Big Bang branched out in Japan in January 2008 with their mini album, “For The World”. Their first Japanese mini album, which carried English versions of some of their hit songs, also met success as they expanded their overseas fanbase, with the album mostly appealing to non-Korean fans. “For the World” debuted in the Oricon Charts at the 14th spot and peaked at the 10th spot. Even though released for the Japanese market, “How Gee” also made its way in the Korean charts and was well received by the Korean fans as they were simultaneously promoting the album both in Korea and Japan.
The year 2008 became Big Bang’s year as they released albums and conducted concerts one after another. By May of the same year, the group released “With U”, their second Japanese mini album. “With U” also received good response and strengthened the Japanese and international appeal of the group as the album carried more English and Japanese versions of their hits. The horizon of Big Bang expanded as their collaborations widened. The Bay Area-based Filipino-American choreographer Shaun Evaristo worked on Big Bang’s choreography which added to their artistry. Later on, Evaristo’s work with Bigbang continued as he and his crew (now Movement Lifestyle) took the challenge as one of YG’s major choreographers. With this collaboration, Big Bang gained more audience, not only branded as singers but artists with multiple talents. In March 2008, the Tokyo leg of Big Bang’s Global Warning Tour kicked off, having 3,000 fans cheer for them at the CJB Hall.
The Korean leg of the Global Warning Tour started off at Busan and continued on in four more major cities in the country: Gwangju, Wonju, Daegu and Seoul. Bangkok was also part of the leg and the group pulled out a successful show for the thousands of fans on June 2008. Bigbang closed their Global Warning Tour in Seoul with two concerts on June 21st and 22nd. The Global Warning Tour gathered an estimate of 100,000 BigBang fans.
In August 2008, in time for Big Bang’s 2nd anniversary, they released their 3rd EP, “Stand Up”, with the title track, “Haru Haru” (Day by Day). “Haru Haru” was well received by the fans because of the new concept of the members. The new concept garnered attention of the audience as it showed another side of Big Bang. The music video was starred by Park Minyoung, TOP’s fellow actress in his debut drama, I am Sam. The pre-orders for the EP almost reached 100,000 and was out of stock at the YGeShop even before the release of the MV. This particular EP also gained notable attention as they collaborated with the Japanese DJ, Daishi Dance, and Korean Rock band, No Brain. The album reached the top spot at the Hanteo Chart.
After coming back to their home country, Big Bang again tested the shores of Japan. They released “Number 1” in October of the same year and released limited editions of the album which instantly became a hit, and peaked at the 3rd spot of the Oricon daily album chart. At the breakthrough of “Number 1”, Big Bang commenced their “2008 Stand Up Tour” in Japan which ran 4 shows in 3 days.
Before 2008 ended, their second Korean album, “Rememeber”, was released. It carried the cover of “Sunset Glow” (Bulgeun Noeul, an original song by Lee Moonsae) and instantly reached #1 in the charts. “Vol. 2 – Remember” had over 200,000 pre-orders, which showed the vast popularity and immense success of the group. By the end of the year, Big Bang became one of Korea’s top-notch idols. They received awards from the three major music shows and received the “Artist of the Year” award in the 2008 M.net KM Music Festival.
NEXT: Ultimate Bang: The Story of Big Bang, part 3 - Beyond Big Bang
Many thanks to Big Bang Philippines Fan Club for this informative and inspiring piece!
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Here's Ultimate Bang: The Story of Big Bang, part 1: http://universalrecph.blogspot.com/2011/03/ultimate-bang-story-of-big-bang-part-1_22.html