Japanese title: サマーナイトタウン
Romaji title: SAMAANAITOTAUN
English title: Summer Night Town

Members: Nakazawa, Iida, Abe, Ishiguro, Fukuda, Yaguchi, Ichii, Yasuda

Release date: 1998.05.27 / 2005.03.02

Catalog nr: EPDE-1003 / EPDA-5314 (Re-release)
Label: zetima

First press: no


«Summer Night Town» is Morning Musume‘s 2nd single, released six months after their debut single. It is also the first release featuring the 2nd generation; Mari Yaguchi, Sayaka Ichii and Kei Yasuda, making Morning Musume an 8 member group.

It was released on May 27th, 1998, containing the title track and it’s instrumental, as well as a B-side (Memory of Summer ’98). The single sold 86.670 copies in it’s first week, and a total of 417.330 copies charting for 18 weeks, earning them #4 on the Oricon charts.

Music video for Summer Night Town

Music video for Summer Night Town

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.

Interview with Tsunku regarding this release (2000):

Interviewer: And by the release of “Summer Night Town”, there were 8 girls in the unit.

Tsunku: Originally, I wanted to add 5 more girls, but I could only find 3. And that’s when
I decided to change the image of the unit too. PV and wardrobe went through a major transformation.

Interviewer: I remember the change was a huge deal to general public.

Tsunku: Yes, I remember that. Without this major change, Morning Musume wouldn’t have survived till this day. I’m really glad that I came up with the idea at the right time and I had enough courage to do so, even though most feedbacks I received were negative. Lol. The serious followers of the unit had the solid image of the unit until then, so they didn’t like how I broke their image as a unit of 5 girls. I seriously feel threatened by those hard-core fans; I thought they were going to come after me and attack me on streets. lol. And the main reason is, and I’ve been telling staff and members all the time, that never let anyone call them ‘cute’. When we do the photo shoot, when we select wardrobe, or when we decide choreography, make sure it’s not ‘cute’. Make sure it’s ‘cool’. Maintaining the cool image is the key. We must shed everything that makes the unit ‘cute’. And this main philosophy was created at the release of “Summer Night Town”. They’ve got pretty faces naturally, so that’s awesome, but never do anything to force the ‘cuteness’ with wardrobe and choreography, otherwise, they won’t land higher than the 6th position on the pop chart."

Promo poster

Promo poster

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

Interviewer: What was difficult or challenging [with this track]?

Abe: It was the sexy sigh that I had to do after ‘Daikirai, Daikirai, Daikirai, Daisuki’. I felt a bit embarrassed, but I tried my best so I would sound sexy. lol.

Fukuda: Hitting the high note was challenging for me.

Iida: I had to hit a very high note to create the harmony, and I found that quite challenging.

Nakazawa: There was a specific part where I could never follow the right rhythm. Tsunku told me hopelessly, “I cannot understand why you can’t keep up with this rhythm.”

Yaguchi: It was the same for me. I was unable to follow the rhythm and ended up singing too fast.

Ichii: For me, the chorus with other 2 girls was challenging.


COVERS


The following year, in 1999, Coconuts Musume (promoted as a sister group to Morning Musume, with a Hawaii’an flavor) released an English version of Summer Night Town on their debut single.

In 2004, Morning Musume Otomegumi released a cover of Summer Night Town as the second B-side to their second single, Yuujou ~Kokoro no Busu ni wa Naranee!~.


TRACK LIST


Original release
01. サマーナイトタウン (Summer Night Town)
02. A MEMORY OF SUMMER ’98
03. サマーナイトタウン (Instrumental)

Re.release
01. サマーナイトタウン (Summer Night Town)
02. A MEMORY OF SUMMER ’98
03. サマーナイトタウン (Instrumental)
04. サマーナイトタウン (First Live Version)

 

The 4th track on the re-release was recorded at a live venue held at Shibuya Kokaido Hall on July 12th, 1998. Nowadays, the sound system for the concert is largely supported by a hard-disk based system, but back then, live background bands were still the main source. Even though this version is a rough cut, the imperfection of the sound enhances liveliness of the members, matched by the raw instrumental sound. When you listen to this version, you feel like you’re actually at the concert. This is the first time this version was released on CD.


CREDITS


サマーナイトタウン (Summer Night Town)

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Yasuaki Maejima

A Hawaiian version of this song is found on the single Morning Musume Single Medley ~Hawaiian~ and on the album Hawaiian de Kiku Morning Musume Single Collection (released in 2002).

 

A MEMORY OF SUMMER ’98

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Yuichi Takahashi


LINKS