Delicious Way

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Delicious Way
A slightly-sepia tinted image of a woman, in front of a blurry background.
Studio album by Mai Kuraki
Released June 28, 2000 (2000-06-28)
Genre R&B
Length 45:51
Label Giza Studio
Producer Kanonji
Mai Kuraki chronology
Delicious Way
(2000)
Perfect Crime
(2001)
Singles from Delicious Way
  1. "Love, Day After Tomorrow"
    Released: December 8, 1999
  2. "Stay by My Side"
    Released: March 5, 2000
  3. "Secret of My Heart"
    Released: April 26, 2000
  4. "Never Gonna Give You Up"
    Released: June 7, 2000

Delicious Way is the debut album by Japanese recording artist Mai Kuraki. It was released by Giza Studio and Giza Inc. in Japan on June 28, 2000. The album was entirely co-written by Kuraki herself, with the help of Michael Africk and Yoko Blaqstone in some tracks, while production was handled by Kanonji. The album's background and development started in mid-to-late 1999 after her American debut single "Baby I Like", where East West Records and Giza Studio sent her back to Japan. To promote the album, four singles were released; "Love, Day After Tomorrow" (which sold over 1.3 million units in Japan), "Stay by My Side", "Secret of My Heart", and "Never Gonna Give You Up".

Musically, Delicious Way is a R&B album with influences of 1980s-inspired pop, hip-hop, and soul music. Upon its release, the album received positive reviews from music critics. They commended the composition and her songwriting skills, and a few critics selected the singles as some of the best material in the record. Commercially, the album was a huge success in Japan, peaking at number one on the Oricon Albums Chart. It was the second highest selling album based on first week sales for a solo artist at the time, and sold over 3.5 million units in Japan, making it the ninth best selling album in that region. The success of the album garnered Kuraki the Japan Gold Disc Award for "Rock Album of the Year".

Background and composition[edit]

While in high school in Japan, Kuraki sent a demo tape of songs to Giza Studio, who then signed her to their label.[1] However, Giza Studio sent Kuraki to the United States to enter that region, which later attributed to her debut single "Baby I Like".[2] The track impressed executives at East West Records, prompting the label to distribute it.[3] However, it failed to chart on any Billboard chart there.[4] There onward, Giza Studio's enlisted Kanonji to produce her debut record whilst Kuraki served as the albums primary songwriter, with the help of Michael Africk on the tracks "Baby Tonight (You & Me)" and "Never Gonna Give You Up", and Yoko Blaqstone with the track "Can't Get Enough (Gimme Your Love)".[5] The record label also hired American engineers Cybersound to arrange and mix majority of the songs from Delicious Way, with the help of Stone. Delicious Way was not engineered in North America, unlike most of Cybersound's work.[6]

The composition of the album's music included Aika Ohno, Stone, Tomoo Kasahara, Miguel Sá Pessoa, Perry Geyer at Cybersound, Masataka Kitaura, and Africk.[5] Musically, Delicious Way is an R&B album with influences of pop music, as described by a staff member from CD Journal.[7] A majority of the album's lyrics include small English language sentences, whilst the tracks "Baby Tonight (You & Me)", "Never Gonna Give You Up", and "Can't Get Enough (Gimme Your Love)" are English-prominent written tracks.[5]

Release and promotion[edit]

Delicious Way was released by Giza Studio and Giza Inc. in Japan on June 28, 2000. The album contains 11 tracks in both physical and digital formats, and has an cover sleeve photographed by Miho Mori; it features a slightly-sepia tinted image of Mai Kuraki, in front of a blurry background.[5][8] To promote the album, four singles were release. The first single was "Love, Day After Tomorrow", released on December 8, 1999.[9] It was a success in Japan, reaching number two and 63 on the Oricon Singles Chart and Japan Hot 100 chart.[10][11] It was certified in two categories by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) and sold over 1.3 million physical units and 100,000 digital sales in that region.[12][13][14]

The second single was "Stay by My Side", released on March 15, 2000.[15] The single sold nearly one million units in Japan, and became her first single to reach the top spot on the Oricon Singles Chart in Japan.[10] It was certified double platinum by the RIAJ for shipments of 800,000 units. "Secret of My Heart", the album's third single, was released on April 26, 2000.[16] It managed to reach number two on the Oricon Singles Chart, but was certified Million by the RIAJ for physical shipments of one million units; it has sold 968,980 physical units, and 100,000 digital copies in that region.[14][17][13] The album's final single was "Never Gonna Give You Up", which was released on June 7, 2000.[18] Despite selling 434,250 units in Japan, the lowest sales count for a single on Delicious Way, it managed to reach number two on the Oricon Singles Chart was received a Platinum certification by the RIAJ.[17][14]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Delicious Way is the fifth highest selling album by a female artist, behind three entries by Utada Hikaru (left) and one entry by Ayumi Hamasaki (right).

Upon its release, Delicious Way received favorable reviews from most music critics. A staff member from CD Journal enjoyed the album, but pointed out "Stepping Out", "Can't Get Enough (Gimme Your Love)", "Everything's All Right", "Happy Days", and "Kimi to no Jikan" as the album's best tracks.[7] Retrospectively, Alexey Eremenko, who contributed in writing the biography of Kuraki at AllMusic, highlighted the album songs "Delicious Way", "Love, Day After Tomorrow", "Never Gonna Give You Up", and "Secret of My Heart", as some of her greatest work.[19] At the 15th Japan Gold Disc Awards in 2001, Delicious Way won the award for "Best Rock Album of the Year".[20] Alongside this, her single "Secret of My Heart" received the "Song of the Year" award, amongst 13 other recipients.[21]

The album was a huge success in Japan. It debuted at number one on the Oricon Albums Chart with 2,218,640 units sold, making it the highest first week sales for a debut album in Japanese music history and sixth overall.[22] It stayed at the top for two consecutive weeks and remained in the top 10 for nine consecutive weeks.[23] By the end of 2000, Delicious Way sold 3.45 million units in Japan, making it the highest selling album of the year.[24] As of July 2016, Delicous Way has sold over 3.5 million units in Japan, making it the 9th best selling album in Japan of all time. Alongside this achievement, it is the third best selling debut album, behind Globe's self-titled album and Utada Hikaru's First Love), and is the fourth highest selling studio album by a female artist.[25][A]. Eremenko stated that the album's sales were a milestone in Japan, but commented "Kuraki never topped these results (both singles and album), but neither did she fizzle out after the debut."[26]

In 2015, Kuraki paid tribute to the album by re-creating the artwork for her greatest hits compilation Mai Kuraki Best 151A: Love & Hope; Arama Japan staff members commented she "recreat[ed] the iconic fresh faced and plain clothed cover with her calm facial expression." According to their staff, the recording is a classic and helped the singer defining "her spot in the Japanese music industry."[27]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Mai Kuraki except track 5, 7 (co-written with Michael Africk) and track 6 (co-written with Yoko Blaqstone)[5].

CD and digital download.[5][8]
No. Title Music Arranger(s) Length
1. "Delicious Way" Aika Ohno Cybersound 3:50
2. "Love, Day After Tomorrow" Ohno Cybersound 4:02
3. "Secret of My Heart" Ohno Cybersound 4:24
4. "Stepping ∞ Out" Yoko Blaqstone Yoko Blaqstone 4:38
5. "Baby Tonight (You & Me)" Stone, Tomoo Kasahara Stone 3:59
6. "Can't Get Enough (Gimme Your Love)" Stone Cybersound 3:42
7. "Never Gonna Give You Up" Michael Africk, Miguel Sá Pessoa, Perry Geyer Cybersound 3:59
8. "Stay by My Side" Ohno Cybersound 4:26
9. "Everything's All Right" Masataka Kitaura Cybersound 4:07
10. "Happy Days" Ohno Cybersound 4:18
11. "Kimi to no Jikan" (君との時間 "My Time With You") Kasahara Cybersound 4:15
Total length: 45:51

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the CD liner notes of Delicious Way.[5]

Charts[edit]

Certification and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Japan (RIAJ)[28] 3× Million 3,530,420[14]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Japan June 28, 2000 CD[5] Giza Studio
2008 Digital download[8]
  • Giza Studio
  • Giza Inc.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Delicious Way is the fourth highest selling studio album by a female artist in Japan, but is the fifth highest overall (having been beaten by Ayumi Hamasaki's album A Best[25])

References[edit]

  1. ^ McClure, Steve. "Nippop – Mai Kuraki". Nippop. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ Kuraki, Mai (1999). Baby I Like (12" Vinyl; Liner notes). Mai Kuraki. United States: Giza Studio, Bip! Records. TRJ-001. 
  3. ^ "Giza USA Artists". Giza USA. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Discography – Mai K. – Baby I Like". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Kuraki, Mai (2000). Delicious Way (CD Album; Liner notes). Mai Kuraki. Japan: Giza Studio. GZCA-1039. 
  6. ^ Cybersound Staff. "Staff". Cybersoundmusic.com. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b CD Journal Staff (June 28, 2000). "Mai Kuraki – Delicious Way [CD]". CD Journal (in Japanese). Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c "Delicious Way – Album – by Mai Kuraki". iTunes Store (Japan). June 28, 2000. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  9. ^ Kuraki, Mai (1999). Love, Day After Tomorrow (CD Single; Liner notes). Mai Kuraki. Japan: Giza Studio. GZCA-1014. 
  10. ^ a b "倉木麻衣のCD・DVDリリース一覧". Oricon. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot 100". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Hankyu Hanshin Holdings. September 21, 2009. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Gold Album 他認定作品 2000年5月度" [Gold Albums, and other certified works. May 2000 Edition] (PDF). The Record (Bulletin) (in Japanese). Chūō, Tokyo: Recording Industry Association of Japan. 486: 8. May 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 22, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b レコード協会調べ 3月度有料音楽配信認定 (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c d "オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」" [Oricon Ranking Information Service 'You Big Tree']. Oricon. Retrieved September 4, 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ Kuraki, Mai (2000). Stay by My Side (CD Single; Liner notes). Mai Kuraki. Japan: Giza Studio. GZCA-1024. 
  16. ^ Kuraki, Mai (2000). Secret of My Heart (CD Single; Liner notes). Mai Kuraki. Japan: Giza Studio. GZCA-1030. 
  17. ^ a b "Gold Album 他認定作品 2000年8月度" [Gold Albums, and other certified works. August 2000 Edition] (PDF). The Record (Bulletin) (in Japanese). Chūō, Tokyo: Recording Industry Association of Japan. 489: 8. August 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 17, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  18. ^ Kuraki, Mai (2000). Never Gonna Give You Up (CD Single; Liner notes). Mai Kuraki. Japan: Giza Studio. GZCA-1034. 
  19. ^ Eremenko, Alexey (June 28, 2000). "Mai Kuraki – Songs". AllMusic. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  20. ^ Billboard Staff (March 15, 2001). "Beatles Win Japan's Gold Disc Award". Billboard. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  21. ^ Recording Industry Association of Japan (2001). "15th Japan Gold Disc Awards". Japan Gold Disc Awards (in Japanese). Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  22. ^ a b "Best Selling Albums for First Week Sales in Japan of all Time". Music TV Program Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  23. ^ "GIZA@売上データ補完スレ - 売上スレ避難所@JBBS掲示板" (in Japanese). Retrieved September 23, 2010. 
  24. ^ a b "Albums, Singles, and DVD Ranking Charts for 2000 in Japan". Music TV Program Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  25. ^ a b "Best Selling Albums in Japan of all Time". Music TV Program Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved July 14, 2016. 
  26. ^ Eremenko, Alexey (June 28, 2000). "Mai Kuraki – Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  27. ^ Arama Japan Staff (2015). "Mai Kuraki recreates debut album cover 14 years later for new best album". Arama Japan. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Gold Album 他認定作品 2000年9月度" [Gold Albums, and other certified works. September 2000 Edition] (PDF). The Record (Bulletin) (in Japanese). Chūō, Tokyo: Recording Industry Association of Japan. 490: 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 22, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 

External links[edit]