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The Boys (Girls' Generation song)

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"The Boys"
Single cover of "The Boys", with all the members' faces visible
Single by Girls' Generation
from the album The Boys
Released October 18, 2011 (2011-10-18)
Format
Recorded 2011
Genre
Length 3:46
Label
Songwriter(s) Yoo Young-jin (Korean)
Teddy Riley (English)
Hidenori Tanaka, Nozomi Maezawa (Japanese)
Producer(s)
Girls' Generation singles chronology
"Mr. Taxi / Run Devil Run"
(2011)
"The Boys"
(2011)
"Paparazzi"
(2012)

"Mr. Taxi / Run Devil Run"
(2011)
"The Boys"
(2011)
"Paparazzi"
(2012)

"The Boys" is a song recorded by South Korean girl group Girls' Generation for their third Korean language studio album with the same name. It was produced by Teddy Riley, Teasung Kim, DOM, and Richard Garcia. The Korean version was released on October 18, 2011, by S.M. Entertainment as the lead single from the album. An English version was subsequently released in the United States on December 20, 2011, by Interscope Records and Universal Music Group in order to expand the group's popularity outside their native country. "The Boys" is a dance-pop, electropop and R&B song with elements of hip hop that lyrically discusses female attractiveness.

Following the release of "The Boys", Girls' Generation appeared on several South Korean music programs including Music Bank, Show! Music Core, Inkigayo, and M Countdown. To further promote the song to American audiences, the group performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 19, 2011, and made their debut on US television with appearances on Late Show with David Letterman and Live! with Kelly and Michael in February 2012. A music video for the song was directed by Hong Won-ki and choreographed by Rino Nakasone and was released on October 19, 2011.

"The Boys" was a success domestically. It peaked atop the South Korean Gaon Digital Chart and sold over three million digital copies in 2011, becoming the 43rd best-performing single on the chart of the year. Internationally, the single received generally positive reviews from music critics, who complimented the song as one of the highlights of the Korean Wave. In the United States, it managed to sell over 21,000 copies in its first week of release and peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales, while in Japan, the single peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100.

Background and composition[edit]

"The Boys" was produced by Teddy Riley. The original Korean version of the song was written by Riley, Yoo Young-jin, Teasung Kim, DOM, and Richard Garcia.[1] The English version was also written by the same songwriters;[2] it was released on October 18, 2011, as a digital single worldwide by S.M. Entertainment.[3] A digital extended play which consists of the English version and remixes of "The Boys" was released on December 20, 2011, by S.M. Entertainment under exclusive license to Universal Music Group.[4] A maxi single of the song released on December 21, 2011.[5] A remix version of the song produced by electronica musicians Clinton Sparks and The Disco Fries featuring Snoop Dogg was included on the US edition.[6] A Japanese version was written by Hidenori Tanaka and Nozomi Maezawa and was included on the group's reissue of their debut Japanese album, Girls' Generation, which was entitled The Boys and released on December 28, 2011.[7]

To further promote their popularity to Western countries, S.M. Entertainment had the group signed with Interscope Records, which is affiliated with Universal Music Group, to debut in the United States.[8][9] In an interview with MTV K, member Tiffany shared that the recording session of the song, both the English and Korean version, took one week to finish. She also expressed her excitement of the song's release in the United States, "We haven’t started on a full-length album, but we’re kicking off with this maxi single and hopefully it will lead to a full-length album."[10]

Musically, "The Boys" is a dance-pop,[11] electropop and R&B song,[12] with elements of hip hop, a genre that Girls' Generation had never ventured into.[13] It features "military style drum breakdowns and killer vocal harmonies" in its composition, according to Angelica Wallingford from the San Diego City Times.[12] The song's lyrics as explained by Eun-Young Jung on the book The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global (2013) as portraying "sexually daring girls" who are confident in their attractiveness and enjoy attention from men:[14][a]

I can tell you're looking at me, I know what you see
Any closer and you'll feel the heat
You don't have to pretend that you didn't notice me
Every look will make it hard to breathe
B-Bring the boys out

Promotion[edit]

Girls' Generation performing at LG Cinema 3D World Festival in 2012

In November and December 2011, Girls' Generation appeared on several South Korean music programs including Music Bank,[16] Show! Music Core, Inkigayo,[17] and M Countdown[18] to promote "The Boys" and the album. To further promote the song to American audiences, the group appeared at Madison Square Garden in New York on October 23, 2011, and performed the song, as part of an SM Town concert, which also featured other S.M. Entertainment's singers and performers, including Shinee and f(x).[19]

Girls' Generation promoted "The Boys" upon making their debut on American television in February 2011. The group performed the English version of the song on two television shows: Late Show with David Letterman and Live! with Kelly and Michael on February 1.[20] Their performances received generally positive reviews from US media outlets. Bradley Stern from MuuMuse labelled the group's appearances on US television a "stunning win" for supporters of Korean music,[21] while David Bevan from Spin wrote "It's like a dream."[22] Nevertheless, viewers' response were divided–some accused the members of lip syncing and expressed their disdain for their performance, while others were impressed by the group's dancing skills and musical style.[14][23]

A music video for "The Boys" was directed by Hong Won-ki and choreographed by Rino Nakasone.[24] It was released on October 19, 2011, on YouTube and several South Korean music websites.[25] The video starts with a close up-of each members before switching to the dancing scenes. It was an instant success on YouTube, achieving 13 million views in one week.[26][27] It has since attracted over 100 million views on YouTube, becoming the group's third music video to do so following "Gee" and "I Got a Boy".[28] With this achievement, Girls' Generation became the first music girl group to have three music videos with over 100 million views as of September 2014, surpassing the Pussycat Dolls, who had two videos with over 100 million views.[29]

Reception[edit]

Commercial[edit]

"The Boys" was a success in South Korea. Following its release, the song immediately achieved number one spots on music programs Music Bank, Inkigayo, and M Countdown.[30] On Music Bank, the single occupied the number one position for six weeks.[9] It peaked at number one on the Gaon Digital Chart and sold over 3.032 million digital downloads in 2011, becoming the 10th best-selling single and the 43rd best-performing single (including streaming and instrumental track downloads) on the Gaon Chart.[31][32] The single also peaked atop the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 instead.[33] In the United States, the track peaked at numbers 5 and 15 the Hot Dance Singles Sales and Hot Singles Sales, respectively, and managed to sell 21,000 copies in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[34] In Japan, "The Boys" charted at number 12 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart.[35]

Critical[edit]

Girls' Generation performing at 2012 K-Pop Collection

"The Boys" received generally positive reviews from music critics. Katherine St Asaph from Popdust gave the song three and a half out of five stars, complimenting the song's production but criticizing its lack of a "memorable" chorus.[36] Jen Erenza from Ryan Seacrest's official blog praised it as a "foot-stomping, head-crackin', and girl-powered track sung by nine girls that everyone needs to hear".[37] AllMusic's Tim Sendra named it the best song on The Boys and wrote that "Girls' Generation have what it takes to conquer the world of pop".[2] Chris True from the same website picked "The Boys" as well as its English version and remix featuring Snoop Dogg as three outstanding songs throughout the group's career.[38]

Jaeki Cho from Vibe described the group's music as "Spice Girls meet Pussycat Dolls" and recommended "The Boys" to download.[39] Smith Sonian noted "The Boys" as one of the highlights of Korean music (K-pop) in the Korean Wave along with "Only One" by BoA, "Sorry, Sorry" by Super Junior, "Gangnam Style" by Psy, "Fantastic Baby" by Big Bang", and "I Am the Best" by 2NE1.[40]

Several reviewers expected that Girls' Generation would achieve success with their electropop music styles following their appearance on US television. Mio Scobie, editor of Us Weekly wrote that "They produce feelgood beats, instantly memorable choruses and, as I'm sure people have already noticed, they're stunning." McClure's Asia Music News writer Steve McClure also anticipated that the group would succeed on the Western music scene, saying that "I have a feeling that Girls' Generation will stick round for a while."[41]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[42]
  1. "The Boys" – 3:46
  2. "The Boys" (Instrumental) – 3:46
Maxi single and EP[4][5]
  1. "The Boys" – 3:48
  2. "The Boys" (Clinton Sparks & Disco Fries Remix) (featuring Snoop Dogg) – 4:17
  3. "The Boys" (Clinton Sparks & Disco Fries Remix) (featuring Lil Playy) – 4:17
  4. "The Boys" *Bring Dem Boys* (Teddy Riley Remix) (featuring Suzi) – 3:39
  5. "The Boys" *Bring the Boys Out* (David Anthony Remix) – 4:27
  6. "The Boys" *Bring the Boys* (Teddy Riley Remix) – 3:48
  7. "The Boys" (Instrumental) – 3:48
  8. "The Boys" (A Capella) – 3:46

Charts[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Music programs awards[edit]

Program Date Note
Mnet's M Countdown October 27, 2011 First Triple Crown on the show and first wins since 2008.
November 3, 2011
November 10, 2011
KBS2's Music Bank October 28, 2011
November 4, 2011
November 11, 2011
November 18, 2011
November 25, 2011
December 2, 2011
SBS's Inkigayo October 30, 2011
November 6, 2011
November 13, 2011

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
Worldwide October 18, 2011[42] Digital download
South Korea October 22, 2011[47] Contemporary hit radio S.M. Entertainment
Worldwide December 20, 2011[4] Digital EP
  • S.M. Entertainment
  • Interscope Records
December 21, 2011[5] Maxi single

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ The quoted lyrics are from the English version of the song.[15]

References

  1. ^ The Boys (CD liner notes) (in Korean). Girls' Generation. S.M. Entertainment. 2011. SMK0076.
  2. ^ a b Sendra, Tim. "The Boys: Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012.
  3. ^ "The Boys: MP3 Music". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on April 18, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "The Boys – EP". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on April 18, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "The Boys Maxi Single" (in Korean). S.M. Entertainment. Archived from the original on April 18, 2015.
  6. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (November 6, 2014). "Beyond PSY & Snoop Dogg: 5 More K-Pop/Hip-Hop Collaborations ft. Kanye West, Missy Elliot & More". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  7. ^ Re:package Album: The Boys (CD liner notes) (in Japanese). Girls' Generation. Nayutawave Records. 2011. UPCH-29077.
  8. ^ Seabrook, John (October 18, 2012). "Factory Girls". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Girls' Generation to release 'The Boys' in the U.S. and Europe". JoongAng Ilbo. JoongAng Media Network. December 14, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  10. ^ MTV K Presents 'Girls' Generation in New York'. Girls' Generation. MTV K. Viacom. December 2011.
  11. ^ Brown, August (April 29, 2012). "K-pop enters American pop consciousness". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Wallingford, Angelica (March 12, 2014). "Fierce songs to unleash your inner girl power". San Diego City Times. San Diego City College. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  13. ^ "Best of Girls' Generation". MTV K. Viacom. Archived from the original on January 31, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Kim, Youna; Jung, Eun-Young (October 12, 2013). "K-pop female idols in the West". The Korean Wave: Korea Media Go Global. Routledge. pp. 114–15. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  15. ^ "SNSD – The Boys English Lyrics". MetroLyrics. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  16. ^ "소녀시대, '더 보이즈'로 '뮤뱅' 6주 연속 1위" (in Korean). Star News. December 2, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  17. ^ "소녀시대, `인기가요`도 3주 연속 1위…트리플크라운 달성". JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). JoongAng Media Network. November 13, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  18. ^ "엠카 1위 소녀시대,`손호영 오빠! 고마워요". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo Co. November 10, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  19. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (October 24, 2011). "K-Pop Hits Madison Square Garden". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  20. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (November 13, 2011). "Girls' Generation Making Its American Dream Come True". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  21. ^ Stern, Bradley (February 1, 2012). "Girls' Generation Makes US TV Debut on 'Late Show with David Letterman' and 'Live with Kelly'". MuuMuse.
  22. ^ Bevan, David (February 1, 2012). "Watch K-Pop Superstars Girls' Generation's American TV Debut". Spin. Spin Media. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  23. ^ "What does the United States Think of Girls' Generation?". CNN. February 3, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  24. ^ Coleman, Patrick (2014). "Review of Yasue Kuwahara, The Korean Wave: Korean Popular Culture in a Global Context" (PDF). Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  25. ^ "소시, 컴백 초읽기..19일 '더보이즈' 뮤비 공개". Star News. October 17, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  26. ^ Garibaldi, Christina (October 31, 2011). "Girls Generation Looking to Take Over U.S.A". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  27. ^ Garibaldi, Christina (October 27, 2011). "Girls' Generation Dish On Hazards of Making 'The Boys' Video". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  28. ^ Lee Sung-eun (September 29, 2014). "GG's 'The Boys' hits 100M on YouTube". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  29. ^ Peterson, Jacques (September 28, 2014). "Girls' Generation's 'The Boys' Hits 100 Million Views on YouTube". Popdust. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  30. ^ Song Cheol-min (2016). "Contemporary Korean Pop Music – The Growing Influence of Girl Groups with each Major Record Company". K-pop Beyond Asia. Korean Culture and Information Service. p. 68.
  31. ^ a b "Gaon Digital Chart: 2011" (in Korean). Gaon Digital Chart. Archived from the original on October 18, 2013.
  32. ^ "2011 Download Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  33. ^ a b "Korea K-Pop Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on February 24, 2015.
  34. ^ Benjamin, Jeff. "Girls' Generation Makes Big U.S. Debut on 'Letterman'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  35. ^ a b "Billboard Japan Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on October 20, 2014.
  36. ^ St Asaph, Katherine (October 18, 2011). "The Singles Bar: Girls' Generation, 'The Boys'". Popdust. Archived from the original on October 20, 2011.
  37. ^ Erenza, Jen (October 18, 2011). "K-Pop Group 'Girls' Generation' Release English Version of 'The Boys'". Ryan Seacrest. Archived from the original on October 20, 2011.
  38. ^ True, Chris. "Girls' Generation: Songs". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  39. ^ Cho, Jaeki (May 15, 2012). "Pardon The Introduction". Vibe. Vibe Media.
  40. ^ Sonian, Smith (October 1, 2013). Music: The Korean Wave. Penguin Books. p. 372.
  41. ^ McCurry, Justin (November 17, 2012). "After Psy's Gangnam Style, here come Korea pop princesses Girls' Generation". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  42. ^ a b "The Boys – Single by Girls' Generation". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on August 5, 2014.
  43. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Digital Chart. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013.
  44. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Digital Chart. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013.
  45. ^ "Dance Single Sales: January 7, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 3, 2016. (Subscription required (help)).
  46. ^ "Hot Singles Sales: January 7, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 3, 2016. (Subscription required (help)).
  47. ^ "KBS Radio Playlist". KBS Radio. Korean Broadcasting System. October 22, 2011. Retrieved April 4, 2016.

External links[edit]