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The War is the fourth studio album by South Korean-Chinese boy band EXO. It was released digitally on July 18, 2017, and physically on July 19, 2017, by S.M. Entertainment and distributed by Genie Music.
On June 15, 2017, it was confirmed by S.M. Entertainment that Exo will be releasing a new album sometime in mid-July. On June 23, S.M. Entertainment announced that member Lay would be unable to participate in the production and promotion of the album.
On July 8, Exo's official Twitter account was made public, through which S.M. Entertainment revealed the first teaser video for the album. Also on July 8, Exo 's official Instagram account opened by posting the three versions of Exo's new album logo. On July 10, the album's title was announced to be The War.
From July 9 to July 16, the album's tracklist was revealed one by one through a series of teaser videos each featuring one member. The album and its title track's music video were released on July 18.
SM started releasing teasers of the repackaged edition of the album with the message "The Power of Music". The first teaser titled #Total_Eclipse was released on August 21, 2017 at the same time as when the Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 happened. The second teaser was released on August 28 titled #Parallel_Universe.
The third teaser titled "Power #RF_05" was released on August 30. On the same day, the title of the re-packaged album was revealed to be The War: The Power of Music and that it will be released on September 5, 2017 with 12 tracks including the title track "Power". SM started releasing teaser images of each member from August 30. On August 31, it was revealed that the album will include new three songs "Power", "Sweet Lies", and "Boomerang", along with the original nine songs of The War. On September 4, a poster of the repackaged album and "Power" music video teaser were released. The repackaged album and its three new tracks were released on September 5.
The lead single "Ko Ko Bop" debuted at number one on the Melon Realtime Chart, making them the first K-pop group to enter the chart at the top after chart changes were implemented on February 27, 2017. The other album tracks debuted in the top nine. It was reported that multiple servers crashed, due to the number of fans streaming at the same time. "Ko Ko Bop" additionally topped 155 iTunes charts worldwide, including K-pop charts and general pop charts, as well as all-genre single charts.
"Ko Ko Bop" topped Gaon Digital Chart for four non-consecutive weeks. EXO also became the first male group to chart at number one on Gaon for four weeks. The song also ranked number one on the Gaon Monthly Chart for August, making EXO the first group in 2017 and the fifth boy group since 2012 to top the chart.
On September 14, EXO's song "Power" recorded the highest score of all time on M Countdown with 11,000 points, making EXO one of two artists to achieve a perfect score after the system changes were implemented in June 2015. The win also marks their 100th win on music shows
Prior to its release, The War received a record-breaking pre-order by retail outlets of 807,235 physical copies, making it the K-pop album with the highest number of pre-orders at that time. Within one week after its release, the album sold over 600,000 physical copies and became the fastest-selling recorded by the South Korean album sales chart Hanteo, surpassing the previous record of 522,300 copies also held by Ex'Act. The War topped the Billboard World Album Chart for two consecutive weeks, and the South Korean Gaon Album Chart for three consecutive weeks.
The War reached number one on iTunes in 51 countries in total, including in Israel, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Romania, Philippines, Taiwan, Ireland, Poland, Mexico, and more; 43 countries at the same time. Apple Music selected The War as "The Best of the Week".
According to Osen, Exo have recorded album sales of approximately 1,012,021 copies in the span of 24 days, making The War the second fastest album in Gaon Chart history to achieve this milestone. Exo became the second South Korean artist to achieve four million sellers in a row.
The War: The Power of MusicEdit
The War: The Power of Music topped the South Korean Gaon Album Chart for two consecutive weeks. Additionally, the Korean and Chinese versions of the album debuted at number one and two respectively on the YinYueTai China Weekly Albums Chart.
The album reached number one on iTunes in 41 countries in total, including in Spain, Japan, Indonesia, Russia, Hong Kong, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Mexico and Malaysia. The album also made it to the Top 10 on the iTunes charts in 67 countries, including in the US, Canada, Australia, Britain, France and Germany. Additionally, the album topped Xiami Music's K-Pop chart.