Like Rain, Like Music (비처럼 음악처럼) and One Rainy Evening (비오는 어느 저녁) are from Kim Hyun Sik III, the third album of Kim Hyun Sik (김현식, 1958-1990). These songs and the album are now considered a classic in Korean popular music, the album ranking at number 13 of the all time best albums compiled by the Kyunghyang Daily News.
Kim is one of the greatest singers Korea has ever had, known for vocal prowess and interpretation of music. Memorable music and the short lived fame made him a legend in Korea.
Like Rain, Like Music
비오는 어느 저녁
One Rainy Evening
Kim Hyun Sik is probably the most respected singer of the 80s. He was a musician through and through, giving all he’s got to music until the last moment of his life. Through his dedication and talent he enriched the Korean music scene tremendously and influenced many others.
His music may be categorized as a bluesy rock, with a good dose of Korean traditional slow tunes commonly called trot (트로트), similar to Japanese Enka. He had a rich timbre which he honed to perfection, and a canny sense to interpret and improvise for the greatest emotional impact, with a very skillful ad-libbing to boot. All these combined to create songs that had a direct and raw appeal to your heart and which seemed to transcend all the musical trappings. He is certainly one of the best all around singers, and probably the very best when it comes to Korean style blues ballads. Kim Hyun Sik III, which is considered his best album, contains some of the finest of his songs.
Like Rain, Like Music is on the more refined side of Kim’s songs, with a controlled and measured delivery. In a mood of composed sadness, he delivers the emotions of rueful recollection with sublime beauty.
One Rainy Evening is typical of his songs, belting out the pathos in all his soulful outpourings. He is right in his element here, in a territory he loves best.
But alas, Kim Hyun Sik might have been too deeply absorbed in his music, as he had a wild, unrestrained lifestyle with little concern for anything outside of music. He drank heavily and had a temperamental disposition, so that control of emotional and behavioral excesses was relegated to the periphery of his mind. Wild stories of brawls and other mishaps abound. All these vices finally caught up with him and his health deteriorated rapidly toward the end of the 80s. Eventually cirrhosis got the better of him from all the booze and abusive ways. Even then he continued to preoccupy himself only with his music, making a precarious excursions out of the hospital to record songs, or singing into a tape recorder microphone on his sickbed. He passed away in November of 1990, leaving some of the most heartfelt songs he made while death was looking at him squarely in the face.
Kim’s was one of the sad entertainer stories of the 90s, which there seemed to be all too many.