Fan Commentary: Nostalgia and Fly to the Sky

Fan Commentary: Nostalgia and Fly to the Sky
Fly to the Sky
Fly to the Sky

Crystal S. Anderson, PhD

Associate Professor of English, Longwood University

As their 2014 comeback shows, Fly to the Sky (FTTS) remains a potent force in K-pop, even after a five-year hiatus. However, even before the rumors of a comeback, the group was ever-present in the minds of fans, who recalled Fly to the Sky’s emotional impact and place in K-pop history.

A review of 361 YouTube comments posted between 2006 and 2011 on videos uploaded to YouTube show a lingering sense of nostalgia for the group.  These comments appeared on uploaded videos for “Day By Day” (music video), “Sea of Love” (performance and music video), “Condition of the Heart” (music video, performance and audio), “Missing You” (music video, performance and audio) and “Habit” (performance).

Some still associate even veteran K-pop groups with American boy bands from the 1990s.  Most frequently, viewers compare Fly to the Sky to the Backstreet Boys (BSB). bgurl1210 explains:

vujonny89 stated that FTTS are the Korean version of BSB. And ForeverJunjin wondered y she or he chose BSB rather than NSYNC. I was explaining that being compared to BSB is a compliment. NSYNC was never really praised for the outstanding vocal abilities. They were more known for their dance songs than their vocal abilities. IMO, JC was the strongest singer of the group. BSB is considered by many as a true vocal/a capella group and have been praised for them. That’s what I mean.

However, other commentators reflect a more emotional attachment to the group that they associate with the past. Sometimes, such nostalgia relates to how long one has been a fan and the length of FTTS’s career.  hyegyo1 writes: “THE song [Missing You] that made me a FTTS fan and brought me into K-pop way back then… Am forever in love with this song and this duo.” Similarly, Amy L writes: “Miss them. I’m just looking forward to Hwany finishing his military service and FTTS releasing their new album. I’ve been a huge fan of them for more than 7 years, and I will always be their big supporter. Love you guys.” These are sentiments of long-time fans of the group, who follow their activities even during periods of inactivity. Other comments relate the group’s emotional impact in terms of personal memories related to FTTS’s music. Jenny Leem relates: “Wah. I finally found it [MIssing You]. My parents used to play this song when we went on road trips and I didn’t know its name or who it was by I just really loved the song… But I found it! I’m so happy ^^”

In addition to nostalgia, fans also recognize FTTS as a pioneer in K-pop and an influence on newer K-pop groups. Beating the odds that befall many K-pop idol groups, such as the so-called “five-year curse,” where male groups would disband or be dissolved by agencies in the light of mandatory military service, FTTS’s decade-long career is also reflected in its impact on other K-pop groups.

Their songs have been covered by a variety of K-pop groups and singers. These covers not only show the group’s lasting impact, but also the way they bring new fans to FTTS. Perhaps owing to the time FTTS spend on the label, SM Entertainment artists tend to cover their songs frequently. Yesung of Super Junior and Jonghyun of SHINee covered Fly to the Sky songs at the SM Town concert in Los Angeles in 2010. MissAshleyCakes notes how the cover of FTTS’s “Sea of Love” changed her perception of the group: “If Yesung and Jonghyun wouldn’t have sang this song at the SM TOWN concert in LA I would have NEVER found this song! I was never a big fan of Fly To the Sky. I only knew 1 song by them.. But now that I’ve heard this song by them, I love them! They are an amazing band! BRIAN<3.”  D.O of EXO and Ryeowook of Super Junior, covered Fly to the Sky’s “Missing You” during the SM Town show in Seoul in 2014, as well as on the Sukira radio show in 2013. haz reen writes: “I was looking for the original version of this song . And here I am. Big thanks to D.O and Ryeong who brought me here. I love both version ok.” Other artists cover Fly to the Sky songs as well. K-pop male group ZE:A, with the Star Empire Entertainment agency, performed Fly to the Sky’s “Missing You” live on MBC in 2014.  “Missing You” was chosen for performance as part of The Voice of Korea television show.

With frequent criticisms that K-pop is a fad or a passing trend, such comments during Fly to the Sky’s inactive period shows how fans feel a sense of nostalgia for K-pop groups. FTTS emerges as a foundation Korean R&B group, one that fans refer to with nostalgia and as elders to more contemporary idol groups.

Image: “Fly to the Sky (Soompi),” Hallyu Harmony, accessed April 20, 2015,


bgurl1210, comment on theaptidah, “Fly to the Sky – Sea of Love,” YouTube, June 20, 2006,

hyegyo1, comment on uws, “Fly to the Sky – Missing You (Live),” YouTube, May 26, 2006,

Amy L, comment on doolielove, “Fly To The Sky- Day by Day,” YouTube, January 6, 2009,

Jenny Leem, comment on uws, “Fly to the Sky – Missing You (Live),” YouTube, May 26, 2006,

MissAshleyCakes, comment on theaptidah, “Fly to the Sky – Sea of Love,” YouTube, June 20, 2006,

haz reen, comment on Kuiskaava, “[DL] Fly To The Sky – Missing You,” YouTube, January 13, 2011,


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  • Melon Music Award, R&B/Ballad

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   Best Album 2011 – Greatest Hits (October 2011) (Polaris Entertainment)CD 1

  1. 보고싶다 (3집 타이틀, SBS 드라마 ‘천국의계단’ 주제곡)
  2. 속 ( 1집 타이틀, M/V 김석훈, 명세빈)
  3. 하루 ( 2집 타이틀, M/V 송혜교, 송승헌, 지진희 )
  4. 가슴에 지는 태양 ( 4집 타이틀 )
  5. 바보같은 내게 ( 3집 수록곡 )
  6. 후회가 싫다 ( 4집 수록곡 )
  7. 눈물과 바꾼 사랑 ( 2집 수록곡, KBS 드라마 ‘해신’ 삽입곡 )
  8. 위로 ( 5집 타이틀 )
  9. 슬픔 한가운데 ( 4집 수록곡 )
  10. 그런 이유라는걸 ( MBC 나는 가수다 가창곡 )
  11. 사랑만으론 ( 4집 수록곡, ‘故 앙드레김’ 패션쇼 휘날레곡 )
  12. Be Mine ( 4집 수록곡)
  13. 아름다운 채로 ( 4집 수록곡 )
  14. 나없이 행복할 널 위해 ( 3집 수록곡 )
  1. 니가 날 떠나 ( 3.5집 타이틀, KBS 드라마 ‘해신’ 주제곡 )
  2. 일생동안 ( 2.5집 타이틀 )
  3. 나 가거든 ( 3.5집 KBS드라마 ‘명성황후’ 주제곡 )
  4. 비가 ( MBC 드라마 ‘다모’ 주제곡 )
  5. 비처럼 음악처럼 ( With 故 김현식 )
  6. 한동안 뜸했었지 ( With 사랑과평화
  7. 그대 내게 다시 ( 변진섭 곡 리메이크 )
  8. 사랑일뿐야 ( 김민우 곡 리메이크 )
  9. 잊혀진 계절 ( 이용 곡 리메이크 )
  10. 수요일에는 빨간 장미를 ( 다섯손가락 곡 리메이크 )
  11. 사랑이 저만치 가네 ( 김종찬 곡 리메이크 )
  12. 그대와 영원히 ( 이문세 리메이크 )
  13. ello Goodbye Hello (2집 타이틀 ‘하루’ 영어버전, 빌보드 세일즈챠트 51위 진입곡)
   Solista Part 2 – Vol. 7 (June 2011) (Loen Entertainment)

  1. 이 비가 그치길 바래
  2. 끝사랑
  3. 달라 (with 태연)
  4. My baby (feat. 휘성)
  5. 기억을 걷다
  6. 지나간다 (Piano version)
  7. 끝사랑 Instrumental
   Secret Garden Original Soundtrack     9.  나타나
  Different featuring Taeyeon – Digital Single (January 2011) (Polaris Entertainment)

  1. 달라
  Twentyth Urban – with Lee Kyung Sub (November 2010)

  1. 나 가거든
  2. 나 가거든 (Instrumental)


   Solista Part 1 – Vol. 7 (September 2010) (Loen Entertainment)

  1.  언젠가는(with 이승철)
  2. 지나간다 – 타이틀곡
  3. 피우든 마시든
  4. 괜찮다..
  5. 그대가 들려요
  6. 지.못.미
  7. 지나간다 (Instrumental)
   Giant Original Soundtrack (June 2010)

  1. 러빙 유 (자이언트 Version)
  2. 러빙 유 (자이언트 Instrumental version)
   Slow Man Digital Single (September 2009) (Polaris Entertainment)

  1. Slow Man (featuring 찬양)
  2.  슬픔 활용법 (Planet Shiver Mix Version)
  Color of City (Blue) (July 2009) (MS Entertainment)

  1. 이별의 맛
  2. 이별의 맛 (Instrumental)
  Regrets to Forget Original Soundtrack (May 2009)
  More Than Blue/Sadder than Sad Story Original Soundtrack (2009) 2. 슬픈보다 더 슬퍼 이야기
  Practical Usage of Sadness – Vol. 6 (August 2008) (Mnet Media)

  1. Intro
  2. 슬픈 활용법
  3. Smile Again
  4. 줄다리기
  5. 사랑아
  6. Interlude
  7. 굳은 살
  8. Do You Know That?
  9. 쉬운 이별
  10. 마지막까지
  11. Without Your Love
  12. 님아
  13. 은혜로
  14. 슬픈 활용법(MR)
   So Long – Vol. 5 (April 2006) 

  1. Intro
  2. 위로
  3. Like
  4. 오아시스
  5. Fine (The End)
  6. The one in my life
  7. 약속
  8. 하루 (M/V Version)
  9. 보고싶다 (M/V Version)
  10. 가슴에 지는 태양 (M/V Version)
  11. 후회가 싫다 (Live Version)
  12. 하루 (Live Version)
  13. 보고싶다 (Live Version)
  Emperor of the Sea Original Soundtrack (April 2005)2. 니가 날 떠나
   Live Concert Album (April 2005)

  1. Opening
  2.  바보같은 내게
  3. 나의 너에게
  4. 후회가 싫다
  5. 약속
  6. 하루
  7. 무제 feat. Park Hyo Shin
  8. 한동안 뜸했었지 feat. 사랑과평화
  9. 정상을 향한 독주 feat. Joosuc
  10. 보고싶다
  11. 여행을 떠나요 + 밤이면 밤마다
   …Again (January 2005) (EMI Music Korea)

  1. Intro
  2. Memory
  3. 어떤 그리움
  4. 가려진 시간 사이로
  5. 오래된 사진처럼
  6. 눈이 와요
  7. 1994년 어느 늦은 밤
  8. 내가 너의 곁에 잠시 살았다는 걸
  9. 내 곁에서 떠나가지 말아요
  10. I Believe
  11. 처음 느낌 그대로
  12. 시청 앞 지하철역에서
  The 4th Episode – Vol. 4 (April 2004)

  1. 후회가 싫다
  2. 사랑만으론
  3. 영원에 관하여
  4. 왜 또
  5. 무제 (Duet 박효신)
  6. 가슴에 지는 태양
  7. 슬픔 한가운데
  8. Happiness
  9. 아름다운 채로
  10. 거짓말
  11. Be Mine
  12. 나의 너에게
  13. 한동안 뜸했었지 (Remake)
  14. To Me
  Friends – Vol. 3.5 (July 2003) (Plyzen)

  1. 니가 날 떠나
  2. Lately
  3. 안녕
  4. 영원 (Without You)
  5. 일생동안
  6. 나 가거든
  7. 사랑은 없어
  8. 눈 내리는 겨울밤
  9. 잊혀진 계절
  10. 널 기다리는 동안
  11. Amazing Love
  12.  바람처럼 음악처럼
  13. 주 하나님 지으신 모든 세계
   Missing You – Vol. 3 (December 18, 2002) (Universal Music South Korea)

  1. 보고싶다
  2. 바보같은 내게
  3. 이젠
  4. 사랑해요
  5. 지겨워
  6. My Delight
  7. 이별 뒤에서
  8. 혼자
  9. 날떠나가
  10. The One
  11. 잘못된 이별
  12. 나없이 행복할 널 위해
  13. 일기
  14. 눈속의 너
  15. Hello Good-bye Hello
   New Song and Special -Vol 2.5 (September 2001)

  1. Back At One
  2. 그대 내게 다시
  3. 그런 이유라는걸
  4. 너의 시작으로
  5. 비가와
  6. 비처럼 음악처럼
  7. 잊지마
   Remember – Vol. 2 (November 2000) (Media Synnara)

  1. Once Upon A Day
  2. 하루 (M/V Version)
  3. 그런 이유라는
  4. 그대 내게
  5. 눈물과 바꾼 사랑
  6. 별이 진다네
  7. 잊지마
  8. 사랑이 저만치 가네
  9. 아마도
  10. Rainy Day
  11. 수요일에는 빨간 장미를
  12. 그대와 영원히
  13. 하루만 더
  14. 비처럼 음악처럼
  15. 하루 (Original Version)
  16. 사랑일뿐야 (Bonus Track)
  17. 약속 (Bonus Track)
   A Promise – Vol. 1 (April 1999)

  1. 약속
  2. 사랑이 떠나가네
  3. 사랑일뿐야
  4. 너의 시작으로
  5. 11월(月) 3일(日)…
  6. 비가 와
  7. 더 늦기전에
  8. 이젠 떠나가세요
  9. This Masquerade
  10. 첫사랑

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