Ai no Tane (愛の種; Seeds of Love) is Morning Musume's first indies single, which was labeled as an ASAYAN Project. Producer Tsunku challenged the five girls who lost the Sharam Q audition to sell 50,000 copies of this song they recorded together to get a record deal. It was released on November 3, 1997. The single sold 50,000 by November 30.
This song also appears on "Morning Coffee", the Morning Musume debut single that was released a couple months later, on their first album First Time, and on their album Best! Morning Musume 1. The instrumental version of this song appears on the Morning Musume Early Single Box.
- Ai no Tane
- Ai no Tane
- Lyrics: Saeki Kenzo
- Composition, Arrangement, and Chorus: Sakurai Tetsutarou
- Drums: Yuji Sen Yoko
- Base: Masahiko Rokukawa
- Guitars: Tsuchiya Kiyoshi
- Keyboards: Shin Kouno
- Dance Choreographer: Natsu Mayumi
- Hello! First Live at Shibuya Kohkaido
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- Morning Musume Tanjou 20 Shuunen Kinen Concert Tour 2017 Aki ~We are MORNING MUSUME~
- [1998.01.11] ASAYAN
- [1999.01.03] ASAYAN
Despite failing the Sharam Q Josei Rock Vocalist Audition held by Sharam Q in association with the TV show ASAYAN, on September 7, 1997, five of the finalists—Nakazawa Yuko, Ishiguro Aya, Abe Natsumi, Iida Kaori, and Fukuda Asuka—were given the chance to make their major debut as a group with Sharam Q's frontman Tsunku as their producer, but only if they could sell 50,000 CDs by hand in five non-consecutive days of sales events. A week later, on September 14, Tsunku decided on Morning Musume as the name of the group based on the image of "breakfast filled with variety and volume, great value meal, easy to approach and familiar to everyone". On October 5, "Ai no Tane" was announced as the title of their single.
The five-day campaign began on November 3 at HMV Shinsaibashi in Osaka, where they sold 16,610 copies. They had their second day of sales events on November 9 at both HMV Canal City and HMV Tenjin in Fukuoka, where they sold 9,004 copies. On November 24, at Kirin Beer Garden in Sapporo, they managed to sell 14,853 copies. During this event, Iida Kaori was hospitalized because her contact lens broke and caused temporary blindness, but was able to come back before the fourth day. After three days, only 9,533 copies needed to be sold for Morning Musume to reach the 50,000 goal.
The fourth day of "Ai no Tane" sales took place on November 30 at Nagoya Baseball Stadium, and Fukuda Asuka's parents had also come from Tokyo to attend. The event began at 10:00 AM, and the 50,000 sales mark was reached by 2:30 PM. To show their gratitude, Morning Musume performed "Ai no Tane" and shook hands with the fans at the venue.
Sharam Q's chief manager Wada Kaoru later on met with the Morning Musume members to deliver an announcement from Tsunku. They would make their major debut January 28, 1998, and they would begin recording three demo songs for their debut single.
- Some copies of the single are numbered. If you went to the signing events you would get autographs and different photocards.
- "新展開突入!!!" (in Japanese). ASAYAN. 1997-09-07. (Archived)
- "発売スケジュール決定!!!" (in Japanese). ASAYAN. 1997-09-28. (Archived)
- "モーニング娘。" (in Japanese). ASAYAN. 1997-09-14. (Archived)
- "楽曲タイトル大発表!!!" (in Japanese). ASAYAN. 1997-10-05. (Archived)
- "「愛の種」明日発売！" (in Japanese). ASAYAN. 1997-11-2. (Archived)
- "「愛の種」発売4日目名古屋" (in Japanese). ASAYAN. 1997-12-07. (Archived)
- "「愛の種」大阪・福岡結果報告！" (in Japanese). ASAYAN. 1997-11-16. (Archived)
- "「愛の種」札幌情報！" (in Japanese). ASAYAN. 1997-11-23. (Archived)
- "50,000枚完売！モーニング娘。" (in Japanese). ASAYAN. 1998-12-07. (Archived)