Well, it's 2013 and alien spaceships didn't emerge from mountains, freak natural disasters haven't submerged the planet in water, and while you might consider Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's pregnancy as a sign of the apocalypse, for the most part, 2013 is starting off on the right foot. Unfortunately many of us are back at work after a few days off but what better way to pass the time then by revisiting some old K-pop classics?
In the spirit of the new year, we'll take a look at the #1 songs on the charts during the first week of the year from 1996-2003. Some of these songs we've covered before but some might be new. Either way, it never hurts to catch up on the music that were topping the charts as we were hanging up a new calendar.
Lee Sora - I'm Happy (1996)
There really isn't another voice in the history of K-pop like Lee Sora. That low, melancholy, almost solemn sound that is one-of-a-kind. "I'm Happy" is one of her trademark songs and has been covered over the years by different singers but none match the depth of her voice. This song was a #1 hit in 1995 and its popularity carried over into the new year.
H.O.T - Candy (1997)
I think I've written all I can about this song and this group. They are the most important idol group in K-pop and this was their biggest hit.
Turbo - Goodbye Yesterday (1998)
The song that sparked the reintroduction of Turbo to the K-pop masses following their massive initial success, "Goodbye Yesterday" was another song that was a huge hit during the tail end of the previous year and that popularity continued. I have a lot of memories with this song and I clearly remember listening to this CD over the holidays in high school. I just shuddered at how old I'm getting.
Sechskies - Couple (1999)
The other big name boy band of the era, Sechskies was known more for their big dance numbers but one of their biggest hits happened to be a mid tempo ballad. The song was recently brought back into the spotlight when it was included on the soundtrack for the popular drama 'Reply 1997'.
Yoo Seung Jun - Vision (2000)
2000 was Yoo Seung Jun in his prime. The man was probably the most popular singer in K-pop and was just churning out hit after hit. He was so popular...
Yoo Seung Jun - Wish You Could Find (2001)
...that the most popular song at the beginning of 2001 was another hit from the dancing machine. You've got to love the early 2000 music show broadcasts with the word art like fonts for the rap lyrics.
Yoon Mirae - As Time Goes By (2002)
Such a great song from one of the most talented artists in K-pop. "As Time Goes By" was the song that propelled Yoon Mirae into stardom and is still a mainstay on my playlists even after all these years. Even with all the covers that have been done by some really good singers, the original is still the best and no one can sing it like T.
Lee Ki Chan - Cold (2003)
Rounding out the list is an under appreciated song from an under appreciated singer, "Cold" is a melodic ballad that ruled the charts in early 2003. The song tells the story of a man trying to get over his feelings and erase the women he loves from his mind. I remember singing this song in norebangs trying to impress the ladies but sadly, the term "fail" comes to mind when thinking back on those days.
With an entire year waiting to be explored, here's wishing you a happy, prosperous, and safe 2013. Who knows what's waiting around the corner but at least for today, it doesn't hurt to look back and listen to some good K-pop classics.