K-pop sensation BTS said they released an anthology album as a way to look back on their expansive 9-year career and as an expression of love for fans that helped propel them to global stardom.
“We wanted to take a moment to sort out what we’ve released so far. So we put them all in one album,” Jin, one of the band’s 7 members, said in a YouTube livestream late Monday, the same day the group celebrated its ninth debut anniversary.
“Many of our unreleased songs are included in this album. We took those songs as a chance to reminisce on when they were recorded,” V added.
Last Friday, the two-time Grammy nominated act put out “Proof,” comprised of 48 tracks (35 in its digital release as some songs are only available on the physical album) divided into three CDs. It also unveils some new songs, including lead single “Yet to Come.”
“While we were working on the track list, we realized we had so many songs. Before we knew it, it became three CDs,” J-Hope said.
The first CD includes mostly previous singles while the second part is comprised of solo and unit songs picked by the members themselves. The third disc, considered a gift to fans, contains demos and unreleased versions of past songs.
“BTS is nothing without our fans, right? So the theme [of the third CD] is our love for our fans,” J-Hope explained.
Rapper Suga added that “Proof” is also an easy introduction for new listeners.
“When I grow interested in an artist, it’s hard to listen to all their albums. It’s not easy to listen to all the songs. This album is like the essence. It’s kind of like an introduction,” he said. “Once you follow this guide, you’ll get a rough idea of who BTS is.”
The 25-minute livestream also featured live performances of “Yet to Come,” “Born Singer” and “For Youth” – new songs off “Proof.” Grammy-winning rapper Anderson .Paak also made a special appearance, playing drums for the group during “Yet to Come.”
Unplanned pandemic releases
During the livestream, leader RM said most of BTS’ releases during the COVID-19 pandemic were unplanned, despite the massive success.
“Most of the things we’ve done since 2020 were not planned in advance… We’ve done most things spontaneously based on the best decision we could make each time. Everything was flexible,” he recounted.
“As we went on, we were sometimes a little afraid and unsure if we were on the right path,” RM said.
“We thought the pandemic would be over soon and that we would be able to go on tours in no time but none of us thought that it would take more than 2 years,” Jimin added.
“In the face of such uncertainty, we were lost for what to do. We thought long and hard, and so did our label. That’s how ‘Dynamite’ came about,” said Jungkook, referring to the 2020 English-language single that helped BTS top the Billboard Hot 100 chart – a historic first for an all-Korean act.
“That was our way of braving the COVID-19 pandemic. It led to many more open doors for us,” Jungkook added.
The group would go on to release “Butter,” “Permission to Dance” and “My Universe,” which all topped the Hot 100 chart.
BTS debuted in 2013, beginning as a hip hop-focused group before expanding its sound to include a variety of genres. The group’s lyrics often touch on youth issues and social commentaries while their elaborate music videos have interconnected storylines.