Unboxing: TVXQ Hug debut album (technically it’s a single, not a full album). “Hug” is the first song ever recorded and performed by DBSK/TVXQ. They officially debuted with this song on December 26, 2003 during BoA and Britney Spears showcase. The “Hug” album followed soon after, its release date being January 14, 2004.
Incredibly, I bought this 東方神起 Hug CD brand new, unopened more than ten years after its release! It’s been lying in some warehouse for more than a decade. Amazing. Imagine how young and un-famous they were at that time and look at them today.
I almost felt bad opening it, because it felt like an artifact of some sort. Especially when I thought about it being published when DBSK and JYJ were still together and being only babyshinki. TVXQ Hug album cover is a black and white with all five TVXQ members. The white Chinese characters with yellow outer glow spell out 東方神起, TVXQ’s name written with Hanja. On the spine of the jewel case you can see white SM letters on pink strip and 東方神起 [Hug]. Notice that the CD is thinner than standard sized CD case.This TVXQ Hug unboxing is of Korean version of the single which was the first one to get published. Other versions like International one were slowly published over the years.
Contents: the CD (maxi single, with six tracks), an insert photobook, an obi strip, and the usual SM entertainment commercials. There are three other versions released: one in English language that they released as Tohoshinki (CD + DVD) in 2004, one in Mandarin in 2007, and one in Japanese in 2006 but as a part of their Japanese debut album Hear, Mind and Soul.
The photo book that comes with the Korean version, the version I have, has solo pictures of each member from Hug photo shoot, Korean lyrics for the Korean songs, English lyrics for the English song (duh), a photo of all five DBSK members together and credits at the end. Back then members were credited as HERO, MAX, Xiah, U-Know and Micky in English and 영웅재중, 최강창민, 시아준수, 유노윤호 and 믹키유천 in Hangul. The photo book also has their names written in Chinese characters but I don’t know how to type those, sorry ^^
Track listing for Hug Korean version:
|“HUG”||Yoon-Jeong, Park Chang-Hyeon||Park Chang-Hyeon||3:48|
|“My Little Princess”||Bae Hwa-Yeong||Hwang Seong-Jae||3:51|
|“Oh Holy Night” (feat. BoA)||Traditional||Traditional||3:11|
|“My Little Princess” (acappella)||Bae Hwa-Yeong||Hwang Seong-Jae||2:23|
|“HUG” (instrumental)||Park Chang-Hyeon||3:50|
The contents of the CD are a bit peculiar. I guess due to copyright protection you can use autoplay to play the CD on Windows, but if you open the CD to view the contents the songs are not there. There are lyrics in .lyr file type, which I honestly have no idea how to open. There was also a music player to install but I couldn’t install it. Probably Windows 8 is a bit too advanced for it 10 years later. But all that didn’t matter because CD played easily with Windows Media Player which comes free with every Windows, and I assume it will be like that on all other operating systems.
- [you are currently viewing this one] “Hug” (Korean: 포옹) CD maxi single
- HUG Japanese commemorative single (CD + DVD with international TVXQ “Hug” English version, CD has no other songs, however DVD does have other promo clips); released November 25, 2004; JAN/ISBN 4988064451593 (you can order Japanese versions of Tohoshinki’s albums on cdjapan or HMV Japan)
- English version; March 24, 2005 “Hug (International Ver.)”
- Japanese language version of the song was featured in their Japanese debut album “Heart, Mind and Seoul”; released March 22, 2006
- Mandarin language version; released May, 2007
The DBSK’s Hug Korean version was a hit in Korea, but not right away. It sold less than 5,000 copies in the first month. Only after they started winning awards with it did the sales pick up. By the end of the year it was 4th best selling record in South Korea with more than 160,000 copies sold. However, Japanese international version of Hug didn’t share such success and sold a bit more than 4,000 copies, with peak position of measly 77 on Oricon Singles Chart.
In conclusion, HUG packaging is simple, which was to be expected from their debut album, but still you get a small photo book with good quality black and white photos, and DBSK’s singing ability was so amazing even at their debut that it renders everything else irrelevant – this CD is worth it for getting to hear them.
And it’s DBSK debut song. How more special can it get?