Gee (Girls' Generation song)
Japanese version cover
|Single by Girls' Generation|
|from the album Gee and Girls' Generation|
January 5, 2009 (Korean ver.)|
October 20, 2010 (Japanese ver.)
|Girls' Generation singles chronology|
"Gee" is a song recorded by South Korean girl group Girls' Generation. The original Korean-language version was released as a single from the extended play of the same name on January 5, 2009. "Gee" is a bubblegum pop and electropop song with elements of hip hop and techno that lyrically talks about the girls' affections when they are in love. The single was a success in the group's native country, claiming the top spot on Music Bank for a record-breaking nine consecutive weeks and on Inkigayo for three weeks. It became the best-selling single of 2009 in South Korea.
A Japanese-language version was recorded and released as the group's second single in Japan in October 2010 in conjunction with their foray into the Japanese music scene. The single peaked at number two on the Oricon Singles Chart and number one on the RIAJ Digital Track Chart. It received a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan for exceeding physical shipments of 100,000 copies, and later earned a million certification for digital sales of over one million copies. "Gee" has been widely recognized as a K-pop standard and considered as the frontier in modern Korean bubblegum pop music trend.
Background and release
South Korean girl group Girls' Generation debuted in 2007 with their eponymous studio album, which sold over 100,000 copies and became one of the few girl groups to do so. On January 5, 2009, the group's first extended play Gee was released by S.M. Entertainment. The EP was commercially successful, selling over 100,000 copies in South Korea. S.M. Entertainment intended to release "Dancing Queen", a cover version of Duffy's "Mercy; the plan was scrapped nonetheless due to copyright issues, and "Gee" was thereafter released as a single to promote the EP. The song's music was composed by record producing duo E-Tribe, while its lyrics were written by Ahn Myung-won and Kim Young-deuk.
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A Japanese-language version of "Gee" was released on October 20, 2010 in Japan by Nayutawave Records as Girls' Generation's second single in the country, in an attempt to broaden the group's popularity on the Japanese music scene. It was preceded by a Japanese-language version of the group's single "Genie". The lyrics were written by Kanata Nakamura. "Gee" is a bubblegum pop and electropop song with elements of techno and hip hop. The song is heavily instrumented by synthesizers. The song's lyrics talk about the girls' feelings when they are falling in love.
The music video for the Korean version of "Gee" begins with the nine members being displayed as mannequins at a clothing store and coming to life after the store's male staff (played by Minho of Shinee) leaves. The members then discover the surroundings and find out the portrait of Minho being "the employee of the month". Scenes of the members performing the choreography are juxtaposed with the storyline. At the end of the video, the members leave the store and Minho returns realizing the mannequins have disappeared. The video became the first video by a girl group to achieve over 100 million views on YouTube. Another music video for the Japanese version was also released, which also features Minho as the male staff, but does not portray the members as mannequins but Minho's fellow female staff. As of May 2018, the music video has over 205 million views on YouTube.
Girls' Generation had their first promotional activity for the song on the MBC's music show Music Core on January 10. "Gee" eventually became a hit, achieving nine consecutive top one on the KBS's Music Bank, and eight consecutive wins on the Mnet 's chart, setting a record at the time. It was named as the "Song of the decade" by South Korea's online music website, MelOn, and chosen to be the most popular song of 2009 on Music Bank. The song has also won several major awards such as "Digital Daesang" and "Digital Bonsang" at the 2009 Golden Disk Awards, "Daesang" and "Digital Music" awards at the 19th Seoul Music Awards, and "Song of the Year" at the 7th Korean Music Awards.
The Japanese version sold 130,145 physical copies in 2010, becoming the 49th best-selling single of the year in Japan. The song reached number one on the RIAJ's weekly digital track chart on October 26, and eventually was ranked fifty-seventh and twenty-third on Billboard's 2010 & 2011 Japan Hot 100 charts, respectively. In January 2014, "Gee" was certified "Million" by the RIAJ, achieving more than one million digital downloads.
|Cyworld Digital Music Awards||2009||Song of the Month (January)||Won|
|Bonsang (Main Prize)||Won|
|Golden Disc Awards||Bonsang (Main Prize)||Won|
|Digital Daesang (Grand Prize – Song of the Year)||Won|
|Melon Music Awards||Song of the Year||Won|
|Korean Music Awards||2010||Song of the Year||Won|
|Seoul Music Awards||Bonsang (Main Prize)||Won|
|Daesang (Grand Prize – Song of the Year)||Won|
In popular culture
A parody of "Gee", called "Hee", has gained popularity among Korean citizens. It is a combination of the instrumental of "Gee" and some extremely venomous dialogue from the drama Temptation of Wife.
A viral video named Showa Era Gee (Grandpa Showa era) (Gee しょうわ時代 （爺爺爺－昭和時代))) was posted on YouTube on Aug 15, 2011 featuring elderly men in a shoe shop dancing to the Japanese version of "Gee". The video was originally on SMAPxSMAP Japanese show. It was also posted on Smosh website and was reviewed by "AtomicMari" on "Smosh Pit Weekly".
In 2009 and 2010, SM labelmates Super Junior regularly included a cover of "Gee" in their setlist for Super Show 2. The performance was preceded by a video interlude entitled The Secret of "Gee" including Jessica and Tiffany respectively dancing Heechul's and Kangin's parts in "Sorry, Sorry" during a Girls' Generation dance practice before the practice is infiltrated as a prank by Heechul, Kangin, Leeteuk and Sungmin respectively disguised as Jessica, Tiffany, Taeyeon and Sunny.
"Gee" has been widely recognized as a K-pop classic and the group's signature song. On writing the group's biography for AllMusic, Chris True selected "Gee" as one of their outstanding songs. Chuck Eddy from Spin ranked the single fifth on his list of 21 greatest K-pop song of all time in 2012, opining that the song has set up the group's "huge deals" ever since. Pitchfork Media editor Jakob Dorof included the song on his list of 20 essential K-pop songs in 2014, noting it for being the "magnum opus" of modern Korean bubblegum pop genre, which he regarded as K-pop's "comfort zone." He further recognized the "formally irrefutable" song as overcoming half a millennium of historical animosity to broker pop cultural peace between South Korea and Japan for only one year. Abigail Covington writing for The A.V. Club regarded Girls' Generation as the K-pop "premier, ubiquitous provider," particularly with "Gee", which helped to promote Korean music's full potential despite the fact that K-pop had existed long before the group's debut in 2007.
Billboard magazine labelled "Gee" "arguably the most iconic K-pop song in the past ten years."
In 2016, "Gee" was voted the top K-pop girl group song in the past 20 years in a poll involving 2,000 people and 30 music industry experts by South Korean magazine Dong-a Ilbo, web magazine Idology and research company M Brain.
|CD single — Japanese version|
|1.||"Gee" (Japanese version)||Kanata Nakamura||E-Tribe||3:23|
|2.||"Gee" (Korean version)||E-Tribe||3:23|
|3.||"Gee" (without main vocal)||E-Tribe||3:21|
|DVD — Japanese version|
|1.||"Gee" (music video)|
|2.||"Gee" (Dance version)|
Sales and certifications
*sales figures based on certification alone
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