The War (album)

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The War
Korean version digital cover artwork
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 18, 2017 (2017-07-18)
September 5, 2017 (2017-09-05) (repackaged edition)
StudioSM Studios, Seoul, South Korea
41:53 (repackaged edition)
ProducerLee Soo-man (exec.)
Exo chronology
For Life
The War
Singles from The War
  1. "Ko Ko Bop"
    Released: July 18, 2017
Repackage album cover
Exo - The Power of Music.png
Singles from The War: The Power of Music
  1. "Power"
    Released: September 5, 2017

The War is the fourth studio album by South Korean-Chinese boy band Exo. It was released digitally on July 18, 2017 and physically on July 19, 2017 by SM Entertainment under Genie Music's distribution. The album includes a total of nine tracks including the lead single "Ko Ko Bop". The War received the highest number of pre-orders at the time for a K-pop album, at more than 800,000 physical copies.[1] 24 days after being released, it became EXO's fourth consecutive studio album to have sold over a million copies.[2] The album was re-released under the title The War: The Power of Music on September 5, 2017.[3] This was the first Exo release not to feature member Lay, who began an indefinite hiatus shortly before the music video for "Ko Ko Bop" was filmed,[4] and the last album to be separated released in both Korean and Chinese language.

Background and release[edit]

On June 15, 2017, it was confirmed by S.M. Entertainment that Exo will be releasing a new album sometime in mid-July.[5][6] On June 23, S.M. Entertainment announced that member Lay would be unable to participate in the production and promotion of the album.[7][8]

On July 8, Exo's official Twitter account was made public, through which S.M. Entertainment revealed the first teaser video for the album. Also on July 8, Exo 's official Instagram account opened by posting the three versions of Exo's new album logo. On July 10, the album's title was announced to be The War.[9]

From July 9 to July 16, the album's track list was revealed one by one through a series of teaser videos each featuring one member. The album and its title track's music video were released on July 18.

SM started releasing teasers of the repackaged edition of the album with the message "The Power of Music". The first teaser titled #Total_Eclipse, which was the first seen during the teaser trailers of the group's debut, and their first song "What is Love", was released on August 21, 2017 at the same time as when the Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 happened.[10][11] The second teaser was released on August 28 titled #Parallel_Universe.[12][13][14]

The third teaser titled "Power #RF_05" was released on August 30.[15] On the same day, the title of the re-packaged album was revealed to be The War: The Power of Music and that it will be released on September 5, 2017 with 12 tracks including the title track "Power".[16][17] SM started releasing teaser images of each member from August 30.[18][19] On August 31, it was revealed that the album will include new three songs "Power", "Sweet Lies", and "Boomerang", along with the original nine songs of The War.[20] On September 4, a poster of the repackaged album and "Power" music video teaser were released.[21][22] The repackaged album and its three new tracks were released on September 5.[3]


On July 18, Exo held a press conference in the morning where they expressed their gratefulness for achieving more than 800,000 pre-orders. Chanyeol commented, "I think it's an honor to be making new records throughout our lives. I want to say thank you."[23] The group also held a live broadcast titled "Ko Ko Bop on One Night Summer" where they talked about the album and the music video shooting.[24]

Exo started performing "Ko Ko Bop" and "The Eve" on South Korean music shows on July 20 and ended their promotions on August 13.[25] EXO also performed their new songs in Hong Kong during the SM Town Live World Tour VI on August 5 and during the Music Bank World Tour in Jakarta on September 2.

On September 6, Exo held a mini fan meeting where they performed "Power" for the first time. The group started promoting the repackaged edition The War: The Power of Music by performing "Power" on South Korean music shows on September 7.[20] On September 15, EXO also performed "Ko Ko Bop", "The Eve" and "Power" during Lotte Duty Free Family Festival in Seoul.


The lead single "Ko Ko Bop" debuted at number one on the Melon Realtime Chart, making them the first K-pop group to enter the chart at the top after chart changes were implemented on February 27, 2017. The other album tracks debuted in the top nine.[26] It was reported that multiple servers crashed, due to the number of fans streaming at the same time.[27] "Ko Ko Bop" additionally topped 155 iTunes charts worldwide, including K-pop charts and general pop charts, as well as all-genre single charts.[28][29]

"Ko Ko Bop" topped Gaon Digital Chart for four non-consecutive weeks. EXO also became the first male group to chart at number one on Gaon for four weeks.[30] The song also ranked number one on the Gaon Monthly Chart for August, making EXO the first group in 2017 and the fifth boy group since 2012 to top the chart.

On September 14, EXO's song "Power" recorded the highest score of all time on M Countdown with 11,000 points, making EXO one of two artists to achieve a perfect score after the system changes were implemented in June 2015. The win also marks their 100th win on music shows.[31]

Commercial performance[edit]

The War[edit]

Prior to its release, The War received a record-breaking pre-order by retail outlets of 807,235 physical copies, making it the K-pop album with the highest number of pre-orders at that time.[1][32] Within one week after its release, the album sold over 600,000 physical copies and became the fastest-selling recorded by the South Korean album sales chart Hanteo, surpassing the previous record of 522,300 copies also held by Ex'Act.[33] The War topped the Billboard World Album Chart for two consecutive weeks, and the South Korean Gaon Album Chart for three consecutive weeks.[34]

The War reached number one on iTunes in 51 countries in total, including in Israel, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Romania, Philippines, Taiwan, Ireland, Poland, Mexico, and more; 43 countries at the same time.[35] Apple Music selected The War as "The Best of the Week".[36]

According to Osen, Exo have recorded album sales of approximately 1,012,021 copies in the span of 24 days, making The War the second fastest album in Gaon Chart history to achieve this milestone. Exo became the second South Korean artist to achieve four million sellers in a row.[37]

The War: The Power of Music[edit]

The War: The Power of Music topped the South Korean Gaon Album Chart for two consecutive weeks.[38][39] Additionally, the Korean and Chinese versions of the album debuted at number one and two respectively on the YinYueTai China Weekly Albums Chart.[40][41]

The album reached number one on iTunes in 41 countries in total, including in Spain, Japan, Indonesia, Russia, Hong Kong, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Mexico and Malaysia. The album also made it to the Top 10 on the iTunes charts in 67 countries, including in the US, Canada, Australia, Britain, France and Germany.[42] Additionally, the album topped Xiami Music's K-Pop chart.[43]

Track listing[edit]

The War – Korean version
1."The Eve" (전야 (前夜); Jeonya)Hwang Yoo-bin
2."Ko Ko Bop"
3."What U Do?"Kenzie
5."Diamond" (다이아몬드; daiamondeu)Jo Yoon-kyung3:31
6."Touch It" (너의 손짓 neowi sonjit)
  • Kim Jong-dae
  • Jo Yoon-kyung
7."Chill" (소름; soreum)
  • Park Chanyeol
  • Seo Ji-eum
  • Darius Bryant
  • Julien Maurice Moore
  • G.Soul
  • Tay Jasper
  • Otha "Vakseen" Davis III
  • MZMC
  • Droyd
8."Walk on Memories" (기억을 걷는 밤; gieokeul geodneun bam)Lee Seu-ran
  • Justin Reinstein
  • Wassily Gradovsky
9."Going Crazy" (내가 미쳐 naega michyeo)
  • JQ
  • Seolim
  • Shim Jae-won
  • Shaun
  • Wilbart "Vedo" McCoy III
  • Paul "Marz" Thompson
  • MZMC
  • Otha "Vakseen" Davis III
Total length:31:35
The War: The Power of Music – Korean version
1."The Eve" (전야 (前夜); Jeonya)Hwang Yoo-bin
  • JQ
  • Kim Hye-jung (makeumine works)
  • Greg Bonnick
  • Hayden Chapman
  • James Matthew Norton
  • LDN Noise
3."Sweet Lies"
4."Ko Ko Bop"
5."What U Do?"Kenzie
  • Kenzie
  • LDN Noise
  • Adrian Mckinnon
7."Boomerang" (부메랑; Bumelang)Jo Yoon-kyung
8."Diamond" (다이아몬드; daiamondeu)Jo Yoon-kyung
9."Touch It" (너의 손짓 neoui sonjit)
10."Chill" (소름; soreum)
  • Darius Bryant
  • Julien Maurice Moore
  • G.Soul
  • Tay Jasper
  • Otha "Vakseen" Davis III
  • MZMC
  • Droyd
11."Walk on Memories" (기억을 걷는 밤; gieogeul geonneun bam)Lee Seu-ran
  • Justin Reinstein
  • Wassily Gradovsky
12."Going Crazy" (내가 미쳐 naega micheo)
  • JQ
  • Seolim
  • Shim Jae-won
  • Shaun
  • Wilbart "Vedo" McCoy III
  • Paul "Marz" Thompson
  • MZMC
  • Otha "Vakseen" Davis III
Total length:41:53



Country Sales Total
The War The War: TPOM
China (Xiami)[67] 363,324+ 191,645+ 194,870+ 116,579+ 866,418+
Japan (Oricon)[68] 43,147+ 7,595+ 50,742+
South Korea (Gaon)[69] 970,940+ 133,958+ 479,407+ 58,612+ 1,642,917+
US (Billboard)[70] 7,000+ 7,000+

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Nominated work Category Result
2017 19th Mnet Asian Music Awards "Ko Ko Bop" Best Male Dance Nominated
"Power" Best Music Video Nominated
The War Qoo10 Album of the Year Won
"Ko Ko Bop" Qoo10 Song of the Year Nominated
9th Melon Music Awards Best Male Dance Won
Song of the Year Nominated
The War Album of the Year Nominated
Interpark Best Book Awards Best Album Won
2018 32nd Golden Disc Awards Disc Bonsang Won
Disc Daesang Nominated
27th Seoul Music Awards The War Bonsang Award Won


Critic/Publication List Rank Ref.
Billboard The 20 Best K-Pop Albums of 2017 11 [71]
Affinity Magazine Top 10 Best K-Pop Albums of 2017 3 [72]
Interpark Best Albums of 2017 1 [73]
SBS PopAsia 2017 Best Albums 4 [74]

Music program awards[edit]

Song Program Date
"Ko Ko Bop" Show Champion (MBC) July 26, 2017
August 2, 2017
M Countdown (Mnet) July 27, 2017
August 3, 2017
August 10, 2017
Music Bank (KBS) July 28, 2017
August 4, 2017
Show! Music Core (MBC) July 29, 2017
August 5, 2017
August 12, 2017
Inkigayo (SBS) July 30, 2017
August 6, 2017
"Power" Show Champion (MBC) September 13, 2017
September 20, 2017
M Countdown (Mnet) September 14, 2017
Music Bank (KBS) September 15, 2017
September 22, 2017
Show! Music Core (MBC) September 16, 2017
September 23, 2017
Inkigayo (SBS) September 17, 2017

Release history[edit]

Edition Date Region Format Label
The War July 18, 2017 South Korea Digital download
Worldwide SM Entertainment
July 19, 2017 South Korea CD
July 21, 2017 Japan SM Entertainment
The War: The Power of Music September 5, 2017 South Korea Digital download, CD
Worldwide SM Entertainment


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  45. ^ Charted versions:
  46. ^ Chated versions:
  47. ^ Charted versions:
  48. ^ Charted versions:
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External links[edit]