The Evolution of BIGBANG: When Was Their Best Year?

BIGBANG held their official debut on August 19, 2006 during a YG Family Concert in Seoul. Since then, the talent-packed group has reached a level of international stardom that far exceeded their initial expectations. Always known as trendsetters in both fashion and music, their style has evolved throughout the years with every album and comeback. Which one has been your favorite though? Check it out in “The Evolution of BIGBANG: What Was Their Best Year?”

2005 – Predebut

Back in the days when they were all just trainees filled with hopes and dreams, BIGBANG had another member set to debut with the group. Ultimately, he was cut but went on to debut later with a group from another label. That young artist was Jang Hyunseung, now a vocalist and dancer in the popular group BEAST. 


2006 – Bigbang Vol. 1

The  group’s debut album sold over 40,000 copies and featured songs like “La La La” and “We Belong Together.” Every one of the members also had a solo track on the album, showcasing the various talents of each individual member from the very beginning – something which has enabled them to each go on and become popular solo artists as time progressed.


2007 – Always, Hot Issue

Following their initial debut, the group went on to release two different EP’s the following year. “Lies” was the lead single on “Always” and turned out to be the group’s first mega hit and the true beginning of G-Dragon‘s career as a hit-producing songwriter. The second EP included the single “Last Farewell” and was their first release to sell over 100,000 copies.


2008 – Stand Up, Remember

The next year, G-Dragon wrote another single for their next EP which proved to be another smash hit. The song “Haru Haru” sold 4.9 million digital copies in South Korea alone, making it one of the country’s most successful singles of all-time. In addition, they released another studio album with the lead song “Sunset Glow.” Members Taeyang and Daesung also released their first solo works the same year.


2009 – Japanese Promotions and Heartbreaker 

During 2009, the group continued to focus on their Japanese promotions, including their 2nd album release. In addition, G-Dragon made his solo debut with his first album “Heartbreaker” and was an immediate hit with fans.


2010 – Solo Activities and GD & TOP

The following year, the members continued to pursue solo activities, as well as do another group tour. It was also the year that BIGBANG’s first sub-unit debuted under the name of GD & TOP. The album featured three singles which all became hits, along with T.O.P‘s newest single “Turn It Up.”


2011 – Tonight, Big Bang Special Edition

Making a long-awaited comeback after a two-year hiatus, BIGBANG achieved another round of success in 2011 with the release (and subsequent repackage) of their newest EP featuring the song, “Tonight.” In addition, this was the first album to really bring them global success as well. Moving away from their heavier electronic sound, the album featured a move into a more upbeat, rock-influenced genre. The sound was hailed as fresh and bold and ultimately became the sound for which BIGBANG is now known.


2012 – Alive, Still Alive

With the release of Alive, BIGBANG cemented their position as the leaders of the Hallyu movement and essentially became the representative faces of K-Pop around the globe. With songs like “Fantastic Baby,” “Bad Boy” and “Monster” on the EP and repackage, the EP achieved massive success and was the first K-Pop album to enter the U.S. Billboard Top 200 Chart. It was at this time that the group underwent a radical change in style as well, solidifying colorful, funky looks as part of K-Pop fashion, along with extreme hairstyles and wardrobes that could be termed as “urban luxury.”


2013 – Solo Activities and Tours

After such massive, global success the previous year, the group decided to take a break and focus on their solo careers. Daesung released his first solo abum and went on a tour with a total of 25 concerts in Japan. T.O.P released a hit single and MV entitled “Doom Dada.” Fellow group member Seungri also released a mini-album and began hosting a show in Japan. In the meantime, Taeyang released the single “Ringa Linga” which sold over 31 million digital copies in South Korea alone and leader G-Dragon released his 2nd studio album to great commercial and critical success. They became a rare group with every single member actively promoting as a solo artist and each enjoying great success.


2014 – Acting, Tours and More

During 2014, the members continued with solo activities and new projects. Seungri and T.O.P were both filming for a TV drama and a movie. Daesung released a mini-album and an additional solo album in Japan to huge commercial success and became the first solo artist from Korea to attract such a large crowd to a Japanese tour two years in a row. Tayeang released his second studio album and became the first Korean solo artist to ever enter the U.S. Billboard Top 200 Chart, while the lead track “Eyes, Nose, Lips” became his first #1 single as a solo artist.


2015 – MADE

After a three year long hiatus, BIGBANG finally made their long-awaited comeback to the delight of fans around the world. The first of several songs to be released over 2015, “Bae Bae” and “Loser” achieved an almost instant all-kill status on the charts and ranked up over a million MV views in only 7 hours. Even after a three year break, these top stars have shown us again that they have gone beyond the category of “Hallyu” stars and are truly global stars of epic proportions. With more singles and a full album to come out later this year, fans can only wait to be treated to more songs that are sure to join the ranks of their other classic hits.


After all these years of albums, comebacks, singles and promotions, which BIGBANG era was your favorite? Are you sentimental about their debut days? Do you still hold onto to the international craze for “Fantastic Baby?” Do you think this current comeback reigns supreme? No doubt that each passing year has been an amazing one in its own way, but only one can be chosen as the ultimate “Year of BIGBANG.” So soompiers, which one is it? Vote now and let us know the reasons behind your choice in the comment section below.

lee1086 is a Soompi writer who is thrilled about BIGBANG’s comeback. She is a huge fan of G-Dragon and thinks he is a modern genius when it comes to songwriting abilities. She was finally able to check off an item on her dream list when she saw him perform live last year and can’t wait for BIGBANG’s upcoming world tour when she will finally she them all in person.

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