Favorite Album/Single Cover(s) - Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
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  #1  
Old 8th January 2021, 02:15 AM
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Favorite Album/Single Cover(s)

I wonder what are peoples most and least favorite covers.

Now that Im looking at them Im finding it very hard to pick one. With much difficulty I think the memorial address and my story single-song covers are sticking out to me. I find Carols has a very memorable cover AND omg I can't stop but Rainbow and A Ballads too.

Posting a link, in case you wanna re-view Ayus discography. https://avex.jp/ayu/discography/

(I was about to search for this thread before opening, but the search function is not working for me, getting an error)
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  #2  
Old 8th January 2021, 06:10 PM
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Best
Album: A ONE (the tight closeup version, though they’re all very nicely made)
Single: BLUE BIRD

Worst
Album: (miss)understood
Single: glitter/fated
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  #3  
Old 8th January 2021, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRainbow View Post
Best
Album: A ONE (the tight closeup version, though they’re all very nicely made)
Single: BLUE BIRD

Worst
Album: (miss)understood
Single: glitter/fated
Blasphemy. This is her best cover ever.

As for albums, probably Guilty CD version.

I don’t have least favorite, but I dislike all recent ones. They lack creativity and look all the same honestly. I specially find Made in Japan really boring and poorly done.
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  #4  
Old 8th January 2021, 07:22 PM
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I think I agree with Toniayu123, I don't necessarily dislike them but her recent covers are so bland that even DaD which wasn't amazing felt really special in comparison.

It's really hard to pin point one specific cover when she's had so many iconic ones, but for some reason one that always stuck with me is the full body shot for NEXT LEVEL (I believe it was CD only?).

Other notable mentions for me include RAINBOW, the scrapped Party queen shoot (doesn't really count I guess, I should say hbya), MY STORY, FIVE and &.
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  #5  
Old 8th January 2021, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Toniayu123 View Post
Blasphemy. This is her best cover ever. .
I think it’s the ugliest by far haha. Even though it was shot on location, the background looks so fake because of the excessive photoshopped lights, and that default rainbow gradient...
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  #6  
Old 8th January 2021, 08:50 PM
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Album
Best: Duty
Worst: Party Queen

I love RAINBOW, ayu-mi-x IV and V aswell

Single:
Best: BLUE BIRD
Worst: MOON

I love AUDIENCE and & too
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  #7  
Old 8th January 2021, 09:48 PM
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Best
Album: Made in Japan (DVD version, I just love how she looks)
Single: Talkin' 2 myself

Worst
Album: (miss)understood
Single: sunrise/sunset LOVE IS ALL
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  #8  
Old 8th January 2021, 11:07 PM
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Best

Album: M(A)DE IN JAPAN CD + DVD
Single: Free & Easy

Worst

Album: Love songs CD + DVD, Rock'n'Roll Circus CD Only
Single: MOON / blossom CD Only
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  #9  
Old 9th January 2021, 01:08 PM
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BEST

Album: LOVEppears (iconic), Duty (also iconic), A BEST (+++ iconic), A BALLADS (truly iconic), Memorial Address and NEXT LEVEL. I also like the ayu-mi-x 4 covers.

Single: This post has made me realize that I don't really care for Ayu's single covers. Free & Easy, glitter/fated, and GREEN/Days (Days/GREEN - I'm less keen on whichever single version it is that has Ayu with her mouth slightly open) are nice. I've always had a soft spot for & too, actually.

WORST

Album: A SUMMER BEST. Gosh.

Single: Sunrise/Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~. Actually, all of RnRC and Love songs' singles (bar You were.../BALLAD which is just generic) aren't great. Moon/blossom, crossroad, and L really don't represent how great the tracks on them are. Looking back, it seems like 2010 was the beginning of Ayu opting for more basic fashion/beauty cover shoots - she has always showcased her fashion, but it appears far less creative (+ less experimental) from this point forward.
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  #10  
Old 17th July 2022, 11:38 PM
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Bumping this ruthlessly

Let's get the worst out of the way. It's so little fun focusing on the negative. Album-wise that's easy for me: I really don't like Party Queen's artwork. The photo shoot is not great and the whole typography is too simple (I'm inclined to say lazy). The theme I also just don't care for. It made me avoid the album for ages, though I'm listening to it now and it is actually pretty fun. Single-wise I'm not sure, there's nothing I actively dislike. crossroad is nothing special, I'm not crazy about STEP you / is this LOVE?, some of the earlier singles are a bit underwhelming (vogue, Far away). My dislike usually stems from typography issues combined with mediocre photoshoots, fortunately there aren't too many of those. Oh yeah, (miss)understood CD version is not too great.

Aaaaaaaaaaanyway, on to what's BEST! Oof, making people choose? That's quite the task!

There's a couple different album covers I really like for various reasons. RAINBOW may be my overall favourite. I love the photo shoot, the typography is excellent (the logo is really great imo), the whole vibe it breathes is just excellent and captures the mood of the album really well. I also love the super glossy paper it is printed on. It feels so proper and fits the artwork to a tee! Others deserve love too: Duty (great photo shoot, captures the vibe of the album really well), Memorial address (captures the vibe, great photo shoot, cool typography on the logo), NEXT LEVEL (great art direction overall, so colourful, great logo!), A BALLADS, A BEST; and the ayu-mi-x albums have some amazing ones too: I'm partial to the whole set of ayumi hamasaki RMX WORKS from SUPER EUROBEAT presents ayu-ro mix 3, ayumi hamasaki RMX WORKS from Cyber TRANCE presents ayu TRANCE 3 and ayumi hamasaki RMX WORKS from ayu-mi-x 5 non stop mega mix (the first two especially, but they have a great overall look and vibe and cool logo design), for instance.

There's some great single designs too: HEAVEN, CAROLS, Voyage, H, Free & Easy, M, SURREAL and Fly high are all GREAT. My absolute favourites though are glitter/fated (YES, it's AMAZING!), No way to say and &.
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  #11  
Old 18th July 2022, 10:12 AM
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Best
Album: A ONE / MADE IN JAPAN / Secret
Single: Zutto... / Endless Sorrow / BLUE BIRD / Pray / Feel the love / You were... / Mirrorcle World / GREEN DAYS / HEAVEN / DAYBREAK / Dearest / M / appears

Worst
Album: NEXT LEVEL / PARTY QUEEN / A SUMMER BEST / ayu-mi-x 3 , 4
Single: SUNRISE SUNDROP LOVE IS BOMB / MOON / Crossroad / L / glitter / RULE / BOLD & DELLUSION /
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  #12  
Old 19th July 2022, 01:59 PM
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I really like the concept of decadence of Party Queen, it's one of the her most divisive works to date, but I really like the chaotic post-party vibes 'cause it fits so well with the themes of the album (the whole party-queen-but-actually-a-lonely-queen thing). It's not "pretty" but that's the exact point of it.

One of her latest works I like a lot is M(A)DE IN JAPAN. The narrative of "tied Ayu" regaining her freedom if you see all versions of the covers side by side is really cool.
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  #13  
Old 19th July 2022, 06:59 PM
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This is fun topic!

So many to choose from...

Best
Singles: Terminal, GREEN/Days, Mirrorcle World, BLUE BIRD, Startin'/Born to Be..., &
Albums: M(A)DE IN JAPAN, ayu-mi-x 7 -LIMITED COMPLETE BOX, A COMPLETE ~ALL SINGLES~, Duty

Worst
Singles: STEP you / is this LOVE, Sunrise / Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~, NonFiction
Albums: sixxxxxx
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  #14  
Old 20th July 2022, 01:45 AM
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BEST
Singles: Zutto..., Terminal, HEAVEN, Free & Easy, Daybreak
Albums: M(A)DE IN JAPAN, RAINBOW, A BEST

WORST
Singles: Sunrise / Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~
Albums: (miss)understood, Party Queen
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  #15  
Old 20th July 2022, 12:34 PM
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It's funny, I see Sunrise / Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ mentioned a lot and while I understand the feeling a bit I have such a soft spot for it. It captures really weird, almost uncanny valley, vibes, but somehow I can't help but think it's awesome, hahaha.
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Old 4th August 2022, 12:27 PM
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I think part of why I like the Sunset cover is also the vague resemblance Ayu has here to Leena, a character from Chrono Cross:



The whole vibe is a bit homeworld-y:

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Old 4th August 2022, 03:13 PM
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ALBUMS:
BEST: LOVEppears

when u look up ICONIC on a dictionary this is what appears (ba dum tsss) next to it! the album is a serve and the cover is a reflection of it. i’ve seen quite a few people recreate this cover on ig and that’s just a testament to just how legendary this album cover is. def one of my fave album covers ever regardless of artist or genre!!

WORST: Party Queen

it was between this and rock n roll circus’ cd-only cover until i ultimately decided that this was just the bigger mess. her expression is awkward, i don’t understand why she’s just randomly holding a jewel and she’s not even looking at it… the hair is questionable and the graphic design is just … 😭 coincidentally this is also my least fave ayu album musically… everything about this album is just not it for me unfortunately

SINGLES:
BEST: kanariya

can you say… Y2K REALNESS??? idk why they decided to not include inserts for this single and Fly high, but i’m glad they didn’t because the cover being the CD is so aesthetically pleasing!! definitely couldnt have been a budget issue considering how well loveppears sold. the font, the jewels on her body, the thick ass platform heels… everything abt it SCREAMS 1999 and ironically enough that’s why it has aged so well, with the y2k aesthetic being so popular in recent years.

Honorable mention for STEP you/is this LOVE?, i adore the pink motorcycle aesthetic and the editing is gorgeous, but i can’t completely get behind her mismatched extensions…

WORST: appears


this one REALLY pains me bcuz appears is one of my fave songs ever, not just from ayu but overall. it’s really such a tragedy that such a great song has such a terrible cover 😭 and kinda offensive too… i know it was 1999 and gyaru culture was very trendy at the time, but even with that being considered this cover has certainly NOT aged well (and she still used it again for the 20th anniversary rerelease ). that being said, visually there are things i do like abt it, her hair is cute and i like her jewelry + i love the idea that it’s meant to be a dark ver. of the loveppears cover (even if there are other ways she couldve gone about it), but i just think that the darkening of her skin is just too much of a no-no for me to not rank this as her worst single cover.

ayu has a lot of really good covers but then she also has a lot of bad ones. i think generally her best covers are from the first half of her career while her not-so-good ones came in the second half (specifically during the period of 2008-2013) i feel like she’s been getting a bit better with her more recent releases however, and i hope that her upcoming album’s cover will continue that trend! even if it doesn’t, we can still count on the music being good
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  #18  
Old 4th August 2022, 04:52 PM
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Haha, such an awesome post! Many great points and I can agree with pretty much all of it. Thanks for the extensive explanations, they are excellent. I think your analysis of appears is spot-on but I, too, have a real soft spot for its 'dark side' concept (but yeah, perhaps there would have been better ways of doing it - now I wish I had my laptop here to do a concept or two!).
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  #19  
Old 5th August 2022, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sxesven View Post
Haha, such an awesome post! Many great points and I can agree with pretty much all of it. Thanks for the extensive explanations, they are excellent. I think your analysis of appears is spot-on but I, too, have a real soft spot for its 'dark side' concept (but yeah, perhaps there would have been better ways of doing it - now I wish I had my laptop here to do a concept or two!).
i think the black wig was a good start, and since the loveppears cover was done during the day, the appears cover couldve been done during the night. i know it would’ve been harder to shoot, but not impossible considering how many night photoshoots artists have out there
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Old 5th August 2022, 11:31 AM
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I agree that would have been a great approach!
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