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Viva la Republica!!! – 60 Chinese Albums to Show Off

October was the happy anniversary of the Party. To commemorate this unforgettable date and help it be a bit more unforgettable, we created a little anthology of China’s music.

The 60 years of the party (maybe the longest party ever) caused a lot of expectations. At the end, the celebration, like everything else in life, happened faster than the wind and all the talk about it is already gone. We wanted the party to last a bit longer so we asked around for some help, and created our first list. We are happy to present you this list of 60 best/favorite Chinese albums from local music celebrities.

The criteria was totally subjective and attached to luck and the law of whatever will be, will be. The only thing that was not random here was the selection of the people we asked to do this.

We chose nine musicians and one promoter (ten to one should be the amount of musicians to promoters, at the most). Among them there are jazz, electronic, and rock musicians. There are producers, writers, teachers of music, arrangers, and fans. We hope this group is a representative selection of the population of our dear Republic.

We asked each of them to tell us six of their favorite/best Chinese albums. Among the lists you will find that some of these albums actually are not Chinese Chinese Chinese. But that’s how we roll here.

Also, to make it a better experience for obsessive music fans like me, we did a little research on every one of the albums to give you links about the bands and albums. In many cases, the links will take you to sites were you can listen to the complete album. There were some of them that were too old to find out more information, so if you can educate us better, then go on and please do it.

Of course I realized some people could repeat the album that other one mentioned, so technically there are not exactly 60 albums, but those albums that have been mentioned more than once are clearly more relevant, and if you don’t have them in your collection, maybe it is time you do.

Enough talk. Let’s go for it. Dear Sino-Melomaniac audience, I’m proud to introduce you 60 albums to celebrate the Chinese Party. Viva la Republica!!!

Super Sophia

Super Sophia, the wise PR, booker, and creative mind from YuYinTang

1.

Artist: Underground Baby 地下婴儿

Abum: Wake Up 觉醒

Year: 1998

They’re one of the early Chinese punk bands (maybe the first Chinese punk band). Lots of Chinese youth got into punk from this album. It’s a landmark of the punk scene in China.

The Artist: Rockinchina.com

The Album: Douban.com Xiami.com

2.

Artist: P.K.14

Album: Go Upstairs and Turn Left 上楼就往左拐

Year: 2001

P.K.14 is one of the best rock bands in China, and people think they’re the best post punk band. It’s their first album, including the songs they wrote from 1997, and those songs are still their best-known songs.

The Artist: Maybemars.com

The Album: Maybemars.com Xiami.com

3.

Artist: Rebuilding the Right of Statues (Re-TROS) 重塑雕像的权利

Abum: Cut Off

Year:2005

They are becoming one of the biggest bands in China. I like their dark style in this album.

The Artist: Re-tros.com Myspace.com

The Album: Douban.com Xiami.com

4.

Artist: Wang Wen 惘闻

Album: IV

Year: 2008

I think they’re the best instrumental band in China. And this is their best album.

The Artist: Douban.com Myspace.com

The Album: Last.fm Xiami.com

5.

Artist: Hedgehog 刺猬

Album: Noise Hit World

Year: 2007

I love the energy from the songs and their catchy melodies.

The Artist: Myspace.com Official blog

The Album: Douban.com

6.

Artist: Subs

Album: Down

Year: 2006

I always get impressed by their live shows, but it’s also a good album to listen to. You can feel that power from the tunes.

The Artist: Last.fm Myspace.com Rockinchina.com Official blog

The Album: Douban.com

SIGSIG is a hell of a beatmaker from Qingdao, now living in Shanghai and working on Udance.com

7.

Artist: Cui Jian 老崔

Album: “Rock n’ Roll on the New Long March” 新长征路上的摇滚

Year: 1988

The godfather of rock n’ roll in China, this album is a mixture of different music styles by using Chinese traditional instruments as well as Western instruments. Cui Jian has brought the underground music culture to the mainstream, and this is what he’s known for.

The Artist: Official blog

The Album: Rockinchina.com

8.

Artist: Dou Wei 窦唯

Album: “Dark Dream” 黑夢

Year: 1994

This album came out when the whole of China was trying to imitate the heavy metal rock style from the West. No one understood this album until 10 years after its release.

The Artist: Douwei.net

The Album: Douban.com 9sky.com

9.

Artist: Dou Wei 窦唯

Album: “Hallucinations” 幻听

Year: 1999

This is a collaboration with ”Bu Yi Ding” They are using the style of post-rock to create an artistic mood in China.

The Artist: Myspace.com

The Album: Rockinchina.com 9sky.com

10.

Artist: Dou Wei 窦唯

Album:”One Stone, Two Birds” 壹举·两得

Year: 2003

Free Jazz? Dou Wei has gone too far…

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: Douban.com Xiami.com

11.

Artist: M uMa 木马

Album: ”Mu Ma” 木马

Year: 2000

The sound of sadness and sorrow has started a new music era in China.

The Artist: Rockinchina.com Modernsky.com Douban.com

The Album: Modernsky.com

12.

Artist: Mu Tui Gua

Album: “The Posture of an Insult”

Year: I could not find when this album was released.

Personally, I think this is the most perfect album in China. It contains 3 original songs by Mu Tui Gua, but it’s a shame that they are the only 3 songs they’ve ever released.

The Artist & The Album: Top100.cn

Liman

Liman, as his bio says, is “One of the new breed of electronic musicians in China.“

13.

Album: “Kung Fu Hustle Soundtrack” 功夫电影原声大碟

Performed by The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Year: 2004

The Movie: Imdb.com

The Album: Wikipedia.org 1ting.com

14.

Album: “Swordsman 2” Soundtrack 笑傲江湖

Year: 1992

The Movie: Imdb.com

The Album: 1ting.com

15.

Artist: Joseph Koo

Album: “Greatest TV Themes” 顾嘉辉音乐名作

Year: 1984

The Artist: Musicool.cn Wikipedia.org

The Album: Inkui.com

16.

Album: “Ashes of Time” Soundtrack 东邪西毒

Year: 1994

The Movie: Imdb.com

The Album: Xiami.com 1ting.com

17.

Album: The Last Emperor Soundtrack 末代皇帝原声大碟

Year: 1987

The Movie: Imdb.com

The Album: Amazon.com

18.

Album: Once Upon a Time Soundtrack 黄飞鸿原声音乐大碟

Year:1992

The Album: Jet-li.cn

Andy BestAndy Best is one of the centers of information when it comes to Chinese indie rock. His blog, kungfuology.com, is a classic of Chinese rock literature already.

Andy commented on his list: “This task is both easy and difficult. Easy because most China based indie bands don’t have proper albums, which both narrows it down and also skews it towards Beijing, who have larger labels. Difficult because six will still mean leaving out good records.

It’s controversial to leave out some more prolific recording artists such as PK-14 but the final deciding factor was based on what I still listen to down the line without thinking about it too much.”

19.

Artist: Subs

Album: Down

Year: 2006 (Self Published)

Subs have done three CDs, all good, and this was the second one. Standout track: “Down”

The Artist: Myspace.com

The Album: Rockinchina.com

20.

Artist: Lava/Ox/Sea

Album: Next Episode: Lord Smart vs Dr. Jin” (Miniless Records)

Year: 2009

The cream of the Miniless stable and the Shanghai based experimental scene. Standout track: “Vertigo”

The Artist: Myspace.com Rockinchina.com

The Album: Xiami.com

21.

Artist: Hedgehog 刺猬

Album: “Noise Hit World” (Modern Sky)

Year: 2007

Their latest, Blue Daydreaming, is arguably better but this album marked their explosion onto the scene. It is their second out of three albums, the first being Happy Idle Kid. Standout track: “Toys and Children’s Day”

The Artist: Rockinchina.com

The Album: Xiami.com

22.

Artist: Ourself Beside Me

Album: “Ourself Beside Me” (Maybe Mars)

Year: 2009

A lot of good releases to choose from out of the Maybe Mars stable, but I find myself listening to this album more than the Carsick Cars debut. The CD perfectly captures the band’s creative vision. Standout track: “Sunday Girl”

The Artist: Myspace.com

The Band: Xiami.com

23.

Artist: Boys Climbing Ropes

Band: “A Pleasure To Be Here” (Self Published)

Year: 2008

A low-key Shanghai band who also helped bring Little Punk’s famed persona to the stage. The CD brings the intelligence of the band’s music to life. Standout track: “Dirty Bots”

The Artist: Myspace.com

The Album: Xiami.com

24.

Artist: Joyside

Album: “Drunk Is Beautiful” (Modern Sky)

Year: 2004

Out in 2004, it kick started the post-SARS era. Captures that Beijing scene punk feel thing that people are always going on about. Standout track: “Sunday Morning”

The Artist: Myspace.com

The Album: Xiami.com

B6B6 is a great producer and musician for electronic music in Shanghai.

B6 commented about his list “All of these are true albums from China. Taiwan, Hong Kong can go to hell.”

25.

Album: Once Upon a Time Soundtrack

Artist:Di Huimin, Xiu-Yan Zhang 翟惠民、张秀艳

Year: 1998

This awesome album is not “chi zhi qiang’s”

The Album: Baidu.com

26.

Album: Journey to the West OST (Old Version) 西游记OST(老版)

Personally, I believe that after the reform and open policy the entire Chinese music world attains its best work, and nobody has been able to exceed it yet.

The Movie: Sohu.com

The Album: Verycd.com

27.

Artist: Cui Jian 崔健

Album: “Nothing Chinese Rock and Roll Music” 一无所有

Year:1989

Chinese rock music, the only one in the audience on the status of a decent album.

The Artist: Myspace.com

The Album: Douban.com Wikipedia.org

28.

Artist: Liu H & Deng Jie Yi 刘鸿 & 邓洁仪

Album: 87 Fever – 87 狂热

Year: 1987

Chinese dance music, nobody has made it better yet.

The Album: Inkui.com

29.

Artist : Zhou Feng 周峰

Album: Eye of the Charm 眼之魅

Year: 1985

Because the dim light of night is waning, and there’s a monsoon. This album has two songs.

The Album: Qq.com

30.

Artist: Zhang Qiang 张蔷

Album: Golden Dreams 金色梦幻

Year: 1986

I think she was hot.

The Album: Mtvtop.net

Han HanHan Han, clever leader of Miniless Records and bands such as Lava Ox Sea and Duck Fight Goose.

31.

Artist: Muscle Snog

Album: Mind Shop

Year: 2009

The Artist: Myspace.com

The Album: Rockinchina.com

32.

Artist: PK14

Album: City Weather Sailing

Year: 2008

The Artist: Myspace.com

The Album: Amazon.com

33.

Artist: Zuo Xiao Zu Zhou

Album: “The Missing Master” “走失的主人 “

Year:1998

The Artist: Official blog

The Album: Rockinchina.com

34.

Artist: The Fly

Album: “Fallen Love”

Year: 1998

The Artist: Rockinchina.com

The Album: Douban.com Msgprodiction.com

35.

Artist: Flies

Album: The Fly 2

Year: 2000

The Album: Douban.com

36.

Artist: The Fly

Album: The fly

Year: 1997

The Album: Douban.com

Erica LeeErica Lee is a great singer of jazz, soul, folk, and pop music. She is usually performing at JZ, and soon she will release her long-awaited album.

37.

Artist: Faye Wong王菲

Album: “Restless” 浮躁

Year: 1996

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: Wikipedia.org 1ting.com

38.

Artist: Khalil Fong

Album: “This Love” 爱爱爱

Year: 2006

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: 1ting.com Last.fm

39.

Aritst:. Karen Mok

Album: “Karen Mok on the Twelfth Floor “ 十二楼的莫文蔚

Year: 2000

The Artist: Wikipedia.org Official blog

The Album: 1ting.com

40.

Artist: Anita Nui 梅艳芳 烈

Album:”Flaming Red lips” 焰红唇

Year:1987

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: 1ting.com

41.

Artist: Chang Shi Lei

Album: “Niu China” After New China – 80 Red Classic

Year:2009

The Album: 1ting.com

42.

Artist: David Wong

Album: “ 让每个人都心碎”

Year:1990

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: 1ting.com

Peng FeiPeng Fei is a talented violin player, composer, and arranger. Usually you can find him on JZ’s stage with his white electric violin, making great performances along with his band, The Possicobilities, and some of the other bands passing by JZ’s stage.

43.

Artist: Sandy Lam

Album: “Faces and Places”

Year: 1990

She is from Hong Kong and this album has a very good production. This album lead Hongkongnese music to another level.

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: Wayango.com

44.

Artist: Sandy Lam

Album:” Come Back to Love”

Year:1992

This is from a similar period from the one before, but then they tried with different styles of music. During these years, the music market was much bigger and peoplewere trying to push music in more interesting ways.

The Artist: Fans blog

The Album: Wayango.com

45.

Artist: Jonathan Lee 李宗盛

Album: “Can’t Give Up” 不舍

Year: 1994

He is the best lyrics writer in the history of Chinese pop music, though not the best singer. The arrangers for this album did great work with these songs too.

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: Wayango.com

46.

Artist: Kay Huang 黃韻玲

Album “Be my Friend” 做我的朋友

Year: 1993

This is one of her first albums. She studied music in Berkley, and this album was recorded in the States by the time she was finishing her studies and beginning to take her career on. She prepared many years for this album, and it reflects very well the music style of this time. It’s a bit like fusion and jazz, not very commercial really.

The Artist: D-addicts.com

The Album: Wayango.com

47.

Artist: Zhao Jiping 赵季平

Album: “Electric Shadows”

Year: 2000

He is one of the soundtrack composers for the movies of 张艺谋 (Zhang Yimou). And this is one of his best compositions. Performed by the China Symphonic Orchestra and Chorus. It’s a very Chinese style, if anyone likes Chinese music they should get this album. His music has very strong sounds. He is a professor in the Shanghai Conservatory, his music is more like from the style of the north of China, it’s even a bit brutal, but it’s a very different expression of music. By the way, this is an album to learn about the proper combination of Chinese instruments in an orchestra.

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: Filmtracks.com Wayango.com

48.

Artist: Faye Wong 王菲

Album: “Fable”

Year: 2000

Here are the most famous songs, at least those I like. I think the producer of this album is one of the most famous in China, and this is maybe his best done one. I think on this album she formed her style and her name, as it is today.

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: Wikipedia.org Wayango.com

Feng HaoFeng Hao is drumming and jamming jazz around the best places for jazz in Shanghai, and once in a while you’ll find him playing with his free jazz band The Blue Koi Collective.

Feng said about his list “I love all the Chinese mainland music from the 80s to 90s. That is a special time for China. Almost all of this music was written for the Communist government. It’s ugly, but also very true, because this is the only music for Chinese people at that time. Those musicians are all dead now, but they are great musicians. They lived in the wrong age.”

49.

Artist: Mark Bai 白天

Album:First trio+quintet album

Year: 2008

It’s the best contemporary original Chinese jazz musician’s music. The highest level of Chinese jazz!

The Artist: Myspace.com

50.

Artist: Little Tiger 小虎队

Album: Happy new year 新年快乐(忧欢派对)

Year: 1989

Xiao Hu Dui is a boy group. Its probably the first music album I ever heard in my life, 1989-1990, vintage and hopeful. Enough said!

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: Wayango.com

51.

Artist: Loudspeaker 扩音器

Album: Demo

Year: 1999

My favorite punk trio band, although they changed now, but this tape gave me a lot of hope and energy. It also made me determined to be a musician.

The Artist: Myspace.com Rockinchina.com

52.

Artist: Teresa Teng 邓丽君

Album: Best collection

Year: 1992

She is the first pop singer from the Taiwan Republic, which also effected a lot of those pop music industry of China Mainland for a long time. A lot of her music was arranged by Japanese arrangers, so its really brilliant, and, for Chinese people, Teresa means vintage, classic beauty, so I love her music. It’s warm and romantic, the Chinese way.

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: Wayango.com

53.

Artist: Sally Yeh 叶倩文

Album: Face to face 面对面

Year: 1989

She is my favorite Honkongnese female pop singer. Her music is also from the 80s. Warm and a bit sad, it makes me remember my childhood. This album includes her famous song, Qian Zui Yi Sheng. That’s the song of hers I liked best.

The Artist: wikipedia.org

The Album: 1ting.com

54.

Artist: Zhang Chu 张楚

Album: Aeroplane Factory 造飞机的工厂

Year: 1997

I remember I had a very bad year, almost eight years ago. I listened to the whole album about one thousand times. Everyday it just kept me going. It’s something like a pop folk rock mix.

The Artist: Wikipedia.org

The Album: Douban.com

Lucky

Lucky is the fortunate and talented AV Okubo drummer.

55.

Artist: Voodoo Kungfu

Album: Voodoo Kungfu

Year: 2008

This is full national metal. Live, it also has a strong visual impact, like hearing double.

The Artist: Rockinchina.com

The Album: Xiami.com

56.

Artist: Hua Lun 花伦

Album: Silver Daydream

Year: 2008

This is one of the best Chinese post-rock bands. It reaches your heart’s core.

The Artist: Rockinchina.com

The Album: Xiami.com

57.

Artist: Rebuilding the Right of Statues (Re-Tros) 重塑雕像的权利

Album: Watch Out Climate has Changed, Fat Mum Rises

Year: 2009

Serious and orthodox post-punk, the absolute big style.

The Artist: Rockinchina.com

The Album: Xiami.com

58.

Artist: Carsick Cars

Album: “Carsick Cars”

Year: 2007

Unexpected guitar art.

The Artist: Official website Rockinchina.com

The Album: Xiami.com

59.

Artist: Flying Fruit (aka Yu Guo) 羽果

Album: 巴别塔-

Year: 2009

Beautiful melodies and the CD sounds like it’s live.

The Artist: Rockinchina.com

The Album: 9sky.com Xiami.com

60.

Artist: AV Okubo Av大久保

Album: Great Era 大时代-

Year: not released yet

Great band. The album features story songs and totally rocks.

The Artist: Rockinchina.com

The Album: (Mache’s note) This album has been long-awaited and it’s still not out. And I accepted it on Lucky’s list of albums because I totally dig them and I’m hoping the album will be worth it to join this and many other lists of the best of China. Always hope for music.

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About the author:
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Mache is a hippie witch that was born under Beltane's full moon. She enjoys talking to ghosts and interdimensional beings, and cooking for her friends and beasts. She has Chilean wine in her veins instead of blood,and at the moment she belongs to China.

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