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Korean Classics: Lee Moon Sae's 'I Am A Happy Man' Is One For The Ages [AUDIO]

By Jesse Lent | April 08, 2014 06:13 PM EDT

With legendary South Korean singer Lee Moon Sae back in the charts (his new single "When Sadness Passes" debuted at number 22 on the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 this week) the time is ripe to revisit one of Lee's earlier classic hits, the 1983 track "I Am A Happy Man," also sometimes translated as "I Am A Happy Person."

Like the theme for the ending credits song in the most badass film ever made, "I Am A Happy Man," is so evocative, it is surprising that Tarantino or one of his disciples hasn't used it yet. It sets a mood.

Fusing elements of classic 1960s American crooners like Johnny Mathis and the 1970s pop icons of his homeland like Cho Young Pil, "I Am A Happy Man," seems to come from another time, almost another world.

And although you can hear aspects of other genres and artist in the sound, it is also something quite unlike anything else.

Much like Cho's signature hit "Come Back To Busan," Lee fuses aspects of American and Korean musical traditions with such dexterity he makes you forget the former even exist.

There is a lesson the pop crooners of today can take from Lee and Cho.

Their music, while far on the outskirts of what most listeners of any nationality would consider dance music, always stays engaging to the audience. It is mesmerizing without being emotionally manipulative or hypnotically empty.

Perhaps it is what makes Lee and Cho pop artists; their music does what most people would want in a song. It draws them in and keeps them there.

But like Cho's "Come Back To Busan," it is not just the incredibly strong, Phil Spector-influenced production of that makes "I Am A Happy Man" such a classic.

Rather, it is the powerful performance of an artist who put his indelible mark on a song that will stand the test of time.

Check out singer Lee Moon Sae's classic hit "I Am A Happy Man" RIGHT HERE

Tagged :  Lee Moon Sae, I Am A Happy Man, When Sadness Passes


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