First Love (Hikaru Utada album)

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First Love
Studio album by Hikaru Utada
Released March 10, 1999 (1999-03-10)
March 10, 2014 (2014-03-10)15th Anniversary Edition
Recorded August–December 1998
Genre Pop, R&B, dance
Length 54:37
Label Toshiba EMI
Producer Akira Miyake, Teruzane Utada
Hikaru Utada chronology
First Love
Singles from First Love
  1. "Automatic / Time Will Tell"
    Released: 9 December 1998
  2. "Movin' on Without You"
    Released: 17 February 1999
  3. "First Love"
    Released: 28 April 1999

First Love is the award-winning debut Japanese album by Hikaru Utada, released on March 10, 1999.

First Love is the best-selling album in Japanese music history. It sold over 7.65 million copies in Japan (as estimated by Oricon),[1][2][3] or 8.53 million copies (as estimated by RIAJ[4]) in Japan alone. It is also the only record certified 8× Million (32× Platinum) by RIAJ.[5] It sold over 2 million in its debut week,[6] and topped Oricon album chart for 6 weeks. First Love is Japan's 7th highest album in debut sales.[7] It is also the best-selling album in Asian music history. It sold over 10 million copies worldwide.[8] In September 2007, Rolling Stone Japan ranked First Love No.99 on its list of the "100 Greatest Japanese Rock Albums of All Time".[9]

In 2014, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of First Love's launch, Universal Music re-released the album featuring remastered tracks and bonus items.

First Love: 15th Anniversary Deluxe Edition[edit]

To commemorate the 15th anniversary of First Love in 2014, Utada's label, Universal Music Japan, re-released the album with a large amount of extra content. The re-release was established in two separate versions. The normal version is a two-disc set featuring a remastered version of the normal album along with a second disc featuring Utada's previously unreleased "LUV LIVE" concert. The remastering was done by Ted Jensen.[10] The other version is a limited edition 4-disc set, containing the remastered track list on disc one, "LUV LIVE" concert on disc two, as well as featuring a disc containing karaoke tracks and the last containing a multitude of demos from the First Love era of Utada's career. The deluxe edition also carries with it memorabilia from that time, including a hard cover booklet filled with unreleased photoshoots, handwritten lyrics, promotional items as well as replicas of the tickets and backstage passes to her "LUV LIVE" concert. The Deluxe Edition initially was limited to 5,000 copies, however, due to overwhelming demand, this was pushed to 10,000 after the initial 5,000 units were sold almost instantly.[11][12]

Both editions of the First Love: 15th Anniversary Deluxe Edition were realised exactly fifteen years after the initial album, First Love, on 3 March, 2014.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Hikaru Utada. 

No. Title Arranger Length
1. "Automatic" (Album Edit) Akira Nishihira,
Taka & Speedy (rhythm track arrangement),
Kei Kawano (additional arrangement)
2. "Movin' on Without You"   Shin'ichiro Murayama 4:38
3. "In My Room"   Shin'ichiro Murayama 4:19
4. "First Love"   Kei Kawano 4:17
5. "Amai Wana (甘いワナ~ Sweet Trap?): Paint It, Black"   Akira Nishihira 5:02
6. "Time Will Tell"   Toshiyuki Mori,
Jun Isomura
7. "Never Let Go"   Kei Kawano 3:57
8. "B&C" (Album Version) Akira Nishihira,
Taka & Speedy (rhythm track arrangement)
9. "Another Chance"   Akira Nishihira,
Taka & Speedy (rhythm track arrangement)
10. "Interlude"     0:17
11. "Give Me a Reason"   Akira Nishihira 6:28
12. "Automatic (Johnny Vicious Remix)" (Bonus Track)   4:54
  • "Amai Wana: Paint It, Black" contains the line "I see a red door and I want it painted black" from "Paint It, Black", a song written and composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.
  • "Never Let Go" features the same beat used in "Take Him Back" by Monica, and was originally used in Sting's "Shape of My Heart". Hikaru said that Monica inspired her so much with her R&B that she decided to use that beat. However, the guitar sample from "Shape of My Heart" was not included on the final credits for the album's final manufacturing press due to time constraints.

Remixes and covers[edit]

"Interlude" was produced into a song called "Kotoba ni Naranai Kimochi" on Utada's Distance album.

The album version of "B&C" (which is found on the Movin' on Without You single) has Utada's voice in auto-tune and has a "sudden car stop screech" background, all in the song's last part, making it a more "cleaner" version than the version found on the single.


The single "First Love" is released after the album's release, considered a recut single.

Date Title Peak position Weeks Sales
9 December 1998 08 cm - "Automatic/Time Will Tell" 4 23 772,080
12 cm - "Automatic/Time Will Tell" 2 23 1,290,700
February 17, 1999 08 cm - "Movin' on Without You" 5 12 346,820
12 cm - "Movin' on Without You" 1 13 879,760
28 April 1999 08 cm - "First Love" 6 - Recut 19 303,430
12 cm - "First Love" 2 - Recut 13 500,890


First Love - Oricon Sales Chart (Japan & Taiwan)

Release Chart Peak Position Debut Sales Sales Total (Japan) Worldwide Sales Chart Run
March 10, 1999 Oricon Daily Albums Chart 1
Oricon Weekly Albums Chart 1 2,026,870 7,650,215 10,056,000 84
Oricon Yearly Albums Chart 1


All Japanese names are in Western order (given name before family name).

  • Hikaru Utada (vocals)
  • Anthony Jimenez Corton (secret Love,additional chorus)
  • Akira Nishihira (arrangement, keyboards & programming)
  • Kei Kawano (arrangement, additional keyboards)
  • Shinichiro Murayama (arrangement, keyboards & programming)
  • Toshiyuki Mori (arrangement, keyboards & programming)
  • Jun Isomura (arrangement)
  • Tsuyoshi Kon (guitar)
  • Yoshiaki Kusaka (guitar)
  • Hironori Akiyama (guitar)
  • Yuji Toriyama (guitar)
  • Masayoshi Furukawa (guitar)
  • Yuichiro Honda (guitar)
  • Yuichiro Goto (strings)
  • Jullian Hernandez (additional chorus)
  • Nobuhiko Nakayama (synthesizer programming)
  • Takahiro Iida (synthesizer programming)
  • Masayuki Momo (synthesizer programming)
  • Taka & Speedy (rhythm arrangement, rhythm programming)
  • Akira Miyake (producer)
  • Teruzane Sking Utada (producer)
  • Hidenobu Okita (director)
  • Masaaki Ugajin (all vocals' recording)
  • Masaaki Ugajin, Masashi Kudo, Seiji Motoyama, Takehiko Kamata, Bob Allecca, Mike Brown (back track recording)
  • Hotoda Goh (mixing)
  • Ted Jensen (mastering)