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WBW: 20 Songs that Prove that 1997-1998 were the Greatest Years in K-pop

July 10, 2013 @ 2:27 pm
by miketastic
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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. 

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jivara
· Posted July 12, 2013 @ 7:03 am

omg star in my heart is my favorite drama i look for it  for ages until i finaly found in you tube i become a fan of ahn jae wook because of the drama and the song is one of my favorite

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crazynana
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

I personally think that 1TYM - Without you and HOT were HOT dededded HOT dededde HOOOOT!!

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mkknes
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

H.O.T's I Yah is another great song from the 90's! :D

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poe21
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

I wish i knew kpop back then! in 1998, I was 10 years old and into Backstreet Boys kk
I'm now a Shinhwa fan. n___n

Shinhwa san!!

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sonja-123
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 11:30 am

I listen all the songs ! they are all pretty good songs ! Today more electro music is  hunting us all over the world !

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Erisadesu
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 10:59 am

I will say it without even listening to those songs...Pop and rock era of the 1997 - 1998 was the best not only for South Korea but USA and UK as well.. but then again I wanted to ask the author.. was it the best are I think it was because  at that time I was 18 and I was in the perfect age for pop music? 

Cause now I am 32 and I don't find the music as pop as it was back there. Since now a lot of styles have became part of pop music.

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freddyp13
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 9:02 am

I got into kpop in 2008 but very nice songs from the 90's ^^

 

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kristimax
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 7:23 am

i was not into kpop that much during those years but i have seen kpop videos on mtv at that time..until i got hooked with Kdramas OST during the early 2000's and so on.:)

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kristimax
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 7:22 am

i was not into kpop that much during those years but i have seen kpop videos on mtv at that time..until i got hooked with Kdramas OST during the early 2000's and so on.:)

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jovi
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 6:56 am

I dont even know any of these songs... -.- I'm probably 2 years old then

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hyungjun
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 5:39 am

LOL I was born during this period so I wouldn't have been around to live through these times.

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gayoonfan
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 4:52 am

man this was when i was 8 & started listening to kpop. 13 years later now im 24 & still listen to s.e.s, fin k.l., baby v.o.x, & more of the old songs from variety of artists. :) those were the great old days with amazing hits. :)

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ploya-h-i
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 3:20 am

1TYM was soooo good  They were the first k-pop band i listened to

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BabyVi
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 3:16 am

I just know 2 song out of the list above lol candy & to my boyfriend ... just that xD

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sunsica8
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 2:09 am

Author of this probably got into kpop in those same years...

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craptelly
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 1:51 am

Ahh.. Jekki jjang!!! :D Baby Eun Ji Won is adorbs!

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Mysterious_eyez
· Posted July 10, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

I never really got into Kpop until I think 2009 and although I recognize the names of these groups listed and some of the people like Hyori, Shinhwa since I'm a fan. Looking at these videos I can't help but be glad I kind of missed this since some of the songs really don't appeal to me . Also, what the hell is Fin K.L wearing during this performance? Looks like cloth or something tacked to their shirts. Kpop sure has come a long way when it comes to image and styling!

mallowbits
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 3:26 am
Although I don't disagree with you, you have to consider the trends back then. I listened to kpop back then too. Looking back at it now, I agree that it looks weird now, but back then, I can assure you, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I'm pretty sure there are some things in your younger years that make you go "wtf was I thinking?"
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Mysterious_eyez
· Posted July 11, 2013 @ 11:41 am
@mallowbits Of course I'm sure that back then it was the coolest thing and many people probably imitated the fashion. However, I still say even for back then the fashion could have been better executed. I watched Fin K.L performance I was afraid that white thing was going to fall off lol.
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mslolipop112
· Posted July 10, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

i mostly know everything since they still in kpop industry -like shinhwa,hyori,jyp,kim joon kook- and reply 1997 xD reminiscene its known more too because of SUJU remake ^w^

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samoyeds7
· Posted July 10, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

I think people tend to praise the past and not appreciate the present that much. I'm sure that 10 years from now we'll see songs like "Nobody", "Gee", "I Am The Best", "The Boys", "Fantastic Baby", "Volume Up", "Alone", etc. as legendary.

Just that K-Pop nowadays is so saturated and going so fast that even though we don't get bored, we don't stop and praise some really good songs for a while :)

mslolipop112
· Posted July 10, 2013 @ 10:08 pm
you forgot sorry sorry xD
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melleii
· Posted July 10, 2013 @ 11:54 pm
i love how you included "volume up" that is by far by fave 4 minute music video!
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elvisqueenxx
· Posted July 10, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

No offense but that J.Y Park performance was really creepy o....o