Mon, Apr 11, 2011 3:54 PM PHT
Band members Jung Yong Hwa, Lee Jong Hyun, Kang Min Hyuk, and Lee Jung Shin, are riding high on the wave of their first full-length Korean album titled "First Step," which debuted at number one across all Korean online and offline sales outlets, selling more than 100,000 copies since its release last March 21. A special edition run of "First Step," which included 80 pages of photos from the set of the "Intuition" and "Love Girl" music videos, sold all 30,000 copies produced — in one day!
In an age of digital piracy, selling 100,000 copies of an album is in itself no small feat. To do so on a record label that is not a member of K-Pop's heralded Big Three (SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment), is even more stunning. While FNC Music is home to other respected artists, including FT Island and Oh Won Bin, it certainly does not have the huge marketing budget and promotional firepower of the big three. So the fact that CNBLUE is only the third artist in 2011 to sell 100,000 copies of a full-length CD is quite impressive. The other acts to achieve this feat include hallyu superstars TVXQ (SM Entertainment) and Big Bang (YG Entertainment).
CNBLUE's first single off "First Step," an uptempo pop-rock scorcher entitled "Intuition," scored number 1 finishes on several of Korea's most popular music charts, including SBS' "Inkigayo," KBS' "Music Bank," and Mnet's "M! Countdown." Among the artists whose current releases are being trumped by "Intuition" are TVXQ's "Before U Go," from its repackaged "Keep Your Head Down", K.Will's "My Heart is Beating", and Wheesung's "Words that Freeze My Heart" among others.
CNBLUE stands to face a bit of an acid test in the next few weeks, when YG Entertainment throws its full promotional power behind Big Bang's new singles "Stupid Liar" and "Love Song". The singles, lifted from their repackaged "Big Bang Special Edition", should qualify for inclusion on Inkigayo, Music Bank, and M! Countdown by next week. We can also expect that SM Entertainment won't be taking things lightly, as TVXQ is set to be joined by labelmate girl group f(x), whose own "Pinocchio" full-length album is highly anticipated.
So, what is it about CNBLUE that makes them a force to reckon with? Is it the fact that they are a band rather than an idol group? CNBLUE entered the K-pop industry in an unconventional way by first debuting in Japan and experiencing the "nomadic portable street band" lifestyle during their first few years in the industry. The members play their own instruments and are known to write some of their album tracks. Is it because of the strategic debut of leader Jung Yong Hwa through the highly successful drama "You're Beautiful" before CNBLUE even debuted as a band in Korea? Is it because of the uniqueness of their concept, sound, and fashion? Regardless of the reason, CNBLUE's success is undeniable as shown by how all their singles, even those from mini-albums, consistently winning #1 despite the bad publicity brought on by allegations of plagiarism during their initial debut. The members have also infiltrated other aspects of the entertainment industry including fashion with Lee Jung Shin modeling countless times and other members appearing on many television shows and CFs. These industry achievements does not even include the slew of newcomer awards CNBLUE took home last year.
Whether or not CNBLUE manages to hold onto #1 for a third straight week, they have surely made a name for themselves. Boices, CNBLUE's fans, did not err in their choice of idols. As for other K-pop fans, we cannot ignore explosive presence of CNBLUE in the K-pop industry.
Check out the boys' pictures:
Yahoo PH OMG! | [Photos] The Boys of CNBLUE: