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Ayumi Hamasaki Complete Discography (Original Albums)

Updated on May 27, 2012

Ayumi Hamasaki has released over ten original albums, each one containing a new era of her music and memorable songs that her fans still sing and rock out with to this day. Due to prolific releasing patterns in Japanese pop music, Hamasaki has released at least one album (or something like it) a year since her debut in 1998.

(All images in this hub are copyright to avex trax and their respective photographers/agencies. They are used here for promotional purposes only.)

#1 - A Song For ××

Released: January 1st, 1999

Oricon: #1

Sales: 1,450,000+


1. Prologue

2. A Song For ××

3. Hana

4. FRIEND

5. FRIEND II

6. poker face

7. Wishing

8. YOU

9. As if…

10. POWDER SNOW

11. Trust

12. Depend on you

13. SIGNAL

14. from your letter

15. For My Dear…

16. Present

Hamasaki's debut album was what marked her abilities and launched her into stardom. While many critics point out her lack of vocal control, safe arrangements, and familiar compositions as not making this album all that special, it was her dark and reflective lyrics that allowed fans to flock to her and connect with her music. This album was born from a dark period of Hamasaki's youth, and it is recommended for non-Japanese speakers to look up lyrics translations before writing off this album entirely based on its other merits.

#2 - LOVEppears

Released: November 10th, 1999

Oricon: #1

Sales: 2,500,000+

CD 1

1. Introduction

2. Fly high

3. Trauma

4. And then

5. immature (Album Version)

6. Boys & Girls

7. TO BE

8. End roll

9. P.S II

10. WHATEVER (Dub's 1999 Club Remix)

11. too late

12. appears (Album Version)

13. monochrome

14. Interlude

15. LOVE ~refrain~

16. Who...

17. kanariya (Hidden Track)

CD 2

1. ayu's EURO MEGA-MIX (Y&Co Mix)

2. ayu's HOUSE MEGA-MIX (N.S House Mix)

3. A Song For XX (Millennium Mix)

4. POWDER SNOW (Acoustic Orchestra Version)

5. FRIEND II (MAKE MY MAD MIX)

By the release of this album, Hamasaki had already cemented herself as a "somebody" of the J-pop world. This album, however, marks a change from her previous album as she focuses more on an electro-pop sound that launched her slightly further away from the basic pop sound of the time. The second CD features compilation mixes from her first remix album released before this album.

#3 - Duty

Released: September 27th, 2000

Catalog: AVCD-11837

Formats: 12cm CD

Oricon: #1

Sales: 3,000,000+


1. starting over

2. Duty

3. vogue

4. End of the World

5. SCAR

6. Far away

7. SURREAL

8. AUDIENCE

9. SEASONS

10. teddy bear

11. Key ~eternal tie ver.~

12. girlish

The highest selling album of her career thus far, Duty is the best of Hamasaki's dark side. all the songs on this album are not "dark", per se, (in fact, a couple are quite upbeat and happy), but the atmosphere is one that cannot be contended with. Many fans and critics point to this album as their favorite and the climax of Hamasaki's career.

#4 - I am...

Released: January 1st, 2002

Oricon: #1

Sales: 2,300,000+


1. I am...

2. opening Run

3. Connected

4. UNITE!

5. evolution

6. Naturally

7. NEVER EVER

8. still alone

9. Daybreak

10. taskinlude

11. M

12. a song is born

13. Dearest

14. no more words

15. Endless sorrow ~gone with the wind ver.~

16. flower garden (Hidden Track)

While "Duty" above is often called the "greatest album", the other "greatest album" heralded is this one. Riding the rave of previous superstar success, I am.... is born from a year's worth of self-discovery as an artist as this album contains plenty of Hamasaki's original compositions for he first time. This album is also noticeably "rockier" from previous albums, although pop, ballad, and even trance all appear at one point or another. The visual concept of the album was originally intended to be different, but after the events of September 11th a couple of months before, Hamasaki decided to go with a concept that supported peace as opposed to over-indulgence.

#5 - RAINBOW

Released: December 18th, 2002

Oricon: #1

Sales: 1,800,000+


1. everlasting dream

2. WE WISH

3. Real me

4. Free & Easy

5. Heartplace

6. Over

7. HANABI

8. taskinillusion

9. everywhere nowhere

10. July 1st

11. Dolls

12. neverending dream

13. Voyage

14. Close to you

15. independent+

RAINBOW takes Hamasaki back to more cohesive pop music, with ethereal arrangements and rock only where it enhances the music. It also the first time Hamasaki has used English in her lyrics, noticeably in the tracks "Real me", "Heartplace", and "Over". First pressings included a "00" track that featured a 15 second composition that fans could donate original lyrics to. These were later compiled and written into the titular track "RAINBOW" that appeared on the ballad compilation A BALLADS a couple of months later.

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#6 - MY STORY

Released: December 15th, 2004

Oricon: #1

Sales: 1,100,000+

CD

1. Catcher In The Light

2. About You

3. GAME

4. my name's WOMEN

5. WONDERLAND

6. Liar

7. HOPE or PAIN

8. HAPPY ENDING

9. Moments

10. walking proud

11. CAROLS

12. Kaleidoscope

13. INSPIRE

14. HONEY

15. Replace

16. winding road

17. Humming 7/4

DVD

1. Moments

2. INSPIRE

3. GAME

4. CAROLS

5. About You

6. walking proud

7. Humming 7/4

8. Moments (making off-shot)

9. INSPIRE (making off-shot)

10. GAME (making off-shot)

11. CAROLS (making off-shot)

Beginning with this album, fans tend to mark a new direction in Hamasaki's music. Established as a pop queen in Japan and across Asia, Hamasaki started infusing more rock in her music while still retaining a lot of the classic ballad and pop sounds that made her famous before. This is also the first full-length album to include a DVD full of promotional videos and their corresponding making-ofs, and also the first album to include multiple covers and designs.

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#7 - (miss)understood

Released: January 1st, 2006

Oricon: #1

Sales: 850,000+

CD

1. Bold & Delicious

2. STEP you

3. Ladies Night

4. is this LOVE?

5. (miss)understood

6. alterna

7. In the Corner

8. tasking

9. criminal

10. Pride

11. Will

12. HEAVEN

13. Are You Wake Up?

14. fairyland

15. Beautiful Day

16. rainy day

DVD

1. STEP you

2. is this LOVE?

3. fairyland

4. alterna

5. HEAVEN

6. Bold & Delicious

7. Pride

8. rainy day

9. Ladies Night

10. Bold & Delicious -SIDE STORY- -Album ver.-

11. STEP you (Making Off-Shot)

12. is this LOVE? (Making Off-Shot)

13. fairyland (Making Off-Shot)

14. alterna (Making Off-Shot)

15. HEAVEN (Making Off-Shot)

16. Pride (Making Off-Shot)

(miss)understood is a hodgepodge of sounds and genres, and showcases the best of Hamasaki having fun with her job. This is the first album to come with an accompanying photobook (two, in fact, depending on which version was purchased) that was shot entirely in America, specifically in and around New York City.

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#8 - Secret

Released: November 29th, 2006

Oricon: #1

Sales: 660,000+

CD

1. Not yet

2. until that Day...

3. Startin'

4. 1 LOVE

5. It was

6. LABYRINTH

7. JEWEL

8. momentum

9. taskinst

10. Born To Be...

11. Beautiful Fighters

12. BLUE BIRD

13. kiss o' kill

14. Secret

DVD

1. Startin'

2. Born To Be...

3. BLUE BIRD

4. Beautiful Fighters

5. 1 LOVE

6. JEWEL

7. momentum

8. Startin' (Making Off-Shot)

9. Born To Be... (Making Off-Shot)

10. BLUE BIRD (Making Off-Shot)

11. Beautiful Fighters (Making Off-Shot)

12. 1 LOVE (Making Off-Shot)

13. JEWEL (Making Off-Shot)

14. momentum (Making Off-Shot)

Secret was intended to be Hamasaki's second mini-album, before she wrote lyrics and turned the original instrumentals into full-length songs. Otherwise, it's the normal fair for the direction her career was taking: less "pop", more "rock", and serves as a notable bridge between her previous album and the next.

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#9 - GUILTY

Released: January 1st, 2008

Oricon: #2

Sales: 550,000+

CD

1. Mirror

2. (don't) Leave me alone

3. talkin' 2 myself

4. decision

5. GUILTY

6. fated

7. Together When...

8. Marionette -prelude-

9. Marionette

10. The Judgement Day

11. glitter

12. MY ALL

13. reBiRTH

14. untitled ~for her~

DVD

1. 距愛 ~Distance Love~ (Short film) Kyo Ai

2. talkin' 2 myself

3. decision

4. Together When...

5. Marionette

6. (don't) Leave me alone

7. glitter (Making Off-Shot)

8. fated (Making Off-Shot)

9. talkin' 2 myself (Making Off-Shot)

10. decision (Making Off-Shot)

11. Together When... (Making Off-Shot)

12. Marionette (Making Off-Shot)

13. (don't) Leave me alone (Making Off-Shot)

GUILTY is considered Hamasaki's first "rock" oriented album, even though poppier songs do make an appearance as well. It was preceded by her first all-rock oriented single a few months before, leading up to the direction she intended to take with her music. It is also her first album to not reach number one on the weekly charts, ending her #1 streak that had begun ten years before with A Song for XX.

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#10 - Next Level

Released: March 25th, 2009

Oricon: #1

Sales: 350,000+

CD 1

1. Bridge to the sky

2. NEXT LEVEL

3. Disco-munication

4. EnergizE

5. Sparkle

6. rollin'

7. GREEN

8. Load of the SHUGYO

9. identity

10. Rule

11. LOVE 'n' HATE

12. Pieces of SEVEN

13. Days

14. Curtain call

CD 2 (LIVE CD from "PREMIUM COUNTDOWN LIVE 2008-2009 A")

1. GREEN

2. Will

3. End of the World

4. Heartplace

5. And Then

6. Naturally

7. POWDER SNOW

8. HOPE or PAIN

9. Over

10. SCAR

11. SIGNAL

12. Hana

13. too late

14. everywhere nowhere

15. Days

16. For My Dear...

DVD

1. Days

2. GREEN

3. Rule

4. Sparkle

5. NEXT LEVEL

6, Curtain call

7. Days (Making Off-Shot)

8. GREEN (Making Off-Shot)

9. Rule (Making Off-Shot)

10. Sparkle (Making Off-Shot)

11. NEXT LEVEL (Making Off-Shot)

12. Curtain call (Making Off-Shot)

After GUILTY's rock sound, many fans were surprised to encounter NEXT LEVEL's poppier, even electronic sound. The videos for this album were not only filmed in Japan, but in China and Los Angeles as well. This as the first album to include an extra live CD, featuring recordings from Hamasaki's concert performed just a few months before, and it is ALSO the first album to be released on USB format.

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Special Limited Box Set

#11 - Rock'n'Roll Circus

Released: April 14th, 2010

Oricon: #1

Sales: 300,000+

CD

1. THE introduction

2. Microphone

3. count down

4. Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~

5. BALLAD

6. Last Links

7. montage

8. Don't look back

9. Jump!

10. Lady Dynamite

11. Sexy little things

12. Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~

13. meaning of Love

14. You were...

15. RED LINE ~for TA~ (album version)

DVD

1. Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~

2. Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~

3. You were...

4. BALLAD

5. Sexy little things

6. Microphone

7. Don't look back

8. Lady Dynamite

9. Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~ (Making Off-Shot)

10. Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ (Making Off-Shot)

11. You were... (Making Off-Shot)

12. BALLAD (Making Off-Shot)

13. Sexy little things (Making Off-Shot)

14. Microphone (Making Off-Shot)

15. Don't look back (Making Off-Shot)

16. Lady Dynamite (Making Off-Shot)

17. Special Digest from ARENA TOUR 2009 A ~NEXT LEVEL~

Although the album's title suggests otherwise, it contains many downtempo and ballad-y songs as opposed to the couple of strumming rock tunes. All of the album-track videos, and many of the album tracks themselves, were shot/recorded in London. The special box set included a copy of Hamasaki's 2009 tour which was released the same day.

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#12 - Love songs

Released: December 22nd, 2010

Oricon: #1

Sales: 250,000+

CD

1. Love song

2. crossroad

3. MOON

4. sending mail

5. Last angel

6. insomnia

7. Like a doll

8. Aria

9. blossom

10. Thank U

11. Sweet Season

12. overture

13. do it again

14. November

15. Virgin Road

16. SEVEN DAYS WAR (CD Only and CD+DVD only)

16. SEVEN DAYS WAR (Live at Yoyogi on Oct. 11, 2010) (Special Edition Only)

DVD

1. MOON

2. blossom

3. crossroad

4. Sweet Season

5. Virgin Road

6. Last angel

7. Love song

8. do it again

9. MOON (Making Off-Shot)

10. crossroad (Making Off-Shot)

11. Sweet Season (Making Off-Shot)

12. Virgin Road (Making Off-Shot)

13. Last angel & Love song (Making Off-Shot #1)

14. Last angel & Love song (Making Off-Shot #2)

15. do it again (Making Off-Shot)

This mid-tempo ballad-heavy album keeps true to its album title by being mostly love songs. The singles leading up to its release were part of her "50th Singles Project", celebrating Hamasaki's 50th single "L". Right after the release of this album Hamasaki announced that she had married music video castmate Manuel Schwarz, emphasizing the meaning behind the album's lyrical and visual content.

Click here for a full review of this album!

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CD+2DVD First Press. The original cover cannot be shown due to risque imagery.
CD+2DVD First Press. The original cover cannot be shown due to risque imagery.

#13 - Party Queen

Released: March 21st, 2012

Oricon: #2

Sales: (still calculating)

CD

1. Party queen

2. NaNaNa

3. Shake It♥

4. taskebab

5. call

6. Letter

7. reminds me

8. Return Road

9. Tell me why

10. a cup of tea

11. the next LOVE

12. Eyes, Smoke, Magic

13. Serenade in A minor

14. how beautiful you are

DVD

1. Shake It♥

2. NaNaNa

3. Return Road

4. how beautiful you are

5. Shake It♥ (Making Off-Shot)

6. NaNaNa (Making Off-Shot)

7. Return Road (Making Off-Shot)

8. how beautiful you are (Making Off-Shot)

DVD 2

1. ayumi hamasaki COUNTDOWN LIVE 2011-2012 A ~HOTEL Love songs~

"Party Queen" is Hamasaki's 13th album (as marketed on the covers) and her first release since 2008's "GUILTY" to not make #1 on the Oricon charts. Not only did it come in at #2, but it's also her first album to not sell at least 100k copies in its first week (it's also her first to not have any pre-released singles). The album is conceptual and tells the story of a "party queen" who goes from drinking and partying every day until falling from grace and subsequently picking herself up again with a new found love for life. The album features real-life content drawing from the 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake and Hamasaki's divorce from her husband after one year. Most of the album and its corresponding videos were produced in London.

Click here for a full review of this album!

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