24 April 2015

NEWS - Kibou ~Yell~ (1st major single)

Limited edition
Officially this single is considered to the the group's debut single and it is either this release date or the date that the group was first announced that is used for anniversary dates for them. This is their first major release and the first to chart on the Oricon chart.

The title track of the single was used as the theme song for the 2003 Volleyball World Cup

Between the previous single and this one Moriuchi Takahiro left the agency and the group continued on as an eight member unit.

By this time Yamashita Tomohisa, Koyama Keiichiro, Kusano Hironori and Kato Shigeaki were no longer being placed with their Junior groups, which signaled the disbandment of K.K.Kity but 4TOPS continued on as 3TOPS for a while longer. Nishikido Ryo and Uchi Hiroki though were still allowed to remain members of Kanjani8, as that group was picking up in popularity which would later lead to a debut later in the year.

While Masuda Takahisa did not have a prior Junior group he was in before NEWS he was asked to join one post-debut. He was a member of Kis-My-Ft. (which would later change membership to become Kis-My-Ft2) as they needed someone who could roller skate, a main feature for the group. But he was not always present for Kis-My-Ft. activities as NEWS was his priority.

The B-side Stand Up was actually performed by several of the members of NEWS before the group was even announced (see the October 5th, 2003 Shounen Club episode). It was an English version of the song though but it had the same title.

The single topped the Oricon charts at number one which began their streak of number one singles from their debut.

Regular edition
Release date: 12 May, 2004

Versions: Limited, Regular

Limited track listing:
1. Kibou ~Yell~
2. Stand Up
3. Good News!
4. Kibou ~Yell~ (original karaoke)
5. Stand Up (original karaoke)
6. Good News! (original karaoke)

Regular track listing:
1. Kibou ~Yell~
2. Stand Up
3. Good News!

Group members: Yamashita Tomohisa, Nishikido Ryo, Uchi Hiroki, Koyama Keiichiro, Kusano Hironori, Kato Shigeaki, Masuda Takahisa, Tegoshi Yuya

21 April 2015

Taking a guess for Kis-My-Ft2's 2015 releases

It seems like the idols I follow are all in a lull phase where there is not much going on, or at least nothing as a foreign fan can really enjoy. So I have begun to try to guess when the next releases for them may happen and honestly Kis-My-Ft2 is the only group I feel that I can guess with any kind of accuracy.

My guess is basically up next it will be an original album from the group followed by the usual single release in August and possibly another single in November.

Last year it looked like they wanted to switch up the release schedule by having a single collection album being released in March instead of the usual original album. Of course that just was a delay for the annual original album from the group as it was released in July. Since that album there has been three single released for Kisumai and two for Busaiku so an album release this July would make sense. Or even late June, but with Kitayama Hiromitsu and Fujigaya Taisuke busy with stage productions in May, with Fujigaya's running to the end of the month, it may not be enough time to record everything. Especially as they are the main vocals of the group. That is of course if there has not been some production done for it already.

The big indicator will be a concert tour announcement, as Kisumai is a group that tours when they have a new album out. So if there is an album coming this summer we should first get a concert tour announcement preceding one for a new album.

There has yet to be a year that Kisumai has not released a single in the first half of August and I do not see this year being the exception. This will be the fourth anniversary of the group's debut and seeing as they had a special anniversary edition last year I can see there being one for this year too.

The only issue would be that it could be cutting it close for Kitayama, as he has the overseas Takizawa Kabuki shows in Singapore to do starting the 18th of that month. But if they wrap up promotion for the single quickly it may not be too much of an issue. Or if they release it on the 5th and not the 12th. Though they have kept this August single release as close to the release date of their debut single, August 10th, so the latter is more likely for the release date based on that.

Also it has been announced that Tamamori Yuta will be starring in a drama that begins airing in October so I will assume that the group will do the theme song for it. That said I can see that being for the usual single release near the end of the year, and they have released two of those in November so the timing would work out for it.

So basically my guess is that we get a new album most likely in July with a slight chance for late June. Then the usual anniversary single release in August, with the 12th being the more likely date. And to finish up the year a single in November.

Of course there could be a new Busaiku single thrown in there somewhere, but those are much harder to place as they do not really follow a pattern. I just doubt we will get one before the next album drops.

17 April 2015

NEWS - NEWS Nippon (debut single)

East version
While NEWS Nippon can be considered the group's debut single the fact it was not a typical release rather puts it in a grey area. It is officially the following single that is counted for a debut date for the group, as that is when the group officially became a group and that release was their first major release.

Getting back to NEWS Nippon itself though, this single was released only through 7-11 convenience stores, hence the issue of whether or not this can be counted as the official debut single of the group. It came out November 7th, 2003. There were two versions, East and West, with each being released in different parts of Japan. (East for Eastern Japan and West for Western Japan.) Each version had a different B-side for it, Ima, Arigato (which featured Moriuchi Takahiro, Masuda Takahisa and Tegoshi Yuya) for East and Private Hearts (which featured Koyama Keiichiro, Kusano Hironori and Kato Shigeaki) for West.

Private Hearts was a song for the Junior group that Koyama, Kusano and Kato were members of, K.K.Kity. The group was one of the Junior groups that Domoto Koichi from Kinki Kids had a hand in creating and the lyrics for this song were written by him.

The title track was used as the official theme song for the FIVB tournament that NEWS was made the official supporters of in connection of it. It made them the third group, after V6 and Arashi, to have their debut in connection to the sports event.

When the group and single were announced in September 2003 it was not made known that this would be a permanent group. Even the group members were in the dark about this, especially since Nishikido Ryo and Uchi Hiroki still were active with their Kansai Junior group, Kanjani8. The others who had Junior groups (Yamashita Tomohisa with 4TOPS and Koyama, Kusano and Kato with K.K.Kity) also remained with those groups as well as performing as NEWS during this time.

Though those chosen out of their groups were some of the more popular members of them, especially Yamashita (Yamapi) who was one of the most popular Juniors of that time. Masuda had been a Junior for some time and Moriuchi had been getting pushed by the agency in the months prior. Tegoshi Yuya was relatively unknown, as he had only joined the agency about four months before this.

There is no sales record for the single because of its special release status but one can assume it must have done well enough for Johnny's to debut the group officially in the following year.

West version

Release date: 7 November, 2003

Versions: East, West

East track listing:
1. NEWS Nippon
2. Ima, Arigato
3. NEWS Nippon (original karaoke)
4. Ima, Arigato (original karaoke)

West track listing:
1. NEWS Nippon
2. Private Hearts
3. NEWS Nippon (original karaoke)
4. Private Hearts (original karaoke)

Group members: Yamashita Tomohisa, Nishikido Ryo, Uchi Hiroki, Koyama Keiichiro, Kusano Hironori, Kato Shigeaki, Masuda Takahisa, Tegoshi Yuya, Moriuchi Takahiro

Final single for Moriuchi Takahiro.

NEWS - A Release History introduction

I do not think I need to spend much time talking about how much I love NEWS. I have done so several times on this blog and various other places and if anything I have found a new way to share that love. And that simply is this project for this blog.

I will go over all their CD releases and give commentary about the releases, as what was going on with the group around the time of the releases and something about the releases as well. By doing this I hope to give a history of the group, mostly for those who may not be familiar with them.

I will be skipping solo and sub-unit releases though, just to help keep things simple mostly. Especially when a lot of the solo and special releases are tied to Yamashita Tomohisa, who is no longer a member of the group.

I plan on doing one release a week, so I can keep on schedule, and will finish things up with the latest release, whatever that may be when I get to it. So every Friday there will be a new entry for this project starting later today with NEWS Nippon. And if there are new CD releases by the group before I finish with this project it will just be added to this project.