Written by: Zer0
Every three or four months, the Japanese record labels have their "seasonal" release - their Spring love song, their upbeat Summer party song, their nostalgic Autumn mid-tempo number, and the essential Winter ballad. They all seem to come out at once, and many record labels release multiple versions of singles and albums, often with different artwork, different tracklists, and different first-press bonus extras. This leads to a rash of complaints. They're pretty predictable. They all go something like this:
"The record company is sucking us dry!"
"So expensive... they're stealing my money!"
"mean money-grubbing record label!! I'M GONNA GO BROKE!"
"The record execs are awful, releasing all these versions of singles!!"
"A concert DVD and a new single IN THE SAME DAY!? So EVIL!!"
Written by Jaylee
Hamasaki Ayumi is one of if not the biggest stars in Japan. Her popularity has declined over the years but she is still one of the most recognizable names and faces in Asia. Throughout her career she has crafted videos with deep symbolism that critiqued the record industry and fame culture. She has touched millions of fans through her personal lyrics. She is an artist who wears a pop mask.
In part three of our “Rock’n’Roll Circus” PV analysis, I will be delving into the symbolism and inspiration behind the video. Just a warning, this analysis is more image based than Zer0's and may not be suitable for children.
Written by Zer0
"Traditional, ethnic, European... With all these various sounds put together, it's rather 'circus-like'... The new album's title, 'Rock'n'Roll Circus', has alot of funny, frightening, sad, and strange subtext, but to me that's just what 'rock & roll' is."
--Bea's UP, May 2010
The album's title, "Rock'n'Roll Circus," is one of the few Hamasaki Ayumi album titles that doesn't correspond to a track on the album. The two sounds - "Rock & Roll" and "Circus" - are best assigned to two of the buzz tracks, "Microphone" and "Sexy little things," respectively.
Written by Zer0
SPOILER ALERT - The video covered in this article has a twist ending. I highly recommend watching the full video before reading any further.
"[Rock'n'Roll Circus]...basically has a feeling of 'back-to-basics.' A feeling of Hamasaki Ayumi, and less of adventure. More digging down into the foundation. Which isn't to say I'm taking a step backward. It's about expressing my feelings on things I've always liked, but as the person I am now."
--SCawaii, February 2010
The reception for Ayumi Hamasaki's first few singles was lukewarm at best. But when her first full album, A Song for XX, was released on New Year's Day in 1999, it hit number one on the Oricon charts its first week. What happened? The world got to know Ayu.