Seo Tai-ji Slams Back onto the Music Scene

      September 09, 2000 17:40

      Seo Tai-ji, the "godfather" of Korea modern music scene, returned to join the pop world after a four year seven month break, and held a "come-back" concert at 8:00pm, Saturday, at the Fencing Stadium within the Olympic Park. Seo's concert lasted for an hour and half, amid frenzied cheers from 6,000 fans. At the plaza in front of the stadium, those fans who failed to get tickets watched the concert on a huge multi-vision screen. Some 2,000 ardent fans stayed up all night in front of the stadium to gain an early entrance.

      On the stage decorated with a tank and a bunch of junked cars, Seo came on to a strong hardcore sound reminiscent of American rap-metal band, "Limp Bizkit." The title song of Seo's new single, "It's Ultra Man," and other new songs like "Internet War," and "Daekyongsung" featured prominently in the performance.

      The concert reached a peak when Seo sang "Kyosil idea (Ideal Classroom)," an all time favorite with the fans. The sponsor of the concert, Munwha Broadcasting System, showed documentary films and interviews with Seo Tai-ji between each song.

      Im Jin-mo, a popular song critic, said, "Seo's new music is much more aggressive than before. It even shows signs of arrogance. It doesn't meet the traditional standard of popularity and commercialism. In a way, he seems to be making an 'independence declaration at a personal level."

      Seo released his new CD on Friday, just a day before his concert, leaving all the record shops swamped by middle and high school students, as well as office workers, with the music department of Kyobo bookstore selling over 5,000 of the new disc. A worker at the bookstore said, "I ordered 10,000 of his CDs, but at this rate, it appears that this won't cover more than two days." Record wholesalers project 800,000 to 900,000 of the albums to be sold in the first two days, but considering the tendency of the Korean market to favor ballad and dance music, it remains to be seen how Seo's hardcore music will do.

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