This year marks the 9th anniversary of the release Dark & Wild, the first studio album by K-pop supergroup BTS. Since then, the group have released a total of 9 albums, in both Korean and Japanese languages. Through these albums, BTS showcased their growth, musical prowess, and enduring global appeal, consistently breaking sales records and captivating audiences across the world.
BTS members are now international icons, and have helped spread the Hallyu Wave to a new generation. In honor of that, we decided to look back at all of BTS’ studio albums over the years, along with their highest recorded sales.
Dark & Wild (2014)
- Main singles: Danger, War of Hormones
- Sales: 100,906 copies in South Korea
This studio album was a departure from BTS’ previous extended play albums 2 Cool 4 Skool, O!RUL8,2? and Skool Luv Affair. It showed that the boys were able to perform a more mature and experimental sound. The album explored themes of darkness, temptation, and self-destruction.
Wake Up (2014)
- Main singles: No More Dream, Boy in Luv
- Sales: 28,000 copies in Japan
This was BTS’ first Japanese-language studio album. It was a critical and commercial success for the group in Japan, and helped to solidify BTS’ popularity outside of Korea. They would continue to produce music exclusively for the Japanese market in the coming years.
- Main singles: For U, I Need U (Japanese version), Run
- Sales: Certified Gold (100,000 copies) in Japan
This album was a concept album about youth and the challenges that come with growing up. The album’s singles were both commercial successes and helped to strengthen BTS’ popularity in Japan.
- Main singles: Blood Sweat & Tears, Spring Day, Not Today
- Sales: 1.8 million copies worldwide
The album consisted of 15 songs and was released in four versions. Thematically, the album was about temptation and growth. Just four months after its release, it was re-issued as You Never Walk Alone, with three new songs added. It was their most successful album to date and it helped to solidify their status as one of the biggest K-pop groups in the world.
Face Yourself (2017)
- Main singles: Don’t Leave Me, Let Go, Crystal Snow
- Sales: Certified Double Platinum (over 500,000 copies) in Japan
This was BTS’ second Japanese-language studio album. It contained Japanese versions of songs from their previous albums, as well as three new Japanese songs. It was a commercial success and broke several sales records previously held by girl group KARA.
Love Yourself: Tear (2018)
- Main singles: Fake Love
- Sales: 2 million copies in South Korea alone, and 4 million copies worldwide
This album was a concept album about loss and the sorrow of separation, and at the time it was their most successful album in the US. It was also the first K-pop album to top the Billboard 200 chart. The album was also notable for the song Anpanman, which was about the iconic Japanese cartoon character.
Map of the Soul: 7 (2020)
- Main singles: ON, Black Swan
- Sales: 5 million copies in South Korea alone, and 7.13 million copies worldwide
This album was a continuation of BTS’ Map of the Soul: Persona EP, and featured themes of reflection, introspection, and self-acceptance. It also included collaborations with artists such as Halsey, Ed Sheeran and Troye Sivan. The album was a huge hit, topping charts all over the globe and becoming the world’s best-selling album of 2020.
Map of the Soul – The Journey (2020)
- Main singles: Stay Gold, Your Eyes Tell
- Sales: 564,000 copies in Japan
This was BTS’ third Japanese-language studio album. Like previous Japanese albums, it contained Japanese versions of their songs from earlier albums. Two original Japanese songs were released as singles. The album reflected upon their career up to that point, covering all the joys and challenges that they faced.
- Main singles: Life Goes On, Dynamite
- Sales: 2.692 million copies in South Korea alone, and 11.28 million copies worldwide
This album was released during the COVID-19 pandemic, and was meant to convey a message of hope and resilience. The album’s singles were worldwide commercial successes. The album cemented BTS’ status as one of the most successful K-pop music acts of all time.
BTS is without a doubt one of the most popular K-pop groups in the world, and their albums have consistently been commercial successes. Currently, the group is on hiatus while the boys complete their mandatory military service. We look forward to the day when BTS will return to the world stage!