Longevity is one of the many things idol groups have always aimed for. After all, with new groups coming and the veterans going—not to mention trends changing regularly—it’s hard to keep up with the times and stay relevant to the also changing demographics of K-Pop fans. There even is the “7-Year Curse,” when bands are expected to bid goodbye to the stage for good after seven years.
But TVXQ is an exception. Because they have withstood the test of time.
Since their debut, TVXQ has taken over the K-Pop industry by storm, making history and setting records both in Korea and across the world. It is no surprise, then, that the group, now a duo, has risen to become one of the most prominent second-generation groups. Even after a heart-breaking loss of three members, TVXQ maintaining a solid following, perhaps even gaining more fans in the span of their career so far.
Most of us in KStreetManila started our K-Pop journey with TVXQ. And what better way to pay tribute to our first love by taking a walk down memory lane? Here are some of the group’s songs that will remain iconic, even in the future.
1. Hug (2004)
Produced by Lee Sooman himself, TVXQ first performed Hug on a joint showcase with BoA and Britney Spears on December 26, 2003. The group then made their official debut with this song on the defunct music program Music Tank.
2. Rising Sun (2005)
The song is the title track for the group’s second studio album of the same name. Rising Sun even made played briefly on the 2009 film Fast and Furious.
3. 明日は来るから / Because Tomorrow Comes (2006)
TVXQ made their Japanese debut in 2005 as Tohoshinki. After three singles, they released Because Tomorrow Comes, which also served as an ending theme to the long-running anime series One Piece.
4. “O”-Jung.Ban.Hap. (2006)
The release of their third album of the same name marked TVXQ’s rise in the industry. “O”-Jung.Ban.Hap. became the best-selling album one month after its release. The success of the album also earned TVXQ awards such as Artist of the Year and Best Group at the M.Net KM Music Festival (now MAMA), Album of the Year at the Golden Disk Awards, and more.
5. Summer Dream (2007)
Summer Dream became TVXQ’s first Japanese single to debut at #1 on the Oricon Daily Charts, then a sign that they are becoming increasingly popular in the country.
6. Love in the Ice (2007)
Released as a B-side on Summer Dream and written by maknae Changmin, Love in the Ice remains one of TVXQ’s hallmark songs. This comes with good reason, given that the group’s vocal skills shine in this evocative ballad.
7. Purple Line (2008)
TVXQ continued their promotions in Japan in early 2008, releasing Purple Line as their 16th Japanese single. This became the group’s first single to reach #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts, making them the first foreign male group and the second Korean artist after BoA to do so.
8. どうして君を好きになってしまったんだろう？ / Why Did I Have to End Up Falling Completely in Love with You? (2008)
Following their continuing success in Japan, TVXQ released their 23rd single in the country, with this song (shortened to Doushite) being their third consecutive single to hit #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts. The group performed this and Purple Line in Japan’s prestigious year-end musical festival, Kouhaku Uta Gassen.
9. Mirotic (2008)
After their extended promotions in Japan, the group returned to Korea with the release of their fourth studio album, Mirotic. The title track of the same name proved to be TVXQ’s most successful single of their career, earning them nine number-one trophies on music shows. International critics even penned Mirotic as one of K-Pop’s staple songs.
10. Bolero (2009)
Bolero is TVXQ’s 25th Japanese single, earning them another #1 spot on the Oricon charts. This also served as the theme song for the film Dance Subaru, with TVXQ making a brief cameo appearance in the film.
11. Stand By U (2009)
Despite the lawsuit filed by Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu against SM Entertainment, the group continued their activities in Japan. Stand By U’s performance on Kouhaku Uta Gassen marked the last time the group made their final public appearance as five members.
12. Keep Your Head Down (2011)
After a two-year hiatus, TVXQ came back with the remaining members, Yunho and Changmin, with the album of the same name. This earned them seven number-one trophies in several music shows.
13. Before U Go (2011)
The song is the title track of the repackaged album of Keep Your Head Down, released two months after the original album. Described to be a traditional R&B track, the song is said to complement the vocal structures of the two members.
14. Something (2014)
In commemoration of their 10th debut anniversary, the group released their seventh studio album Tense with Something as the title track. Music critics gave the album favorable reviews, considering it as the duo’s best Korean record to date.
15. The Chance of Love (2017)
After their discharge from mandatory military service, TVXQ came back with the album New Chapter No. 1: The Chance of Love. The lead single featured a more mature and sexy sound, with inspirations of swing jazz.
Happy 15th debut anniversary, kings! Which TVXQ song remains iconic in your heart? Let us know in the comments!