Goodbye Happiness

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"Goodbye Happiness"
Single by Hikaru Utada
from the album Utada Hikaru Single Collection Vol. 2
ReleasedNovember 10, 2010 (2010-11-10)
FormatDigital download
RecordedAugust 2010
GenreJ-pop, dance-pop, electropop
LabelEMI Music Japan
Songwriter(s)Hikaru Utada
Producer(s)Hikaru Utada
Hikaru Utada singles chronology
"Hymne à l'amour (Ai no Anthem)"
"Goodbye Happiness"
"Sakura Nagashi"
Audio sample
Goodbye Happiness
Music video
"Goodbye Happiness" on YouTube

"Goodbye Happiness" is a song by Japanese singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada. It was released as the lead track from Utada's second Japanese compilation album, Utada Hikaru Single Collection Vol. 2, in November 2010.[1][2] The song was commercially successful, topping Billboard's Japan Hot 100 chart in December 2010, and in January 2011 was certified gold by the RIAJ for more than 100,000 full-length downloads to cellphones.

Composition and inspiration[edit]

The song is a pop/electronic song with an arrangement consisting of piano, vocal harmonies, percussion and synths, with occasional background 8-bit sounds. The song features background vocals by four women recorded in London in August 2010, described in the documentary Hikaru Utada: Ima no Watashi, as Celtic.[3] Utada chose this singing style for its nostalgic, dream-like qualities.[3] This is the first instance of background vocals in a Hikaru Utada song not being performed by her.

The chorus features increased string instrument-style synths and percussion. The lyrics begin by describing different scenes, a boy in a summer day who has eaten his sweets, and a sunburnt woman wearing a dirty white dress. The lyrics then describe a relationship at the "end of a dream." The song's protagonist hums love songs to herself, and has fun without thinking. She realises she cannot rebuild her relationship, and notices that "when people become alone, they realise the meaning of love." However, she believes it will be good for her to keep living how she is now.[4]

Utada wrote the song while attempting to write a love song. She considers the lyrics to be a reconciliation with her former self.[5]


The song was used in an advertising commercial campaign for Recochoku digital media store, with the commercial airing from November 10 onwards.[6][7] The music video was bundled on a special DVD that came with pre-orders of the album.[1]

The song was performed during Utada's two date concert series Wild Life in December 2010.[8]

Music video[edit]

Utada in the music video.

The music video was directed by Hikaru Utada personally,[9] the first time Utada has worked as a music video director.[1] As a director, Utada used her birth name in kanji (宇多田光), as opposed to her stage name. Originally Utada planned to have a director other than herself for the music video, however, during meetings with the director, she realised that she was the only person who could express things in the way that she wanted, and decided to film it herself.[10]

The video has a concept of Utada as a presenter, and attempted to incorporate entertaining aspects.[1] Utada felt the video had a feeling of looking back on her past self.[11] The video was recorded in a single take,[1] and is shot from a static camera. In the video, Utada sits down at a desk in a bedroom and mimes to the song. She wears headphones, similar to her video for "Heart Station". Hand-puppets mime parts of the song, two worn by Utada, and others held by people off-screen. During the chorus, Utada pushes aside her desk chair and dances in the room. During the second chorus, the room darkens and Utada dances on a yellow chair, similar to that of her video for "Automatic".[12] During the bridge, she stands in front of a blackboard with mathematical formulas on it. During the instrumental section of the song, the room darkens and a disco ball lowers. Utada then dons the head piece of her kigurumi Kuma-Chang outfit, similar to her ad campaign for Recochoku in 2008.[citation needed] The video ends with Utada dancing with a flag and a hat like her video for "Traveling". A pizza delivery man arrives, with a pizza box full of doves.

The video is shot in a set, not Utada's personal bedroom, although many of the items in the room are owned by her.[13]

The video has references to video sharing site YouTube. At the start of the video, the YouTube loading symbol appears. In the bottom left corner of the screen, a fake logo reading "UTube" can be seen, and at the end of the video, false suggestions to view Utada's other videos are shown, in the manner that YouTube suggests related videos at the end of viewing something. The suggested videos are all the ones previously referenced.

The video was uploaded onto YouTube on November 9, 2010, as the first video on Utada's newly established official YouTube channel.[14]

Chart rankings[edit]

Chart Peak
Billboard Japan Adult Contemporary Airplay[15] 1
Billboard Japan Hot 100[16] 1
RIAJ Digital Track Chart Top 100[17] 8


Chart Amount
RIAJ full-length cellphone downloads[18] Gold (100,000+)

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format
Japan November 1, 2010 (2010-11-01)[2] Radio add date
November 3, 2010 (2010-11-03)[2] Ringtone
November 10, 2010 (2010-11-10)[2] Full-length cellphone download
November 17, 2010 (2010-11-17)[2] PC download


  1. ^ a b c d e "宇多田ヒカル「Goodbye Happiness」のPVが完成!監督は?". Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). November 9, 2010. Archived from the original on November 10, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Archived copy" (in Japanese). EMI. November 9, 2010. Archived from the original on November 10, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b Hikaru Utada, Chris Peppler, Kazuya Matsumoto, Yōichi Azegami, Ryūji Toyoshima (January 15, 2011). 宇多田ヒカル ~今のわたし~ [Hikaru Utada: What I'm Like Now] (Television production) (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: NHK. Event occurs at 37:53–39:35.
  4. ^ "Goodbye Happiness – 宇多田ヒカル 歌詞情報 – goo 音楽" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on November 30, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
  5. ^ "宇多田ヒカル 『Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.2』" (in Japanese). Tower Records. November 19, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
  6. ^ U Blog (November 3, 2010). "Twitter / U.Blog: Looks like @UtadaHikaru's" (in Japanese). Retrieved November 10, 2010.[non-primary source needed]
  7. ^ "宇多田ヒカル Goodbye Happiness" (in Japanese). Recochoku. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  8. ^ "宇多田ヒカル一時休止前ラスト公演で感涙&Ust新記録樹立" (in Japanese). Natalie. December 13, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  9. ^ "宇多田ヒカル 楽曲名 Goodbye Happiness". Space Shower (in Japanese). Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  10. ^ Hikaru Utada, Chris Peppler, Kazuya Matsumoto, Yōichi Azegami, Ryūji Toyoshima (January 15, 2011). 宇多田ヒカル ~今のわたし~ [Hikaru Utada: What I'm Like Now] (Television production) (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: NHK. Event occurs at 34:51–36:01.
  11. ^ Hikaru Utada (November 9, 2010). "Twitter / 宇多田ヒカル: Goodbye HappinessのPV、観てくれて" (in Japanese). Retrieved November 10, 2010.[non-primary source needed]
  12. ^ "宇多田ヒカルが監督デビュー!「Automatic」をほうふつさせるその内容!" (in Japanese). Cinema Today. November 9, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  13. ^ Hikaru Utada (November 10, 2010). "Twitter / 宇多田ヒカル: PVのあの部屋はセットなんだけど、自分の部屋から色々..." (in Japanese). Retrieved November 20, 2010.[non-primary source needed]
  14. ^ "宇多田ヒカルさんが『Utada Hikaru Official YouTube Channel』を展開。PVフルコーラスで大盤振る舞い". Terrrafor (in Japanese). November 10, 2010. Archived from the original on November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  15. ^ "Adult Contemporary Airplay". Billboard (in Japanese). November 10, 2010. Archived from the original on June 2, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  16. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard Japan. December 1, 2010. Archived from the original on November 10, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  17. ^ "レコード協会調べ 10 November 2010 ~16 November 2010 <略称:レコ協チャート(「着うたフル(R)」)>" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. November 19, 2010. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
  18. ^ レコード協会調べ 2月度有料音楽配信認定 <略称:2月度認定>. RIAJ (in Japanese). February 20, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2011.

External links[edit]