Duty (album)

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Duty
Ayumi Hamasaki with black hair wearing a leopard print outfit that includes a long tail. In lowercase, "ayumi hamasaki" is written vertically on the left edge.
Studio album by Ayumi Hamasaki
Released September 27, 2000 (2000-09-27)
Genre J-pop, pop rock
Length 51:45
Label Avex Trax
Producer Max Matsuura
Ayumi Hamasaki chronology
Loveppears
(1999)
Duty
(2000)
A Best
(2001)
Singles from Duty
  1. "Vogue"
    Released: April 26, 2000
  2. "Far Away"
    Released: May 17, 2000
  3. "Seasons"
    Released: June 7, 2000
  4. "Surreal"
    Released: September 27, 2000
  5. "Audience"
    Released: November 1, 2000
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
HMV 5/5 stars[1]

Duty is the third full-length studio album by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, released September 27, 2000 by Avex Trax. As with her previous works, Hamasaki wrote the album's lyrics, which share a central theme of loneliness, chaos, confusion, and the burden of the responsibilities carried with fame. Musically, Duty takes influences from rock music and rock-pop, a departure from the sound of previous effort Loveppears, which was primarily an electronic dance record.

To build hype for Duty, Hamasaki released three singles between April and June 2000. These are referred to as the "Trilogy"; their music videos form a story about a post-apocalyptic world. Lyrically, they express hopelessness and reflect on Hamasaki's disappointment that she had failed to express herself in writing her previous songs; they also express a sense of shame in her public image. The first single, "Vogue", debuted at number three on the Oricon Singles chart and went on to sell over 700,000 copies. The second single, "Far Away", sold over 510,000 copies, but, like "Vogue", failed to reach the number one spot, stalling at number two. Third single "Seasons" became her fifth number one on the Oricon Singles chart. It remains her second-best selling single to date, with sales exceeding 1.3 million copies in Japan. Two further singles, "Surreal" and "Audience", reached the top five of the Oricon singles chart. Duty was also promoted with a number of live performances, including her first countdown concert.

Duty experienced immense commercial success, debuting at number one on the Oricon Albums chart with first week sales of 1,682,760 copies and topping the chart for four weeks. It became her second consecutive album to sell over one million copies in its first week. The single "Surreal" was released simultaneously along with the album and the DVD Ayumi Hamasaki Concert Tour 2000 Vol.1. All three claimed the top position on the Oricon Weekly album, single, and video charts, making Hamasaki the first artist to accomplish this feat. Duty is also Ayumi Hamasaki's highest selling studio album and second best-selling release (after A Best), with sales of 2,904,420 copies in Japan. The album has been certified 3x Million by The Recording Industry Association of Japan. The album also stayed in the Top 30 for 20 weeks, and is her only album to remain in the Top 30 for that long. Duty is the 22nd best-selling album in Japan of all time[2] and the 6th best selling Japanese album of the 21st century.[3]

Singles[edit]

This album features five singles, two of which were able to reach the number-one position on the Oricon charts.

The first three singles, "Vogue," "Far away," and "Seasons" were released from April to June 2000. Vogue and Far away sold over 700,000 and 500,000 copies, respectively. "Seasons" is the most successful single of the album and one of Ayumi's best-selling singles, with over 1.3 million units sold.

"SURREAL," the fourth single, was released on the same day as Duty, and the final single, Audience, was released as a recut single a month after the album. It debuted at the number-two position and sold over 290,000 units. Unlike Hamasaki's previous singles, no music video was shot for the song.

Commercials tie-ups and theme songs[edit]

Duty was used in a commercial promoting the Takano Yuri beauty clinics.[4]

vogue was used as background music in a television commercial promoting a lipstick for Kose Visee.[5][6]

The original version of Far away featured in three advertising campaigns for the Tu-Ka cellphones.[7] The song End of the world was also used in a commercial for the brand.[8]

Seasons was the theme song of a popular Japanese drama broadcast on Fuji TV called Tenki Yoho No Koibito (Weather Reporter Lover).[9]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Ayumi Hamasaki. 

No. Title Music Arranger(s) Length
1. "Starting Over" (instrumental) Ken Harada Ken Harada 1:36
2. "Duty"   Ken Harada Naoto Suzuki, Ken Harada 5:15
3. "Vogue"   Kazuhito Kikuchi Naoto Suzuki, Kazuhito Kikuchi 4:27
4. "End of the World"   Yasuhiko Hoshino Naoto Suzuki 4:40
5. "Scar"   Kunio Tago Naoto Suzuki 4:17
6. "Far Away"   Kazuhito Kikuchi, D.A.I HΛL 5:34
7. "Surreal"   Kazuhito Kikuchi HΛL 4:42
8. "Audience"   D.A.I HΛL 4:06
9. "Seasons"   D.A.I Naoto Suzuki 4:15
10. "Teddy Bear"   D.A.I Shingo Kobayashi 4:18
11. "Key ~Eternal Tie Version~"   Kunio Tago Naoto Suzuki 3:14
12. "Girlish"   Yasuhiko Hoshino Shingo Kobayashi 4:55

Credits[edit]

  1. "Starting Over" – 1:36
    • Programming: Masayuki Kumahara
  2. "Duty" – 5:15
    • Keyboards: Naoto Suzuki
    • Guitar: Naoki Hayashibe
    • Background Vocal: Junko Hirotani
    • Programming: Takahiro Iida
  3. "Vogue" – 4:27
    • Keyboards: Naoto Suzuki
    • Guitar: Naoki Hayashibe
    • Programming: Takahiro Iida
  4. "End of the World" – 4:40
    • Keyboards: Naoto Suzuki
    • Guitar: Naoki Hayashibe
    • Programming: Takahiro Iida
  5. "Scar" – 4:17
    • Keyboards: Naoto Suzuki
    • Guitar: Naoki Hayashibe
    • Background Vocal: Junko Hirotani
    • Programming: Takahiro Iida
  6. "Far Away" – 5:34
    • Keyboards: HAL
    • Guitar: Naoya Akimoto
    • Background Vocal: Junko Hirotani
    • Programming: HAL
    • Mixed by Atsushi Hattori
  7. "Surreal" – 4:42
    • Keyboards: HAL
    • Guitar: Naoya Akimoto
    • Programming: HAL
  8. "Audience" – 4:06
    • Keyboards: HAL
    • Guitar: Naoya Akimoto
    • Programming: HAL
  9. "Seasons" – 4:15
    • Keyboards: Naoto Suzuki
    • Guitar: Naoki Hayashibe
    • Background Vocal: Junko Hirotani
    • Programming: Takahiro Iida
  10. "Teddy Bear" – 4:18
    • Acoustic Piano: Shingo Kobayashi
    • Keyboards: Shingo Kobayashi
    • Synthesizer Operator: Keishi Urata
  11. "Key ~eternal tie ver.~" – 3:14
    • Keyboards: Naoto Suzuki
    • Guitar: Naoki Hayashibe
    • Background Vocal: Junko Hirotani
    • Programming: Takahiro Iida
  12. "Girlish" – 4:55
    • Keyboards: Shingo Kobayashi
    • Wurlitzer: Yoshihiro Tomonari
    • Drums: Kaoru Abe
    • Electric and Acoustic Guitar: Nozomi Furukawa
    • Bass: Enrique
    • Guitar: Yoshio Nomura
    • Synthesizer Operator: Keishi Urata

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Catalogue Number
Japan September 27, 2000 (2000-09-27) CD AVCD-11837
Taiwan
Hong Kong
China 2001
  • Initial pressing
CD
  • SCD-534
Cassette
December 25, 2005 (2005-12-25)
  • Second Press
CD

Charts[edit]

Oricon Sales Chart (Japan)
Release Chart Peak position First Week Sales Sales total Chart run
September 27, 2000 Oricon Daily Album Chart 1
Oricon Weekly Album Chart 1 1,682,760 2,904,420 27 weeks
Oricon Monthly Album Chart 1
Oricon Yearly Album Chart 2
  • Total Sales: 2,904,420 (Japan)
  • Total Sales: 3,000,000 (Avex)

Singles[edit]

Date Title Peak position Weeks Sales
April 26, 2000 "Vogue" 3 17 weeks 767,660
May 17, 2000 "Far Away" 2 13 weeks 510,460
June 7, 2000 "Seasons" 1 21 weeks 1,367,400
September 27, 2000 "Surreal (500,000 Limited Copies)" 1 7 weeks 417,210
November 1, 2000 "Audience (300,000 Limited Copies) & (re-cut single)" 2 8 weeks 292,950

Total Single Sales: 3,355,680

Total Album and Single Sales: 6,260,100

References[edit]