A Ballads

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A Ballads
Two women that are both Ayumi Hamasaki are shown lying down together from the upper chest up, closely facing each other with their eyes closed, each with a hand on the other. In the bottom right is written in lowercase "ayumi hamasaki" and below it is written in uppercase "A BALADS".
Compilation album by Ayumi Hamasaki
Released March 12, 2003 (2003-03-12)
Genre Pop
Length 72:03
Label Avex Trax
Ayumi Hamasaki chronology
A Ballads
Memorial Address

A Ballads is a ballad compilation album by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki released on March 12, 2003 by Avex Trax. The album includes the ballads from her career up to that point.

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)

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Ayumi Hamasaki except track 14 (written by Yumi Arai).

No. Title Music Arranger(s) Length
1. "Rainbow"   Crea+D.A.I[Note 1] CMJK  
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,
6. "Hanabi"   Crea+D.A.I CMJK  
7. "M" (HΛL's Progress) Crea HΛL  
8. "Dearest"   Crea+D.A.I Naoto Suzuki  
9. "Dolls"   Crea HΛL  
10. "Seasons" (2003 ReBirth Mix) D.A.I Naoto Suzuki  
11. "Voyage"   Crea+D.A.I Ken Shima  
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  

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Catalogue Number
Japan March 12, 2003 (2003-03-12) CD
Hong Kong
China 2003
  • First press
  • SCD-686
December 25, 2005 (2005-12-25)
  • Second Press


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)


  1. ^ Crea is the pseudonym of Ayumi Hamasaki.

External links[edit]