If you are a BTS fan, you are truly blessed. Our boys consistently provide us with new content that keeps us asking for more. Because they have a very extensive discography and have been active for about 7 years now, it can be hard to define a BTS era. Some eras seem to blend into one another. Some eras will span two different calendar years but you can also have two eras in one year. So, we have decided to make it easy and give you a complete breakdown of all the BTS eras.
The next three era are considered part of the school trilogy:
BTS Era: 2 COOL 4 SKOOL (2013)
This is where it all started. BTS made their debut on June 13, 2013, with the song No More Dream. Their first album 2 Cool 4 Skool was only a glimpse of what this amazing group had to offer to the world.
This era is exactly what it sounds like: a group of young boys who think they are too cool for school. It’s all about the tough and rebellious look. The sound goes hard. It’s a mix of rock and hip hop. You get the skateboard rocker look with the snapback and gold chain hip hop look. A little confusing for me but, somehow, they still look cute.
BTS Era: O!RUL8,2? (2013)
This era is BTS shaping itself as more than the average kpop boy group. Every song is a message to their loyal fans. O!RUL8,2? is the second album and it means “Oh! Are you late, too?” They want to emphasize how important it is for us to find our happiness now and not wait before it is too late. N.O is the main track on this album.
BTS Era: Skool Luv Affair (2014)
It’s now 2014, and BTS is still not done with their love for the school concept. Can you blame them? For some of us, being in school was rough but it was also some of the best times of our lives. And, let’s not forget that there is nothing better than a school love story. Side note: I still cannot get over that they refuse to spell school the right way LOL.
The main song for this album is Boy In Luv. They still have the same sound from their debut. Even though this is about school love, Boy In Luv is everything but a ballad. The music is electric and defiant. This feels more like an anthem than a confession but at least the gold chains and hats are gone.
BTS Era: Dark and Wild (2014)
Ok, I lied! The gold chains are back. But their look is far more refined. They have grown up a little bit and are taking some chances. BTS released two videos for this album: Danger and War of Hormones.
I cannot get over their look for the War of Hormones music video. This would be the most sophisticated that they have looked since their debut. RM’s suit and Jimin’s suspenders sent me over a cliff. I know this may sound like I am exaggerating but it was so refreshing.
BTS Era: HYYH (The Most Beautiful Moment In Life) Pt. 1 (2015)
BTS HYYH is a turning point in our boys’ careers. This is the beginning of the Youth Trilogy. HYYH stands for “Hwa Yong Yeon Hwa” which means the most beautiful time in a person’s life. This is a more mature sound. This is the birth of the BTS’s presence and the effect that we have all come to love. In the part 1 album, we get two lead singles I Need You and Dope. One is a desperate call to the one you love while the other one is a banger!
BTS Era: HYYH (The Most Beautiful Moment In Life) Pt. 2 (2016)
In 2016, we continue with the HYYH concept with the release of the part 2 album. The lead singles on this album are Run, Fire, and Save Me. Run has this joyful exuberance of a group of young men clinging to their youth and refusing to enter adulthood.
Fire is another version of the same concept but a more powerful statement. It’s about letting go and letting it all burned down. BTS is reminding us to live our lives as we please and stop trying to compare ourselves to others. You are still young just enjoy life. Oh Yes, and everything is on fire in the video.
Let’s talk about Save Me. Our boys have come into their own with this song. The lines: “I need your love before I fall” and “Don’t want to be lonely, just want to be yours” will probably stay buried in our souls forever. This song is timeless. No matter where you are in life, you can always come back to this one.
BTS Era: Wings (2016)
Now, we only get one lead single for their last album for 2016, but that is perfectly ok. Because honestly, I am not sure they could have ended that year any better. Blood, Sweat, and Tears is a MASTERPIECE. This is by far my favorite video of them because they simply look like royalty. I mean can we say: KINGS!
The sound was so different from what they had done so far. At least, it felt like that to me. And, I am not sure how they did it but somehow blood, sweat, and tears suddenly sounded sexy.
In 2017, they repackaged the WINGS album and provided us with new amazing songs that are now staples of their discography. BTS’s WINGS: You Never Walk Alone is such a beautiful message to their fans. The two added singles for this album are drastically different. Spring Day is a haunting and sad song while Not Today is an upbeat track.
Spring Day is so sad that every time BTS performs it, their fans cry. It is all about missing someone, wishing you could do anything to get to them, and not being able to forget the memories you shared.
Thank God for Not Today because we could not handle two tracks like Spring Day. This song reminds us to push forward and not be discouraged. In life there a bad times, but not today. Today is for victory.
BTS Era: Love Yourself (2017-2018)
This era is BTS stepping stone to global domination. They are now in a league of their own beyond kpop. The Love Yourself era starts in 2017 and continues on into 2018. We get three massive hits that take the world by storm. For me, this is another turning point for them. Especially when it comes to the type of concept that they go for with their music video. They seem to enjoy a brighter and more bubble gum pop concept now.
This era is another reminder of how important it is to love yourself. No Duh! First, we get the record-breaking DNA. The video currently has over one billion views.
Then, it is the heartbreaking Fake Love single. The lyrics gives us a vision of what happens when we love someone else more than we love ourselves and we forget who we are in the process.
And Finally, we have Idol. Stop caring about what people thinking about you. You know who you are. Focus on that. We truly don’t deserve BTS’s free Therapy lessons. Dropping gems all day long.
BTS Era: Map of the Soul (2019-2020)
This is by far BTS’s most successful era. They are now in full swing of what it is like to be a global phenomenon. No award show is complete unless BTS is performing. From this Era, we get three main singles: The chart-topping Boy With Luv, the dark and artfully done Black Swan, and the powerful On.
If Boy With Love sounds like a familiar title, it’s because it reminds us of Boy In Luv. But it is more up poppy sound. The boys have matured. They are confident enough to say: lead the way and show me how to love. I mean… This collaboration with Halsey is simply perfect. This is another video with over one billion views.
This song is BTS opening up about one of their biggest fear: Not being able to make music. Since music is their passion, not being able to make music would feel like a first death to them. Not being able to hear them anymore would feel like death to us too. BTS fighting!!
On is a defiant anthem about not giving up in the face of obstacles and pain. Welcome the pain and turn it into your motivation to keep moving forward and don’t give up!
In August 2020, BTS released the massively successful feel-good anthem Dynamite, breaking many records. The song even hit no.1 on the Billboard charts making it the first song by an all Korean group to accomplish this monumental feat.
Yes, friends! A new era is upon us. The group is set to release their new album BE on November 20th, 2020 and we are beside ourselves while we wait for this new BTS era!
Let me know in the comments which era is your favorite BTS era and which BTS photoshoot was your favorite!