Wu Bai


Wu Bai

Infobox musical artist
Name = 伍佰 & China Blue
Wu Bai & China Blue



Img_capt =
Img_size =
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Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Wu, Junlin
Alias =
Born = January 14, 1968
Died =
Origin = Taipei, Taiwan
Instrument = Guitar, Slide Guitar
Genre = Rock
Occupation =
Years_active = 1992-present
Label = Pony Canyon, Rock, Avex Trax
Associated_acts =
URL = [http://www.wubai.com wubai.com]
Current_members = Wu Bai
Dean Zavolta
Yu Ta-hao
Chu Chien-hui
Past_members =
Notable_instruments = Guitar

Wu Bai (zh-cp|c=伍佰|p="Wǔ Bǎi"; Taiwanese Minnan: "Gō·-pah", born Wu Chun-lin (Chinese: 吳俊霖; pinyin: "Wǔ Jǔnlín"; Taiwanese: "Ngô· Chùn-lîm") on 14 January 1968) is a Taiwanese rock singer and songwriter. He formed the band Wu Bai & China Blue with Dean "Dino" Zavolta on drums, Yu Ta-hao (余大豪 "Yú Dàháo", aka “Big Cat”) on keyboards, Chu Chien-hui (朱劍輝 "Zhū Jiànhuī") on bass guitar and Wu Bai himself on lead guitar and lead vocals. Labeled "the king of live music," Wu Bai is considered to be one of the biggest rock music stars in East and Southeast Asia. [cite web |url=http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2007/10/19/2003383905 |title= 'Flower' power |accessdate=2008-09-09 |author=Ron Brownlow |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2007-10-19 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Taipei Times |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Biography

Wu Bai was born in Suantou, Lioujiao -- literally "Garlic Village" -- in Chiayi County in south-central Taiwan. His father was a retired Taiwan Sugar Corporation worker and his mother a betel nut vendor, and he had two younger brothers who died tragically in a car accident. His nickname Wu Bai, meaning "five hundred," derives from several stories, none of which can be proven to be fact: one story says the name came from his early academic success when he scored 100 points on each of five examination subjects.However, an interest in music in his teenage years led to a decline in his academic performance and he failed to pass the university entrance examinations. Another story says he used to charge 500 Taiwan Dollars for his early concerts. Another story says he was fat as a high school student and the local kids teased him for weighing "like 500 kilograms".

In 2003, Wu Bai married Chen Wen-pei (陳文佩), his girlfriend of over 10 years, in a private ceremony in Fukuoka, Japan.

Career

Overview

Wu Bai is one of the biggest rock stars in Mandarin-language music which is marketed in Taiwan, China , Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. He also has fans in Japan, the United States, Canada and Australia and Ireland. He also has released a number of works sung in Taiwanese Minnan. Throughout the years, he held numerous sold out concerts in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong and has performed in North America as well. His albums have won many awards and have topped the sales charts.Fact|date=May 2007 He writes almost all of his own songs for his albums and also writes for many popular artists including Andy Lau, Emil Chau, Karen Mok, Tarcy Su (蘇慧倫), and Vivian Hsu. His guitar-driven rock music differs from that of many mandopop or cantopop stars and, with his Taiwanese Mandarin accent and rough looks, he projects an image of an archetypal Taiwanese "taike" (台客) man in his music and film roles.

Early career and the formation of China Blue

Wu Bai left Chiayi County for the capital of Taipei in the early 1990s and worked in a number of menial jobs. One of those jobs in a music shop led to the formation of his first band, Buzz, which soon broke up. [cite web |url=http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/magazine/2000/1027/as.cinema.html |title= Wu Bai Hits the Target |accessdate=2007-02-13 |author=Winnie Chung |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2000-10-27 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Asiaweek |pages=7 |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Dean Zavolta describes the formation of Wu Bai & China Blue noting that the members originally "played for different bands up until about 1991, after which [Chu Chien-hui] and I began jamming together with the eventual idea of forming a newer, fresher, and original rock band...Then one day, he called me up and asked me if I would mind filling in for a one-off gig with himself and a guitarist named Wu Bai...Something just clicked between us. Both the music and the "mo chi" (默契) we had were fantastic. What really helped us though, was that when we first came out, Taiwan -- along with other Asian countries -- was ready for an Asian rock band that played live music." [cite web |url=http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2002/05/03/134407 |title= Higher than seventh heaven |accessdate=2007-02-13 |author=Gavin Phipps |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2002-05-03 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Taipei Times |pages=7 |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Wu Bai debuted with two songs on the Taiwanese-language "Dust of Angels" Soundtrack in 1992 which were credited to his real name, Wu Chun-lin, and featured Chu Chien-hui and Dean Zavolta credited as China Blue. The same year, Pony Canyon Taiwan released Wu Bai’s first album, "Loving Others is a Happy Thing", a solo effort credited to Wu Chun-lin / Wu Bai, and featuring each of the three other current China Blue members on at least one song but without the group being mentioned by name. The 1993 soundtrack to "Treasure Island" featured Wu Bai as Wu Chun-lin with the three members of China Blue designated as such. All subsequent albums as of 2007 have been credited to Wu Bai & China Blue.

Growing popularity

Wu Bai's initial releases were followed by performing live at pubs throughout Taiwan notably Sleeping Earth in Taipei and, upon its closure, Live A Go-Go. As his fan base grew, "Friday with Wu Bai" became a weekly event for many listeners, especially college students. Based on this increasing popularity Wu Bai was given a contract with Rock Records’ Mandala Works which released his second album "Wanderer's Love Song" and accompanying music videos. Sales were limited but Wu Bai’s following continued to grow due to his live performances. [cite web |url=http://www.taiwan-panorama.com/en/show_issue.php?id=199848704134E.TXT&table=2&h1=About%20Taiwan&h2=Trends |title= From the Margins to the Mainstream--Change, Change, Change for Taiwan's Pop Music |accessdate=2007-05-01 |author=Coral Lee |authorlink= |coauthors= Translated by Kevin Lax |date= |year= 1998 |month= 4 |format= |work= Sinorama |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Music and film success

In January 1996, Wu Bai & China Blue brought their powerful live show to Hong Kong for the first time to great success and Wu Bai began to be known as Taiwan's "King of Live Music." [cite web |url=http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/magazine/2000/1027/as.cinema.html |title= Wu Bai Hits the Target |accessdate=2007-02-13 |author=Winnie Chung |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2000-10-27 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Asiaweek |pages=7 |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] Later that year they released the smash hit album "The End of Love", which, propelled by the hit single "Norwegian Forest," sold over 600,000 copies and was honored by the "China Times" and the "United Evening News" as one of the year's Top 10 albums. The album also ranked in the Top 20 Music Videos on television’s [Channel V|Channel [V] ] and was nominated by MTV for the best music video of the year.

In June 1998, after representing Taiwan Beer in its new television commercial, Wu Bai also appeared in a Chinese movie "A Beautiful New World", playing the part of a street singer. He also wrote and sang the title song for the movie.

In 1999, Wu Bai had a small role in "The Personals", a motion picture with good box office sales. That November, Wu Bai released a Mandarin album, "White Dove", and started a tour of three cities in Taiwan. He held six sold-out concerts in a gigantic tent called "Super Dome", which was also a ground breaking event for the Taiwanese concert scene. The album and the concerts were the first big events after Taiwan's devastating earthquake, which comforted so many people's broken hearts. As a result, Wu Bai was voted as the most popular singer of the year, and also rank number three as the Man of the Year, outranking Taiwan's President Lee Teng-hui.Fact|date=May 2007

In the year 2000, Wu Bai wrote and sang the theme song for the Pili movie "Legend of the Sacred Stone". This time his backing music had a full orchestra, and the lyrics were written in Classical Chinese. Between March and April, Wu Bai and China Blue held three concerts in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. In Singapore, the Strait Times' headline after the concert was "King of Chinese Rock", in Malaysia, the media headline was "Cult Master arrived, all congregation bowed." and in Hong Kong, the whole audience stood up in a stadium that has rules against standing during concerts. After these phenomenal successes, Wu Bai sang at Taiwan's new president's inauguration, Singapore's National Day concert, and Japan Fukuoka's Music Festival. In Fukuoka, Japanese audiences all stood up to enjoy the concert even though they likely did not understand the lyrics. Wu Bai has also appeared in Tsui Hark's movie "Time and Tide" as the lead actor, and also wrote two songs for the soundtrack.

Music

Wu Bai listened to 1970s English-language rock music such as Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix in his formative years and has said he felt it unusual for a Chinese person to play the guitar. [cite web |url=http://www.time.com/time/asia/features/interviews/2000/10/24/int.wu_bai.html |title= 'I'll Keep Doing Whatever I Think is Entertaining': Web-only interview with Taiwanese rocker Wu Bai |accessdate=2007-02-13 |author=Stephen Short |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2000-10-24 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] Prior to Wu Bai & China Blue's achieving widespread popularity in Taiwan in the mid-1990s, guitar-oriented rock music was unusual in the country's domestic popular music scene. Live concerts were similarly rare but the group's frequent touring and live album releases set a new standard for live performing in Taiwan. The band's distinctive blend of poetical lyrics with rock tunes has won them fans not only in Taiwan but throughout East and Southeast Asia and they have had successful regional concert tours in the many cities.

Discography [Typically, Wu Bai songs are listed with both Chinese and English language titles but the albums themselves usually only carry only a Chinese title. Most of the album titles given here parenthetically are unofficial translations or are derived from the eponymous English names of songs of the same title as the corresponding album.]

tudio albums

* 愛上別人是快樂的事 ("Loving Others is a Happy Thing") (1992)
* 浪人情歌 ("Wanderer's Love Song") (1994)
* 愛情的盡頭 ("The End of Love") (1996)
* 樹枝孤鳥 ("Lonely Tree, Lonely Bird") (1998)
* 世界第一等 EP (1998)
* 白鴿 ("White Dove") (1999)
* 伍佰&CHINA BLUE電影歌曲典藏 / 順流逆流電影原聲帶 ("Wu Bai & China Blue Movie Song Book" / "Time and Tide" Soundtrack) (2000)
* 夢的河流 ("Dream River") (2001)
* 淚橋 ("Tear Bridge") (2003) (CD+VCD)
* 雙面人 ("Two Faced Man") (2005)
* GO PA 人面鯊 (2005)
* 純真年代 ("Innocent Years") (2006) (CD+DVD)
* 忘情1015 新歌+精選 (2007)(CD+DVD)

Live albums

* 伍佰的LIVE (1995)
* 夏夜晚風 (1997)
* 伍佰97亞洲巡弋紀念盤EP (1997)
* 空襲警報 (1999)
* 1999~2000真世界巡迴演唱會全紀錄 (2000)
* 冬之火 (2002)
* 伍佰力 (2004)
* 2005厲害演唱會全紀錄 (2005)
* 妳是我的花朵演唱會全紀錄(2007)

oundtracks and compilations

* "Dust of Angels" Soundtrack (少年吔,安啦!) (1992) – 2 songs
* "Treasure Island" Soundtrack (只要為你活一天) (1993) – 2 songs
* "Time and Tide" Soundtrack (順流逆流) (2000)
* "Legend of the Sacred Stone" Soundtrack (聖石傳說) (2000)

Music and concert videos

* 2005厲害演唱會全紀錄 (2005)
* 妳是我的花朵演唱會全紀錄(2007)

Filmography

Films

*"The Personals" (徵婚啟事) (1998)
*"A Beautiful New World" (美麗新世界) (1999)
*"Time and Tide" (順流逆流) (2000)
*"New Police Story" (新警察故事) (2004)

Television

*"Say Yes Enterprise" (求婚事務所) (2004)

Commercial advertisements

*Taiwan Beer
*Hey Song Sarsi (黑松沙士)
*Golden Life Gold Jewelry Co. (今生金飾)

Books

*風景 ("Fēngjǐng") ("Scenery"), a book of Wu Bai's photography

Notes and references

External links

* [http://www.wubai.com Wu Bai & China Blue Official Website] includes discography and photographs taken by Wu Bai (free registration required) zh icon
* [http://www.fortune-cookie-500.com/ Fortune Cookie 500] , an American fan website en icon
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB6KWt0Afy4&mode=related&search= Live video recording of "Go to the Graveyard"] , Wu Bai & China Blue's rock interpretation of a Taiwanese folk song followed by band introductions at YouTube zh-min-nan icon
*cite web |url=http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2006/06/11/2003313005 |title= Beating the odds with Wu Bai |accessdate=2007-02-13 |author=Steve Price |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2006-06-11 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Taipei Times |pages=18 |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= en icon


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