I love music, always have. A good soundtrack can enhance a show’s appeal and when thoughtfully used, adds an extra layer to many of the scenes. Just as a bad one can throughly spoil the whole experience. We all know a drama or two with the bgm so grating that we’d like to strangle whoever made the musical choices. It may be just me, but the kdrama soundtracks of recent years have been kinda meh, filled with generic, syrupy ballads that fade from memory as soons as the drama has ended. Pretty much like the dramas themselves. Which is why most of my faves are from dramas from several years ago. Those OSTs were often themed to go with certain scenes or characters, which I personally love. The music pieces also seemed to be more varied in genre and sound.
I’ve been thinking about doing a post about some of my favorite drama soundtracks for a while now, but there never seemed to be a good time for it. So, I’ve been collecting the material to be used “some day”. Guess that day is now. 🙂 The “samples” are arranged in loose categories, just to keep them in some sort of order.
1. PERENNIAL FAVORITES (full OST albums)
These are albums I’ve listened to countless of times, never getting tired of them. The songs/intrumentals can almost instatly evoke memories of certain scenes of the drama in question and even transport me back in time.
Let’s begin with the one that started it all. The Legend / 태왕사신기 aka The Story of the First King’s Four Gods was the first kdrama I ever watched and as such will always have a special place in my heart. The drama is flawed in many ways but the OST, score by the legendary Joe Hisaishi, is pure gold.
Dam Deok’s theme (the main theme) instrumental
허락/Approval by Jun Suh
Thousand Year Love Song by DBSK
Conspiracy in the Court / 한성별곡 aka Soul’s Sad Song is one of my all time favourite dramas and I love the very evocative OST as well.
평행선 / Parallel Lines by JK Kim Dong Uk, Feat. J.Y.Park
The Devil / 마왕 was my favourite kdrama for years and it’s still in the top five.
사랑하지 말아요 / Don’t Love Me (Love Theme) by JK Kim Dong Uk
마왕 / The Devil instrumental
빛의 향기 / The Scent of Light by Park Hak Ki
Chuno / 추노 aka Slave Hunters, another ‘epic’ sageuk with a great OST
바꿔 / Change by Gloomy 30’s
낙인/Stigma by Lim Jae Bum
민초의 난 by MC Sniper
Black & White / 痞子英雄, one of the fiew tw dramas I was totally obsessed with while it aired and which I still love a lot. Any of the songs in the OST is likely to bring back fond memories of group-watching and spazzing @ LJ with other enthusiasts. XD The drama also introduced me to the bands COLOR and Picks.
無賴正義 / Rogue Justice by COLOR feat. Mark Chao
關於我們 / About Us by Picks ♥♥♥ (one of my faves from the album)
Perfect Stranger (ending theme) by Jason Zou & Picks [sketchy Engrish and all, still love it though :)]
Kingdom of the Wind / 바람의 나라 Started out strong but as so often with longer kdramas, lost steam after a while. OST is great though.
가야만 하는 길 / The Road I Must Take instrumental
무휼의 노래 (Muhyul’s theme) instrumental
살아서도.. 죽어서도.. / Alive, But Even in Death by Wheesung
2. THE ALSO RUNS
Pretty good albums on the whole but with only some songs that have been played ad nauseam. *g*
Shut Up Flower Boy Band / 닥치고 꽃미남 밴드 Total earworms, these.^^
Not in love by Lee Min Ki
Wake Up by Sung Joon
Jaywalking by Sung Joon
The Pursuit of Happiness / 愛的生存之道 One of my favourite romantic dramas with a great OST
在你身邊 / Your Side by Weibird Wei
命中要愛 / Life Needs Love by Hawawa Yang
閃電 / Lightning by Frandé
死心眼 / Stubborn by Aggie Hsieh
Hero / 히어로 (2009 MBC) is one of those kdramas no-one else seem to have watched but it’s one of my fave LJK dramas.
마지막 히어로 / The Last Hero by Bae Ki Sung
한사람 / One Person by 제이디 (JD)
Over the Rainbow / 오버 더 레인보우
또 다른 나 by Chae Dong Ha
널 원해 by Gangster
One Eyed Fish by Ji Hyun Woo
Sungkyunkwan Scandal / 성균관 스캔들
찾았다 / Found You by JYJ
Too Love by JUNSU
3. INDIVIDUAL TARCKS FROM VARIOUS DRAMAS
Oldies but Goldies
From The Beginning Till Now by Ryu
그대 내게 오는 날 / The Day You Come to Me by Kang Chul
느낌 / Feelings
그대와 함께 / With You by The Blue
연인 /Lovers by Jo Jang Hyuk
고해 / Confession by Hwang Chi Yeol
Que Sera, Sera
월광 / Moonlight by W & Whale
Invincible Parachute Agent aka Korea Secret Agency
I Wish by Ha Dong Qn
Seen a fiew years but still good
사랑이란 놈 / Love Is Weird by Kan Jong Wook
The Princess’ Man
Destino (Fate) instrumental
I Don’t Know by M Signal
Arang and The Magistrate
하루만 / One Day by Lee Jun Ki
Queen In Hyun’s Man
지금 만나러 갑니다 / I’m Going to Meet You by Duk Hwan
Heartless City / 무정도시
상처 / Wound by Kim Yong Jin of Bohemian
Vampire Prosecutor 2
Danger by MC Sniper
사랑따위로 / With Just Love by Seedless Watermelon
긴 밤이 지나면 / After a Long Night by Ggotjam Project
Fiew cdrama and jdrama opening/ending songs
Wu Xin the Monster Killer / 无心法师
Lake Baikal by Li Jian (opening theme song)
最长的旅途 / The Longest Journey by Li Qi (ending theme song)
Wind Chime / 示铃录
天上掉下来的爱 / The Love that Fell From Heaven by Meng Asai (ending theme song)
Dr Qin Medical Examiner / 法医秦明
不灭 / Eternal by Zhang Ruo Yun (ending theme song)
Candle in the Tomb / 鬼吹灯之精绝古城
顺流而下 by Zhang Jing Ying (ending theme song)
My Boss My Hero Silly drama, great song ;D
Sorafune by TOKIO
Futatsu no Kuchibiru / Two Lips by EXILE
Forever by Sorimachi Takashi
A virtual cookie to anyone who actually got to the end. XD
I prefer instrumental tracks from dramas. I can listen to Chuno instrumentals all day. I also like the music in Secret Love Affair and Money Flower
I recently completed my rewatch of I’m Sorry I Love You and learned how to play the main theme on the piano.
I tend to prefer instrumentals too these days but there are always some OST songs that I end up loving. Not so many these days though and very few Korean ones. I also like to sing along. 🙂
I’m always on the lookout for memorable OSTs for my daily commute to and from work. Like you and many others, most of the ones on my playlists are from my favourite dramas.
But I do have some where the OST stood out regardless of my liking for the show. Lena Park’s Only With My Heart (Heirs) has stuck around. One OST from IRIS is on my permanent fav list though I never watched the show. Not too familiar with your list except for the Heartstrings one but might check them out especially the Mandarin ones. I’m adding to my collection of cdrama OSTs. Thanks for sharing!
Oddly enough sageuks before 2010 tended to have great OSTs, that’s why I have several on the list. I’ve yet to get tired of any of those.
Cdramas do have some very good tracks. They are often less generic and usually fit the drama in question perfectly. At the moment I’m rather in love with the ‘Candle in the Tomb’ ending song, it’s wonderfully hauting. 🙂
Of your list, I liked the songs from Chuno, Heartless City and Que Sera Sera. As for Over The Rainbow, I prefer the song by Hwanhee, but then I like Fly to the Sky, heh.
Those are all great songs. I also like the instrumentals from Chuno a lot. Hwanhee’s ‘Forever’ is a bit too syrupy for my taste, though I do like Fly to the Sky, got couple of their albums as well. 🙂
My taste in music is generally a bit all over the place, ha.
I don’t remember a Forever song, only Tomorrow. I preferred this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0SFUG-EWtg&index=3&list=PLB2A70106FA4ECBE0
FTTS were best during their third to sixth albums. The rest… a bit meh.
I ment Tomorrow… where did I get Forever? o_0 Ah, I totally forgot about 그리운 건 어쩔 수 없어! I actually like it best of all the Hwanhee songs in the OST.
I think you said you dropped it, but I can’t stop listening to the Goblin OST songs. Holy wow those give me feels! I also really liked that cute little song from My Boyfriend is a Gumiho. First one I downloaded, I think. Oh! And that one song from It’s Okay That’s Love–Cross my Mind by Twin Forks. Anyway, love this list!! Some OST’s are so great, and they just stick with you forever.
Honorable worst OST ever mention: PAAARRADDDIIIIISSSSEEE
Funny thing, I can’t remember the Goblin OST at all! Not one soneg. Like I mentioned, most of the new ones just don’t stick, Goblin is no exception. And yes, I did drop it.
Gah, that song! I’m glad it’s almost totally faded from memory now. XD Over the years there have been fiew others, which I’ve thankfully also forgotten, ha.
Wow! Drama OSTs (good or bad) have that magical power where I’m automatically taken back to the time when I watched a show and all the feels related to them just come back instantly. I have a long playlist of my favorite K-drama OSTs…I can only recognise a few from your list..heh…only because I haven’t seen many from this list.
I so agree with you that the first drama has a very special place and hence the music of Delightful Girl Choon Hyang remains one of my favs…usually I like 2-3 songs from an album rather than all the songs..My name Is Kim Sam Soon, comes to mind when I think of dramas where I liked a lot of songs
I’ve been watching dramas a number of years now, so… 😄 Pretty much all the OSTs I love from start to finish are listed here. I haven’t come across many full compilations worth a mention in recent years though.