"Heart Station/Stay Gold" is Utada Hikaru's 20th Japanese single (28th single overall). The single was released on February 20th, 2008, her first for 2008 with its first pressings featuring an official "Heart Station" sticker. "Stay Gold" debuted to radio on January 7, 2008, and on Recochoku download formats back in December 7 of 2007. 'Heart Station' debuted just two weeks post for Chaku-Uta Ringtone downloads on January 21, 2008, as well as for radio airplay.
"HEART STATION" will be the 2008 commercial song for Recochoku. The "Heart Station" Recochoku CM began airing on 12p.m. January 25, 2008 in Japan and features original footage and imagery of Utada shot last year in December 2007. The video, entitled "PON PON Kumachan," became available for download according to her Japanese site on the same day. On January 26, 2008, her official Japanese site launched a special "Heart Station" website with the single's information as well as blog parts to place the "PON PON KUMACHAN" video on fan's blogs. There are also links to several radio stations across Japan, presumably some promotional agreement between "Heart Station" and various FM channels, with some boasting individual "Heart Station" stickers, indicating each as a "special" Heart Station. The "flying" date of the single's release, February 19, 2008, caused some Japanese-resident purchasers to not only receive the first press edition grid of stickers, but also a bottle of ASCIENCE shampoo at some CD MAXI shops (the tie-in product of "Stay Gold"). The single debuted at #2 with 14,882 units sold its first 24 hours.
The video features Utada, simply attired in a white top, jeans, and white headphones, singing on a train filled with black-clad, mysterious people until she arrives at her destination(presumably the director's reference to another form of "Heart Station"). Less noticeable elements that relate to the song include the track lights that follow a heartbeat-like pulse as the train travels along. Also, when the video is shown in a first-person perspective of the viewer, the people appear to be pitch black but whenever it switches to Utada's perspective, us seeing through Utada's eyes, we see the passengers in full color.
The PV stayed at #1 for five weeks (from February 15, 2008-March 21, 2008) on Space Shower TV music video channel's Original Chart.
"Stay Gold" was downloaded just over 250,000 times by the end of the December 2007 month, meaning it was the fourth in the monthly rankings for RIAJ's Chaku-Uta Ringtones. It had its greatest success at radio for debuting at #1 on Hot Express' Daily FM chart for the week it debuted, and reaching a high #7 on the Tokio Hot 100 Singles Airplay chart, but rather quickly descended most radio rankings it had peaked mostly in the Top 3, 20 or 40 of after achieving the latter peak, somewhat akin to "Kiss & Cry."The physical single shot straight onto iTunes Japan Albums download chart at #2 the same day it was released while the two A-sides "Heart Station" & "Stay Gold" debuted back-to-back in the Top 3 of Itunes Japan Top Songs at #2 and #3 respectively.
|Release||Chart||Peak Position||First Week Sales||Sales Total||Chart Run|
|February 20,2008||Oricon Daily Singles Chart||#2|
|February 20,2008||Oricon Weekly Singles Chart||#3||48,430||76,762||11 weeks|
|February 20,2008||Oricon Monthly Singles Chart||#13|
|February 20,2008||Oricon Yearly Singles Chart|
|Release||Chart||Peak Position||Sales Total||Chart Run|
|February 20, 2008||Billboard Japan Hot 100||#2||N/A||N/A|
|February 20, 2008||Billboard Japan Airplay Charts||#1(2 weeks)||N/A||N/A|
|February 20, 2008||Billboard Japan Hot Singles Chart||#3||N/A||N/A|
|iTunes Japan Top Songs||#1 (Heart Station) / #3 (Stay Gold)|
|iTunes Japan Plus||N/A|
|iTunes Japan Top Albums*||#1|
|Recochoku Chaku-Uta Downloads||#4 (Heart Station)/ #1(Stay Gold)|
|Recochoku Chaku-Uta Full||#4 (Heart Station) / #13 (Stay Gold)|
|Recochoku Chaku-Uta Melody||#1(Heart Station) / #1(Stay Gold)|
|Recochoku Chaku-Uta All||#4 (Heart Station)/ #3 (Stay Gold)|
|Oricon Mobile Full-Song||#2 (Stay Gold)/ #1 (Heart Station)|
|Mu-mo Song Download Chart||#2 (Stay Gold) / #2 (Heart Station)|
|Dwango Truetone Ringtones (Chaku Uta)||#4 (Heart Station) / #8 (Stay Gold)|
|Dwango Polyphonic Ringtones (Chaku Mero)||#2 (Heart Station) / #7 (Stay Gold)|
|81.3 FM J-Wave Tokio Hot 100||#1 (Heart Station) / #7 (Stay Gold)|
|MTV Japanese Chart Express||#2 (Heart Station)|
|CDTV Top 100||#3 (Heart Station/Stay Gold)|
|ZIP FM Hot 100 (Nagoya)||#6 (Heart Station) / #40 (Stay Gold)|
|Osakan Hot 100 (Osaka)||#1(Heart Station) / #3 (Stay Gold)|
|Kiss FM Kobe Hot 40||#1 (Heart Station)/ #3 (Stay Gold)|
|FM Osaka 851||#1 (Heart Station) / #3 (Stay Gold)|
|Toyama Countdown Top 50||#1 (Heart Station) / #22 (Stay Gold)|
|MUSIC LOUNGE Japanese Radio||#3 (Heart Station) / #19 (Stay Gold)|
|Hot Express Daily FM Chart for 2/13/08 (also 3/1/08) & 1/07/08||#1 (Heart Station)/ #1 (Stay Gold)|
|Hot Express Weekly FM Chart||#1~3 weeks~ (Heart Station)|
|Space Shower TV Original PV Chart||#1~5 weeks~ (Heart Station)|
In all of her performances of Heart Station, Utada has featured prominent ad-libbing in the beginning of the song and in the ending, in which she sings variations of the line, "This is from the bottom of my heart," twice. It is unknown if she will continue this pattern in future performances.