Decadent Sound of Faye

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Decadent Sound of Faye
Studio album by Faye Wong
Released July 1995
Genre Mandopop
Label Cinepoly
Faye Wong chronology
Please Myself
(1994)
Decadent Sounds of Faye
(1995)
One Person Playing Two Roles
(1995)
Decadent Sound of Faye
Chinese 菲靡靡之音
Literal meaning Luxurious Decadent Music

Decadent Sound of Faye[1] (Chinese: 菲靡靡之音; pinyin: Fēi mǐmǐ zhī yīn), also translated as Faye Beautiful Music,[2] is a 1995 Mandarin album recorded by Chinese Cantopop singer Faye Wong when she was based in Hong Kong.

Etymology[edit]

The word ‘decadent’ is an ironic echo of early PRC condemnation of music such as that of Taiwanese singer Teresa Tang's music as mǐmǐ zhī yue (靡靡之樂).[3][4][5] The title of this album is a pun: during the Cultural Revolution, Teng's songs were condemned as "decadent sounds" () by the Communist Party of China. The album title is literally translated as Faye's Decadent Music (),[6] but as the character "" (fēi, i.e. the name Faye in Mandarin) has the same pronunciation as the related character "" (fēi, no/not/non prefix in Classical Mandarin), the title can also be construed as "Non-Decadent Sounds".[7]

Word play on Faye's name fēi in Mandarin has also been used on two Cinepoly compilation albums: 菲卖品 Fēi mài pǐn ("Faye sale product", a pun on 非卖品 fēi mài pǐn, "Not-for-sale product")[8] and 菲主打 Fēi zhǔdǎ ("Faye main beat", a pun on 非主打 Fēi zhǔdǎ "not main beat").

Tributing to Teresa Teng[edit]

The album consists entirely of cover versions of songs originally released by her idol Teresa Teng, one of the most revered Chinese singers of the 20th century. Teng's music remains extremely popular in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and mainland China. A duet was planned for the album, but Teng died before this could be recorded; Wong considered scrapping the project out of respect.[9] However, Faye sang this duet, Li Bai's "清平調" with Teresa posthumously in a memorial celebrating her 60th birthday.

Reception[edit]

Decadent Sounds sold quite well despite initial negative criticism. It has come to be recognised as a classic by her fans and is held as an example of imaginative covering by recent critics. Not only did Wong show that she shared Teresa Teng's clear, sweet singing voice, but the arrangements added an unexpected freshness to many of the songs.[10]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "雪中蓮" (Xuĕ Zhōng Lián) –
    Lotus In The Snow
  2. "你在我心中" (Nĭ Zài Wŏ Xīn Zhōng) –
    You Are In My Heart
  3. "但願人長久" (Dàn Yuàn Rén Cháng Jiŭ) –
    Wishing We Last Forever
  4. "君心我心" (Jūn Xīn Wŏ Xīn) –
    His Heart, My Heart
  5. "初戀的地方" (Chū Liàn De Dì Fāng) –
    Place of First Love
  6. "南海姑娘" (Nán Hăi Gū Niáng) –
    South China Sea Girl
  7. "假如我是真的" (Jiă Rú Wŏ Shì Zhēn De) –
    If I Were True
  8. "翠湖寒" (Cuì Hú Hán) –
    Cold Blue-Green Lake
  9. "黃昏裡" (Huáng Hūn Lĭ) –
    At Dusk
  10. "奈何" (Nài Hé) –
    Naihe
  11. "一個小心願" (Yī Gè Xiăo Xīn Yuàn) –
    One Small Wish
  12. "又見炊煙" (Yòu Jiàn Chuī Yān) –
    See the Chimney Smoke Again
  13. "原鄉情濃" (Yuán Xiāng Qíng Nóng) –
    Sentiments Of A Native Village

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Homan, Shane, ed. (2006). Access All Eras: Tribute Bands and Global Pop Culture. p. 228. Faye Wong (1995) The Decadent Sound of Faye. Hong Kong: Cinepoly. 
  2. ^ one source only: Anthony Fung and Michael Curtin, "The Anomalies of Being Faye (Wong): Gender Politics in Chinese Popular Music", International Journal of Cultural Studies 5, no. 3 (September 2002) "Faye Beautiful Music"
  3. ^ 'Tian Ci – Faye Wong and English Songs in the Cantopop and Mandapop Repertoire' Tony Mitchell, Conference Papers The Decadent Sound of Faye (1995) was a collection of cover songs in tribute to Taiwanese singer Teresa Tang, who had died in 1995 of an asthma attack while on tour in Thailand. The word ‘decadent’ was an ironic echo of the epithet used by PRC apparatchiks to condemn Tang’s music.
  4. ^ 孫伊 搖滾中國 p54 2012 "在這三類歌曲中,鄧麗君的「靡靡之音」因其與三十年代被指認為「一"一 ... 然而即便拋開其明確的文化商品屬性及其以甜美的、羅曼蒂克的風格為大眾消費「造情」的本質不談,「靡靡之音」打開的其實只是一個使閱聽者得以暫時逃離「公共生活」的「私」的 ..."
  5. ^ 江建俊 新編劉子新論 -2001 p94 "『注 3 , ,殷辛,即商紂,帝乙之子,名受,號帝辛。商紂使師涓作新淫之聲,北里之舞,靡靡之樂。後世因稱頹廢淫蕩的樂曲爲靡靡之音。王叔岷據《韓非子,十過篇》認爲師涓當爲師延。"
  6. ^ Mark Rosenfelder, Faye's Decadent Music, Zompist.com
  7. ^ 師永剛 - 鄧麗君私房相冊, 1953-1995 2005 p223 "一九九五年鄧麗君去世兩個月後,王菲推出了《菲靡靡之音》以作懷念,此時的王菲已有很高聲譽,而這張翻唱專輯的演唱方式也很有王菲的個性。王菲十六歲的時候曾以「迷人小姐」為名推出了一盒卡帶《王菲珍藏集》,也是她的第一張專輯,這盒《王菲珍藏集 ..."
  8. ^ Daniel Kane, The Chinese Language; Its History and Current Usage, 2006, p137. Nouns are negated in Classical Chinese with fei, which appears in modern words such as fei guanfang "unofficial," Ni fei fa "illegal," and feidian "atypical [pneumonia]" (SARS). Feimaipin "not-for-sale product" is a free."
  9. ^ Xiaobao Chen, ex-Universal Records Hong Kong CEO, 前環球總裁披露王菲舊事 與鄧麗君難了合唱緣 (Chinese)
  10. ^ Chan, Boon (28 October 2011). "Faye's back". The Straits Times (Singapore). p. C2.