I’ve seen a trend recently, one that breaks my heart and almost upsets me… fans demanding a comeback. Not just, “Oh, I can’t wait till they comeback.” but more along the lines of, “Why aren’t they coming back yet?! Did WM forget about them? It’s been over a year already!!” I thought to myself, seeing these comments, that maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t think their time between comebacks is too long. Though my memory is horrible, I don’t remember other groups around the same age doing it any faster.
I was pretty sure that the trend seems to be that once groups hit the 3rd or 4th anniversary, comebacks do slow down to about once a year as individual activities increase. With the advent of concert tours, solo debuts, musicals, variety shows, dramas, etc., it only seems realistic that comebacks and promotion would slow down for a group. But rather than rely on my less than stellar memory, I decided to do some research.
I chose 6 groups that debuted within 10 months of B1A4 (June 2010 to April 2011) and looked at the comeback and release history. I saw what I expected to see, a decided slow down in comebacks once they reached their 3rd anniversary, some even earlier! What really surprised me, however, was the actual song release count. Here is what I found, and below it I will give some details on these statistics.
- There are 3 types of comeback releases… singles, Mini LP, and Studio LPs. A Single consists of 1-3 songs, a Mini LP consists of 3-6 songs, sometimes with remixes, and a Studio LP is a full album of 7-13 songs, mostly original and sometimes includes instrumental versions.
- Many artists do debut and comebacks in Japan as well as Korea, these comebacks are listed as well because they require nearly as much promotion as the Korean comebacks.
|Group||Debut||Comeback 1||Comeback 2||Comeback 3|
|Nine Muses||Aug, 2010 – Single||Aug, 2011 – Single||Jan, 2012 – Single||March, 2012 – Mini LP|
|Teen Top||July, 2010 – Single||Jan, 2012 – Single||July, 2012 – Mini LP||Jan, 2012 – Mini LP|
|Boyfriend||May, 2011 – Single||July, 2011 – Single||Oct, 2011 – Single||Dec, 2011 – Single|
|Apink||April, 2011 – Mini LP||Sept, 2011 – OST Single||Nov, 2011 – Mini LP||May, 2012 – Studio LP|
|Block B||April, 2011 – Single||June, 2011 – Mini LP||Feb, 2012 – Mini LP||Oct, 2012 – Studio LP|
|Sistar||June, 2010 – Single||Aug, 2010 – single||Nov, 2010 – single||Aug, 2011 – Studio LP|
|B1A4||April, 2011 – Mini LP||Sept, 2011 – Mini LP||March, 2012 – Studio LP||June, 2012 – Japan Single|
|Group||Comeback 4||Comeback 5||Comeback 6||Comeback 7|
|Nine Muses||Jan, 2013 – Single||May, 2013 – Mini LP||Oct, 2013 – Studio LP||Jan, 2015 – Mini LP|
|Teen Top||May, 2012 – Mini LP||Aug, 2012 – Single||Feb, 2013 – Studio LP||Aug, 2013 – Mini LP|
|Boyfriend||June, 2012 – Mini LP & Japan Single||Nov, 2012 – Studio LP||May, 2013 – Japan Studio LP||June, 2014 – Mini LP|
|Apink||Jan, 2013 – Single||July, 2013 – Mini LP||Jan, 2014 – Single||March, 2014 – Mini LP|
|Block B||Oct, 2013 – Mini LP||April, 2014 – Single||July, 2014 – Mini LP||Jan, 2105 – Japan Single|
|Sistar||Apr, 2012 – Mini LP||June, 2012 – Mini LP||June, 2013 – Studio LP||July, 2014 – Mini LP|
|B1A4||Oct, 2012 – Japan Studio LP||Nov, 2012 – Mini LP||May, 2013 – Mini LP||Jan, 2014 – Studio LP|
|Group||Comeback 8||Comeback 9||Comeback 10||Comeback 11|
|Nine Muses||July, 2015 – Mini LP|
|Teen Top||Sept, 2014 – Mini LP||Dec, 2014 – Single||June, 2015 – Mini LP||July, 2015 – Single|
|Boyfriend||July, 2014 – Japan Studio LP||Oct, 2014 – Mini LP||March, 2015 – Mini LP||May, 2016 – Single|
|Apink||Oct, 2014 – Japan Single||Nov, 2014 – Mini LP||April, 2015 – Single||July, 2015 – Studio LP|
|Block B||May, 2015 – Japan Single||Feb, 2016 – Japan Single||April, 2016 – Mini LP||June, 2016 – Japan Single|
|Sistar||Aug, 2014 – Mini LP||June, 2015 – Mini LP||June, 2016 – Mini LP||Aug, 2016 – Japan Studio LP|
|B1A4||July, 2014 – Mini LP||Aug, 2015 – Mini LP||Dec, 2015 – Single||March, 2016 – Japan Mini LP|
As you can see on the charted info, every group slowed down their comebacks around the same time after debut, some sooner, but the average appears to now be a once a year comeback. Even more baffling are those that don’t consider the Japanese comebacks but only consider the Korean comebacks. B1A4 not only does Japanese versions of previous releases but include a few new songs just for Japan on their albums as well.
This comeback chart did not take into consideration sub-units, solo releases, individual OST releases, etc. These are only GROUP comebacks both in Korea and Japan. If you research into the group activities further, you’ll see that individual activities (musicals, dramas, solo debut, variety show stints, etc.) are quite extensive for some groups, including B1A4. So while a comeback may not be happening, the boys were out and working hard and keeping the B1A4 name active and in many articles: Shows King of Masked Singer and Duet Song Festival for Sandeul; Musicals Three Musketeers and Chess for CNU; Musicals Three Musketeers, Cinderella, and All Shook Up for Sandeul; Drama Lost Time Life for Sandeul and Baro; Dramas Reply 1994, God’s Gift: 14 Days, Angry Mom and God of Noodles for Baro; Dramas Warm and Cozy, Perseverance Goo Hae Ra, Love Detective K, and Love by Moonlight for Jinyoung; Drama Delicious Love for Gongchan; A Song For You and other misc variety shows for ALL the boys including a Host stint for a full season for Gongchan. This doesn’t even list all their activities, or include the various NicoNico shows, Vapp shows, HeyoTV events, Eyedolls, or other quick series the boys recorded. Now, I don’t know about you, but I get tired just trying to remember all the activies they’ve done!!
Lastly, I also researched one more thing because I’ve noticed an odd happenstance on my MP3 player…. an overabundance of B1A4 songs in comparison to other groups. So I decided to count how many original songs each group released. These do not include Japanese remakes, remixes, or intro songs less than 2 minutes. These are only full, original songs released on a single, mini LP, or studio album. The numbers, frankly, are surprising!
|Group||Total # of Orig Songs|
Three of these groups debuted BEFORE B1A4, so how can there be such a difference in song counts? Because the boys have released only one single, every other release was a mini LP or a studio album! While you might wait for a comeback, what you get is usually more than what the other groups will offer when they comeback three times in a year with 2 singles and just a mini LP.
I’m sorry, this was a long read, but I really wanted to point out why I will patiently wait for B1A4’s comeback without complaint and know what we will get in return will not only be worth the wait, but will encourage me to wait for the next comeback even longer.