A Best is a greatest hitsalbum released by Ayumi Hamasaki on March 28, 2001. It had the second highest one week worldwide sales of all time in Japan, making it the second fastest selling album of all time, the first being Utada Hikaru's Distance, released the same day.
This album also features two tracks that were never released as singles ("A Song for ××" and "Who..."). Due to the large number of Ayumi Hamasaki singles, the songs on the album are fan favorites. Songs from her debut album such as "A Song for ××", "Trust", and "Depend on You" were re-recorded, showing the changes in Hamasaki's vocal qualities. The initial pressings had six different variations that each came with its own "gift".
A Best was released in a very competitive week simultaneously with Utada Hikaru's Distance, which topped the charts on the initial week of release with record-breaking 3,002,720 copies in its first week; A Best debuted at number two moving 2,874,870 units. The following, however, Hamasaki's compilation reached number one selling 510,160 copies.
By the end of the year, A Best had sold 4,248,640 copies and became the second best-selling album of 2001, only surpassed by Hikaru's Distance. Additionally, it is the second best-selling album of the noughties, and the sixth highest-selling album of all time in Japan.
Despite becoming her highest selling album in the country, Hamasaki opposed it publicly stating:
It was too early for release. My 'best album' was something I dreamt of doing my way, but one day the company (Avex) came to me and said "your best album has to be released on this month and on this day"
A Best was later re-released in other countries outside Japan, including Singapore, the Philippines and Korea. The international version did not have new vocal mixes and had a slightly different cover art to the standard Japanese version.