Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
Long time no see, yes? Well, it’s been a long break, but there’s a reason for this: the previous post was #199, meaning that two years after the 100th Post, we’ve reached 200 posts on Magic Morning Meteora!
Since February, a poll/survey/what have you was held to determine the topic for this landmark post, which was open until April 24 sometime after 11:00 UTC. The results were announced the following Friday on the 25th with Morning Coffee and its iterations.
This is rather appropriate because Morning Musume is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with their major debut song as part of the festivities. (That’s not getting into the fact the blog is celebrating its 10th anniversary, having been established during Momusu’s 10th.)
So let’s dig into Magic Morning Meteora #200 and kill two birds with one stone!
Morning Musume – Morning Coffee (January 28, 1998)
The one that started it all. Granted, we wouldn’t even reach this point if not for Ai no Tane getting 5,000 sales in 5 days (which was actually touched upon in the 100th Post), but this… whenever any milestones or celebrations are made in regards to Morning Musume (or H!P), this is the go-to song. It’s simple in comparison to what’s to come (especially recently), but small acorns produce great oaks.
The MV is also simple, humble…. The effects are minimal, the ladies are primarily in everyday wear, and well… they don’t do that much. However, the MV is too important to fault it for those qualities (and some may find it refreshing). It’s not that strange considering the MV for Ai no Tane follows a similar track so it may just be relating to the time. However…
However, there’s a certain sweetness, a certain genuineness that shines through it all. This wasn’t about aces, centers, oshimen, and the like. This was five ladies with amazing singing skills making a heartfelt debut after losing the chance of a lifetime.
This is why you don’t let setbacks get you down, people.
Country Musume – Morning Gyuunyuu (July 1999)
What could possibly be the first cover of Morning Coffee can be attributed to Country Musume’s rendition, Morning Gyuunyuu. This track was released as the B-side to their debut single, Futari no Hokkaido, and thus features Country OGs Rinne, Yanagihara Hiromi, and Kobayashi Azusa.
In contrast to its energetic A-side, this B-side is a cool take on the nascent original. Featuring unique rap sequences (among the earliest in H!P’s existence, as this #MusicMonday reblog from peachygotit shows), its refreshing genre already makes it stand out from the others (especially as we go further in time).
(That said, the less that can be said about the bittersweetness surrounding the members and release in question, the better.)
Shakatak – Morning Coffee (Instrumental) (December 2001)
It may be an instrumental, but it captures the smoothness of the original with a nice groove. It’s nice and mellow like a cup of coffee in the morning (though the phrase “let’s have morning coffee together” means “stay the night.” Thanks Kiwi!).
Morning Musume – Morning Coffee (2002 Version) (February 2002)
This version was recorded as the B-side to the smash hit “Souda! We’re ALIVE.” Other than the lineup, there’s not really that much difference. Given the date, this was probably done as a Milestone Celebration as the single’s release came a month after what would’ve been Morning Coffee’s fourth anniversary and was released in the group’s fifth anniversary.
It definitely feels like an update, maintaining the essence of the original while infusing the early 2000s mood in which it was released. It does help that those who sang on the original (namely Abe Natsumi and Iida Kaori) maintain their original lines (with some minor differences here and there) while the “fullness” of the expanded roster is utilized.
Abe Natsumi, Iida Kaori, Takagi Boo – Morning Coffee (Hawaiian Version) (2002 Version)
This “Hawaiian” version was released on Hawaiian de Kiku Morning Musume Single Collection, an album featuring Hawaiian-flavored renditions of Morning Musume classics with Takagi Boo (and Coconuts Musume, Fujimoto Miki, and Ishii Rika) released on on July 10, 2002.
Featuring an appropriately tropical atmosphere rife with ukuleles and string guitars, the simplicity works to showcase Nacchi and Kaorin’s vocals. Boo joins in to provide the lower harmonies, supporting the soft yet powerful stars of the show.
Ice Creamusume – Zao An Ka Fei (January 2009)
Ice Creamusume recorded a Chinese version of the song on their debut album 1st Zui Bang!. This maintains a sense of dreaminess, befitting the tune. The vocals are immensely solid, enough to make you weep at how Ice Creamusume (and Hello! Pro Taiwan in general) was a missed opportunity/wasted chance.
But enough lamenting what would’ve been. Let’s enjoy Ice Creamusume as they were… on YouTube, as the uploader disabled playback on other websites.
For extra fun, here’s their version in the original tongue!
Afternoon Musume – Gouhoubi no Afternoon Coffee (October 2010)
When this super-group was released, this enka-flavored cover was announced alongside it. Sure, it was for a commercial (as many special covers that weren’t Updated tend to be), but it’s probably among the most unique of these covers out of all of them.
(Of course, some might feel it’s the best one, due to nostalgia and fan devotion.)
I wish I can find the song itself, but I’ve had turd luck so this is the best I can do.
Dream Morning Musume – Morning Coffee (2011 Dreamusu。Ver) (April 2011)
Dream Morning Musume (or “Real Morning Musume” to the aforementioned circles) recorded a “2011 Dreamusu. Ver.” on their album Dorimusu ①. There are little differences here and there, showcasing the vocals of the five participating members of this version (Nakazawa Yuko, Abe Natsumi, Iida Kaori, Yasuda Kei, and Yaguchi Mari).
Like with the previous section, this is the best I could find. (Of course, I know there are those who won’t mind.)
Oh, and I must warn you that you may want to turn the volume down a bit once Abe gets to her long solo bit towards the chorus (read: after the “Kuchizuke mo dekinai hito” line). Why? …Let’s just say there’s a reason she’s called “the Face of Morning Musume.”
Morning Musume ’17 – Morning Misoshiru (2017)
Recorded to promote a Marukome miso soup product of the same name, this was released as a b-side to their 63rd single, BRAND NEW MORNING/Jealousy Jealousy. Well, it is a b-side to the Limited Edition SP of the single.
It’s a piece of sweetness that was a warm welcome in the winter cold. If you want more sweetness, take a look at the Campfire Version! (By the way, the original MV was uploaded on the anniversary of Morning Coffee’s release (though a mishap resulted in it having to be reuploaded) and the Campfire Version was uploaded on the 63rd single’s release date.)
It’s sweet and tender, even a tad toasty, but it’s a testament to Morning Musume’s past, present (as Morning Musume ’17), and the future.
And speaking of Morning Musume ’17 and the future, come back next time as we discuss… the recent news. (Indeed, if it weren’t for this milestone of a post coming up, the next post would’ve been posted sooner.)
Let’s have morning coffee together!