Tell Me (Wonder Girls song)

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"Tell Me"
Single by Wonder Girls
from the album The Wonder Years
Released September 13, 2007
Format
Genre
Length 3:37
Label JYP
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Park Jin-young
Wonder Girls singles chronology
"Irony"
(2007)
"Tell Me"
(2007)
"So Hot"
(2008)
"Irony"
(2007)
"Tell Me"
(2007)
"So Hot"
(2008)

"Tell Me" is a song performed by South Korean girl group, Wonder Girls from their debut album, The Wonder Years (2007). It was released as the third and lead single on September 13, 2007 from the album. The song was written and produced by Park Jin-young and it samples Stacey Q's "Two of Hearts." "Tell Me (Rap version)", featuring Yubin's rap verse, was added as a B-side on their second maxi single, So Hot. Yubin is credited as the writer of the version. "Tell Me" was a strong hit from the group, topping various online and offline charts. It went to number one on various charts and received number one position on KBS's music chart show Music Bank, staying at that position for seven consecutive weeks and received a triple crown at SBS Inkigayo. The song is notable for its choreography, which was widely imitated and featured on various online video sites.[1]

Background[edit]

When producer Park Jin-young first introduced the song to the group, the Wonder Girls felt that the song was too different and would not be successful. However, once they were used to the song, they eventually believed it could be a strong single.

Composition[edit]

"Tell Me" is a fast-tempo song about a girl who has fallen in love who hopes that he likes her too which she asks him to tell her that he likes her too. The highlight of the song is an exclamation of surprise, "어머나!" (Eomeona!, similar in meaning to "Oh, my goodness!) during the chorus which member Sohee does her trademark “Omona” expression.

North American release[edit]

JYP Entertainment stated in June 2009 that "Tell Me" would be the second English single for the group, after "Nobody".[2] On May 15, 2010, they released their second American single "2 Different Tears" (also known as 2DT), which includes "Tell Me" on the track list.

Live performances[edit]

This was the first single to feature Kim Yubin, the replacement for former member Kim Hyun-ah, who was removed from the group by her parents due to health issues. On September 5, 2007, Good Entertainment, the talent agency for the popular boy band Shinhwa, sent their trainee Yubin to JYP Entertainment as a replacement for Hyun-ah. She made her debut three days later in the group's live performance of "Tell Me" on Music Bank. [3] Due to the last-minute addition of Kim Yubin, the album version does not feature her; Before Hyuna left the group, according to sources she was already in the ‘Tell Me’ video. She was even the Wonder Girl in the music video but with her departure, Sohee took over the responsibilities. However, the version released and promoted by the group contained a rap verse performed by Kim Yubin. The single was a hit and reached number one on various Korean television and internet music charts, including KBS's Music Bank. Although the rap version was not initially given a release, it was eventually released as a B-side on the Wonder Girls' follow-up single "So Hot".

Versions[edit]

The original version of "Tell Me" is featured on the groups debut album The Wonder Years and features vocals from the original line-up consisting of Min Sunye, Park Yeeun, Lee Sunmi and Kim Hyuna. After the departure of Kim Hyuna, the song received a rap verse to see the introduction of Kim Yubin to the public. The radio version was unavailable for purchase upon the single's original release. The song was later made available for purchase on the group's single "So Hot" as a B-side. The song was later re-recorded for the Japanese release of their greatest hits album WonderBest (2012) and features the band's third line-up consisting of Min Sunye, Park Yeeun, Ahn Sohee, Kim Yubin and Woo Hyerim, with previous members' vocals removed.

In popular culture[edit]

The choreography for the song was simple and widely imitated: by October, many fan performances of the dance circulated on video sharing sites such as YouTube and Daum,[4] including one by a group of policemen who were eventually profiled on SBS's Star King. This was dubbed the "Tell Me Syndrome" and led the girls to be named "Korea's Little Sisters". Many celebrities, including Shin Hye Sung, Super Junior's Kim Heechul, Nam Hyun Joon and Hong Kyung-min, also sang and danced to the song at their own fan meetings. The song was labelled a "pop phenomenon" by the San Francisco Chronicle, and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen stated that the dance clips were among his favorites on the website.[1] Furthermore, on the December 28th, 2007 edition of Music Bank, Big Bang joined Wonder Girls for a performance that included both Tell Me and Lies.[5]

The song has also been officially covered by other K-Pop artists multiple times:

  • In full by Girls' Generation on the July 4th, 2008 edition of Music Bank, with Yubin's rap verse performed by Yuri and Hyoyeon.[6] This was one half of a song trade where both groups covered one song by the other group, with Wonder Girls also covering Kissing You on the same show.[7]
  • In full by JYP labelmates Twice at an open concert on May 25th, 2016.[8]
  • As a dance cover by Sistar on MBC's Star Dance Battle on February 3rd, 2011.[9]

Awards[edit]

Award Category Result
Cyworld Digital Music Awards[10] Song of the Month (October) Won
Korean Music Awards[11] Best Dance & Electronic Song Won

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
South Korea September 13, 2007 JYP
United States May 15, 2010 Digital download

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Yang, Jeff. ASIAN POP: Next stop, Wonderland. San Francisco Chronicle. April 9, 2008. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
  2. ^ (in Korean) Kim, Hyeong-wu. 원더걸스 미국 데뷔 성공 가능성 얼마나 될까 (What are the Wonder Girls' Chances of Succeeding in American Debut?). Joins.com/Newsen. June 5, 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
  3. ^ Kim, Won-gyum (2007-09-05). 원더걸스, 새멤버 공개..19세 김유빈 (in Korean). Star News. Retrieved 2008-07-18. 
  4. ^ "[2007연예결산]올해의 사자성어 ‘원더걸스(原多渴水)’" (in Korean). Gonews. 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2008-07-18. 
  5. ^ Music Bank December 28, 2007 - Tell Me / Lies - Wonder Girls & Big Bang YouTube (originally broadcast by KBS)
  6. ^ Music Bank July 4, 2008 - Special Stage: Tell Me (originally by Wonder Girls) - Girls' Generation YouTube (originally broadcast by KBS)
  7. ^ Music Bank July 4, 2008 - Special Stage: Kissing You (originally by Girls' Generation) - Wonder Girls YouTube (originally broadcast by KBS)
  8. ^ Twice Open Concert - Tell Me (originally by Wonder Girls) YouTube (originally broadcast by KBS)
  9. ^ Star Dance Battle February 3, 2011 - Tell Me (originally by Wonder Girls) - Sistar YouTube (originally broadcast by MBC)
  10. ^ Nam, An-u (2007-11-19). 원더걸스, 상복 터졌다…'10월의 노래'상도 접수 (in Korean). Mydaily. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  11. ^ Gil, Hye-seong (2008-03-05). 원더걸스, '텔미'로 한국대중음악상 '최우수 댄스&일렉트로닉 노래상' 수상 (in Korean). Starnews. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 

External links[edit]