Japanese title: モーニングコーヒー
Romaji title: MOONINGUKOOHII
English title: Morning Coffee

Members: Nakazawa, Iida, Abe, Ishiguro, Fukuda

Release date: 1998.01.28 / 2005.03.02

Catalog nr: EPDA-56 / EPDA-5313 (Re-release)
Label: zetima

First press: no


«Morning Coffee» is Morning Musume‘s first major single, released two months afther their debut indies single.

It was released on January 28th 1998. The single contains the title track and it’s instrumental, as well as a B-side (their indies single track Ai no Tane). The single sold 95.060 copies in it’s first week, and a total of 200.790 copies, earning them #6 on the Oricon charts.

In 2004, a special «Early Single Box» was released, a limited edition box set containing their first eight singles reissued on 12cm CDs. The box set also contained a bonus 12cm karaoke CD, with instrumentals of 15 popular songs from their first 3 albums and a 36 page color booklet. In 2005, the singles were released individually, and first press editions of these singles came with a photo card. All the 12 cm CDs contain an extra track for each single.

Music video for Morning Coffee

Music video for Morning Coffee

Early on, Tsunku had decided that Kaori Iida was going to be the lead vocalist. Before the recording on the second day, Tsunku changed his mind and told the group that he was going to change the lead vocals to Abe instead.

For their major debut single, three songs were recorded; «Morning Coffee«, «Usotsuki Anta» and «Dou ni ka Shite Douyoubi«. Demos of the songs were played on ASAYAN while the girls were interviewed. The hosts of the show started laughing listening to «Dou ni Kashite Douyoubi», because they thought parts of the lyrics were funny: "Douyoubi nante, kirairai, terebi datte, no no". It  literally means "Saturdays, I hate hate (them), even TV (is) No No", but "I hate Saturdays, I’m not interested in watching TV. No No" makes for a better translation when put in context.

People could phone in and vote for the song that would be their debut single, and on December 28th, “Morning Coffee” was chosen to be the song for the major debut.

Promo poster

Promo poster

Interview with Tsunku regarding the single (2000):

Interviewer: January, 1998, Morning Musume released, “Morning Coffee”. At that point, did you have a clear vision of the unit?

Tsunku: Not at all. I was testing to see how many households I could reach. I didn’t know whether the unit could be in top 10 artists. So “Morning Coffee” was good for testing the market. But once I saw the unit’s popularity, I felt like the unit possessed a huge risk to be perceived as artificial idol group, so I immediately changed my game plan. I wanted to keep the unit as multi-dimensional, or the unit was going to follow the typical fate of the artificial units, that’s photogenic without substance. Back when we were promoting “Ai No Tane”, things were in much smaller scale, with warm supports, just like young athletes being supported by the family members. The warm atmosphere began to cool down around the release date, and I didn’t like that at all. We came up with the idea of adding more members, and changing the image of the unit at the same time. I think that’s when I began seeing the clear vision of the unit.

Up until the release of “Morning Coffee”, general public was interested in the unit for one reason: The members were, in short, a bunch of losers (of the audition), and they were simply curious to see how long it could survive. The unit landed 6th place on the first week of the pop chart, and that was great, but I didn’t think about what was to follow. I wasn’t sure whether general public’s curiosity would wear off completely. That was the biggest realization at that time, and I was looking for another boost to bring back their curiosity. Also, I felt the members of the unit were beginning to feel too comfortable in their positions. Understandably, they had enough fans, they landed 6th place, they were surrounded by people at every meet-and-greet sessions. So I could see them starting to be less humble than they used to be. And I thought I had to make some changes. (note: Tsunku ended up adding three more members and giving Nakazawa a solo career)

(really short) Interview with the members of Morning Musume about the song(1998):

Interviewer: What was difficult or challenging?

Fukuda: It was difficult to express the song’s mood accurately.

Yasuda: The rapidly spoken part at the very end was difficult. I had such a hard time with it.

Nakazawa: For me, it was the chorus part of ‘Yes’. My harmony was lower but my voice was apparently way too low. I remember Tsunku was laughing at me.


COVERS


The following year, in 1999, Country Musume (a sister group to Morning Musume, releasing pop music with a country twist to them) released a re-arranged rap version with new lyrics of Morning Coffe (entitled Morning Gyuunyuu ("Morning Milk")). It can be found as the B-side to their debut single.

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Yuichi Takahashi


In 2002, a re-arranged and re-recorded version of this song was featured as the B-side for Morning Musume’s 14th single, Sou da! We’re Alive! The only ones left of the original five at this time were Iida and Abe.

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Suzuki "Daichi" Hideyuki


In September 2010, UFA (an idol agency) created a promotional unit from some of the OGs (Ex-Morning Musume members) for Georgia Coffee Drinks. The unit was called Afternoon Musume (アフタヌーン娘δ), and they did commecials for the brand. In October 2010, they released a digital single called Afternoon Coffee, which was a slower enka stylized version of Morning Musume’s first official single ; Morning Coffee, but with with new lyrics. 

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Yuichi Takahashi


In 2011, Afternoon Musume was re-named to Dream Morning Musume, and on their debut album released in March, they did a cover of Morning Coffee entitled Morning Coffee (Dreams ver.) (モーニングコーヒー ドリムスver.).

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement:  Hirata Shouichirou


Ice Creamusume released two covers of this track on their first and only album 1st Zuì Bàng! (Chinese version of the album) and 1st Saikou! (Japanese version of the album). They are called 早安咖啡 (zǎoān kāfēi / Morning Coffee (Chinese Ver.)) and 早安咖啡 (zǎoān kāfēi (Japanese Ver.)). The Japanese version has the original lyrics, while the Chinese has lyrics in Chinese.

Chinese lyrics: SA:Zheng Shu Fei | Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: ?

Japanese lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: ?


In 2016, Kaori Iida did a bossa nova-cover of the song for her album Ondas.

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Suguru Suzuki


In 2017, Morning Musume '17 released their 63rd single "BRAND NEW MORNING" with the B-side モーニングみそ汁 (Morning Misoshiru; Morning Miso Soup); a remake of "Morning Coffee". It is used as the promotional song for Marukome's miso soup product of the same name. The lyrics are the same with only the words "morning coffee" replaced with "morning misoshiru". It sounds so much like the original I thought they had brought in the original arranger, but Shouichirou Hirata did the arrangements from his version. 

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Tetsutarou Sakurai

MM '17 also released a music video:


TRACK LIST


Original release
01. モーニングコーヒー (Morning Coffee)
02. 愛の種 (Ai no Tane; Seeds of Love)
03. モーニングコーヒー (Instrumental)

Re-release
01. モーニングコーヒー (Morning Coffee)
02. 愛の種 (Ai no Tane; Seeds of Love)
03. モーニングコーヒー (Instrumental)
04. モーニングコーヒー (Unreleased «B♭» Version)

The 4th track on the re-release is a buried treasure that has never been released to the public. This was an original version completed on December 22nd, 1997, but Tsunku and the staff felt the sound to be a little weak. In order to create a more “sellable” sound, they decided to drop the key by a half and played the pre-programmed rhythm parts from sequence software instead of using the actual band. The newer version was recorded on December 30th and it became the final version for the debut single. In comparison, the vocal parts for the original version are inexperienced yet fresh, and somewhat more humble, for the members were still dreaming of becoming the top of the pop idol groups.


CREDITS


モーニングコーヒー (Morning Coffee)

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Tetsutarou Sakurai

 

愛の種 (Ai no Tane)


Lyrics: Kenzou Saeki | Music & Arrangement: Tetsutarou Sakurai

 

モーニングコーヒー (Unreleased «B♭» Version)

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Tetsutarou Sakurai

 


LINKS