|Compilation album by Ayumi Hamasaki|
|Released||March 12, 2003|
|Ayumi Hamasaki chronology|
For the most part, the album consists of singles that were ballads; however, album tracks "A Song for ××" and "Who..." were included, as Hamasaki felt that they were some of the best ballads she had written at that point in time. A previously unreleased track, "Rainbow", appears as well.
Many of the songs are heavily remixed to fit with the ballad feel of the album: "Appears" and "M" are prime examples of this. Two songs from her earlier career, "You" and "A Song for ××" were resung, as Hamasaki felt that her vocals had improved since the initial releases of the songs.
A Ballads experienced commercial success in Japan, selling 561,127 copies in its first week, and selling 1,040,998 copies in its 39-week chart run, becoming the eighth-best selling album in Japan of 2003. It was certified Million in Japan by 2007.
"Rainbow" is the title track to her previous album Rainbow, but was not included on the album. As a promotion for both albums, the purchasers of the initial pressings of Rainbow were given a password to a website, where they could download part of instrumental version of the song, and submit their own lyrics. Over 100,000 people accessed the website. The tracklistings of initial pressings of the album Rainbow had track 00 that said "Rainbow", but the song was not included on the album, and was scheduled to be released as a single after participation ended.
Both "Appears" and "M" were dramatically remixed by HAL to fit in with the ballad image of the album.
"You", "A Song for ××" were rearranged and resung for this album and added rock and acoustic feel to the songs. These songs display the change in Hamasaki's voice since her debut.
"To Be" and "Seasons" were only minimally changed for the album with heavier percussions.
"Who..." (Across the Universe) was resung for the album and as suggested by Hamasaki herself, it was made to have a 'warmer' feel than the original track.
The final track, "Sotsugyou shashin" was originally by Yumi Matsutoya, and it was the first cover that Ayumi Hamasaki did on an album.
The numbers in A Song for ××'s title is the date in which it was recorded (YYMMDD)
All lyrics written by Ayumi Hamasaki except track 14 (written by Yumi Arai).
|2.||"Appears" (HΛL's Progress)||Kazuhito Kikuchi||HΛL|
|3.||"Key" (Eternal Tie Ver.)||Kunio Tago||Naoto Suzuki|
|4.||"You" (Northern Breeze)||Yasuhiko Hoshino||tasuku|
|5.||"To Be" (2003 ReBirth Mix)||D.A.I||Naoto Suzuki,
|7.||"M" (HΛL's Progress)||Crea||HΛL|
|10.||"Seasons" (2003 ReBirth Mix)||D.A.I||Naoto Suzuki|
|12.||"A Song for ××" (030213 Session #2 Take)||Yasuhiko Hoshino||Shingo Kobayashi|
|13.||"Who..." (Across the Universe)||Kazuhito Kikuchi||CMJK|
|14.||"Sotsugyō Shashin (卒業写真 School Photograph?)" (Yumi Arai cover)||Yumi Arai||tasuku|
|Japan||March 12, 2003||CD
|December 25, 2005
- Oricon Sales Chart (Japan)
|Release||Chart||Peak position||First Week Sales||Sales total||Chart run|
|12 March 2003||Oricon Daily Albums Chart||1|
|Oricon Weekly Albums Chart||1||561,127||1,040,998||39|
|Oricon Yearly Albums Chart||8|
- Total Sales: 1,041,000 (Japan)
- 2002-Current: Top 1,000,000 Selling Albums (Japanese)