki has had an album top the Oricon charts every year for the past 13 years; however, both album releases this year ("Party Queen" on March 21st and "A Summer Best" on August 8th) peaked at #2. In order for Ayu to continue building upon her record, a new album release had to be put together before the end of the year. And so "LOVE" became a mini album rather than a return to the hit-single producing machine Ayu was formerly known as.
Maintaining long standing records in and of itself isn't a bad thing. As an Ayu fan for years and years, it would be sad to see her unable to build upon her records, further cementing her place as the queen of J-pop. But what's sadder than seeing Ayu's sales streaks come to an end is to see her company lose faith in their most prolific artist.
In the upcoming months, Ayu has committed herself to releasing 5 new releases over a 5 month period. It is time for Ayu to go back to her roots and deliver stunning pop singles to listeners once again. Fans will support her efforts. Its time for avex to do the same and let her be the artist we all know she can be.
|Real name||Ayumi Hamasaki|
|Birthday||2 October, 1978|
|Debut||8 April, 1998 (active)|
|Main occupation||singer (active)|
|Bookmark||Create account or login|
With JpopAsia you find worldwide friends easily. Interact and connect with people all over the world who love Asian music! Buy shares in celebrities, enjoy unique features, and become a JpopAsia celebrity yourself!
Create an account now! (in like 1 minute)