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Top 10 Old-School K-Pop Groups

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Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 9:36 AM

click to enlarge S.E.S.
  • S.E.S.
By Michelle Woo

Before there was SNSD, 2NE1, Big Bang, and Wonder Girls, there was S.E.S., g.o.d., and H.O.T. Familiar with these names? You must be an O.G. K-pop fan.

See also:

*K-pop Till You Drop: The Skinny on the Korean Boy and Girl Groups That Get Major Play in Koreatown

*Our review of 2NE1 at Nokia Theatre, August 24, 2012

Today, the manufactured genre has flooded the global consciousness (perhaps you've heard of a little video called "Gangnam Style?"), but the roots were planted more than 15 years back, when the first crop of fresh-faced boy and girl bands stepped onto the stage in Seoul and captured the hearts -- and charged up the hormones -- of a teenage generation. The was no autotune, no off-the-wall costumes and dizzying special effects, just catchy tunes, fun dance moves and surprising talent. Here then, are the top 10 old school K-pop groups.

H.O.T.

Considered by many as the original Korean idols, H.O.T. (which stands for High-Five of Teenagers) connected with the nation's youth with songs about society and teen angst. The five boys -- Moon Hee Jun, Jang Woo Hyuk, Tony An, Kangta and Lee Jae Won -- debuted in 1996 and nearly every album they released sold over a million copies. They broke up in 2001.

S.E.S.

Debuting in 1997, the three-member group was considered the female version of H.O.T. While their image shifted from cutesy to edgy, the trio --Sea, Eugene and Shoo (ie S.E.S.) -- attracted legions of fans who loved their ethereal songs and sweet voices. The group released several successful albums before disbanding in 2002.

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