Speaking of Rock in China, you will always discover one name: "Tang Dynasty" or pronounced in Mandarin "Táng Cháo". Their name is not only among the most famous bands in China, but they are also the first band to cross the thin line between Rock and Metal.
Discovered at the "Xiandai Yinyuehui" (Festival Of Modern Music), Landy Chang –the founder of Taiwan’s Rock Records signed the band from Beijing under their mailand division Magic Stone Records.
In 1992 their debut album "A Dream Return To Tang Dynasty" ( 梦回唐朝 - Meng hui tangchao) was released and about 1 million legal copies were sold only in Asia. Thanks to the video broadcasting of Hong Kong’s Channel V (primary notorious for pop tunes) Tang Dynasty has become Taiwan's most popular band in a market it might not otherwise have reached. They were were voted the best Chinese rock band and Yi Jun Lui was voted as best Chinese guitarist. Together with Cui Jian they had the chance to play some concerts outside China. They performed even in Berlin on this tour. In 1995 bass-player Zhang Ju was passed away by motorcycle accident.
Zitat: “The loss of one of the most revered members of China's tightly knit circle of rock musicians sent Tang Dynasty into a tailspin. A year later, Liu was asked to leave, replaced by Chinese-American Kaiser Kuo, who had founded the band with Ding and Zhang in the late 1980s. By the time Kuo re-joined, Gu Zhong, a former member of The Breathing, had replaced Zhang. In 1998 the revived band stayed together long enough to sign a new recording contract.
With the release of Epic, it looked like stability - or something resembling it in the ego-driven madness of the rock world - had been restored. Wrong. Earlier this month Kuo announced he was leaving. After months of grumbling and rumors, manager Sun Hao was also out, stating: "It was clear I wasn't needed any longer." Tang Dynasty toured aggressively - both before and after the release of Epic. The album's first single, "Time (At My Heels)," was an instant Top 10 hit. Shows were sold-out across the nation and the group expects to spend much of the summer on the road."
Tang Dynasty’s music sounded like a clash of Western and Eastern Culture.
Guitar-player Lui Yi Jun once said:
Zitat: "We love many western music styles. We listen to Yes, Queenscryche, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Judus Prist and Metallica. I always read and practice with the lesson in GuitarPlayer magazine. But we have grown with our tradition and culture. Yes, blues is the origin of rock. But blues is not in our blood. So our music come from our heart and soul, that is (we're) chinese!!!" ( http://www.geocities.com/le_asiansky/band/la-td.html)
And this is the point were Tang Dynasty differs from all other bands. The typical rock elements are enriched by traditional Chinese motives and singer Ding Wu enchanted the songs with –at least for non-Asian listeners- his peculiar way of implementing influences of the Chinese opera in his style. With onyl two albums Tang Dynasty went straight to the top and had a dominant influence on all the new Chinese Rock Bands like 43 Bao Jia Street, New Pants and Underbaby.
1992 - A Dream Return To Tang Dynasty
1999 - Epic