File Under: ZAN (Chinese)
(Zang Tianshuo's Greatest Hits + New Songs, 2003)
As with the previously-reviewed Yu Quan 羽‧泉 and Power Station 動力火車 hits collections, we got this 2-disc bootleg in Shanghai in 2004. So there are some imperfections here: 1 song appears on both discs, & the quality of the recordings (especially the volume level) varies. Getting data on where & when some of these songs originated is a challenge: we haven't found all the answers (we know it spans 1987-2000). Like the mainland #ChineseRock
outfits Yu Quan & Black Panther 黑豹, the late Zang Tianshuo (RIP) was from Beijing. His genre dabbling was far more eclectic: to a rocknroll foundation, Zang added jazz (especially #bossanova)
& folk, incorporating traditional singing styles & instrumentation from China's ethnic minorities & frontier regions, like the deserts of Xinjiang, the snow-capped mountain ranges of Tibet, & the grassland plateaus of Inner Mongolia & Manchuria. Buddhist chanting & Chinese opera also inflect the songs. He knew he didn't have the "idol" looks of a Hong Kong or Taiwan Mandopop star: one song is called #我就是这个模样
(This is just what I look like, 1995). The same goes for his deep, scratchy, frequently off-key voice: this is just what he sounds like. Guest singers, especially famous female vocalists like #那英 #NaYing
, joined him in duets. But he was both lyrically & instrumentally talented: he invoked Taoism & sung about classic folk legends like the #ButterflyLovers #梁山伯与祝英台
(Butterfly dream, 2000); & he played kickass electric guitar on #红艳艳
(Bright red). Here's the best:
(Poetry) -- we don't know which female vocalist joins him or which LP this jazz tune is from.
(Sadness reveals me, 1999)
(Friend, 1987) -- his biggest hit.
4) 红艳艳 (Bright red)
(Love for eternity, 1997) -- from the soundtrack to #ZhangYimou's #张艺谋
1997 dark comedy #KeepCool #有话好好说
(Confused in clouds, 1999)
(Applying for gentleness) -- a jazz tune with rap.
(Great compassion mantra) -- a mesmerizing Buddhist chant.
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