I will preface this article immediately by saying everyone has a different era of music that they think is the best. Having said that, there is no question that the years of 1997-1998 were, in my humble opinion, the greatest years in the entire history of K-pop. Those two years featured every major group that would go on to influence all of the boy bands and girl groups that you love today. From fashion and dance to the music and fans, these were truly the best years of K-pop and I have 20 songs to prove it.
"Candy" - H.O.T
This was the best song from the most important group in K-pop idol history. Period.
"Why Heaven" - Lee Ji Hoon
The thick lipped crooner's debut was a monster hit and is still one of the best ballads ever.
"Young Love" - Yangpa
One of the very first solo female singers in the modern era of K-pop. She paved the way for future divas.
"Again" - Lim Chang Jung
The master of the ballad became the one of the most successful actor-to-singer crossover stars and had a string of hits in the late 1990's - early 2000's.
"She Was Pretty" - J.Y. Park
There hasn't been another entertainer in K-pop history like the one and only J.Y. Park. He brought fashion, flair, and good old fashioned groove to the industry.
"Forever" - Ahn Jae Wook
There have been other awesome songs from soundtracks but nothing on the level of this song from one of great dramas in Korea, 'Star in My Heart'.
"The Sea" - UP
Talk about crazy gimmicks, this was one of the kookiest groups in K-pop but aside from their wackiness, I dare you to not nod your head along to this catchy classic.
"Woman of the Beach" - Cool
It's been 16 years since the song's release and it's still considered the ultimate K-pop summer anthem.
"Nightmares" - Yoo Seung Joon
Before his banishment with issues stemming from military enlistment, Yoo Seung Joon was one of the most exciting stars in K-pop... and you gotta love that hair. He had the charisma, the looks, and the moves.
"Dance with DOC" - DJ DOC
No other group had more of a carefree, let's-have-fun attitude than the bad boys of K-pop. They've been out of the limelight for a bit but it looks like they'll make their comeback this week on the show 'Immortal Song 2'.
"Tell Me" - Jinusean
Produced by former Deux member Lee Hyun Do and featuring the always sexy Uhm Jung Hwa, Jinusean was YG Entertainment's first successful group and set the standard for future hip hop-esque music in K-pop.
"Goodbye Yesterday" - Turbo
Following some time off, the group reappeared with new rapper Mikey and went on another run of success which started with this famous song.
"Reminiscence" - Turbo
The only artist to have two songs on the list. It's impossible not to include the catchy ballad which has to be one of the most popular noraebang songs in history.
"I'm Your Girl" - SES
I still have a crush on member Eugene. Yes she's married but, it's hard to forget your first love...
"Road Fighter" - Sechskies
The only group to really challenge H.O.T's dominance, the short-lived Sechskies helped usher in the era of idol boy group fan wars with colored balloons and synchronized chants. By the way, is it me or do their outfits look like a combination of silk pajamas and the Jerry Seinfeld Puffy Shirt?
"To Heaven" - Jo Sung Mo
Jo Sung Mo's video for this soulful ballad is still the best in K-pop featuring stars Lee Byung Hun and Kim Ha Neul.
"Goodbye to Her" - Kim Hyun Jung
Known for her long legs, Kim Hyun Jung was one of the leaders of the techno wave and blasted this old school, girl power anthem.
"To My Boyfriend" - Fin.K.L
Hyori, that's all.
"1TYM" - 1TYM
The song that gave us hip hop in idol form. 1TYM is one time for your mind... Teddy and Danny brought the So-Cal flavor to K-pop.
"Problem Solver" - Shinhwa
The longest running group in K-pop got their start right here with this song.
The above songs are my 20 reasons as to why the years 1997-1998 were the greatest years in K-pop. You many not totally agree with this list but no one can argue that the songs on this list still sound as good today as they did back then.