Kim Choo-Ja / Kim Chu-Ja

LP (1974,re.2003)CD (LP (1974,re.2004)CD (1978,re.2015)

Yejeon      Kim Choo Ja : Best 20 (KO,re.1987)*°°
Oasis Rec.   Kim Choo Ja : Golden Hits Best (KO,re.1995)???

Kim Choo Ja was one of the singers who had participated with Shin Jung-Hyun and his bands. This is an over 72 minute 1987 compilation of various albums. Of course several tracks come from that period or are related with it, and different versions of this period are also added. I like the slow organ contributions on some of such tracks. Not all of it is of similar quality and the songs also tend to entertain rather than express something deeper, but as a cheap compilation, like Korea Guide says, it is, despite little surprises and its tendency to go to kitschier areas, still ok enough for checking out. But don't forget to check out KimJung Mi and Pearl Sisters first.

Video's on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaPMkn2Cks0 & http://www.veengle.com/s/choo-ja.html & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2U8AAGcL0o
Info on http://radiodiffusion.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/kim-choo-ja/
Homepage : http://kimchooja.com/
Other review : http://www.koreagigguide.com/2008/06/05/music-notes/ :

"Recently I ran across a Kim Choo-ja retrospective called Kim Choo-ja Best 20 (Yejeon Media). It originally came out in 1987 and features 20 songs (no surprise there). Although the sound quality is not always the best, the songs are a pretty interesting range (like Kim’s versions of “Geojitmaliya” and “Aniya,” which I had not heard before). It also includes a complete lyrics sheet (good for practicing my Korean). Best of all, the album was less than $10. Totally worth it." Korea Guide

SJH mvd. Kim Chu Ja with Shin Jung-Hyun & Donkeys (KO,1969)***''
airplayed : Tr.4, "Gone to my lover" 4 min, Tr.5, "Please don't go" 3 min, 
Tr.8, "Leaving to the people" 9 min 16

Radio show comments : "60’s psychpop. The recording was done directly from vinyl. From the 7th to 10th track are with male voice. The 8th track is more psychedelic, with great guitar and psych organ in late 60's psych pop style."

Korean review ; audio : track 1track 2audio on page and here
Homepage : http://www.kimchooja.com
Audioclips of Kim Chu Ja : http://www.kimchooja.com/gallary_audioclip_k.htm
Other review with audio fragment : http://www.nowagainrecords.com/kim_sun_unknown.html

Folkie Jin : "Kim Chu-Ja/Shin Jung-Hyun songs collection 1969 ; Kim Chu-Ja is a another korean pop star and debuted with support of Shin Jung-hyun. This record is a her debut album.  Musical performance by Donkeys of Shin Jung-Hyun. I think that this record Donkeys play style similar to early Jefferson airplane. Especially side B 2 song is a unique koreanized psychedelic song!! Side A songs are a little pop style but Side B songs are very good psychedelic style!! Recommendable !!" 

Kim Chu Ja with SJH & Donkeys
If anyone knows more about this artist/this release or would like to review this item, please e-mail me

about "Kim Choo Ja – Why Doesn’t He Come?/Is It Real?" (1973)
on http://waxidermy.com/kim-choo-ja-1973/ (with audio :

"Kim Choo Ja enjoyed a very successful career in Korean music after bursting onto the scene in the late 1960s, musically she was associated with Shin Jung Hyun on her earlier LPs but this LP is slightly after that. Although much of this album has a more gentle & orchestrated feel there is enough lo-fi/garagey production values to keep things enjoyable. The drum sound especially is extremely ghetto & sounds like the drummer was recorded through a tunnel in an adjacent building. For me there are three really strong tracks on this LP, so check them out." 

Beatball Rec.                                      Kim Choo Ja  : '78 Recital (KO,1978,re.2015)**°

I usually highly regard these officially re-mastered Mini-lps’s from Beatball, but this album still keeps me puzzled what to think of it. This singer Kim Choo-Ja has a good rocking voice and band. It is a live document, which shows a good perspective on a concert of those days. The music however still is a bit more entertainment pop (with an additional brass band too) than alternative or inspired rock. The whole album is like a well prepared and arranged medley of pop/rock songs. 

As a bonus the last part of the concert is included as a large “Encore”, which more sound like a larger rock improvisation, a track of nearly 17 minutes of which the voice cannot be hear well, but the more progressive and wilder jamming rock band is completely on the front. Here you can hear a bluesy electric guitar solo first leading the groove more, then the incorporation of a rocking part from “Hey Jude” from Beatles. From then onwards the brass band can be heard too, and the full band ends with playing together some marching part ending. This whole bit of 5 minutes wasn’t the full ending yet. You can still hear the full band playing further again with an enjoyable medley and improvisation (rock and brass band and some backing choir), not in a perfect but still enjoyable mix.

http://lightintheattic.net/releases/2400-78-recital : 

"Its pop-psychedelic beginning, the encounter with the Soul and its variations, the Latin accent, their romantic-modern versions of Trots and even a medley from the aforementioned ‘Recital 78’, with several successes, such as ‘Sgt. Kim’, ‘Regret’, ‘Rumour’, and even a version from ‘Ani Holem al Naomi’, single that sold more than 1 million copies in 70s Japan, from the Israeli duo Hedva and David!

We would be unfair to Choo-Ja, if we just label her as an exclusively psych-folk singer, such as Kim Jung Mi was. What we see here are Big Bands and their orchestrations, Brass Funk-Soul, Psych, Rock, Trots, Ballads and a familiar Korean tendency to put a few spoons of sugar into the romanticism: ‘Nangman’!"