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Cui Jian: Father of China's Rock Music

In 1980s when most Chinese had little knowledge of rock music, Cui Jian, born in August 1961 in Beijing and known as father of China's rock music, presented his two rock songs to rock fans across China: Rock on the New March, and Restart.

Wherever Cui Jian and his band gave their performance, they were greeted with large audiences' crazy hailing and rocking, and his sound controller had to switch the music sound to a volume as high as 150d. With the strong beat of Penniless, Red Cloth, False Monk, the Girl in Flower Shop, Cui Jian shouted out his feelings about the world around him, arousing enormous resonance among his fans.

Media then said, "Rock rightly satisfies the demand of his generation to speak out what they feel." Rock has in a certain sense become a new type of criticism of the existing social problems in China.

Rock in China was first introduced by Cui Jian in 1986. He harmoniously
merged the strong beat of Western music into the local folk music in North Shanxi Province on the Huangtu Plateau. His Penniless, which was once sung all over China, is the first rock song in China.

Before singing his Penniless, Cui Jian was a little-known trumpet performer in Beijing Symphony Orchestra, where he concentrated upon performing only world-famous tunes. In his leisure time, he held his favorite guitar and imitated those Western rock stars.

After Rock on the New March, he created his Not That I Don't Know Your Heart, Give Me a Good Sleep, Last Shot, and Loneliness Is a Fire, which stirred more high waves among audiences. In spite of this, he received both praise and criticism for such traditional revolutionary songs as Nanniwan.

Since May 1986, Cui Jian, with his unique and refreshing songs and voice and style, has won over large audiences from stars in Hang Kong and Taiwan. What's more, his songs have even appealed to a tremendous number of mid-aged Chinese intellectuals, who suffered a lot on their journey through the Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976.

Following Cui Jian, there came on to stage the rock bands like Tang Dynasty, Panther, Cobra, Hard Stone.

(chineseculture.about.com December 6, 2003)

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