There are a multitude of good, and even perhaps great, Kpop groups, but no group has dominated the past ten years like BigBang. Officially debuting in 2006 they are in the process of celebrating their 10th anniversary, and are hopefully culminating the year with the release of a completed MADE album. News of them filming 2 new MVs hit the interwebs a couple of days ago and fan anticipation is high.
Many articles, interviews, and documentaries can be seen online and there is no way I could hope to cover all they’ve achieved in the last decade, so here’s a quick run through some of my favorites. The songs and music obviously come first, and one can’t mention BigBang without talking about Fantastic Baby, (2012) This has undeniably become their most iconic, and most successful, song. The song is catchy and fun, with enough English words to make singing along to the ‘hook’ easy even for foreign fans. But there’s a depth and complexity too, that you come to appreciate the more you listen. The MV is weird and wacky, and wonderful, with Korean cultural and popular symbolism hidden among the outlandish costumes and sets. The MV stands at over 254 million views which ranks second only to label mate Psy, for a Korean artist, and ranks first for a Korean Kpop group.
I didn’t really start following Kpop until 2009 so I missed a few of the early years and had to play catch up. I like Goodbye Baby,(2006) even though it is somewhat under-rated, because it shows how some of their early work had a ‘tough hip hop image’ which for the time was not typical Kpop. They look so young, and cute, and innocent, while trying so hard to be tough and edgy. This MV always makes me smile.
2007’s favorite would have to be Lies, written and composed by GD who was 19 at the time. It reached No. 1 on the charts and was named Song of the Year at the Mnet Asian Music Awards. It was not only well received by the public but music critics also praised it, with one even saying that it had “no useless parts”.
Haru, Haru is a song that stands alone as great listening, but the MV adds a poignancy that makes it unforgettable. When you’re having an emotional day it can make you feel all sad and weepy. Poems and song lyrics are among the hardest things to translate perfectly, to not only get the words right, but also the feelings and flow behind the words. Even in English the sadness and love shine through with Haru, Haru.
Tonight came out in 2011 and BigBang traveled to the US to film their MV as their popularity began to really expand outside of Asia. Unfortunately there were ‘incidents’ that occurred, halting plans for a World Tour. But finally a World Tour happened in 2012 to the joy of fans everywhere.
2012 was a phenomenal year for BigBang and it is hard for me to pick the one song that I love the best as they were all good. I think maybe Monster would come a close second to Fantastic Baby, but if you asked me on a different day you probably would get a different answer. The MV for Monster is definitely worth watching for wtf costumes and hair.
2013 and 2014 saw multiple activities, albums, tours, commercials, movies etc for the members, but no group songs were produced. These years proved the depth of talent within BigBang as each member was able to successfully pursue individual career tracks. The fans made do with these activities, but longed for a return of all 5 together again and in 2015 they were rewarded with a string of amazing songs and a World Tour. (I saw them perform in NYC and they were incredible.) My favorite has to be Bang, Bang, Bang, but secretly I think We Like to Party is the song that will always make me feel they are my soulmates. Bang Bang Bang may be the song that finally catches up to Fantastic Baby as it already stands at over 180 million views.
BigBang is not known for doing a lot of variety shows, but they do occasionally appear, as a group, on shows such as Running Man, Happy Together, and The Go Show. They also have appeared as individuals and smaller sub-units on shows such as Infinite Challenge, and Family Outing season 1. Almost any time I see them together on any of these shows I love watching the way they interact with each other. You can see the love, friendship and esteem they have for each other. Much as I love their songs, music, and MVs some of my favorite moments are when I see them laughing and joking around together.
Like most VVIP’s, as BigBang fans are called, I’m eagerly awaiting their 2 new songs, and hoping for more. Military Service looms and although we love them all individually we are happiest when they are all together.
Long Live the Kings.
Have a great day everyone.
You may also enjoy BigBang10 The Exhibition A to Z
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