Night Fishing (album)

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Night Fishing (stylized as NIGHT FISHING, Japanese pronunciation: [naitoɸiꜜɕɕiŋɡɯ) is the second studio album by Japanese band Sakanaction. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_0

It was released on January 23, 2008 through Victor Entertainment's BabeStar Label. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_1

The album primarily features music written by vocalist Ichiro Yamaguchi since the release of their debut album Go to the Future (2007). Night Fishing (album)_sentence_2

Compared to their debut album, which compiled songs that the band had already written, the majority of the songs on Night Fishing were written specifically for the release. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_3

The album was an attempt by the band to find a better balance between popular music and underground, and was an album where the members wanted to incorporate more of their own personal styles; which caused the members to disagree over its content much more than on their debut album. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_4

The album was preceded by the digital singles "Word", "Sample" and "Night Fishing Is Good", all released in December 2007. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_5

Out of these, "Sample" was chosen as the main promotional track for the album, receiving high radio play in Hokkaido. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_6

Critically, the band was praised for their new direction on Night Fishing, with critics praising the album's mix of pop and electronic musical elements, Yamaguchi's poetic lyrics and "transparent" vocals. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_7

Night Fishing was more commercially successful than Go to the Future, reaching number 53 on the Oricon singles chart. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_8

In 2009, the album was made available globally as a digital download, alongside the band's debut and third albums Go to the Future (2007) and Shin-shiro (2009). Night Fishing (album)_sentence_9

In 2015, the album was reissued on CD, LP record and lossless digital formats. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_10

Background and development Night Fishing (album)_section_0

Sakanaction was first formed in 2005 in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_11

The band gained exposure in Hokkaido after winning the audition to perform as a newcomer artist at the Rising Sun Rock Festival in Otaru in August 2006, and after demos of their songs "Mikazuki Sunset" and "Shiranami Top Water" performed well on College Radio Japan Sapporo. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_12

The band were signed to major label Victor Entertainment, and released their debut album Go to the Future on May 7, 2007, through Victor's BabeStar Label. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_13

The group performed a short tour of Japan to promote the album's release, performing concerts in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Sapporo in May. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_14

As a part of the Sapporo concert's set-list, the band performed the songs "Teenage" and "Amsfish"; then unpublished songs that would later be added to Night Fishing. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_15

Since their debut, the band had been based in Sapporo, and had recorded their albums there. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_16

Night Fishing would become their last Hokkaido-based release, as the group moved to Tokyo in mid 2008. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_17

Due to the response to the band's debut album Go to the Future, Sakanaction's A&R team pushed them to quickly follow this up with a second album. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_18

They felt extremely pressured while creating the album, especially by their musical director at Victor Entertainment. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_19

Writing and production Night Fishing (album)_section_1

Conception Night Fishing (album)_section_2

Most of the songs featured on Night Fishing were written specifically for it. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_20

The band members felt like the album was their first release that they had made together as a five-member band, as opposed to Go to the Future, which the band's vocalist and songwriter Ichiro Yamaguchi described as feeling like a "business card" due to the inclusion of mostly old material. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_21

The material for the album was created based on the response and criticism for their debut album, and the members realization that they should not be frightened to make bold changes. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_22

However, several songs were already written beforehand: "Sample" was originally a song released by Yamaguchi's high school band Dutchman 2002, and "Amsfish" was a song written during Sakanaction's early days in 2005 that did not make the album cut of Go to the Future, because Yamaguchi felt that the song did not fit well on their debut release. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_23

The band attempted to make a more commercial sound compared to Go to the Future, and tried to strike a balance between underground, minimal electronic music and "high entertainment" popular music. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_24

The band wanted to keep a sense of enjoyment in their music, and attempted to do so by experimenting with different musical styles, including progressive rock and choral singing, and experimenting with elements of ambient and folk music. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_25

After performing their first Japanese tour in 2008, Sakanaction put more consideration into choosing arrangements that would work better at live concerts. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_26

The album was created at a point where each of the band members wanted to incorporate more of their own personalities into the music of Sakanaction, which led to Night Fishing becoming the album where the members disagreed over its content the most. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_27

Sakanaction also had difficulty between themselves and their record label over deciding which song should have been the leading promotional song. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_28

The label had chosen "Sample", but there was a lot of opposition to this from Yamaguchi, who preferred "Night Fishing Is Good". Night Fishing (album)_sentence_29

When the band unveiled their song to their director at Studio Milk, he did not react very well to the song, and the label chose not to promote this song due to its six-minute length. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_30

During this time, Yamaguchi had begun to realize the power of music videos after the rise in popularity of video-sharing websites such as YouTube, so decided to make his own low-budget video for the song; describing "Night Fishing Is Good" as the underground leading promotional song for the album. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_31

Demo recording sessions for Night Fishing began several days before the release of the band's debut album Go to the Future in May 2007. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_32

The band members formally proposed the album concepts to Victor Entertainment staff in June 2007. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_33

The album's official studio recording sessions began in September 2007 and concluded in October, and were entirely undertaken at Discovery Studio in the Maruyama Nishi-machi area of Chūō-ku, Sapporo. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_34

After the album sessions had finished, however, the band immediately kept on recording for their future projects. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_35

The album's track order was not considered until the very final mastering stages of the album. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_36

Yamaguchi did much of the album's final mixing himself personally. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_37

Several of the band's plans for the album did not come into fruition. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_38

Originally the band had planned for "Ame wa Kimagure" to be the leading song on the album, but after producing the song, Yamaguchi felt that the song's arrangement was too stylized and not easily accessible. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_39

The band had wanted to shoot a video for "Atarashii Sekai" on location in Kyoto, however they abandoned plans for this. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_40

Song inspiration and production Night Fishing (album)_section_3

Lyrically, Yamaguchi worked around a "night" theme, and was inspired by creating film-like imagery for each song. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_41

Yamaguchi wanted to compile lyrics featuring introspective feelings of worry and sadness that people primarily felt at night. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_42

Yamaguchi was further inspired to write more autobiographically, creating a documentary-like non-fiction work. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_43

He wanted to create lyrics closer to the style of haiku than standard pop lyricism, in order to express many things with as few phrases as possible. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_44

Despite the album's track order not being decided until the very end, Yamaguchi had thought from the start that "Ame wa Kimagure", "Malaysia 32" and "Uneri" should be in that order. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_45

After plans for "Ame wa Kimagure" to become the leading song were scrapped, Yamaguchi decided to elaborate on the "oriental" feel of the song. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_46

"Malaysia 32" is the band's first instrumental song, and was based on a synthesizer riff made by the band's guitarist Motoharu Iwadera which was then completed with ideas from everyone in the band. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_47

The song was called "Malaysia" because of how at one point they added a vocal melody that sounded like the name of the city Kuala Lumpur. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_48

The number 32 in the title is a reference to the fact that the song is based on a synthesizer loop of 32 bars. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_49

Originally "Uneri" had been envisioned as a rock song, but the band decided against this after creating "Night Fishing Is Good". Night Fishing (album)_sentence_50

The band's musical director suggested that they perform the song acoustically instead, which led to the final studio arrangement of "Uneri". Night Fishing (album)_sentence_51

"Night Fishing Is Good" was inspired by the style of musical theatre and classical music. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_52

Originally the other band members were hesitant about the song when Yamaguchi first played it to them, and they suggested that they split the piece into two compositions. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_53

During the song's recording, Yamaguchi felt that the song would benefit from having a similar style to the English rock band Queen, which the band's pianist Emi Okazaki in particular responded well to. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_54

Iwadera added Queen-style guitar riffs to the song, and the group decided to add a vocal chorus, in the style of a Queen song. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_55

Only after "Night Fishing Is Good" had been finished did the band decide to title the album after this song. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_56

Promotion and release Night Fishing (album)_section_4

The album was first announced on November 12, 2007. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_57

In December, Sakanaction traveled to the Tokyo area to promote the album, where they performed at the Countdown Japan 07/08 new year's music festival. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_58

On December 5, the songs "Word" and "Sample" were released as a two-track single to iTunes. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_59

On December 26, the song "Night Fishing Is Good" was similarly released as a stand-alone digital download to promote the album. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_60

"Sample" was chosen as the album's leading promotional track, receiving heavy rotation on radio stations such as Hokkaido's FM North Wave in early February, while "Word" received minor airplay during the same period. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_61

Three songs on the album were promoted with music videos: "Word", "Sample" and "Night Fishing Is Good". Night Fishing (album)_sentence_62

The music video for "Sample" was recorded on December 20, at a lake close to Mount Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture, and was directed by Kanji Suto. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_63

"Night Fishing Is Good" was shot in a single day during the new year period in 2008 at the Arata River in Gifu, in two takes, by "Mikazuki Sunset" director Yoshihiro Mori. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_64

It was released after the album was available in stores, on February 4. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_65

In mid-January, the band unveiled a special website for Night Fishing, featuring sound samples and song commentary by Ichiro Yamaguchi, and also opened their official MySpace profile. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_66

Sakanaction were featured on the February 26 episode of Fuji Television's Factory, where they performed a four song set, featuring "Sample" as well as songs from Go to the Future. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_67

Special features on Sakanaction were published in the magazines Pia, Musica, Barfout!, Bass Magazine and Rockin' On Japan. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_68

In March 2008, the band held a Japan-wide tour to promote the album, 2nd Album 2008 "Night Fishing Is Good". Night Fishing (album)_sentence_69

The tour began in Nagasaki on March 1, and finished in Osaka on March 29. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_70

In 2015, the band re-released their studio albums, due to the pregnancy of their bassist Ami Kusakari. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_71

In March, Night Fishing was released for the first time as a lossless digital release and as a vinyl record/ A remastered CD edition was also released during this time. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_72

Reception Night Fishing (album)_section_5

Critical reception Night Fishing (album)_section_6

Critical reception in Japan to the album was positive. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_73

Music journalist Takehiko Hosaka gave a very positive review of the album, noting the band's new and wider direction, and felt it was at the forefront of modern pop music. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_74

He felt that Night Fishing had a Don Quixote-like strong volition that was easy to become obsessed about. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_75

CDJournal reviewer Mori listed it as his third favorite release of the year, praising the word-play, melodies and arrangements on Night Fishing. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_76

Yuji Tanaka of CDJournal praised the album's addition of "opera-like choral work" on the album, noting it as the biggest change compared to Go to the Future. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_77

Haruki Terada of Musica believed that the album was a great improvement on Go to the Future in all aspects, calling it a "masterpiece". Night Fishing (album)_sentence_78

He felt that the album's experimentation was "special", likening it to the lyricism and eloquence of 1970s Japanese kayōkyoku songs. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_79

He noted that Yamaguchi's "transparent" vocals expressed pain no matter how he sang, and felt that the band were able to incorporate funk elements due to the band having a keyboardist. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_80

Terada felt that there were three important factors to the album's success: Yamaguchi's vocals, the "intimacy" felt between band members, and Yamaguchi's songwriting skills; something that Terada saw as a strong unchanging factor between Go to the Future and Night Fishing. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_81

Terada felt that the album's lyrics had a consistent poetic worldview, and often switched between sentimentality and frigidity. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_82

Atsushi Sasaki of Invitation described the album's appeal being its "fusion of home recorded-style arrangements and US indie-like band sound, overlaid with naive and noble vocals." Night Fishing (album)_sentence_83

He felt like Night Fishing inherited the "bedroom techno meets guitar pop" that the Japanese bands Supercar and Quruli had in the early 2000s. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_84

He noted progressive aspects to the album's style, but felt that the band were still in the process of growth. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_85

Terada felt that the reason why many people saw the band as being a successor to Supercar and Quruli was not just their "nostalgic soundwork": a mix of kayō and speedy inorganic four on the floor arrangements, but simply Yamaguchi's "comfortable" vocals. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_86

Shunsuke Kosugi of Musica called the use of electronic beats on the album "excellent", praised them as "detailed" and "precise", and noted how they stirred up nostalgic feelings that "pulled at the heartstrings". Night Fishing (album)_sentence_87

Kosugi felt that there was a uniformity to the beats on the album, and stressed that listeners should listen to the work as a whole to experience this properly. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_88

Reviewers for So-en praised the album for Yamaguchi's vocals and Sakanaction's atypical band sound, feeling that listening to the album created a "floating feeling like being in space". Night Fishing (album)_sentence_89

They further praised Yamaguchi's "unique" lyrical worldview, and the high level of perfection found in the recordings. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_90

Kei Iwasaki of the band Sekaiichi, writing for Musica, felt that Ichiro Yamaguchi's dual love of 1990s pop music and electronic musicians such as Daft Punk and Cornelius strongly expressed itself throughout the album. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_91

He lauded Sakanaction's efforts to mix electronica and pop, but felt that mixing these two genres was a double-edged sword that invariably influenced the composition of songs. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_92

Because of this, he felt that Night Fishing might be more successful musically if the songs were re-recorded. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_93

Commercial reception Night Fishing (album)_section_7

In its debut week, Night Fishing was the number 53 most sold album in Japan, according to the Japanese music chart Oricon, selling 3,500 copies. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_94

This was more than double the number of Go to the Future, which had sold 1,500 copies and reached number 105. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_95

It continued to chart in the top 300 albums for an additional four weeks, selling a further 3,600 copies. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_96

During the release of the band's single "Aruku Around" in January 2010, the album re-charted for a single week, bringing the total tracked number of copies sold to 7,600: 2,400 more than Go to the Future. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_97

In 2015 the album was reissued, selling an additional 1,500 copies. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_98

In tracking regional sales, CDJournal noted the album had mid-level charting success in Tokyo and charted highly in Sapporo, however under-performed in Hokkaido position-wise compared to Go to the Future. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_99

Much like Go to the Future, the album did not see particularly strong sales in the regional centers of Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_100

Track listing Night Fishing (album)_section_8

All lyrics are written by Ichiro Yamaguchi. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_101

Personnel Night Fishing (album)_section_9

Personnel details were sourced from Night Fishing's liner notes booklet. Night Fishing (album)_sentence_102

Sakanaction Night Fishing (album)_sentence_103

Personnel and imagery Night Fishing (album)_sentence_104

Charts Night Fishing (album)_section_10

Night Fishing (album)_table_general_0

Charts (2008)Night Fishing (album)_header_cell_0_0_0 Peak

positionNight Fishing (album)_header_cell_0_0_1

Japan Billboard Top Albums SalesNight Fishing (album)_cell_0_1_0 54Night Fishing (album)_cell_0_1_1
Japan Oricon weekly albumsNight Fishing (album)_cell_0_2_0 53Night Fishing (album)_cell_0_2_1
Charts (2015)Night Fishing (album)_header_cell_0_3_0 Peak

positionNight Fishing (album)_header_cell_0_3_1

Japan Oricon weekly albumsNight Fishing (album)_cell_0_4_0 62Night Fishing (album)_cell_0_4_1

Sales Night Fishing (album)_section_11

Night Fishing (album)_table_general_1

ChartNight Fishing (album)_header_cell_1_0_0 AmountNight Fishing (album)_header_cell_1_0_1
Oricon physical salesNight Fishing (album)_cell_1_1_0 9,000Night Fishing (album)_cell_1_1_1

Release history Night Fishing (album)_section_12

Night Fishing (album)_table_general_2

RegionNight Fishing (album)_header_cell_2_0_0 DateNight Fishing (album)_header_cell_2_0_1 FormatNight Fishing (album)_header_cell_2_0_2 Distributing LabelNight Fishing (album)_header_cell_2_0_3 Catalogue codesNight Fishing (album)_header_cell_2_0_4
JapanNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_1_0 January 23, 2008 (2008-01-23)Night Fishing (album)_cell_2_1_1 CD, digital downloadNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_1_2 BabeStar LabelNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_1_3 VICB-60029Night Fishing (album)_cell_2_1_4
TaiwanNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_2_0 April 10, 2009 (2009-04-10)Night Fishing (album)_cell_2_2_1 CDNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_2_2 Rock RecordsNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_2_3 GUT2261Night Fishing (album)_cell_2_2_4
South KoreaNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_3_0 April 13, 2009 (2009-04-13)Night Fishing (album)_cell_2_3_1 digital downloadNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_3_2 J-Box EntertainmentNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_3_3 N/ANight Fishing (album)_cell_2_3_4
WorldwideNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_4_0 July 15, 2009 (2009-07-15)Night Fishing (album)_cell_2_4_1 digital downloadNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_4_2 Victor EntertainmentNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_4_3 N/ANight Fishing (album)_cell_2_4_4
JapanNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_5_0 March 18, 2015 (2015-03-18)Night Fishing (album)_cell_2_5_1 lossless digital downloadNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_5_2 VEAHD-10613Night Fishing (album)_cell_2_5_3
March 25, 2015 (2015-03-25)Night Fishing (album)_cell_2_6_0 CD, LP recordNight Fishing (album)_cell_2_6_1 VICL-64344, VIJL-60146-7Night Fishing (album)_cell_2_6_2

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Fishing (album).