Ultra Blue

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Ultra Blue
Studio album by Hikaru Utada
Released JapanChinaHong KongTaiwan June 14, 2006
Thailand June 20, 2006
South Korea June 22, 2006
Canada July 11, 2006
United States September 19, 2006
Recorded 2002-2004, 2005-2006
Genre J-pop, alternative rock, electronica, experimental
Length 56:32
Label Toshiba-EMI
Producer Hikaru Utada, Akira Miyake, Teruzane Utada
Hikaru Utada chronology
Exodus
(2004)
Ultra Blue
(2006)
Heart Station
(2008)
Singles from Ultra Blue
  1. "Colors"
    Released: January 29, 2003
  2. "Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro"
    Released: April 21, 2004
  3. "Be My Last"
    Released: September 28, 2005
  4. "Passion"
    Released: December 14, 2005
  5. "Keep Tryin'"
    Released: February 22, 2006
  6. "This Is Love"
    Released: May 31, 2006 (digital single)

Ultra Blue is the award-winning fourth Japanese studio album (sixth overall) by Hikaru Utada, released in 2006. It debuted at #1 on the Oricon daily, weekly and monthly charts and sold 500,317 copies in its first six days of sales. Ultra Blue had sold more than one million copies worldwide and almost four million digital single tracks and ringtones as of July 13, 2006 according to EMI.[1]

Ultra Blue was also a strong online digital seller. After two months of digital downloads, Ultra Blue remained in the top ten album downloads in Japan's largest online music store, iTunes Japan. This album also became the fourth most downloaded album on iTunes Japan of the year and won an "Album of the Year" title at the 2007 Nihon Golden Disk Awards.[2] On July 30, 2007, EMI Group released its Annual Report for 2007, and in it reported that Utada’s album Ultra Blue had sold 1.3 million units worldwide, making it EMI Music’s 10th-best selling album of 2006.[3] Despite its success in terms of promotions, "Ultra Blue" is Utada's least commercially successful Japanese album to date in terms of physical sales, until it was surpassed by Utada Hikaru Single Collection Vol. 2 in 2010.

Promotion[edit]

Taiwanese promotion[edit]

This album is perhaps her heaviest promoted album in Taiwan since her compilation album[citation needed], Utada Hikaru Single Collection Vol. 1. Pre-order receipts were made available 2 weeks before the actual Taiwanese pressing of Ultra Blue. Those who pre-ordered received a very large-sized Japan imported Ultra Blue poster packaged in a transparent cylindrical tube. Commercials were aired often on buses, MRT stations, as well as local channels helping to promote the album, playing "Blue" in the background.[citation needed] One of its tag-line was, "The whole world is waiting, Utada Hikaru, Ultra Blue" (this is a direct translation). Also, Toshiba-EMI of Taiwan collaborated with Yam.com and created a special Ultra Blue blog similar to Utada's Japanese blog. The website held an essay contest about "You and Utada Hikaru". Toshiba-EMI Taiwan also held a private premier listening press party by inviting an ambassador from the Japan branch of Toshiba-EMI to represent the absent Utada. For what seems to be the final wave of promotion, the company put together a short "Blue" music video to air in between show blocks on various channels. The video consisted of pictures of the Ultra Blue booklet, the commercial clip of Ultra Blue and also a scene from the "Colors" video. The album debuted and stayed at the #1 spot in the G-Music Combo album charts for three consecutive weeks, with its debut week accounting for 26.39% of the total album sales in Taiwan for that week, charting for a total of 15 weeks.

North America promotion[edit]

This album is perhaps her heaviest Capitol Records promoted album since her Cubic U album, Precious. After the physical CD was released in Japan on June 14, 2006, the album was made available on iTunes to Japan and other countries, including the United States and Canada, on June 28, 2006. It was also released on the UK edition of iTunes.

In Canada, the physical CDs for Ultra Blue and Utada Hikaru Single Collection Vol.1 were released on July 11, 2006.[4][5] In the United States, the physical CDs for Ultra Blue and Utada Hikaru Single Collection Vol.1 were released on September 19, 2006.

The B-sides of "Colors" ("Simple and Clean") and "Passion" ("Sanctuary") were not included in this album, but in her english album This Is the One.

Track listing[edit]

All songs are written, composed and arranged by Hikaru Utada, except "Colors" (arranged by Hikaru Utada & Kei Kawano).

No. Title Length
1. "This Is Love"   4:58
2. "Keep Tryin'"   4:53
3. "Blue"   5:15
4. "Nichiyō no Asa" (日曜の朝; Sunday Morning) 4:44
5. "Making Love"   4:25
6. "Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro" (誰かの願いが叶うころ; When Someone's Wish Comes True) 4:27
7. "Colors"   3:59
8. "One Night Magic" (feat. Masashi Yamada of The Back Horn) 4:39
9. "Kairo" (海路; Sea Route) 3:34
10. "Wings"   4:52
11. "Be My Last"   4:30
12. "Eclipse (Interlude)"   1:32
13. "Passion"   4:42

Singles[edit]

Date Title Peak position Weeks Sales
January 19, 2003 "Colors" 1 45 893,790
April 21, 2004 "Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro" 1 22 365,206
September 28, 2005 "Be My Last" 1 13 150,928
December 14, 2005 "Passion" 4 15 112,345
February 22, 2006 "Keep Tryin'" 2 11 125,077

Sales chart[edit]

Oricon sales chart (Japan)[edit]

Current total Sales (worldwide): 1.3 million

Release Chart Peak Position First Week Sales Sales Total Chart Run
14 June 2006 Oricon Daily Charts 1
14 June 2006 Oricon Weekly Charts 1 500,317 900,343 64
14 June 2006 Oricon Monthly Charts 1
14 June 2006 Oricon Yearly Charts 7 900,343 (2006)
909,113 (total)

Production[edit]

  • Mastering: Tom Coyne (Sterling Sound, NY)

References[edit]