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Turbo returns after 15 years as trio, tops charts

The once hugely popular 1990s electropop duo Turbo has made its much-awaited return to the spotlight after 15 years -- only this time around, Turbo has returned as a trio.

Kim Jung-nam and Kim Jong-kook, reuniting with past member Kim Jung-nam, have joined the ranks of g.o.d and Seo Taiji as ’90s music icons making a comeback to today’s K-pop scene, with the Turbo members dropping the 19-track comeback album “Again” on Monday.

Members of the ’90s band Turbo pose during a press conference at the Riverside Hotel in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
Members of the ’90s band Turbo pose during a press conference at the Riverside Hotel in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
“We are not looking at this album as our ‘anniversary album.’ Rather, we feel like this is the restart of the temporarily paused Turbo,” said Jong-kook at a press conference in Seoul on Friday.

“All of our songs, including the album’s lead single, tie into our feelings of being ready (for our comeback).”

Hours after its release, the album’s lead single, titled “Again,” topped many major online music charts, including Melon, Naver and Mnet. The energetic dance pop track intertwines a ’90s dance music throwback vibe and features funnyman and TV personality Yoo Jae-suk.

Turbo first debuted in 1995 as a duo with its first studio album “280 km/h Speed,” featuring the act’s breakthrough debut single “My Childhood Dream.” The two original members Jong-kook and Jung-nam took the local dance pop music scene by storm and quickly joined the ranks of the biggest stars in the Korean entertainment industry.

However, the duo’s fame was short-lived, as Jung-nam decided to part ways with Turbo, citing irreconcilable differences with management, after the release of the act’s second album in 1996. Thanks largely to high public demand, however, Jong-kook decided to breathe new life into the duo and recruited Korean-American Mikey to fill in. The act’s third studio album “Born Again” was released in 1997. 

The duo released its fourth and fifth studio albums in 1998 and 2000, before going on hiatus.

Turbo remains one of the few ‘90s acts to rank in the coveted million club, having sold more than a million albums.

By Julie Jackson (