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

3 Responses

  1. I am impressed by Faye’s version.

    They both have good voices, I’ll leave it at that.

  2. Teresa’s songs were well composed but kudos to Faye’s arrangements of Teresa’s songs, to make them more modern and classical. I’ve heard a few of Teresa’s originals, compare them to Faye’s version in the “Decadent Faye” album, you’ll appreciate Faye’s creativity/interpretation.

  3. Bruce, I agree. Faye’s voice is different. In her songs, videos, films, and photos I hear and see a beautiful soul — deep, sensitive, intelligent, gifted, loving, confident, spiritual.

    Deb, I started the Faye-Teresa series but haven’t had time to follow through. I will, though, when my schedule lightens up. Your use of “modern and classical” to describe Faye’s version is very interesting. It’s an oxymoron that captures part of Faye’s extraordinary appeal. In traditional ballads and nearly any song she sings, she’s somehow able to combine both modern and traditional elements into a blend that takes the song to the level of a classic, a song that transcends time. Thus, we can listen to them over and over again for years without ever tiring of them.

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