Chinese Rock and Roll Music History

by D.K. Talifu

Chinese rock and roll music began its rise to prominence in 1980. Chinese rock music is similar to American and European rock music. Although Chinese rock music history is brief, it is not humdrum. To the contrary, during this short period we have had a lot of famous rock and roll stars.

One rocker, Cuijian, was born in August of 1961. He is the father of Chinese rock and roll music, coming from a musical family. When he was sixteen years old he got his first guitar. His father gave him some guitar tapes from The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Talking Heads, all of which influenced him. He began to write some rock and roll songs. His first song, “I Don’t Have Anything”, debuted in 1986. This song is not very popular in main stream music, but it awakened the Chinese young people. They began to know what real Rock and Roll music is.

With Cuijian, Chinese Rock music began. More and more college students and young people began to play Cuijian’s songs. Today you will see some Chinese people play rock music in colleges, the market place, the club –anyplace. Now Chinese rock and roll music is similar to European and American rock, but it leans toward the spirit of pursuing freedom and liberation, as well as social change and explaining the meaning of life. After Cuijian we had a lot of famous bands between 1988-2000. For example, Panther, Tang Dynasty, Beyond, Xuwei are a few examples of famous bands. Today,Chinese rock music is still an interesting story.


640px-CuiJian2_2007_Hohaiyan TangChao band and CuiJian

   A famous rock band, the Magic Stone Sanjie performed a concert in 1994 in Hong Kong. This was, perhaps, the most famous concert in Hong Kong history. It’s also the most glorious concert for Chinese rock and roll music history. After this concert, Chinese rock music was in full swing but has been cruising downhill ever since.


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