All About the Single Morning Coffee By Morning Musume

morning musume first generation members

The Japanese girl group now known as Morning Musume 17 was once known by their most famous name Morning Musume. What follows is a series of interesting facts about Morning Musume’s first major single Morning Coffee. The single was originally released by the One Up music label. Morning Coffee was released on January 28, 1998 and it sold 200,790 copies. That number may not seem like very much but Morning Coffee is the single that I really think helped the group get started on their way to establishing themselves as an elite pop music group.

morning musume morning coffee first time
A photo of the cover for the first Morning Musume album called First Time. The first and second generation members are included.

The group’s producer Tsunku had initially chosen Kaori Iida to do the lead vocals for the song. But before the second day of recording, he decided that Natsumi Abe would do the lead vocals instead. Morning Coffee would be re-released in 2004 and again in 2005 as a 12 cm CD under the record label called Zetima. The second generation of Morning Musume would join the group before the release of the song Summer Night Town. Note: this group was under the name of Morning Musume from 1997-2013. Note: I had initially posted this information on Hubpages as part of a photo gallery giving a tribute to the first generation of Morning Musume but now we will be focusing on the single Morning Coffee.


So let’s go ahead and drink some coffee while we enjoy this song shall we? Those of us that are coffee drinkers will enjoy doing that!

Original track listing

  1. Morning Coffee
  2. Ai no Tane (Seeds of Love)
  3. Morning Coffee (instrumental version).

The re-release edition track listing


  1. Morning Coffee
  2. Ai no Tane
  3. Morning Coffee (instrumental version)
  4. Morning Coffee (unreleased version in B-flat)


Interesting facts about Morning Coffee

  • Morning Coffee was the group’s 1st single that had an English name.
  • It was the group’s lowest selling single until Furusato.
  • This was the only single that was recorded under the One Up music label when it was released.
  • A version of this song was recorded on the B-side single of the song called “Souda we’re Alive.”
  • This was Morning Musume’s first single that did not reach #5 in the weekly singles chart.

The importance of the first generation of Morning Musume

morning musume first generation members
A great photo of the first generation girls! from left to right: Yuko Nakazawa, Aya Ishiguro, Asuka Fukuda, Natsumi Abe, and Kaori Iida. This photo was taken around 1997.

If we do not count the single Ai no Tane, Morning Coffee would be the group’s first official single. The importance of these first five members cannot be emphasized enough. Yuko Nakazawa was the oldest of the five members beginning her career at 24 years old. In the Japanese idol industry, members are normally in their teenage years when they start. So Nakazawa starting her career later is really unusual. She was considered to be like an older sister to the other members. Nakazawa would serve as Morning Musume’s first leader and she was named the “elder stateswoman of H!P!” or Hello! Project. Aya Ishiguro’s role in Morning Musume was the fact that she was assigned mostly harmony vocal lines. This was because of her low singing voice. It was used to support voices of other members. Ishiguro left Morning Musume in early 2000 after the release of the hit single LOVE Machine in September 1999. Kaori Iida was important because she expanded her influence within Morning Musume when Tsunku placed her, Ishiguro and member Mari Yaguchi into the sub-unit called Tanpopo. Her specialty with these other girls was to sing songs that were slower and more mature. Natsumi Abe is another important member in the group’s history due to extensive photo book releases. Abe has spent much time with bikini modeling and she released her most famous photo book Subway in 2012. Born in 1984, Asuka Fukuda was the youngest member of the first generation. She was the first of them to graduate and she did so in April 1999. The reason she gave for graduating is to finish her schooling. In 2005, she was working as an assistant for her father’s nightclub called Philippine. On November 9, 2011, Fukuda made her return to the music business with the release of the album Double Fantasy with the group Peace$tone. The first generation of Morning Musume will always be the most significant and memorable especially for a fan like me.

Following Nakazawa’s graduation in the spring of 2001, Kaori Iida would assume the position of band leader, a position that she would hold until her graduation in 2005. She was the last first generation member to graduate from the group.

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