BTS Releases Japanese album “Map of the Soul: 7 - The Journey”
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BTS Releases Japanese album “Map of the Soul: 7 - The Journey”

By Elizabeth Gibson for The J-Pop Exchange

South Korean boy band BTS have released their first new Japanese-language album in two years, since 2018’s Face Yourself.

The album, called Map of the Soul: 7 ~ The Journey ~, features Japanese versions of songs from their albums Love Yourself: Answer (2018), Map of the Soul: Persona (2019), and Map of the Soul: 7 (2020), as well as two original songs.

The album, which is the fourth Japanese LP and eighth album overall, has a track listing that includes songs such as “Stay Gold,” “Your Eyes Tell,” as well as Japanese versions of “Make It Right,” “Fake Love,” and “On.”

Journey was released in Japan on July 15, 2020, where it kicked off at the number one spot on the Oricon Daily Albums Chart, having sold 447,869 copies within the first 24 hours of its release. The album outperformed the 2018 Japanese-language predecessor Face Yourself's first day debut of 188,000 albums sold by more than twice as many copies. This also means that Journey set a new record for the highest first day sales by a foreign artist in Japan, and became the highest selling album out of all albums released in the country for 2020 thus far.

The album was released in North America for digital download and streaming only on July 14, 2020, and physical copies of the album will be sold starting August 7.

Because of the success of the recently released albums, the South Korean boy band is now extending their resume and venturing into television and movie soundtracks.

Billboard Japan first broke the news when it was announced the BTS song titled "Stay Gold" had been selected as the theme for the then-upcoming Japanese television drama, Spiral Labyrinth – DNA Forensic Investigation. Additionally, BTS will be also providing the original theme song for the upcoming Japanese movie Your Eyes Tell, with the song of the same name.

Ever since the K-pop group first released their first album of the year -- the Korean studio album Map of the Soul: 7 -- back in February, the album has so far sold 528,000 physical copies, according to Nielsen Music’s annual mid-year report that was released this month. Not only that, but the best-selling album holds a very distant first place spot. The second top selling album on the report, Kenny Chesney’s Here and Now, has sold less than half of that at 219,000 copies. Additionally, the top two albums on the list are the only two to have sold more than 200,000 physical copies.

According to the BTS Japan Official Twitter page, Map of the Soul: 7 ~ The Journey ~ and Amazon Music have collaborated for a large-scale, cross-promotional advertisement that is currently being broadcast in Shibuya and Osaka.

BTS is made up of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook. The group made its debut in 2013. In April, the band decided to postpone its remaining tour dates for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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