The ‘Essentials” series is part of my digital humanities project, KPopCulture, which curates the music, visual culture, choreography, promotions, media and fan culture of K-pop that support this global cultural production. “Essentials” items tell you about a group through playlists of key music videos, performances, choreography and promotional videos. It also offers a bibliography of articles, music reviews and videos. The first ‘Essentials’ item is, fittingly, on Shinhwa, the longest-running K-pop group with its original members. Click here and enjoy!
“Trippin'” is a track from Shinhwa’s 2001 album, Hey! Come On.
Image: “Shinhwa, Promo (Soompi),” Hallyu Harmony, accessed February 13, 2015, http://kpop.omeka.net/items/show/440.
“Dark” is a track from Shinhwa’s 2001 album, Hey! Come On.
Image: “Shinhwa, Promo (KpopStarz),” Hallyu Harmony, accessed February 13, 2015, http://kpop.omeka.net/items/show/439.
“Rain on a Sleepless Night” is from Shinhwa’s Winter Story 2004-05.
Image: “Shinhwa, The Return Concept (Kpop Hotline),” Hallyu Harmony, accessed August 14, 2014, http://kpop.omeka.net/items/show/85.
Often believed to appeal only to teenagers, K-pop is experiencing a trend with old school groups making successful comebacks.
Some believe that K-pop has a short shelf life. Several point to the “five-year curse,” a trend where male K-pop groups break up or disband, often in the face of mandatory military service in Korea. Others believe that K-pop is a fad that will run its course. In 2011, Ree at seoulbeats declared: “One thing people must note when discussing the popularity of K-Pop, is that to many people, whether they realize it or not, K-Pop has almost simply become a fad. Meaning that despite the fact it is at its peak of popularity, it will once again start heading on a downhill slope.”
However, successful comebacks of groups who debuted prior to 2000 challenge these notions. Tickets for Shinhwa‘s Grand Tour 2012: The Return concert sold out in February, ahead of the release of the album The Return in March. Such success occurred after a four-year hiatus by group from the music scene. Other first-generation K-pop groups, such as g.o.d and Fly To the Sky, have also announced comeback plans.
Who are the people who support groups who have been inactive for years and why do they continue to like such groups? I want to find out! If you are a fan of a group who debut before 2000, take this survey! It will ask you questions about old school K-pop groups such as H.O.T, Shinhwa, S.E.S, Fin.K.L, Fly to the Sky, g.o.d, 1TYM, Deux and others.
Ree. “The K-pop Fad: When Will It End?” seoulbeats. 22 Nov 2011. Web. 25 May 2014.
“Don’t Call It a Comeback: Old School K-pop and Its Fans” by Crystal S. Anderson originally published on KPK: Kpop Kollective on May 25, 2014.