Wu Bai's got the mojo baby!

I’m writing an article on Wu Bai. The concept is, Wu Bai rediscovers his mojo. I’m not overly familiar with him and his career, but it seems he’s recently become sort of [more] relevant again.

A friend of mine saw him recently and said the show was indeed more exciting that previous times he’d seen Wu Bai and China Blue a few years back.

I was wondering if anyone agreed with me on the mojo hypothesis or had any tips for the story. It is proving a bit tough to get good material in English on the net.

In former years, Wu Bai’s mojo had a name.

It was Dino Zavolta.

He’s still in the band, isn’t he?

Here’s a story focusing on Zavolta.
Beating the odds with Wu Bai
By Steve Price

[quote=“smell the glove”]In former years, Wu Bai’s mojo had a name.

It was Dino Zavolta.[/quote]

I think that’s a tad harsh.

I think Wu Bai’s brilliance was in rocking up old Taiwanese songs that sort of laid dormant at the back of people’s minds. The sorts of old songs they used to play on buses. When people heard them again, there was an instant familiarity and sentimentality. All of his old albums are peppered with such songs. There’s an instant hook. There was also the fact that he was there pumping out Taiwanese pop tunes as Taiwanese nationalist sentiment began to rise.


I wouldn’t mind hearing some of his stuff. I saw some live dvd at a 3c store and I didn’t mind it. Anybody have any suggestions for a cd I could get so I could get a feel for the music? A greatest hits or something like that?

I didn’t know he was ever irrelivant. And Dino is the best!

Here’s a handy little website with some translations of Wu Bai lyrics and some reviews of his albums. fortune-cookie-500.com/Lyrics.html

For me personally:

夏夜晚風 - Summer Night Wind
Live Concert CD - 1997

伍佰的Live 1995

In particular the redo of 愛情限時批 - Express Love Letter - what I was talking about before, a rocked up old Taiwanese song he does with . . . good lord, the epitomy of happy carefree Taiwan womanhood . . . ? What’s her name?

You can listen to 30 second grabs off this album here


樹枝孤鳥 Lonely Tree, Lonely Bird

You can listen to 30 second grabs off this album here

The song 空襲警報 - Air raid warning, is a classic. It’s all about being bombed by the US in WWII and the confused or vague history of WWII in Taiwan. A necessity when you consider the Taiwanese fought on the side of the Japs but were taken over by the KMT who fought them. You can trace a lot of the current divisions in Taiwan to this. An interesting \interview I read several years back with KMT soldiers sent over to put down the 2/22 mentioned that when they got off the boat, they didn’t see Chinese, they saw Japanese. The Taiwwanese wore Japanese fashions and haircuts and lived in Japanese type houses. Most spoke Japanese and not Mandarin. Having recently endured the horrors of the Japanese in CHina, these soldiers had little mercy for these “Japs.”

From that translated Wu Bai lyrics site. It’s all a bit rough, but works.

空襲警報 - Air raid warning.
My grandpa had already fallen to the bottom of the hill when the air strike happened
My grandma’s pig farm was burned to the ground
The sugar plant where my dad worked was filled with holes everwhere
The farmers all ran to hide under the trees
When the planes came, you went into the ditch or just hid on the floor
One of my neighbours was too late and was shot in the foot
The noise of the planes was really loud
You can tell from a great distance
ah… these kinds of things ah… the school never mentioned ah… why was it so secretive?

I heard it was the Americans who were bombing the Japanese soldiers in Taiwan
I heard we were all singing Japan’s military songs
I heard we had to surrender our scissors and screwdrivers
It was said that war was to protect our own country
ah… these kinds of things ahhh… school never mentioned them ahhh… why was it so secretive then?

Sick at heart…oh, sick at heart
I could hear them on the radio when I was younger
Why do I know so little about you?
Is the wound from history really that bad?
I always thought that was my dad’s BS story
I never knew we had so many tears in our past
Now we’re living in a different world
Who knows when the planes are coming next?
ahh… these kinds of things ah… the school never mentioned ahhh… the future is very secretive too…

Well these are what I consider the best, but I’m sure others will disagree, especially those that were into his stuff before I got into it in 1997.

As for losing his mojo. Wu Bai has tended to drop in and out of the music scene. New albums are usually very sparcely released these days. I guess that’s what you mean. There tend to be plenty of compilations but new songs are rare on the ground. However, when he does come out with something new, there is usually a national or regional tour and a lot of fanfare.

By the way. just got back from Zhuhaio yesterday, that’s the R&R and entry and exit point for Taiwanese business dudes in China. In almost every shop you hear almost nothing but Wu Bai.


Here’s an English blog with quite a lot of stuff on Wu Bai, ABS and other Taiwan rockers.

500cbfan.blogspot.com/2006/10/th … etter.html

That links to an entry on ABS. I hope to catch them sometime. Anyone know if they’ll be at Spring Scream?

Wow, thanks for the website plugs, Huang Guang Chen and dearpeter :slight_smile: Ha, now I’ll have to be sure I don’t trash any Forumosans at the blog. Yikes. And please, any corrections to lyrics translations would be greatly appreciated. Most of it was me trying to make sense out of what my Chinese friends wrote as the translation, to make it sound more like English, but dang, it’s tough. Some things just don’t translate well. The better I get at Chinese, the easier, but the Taiwanese stuff is beyond my capabilities.

Next time I talk to either Dino or Xiao Zhu, I’ll ask about Spring Scream. It would be great if ABS could play, but I know they have the Tai Ke concerts with Wu Bai and then there will be a Wu Bai & China Blue concert sometime this year, likely May or June. But… March 23 at Riverside Pub, you can catch 'em there!

I think every Wu Bai show I attend is just as exciting as the previous one. Each album has a different flavor, but it’s always Wu Bai & China Blue. I like that Wu Bai tends to do what he wants, not what the fans want. He writes what he feels like writing, because he feels like writing it, and I hope he never changes.

And those Taiwan Beer commercials rock.

The new ones with Ah Mei, or the old ones with Wu Bai? hehe

Met with Xiao Zhu tonight, and he said that ABS will indeed be playing at Spring Scream. Hope that’s good news for some of you! If you can’t make it there, try to get to Riverside on March 23.

Hmm, sounds good 500CBFan. Tell me, are you still in touch with Nicole? Not heard from her in ages.


[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]Hmm, sounds good 500CBFan. Tell me, are you still in touch with Nicole? Not heard from her in ages.


Nicole in Australia, or Nicole in Singapore? I’m in regular contact with the one in Oz, rarely hear from the S’porean one.

In Oz. I think she did some work on those song lyrics.


Yeah, she is. Hi! :slight_smile:

How’s life in HK?

Hey, girlie, glad you joined in the fun. :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the help, especially CB500fan!

I just changed the thread title, so y’all can keep on chatting about Mr. 500.

Ahem, that’s 500cbfan, peterdear :wink:

Yeah, yeah. (soory) but LTK rocks.
(But I missed them on Wednesday. Shucks.)