10 Best Videos II – #1 Faye and Takeshi 1999

With this video, I’m beginning a second round of Faye Wong’s (王菲) 10 best “minor” videos, or videos that were never officially released by Faye as MVs or in conjunction with albums. These are usually from live TV broadcasts. This one’s from 10 Dec 1999. Faye and Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武 Jincheng Wu) are onstage at the 36th Golden Horse Awards (金马奖), held annually in Taiwan. It’s considered the most prestigious awards ceremony for Chinese films.

This video was apparently shot on the same day as the video for Faye’s appearance on the 41st Japan Record Awards when Faye was recognized as the best Asian singer outside of Japan. I like this video a lot because it brings together the co-stars of Wong Kar-wai’s 1994 masterpiece, Chungking Express. Faye and Takeshi are perhaps the most attractive actors in China, and to have them onstage at the same time is amazing. It’s obvious from the get-go that they share a chemistry that’s much more intense and visceral than the one shared by Faye and Tony Leung. In the photo sequence above, we see Faye smiling in a way that’s reserved for special friends, and we can see that she’s having a great time with Takeshi. Faye looks especially beautiful in a very natural sort of way, with a tan and her hair pulled back in a ponytail. I’d really like to see a new film starring these two friends. It would be a box office smash.

Rare Songs – Faye and Andy 1997 HK Handover

A rare song and video of Faye  Wong (王菲)  and Andy  Lau (刘德华) performing a duet, “Leaving Hong Kong by Bright Moonlight” (明月出香江), as part of the Handover Celebration on 1 July 1997. The “stage” is the floor of a huge arena, with hundreds of dancers representing waves in the ocean and a float, shaped like a boat, bearing the singers. Faye’s voice is clear and beautiful, leaving you wanting more. But this is a lavish group number and the fact that Faye is the lead singer and she and Andy perform half the song, I guess, should leave us feeling satisfied.

The audio was ripped from the video below. It includes only the first half of the song and omits the second half, which is performed by other singers and the entire group. The two halves are as different as night and day, as Hong Kong is to mainland China. Faye and Andy, dressed in white, seem to symbolize youth and the new world while the others, the beauty of tradtion.

Rare Songs – Faye and Jacky’s ‘Great Wall Ballad’

Here’s another rare song and video — Faye Wong (王菲) and Jacky Cheung (張學友) singing “Great Wall Ballad” (长城谣) in 1998, in a live TV program to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

Added 6.27.08: Audio corrected for low volume.

Both are dressed very formally, and for the most part perform the duet in a very conservative style, in keeping with the ceremonial nature of this occasion. A large part of the orchestra is made up of traditional Chinese instruments, including the erhu (二胡), or Chinese violin. Faye and Jacky were and still are the greatest female and male singers in China. Their duets are especially beautiful.

Faye Videos with Commercials Tacked On – Tacky!

A couple days ago, the same video of Faye Wong (王菲) and Andy Lau (刘德华) in a TV performance was uploaded, back to back, to YouTube. Andy sings Faye’s first big hit, “Fragile Woman” (容易受伤的女人), from Coming Home, released in Aug 1992. I really like this video because it shows Faye dancing to express the meaning of the song. Even while sitting and swaying, her movements are graceful and beautiful to watch. It’s obvious that she and Andy are very good friends and having fun in this seemingly unplanned routine. Just before they sit, though, it looks as though Andy is throwing off Faye’s hand. I don’t think this is what’s happening, but I can’t think of a different explanation. Faye’s best when she’s simply being herself, doing what comes natural, and interacting with people as she would with a good friend.

Another reason for spotlighting this video is the practice of uploading videos with long commercial clips tacked on. I wish this practice would stop. Using Faye’s appeal to sell a product or service is unfair to Faye and to the viewers. I’m sure Faye isn’t being paid for the ad, and for viewers, it’s just annoying.

Here’s a version of the same video uploaded by Honglousky on 29 Dec 2007. This doesn’t have the commercial.

Faye’s Hot in This Decadent Video

Here’s an amazing video that was added to YouTube today (26 June 2008) by Lovesevtomo. Faye’s hot in this one, singing “Decadence” from Restless (June 1996). The images are captivating, and the integration with the mood of the song is tight. My eyes were glued to every frame of this rainbow spectacular.

Some of the clips look familiar. I’ve seen them somewhere but can’t quite place them. I can’t tell if this was an official MV or if it’s a creation by a very artistic fan. Whatever — it’s fabulous.

More Rumors – LYP Supports Faye’s Return

China’s media continues to churn out rumors of Faye Wong’s (王菲) return to her career. In the absence of direct statements from Faye or her team, journalists are limited to speculations based on vague sources. One that’s been making the rounds lately begins with “some reports say that.” The reports are based on circumstantial evidence, on calculations from the creative minds of reporters: The so-called logic goes like this: Faye’s high monthly expenditures + other expenses + a slowdown in Li Yapeng’s (李亚鹏) career = a financial crisis that will force Faye to resurface.

They’re fanning these embers with alleged quotes from LYP. One that’s familiar to most of us is the statement that Faye has never officially retired or claimed to have retired from the song world. Another LYP statement that’s somewhat new is: If she resurfaces, he’ll certainly raise both hands in approval so that he could also hear the song world’s most beautiful sound. (source: Gansudaily.com, 24 June 2008)

Rare Songs – Like an Old Friend’s Visit

“Like an Old Friend’s Visit” (似是故人来) is the theme song from the film Twin Bracelets (雙鐲). Anita Mui (梅艷芳) sang the song in the OST, and it won Best Original Film Song at the 11th Hong Kong Film Awards in 1992. The song also appears in Anita’s 1992 album, The Legend of the Pop Queen Part II. Listen to the audio and video below. Anita’s version is very moving.

Faye Wong’s (王菲) version is from a live 1994 TV performance. I really like Faye’s cover in the video. It’s very different from Anita’s. The audio is a rip from this video.

Faye’s live 1994 version of “Like an Old Friend’s Visit”

Anita’s version of “Like an Old Friend’s Visit”; audio ripped from YouTube addition by Gonenow2003 on 9 Mar 2008.

Faye’s live video version of “Like an Old Friend’s Visit” (似是故人来) is from a video added to YouTube by Fredling on 13 June 2006. The clip features Sally Yeh (葉蒨文), Faye Wong (王菲), Sandy Lam (林憶蓮), and Anita Mui (梅艷芳). Faye’s segment is at the 03:35-05:48 mark.

Anita’s 1999 live version, added to YouTube by Ericcheung1983 on 9 Sep 2006.

Rare Songs – I Have a Date with Spring

This song and video qualifies as both a rare song and a rare video. “I Have a Date with Spring” (我和春天有個約會) was added to YouTube by Tunglin7 yesterday, 21 June 2008. I’ve neither seen this video nor heard this song by Faye Wong (王菲). I believe the video was made in 1994, the same year the film by the same name was released. [See Deb’s comment re the possible background of this program. 9.16.08] The film, an adaptation from a stage play, starred Alice Lau (劉雅麗). The audio (below) was ripped from the video.

Faye’s “I Have a Date with Spring”

Faye’s performance is fun to watch. The year is 1994, and her career is on the rise. In this live TV broadcast, Faye isn’t quite prepared to sing the song. She’s off cue at the start, and she acknowledges her mistake with her characteristic whirl and good-natured smile. This is one of the qualities I admire in Faye. She acknowledges and accepts her gaffs on stage with a big smile and gesture, and moves on. No big deal. And the performance is richer for her being so human and natural.

Alice Lau’s video of “I Have a Date with Spring” (see below), was added to YouTube by Nicklee252 on 8 Sep 2007. Her style is very different from Faye’s. I think this scene is from the film, which I’ve never seen. The audio is a rip from the video. It eliminates the long instrumental introduction.

Alice Lau’s “I Have a Date with Spring”

8-8-08 – A Lucky Day for Chinese

The AP and BBC are both reporting in today’s news (21 June 2008) that Chinese couples in Beijing are lining up in the thousands to register to wed on 8 August 2008 — the 8th day in the 8th month in the 8th year of the millennium. The Chinese believe that the number 8 brings good fortune, so it’s not by accident that this day, when day-month-year are in alignment, was also chosen for the opening day of the Beijing Summer Olympics. And of course, as all fayenatics are aware, the 8th of August is also Faye Wong’s (王菲) birthday! The icing on the cake would be for Faye to perform in the opening day ceremonies of the Olympics. Talk about a lineup of good fortune symbols IF she decides to participate: Faye was born in Beijing, and, on her birthday, she’d be starring in the August 8 opening day ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. You can’t get any luckier than that!

A baby picture of Faye Wong, who was born in Beijing on 8 August 1969.

Faye’s 1985-86 Albums – (3) Miss Charm

Faye Wong Collector’s Album (王菲珍藏集) was originally released as a cassette in April 1986. The CD was released on 19 Oct 2004. A variant of the title is Charming Miss Faye Wong Collector’s Album (迷人小姐 王菲珍藏集) or just Miss Charm (迷人小姐). Wei-yuan (卫元) produced this album, which is purported to be the last Faye released on the mainland. Again, the CD and the cassette don’t match up track by track. Three songs on the cassette aren’t on the CD, but the CD has 15 tracks versus 14 on the cassette. For the introduction to this series, click here.

01. 心墙 Core
02. 潇洒的走 – 潇洒 The Walk
03. 月光下的恋情 Affair Under the Moonlight
04. 十三妹 Shisan Mei (13 Younger Sisters)
05. 最后的表白 Final Statement
06. 除了你 In Addition to You
07. 下次相逢 Reunions Next [aka Will Meet by Chance Next Time]
08. 请你别说 Please Let Alone
09. 多梦的童年 Childhood Dream of Many
10. 你在我身旁 You Next to Me
11. 请你猜一猜 You Guess
12. 我们俩 The Two of Us
13. 想让你知道 Want You to Know
14. 女孩 Girls

My favorite tracks in this album are “Affair Under the Moonlight” and “In Addition to You.” In these two, you can hear a Faye that’s really beginning to mature and grow in confidence. “You Guess” is a fun song that captures Faye’s youthfulness. The engineering in this CD is better, resulting in a much improved sound quality throughout.

“Affair Under the Moonlight”

“In Addition to You”

“You Guess”

Faye’s 1985-86 Albums – (2) Where Comes the Wind

Faye Wong’s (王菲) Where Comes the Wind (風從哪裡來) was released as a cassette by Yunan Audio and Video on 15 June 1985 when Faye was 15. In 2003, Focus Music Ltd., China, released a CD version. There were at least two different cassettes with slightly different track lists. The list below is from one of them, and it has 15 songs. However, the one in the photo lists only 14. The selections in each vary as well, with tracks from one missing from the other. The tracks on the cassettes and the CD also don’t match up. However, songs missing from the Where Comes CD can be found on the earlier CD, Enchanting Kaler, which was released on 1 March 2003. The CD also contains a couple of tracks that aren’t on the cassettes.

SIDE A
01. 風從哪裡來 Where Comes the Wind
02. 四個心願 Four Desires
03. 甜蜜蜜 Sweet Is Dense (aka Sweet Honey)
04. 小小的秘密 Small Small Privacy (aka Little Secret)
05. 年紀輕輕 A Young Age
06. 唱歌的人 Sings Person (aka Singer)
07. 最高峰 High Point (aka Peak)
08. 望著天空的女孩 The Girl Is Looking the Sky

SIDE B
01. 你怎麼說 How Did You Say (aka How Do You Say)
02. 說說笑笑 Has a Friendly Chat
03. 月光小夜曲 Moonlight Serenade
04. 你照亮我的心 You Illuminate My Heart (aka (You Light Up My Heart)
05. 漫步人生路 Roams the Person Way Out
06. 故鄉從不拒絕我 The Hometown Has Never Refused Me
07. 又見炊煙 Sees the Smoke from Kitchen Chimneys Again (aka See Also Smoke)

My favorite songs in this album are “Where Comes the Wind” and “Sees the Smoke from Kitchen Chimneys Again.” The first was covered in an earlier post on Faye and Teresa Teng, and the second will be the subject of a coming post so I won’t comment on them. Click on the audio icons below to listen to them. (Note: For the introduction to this series on Faye’s 1985-86 albums, click here.)

“Where Comes the Wind”

“Sees the Smoke from Kitchen Chimneys Again”

Faye’s 1985-86 Albums – (1) Enchanting Kaler

Introduction. Most discographies and discussions of Faye Wong’s (王菲) albums begin with Shirley Wong, released in Nov 1989. It’s as though Faye came out of nowhere, with little or no previous recording history. But every fayenatic knows that she had established a career in mainland China before she moved to Hong Kong with her family in 1987. For many of us English-speaking fans, these pre-HK albums are vague and mysterious because they’re seldom discussed and almost never heard. I don’t think there’s a single YouTube video of Faye performing in this early period, 1985-86, when she was 15-17 years old. In an attempt to fill this gap, in the next few days, I’ll be doing a four-part series on Faye’s mainland albums. This is the first installment.

Even before moving to HK in 1987, Faye had already made quite an impression on record producers in China, who saw her as a youthful phenom. In 1985, she released two albums (on cassettes — CDs hadn’t been invented back then), Enchanting Kaler (迷人的卡勒,1 March 1985) and Where Comes the Wind (风从那里来, 15 June 1985). She was only 15 years old. Less than a year later, when she was 16, she was so highly regarded that producers decided to release an album titled Faye Wong Collector’s Album (王菲珍藏集, April 1986). It’s better known as Miss Charm (迷人小姐). The producer of the third album, Wei-yuan Production (卫元强制作), released a CD version on 19 Oct 2004, retaining the original title, Faye Wong Collector’s Album (王菲珍藏集).

Before getting into the very first album, though, I think it’s worth noting that Faye was not only a strikingly beautiful and talented adolescent. She was also an extremely bright student. While still in high school, she took and passed the examination to enter Xiamen University (厦门大学), which is one of the most prestigious and selective universities in China. Faye could very well have gone on to a brilliant academic career if chance hadn’t stepped in and sent her to HK and the now well-known path to recording history.

Faye’s very first album. Enchanting Kaler (迷人的卡勒), was released on 1 March 1985, when she was 15. It was a cassette with 14 tracks. In 2003, Focus Music Ltd., China, released a CD version with 13 of the 14 tracks:

01 Moonlight Serenade 月光小夜曲
02 You Illuminate My Heart 你照亮我心
03 Harmonica Story 口琴的故事
04 Postman (English, The Carpenters’ “Please Mr. Postman”) 邮递员
05 Top of the World (English, The Carpenters) 世界之顶
06 The Hometown Has Never Refused Me 故乡从不拒绝我
07 Young Age 年纪轻轻
08 Destiny (Japanese) 命运
09 Forget Him (Guangdong) 忘记他(粤)
10 Often Worry About Past Events 往事常牵挂
11 Rose Garden 玫瑰花园
12 Enchanting Kaler (English) 迷人的卡勒
13 Today’s Happiness, Tomorrow’s Dream 今天的欢乐明天的梦

The engineering and production aren’t great by today’s standards or, perhaps, by standards in HK, Tokyo, Taiwan, and other Asian metropolises of the day, but what it lacks in technical sophistication is made up in talent, energy, and pure spirit. You can’t help but feel the electricity that 15-year-old Faye Wong was creating in China’s emerging pop world. In this album, she does the Carpenters in English as well as a Japanese song. Click on the audio icon below for a listen to Faye’s Carpenters’ cover, “Top of the World.” Her voice is still that of an adolescent, but it holds all the beauty and promise of the diva that she’ll be in a few short years.

“Top of the World”

“Please Mr. Postman”

“Destiny” (Japanese)

“Moonlight Serenade”

“Enchanting Kaler” (English)

Parts 2 and 3 in the series:

Faye’s 1985-86 Albums – (2) Where Comes the Wind

Faye’s 1985-86 Albums – (3) Miss Charm

Rare Early Videos – Cold War 1994 Live

Here’s a rare video added to YouTube by Cantopopulist  today, 18 June 2008. {Converted to WordPress on 10.12.08.] It’s “Cold War” (冷戰) from Faye Wong’s (王菲) 1994 Hong Kong concert. As the uploader says, it’s only available on the laser disc (side B, track 8). It’s neither on the DVD nor the VCD.

Watching this video, you can’t help but wonder why Cinepoly doesn’t return to the mixing studio to pull together all the different clips from this concert to create a whole DVD that’s purely for watching — a video minus the karaoke functions. This was a great concert with some of Faye’s best early hits and Faye chatting quite a bit with the audience. It’s not as polished as the 1998-99 and 2003 concerts, but you can clearly see that this was the starting point for the one-off style that made Faye’s live performances legend. This is Faye doing it her way.

Faye Is Asia’s Sexiest Vegetarian Woman

The Asia-Pacific Division of the Organization for Ethical Treatment of Animals has selected Faye Wong (王菲 ) as the sexiest vegetarian female artist for 2008. Second went to Taiwanese actress and singer Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛 Xú Xīyuàn), aka “Big S.” She starred in the Taiwan TV drama Meteor Garden, a Japanese manga adaption that propelled her to fame. Maggie Q, actress and former model, was third. Maggie Q’s full name is Maggie Denise Quigley. Her father is Polish-Irish American and her mother is Vietnamese. Maggie was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her family lives in Mililani, and she graduated from Mililani High School. In 2006, she starred with Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III, and in 2007, with Bruce Willis in Live Free Or Die Hard. (Source China.news.com 6.18.08 and Wikipedia)

Added 6.19.08: Click below to hear what Maggie Q has to say about Faye.

(uploaded by dae2x on 27 Oct 2007)

Rare Songs – Peanut Show (Fashion Show)

“Peanut Show”* (花生骚) is a duet with Anita Mui (梅艳芳 Mei Yanfang) and Faye Wong (王菲). Click on the audio below to listen to it. It’s the third track in Anita’s album, With, released 16 March 2002. (She died on 30 Dec 2003 of cancer.) Anita was a major force in cantopop in the late-80s, famous for her decision in 1990 to no longer accept music awards to give younger singers a chance to win. “Peanut Show” was composed by Terry Chan, and the lyrics were written by Lin Xi (林夕). With is a tribute album commemorating Anita’s twentieth anniversary in entertainment, featuring Anita with eleven Hong Kong artists, including Faye, Leslie Cheung (张国荣), Jacky Cheung (张学友), Kelly Chen (陈慧琳), Sandy Lam (林憶蓮), and Sammi Cheng (郑秀文).

I really like this song, which is just another example of how well Faye blends in with other singers even when their voices are very different. According to Casper Snoopy, who reviewed the album in June 2004, “Among the eleven songs, Ah Mui’s duet [Peanut Show] with Faye Wong attracts most focus. It is because the pitch of both 

singers differs greatly. But Ah Mui likes this song very much. She said the lyrics are about a fashion model, who is admired by people when she does the catwalk. But she is just like the gold fish in the aquarium, everybody can just look at her. She doesn’t have any sense of security.”

* The title, “Peanut Show,” is a literal translation of 花生骚. See Dan’s comment, attached to this post, suggesting a correction to “Fashion Show.”  As I’ve explained to Dan, I’ve seen it as “Fashion Show” in Josh’s website, YesAsia, etc., but it was literally translated as “Peanut Show” in the Mui-times website and Mingpao news. (added 22 Aug 2008)

More Photos from Hangzhou Visit

These remarkable photos are from Faye Wong’s (王菲) visit, in Hangzhou during the first week of June, with children injured in the earthquake. They show her love and concern for the children. She was genuinely interested in each child’s health status, hugged them, and tried to make them smile and laugh. According to reporters, it was a “scene that moved many people.” For a related post, click here.

(source Rednet.cn 17 June 2008)

Added 17 June 2008:

(source xk.cn.yahoo.com 17 June 2008)

Rare Early Videos – Fragile Woman

In this video, Faye Wong (王菲) as Wang Jingwen (王靖雯) sings “Fragile Woman” (容易受傷的女人), the runaway hit in her 1992 breakthrough album, Coming Home. This video is interesting because it’s a crossover between her earlier 1990 MV, “Everything,” and her “new” look. The carryover portion has her posing on a car in shorts, emphasizing her long legs, getting soaked by a rain shower, and tossing her head back to reveal her extraordinarily long slender neck. But the flaming torches and glistening skin have given way to a more sophisticated, pensive, and perhaps darker look that we’ve come to associate with Faye.

“Fragile Woman” is a cover of Miyuki Nakajima’s (中島みゆき) “Rouge” (ルージュ), which was released in 1977. On 18 Sep 2007, iLuvCiconne16085868 added a video to YouTube containing both Faye’s and Miyuki’s versions.

(From a video uploaded to YouTube by skwongh on 7 Feb 2008)

Miyuki Nakajima’s version.

Trish Thùy Trang’s English version, “Please Don’t Go Away,” ripped from a YouTube video uploaded by bindrub on 19 March 2009.

Faye’s version from Coming Home (Aug 1992).

Click here for a related article.

Faye on Her Way Back to Beijing

Faye Wong (王菲) caused quite a stir this past week when she showed up at the Hangzhou Xiaoshan airport to check in for her return flight to Beijing. Media and fans who were lucky enough to be there immediately got their cameras out and started shooting. The reporters mentioned her stylish silk dress, Mercedes-Benz, brandname luggage and bags, shades, etc.

I’m Willing – A Different Version

Wow! This is a major Faye Wong (王菲) discovery for me. A version of “I’m Willing (unplugged)” (我愿意) that I’ve never heard. It was “buried” in a YouTube upload by Sallylokmb (4 June 2008) called “I’m Willing Longer Version” (我願意加長版). It’s longer (04:45) because it’s actually two different versions, separated by a brief drumroll: the original, from Mystery (rel Apr 1994), in the first half (02:25), and the “new” in the second (02:22). In the video and the audio of the long version (below), the new begins at about 02:26.

There are quite a few pops in the audio, especially the first half. Fortunately, there are only a few in the second, which contains the new version. In the audio (below) of the second half, I edited out the two prominent pops. ADDED: The Tudou audio versions below are a lot better!

Different version only: “I’m Willing (unplugged)” 02:22, edited 6.15.08 – pops removed

Full version: “I’m Willing – Long Version (unplugged)” 04:48, raw 6.15.08; the different version begins at 02:26

(added to YouTube by sallylokmb on 4 June 2008)

Added 6.15.08:

Tudou different version only: “I’m Willing (unplugged)”

Tudou full version: “I’m Willing – Long Version (unplugged)”

Click here for a related article.

Faye Wong’s Ten Best ‘Minor’ Videos – #10

This last selection for Faye Wong’s (王菲) ten best minor videos was a tough call. I was torn between significance and beauty. Should I go with a video that’s not so hot visually but has a lot of significance or meaning? Or should I go with one in which Faye looks really good? In the end, I decided to go with beauty. This video is from a 1999 disaster relief performance in which Faye sang “Overthrown” (推翻), from her Lovers and Strangers album (Sep 1999). It was added to YouTube by StuffysFaye on 24 May 2007.

There’s just something about Faye with long straight hair. Absolutely beautiful! We’ve seen Faye in a million and one different hair styles, but when you come right down to it, this is her best look! Long, straight, black hair. Awesome. I don’t think I’d get many arguments from fayenatics — especially the guys.

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

Faye’s Walk – Sexiest on the Planet

No one can walk like Faye Wong. Here’s a clip from her 2004 film, Leaving Me Loving You (大城小事 , Big City Minor Matter, rel 12 Feb 2004). [7.12.08: This video is no longer available on YouTube. I’ll add a replacement when I find one.] In the first 03:10 of this 4.5-minute segment, the camera zeroes in on Faye. There are brief cuts to other scenes, but the focus is Faye, and more specifically, the way she walks. She’s probably one of the few actors in the world who can carry a scene this long by just

walking. In a tight skirt and heels, Faye demonstrates why and how she can literally carry a film by just being there. She does the same for Wong Kar-Wai’s 2046 (rel 9 Sep 2004). This is my favorite scene in the entire film.

[This video is no longer available on YouTube]

Additional info:
Click here for a video of the charity auction/bazaar premiere.
Click here for a video of the Malaysia opening.
Click here for a related article and additional video links.

Faye and Teresa – Where Comes the Wind

To fully understand Faye Wong’s (王菲) history, we first have to grasp Teresa Teng’s (鄧麗君, Deng Lijun) place in the ’70s and ’80s Asian pop scene. In short, Teresa ruled. She was the inspiration for aspiring young singers, and Faye was no exception. Thus, on 15 June 1985, when 15-year-old Faye released her first album in China, the title track was taken from one of Teresa’s hits, “Where Comes the Wind” (風從那裡來). To place this event in perspective, we could say that Faye’s first album and the first track on that album are directly linked to Teresa. In fact, most of the tracks are covers of Teresa’s songs. To listen to Faye and Teresa’s versions, click on the audio icons below.

As we listen, though, I realize it’s nearly impossible to resist comparing the two. Thus, we have to remember that, in 1985, Faye was barely into her teens and her voice was still maturing, while Teresa was already in her prime when she recorded this song. Also, and perhaps more importantly, the production resources available to both were vastly different, with Teresa enjoying a huge advantage. What Faye had access to in Beijing in 1985 couldn’t compare to Teresa’s resources in Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong. Ten years later, in 1995, when Teresa tragically dies from a severe asthma attack, Faye is poised to become the diva of Asia and the inspiration for youngsters who dream of becoming pop stars. Judging from the countless numbers of novices who try to cover Faye’s songs, I think we can safely say that Faye is following in Teresa’s footsteps in serving as an inspirational model

Faye’s version

Teresa’s version

Note: Other posts in this series:Faye and Teresa – 1,000 Words, 10,000 Phrases

Is Faye Pregnant?

Based on the first photo, the media is again on its speculation bandwagon, fueling the gossip machine with rumor that Faye Wong may be pregnant. The photos were taken on 7 June 2008. However, a quick review of recent photos would tell anyone that the picture’s a fluke caused by angle, lighting, the cut of the dress, and perhaps a wayward breeze. For example, take a look at the photo in the earlier post (June 12) where she’s emerging from a hike, carrying a large book. Preggo? Hardly.

(source: NetEase 13 June 2008)

Faye Wong – Composer and Writer

As fans, we tend to forget that Faye Wong is much, much more than a singer, actress, and model. She’s also an extremely talented composer and lyricist. The list of her original works is astounding. They include many of her major hits. And they definitely make up the bulk of her most creative and progressive songs. This is a critical factor in Faye’s appeal — she’s not only phenomenally beautiful, talented, and loved by fans, friends, and colleagues, but she’s also extremely creative. To listen to these songs, see “Faye’s Compositions” in the right sidebar.

She wrote the music and lyrics for the following songs:

1. Restless (Restless [Fu Zao], June 1996)

2. To Love (To Love, Nov 2003)

3. Spectacular (Lovers and Strangers, Sep 1999)

4. Doomsday (Restless [Fu Zao], June 1996)

5. Pledge (Random Thoughts, June 1994)

6. Tong (Chang You, Oct 1998)

7. Sporadic (Restless [Fu Zao], June 1996)

8. Sunflower (To Love, Nov 2003)

9. Leave Nothing (aka “No Staying” from To Love, Nov 2003)

10. Decadence (Restless [Fu Zao], June 1996)

11. Ingratiate Oneself (Ingratiate Oneself, Dec 1994)

12. Exit (Ingratiate Oneself, Dec 1994)

13. Tempted Heart (Hundred Thousand Whys, Sep 1993)

14. Imagine (Restless, June 1996)

15. Where (Restless, June 1996)

16. Wild Three Hills (Restless, June 1996)

 

She composed the music for these songs:

1. New Tenant (Fable, Oct 2000)

2. Chanel (Fable, Oct 2000)

3. Emotional Life (Chang You, Oct 1998)

4. Face (Chang You, Oct 1998)

5. The Cambrian Era (Fable, Oct 2000)

6. Di-Dar (Di-Dar, Dec 1995)

7. Asura (Fable, Oct 2000)

8. Flowers of Paradise (Fable, Oct 2000)

9. April Snow (To Love, Nov 2003)

10. A Little Clever (Chang You, Oct 1998)

11. Vacation (Di-Dar, Dec 1995)

She wrote the lyrics for:

No Regrets (No Regrets, Feb 1993)

Leelee2046 Homage to Faye and Tong Tong

In this 12 June 2008 YouTube upload, Leelee2046 shares a video that she created with clips from Faye Wong’s Hong Kong Scenic Tour 98-99 concert and “Passenger,” my favorite track from Faye’s To Love (Nov 2003) album. These two elements from different performances blend together beautifully to make a single statement.

The title of Leelee2046’s work is “Faye Wong & Tong Tong homage – Scenic Tour,” and in her comment, she says, “This was the first video I’ve ever made!” She captures some of the most beautiful scenes from the concert, especially the ones of Faye in the silver dress. This video combines a lot of my favorites — a favorite concert, a favorite performance, and a favorite song. I’ll bet a lot of you probably feel the same way. This video hangs together aesthetically and thematically. It also closes with the end of the concert, with Faye bowing to the audience. This is, indeed, a loving tribute to Faye and to Tong Tong, to whom the 98-99 concert seems to have been dedicated.

Faye’s ‘Face is very small!’

On June 10, a fan spotted Faye Wong (王菲), Li Yapeng (李亚鹏), and Tong Tong (童童) emerging from the Beijing Changping (北京昌平) valley after a nature hike. Faye was carrying a thick book, Compendium of Materia Medica (本草纲目). The fan said, “A few of us were resting on the roadside, on a stone platform, when we spotted Tong Tong, then Faye Wong and Li Yapeng!” She added, “Faye Wong is really very pretty. Ah, the face is very small ah!”

(source: QianLong.com, 12 June 2008)

Modern Love Story IV

“Modern Love Story IV: Three Equals One Love” (愛情戀曲IV: 愛情3加1) is an episode in a 1994 TV romantic comedy series featuring various popular actors. This is the segment in which Faye Wong (王菲) appears. The plot is flimsy, the script is equally thin, and the production is obviously rushed. The producers were apparently trying to capitalize on Faye’s appeal. The look and feel of the entire film is from Faye’s April 1994 album, Mystery, especially the hit “I’m Willing” (我願意), which is included in the video (part 3 below). In fact, compare the scenes toward the end with the MV of Faye singing this song at the ocean’s edge. You can’t miss the similarities.

These stills were captured from YouTube videos [7.12.08: they are no longer available on YouTube] and they are the best parts of the entire show. The camera lingers on Faye, zooming in on her face and eyes. It’s obvious that filmmakers are beginning to realize how extraordinarily photogenic she is, and the close-ups provide the only really aesthetic moments in the film.

Click below to see the four videos [7.12.08: they are no longer available on YouTube] that make up the episode. The quality isn’t great, but it’s watchable. I’m not sure, but I believe this performance predates Chungking Express, which was shot later in the year. Faye’s appearance remains pretty much the same, but the quality of the production, script, directing, etc. makes a world of difference. I’m guessing that director Wong Kar-Wai (王家卫) must’ve seen something in this video that made him realize Faye would be perfect for the part opposite Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (梁朝偉).

[7.12.08: These videos are no longer available on YouTube]

Modern Love Story IV: Three Equals One Love, part 1.

Modern Love Story IV: Three Equals One Love, part 2.

Modern Love Story IV: Three Equals One Love, part 3.

Modern Love Story IV: Three Equals One Love, part 4.

Rare Early Videos – Faye’s First Video

The year was 1989, and Wong Chingman (王靖雯, Wang Jingwen in Mandarin) appeared in a Hong Kong TV program that featured contestants and winners of the Asia-Pacific Gold Zheng Popular Tune Composition Contest (亚太金筝流行曲创作大赛). This would be the equivalent of today’s American Idol-type contests. This is, I believe, the first video of the megastar, who would later be known as Faye Wong (王菲), performing on stage in the career that began after her family’s move to HK.

She placed third in the competition, singing “Still the Same Phrase” (仍是旧句子). And like today’s idol winners, this win launched her into the recording world. In Nov 1989, she released her first official album, Shirley Wong. Considering Faye’s phenomenal career in the following decades, it’s hard to imagine that she didn’t take the gold. The voice is there, and the model’s good looks, too. But I guess the fact that she was unknown in HK up until this point and that she sang in Cantonese instead of Mandarin, the language she’s most comfortable in, might’ve made a difference. Still, I get goosebumps when I watch this video of a 20-year-old Faye on the verge of becoming the greatest pop singer in China.


For a first album, Shirley Wong was very popular. It remained on the leading pop charts for seven weeks in Nov and Dec 1989 and rose as high as the second spot in Jan 1990. As a result, she received bronze in the Chizha Pop Music Chart (叱咤乐坛流行榜中) awards for best new female singer (生力军女歌手) for 1989. The video above captures her live onstage performance during the awards ceremony, singing “However That Day” (无奈那天), the first track on Shirley and the biggest hit.


In the video above, Faye has a live interview on the night of the award.


Track 1: Faye as Wang Jingwen (王靖雯) singing “However That Day” (無奈那天), the lead track in Shirley Wong. The male in the video is Ekin Cheng.


Track 2: “Excuse” (借口)


Track 7: “Still the Same Phrase” (From YouTube upload by Snpro 18 May 2007)

Added 6.9.08: The sources I found aren’t clear about when, exactly, Faye signed with Cinepoly in the sequence of events described above. The most prevalent view is that she studied singing in HK with Mr. and Mrs. Dai Sicong (戴思聪), who recognized her gifts and introduced her to Chen Xiaobao (陈小宝), Cinepoly general manager, who auditioned and signed Faye to a recording contract before the Zheng Popular Tune [筝流行曲] contest. However, another source indicated that the signing took place after she won the contest. At this point, I’ll go with the popular opinion.

Those Flowers – A Mystery?

Pu Shu (树) released “Those Flowers” (那些花儿, Na Xie Hua Er) in September 2003 and since then it’s been one of the most popular modern Chinese ballads ever. It seems everyone, pros and amateurs alike, has performed and recorded it. YouTube is filled with homespun covers. It doesn’t come close to the number of imitators for Faye’s “Eyes on Me,” but the numbers are way up there. Some refer to it as China’s version of the early-1960s American folk classic “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” Musically, I think “Those Flowers” is far, far better. It’s a beautiful ballad — one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. And a major reason is its simplicity. This is one song I don’t get tired of listening to.

The audio for Pu Shu’s version is below (D). It was ripped from a YouTube video of his live version, uploaded by Zuoricxzhyf on 14 Oct 2007. There’s also an MV, added to YouTube by Hisashilx on 24 Sep 2007.

A number of Faye’s “Those Flowers” videos are available on YouTube. All are amateurish fan recordings of poor quality, and of the ones that I found and viewed, all but one are from Faye’s 2004 Beijing concert. An example is Adelineshim’s YouTube addition of 11 Mar 2007. The exception is Fayechan’s 5 Dec 2007 YouTube upload, which is from the 21 May 2004 Shanghai concert.

There’s also an audio only version (see A below, “studio” version). I found it on Wubing’s Always There for You blog. A similar audio version is available on Imeem, uploaded by Kai M in Apr 2008. These are similar to the audio-only video, which I found at tv.mofile.com.

Of the three major Faye versions, A is far superior in quality.

Now, for the mystery. I’m not 100% sure that A, the studio version, is sung by Faye. The reason is the difference in quality. If she never entered a studio to record it, then it must’ve been professionally taped during one of her live performances in China. (It has to be China because “Those Flowers” wasn’t included in concerts outside of China.) Yet, as you’ll see when you listen to A, the background is absolutely silent. You don’t hear the audience at all. If this feat can actually be accomplished via sound engineering, then I’d have no doubts. But can it? You’d think some audience noise would seep in. The other alternative is that Faye actually did record this song in a studio but it was never released. However, I haven’t seen or heard any proof of this.

Some fayenatics believe that A is actually a cover by Fan Fan (Fan Wei Chi, 范玮琪). However, if you listen to Fan Fan’s MV (uploaded by Addie5101 on 9 Aug 2006) and live video (uploaded by Hahahehe168 on 23 March 2008), you can hear a huge difference. A is definitely not Fan Fan.

I’ve listened to other female covers of “Those Flowers” on YouTube, and the only videos that come close to A are Faye’s. If you listen to the Beijing version, you may not be totally convinced. But if you listen to the Shanghai version (B), you may be. I’m about 99% convinced that A is sung by Faye, and if it was recorded live, then it was the Shanghai concert.

Listen and see what you think. If you have any information that can help us decide, one way or the other, if A is Faye’s, then please add a comment.

A. This audio-only (“studio”) version is technically the best of the bunch, but is it Faye?

B. Faye’s live Shanghai concert version — sounds very similar to A.

C. Audio of Fan Fan’s MV version — doesn’t sound like A at all.

D. P u Shu’s live version.

Added 8.4.08:

E. Another version of Faye’s live performance submitted by Wubing 8.4.08.

[Added 10.8.08Those Flowers – No Longer a Mystery!]

Fantástico Faye Wong Blog — Diario de Viagem

Diario de Viagem is Leelee2046’s blog. (Click on the banner image below to go to the site.) She’s in Brazil and very active in the international fayenatics community. The blog is devoted to various topics of interest to her, but the dominant subject seems to be Faye Wong (王菲)! The blog is professionally designed with beautiful graphics and arrangements of elements that are esthetically pleasing to the eye. (BTW, she also creates her own MVs, featuring stars like Faye, and posts them on YouTube.)

I really like some of her Faye features, especially “Faye Wong ranking: 10 best happy songs,” “Faye Wong ranking: 10 best ballads (parts 1 and 2),” and “Faye Wong 10 best live performances.” All of these are linked to videos, and I really like all her choices! I’m going to steal her ideas and create similar lists on Faye Wong Today.

In Leelee2046’s happy songs list, my favorites are “Bored” and “Separate Ways.” If you’re feeling down or moody, these will cheer you up. I definitely feel that this video of Faye singing and dancing to “Bored” in her 24 Dec 2003 Hong Kong Coliseum (“No Faye, No Live!”) concert is hot! Whew!

In the best ballads list, I like “Reservedness” and “Passenger,” two of my all-time favorites.

The coolest of the three is the best live performances list. And my favorite is “Beautiful Mistake.”

Also, be sure to check out her photos, especially the one of Faye in the see-through dress!

This is an awesome blog that should be a link in every fayenatic’s list of favorite URLs.


Faye and LYP in Hangzhou

Faye Wong (王菲) and Li Yapeng (李亚鹏) went to Hangzhou on June 6 to visit children injured in the earthquake. Despite appeals by the local government officials to keep media activity to a minimum, the press corps grew as word of the visit got out. (Added 6.7.08: Unable to keep the press at bay, LYP asked that they at least shield the children’s faces in their photos. The first photo in the lineup below, posted 6.6.08, was replaced with a copy that blurs the baby’s face.) LYP asked photographers to When the inevitable question about Faye’s return was raised, LYP’s answer was very interesting: “The main thing now is to do charity. Other things cannot be [pursued] for the time being.” This is definitely not a “no.” This photo of Faye with the recuperating baby shows her genuine warmth and caring. And you can see the same caring in LYP’s face, too. As a couple, they are symbols for the love and generosity of all the people of China.

(Source: ent.ce.cn 7 June 2008 and ent.zjol.com.cn 6 June 2008)

Rare Songs – Valentine’s Radio

“Valentine’s Radio” is one of my favorite rare Faye Wong (王菲) songs. (Click below to listen to Faye’s and Yuming’s version.) It has a dated dance beat, but it’s fun to listen to. It was written and sung by Yumi Matsutōya (松任谷由実 ), who goes by the nickname Yuming (ユーミン). It was the lead track in her album Love Wars, released 25 Nov 1989. For her Queen’s Fellows: Yuming 30th Anniversary Cover Album (rel Dec 2002), she invited Faye to cover “Valentine’s Radio.” Faye sings it in the original Japanese. As far as I know, no video exists for Faye’s version. (Hopefully, someone like Leelee2046 will create a video for it.) On 4 Jan 2008, Sady19871224 uploaded a video of Yuming performing this song. The choreography is really good, and Yuming has a very nice voice. Needless to say, I prefer Faye’s version, but they’re equally good in their own way.

Faye’s version:

Yuming’s version:

Faye Wong’s Ten Best ‘Minor’ Videos – #9

The 9th selection for Faye Wong’s (王菲) ten best “minor” videos is the introduction to the 2003 interview that she had with Dodo Cheng (鄭裕玲, Cheng Yu-Ling, Carol) to promote her last official album, To Love (将爱, Jiang Ai), released in Nov 2003. (Click on the video below.) Adelineshim uploaded this and the entire four-part (part 1, 2, 3, 4) sequence to YouTube on March 10-23, 2006. In Dec 2003, Faye would begin her “No Faye, No Live!” concert series. The fanfare for this promo is awesome. She arrives on a yacht, lined up wth the officers and crew. The landing is crowded with media and spectators. Her walk down the ramp and up the stairway to the entrance of the building is spectacular. With her move to the Sony label comes a new dimension in marketing that blows away all previous efforts. This promo sets a new standard that would be hard to beat for anyone, including Faye’s team. Faye looks fabulous in this video!


See the entire four-part sequence: part 1, 2, 3, 4. The introduction to this series is in selection #1.

Rare Early Videos – Close to You

This is a 1995 Hong Kong TVB video of Faye Wong (王菲) and Sally Yeh (叶倩文, Ye Qianwen) singing “Close to You,” a cover of the Carpenters‘ 1970 chart topper. (The sound quality in the audio, which is below the video, is better.) The song was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David in 1963, and it was first released by the Carpenters as a single on 15 May 1970 when Faye was not quite two years old.Sally was born in Taiwan but grew up in Canada. She is noted for being the only person to have won the Hong Kong Best Female Singer award four times. In 1996, she got married and her career went into hold, while Faye’s continued to skyrocket. (Revised 7.12.08: Added 6.6.08: This video is part 2 of a 4-part series.)

Faye and Teresa – 1,000 Words, 10,000 Phrases

With this post, I’m beginning a series on Faye Wong’s (王菲) cover of hits by the singer she idolized as a teenager, Teresa Teng (鄧麗君, Deng Lijun, 29 Jan 1953-8 May 1995), the superstar from Taiwan who dominated the Asian pop music scene in the ’70s and ’80s. The song is “One Thousand Words, Ten Thousand Phrases” (千言萬語, Quian Yan Wan Yu). The audios for both are below. They were ripped from YouTube posts by Mcorange (5.27.06) and Stunningnuts (7.21.06). Teresa’s version is from a 1977 Taiwan TV performance. Faye’s, nearly two decades later, from a live recording of her Dec 1994 Faye Wong Live In Concert video. I’m not going to try to compare one against the other because they’re from different eras and represent very different styles. Still, it’s fascinating to listen to them both, side by side, singing the same song. Whenever I do, I come away with a renewed appreciation for Teresa’s influence and for the way Faye is able to take a song and make it uniquely her own.

Faye’s version:

Teresa’s version:

Note: Other posts in this series:Faye and Teresa – Where Comes the Wind