Alive (Big Bang EP)

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Alive
BigBang - Alive (Korean Cover).jpg
EP by
ReleasedFebruary 29, 2012 (2012-02-29)
Recorded2011–2012
StudioYG Studios, Seoul
Genre
Length23:41
LanguageKorean
Label
Producer
Big Bang chronology
Big Bang 2
(2011)
Alive
(2012)
Alive (album)
(2012)
Singles from Alive
  1. "Blue"
    Released: February 22, 2012
  2. "Bad Boy"
    Released: February 29, 2012
  3. "Fantastic Baby"
    Released: February 29, 2012
Special Edition 'Still Alive'
Big Bang Special Edition 'Still Alive'.jpg
Singles from Still Alive
  1. "Monster"
    Released: June 3, 2012

Alive is the fifth Korean extended play by South Korean boy group Big Bang, released through YG Entertainment on February 29, 2012. Musically, it is a dance and electronic record that incorporates elements of hip hop and R&B. Big Bang members G-Dragon and T.O.P wrote and produced the lyrics and music for nearly all tracks on the album. Alive spawned three digital singles that were released within the week prior—"Blue", "Fantastic Baby", and "Bad Boy", all three of which peaked within the top three positions on the Gaon Digital Chart.

Music critics praised the record's production and composition and was named one of the year's 40 best albums by Fuse. A repackaged version of the extended titled Still Alive was released on June 3, 2012, and featured the single, "Monster" along with two new additional tracks. Both versions achieved commercial success in South Korea, selling a combined total of over 450,000 copies by 2016. Internationally, Alive marked the first time a Korean-language album entered the Billboard 200 in the United States, and the second time a Korean artist entered the chart after BoA in 2009.

Release and promotion[edit]

On January 27, 2012, the track listing and title of Big Bang's upcoming EP, Alive were announced.[1] Teddy Park of YG Entertainment and Big Bang member G-Dragon produced the majority of the music for the EP with the help of other producers such as DJ Murf and Peejay. G-Dragon also wrote the majority of the songs on the EP with the help of T.O.P. and Teddy Park.

"Blue" was released on February 22, 2012, as the EP's lead single, and thereafter Big Bang released previews of other tracks on YouTube every day from February 23–28.[2] They also announced the Alive World Tour in support of the album.[3][4] The EP and its second single, "Bad Boy", were released simultaneously on February 29, 2012. Promotions began with televised performances from the EP on SBS's Inkigayo. "Fantastic Baby" was the third single with its music video released on March 7, 2012.

The EP was repackaged as a special edition with additional songs and re-titled as Still Alive. The special edition and its single "Monster" were released June 3, 2012. "Blue", "Bad Boy", "Fantastic Baby", and "Monster" were also re-recorded with Japanese lyrics and included on Big Bang's full-length Japanese album, Alive. Other tracks, in their original Korean language form, were also included on the album.

Critical reception[edit]

Alive garnered positive reviews from music critics, being hailed as "trendsetting". Fuse named Alive one of the best albums of the year, the only non-English album on the list, writing that the record "blurs the lines between traditional K-pop, dance pop, R&B and just about every other genre", and calling it "one of Big Bang's most well-rounded releases to date."[5] Billboard called the EP and its repackage "objectively one of the group’s best eras", and noted how "each song is iconic in its own way".[6] Chicago Sun-Times noted that Alive included a more mature sound and "more interesting production techniques", and that it displayed Big Bang's diversity.[7] The Fader praised Alive for making "the most compelling case yet" for a rising K-pop act in the west.[8] The Borneo Post declared that "Alive is a humble manifesto that declares Big Bang's efforts to grow into Kpop legends who live in the now. They've certainly proven before that they're a cut above the usual" and stated "this album is everywhere, and everyone-friendly."[9]

Commercial performance[edit]

Alive became the first Korean album or EP to chart on the United States' Billboard 200 and at its time of release, held the record for being the best selling K-pop album ever in the United States, selling over 4,100 copies in its first week of release.[10][11] It also charted at number four on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart,[12] at number twenty-two on the Independent Albums chart,[13] and number four on the World Albums chart.[14] On March 9, 2012, it was revealed that Big Bang was the first act to occupy 5 out of the top 10 spots on Billboard's K-pop Hot 100 with "Blue", "Bad Boy", "Fantastic Baby", "Ain't No Fun", and "Love Dust".[15]

Alive reached number six on Japan's domestic Oricon weekly album chart as a Korean import.[16] In South Korea, both Alive and Still Alive debuted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart.[17][18] The EP finished 2012 as the second best-selling album of the year in South Korea, while the repackage was the sixth.[19] In Taiwan, the EP reached the number-one spot on G-Music chart[20] and managed to be certified double platinum.[21]

Accolades[edit]

In December 2019, Billboard ranked Alive number 22 on their list of The 25 Greatest K-Pop Albums of the 2010s; Caitlin Kelley praised the record's musical craftsmanship and wrote that it represented "the moment when Big Bang crossed the threshold from above-average hitmakers to full-fledged icons."[22]

Award and nominations for Alive
Year Organization Category Result Ref.
2012 Melon Music Awards Album of the Year Nominated [23]
Mnet Asian Music Awards Album of the Year Nominated [24]
Singapore E-Awards Double Platinum Awards Won
2013 Gaon Chart Music Awards Album of the Year – 1st Quarter Won [25]
Japan Gold Disc Award Best 3 Albums (Asian) Won [26]

Track listing[edit]

AliveStandard edition[27]
No.TitleLyricsMusicArrangementLength
1."Intro (Alive)"G-Dragon, Teddy, T.O.PDee.P, G-Dragon, TeddyDee.P0:48
2."Blue"G-Dragon, Teddy, T.O.PTeddy, G-DragonTeddy3:53
3."Love Dust" (사랑먼지; Sarangmeonji)G-Dragon, Teddy, T.O.PG-Dragon, TeddyTeddy3:52
4."Bad Boy"G-Dragon, T.O.PG-Dragon, Choice37Choice373:57
5."Ain't No Fun" (재미없어; Jaemieobseo)G-Dragon, T.O.PG-Dragon, D.J Murf, PeejayD.J Murf, Peejay3:42
6."Fantastic Baby"G-Dragon, T.O.P, TeddyG-Dragon, TeddyG-Dragon, Teddy3:51
7."Wings" (날개; Nalgae; Daesung solo)G-Dragon, DaesungG-Dragon, P.KP.K, Dee.P3:43
Total length:23:41
Big Bang Special Edition: Still Alive  – Repackage[28]
No.TitleLyricsMusicArrangementLength
1."Still Alive"G-Dragon, Teddy, T.O.PDee.P, G-Dragon, TeddyDee.P3:18
2."Monster"G-Dragon, T.O.PG-Dragon, P.KP.K, Dee.P3:51
3."Feeling" (Korean version)G-Dragon, T.O.PBoys Noize, G-Dragon, T.O.PBoys Noize3:35
4."Fantastic Baby"G-Dragon, T.O.PG-Dragon, TeddyG-Dragon, Teddy3:52
5."Bad Boy"G-Dragon, T.O.PG-Dragon, Choice37Choice373:58
6."Blue"G-Dragon, Teddy, T.O.PTeddy, G-DragonTeddy3:55
7."Bingle Bingle" (빙글빙글; Binggeul Binggeul)G-Dragon, T.O.PTeddy, G-Dragon, Seo Won-jinTeddy, Seo Won-jin3:00
8."Ego" (Korean version)G-Dragon, T.O.PG-Dragon, Ham Seung-cheon, Kang Uk-jinHam Seung-cheon, Kang Uk-jin3:25
9."Love Dust" (사랑먼지; Sarangmeonji)G-Dragon, Teddy, T.O.PG-Dragon, TeddyTeddy3:51
Total length:32:45
Taiwan Edition – DVD bonus tracks[29]
No.TitleDirectorLength
1."Monster" (Music Video with Chinese Subtitles)Han Sa-min 
2."Blue" (Music Video with Chinese Subtitles)Han Sa-min 
3."Bad Boy" (Music Video with Chinese Subtitles)Han Sa-min 
4."Fantastic Baby" (Music Video with Chinese Subtitles)Seo Hyun-seung 

Charts[edit]

Sales[edit]

Region Sales
Alive Still Alive
South Korea 278,651[A] 172,855[39]
United States 4,000[40]

Release history[edit]

Release history and formats for Alive
Region Date Edition Format Label
Various[41] February 29, 2012 Alive Digital download YG
South Korea[42]
  • CD
  • digital download
Taiwan[43] March 27, 2012 CD Warner Music Taiwan
Various[44] June 3, 2012 Still Alive Digital download YG
South Korea[45]
South Korea[46] June 6, 2012 CD
  • YG
  • KMP Holdings
Taiwan[43] June 29, 2012 CD, CD+DVD Warner Music Taiwan

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ South Korea sales figures for Alive as of September 2016.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big Bang reveals new track from upcoming album and release date!". Allkpop. February 1, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  2. ^ "BIGBANG Unleashes Fifth Teaser for Alive with Electro Title Track "Fantastic Baby"". Soompi. February 26, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  3. ^ "Big Bang to hold 'ALIVE TOUR 2012' around the world through Live Nation!". allkpop. February 6, 2012.
  4. ^ "iTunes Music – Blue – Single by BIGBANG". iTunes. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "The 40 Best Albums of 2012: Fuse Staff Picks". Fuse. December 14, 2012. Archived from the original on July 2, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  6. ^ Tamar Herman. "BIGBANG 10 must listen songs". Billboard. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  7. ^ "Big Bang's 10 best songs of the past 10 years". Sun-Times. February 5, 2016. Archived from the original on November 22, 2016. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  8. ^ Cooper, Duncan (March 5, 2012). "Video: BIGBANG, 'Bad Boy'".
  9. ^ "Album Review: Big Bang's Alive". The Borneo Post. March 4, 2012.
  10. ^ "Big Bang's 'Alive' charts on the Billboard 200". allkpop. May 23, 2012.
  11. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (March 5, 2014). "2NE1 Sets New U.S. Record for Highest-Charting, Best-Selling K-Pop Album With 'Crush'". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Big Bang chart history (Heatseekers)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  13. ^ "Big Bang chart history (Independent)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  14. ^ "Big Bang chart history (World)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  15. ^ "Bigbang takes over Billboard Charts". allkpop. March 9, 2012.
  16. ^ a b "2012年03月05日~2012年03月11日のCDアルバム週間ランキング (Oricon's Weekly chart for March 19th)" (in Japanese). Oricon. March 13, 2012.
  17. ^ a b "2012년 10주차 Album Chart". Gaon (in Korean). Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  18. ^ a b "2012년 24주차 Album Chart". Gaon (in Korean). Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  19. ^ a b c "2012년 Album Chart". Gaon (in Korean). Archived from the original on October 8, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  20. ^ a b "Combo Chart, Week 12". G-Music. June 1, 2012. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012.
  21. ^ "Big Bang Reaches Double Platinum Status in Taiwan". Mwave. April 6, 2012. Archived from the original on April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  22. ^ "The 25 Greatest K-Pop Albums of the 2010s: Billboard Staff' Picks". Billboard. December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  23. ^ Yang Ja-young (November 7, 2012). "멜론뮤직어워드 TOP10 발표…'아티스트상' 수상자 가리는 2차투표 실시" [Melon Music Awards Top 10 Announcement ... Second Round of Voting to Determine 'Artist Award' Winners]. BNT News (in Korean). Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  24. ^ "[MAMA] Nominees for the 2012 MAMA Announced". 2012 Mnet Asian Music Award. Mnet Media Corp. October 23, 2012. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  25. ^ "2nd Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards Winners". Hype Malaysia. February 13, 2013. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021.
  26. ^ "Award Winners of 2013". Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  27. ^ "Alive – BIGBANG". Qobuz (in French). Archived from the original on March 1, 2017. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  28. ^ "BIGBANG – New Album Release". YG Entertainment. YG LIFE. May 25, 2012. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012.
  29. ^ "Amazon.jp: Big Bang Special Edition – Still Alive (CD+DVD) (Taiwan Version)". Amazon. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  30. ^ "Gaon Album Chart 2012년 2월". Gaon (in Korean). Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  31. ^ "Music Albums, Top 200 Albums & Music Album Charts / Billboard.com". Billboard. March 8, 2012.
  32. ^ "Heatseekers Albums / Billboard.com". Billboard. March 8, 2012.
  33. ^ "Independent Albums / Billboard.com". Billboard. March 8, 2012.
  34. ^ "World Albums / Billboard.com". Billboard. March 8, 2012.
  35. ^ "2012년 06월 Album Chart". Gaon (in Korean). Archived from the original on August 10, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  36. ^ "Combo Chart, Week 26". G-Music. July 24, 2012. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012.
  37. ^ "2012년 Album Chart". Gaon (in Korean). Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  38. ^ Alive Sales:
  39. ^ Cumulative sales of Still Alive in South Korea:
  40. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (March 5, 2014). "2NE1 Sets New U.S. Record for Highest-Charting, Best-Selling K-Pop Album With 'Crush'". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  41. ^ "Big Bang – Alive". iTunes Store. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  42. ^ "Big Bang – Alive (EP)" (in Korean). Hanteo. Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  43. ^ a b "Big Bang – Alive". Warner Music Taiwan. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  44. ^ "Big Bang – Special Edition 'Still Alive'". iTunes Store. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  45. ^ "Big Bang Special Edition 'Still Alive'" (in Korean). Naver Music. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  46. ^ "빅뱅 (Bigbang) – Still Alive: BIGBANG Special Edition CD (36p 화보+56p 브랜드북+패밀리카드)" (in Korean). Less Music. Retrieved April 30, 2017.

External links[edit]