Way Back Wednesday: Fall Classics
This Saturday will mark the official beginning of Autumn here in the United States (along with the entire Northern Hemisphere for that matter) and it couldn't have come at a better time because I am so over the Summer heat. Last week I was fixated on the cooling temperature and chill in the air and today, I noticed that leaves are actually beginning to turn colors as the day time is becoming shorter. That just means that the tail end of 2012 is creeping up on us and before we know it, we'll be hanging up Christmas lights and wondering which mall we'll stand in front of at 3:00 AM.
Today we'll take a look back at the songs that made it big during the change of the seasons. There will be some songs that you know and maybe some songs you're hearing for the first time but they're all good to listen to as you start unpacking the winter clothes and enjoy the brisk weather.
Lee Moon Sae featuring Lee Juk - Movie Dating
One of my all-time favorite songs from one of the most prolific and respected singers in Kpop, Lee Moon Sae. While many may know him from appearances on variety shows and remakes or covers of his music (see Big Bang and IU), Lee Moon Sae is a musical giant and the inspiration for some of Korea's best pop songs over the past thirty years. In 1996, he teamed with another WBW regular Lee Juk for this hit on his tenth album. The song is an ode to yesteryear and a first love from his youth. Great song, catchy, fun, and a must listen.
Untitle - Take Responsibility
This is one of those situations where the English translation doesn't really do the title justice. The nuance of that statement is along the lines of "I've totally fallen in love with you and I can't do anything without thinking about you and since it's your fault that you're irresistible, take responsibility for that and let's date" or something along those lines. Anyway, Untitle was a very popular group back in the day but their careers were short lived. This song was from their debut album in 1996 and while the video is very summery in nature, the song has more of a Winter feel.
Lee Ji Hoon - Farewell
Lee Ji Joon burst onto the Kpop scene with his debut hit "Why Heaven" in 1996 which he followed up with this song, the title track from his second album 'Love and Forever'. It never reached the tremendous peaks that his debut did but it solidified him as prince of the ballads and is another really popular song for the fellas to sing at the norebang (karaoke); if you're trying to impress a girl that is.
Kim Hyun Jung - Loving Alone
Kim Hyun Jung is all over these Way Back Wednesday columns but it's really because her music was really good back in the day. "Loving Alone" was the second single from her debut album and also reached #1 on the charts making her entrance into Kpop pretty memorable. This song totally reminds me of college and I remember going to one of my first college parties with this song playing in the background... Oh man, that was a long time ago.
Baby V.O.X - Ya Ya Ya
Baby V.O.X has definitely been covered in this column before but I didn't want to pass up a chance to call out the breakthrough hit that put them on the map. This song came out pre-Yoon Eun Hye and is the first song I can remember from the group which was also one of the first music videos I downloaded in college. That's what I did when I found out about the glory of T1 lines (Ah, remember dial-up modems?).
H.O.T - Line Up!
H.O.T's third album 'Resurrection' is when they went from pop dance boy group to brooding, serious, artists. The group began infusing social messages and tried to add some meaning to their music instead of all the dancing and prancing around. That's what happens when you start to grow and mature as singers I guess but honestly, the music wasn't as fun. I still liked this album and it still did very well but it marked the change in style and substance for the most popular Kpop group on the planet.
YG Family - We Are YG Family
This is cutting it close because the song became popular in September of 1999 but I don't know the exact date so it could be at the very tail end of Summer but, because I love the song and want to include it on this list, let's say it was just at the beginning of Fall. This was the title song of the very first YG Family album 'Famillenium' which featured all the YG big dogs of the day: Jinusean, 1TYM, Perry, and YG himself Yang Hyun Suk. For Kpop fans of that day, this song was badass. All of our favorite YG artists on one song; kind of like the Justice League or Avengers of Kpop. The video took this whole gangster theme and people thought it was so hardcore and cool that I remember kids getting black bandanas and dressing like the guys in the video. Still a great song and I say this often but, this is the they of music that YG USED to make.
Y2K - Deep Sadness
This was an interesting group. Y2K was a Korean rock band that comprised three members, two of whom were Japanese brothers. Their style was very reminiscent of the Japanese glam rock look and sound (think X Japan but not nearly as good) and while they had some success, they were short lived to my knowledge with only three full studio albums and a couple extras thrown in.
Lee Ki Chan - Love Leaves Again
Making his debut in this column is singer Lee Ki Chan with one of my personal favorite ballads. Lee Ki Chan debuted in 1996 but it wasn't until this 2001 song that I knew who the guy was. The song features his soft, airy voice and was a huge #1 hit. What fans might not know is that the song was written by none other than J.Y. Park and he often mentions it as the song that he wrote for someone else that he would most like to sing. He also mentioned on a recent episode of 'Immortal Song 2' that the song was based on a conversation he had with Lee Hyori and her love life over some drinks. Cool back stories only help the cred of this song.
Jung Il Young - Prayer
Most of you are seeing this and saying, "who?" and with good reason. The song title and singer might not be immediately recognizable but many will recognize the song when they hear it as being from the landmark Korean drama 'Autumn in My Heart'. The drama starred then a newcomer Song Hye Gyo, Song Seung Hun, and Won Bin and took them for really pretty people to international superstars. The soundtrack of the drama was very popular in and of itself and girls were listening to it for months during college. Not my favorite song ever but I totally understand the impact it had and it helped Korean dramas become one of the leading edges of the Hallyu Wave as Korean culture began spreading throughout the world.
What are some of your favorite songs that you love hearing int he Fall?
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