Tuesday, February 03, 2015

50 Most Influential K-Pop Artists: 8. Deulgukhwa

[Series Index]

8.  Deulgukhwa [들국화]

Years of Activity: 1985-present (most recent album in 2013)

Members (Current):
Jeon In-kwon [전인권]:  Vocal, guitar
Choi Seong-won [최성원]:  Vocal, bass, synthesizer

Members (Former):
Heo Seong-uk [허성욱]:  Keyboard
Jo Deok-hwan [조덕환]:  Guitar
Ju Chan-kwon [주찬권]:  Drum
Kwon In-ha [권인하]:  Vocal

Discography:
Deulgukhwa (1985)
Deulgukhwa II (1986)
Deulgukhwa 3 (1995)
Deulgukhwa (2013)

Representative Song:  Only That is My World [그것만이 내 세상] from Deulgukhwa (1985)




그것만이 내 세상
Only That is My World

세상을 너무나 모른다고
You know so little of the world
나보고 그대는 얘기하지
That's what you tell me
조금은 걱정된 눈빛으로
With eyes shrouded a bit with concern
조금은 미안한 웃음으로
With a smile shaded a bit with apologies
그래 아마 난 세상을 모르나봐
Yes, perhaps I don't know the world
혼자 이렇게 먼 길을 떠났나봐
Perhaps I started this long journey all by myself

하지만 후횐 없지
But I have no regrets
울며 웃던 모든 꿈
All the dreams through which I cried and laughed
그것만이 내 세상
Only that is my world
하지만 후횐 없어
But I have no regrets
찾아 헤맨 모든 꿈
All the dreams that I have searched for
그것만이 내 세상
Only that is my world
그것만이 내 세상
Only that is my world

세상을 너무나 모른다고
I know so little of the world
나 또한 너에게 얘기하지
That's what I tell you, too
조금은 걱정된 눈빛으로
With eyes shrouded a bit with concern
조금은 미안한 웃음으로
With a smile shaded a bit with apologies
그래 아마 난 세상을 모르나봐
Yes, perhaps I don't know the world
혼자 그렇게 그 길에 남았나봐
Perhaps I stayed on that road all by myself

하지만 후횐 없지
But I have no regrets
울며 웃던 모든 꿈
All the dreams through which I cried and laughed
그것만이 내 세상
Only that is my world
하지만 후횐 없어
But I have no regrets
가꿔왔던 모든 꿈
All the dreams that I have grown
그것만이 내 세상
Only that is my world
그것만이 내 세상
Only that is my world

Translation note:  The switch in subject between the first line of the first verse and the first line of the second verse is my own interpretation. In the actual song, the subject is not clear, because the sentence does not contain a subject--as is common with Korean language construction. 

Maybe they should have been ranked higher because...  Deulgukhwa's first album is widely considered the greatest album in K-pop history.

Maybe they should have been ranked lower because...  They can't go lower. But they probably can't go higher either. Only the best artists of the genre are above them at this point.

Why is this band important?
In the late 1970s, Korean pop music suffered through a catastrophic dark age. The Park Chung-hee dictatorship, growing ever more authoritarian, decided that pop culture was harming the national discipline. Many pop musicians found themselves in jail for trumped-up drug charges. All albums required governmental approval before they were released. Park was later assassinated, but his replacement--General Chun Doo-hwan--was hardly any better. K-pop, which was at the forefront of world pop music trend in the early 1970s, regressed for nearly a decade.

Deulgukhwa was the ray of sunlight that broke through the dark ages. The band's first album is widely considered the greatest rock album in K-pop history, and with good reason. The album is a historical breakthrough that rebooted the progress of Korean pop music. In fact, Deukgukhwa kickstarted the golden age of Korean rock. It may seem unthinkable today, but in the mid- to late 1980s, Korean TV's pop music ranking shows would be routinely topped with rock bands, with Deulgukhwa being a routine presence. Although it is once again driven underground today, Korean rock music owes a great deal of its current sophistication to Deulgukhwa and the rock band of the 80s.

Interesting trivia:  Choi Seong-won also had a successful career as a producer. His most famous product is Panic, ranked 25th in this list.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at askakorean@gmail.com.

5 comments:

  1. I bought their first two albums on cassette back in the day when they first came out. Back then, probably 98% of the releases were by individual artists, i.e., almost everything was titled with the singer's name and not the name of a band. So they kind of stuck out and that alone let you know that they were different. I bought that first release without ever having heard of them, and was pleasantly surprised.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did a little Deulgukhwa Jeon In Kwon art after seeing him on Sketchbook last year.

    https://cimiart.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/jeon-in-kwon-original-korean-rock-n-roll/

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow. this actually gives me goosebumps. this song

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great song. Anyone else think it sounds like Pink Floyd?

    ReplyDelete

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