All About the Single Morning Coffee By Morning Musume

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.

Who is Your Favorite Morning Musume Member?

I have decided to do a fun and creative post that all of you will love! 2017 is the 20th anniversary of the debut of the first generation of Morning Musume. In honor of this special moment, I’d like to ask you: who is your favorite member of the first generation of Morning Musume? For me it is definitely Nacchi (Natsumi Abe)! Here is a brief description of each of these five girls that made up that first generation:

Yuko Nakazawa (known by the nickname of Big Sis) Age: 43

yuko nakazawa morning musume
A stunning pic of Yuko Nakazawa from 2009! It does not matter what she wears because she is still beautiful!
  • Is from Kyoto, Japan.
  • She was the group’s first band leader.
  • She was the oldest member in the group’s history when she started her career with the group. She was 24 when she started with Morning Musume which is much older than the age that these members start their careers.
  • She graduated from Morning Musume in 2001 to focus on other things by the time she was 30 years old.
  • Known as Nakazawa Yuko in Japan, she posed for a photo shoot in a stunning black bikini for Hello! Project while sitting poolside!

Asuka Fukuda Age: 32

asuka fukuda morning musume asian one piece swimsuit
Asuka Fukuda is seen here in a swimsuit for Morning Musume’s first photo book!
  • Is from Tokyo, Japan.
  • She is the youngest member of the first generation.
  • She has the shortest tenure in the history of the group.
  • She took part in a photo session for Morning Musume’s first group photo book. In that photo book she is seen in a one-piece swimsuit which would become very common for these members to do.
  • In April 1999, she graduated from Morning Musume. Her stated reason for graduating was to finish her education but she did not even finish high school.

Aya Ishiguro Age: 38

aya ishiguro morning musume bikini
Aya Ishiguro posing for a photo shoot during the making of Morning Musume’s first photo book.
  • Is from Hokkaido, Japan.
  • Has a daughter Rimu born in November 2000.
  • Her husband is Shinya Yamada, a rock musician for the band Luna Sea.
  • She has worked as a fashion designer.
  • She wrote a book about her transition to being a mother after working as an idol singer.

Kaori Iida Age: 35

kaori iida morning musume
Kaori Iida seen here in 2003.
  • Is from Hokkaido, Japan.
  • She was born two days before member Natsumi Abe (August 8).
  • She gave birth to a baby boy on January 22, 2008. However, she stated on November 28 that her son had died on July 27 due to renal failure.
  • She gave birth to another boy on May 14, 2013.
  • She released her 5th album called ONDAS on July 20, 2016. The album has mostly Brazilian cover songs from the music genre called Bossa Nova.

Natsumi Abe Age: 35

natsumi abe morning musume hot bikini
Natsumi Abe in a bikini for one of the photo shoots for Hello! Project. Can you say stunning? Oh yeah she’s really amazing here!
  • She released her self-cover album Smile on August 13, 2014.
  • She released her 11th photo book SUBWAY in August 2012. The photo book features Abe walking in the streets of New York City, reading books in a bookstore, or sipping a glass of wine! She is also seen posing in beautiful lingerie!
  • Her 12th photo book Fin no Hito was shot in Helsinki, Finland. That one is my favorite photo book of hers because it shows just how sexy and charming she is! The photo book shows Abe walking through the streets of Helsinki, waiting at a subway station, or posing in lingerie in her hotel room!

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