April 8th marks the 12th anniversary of the most iconic (in my opinion) K-pop sub-unit ever! Yes, I know we also have Super Junior-K.R.Y., which is iconic as well and also made history as the first sub-unit ever in K-pop, but my heart will ever be faithful to SJ-M when the talk turns to epic sub-units in K-pop!
Before sub-units were really a thing, Super Junior-M became immensely successful on their own as well. They literally took China by storm when a few of the Super Junior members combined with Henry Lau and Zhou Mi to form the Mandarin-language group Super Junior-M! They made their debut on April 8th, 2008, and quickly became one of the biggest groups in China.
Due to their immense success, they were invited on all the major Chinese TV shows and some of the members (even the non-Chinese ones!) had their own postage stamps in China. As such, the Korean members on the stamps made history by becoming the first Koreans to ever appear on Chinese stamps.
While it doesn’t look like a comeback will be happening any time soon, let’s celebrate this amazing group by taking a look back at some of their most iconic songs and videos!
Released in 2008, this was the title track off Super Junior-M’s first studio album of the same name. These faces are young and beautiful, but just like the men themselves, the song has aged really well also! It’s light, cheerful, and guaranteed to make you happy by watching and listening.
2) “In My Arms”
With a beat more at home in R&B, this song starts off in one direction before transitioning into a beautiful chorus where Super Junior-M’s vocals really shine. Despite the beautiful chorus, the song is actually about being heartbroken and wishing your former love was back in your arms once more. For the full lyrics, click here.
3) “Break Down”
Iconic. I’ll say it again, iconic! “Break Down” was not just a hit in China, it was also made into Korean and performed by Super Junior-M on Korean music shows. That’s right, a Korean boy band made a Chinese sub-unit who then released a song in Chinese before releasing it in Korean and promoting it on shows there. The days of Henry Lau and Zhou Mi looking fresh and fierce with Super Junior on Korean TV? Those were the days, my friend!
4) “Super Girl”
“Super Girl” will always hold a special place in my heart (due in no small part to my bias Donghae looking adorable with his fluffy, longer hair). Apart from the visuals, however, this song is still catchy 11 years later! Listen to it below, then tell me you don’t agree. In addition, I literally cannot keep from breaking out into this choreo when I hear this song (yes, I’m sitting at my computer dancing right now. Don’t judge me, please!).
5) “A-Oh!” + “Go”
Despite being the Korean versions of this song, I’ve included this specific version of “A-Oh!” and “Go” together because it was performed at Super Junior’s “Super Show 5” concert. In other words, it’s where all fans want to see Henry and Zhou Mi again: onstage at a Super Show concert! Look at all the members together being so happy. They deserve the chance to be onstage together again!
I love the sort of edgy vibe that Super Junior-M could pull off so easily in their Chinese promotions. This song was written by the same minds of TVXQ‘s iconic hit “Mirotic,” BoA‘s “Eat You Up,” and f(x)‘s “Nu-ABO.” The track was also released in Korean and Japanese and ended up becoming one of the best-selling albums in Taiwan that year. How’s that for international success of a sub-unit?
7) “True Love”
This song is super popular with fans, and is often performed by all of Super Junior at their concerts today! A fun track with a happy beat, this one will make you smile.
Perhaps one of the most popular Super Junior-M songs with modern fans, this song had fantastic choreography and a great sound that everyone loved. In addition, it’s another song with great lyrics by the talented Zhou Mi (who has written and composed countless Super Junior-M songs and more).
9) “Fly High”
There’s three things that Super Junior-M executes perfectly: emotional ballads, edgy rock-inspired songs, and happy tracks that make you sing and dance along! “Fly High” definitely falls into the last category with its upbeat tempo and inspirational lyrics. This is an anthem for the youth!
10) “S.O.L.O” + “That’s Love”
Released as the theme song for the hit Taiwanese drama “Skip Beat,” this song also featured lyrics by Zhou Mi. Meanwhile, the ending theme for the show, entitled “That’s Love,” was written by Donghae and sung by him and fellow member Henry. Click here to listen to “That’s Love” before checking out “S.O.L.O” below!
11) “Goodbye My Love”
Remember how I said one of Super Junior-M’s strengths was in their beautiful ballads? This song is definitely proof of that fact! A stunning song with the most romantic lyrics of a bittersweet love, the track talks about loving someone so much that even when they break up with you, you want to be strong and hide your tears in order to make the parting easier for them. Super Junior-M really is such a vocally strong group, and songs like this are so beautiful they can make you cry.
12) “Blue Tomorrow”
As my absolute favorite Super Junior-M song, this is the song I had to save last. “Blue Tomorrow” is really one of the most beautiful songs ever released in my opinion. With vocals from Ryeowook, Kyuhyun, Hangeng, Zhou Mi, and more, you just can’t go wrong. SJ-M was just a group born to sing emotional ballads in my opinion, and this song is one of the best! Released back in November of 2009, it remains just as emotional and beautiful as it did back on its release.
BONUS: “Distant Embrace” (Zhou Mi Solo)
Back when Super Junior-M first debuted, they sent their profiles to the famous Malaysian singer-songwriter Michael Wong and asked him if he would write them a song. Unable to do so at the time, he later volunteered to write them a pop song. However, they really wanted him to write a love song, and out of this desire, “Distant Embrace” was born. The lyrics are by Crystal Cheung, a famous singer and actress in Hong Kong. Ultimately, the song was released on a Super Junior-M album as a solo by Zhou Mi. He did it sublimely, so it’s also worth a listen!
Happy 12th anniversary to Super Junior-M! We hope to see them together again onstage in the future!
Which of these songs is your favorite? What other SJM songs would you include? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting to us @whatthekpop1!
lee1086 is the director of What The Kpop and a hardcore ELF! She absolutely adores Super Junior-M, as well as all the SJ sub-units and soloists. When not listening to Super Junior, she also listens to EXO and SHINee. Happy 12th anniversary from lee1086 to SJM! No matter where you all are right now, your music still touches us all and provides us with wonderful memories!
Featured Image: SMTOWN