Faye Wong’s Ten Best ‘Minor’ Videos – #8

8. For my eighth minor video, I’ve selected one of Faye Wong’s (王菲) first MVs, “Everything,” the title track from her second album, released in June 1990 when she was 20. I’ve never seen this on an official video disc so I’m considering it a minor production. With a lot of bare skin, red filters, glistening “perspiration,” poles, torches, spraying water, sinuous poses, and even a sports car, you won’t need much imagination to get the point. This girl’s hot!

Obviously, her managers and advisors at the time (this was before Katie Chen and Ah Kwan) didn’t think her voice or her model’s body and striking good looks were enough to sell albums. So they decided, in all their corporate wisdom, to exploit her sultry beauty and turn her into a sexy torch who could also sing.

Fortunately for Faye and the world, this strategy was never used again. Knowing Faye as we do now, we know that this just isn’t her. On her return from New York in 1992, Katie Chen (陈家瑛, Chen Jiaying) became her manager, and, together, they forged a career that’s become legend. In the ensuing years, as Faye takes increasingly greater artistic control over her career, the quality of her performances improves dramatically, and videos such as this are buried and nearly forgotten. Perhaps this should have been left in the cobwebs, but I’ve decided to resurrect it to help explain why it was so important for Faye to leave Hong Kong and her career behind and go off to somewhere far away for a while to take stock of her life and the direction it ought to take. This is exactly what she did toward the end of 1991, when she left for New York to study music and to think. In the process, she also discovered religion, Buddhism, which is still a strong influence in her life today. She returned to her career in HK in March 1992, on the advice of her voice teacher, Dai Sicong (戴思聪), and, as they say, the rest is history.

See “10 Best Minor Videos” in the right sidebar for links to the other selections. The introduction to this series is in selection #1.

Click here for a related article and video.

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Rare Songs – Don’t Break My Heart

Faye Wong (王菲) sang this song, “Don’t Break My Heart” (click below to listen), at her Tokyo concert on March 11-12, 1999, at the Budokan. It’s in this rare-songs series because it’s not included in any official releases. I like this song on its own merits but moreso because of its historical significance. It was first recorded by the Black Panther (黑豹, Hei Bao) in 1991. (See the photo below; also, click below to listen.) The leader and lead singer is Dou Wei (窦唯), Faye’s future husband (1996-99). (Second from the left in the photo below.) I actually prefer his version to Faye’s. It’s a little more rock solid. He left the band shortly after this, the band’s first release. At the time, in the late-80s and early-90s, when Faye was forming her musical tastes, Beijing was the hotbed of Chinese rock and the most popular Chinese band was the Black Panther. And the best known and most talented member was Dou Wei. The group leaned toward pop rock, and Dou Wei established himself as China’s pioneer of alternative music. IMHO, the man’s a musical genius. His influence on Faye’s overall development is immeasurable. I’d really like to see them collaborate once again in future Faye releases. Together, they make musical magic.


Faye Wong’s “Don’t Break My Heart” (1999)

Dou Wei’s “Don’t Break My Heart” (1991)

(source: Wikipedia, blog.xj163.cn, http://www.mtime.com, http://www.famouschinese.com, http://www.songtaste.com)

[Added 11.1.08] Click here for a video version of “Don’t Break My Heart.”

[Added 07.26.09] This audio rip may be a bit better.

A Typical Day in Faye Wong’s Life?

What’s a typical day like for Faye Wong (王菲)? According to China Entertainment Network (29 May 2008), she goes to a yoga exercise class every day, for about an hour. When Vicki Zhao (赵薇, Zhao Wei) joins her, they train for a while longer. In the meantime, Tong Tong (竇靖童, Dou Jingtong), accompanied by her uncle, LYP’s brother (Li Yawei, 亚伟), seems bored and uses the shopping mall as a park, riding her skateboard, trying on shoes at a shop, etc. The article also reports that Faye hangs out every afternoon at a cafe (coffee shop) for a couple of hours, smoking cigarettes nonstop, one after the other.

This jaded view of Faye and Tong Tong has to be taken with a grain of salt. This may not be a typical day for Faye and Tong Tong. If it were, I’m sure the paparazzi would be ready and waiting, every day at the same time.