jeudi 31 mars 2016

Click + Listen #68 : LESLIE CHEUNG

Sam Hui 許冠傑 & Leslie Cheung 张国荣 - Silence is Golden 沉默是金
A great Cantonese song with meaningful lyrics.

Anyone who grew up or is interested in the 1980-1990s probably heard of Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing. I don't need to introduce him in details, as he was extremely popular at that time as an actor in occidental countries. But do you know that he was also a singer ? 
In a few words, he was a Hong Kong artist who had an impressive film and music career, known for his professionnalism, charisma, hard work and sincerity and more importantly, his skills in performing on stage and acting perfectly any kind of characters. He is considered as one of the main singers at the beginning of the Cantopop golden era in the 1980s and the first generation of Hong Kong singers-turned-actors. Unfortunately he died young, he committed suicide at the age of 46 on 2003 April 1st. The year 2016 is his thirteenth death anniversary but each time I listen to his timeless songs, it's like he's still alive. He is a true legend who never dies in our hearts. To all of you, I particularly recommend to read the interesting and well-written book review about his life by the blogger at LL's Musings.Or if you don't have time, check out some information online.

This present post is actually the 200th post on the blog, and this month of March celebrates the 6th anniversary of Amazinglyblog. Since it's been a long time I haven't posted anything on the blog, comparing to my Twitter account, I've prepared a special playlist for you. As Leslie Cheung's discography consists of a large number of albums and hundreds of songs, I selected his most popular and also his unheralded songs. It's my 100 favorite songs of Leslie Cheung, even though there's no particular order in the playlist. I really hope you will appreciate his songs. You don't need to be bilingual Cantonese, of course !

Amazinglyblog / Leslie Cheung 

For those who haven't a Spotify account, I made a Youtube playlist with the same songs (but I wasn't able to find a few ones). Moreover you could discover his music videos and try to sing along :

Here's the full songs list, so you could copy-paste the songs names if you would like to find the lyrics or live versions online :
  1. A Thousand Dreams of You (cover)
  2. 千千阕歌 (live in Hong Kong 1990, Priscilla Chan cover)
  3. 風繼續吹
  4. 藍色憂郁
  5. 少女心事
  6. 不羈的風
  7. Monica
  8. 人生的鼓手
  9. 無需要太多
  10. Daydreamer (cover)
  11. 第一次
  12. 戀愛交叉
  13. 我走我路
  14. The Way We Were (live in Hong Kong 1990)
  15. 無心睡眠
  16. 偏心
  17. 情自困
  18. 奔向未來日子
  19. 不管您是谁
  20. 有誰共鳴
  21. 沉默是金 (feat. Sam Hui)
  22. Stand Up
  23. 讓我飛
  24. 讓我消失去
  25. 倩女幽魂
  26. 黑色午夜
  27. 那一記耳光
  28. 片段
  29. 風再起時
  30. H2O
  31. 當年情
  32. 共您别离
  33. 全身都是愛
  34. 我要逆風去
  35. 打開信箱
  36. 甜蜜的禁果
  37. 始終會行運
  38. 别话
  39. 默默向上游
  40. 柔情蜜意
  41. 午後紅茶
  42. 想你
  43. 夠了
  44. 寂寞獵人
  45. 我眼中的她
  46. 抵抗夜寒
  47. 儂本多情
  48. 內心爭鬥
  49. 難以再說對不起
  50. 情感的刺
  51. 怪你過份美麗
  52. 追族
  53. 七色的愛
  54. 闖進新領域
  55. 貼身
  56. 今生今世
  57. 不怕寂寞
  58. 心中情
  59. 共同渡过
  60. 燕子的故事
  61. 何去何從
  62. Forever 爱你
  63. 緣份有幾多
  64. 童年时
  65. 情人箭
  66. 寂寞夜晚
  67. 當愛已成往事 (Mandarin)
  68. 由零開始
  69. 雨中的浪漫
  70. 迷惑我
  71. Love Me More
  72. 迷路
  73. 三歲仔
  74. 盡情地愛
  75. 願你決定
  76. 浣花洗劍錄
  77. 纸船
  78. 再戀 (Glenn Frey cover)
  79. 情难自控
  80. 一盏小明灯
  81. 同道中人
  82. 為妳鍾情
  83. 拒絕再玩
  84. 似水流年 (Anita Mui cover)
  85. 月亮代表我的心 (live, Teresa Teng cover, Mandarin)
  86. 雪中情 (Teresa Teng cover)
  87. 無膽入情關
  88. 滴汗
  89. 痴心的我
  90. 明星
  91. Just The Way You Are (cover)
  92. American Pie (live cover)
  93. Before My Heart Finds Out (cover)
  94. I Like Dreamin’
  95. A Little Bit More (cover)
  96. I Honestly Love You (cover)
  97. You Made Me Believe In Magic (cover)
  98. Thank You
Leslie grew up in Hong Kong and spent about ten years in England when he was young. His English was perfect and natural. You could notice it when he covered English songs and when he spoke English in interviews for example.

When I was younger, I remember him in movies alongside Chow Yun Fat, Maggie Cheung and Anita Mui. He said in an interview that he was grateful that he stayed in the Hong Kong and Chinese movie industry and didn't accept acting offers by the Hollywood and American industry. I agree it was a good choice for him. His favorite actress was Maggie Cheung. I also like her. Leslie's songs were so great that they often were used as movies themes and were very loved (see the 2011 episode of the Korean show, Running Man). He had the luck to work with excellent songwriters and producers from that time. He was the kind of singers who enjoyed singing meaningful songs and performing on stage, without only thinking of winning awards and money. I was a little confused, because I mistook some of his early songs with Roman Tam's songs (an another late great Cantopop singer) and also himself with TVB actor Roger Kwok. It's only recently that I discovered him again in videos I've never watched before, thanks to his large worldwide fans online : his music videos, TV shows and interviews, awards ceremonies, live performances and concerts, commercials for Cafe de Coral, Konika, Pepsi and for a Korean chocolate. I appreciate his honesty and his direct way of expressing himself in the interviews in Cantonese. In 2016 there's still no one who can replace him. The more you get to know him, the more you like him. He was down-to-earth, a unique person and truly amazing. 

Here are a few rare duets to watch :
- his duet with Danny Chan (they were such great dancers !)
- his duet with Anita Mui
- his duet with Sam Hui and his duet with Roman Tam
- his special live duet with Japanese singer Kojiro Shimizu
- song in Japanese with Japanese singer Mori Sinichi, HK singer Alan Tam and Korean singer Cho Yong Pil
- "The Greatest Love of All" cover with Teresa Teng, George Lam, David Lui, Anita Mui, Jenny Tseng

The movie director Tsui Hark once said that Leslie was the only one he could have thought among all the actors out there to play the main character in the movie "A Better Tomorrow", like the role was made for him and not anyone else. Moreover, in one of his debut movies, "The Drummer" in 1983, he actually learned to play drums with Filipino jazz drummer Fernando Carpio who was also part of the actual cast to play the role of a young aspiring drummer. I recommend watching all his movies he was in, including the short movie he directed about anti-smoking, "From Ashes To Ashes" (2000), and live concerts. As he was an excellent actor, some of his live singing performances looked like movies scenes to me.

Here is a special video playlist with live performances, rare interviews and videos, also interesting documentaries and tributes about him in English. For those who understand Cantonese, his interviews in the form of talk-shows are really interesting (he told behind-the-scenes stories).

Interviews and rare videos

Discover other great artists on the CLICK+LISTEN series.