Tang Dynasty (band)
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Tang Dynasty performing in 2004.
|Genres||Progressive rock, art rock, folk metal, heavy metal|
|Labels||China Fire-Magic Stone-Rock Records (1992-1997), Jingwen Records (1998-2001), Jingguan Records (present)|
|Associated acts||Budaoweng, Black Panther, Breathing, White Angel, The Micro-organists, Spring and Autumn|
|Past members||Andrew Szabo
Zhang Ju (deceased)
Tang Dynasty rose to fame with their first major album A Dream Return to Tang Dynasty (1991/2). The album officially sold about 2,000,000 authentic copies throughout Asia and abroad, not counting the multitudes more of pirated copies. Their sound is part progressive rock and artistic metal and part traditional Chinese vocal technique. The lyrical poetry and musical arrangements meant to hearken back to the glorious days of ancient Chinese civilization; in particular, the art and cultural epitome of Chinese history as popularly represented by the era of the Tang dynasty.
In 1991, the band released its metal/rock version of The Internationale in Chinese.
Bassist Zhang Ju, died on May 11, 1995 while riding his motorcycle from fellow rock bassist friend Chen Jin's home, when an accident occurred involving a collision with a truck on the Zizhuqiao freeway overpass in western Beijing. Gu Zhong became bass player, but in August Liu Yijun left the band. Original founding member Kaiser Kuo, a Chinese-American who formed the band with Ding Wu and Zhang Ju in 1988, rejoined as guitarist in August 1996.
The band's 1998 release Epic was their second album, seven years after their debut record.
Kuo again parted company with Tang Dynasty in June 1999 and later formed another well-recognized metal/rock band, Spring and Autumn (Chunqiu). Kuo was replaced by former Iron Kite frontman Yu Yang, and then by young guitar virtuoso Chen Lei in late 2000. After some more member changes, Lao Wu rejoined the group in 2002.
Tang Dynasty released their third album Romantic Knight ("Langman Qishi") in mid-2008, featuring "Feng Shan Ji"[clarification needed] as the album's lead track. Tang Dynasty appear in the Western documentary by Sam Dunn, Global Metal, released that same year.
In January 2009, Lao Wu announced his second departure of the band due to "personal reasons"; he is now working with an Austrian neo-classical rock artist on an album stated to be out by 2010. Vocalist Ding is currently filling the spot of the second guitarist. In February 2010, Ding Wu announced that the band was preparing for the fourth release that due out later in the year.
- Former members
- Andrew Szabo – drums
- Zhang Ju (deceased) – bass
- Kaiser Kuo – guitar
- Yu Yang – guitar
- Liu "Lao Wu" Yijun – guitar
- Bob Mitchell (Bao Ming) - keyboard
- Studio albums
- A Dream Return to Tang Dynasty (唐朝乐队:梦回唐朝 1992)
- Goodbye Zhang Ju (再见张炬 1997)
- Epic (唐朝乐队:演义 1998)
- Romantic Knight (唐朝乐队:浪漫骑士 2008)
- Ups and Downs (沉浮 2010)
- Prick (唐朝乐队:芒刺 2013)
- Culture Express variety show hosted by Ji Xiaojun, featuring Tang Dynasty in studio for upcoming new record
- Tang Dynasty page from Rock in China site
- "Kaiser Kuo, Tang Dynasty, Spring and Autumn", from China Beat radio program