What’s Stalling Faye Wong’s Return?

I’m sure this question has been on the minds of millions of Faye Wong (王菲) fans throughout the world for the last four years. Since her last No Faye, No Live! concert in Guangzhou on 10 January 2005, the release of the concert album in November 2004, and her To Love (將愛 Jiang Ai) album in November 2003, we have been waiting for a new album or concert performance.

Will 2009 be the year when Faye returns?

I’m not an insider like Katie Chen (陈家瑛 Chen Jiaying), Carina Lau (刘嘉玲 Liu Jia Ling), Vicki Zhao (赵薇 Zhao Wei), or Ma Jia (马葭) so I can’t answer this question with any kind of authority, but like most of you, I’ve been following her career very closely and have a number of thoughts on what may be keeping Faye from returning to her performing career.

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(Photo source: 7_70)

There are a number of clues that might, together, provide an explanation:

Clue 1. Faye isn’t motivated by money. She never has been and probably never will. Thus, multimillion dollar offers may not have the appeal that it does for most people.

Clue 2. She’s not staying away because of the children, Tong Tong (竇靖童 Dou Jingtong) and Li Yan (李嫣), as many believe. Yes, she loves them and enjoys caring for them, but in the past, she resumed her career almost immediately after Tong Tong’s birth.

Clue 3. Since Coming Home in August 1992, every album has been different in the sense that, in each, Faye pushes the envelope, experimenting and trying new things. The point is that her discography since 1992 is a continuous progression, development, or growth. In her last album, Jiang Ai, Faye served as co-producer, with Zhang Ya Dong (張亞東), of the entire album. She also composed and wrote three of the songs, the title track “To Love,” “Leave Nothing” (不留), and “Sunshine Dearest” (陽寶), and she composed the music for “April Snow” (四月雪).

Clue 4. She’s not resting, as many seem to believe. Faye has tremendous energy and strength, and the reason for her absence from the limelight isn’t physical.

Clue 5. She’s not being restrained or held back by her husband, Li Yapeng (李亚鹏), as some believe. In fact, LYP is her biggest fan and would want nothing better than to see and hear Faye perform once again. However, to his credit, he’s leaving the decision solely in her hands.

Clue 6. Faye hasn’t lost her voice as some speculate. Her voice and talents are part of her DNA, and she can’t lose what’s a natural part of her. Also, her 18 May 2008 earthquake relief live performance with Faith Yang ( 杨乃文, Yang Nai Wen), Eason Chan (陈奕迅, Chen Yi Xun, ), and Aniu (阿牛) in “Wishing We Last Forever” demonstrated to the world that her voice is as beautiful as ever.

Clue 7. She hasn’t lost her looks. All one has to do is look at her recent photos and videos. She is absolutely gorgeous!

Clue 8. Faye isn’t restless, and this is a major reason, I think, for her reluctance to reignite her career. In the past, her creative juices flowed when she was restless or impatient. It’s almost as though she’s driven by an inner force that only she can feel — a force that can be released only through creative expression in music.

Clue 9. She hasn’t seen or heard anything in the current music scene to spark her creative energies. There’s no modern day equivalent of Teresa Teng (鄧麗君 Deng Lijun) or Cocteau Twins to inspire her. And her former collaborators, Zhang and Lin Xi (林夕), as well as C. Y. Kong, Dou Wei (竇唯), and Nic Tse (谢霆锋 Xie Tingfeng), haven’t been working with her to create new material.

Clue 10. Faye has never said that she’s retired or retiring from her career. And this is perhaps the most important clue. She’s leaving the door open simply because she may want to step into the recording studio when the spirit moves her. There’s no timetable. It’s just a matter of waiting for the right moment to strike, when her adrenaline and restlessness kicks in.

A Likely Scenario for Faye’s Return

So, given these clues, what’s a likely scenario for her return? My guess is that either or both Zhang and Lin Xi will have to make the first move by presenting Faye with new songs or concepts that could be exciting for her. It’ll have to be sufficiently different, new, and edgy, and it’ll have to be something that fits Faye and represents, for her, growth.

These two have collaborated extensively with Faye in the past, and, together, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I’d also toss C. Y. Kong, Dou Wei, and Nic into the mix. Faye brings out the genius in each of these guys, and, together, they could create the kind of music that would stir the restlessness or anxiety within Faye that seeks creative expression in music.

In this scenario, Faye would play many different roles, as she has in the past, when she felt in sync with her collaborators, and these roles will include bouncing off her partners and adding her own touches, including original compositions or lyrics or both.

These individuals, including Faye, intuitively realize that, alone, each can’t grow. It’s only in collaboration that they can transcend the limits of their own talents and create music that’ll take them and the entire industry to a whole new level.

So, how do we get this ball rolling? I’d say that someone has to take the initiative, the first step. And from where I’m sitting, the most likely candidate for this task is Katie. She has the personality, the power, and the talent to bring people together. She needs to make this happen by contacting the individuals and asking them to work with Faye to take up where she left off in 2005.

The goal would definitely not be to do an oldies-but-goodies rehash of past hits. Instead, it would be to continue the growth that stopped in 2005, to take the next step into a new and different sound that is purely Faye Wong.

Deb at Faye’s ‘98 HK Concert!

Deb, on 10 December 2008, said:

It [the stills below] was during the song “Bored” which I think was the 3rd song of the night [New Year’s Eve/Day 1998/1999 concert at HK Coliseum], so if you go to that song, when Faye [Wong (王菲)] walks around the perimeter of the stage (it is actually a travellator that moves around during her “Dream Person” and “Dream Walk” songs). But from memory, the editing of “Bored” doesn’t give a clear view of us shaking hands with Faye but you see her take our teddies back to centre stage and puts them down.

I was completely shocked when I saw myself on the DVD, could not believe my luck and would have to be my biggest claim to fame!

To be honest, I was so excited and had so much adrenalin at the time that it was all a big blur! So the video helps me remember what actually happened! I remember more about the moments leading to it, my friend and I looking at each other saying “oh my god, she’s coming over, should we go? will we get into trouble? should we wait?!?!” In a split second my legs decided to make a run for it and I think I actually left my friend up in our aisle seats (very convenient) and she had to catch up to me! The security guard was still sitting down in the aisle on the bottom step just enjoying the show and I actually leapt over him to get to the fencing – he was more surprised to see me than Faye!

It really was a moment of sheer spontaneity! I’m very happy that I didn’t let that opportunity pass me by!
deb_friend01deb_friend04a[Click here to see the earlier article, “#10 at Faye’s ‘98 HK Concert!,” which includes a video and a photo of Deb and Faye.]

#10 at Faye’s ’98 HK Concert!

In our most recent survey, “Been to a Live Faye Concert?,” participant #10 (update Dec 8: #10 is Deb!) provided the following responses (see below) to questions 3 and 4. In the 12-second video clip, extracted from the “Opening” of the Faye HK Scenic Tour 98-99 video, we see her giving a teddy bear to Faye Wong (王菲)! The guard is on the left in the photo — too late to stop her. What a moment! Captured forever, with Faye, in what has to be one of Faye’s greatest concert videos, held on New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day 1998-99.

3. Please list the concerts you attended, with the locations and dates if you remember them.
*10: Hong Kong 1998/1999 Concert Series – 30th & 31st Dec (I am featured on the VCD/DVD intro since it was filmed on NYE! you see me handing a teddy bear to Faye) Sydney 2000 – it was some time in Sept during my uni “study” break… needless to say, there was not much studying. I’m from Perth so I secretly flew over to Sydney and went to the concert with a friend.

4. Which Faye concert was your favorite? Why?
*10: I suppose it has to be the 31st Dec 1998 concert in HK. I saw the 30th Dec concert with my mum, in the 5th row, but it really wasn’t that much fun being with mum who’s not a fan. But on the 31st, I went with another fayenatic and we went nuts. We knew what the concert format was and knew when Faye would walk around the edge of the stage, so we took a punt at racing down there to shake her hand, it wasn’t the “official” shaking hands time of the concert because it was right at the start of the night, so we completely surprised the security guard and he couldn’t stop us! It was freaking awesome, a dream come true!! You’ll see me in the intro segment of the VCD/DVD, and you might get a glimpse of my friend and I giving Faye the teddy bear and kookaburra (the aussie laughing bird).

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Click here to see the survey — view the results and, if you wish, participate in the survey. I will update the results as I receive the reports.

Faye and LYP on Her Return

nov27_231On November 27, Faye Wong (王菲) left Beijing’s Capital Airport at 09:00am. She landed at  Chengdu’s Shuangliu Airport at noon for a brief stopover and, five hours later, arrived at Lhasa’s Gonggar Airport. At Capital Airport, a reporter, a middle-aged man, asked when she will reappear in a concert, and Faye Wong’s answer was, “For the time being, I have no such intention.

In Chengdu, Faye met up with her husband, Li Yapeng (李亚鹏), who flew in from Guangzhou, where he was shooting a film. Together, they flew to Lhasa. (Source Qingdao News 28 Nov 2008.)

200811292351309d077On the 29th, in Guangzhou, after his return from Lhasa, LYP was asked by the media when Wang Fei would resurface. He smiled and said, “You should ask her. Why do you ask me?” However he said afterward, “Actually, I’m also anxiously awaiting her return. As her fan, I’m also anticipating the time when she resurfaces.” A reporter asked whether Faye sang for him at home. He replied, “She sings at home for her daughters.” (Source Netease/Ent163 29 Nov 2008.)

Both Faye’s and LYP’s answers leave the door wide open for Faye’s eventual return. Faye’s “for the time being” is an exceptionally strong indicator that she has not retired and is definitely considering a return. The question is not if but when, and only Faye really knows the answer. She’ll return when she’s ready. And for fayenatics, that’s good enough. But we hope it’ll be sooner rather than later.

Survey: Been to a Live Faye Concert?

Click here to participate in this survey about attending a live Faye Wong (王菲) concert. This survey is for everyone — not just for those who’ve been lucky enough to have seen Faye perform live at one or more of her concerts. I’ll post the results as I receive them. Please use the comments feature for this article to post ideas that weren’t addressed in the survey or to expand on your statements in the survey. Thanks!

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LATEST SURVEY RESULTS (/ = 1 vote)
1. Have you ever attended a live Faye Wong concert?
YES: 10//
NO: ///

2. If yes, how many Faye concerts have you attended?
1: ///
2-3: 5
4-5: ////
6+:
0: ///

3. Please list the concerts you attended, with the locations and dates if you remember them. (Write “NA” if you didn’t attend any.)
*2: 2004-06-02 singapore concert
*3: faye wong concert location-singapore year-1998-99?
*4: Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 1998? Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 2004?
*5: 1) Singapore 2) Hong Kong twice 3) Kuala Lumpur
*6: Singapore – 1989? Singapore – 2004 2 shows
*7: Concert In Kuala Lumpur 2004
*8: 1) Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 1999 & 2004, 2 shows; 2) Singapore 2004; 3) Taiwan 2004
*10: Hong Kong 1998/1999 Concert Series – 30th & 31st Dec (I am featured on the VCD/DVD intro since it was filmed on NYE! you see me handing a teddy bear to Faye) Sydney 2000 – it was some time in Sept during my uni “study” break… needless to say, there was not much studying. I’m from Perth so I secretly flew over to Sydney and went to the concert with a friend.
*11: 1999 – Singapore 2004 – Singapore
*12: June 2004 Singapore concert 13th & 14th Feb 1999 Singapore concerts 1999 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia concerts
*14: singapore feb 14th 1999/2000 I WOULD FLY TO ANYWHERE NOW FOR HER CONCERT!!! ( im currently in US)

4. Which Faye concert was your favorite? Why? (Write “NA” if you didn’t attend any.)
*2: 2004 singapore concert, because first time watching a concert.
*3: loved all of them
*5: Hong Kong
*6: All – very mesmirising
*7: Concert in Kuala Lumpur 2004, since that was the only concert I attended.
*8: Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 2004
*10: I suppose it has to be the 31st Dec 1998 concert in HK. I saw the 30th Dec concert with my mum, in the 5th row, but it really wasn’t that much fun being with mum who’s not a fan. But on the 31st, I went with another fayenatic and we went nuts. We knew what the concert format was and knew when Faye would walk around the edge of the stage, so we took a punt at racing down there to shake her hand, it wasn’t the “official” shaking hands time of the concert because it was right at the start of the night, so we completely surprised the security guard and he couldn’t stop us! It was freaking awesome, a dream come true!! You’ll see me in the intro segment of the VCD/DVD, and you might get a glimpse of my friend and I giving Faye the teddy bear and kookaburra (the aussie laughing bird).
*11: Both
*12: Faye 1999 Singapore concerts
*14: i think the best (from dvds) is still her first one. her voice is crystal clear, she has the fresh artist feel and her liberal indie-ness is still burning! i wish i was there, dammit!

5. If Faye held a live concert in a major Asian city in 2009, would you attend?
Definitely yes: 5////
Yes: ///
Not sure: ///
No:
Definitely not:

Faye and Zhang’s Dec 20 Concert

Netease (21 Nov 2008) reports a strong likelihood that Faye Wong (王菲) will appear in Zhang Ya Dong’s (张亚东) December 20 concert in Beijing’s Olympic Sports Center (奥体中心). Other stars mentioned in connection with the event are Hackberry (朴树), Li Yuchun (李宇春), Sandy Lam (林忆莲), Anthony Wong (黄耀明), and Joey Yung (容祖儿). More than likely, she will participate as a spectator, sitting in the audience. However, the hope is that she will actually perform on stage. If this report is credible, I believe we’re seeing the first steps in Faye’s eventual return to the stage. However, it’s too early to tell if this report is accurate.

zhang_faye21nov08

Faye Wong at Antipiracy Concert 2003

On 15 Nov 2003, Faye Wong (王菲) performed live before 60 thousand fans at the Asia Superstar Anti-Piracy Rally Concert at Shanghai Stadium. Fifteen other stars participated in the event, sponsored by Sony Music, including Wang Lee Hom (王力宏), Jolin Tsai (蔡依林), and Jay Chou (周杰倫). In this video, Faye sings “To Love” (將愛) and “I’m Willing” (我愿意).

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(Source: Tudou)

Rehearsal for Faye’s 1994 Concert

I’m not sure why, but this is one of my all-time favorite Faye Wong (王菲) videos. Some might feel it’s boring because it’s a studio rehearsal for her 1994 HK Coliseum concert. She’s just sitting on a stool, relaxed, singing. She’s wearing glasses and a simple blue coat. No fancy costumes, lighting, camera angles, or filters. Yet, I find it mesmerizing. Her confidence and maturity are amazing when we realize that she’s only 25 years old. The video shows a side of Faye that fayenatics don’t often see — the professional, serious, no-nonsense, all-business side that makes her so different from other “stars” who are merely performers, personaltiies, pretty faces, or FOTMs. Faye’s the complete package. She not only knows what she’s doing with her career and her music, but she’s also intimately involved in all aspects of it. Seriously, can you think of any other artist in the world who’s able to turn nearly everything she/he sings into an instant classic? This is why we see a consistently extraordinary quality in all her performances and resulting products such as albums and concerts. If I had a choice of attending the concert or being invited to just sit and observe this rehearsal, I think I’d choose the rehearsal. Yeah!

(Source: from a Tudou video)

POLL: Will Faye Release a New Album in 2009?

In recent photos, we’ve seen Faye Wong (王菲) out and about, emerging from a karaoke parlor late at night on Oct 25 and shopping for furniture a few days later. She seems to have regained her health, and, as usual, appears trim, stylish, and beautiful. Despite Zhang Ya Dong‘s (張亞東) assertion that he never said Faye was returning and that she would not be appearing in the concert to promote his new album, and despite the false rumor that she would appear at the 50th anniversary Xi’an Film Studio concert, “Song of the Film,” on Nov 8, fayenatics the world over are still hopeful that Faye will return. The question for most is not if but when. Thus, I’ve decided to run a poll. This is the first official Faye Wong Today poll so I hope all of you will participate. Please use the comment feature below to explain your vote. Don’t use the “comment” in the poll; instead, use the one that appears at the end of this article. Thanks!

‘Don’t Break My Heart’ – Faye Wong Video

Here’s a rare video of Faye Wong (王菲) singing — and Dou Wei (窦唯) playing the drums for — “Don’t Break My Heart” at the Tokyo Budokan concert on March 11-12, 1999. This was the Japan leg of the HK Scenic Tour 98-99 concert series. For a related post, click here. At this concert, Faye also sang Queen’s 1975 hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” (click here for a related post).

Faye Wong’s Video – Sunflower

This video is from a YouTube upload by Rickotube on 19 Oct 2008. (Kakashihin uploaded the same video on 13 June 2006.) I really like it. The song is “Sunflower,” from Jiang Ai (Nov 2003), which Faye Wong (王菲) wrote and composed. The MV captures Faye in a completely new look, but what’s really intriguing is the way the video incorporates background clips from the Dec 2003 concert in Hong Kong Coliseum. We see Faye in rehearsals, and Zhang Ya Dong (张亚东) in the opening seconds. We see her jumping in exaltation at the end of the concert, apparently high on the excitement and relieved that the long and demanding performance is over. We also see her leaving the Coliseum, waving to fans who are patiently waiting outside. There are many other clips that make this one of the best for an insider feel for what it must be like to work with Faye, backstage, at one of her concerts. Awesome!

Faye Wong & Dou Wei – Doomsday

Faye Wong’s (王菲) 1998 Hong Kong concert video is one of my all-time favorites, and “Doomsday” is one of the best songs. I really like it because it features Dou Wei (窦唯) on drums. The guy’s a musical genius, and his arrangements have an amazing energy that jumps out at you.

Fayve Concert Photos – 002: Taipei 2004

Faye Wong’s (王菲) 27 Nov. 2004 “No Faye, No Live!” concert in Taipei has to be one of the best in terms of costumes. In this set, we have what I think is one of the hottest outfits she’s ever worn. In the second of the two photos, she’s stripped off the jacket and created one of the all-time best concert shots.

Some of the other outfits she wore in this concert are also dazzling, and I hope to find some photos that will do them justice. In this series, the aim is to not only showcase my favorite concert photos but to present them in quality images wih the best possible resolution and focus.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.

Yet Another ‘Faye Wong Will Return’ Rumor

In the vacuum that remains between Faye Wong’s (王菲) infrequent public appearances, it seems the media grows increasingly desperate for news about Faye, China’s hottest celebrity. The fact that she’s been in semi-retired seclusion for the last three years or so only enhances her appeal. The Chinese public can never get enough of her, and even the briefest glimpse captured by paparazzi or fans mushrooms into a media blitz throughout the Chinese-speaking world and much of Asia for days or weeks on end.

Entertainment editors need little or no excuse to plaster recycled photos and far-fetched rumors of Faye or her family and friends on the front pages of their paper and web entertainment sections. The mere mention of her name is enough to attract huge numbers of readers and viewers. And this period without Faye is no exception.

Imaginative journalists have concocted another “come back” rumor that’s been circulating for the past few days. This time, they’re using the circumstance of Faye and Na Ying’s (那英) recent appearance in Chengdu as “evidence” that they’re secretly plotting a comeback. In this scenario, Na Ying will come out of her semi-retirement and schedule a few live concerts after the Olympics. And, in a spectacular surprise, Faye will join Na Ying as a guest, onstage, to reprise their famous “Meet in 1998” duet or a few of her many, many hits.

The same writers use the fact that a decade has passed as circumstantial proof that a 10th anniversary performance of the two close friends is a logical inevitability. Needless to say, they are extremely vague about the sources of their insider information, and the trail is usually filled with hearsay accounts of an informant with obscure connections to an acquaintance of a person who works for a close relative of an agent who has contact with a manager of Faye’s husband’s friend. Of course, the source, after all is said and done, turns out to be a ghost with no name.

The point isn’t so much “Is the rumor true?” but rather the fact that Faye’s absence from entertainment has left a gaping void in the minds and hearts of the Chinese people — a sense of emptiness that won’t be filled until Faye finally returns.