Updated: May 9
We finally begin the countdown for the top 100 K-Pop singles from the 90s-2010s!
To be honest with you guys, I'm not 100% convinced that these songs make up the top 100 K-Pop singles of all time... and that's okay! This is natural, as music is fully subjective. Some of these tracks can fall out of this list on any given day in favor of other tracks. That's how strong K-Pop is. I wish I could expand this list, but that would result in a longer series.
However, whether you guys agree or not, I think it's safe to say that these singles I ranked are what make K-Pop incredible to listen to!
Before we begin, I like to show you guys three factors that I had in mind when creating this list.
1. Quality of the song
2. Impact on society (fans, public, music industry)
3. Opinion - This one is important because how can this list be valid without my own opinion?
With all of that out of the way, it's time to check out the top 100 K-Pop Singles from the 90s-2010s. Enjoy!
100. SHINee- Married to the Music (2015)
Figuring out which song to represent my 100th pick was difficult. I mean, there are a lot of great singles out there. While I don't think this track is quite top 100 worthy, Married to the Music is nonetheless a fun bop. Sure, I could've picked a more complex or hard-hitting track. But hey, the guys successfully brought a Michael Jackson late 70s disco sound to the table. It has the production to reach people that aren't into K-Pop, making this a great start for a K-Pop journey.
99. Golden Child- Genie (2018)
Originally in my honorable mentions, Golden Child's Genie quickly catapulted its way to the top 100. I can't tell how long it will stay here, but there's no denying how catchy this is bolstered by a robust, bright production.
98. Super Junior- It's You (2009)
While Super Junior is best known to deliver fun and distinct tracks, they can also deliver songs that focus on raw emotion. Such is the case with It's You, showcasing the members sentimentally singing beautiful melodies over a catharsis beat. The verses smartly prepped the group up for a chorus that is marvelously surging.
97. H.O.T- We are the Future (1997)
We're going way back to when K-Pop was starting to get popular in Korea. Picking the best K-Pop songs from the 90s was difficult, as artists overlapped each other with techno and energetic vocal performances. In the end, I gave the nod to We are the Future, simply because of its production and message that embodies what 90s K-Pop was all about.
96. Rainbow- Sweet Dream (2011)
Another song that was in my honorable mention, Sweet Dream's melancholic production won me over at the end. This track explores the group's capability to sing over free-flowing verses before exploding into a majestic chorus. This is one of my personal favorite girl group tracks, and it's a shame that it's underappreciated. The production here is gorgeous!
95. BoA- Girls on Top (2005)
Girls on Top shows how powerful and magnetic BoA is. Tackling an aggressive dance-pop track with some hip-hop influence was a great move to display her fierce image. With a title like Girls on Top, you would expect this song to sound powerful, which it is thanks to the beat and BoA's commanding vocals.
94. miss A- Bad Girl Good Girl (2010)
Will we ever hear a girl group song like this in K-Pop again? Probably not, and that's what makes Bad Girl Good Girl a standout track. The girls deliver distinct vocal performances which lead up to that seesaw-like chorus. Listen to it numerous times, and you'll find yourself nodding to the iconic rhythm.
93. NCT 127- Superhuman (2019)
NCT tracks can be hit-or-miss for me, but Superhuman is a definite hit! Opening with a beautiful harmony before allowing the instrumental to kick in, the song builds to an incredible glitchy chorus that infuses a tasteful electro sound and performance-built vocal melodies. The guys never sounded tighter than they did here.
92. Snuper- Platonic Love (2016)
Time to go back to the 80s with Platonic Love! This track is a great example of what a modern song can do when taking influences from that era. The icy synths and layered chorus are what makes this single popular from Snuper's arsenal.
91. Snuper- It's Raining (2016)
I forgot to mention that Snuper is underrated. They're not as famous as other big-name groups, yet they already have two songs in my top 100. After releasing the last song, the guys one-upped themselves by delivering the more bombastic It's Raining. The obvious highlight is the chorus, bringing in brassy synth stabs that are on par with the repeated hook to form a sonically emotive single. Snuper has gifted us with two awesome tracks, but they aren't done yet.