Filed under: Arashi, Hey!Say!JUMP, Johnny's Entertainment, Jpop, Kanjani8, KAT-TUN, KinKi Kids, NEWS, SMAP, Tackey & Tsubasa, TOKIO, V6
I think Johnny’s always have the best debut songs and everyone else needs to take a note with their new artists. A Johnny’s group’s discography might not always be good as a whole, but their debut songs are generally epic – cheesy, exciting, infective, which, when all put together, mean totally awesome.Unlike many other artists, who try to gain momentum with their later releases, JE debut songs always have a strong impact and often stay as one of the group’s most popular songs throughout their career.
Here’s a ranking of the best 10!… or, since I’m only considering the still active groups (aka nothing BS: Before SMAP) the best and worst. (…what, my title isn’t that deceiving.)
10. SMAP – Can’t Stop!! -LOVING-
By putting SMAP in last place, I know I’m coming off as a total SMAP hater (I’m not really, honest) – but even the biggest SMAP fans can’t help but admit the group’s early musical releases aren’t exactly… good. Debut songs are supposed to be embarrassing and overdone in Johnny’s universe, but the song is such terrible bubblegum idol pop that it’s no wonder they didn’t get popular when they first debuted, and no wonder the group doesn’t sing this song EVER.
Can’t Stop!! -LOVING’- Live
9. V6 – Music for the People
Firstly, isn’t it odd when the song comes out around when half the members had barely broken voices, but still sound deeper and huskier than they do ten years later? Hard techno, deep voices – the song is actually really catchy, but sounds much better when they sing it years later without all the seriousness – yeah, V6 sounding really serious while singing a ridiculous song is probably what puts it in this spot. (This is where every song on the list becomes good, and the rankings are, to be honest, pretty arbitrary.)
Music for the People PV || Music for the People live, 2006
8. Tackey & Tsubasa – True Heart
Okay, so technically this was on a debut album – but let’s not be technical, okay? The song should otherwise be a bad song – cheesy lyrics, boring instrumentals, mediocre vocals – but the simple tune wedges into your head in your head, and before you know it, you’re singing along to “I feeeel… I dooo” in all of this debut song’s melodramatic glory.
True Heart PV || True Heart live at Hatachi concert (hilarious!)
7. Hey!Say!JUMP – Ultra Music Power
“Ultra Music Power” is catchy, catchy, catchy. I know, some of you aren’t fans of this group because it’s like watching a group of middle school (primary, if you stare too long at Morimoto or Chinen) boys try to be sexy, but it’s just hard to not sing along. Musically, it’s somewhat standard, and the longevity of this song might be limited by how long Chinen can keep his voice from breaking, but this is just catchy to death.
Ultra Music Power PV || Ultra Music Power live
6. Kanjani8 – Naniwa Iroha Bushi
I wouldn’t say “Naniwa Iroha Bushi” is a song most people listen to often anymore unless they’re big Kanjani8 fans, but there’s no way you could get this out of your head when you first hear it. The mix of semi-rap parts and enka (both good (from Subaru) and bad (from everyone else, sadly)) so unique and unforgettable.
Naniwa Iroha Bushi PV || Naniwa Iroha Bushi rock version live
5. NEWS – NEWS Nippon
The song had fast paced pop portions, ballad portions, and rap portions – it’s like they tried to fit every genre into this song. Actually, each portion is charming and catchy in its own way, but the pop chorus is what sticks with you for days. You’ll never forget their name (I am 100% in support of sneakily placing your group name into the song MULTIPLE times) and never forget the chorus either.
NEWS Nippon PV || NEWS Nippon live 2004 || NEWS Nippon live, 2007
4. KinKi Kids – Garasu no Shounen
Put together two boys with the same last name, have them sing about glass boys (yeah, everyone first snickers at the song title) in a catchy tune against a really dramatic backing track – and you’ve got a hit that no one forgets. Even as KinKi Kids become KinKi Men, this is still one of their title songs that represents the duo – which says something about its awesome staying power.
Garasu no Shounen PV || Garasu no Shounen live, 1997 || Garasu no Shounen live, 2007
3. Real Face – KAT-TUN
It’s not often you debut with a catchy single that sells a million plus copies. That’s “Real Face” for you. No matter how much good singing, rock, tough rapping, beat-boxing, or obscene sound effects KAT-TUN tries to throw in the future, nothing can exceed this song because it has all of the aforementioned and does each aspect to perfection. Not only does the song have terrific composition and production, it’s iconic and established KAT-TUN as Japan’s hip-thrusting, tough-looking slutty idols wth just one song.
Real Face PV || Real Face live
2. TOKIO – Love You Only
“Love You Only” is an amazingly sweet and fun song and, quite honestly, is one of the best songs the group has ever had. TOKIO obviously agrees with me, because they even re-recorded this song in their more modern rock style at their tenth anniversary. Aside from the normal cheese factors of being a Johnny’s song and singing about love as if the entire group were middle schoolers, the song is actually pretty good just as a song. Plus, who can forget the short-shorts Nagase wore that are almost synonymous with this song? Whether it’s because you love Nagase’s legs or is just traumatised by them, the answer would be no one.
Love You Only live, 1994 || Love You Only PV || Love You Only, 2004 ver PV
1. Arashi – A.RA.SHI
It’s one thing to have your fans love your debut song ten years after your debut – it’s another to have everyone still love this song everywhere. “A.RA.SHI” is catchy, employs rap, ballad, and tempo changes, and name drops the group the most out of any debut song on here. You know it’s a good song when it’s still performed on national television even a decade after its debut and, not only does it manage to not sound too dated, people still love it despite your popular image and sound being completely different now. Ten years later, people can still associate the “arashi, arashi for dream” dance motion with the song. Now that’s a debut song done right!
A.RA.SHI PV || A.RA.SHI live, 1999 || A.RA.SHI live, 2008
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