Sunday, January 6, 2013

Playlist: Jacky's Mandopop Duets & Collaborations

First off - HAPPY NEW YEAR! And of course, I'm a week late, but it's still a new year, right? Anyway, this is like a very late second playlist to the first part, over here. Again, thanks to llwy12 for the suggestions and the translations for the song titles and retrotvb for pushing me to do something. Well, less with the chit chat and on with the listening and watching. Enjoy! :D

This is actually my favorite (and probably most well-known) track off this playlist. It's actually a very mushy kind of lovey-dovey love song, but because the two leads sing it so well, that is forgivable. It's actually because these two lines stick out for me, with their rough English translations:

Jacky: "I will give you red roses..."
Samantha: "...You know that I just really love to cry..."

Which is actually really sweet, but also kind of mushy. Samantha's actually talking about crying with tears of joy, of course; about being so touched and moved by a lover that would make her eyes all watery whenever he gave her a red rose. It's understandable why this is the default duet song when it comes to a male and female singing in a contest or a karaoke bar.

In my opinion, this song lacks that special little charm that comes with Jacky and Priscilla duets in Cantonese. But it is a beautiful composition and Priscilla and Jacky do manage to squeeze the emotion out of the lyrics, with the electric guitar solo going on in the background. This song does really grow on you though, and the more you listen to it, I think the more you may begin to like it ("I love you more and more each day!" LOL). And just my two cents here, but Jacky and Priscilla do make a pretty cute couple on camera.

"Stranger" – Jacky & Andy Hui & Ronald Cheng

This song's literal translation is actually something like "1,2,3,4" or "A, B, C, D", but the true meaning behind  the song is "Stranger" or "Passer-by". Yes, that's right. Love can appear out of anywhere and cause strangers to  become acquaintances and eventually get along.

"Love, Once is Not Enough" – Jacky & Faye Wong
The catchy OH-A-E-YEAH hooks and the Mandarin flipside to "Extraordinary Summer", because obviously one song was not enough. I still always LOLFAYE when it comes to her dancing, but she's actually okay in this. The thing about this video though, is not so much about the dancing that gets me. It's the water. Yep. The whole needing to cool down with a fresh water bomb balloon over my head thing . But it's definitely a fun, kind of summer track, which reminds me of a nice cold, refreshing can of Coca-Cola.

A-mei is known as one of the vocal powerhouses in Taiwan, and she's got a little R&B groove going down in her voice. This was a live performance and it's really a kind of chilled, laid-back kind of tune, not the usual love song or ballad that we're so used to getting; which was actually a boring Jackie Chan duet. The two really breathed life into this song and really made it fresh and actually somewhat pleasant to the ears.     

"Déjà vu" – Jacky & He Ru-Hui
The original 1990 MV for the song, with He Ru-Hui as his duet partner. The song and video brings back a nostalgic feel, which is fitting with the title of the song "Déjà vu". The gist of the song is love being like a dream, and it's got a very melancholy feel to it. At the end of the video is actually a guy asking Jacky something like "What is a good friend?" in Mandarin and Jacky saying "What you say?" in Cantonese a couple of times before telling the guy he can speak in Mandarin. Haha. He goes on to say "A friend is someone that will comfort you when you are hurt. When they are happy, they will share it with you. When you need something, they will help you." I don't think it had anything to do with this song - must be part of a collection.

"Difficult from Both Sides" – Jacky & Ronald Cheng
Now this is actually a remake of a song in English, though I'm not entirely sure which one, to be honest. But anyway this song is about two guys having feelings for the same girl (is that Liz Kong in the video? Elvina Kong's younger sister?). Don't get me wrong though. It's not the kind of song where they fight over the girl. It's more like they both have an internal conflict with themselves and letting your pal have the girl because you don't want to ruin your friendship. Hence the trouble coming from the left and right. In the end though, no one gets the girl, but they've still got each other.      

"Light Up My Heart" – Jacky & Faye Wong

This version I've included has actually got a handful of other artists, other than Jacky and Faye. Yet their voices stand out the most in this track, not only because they were given more lines to sing as lead vocalists but Faye's renown crystal clear voice. I remember reading a comment for this video saying the other female vocalists were given like one line each as their solo part. I reiterate. That is not a coincidence. Nice track.    

"Love You More Than You Do" – Jacky & Jackie Chan

Yeah, that's Sally Yeh at the start, singing with the action star who likes to sing, Jackie Chan, "Understand My Heart". And then Jackie invites the other Jacky (who he refers to as a younger brother) to sing his song, "Love You More Than You Do", with Jackie singing the Mandarin lyrics from his Taiwanese record and Jacky singing the Cantonese version. Okay, so it wasn't completely in Mandarin, but to make up a nice round number for this playlist. 

"In Love with You" – Jacky & Regina Velasquez

Alright, alright. I know what everyone is thinking. This isn't in Mandarin! And you're right. It isn't. But I like that the playlist rounds off on an even number like 10. So here it is - an Easter egg surprise (though it's not really Easter), it's actually more like one of those strange chocolates that you get from those advent calendars for Christmas. Just like Forrest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you get." You might not have been expecting this, but it is a really good song. For someone who isn't a native speaker, Jacky's English is alright (still accented yes, but nothing too bad). Regina's clear voice blends in well with Jacky's rich tones. The feeling is all there, along with the vocal technique that only talented, veteran singers can pull off.  


  1. Happy New Year Taq! Quite comprehensive playlist here, although I don't listen to Mandopop that much but some of these are nice indeed. Look forward to more of your interesting blog articles =)

    1. Thanks Max! And the same to you too! I'm not really much of a Mandopop listener myself, unless you count songs from the movies, old Chinese songs and Teresa Teng! I'm glad you found something that you liked here. Thank you for your kind words. I was just thinking that this blog was becoming like one of those niche artsy stores that only a few people visit. That being said, I do have a draft saved and some things I want to post later. :D

    2. Old Chinese songs, do you mean 國語時代曲 from Shanghai/HK in the 30's to 60's? Teresa, she would be 60 this year had she not died, I listen to her Japanese songs more than her Chinese ones though =) Niche artsy stores? haha, even if it is, I'm definitely a regular "customer" =D I really like your writing and fine details, anticipating your next article.

    3. Yes! That is what I mean! The 'Early Mandopop Era' as I like to think of it. And of course, later in the 80's and 90's, where there were import artists such as Chiyi Chin from Taiwan and export artists singing in Mandarin to capture the Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese market. As for Teresa, she really was gone too soon. Her voice is really one that will be remembered for generations to come. And about her Japanese songs - she had a perfect voice for singing them; as someone else put it, a mixture of sadness and pleading. I do really like listening to "Airport", now that you mention it! But I must admit that I do have to use Google Translate for Japanese songs to understand what they're about (usually to Chinese for a more accurate picture), though I can easily pick up on the mood or feeling. LOL. And haha, thanks for being a regular, you know what I'm talking about! I appreciate the kind sentiments. :D

  2. @TAQ: Hi there! Wow, long time no talk! Missed you and glad to see you back! Hope all has been well with you! :0)

    First off, Happy New Year! I’m a bit behind on some of my stuff too, so actually haven’t had a chance to come visit until now. Hope to stop by more consistently!

    Yay, another Jacky playlist!! Was looking forward to part 2 (though I sort of had to go back and re-read part 1 cuz I totally forgot what was in that one already…LOL). This actually came at the right time cuz I was sort of craving a “Jacky fix”…haha!

    Anyway…when it comes to Jacky’s duets, it’s actually hard for me to pick a favorite because I love almost all the duets he’s done (no, it’s not a mistake – I did mean to write “all”…) – both Cantonese and Mandarin. Of course, the ones you have on this list are all great, but there are also tons more as well that are worth listening and re-listening to….LOL.

    Ok, so here goes another long set of comments (broken up in multiple parts again… being the long-winded person that I am…haha):

    “You Are Most Treasured” – love this song….the melody is nice and soothing and the lyrics are absolutely beautiful! But one thing I will say is that this song is extremely difficult to sing (believe me…I’ve tried it a few times myself)…I’ve actually heard many people sing this duet and as expected, so far no one has been able to perform this song as beautifully as Jacky and Samantha (the “emotional” element is always lacking whenever others sing it). The MV is also quite nice as well -- though there really isn’t much going on in it, but hey, that’s what I like about it – the simplicity of it!

    “Love and Promises” – Haha…definitely agree with you about the ‘special charm’ part…even though I like this song a lot, it just doesn’t have the same ‘feel’ as some of the past Jacky/Priscilla duets for some reason…but still a beautiful song nonetheless! And yes, this is another difficult song to sing – I always get tongue-tied with the complicated lyrics (plus my spoken Mandarin isn’t that great…LOL) so nowadays, I don’t even try to sing it anymore – instead, I just sit back and listen to Jacky and Priscilla sing…hehe…

    1. llwy12! Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I just realized I've been missing in action for quite some time now - thanks for the kind wishes! I hope you've been well too! It's great to hear from you again! :D

      And a happy one to you too! I've been around but not working so much on the blog as much as I anticipated. I did some translation stuff for retrotvb but she seems to missing in action too. But yes, you're always welcome here!

      Hahaha, it's been a long time coming. I don't blame you for refreshing your memory. But that's great timing! ;D

      And you really are a true Jacky fan! And of course there are more great songs than in this playlist! Though I gotta say that certain songs are easier to find than others and probably not on Youtube (thinking about Tudou, Youku, etc). HAH.

      Don't worry! I enjoy reading your comments. I'll be breaking this thing into segments too if I need to!

      “You Are Most Treasured” is a difficult song! And you're right, I've never heard any pair sing it like they really meant it. And no, there really isn't much going on in the MV, but the song is enough to pull your focus.

      “Love and Promises” - I'm glad you agree with me on this point (didn't want to unleash the rage from hardcore fans of this song). I mean it is beautifully composed but maybe a slight mismatch in lyrics for the singers (like fitting a qipao to a different woman's body)? That's okay - my spoken Mandarin is practically non-existent, apart from a few phrases here and there. LOL. I think I'll just listen too.

  3. Part 2:

    “Stranger” / “Passers-by” – Cute little fast song with catchy lyrics and melody. Every time I listen to this song, I’m always reminded of how great Jacky is when it comes to taking care of his juniors and such (though technically, not sure if Andy could be considered his ‘junior’ based on years in the industry). I remember reading how the original intention was for this to be an Andy / Jacky duet, but Jacky decided to pull his ‘buddy’ Ronald into it to make it a three-person ‘duet’ (I don’t remember the exact reason why though). ). Jacky actually doesn’t sing a whole lot in this song – kind of obvious that he wanted Andy and Ronald to be ‘highlighted’ in this song rather than himself (which of course is in-line with Jacky’s personality)…good for him!

    “Love, Once is not Enough” – Every time I listen to this song, I always get it mixed up with the Cantonese version (probably because of the OH-A-E-YEAH thing in both…LOL)….but I guess it doesn’t matter, since I never really pay attention to the lyrics of either song anyway (the catchy chorus is just too overwhelming to remember the rest of the lyrics). And yea, the dancing part isn’t bad at all in this one, though compared to some of Jacky and Faye’s other songs, the dance moves here are relatively simple....

    “Every Day in My Life” – wow, haven’t listened to this song in a LONG time….definitely makes a huge difference when 2 vocal powerhouses like Jacky and A-Mei perform this song. I actually don’t have a whole lot to say about this song, since I obviously don’t listen to it much….the highlight for me is really just getting to hear Jacky and A-Mei sing together, since it’s so rare for them to collaborate.

    “Déjà vu” – Another song I love, though I have no clue who the female singer is (I swear, for years I actually thought the female singer for this song was Kit Chan…haha). I actually like the nostalgic feel of the MV, since it matches the song’s lyrics so nicely (though whenever I watch these old old MVs, I can’t help but laugh at the fashion and stuff – but hey, it’s all in good fun…haha).

    “Difficult from Both Sides” – this was actually the song that got me familiar with Ronald, since I had no clue who he was prior to his collaboration with Jacky. I’ve listened to this song so many times over the past 2 decades and the more I listen to it, the more I agree that Ronald’s singing style and voice sounded so much like Jacky’s back then. This song has always been one of my favorites, not just because it’s not often that we have a guy/guy duet instead of the ‘traditional’ guy/girl, but primarily because of the message it brings out – the difficulty of choosing between love and brotherhood and how both guys are so ‘gracious’ about it (putting their friendship above romance)….definitely a refreshing ‘departure’ from the traditional ‘2 guys fighting over a girl’ theme…

    1. “Stranger” is a really cute song! And that's the kind of spirit that used to be evident in the HK entertainment industry, it really was like a circle! Now, they've lost this sense of cohesiveness like a family that's grown apart. Let's face it. Most people need mentors. As for Andy, haha, I guess I'd have to say he's a junior when compared to Jacky, in terms of accolades and general singing and performing technique. Haha, but I didn't know how a duet came to become a song for a trio - thanks for the little backstory. And yeah, I noticed he kind of took on a more supporting role in this one. Kudos to him!

      “Love, Once is not Enough” - LOL. I know what you mean. I basically just know the OH-A-E-YEAH hook (and because they only used the hook for the '94 Anniversary). Hey, sometimes simple is good right? Let's not overcomplicate things or I might really LOLFAYE.

      “Every Day in My Life” - they really turn a boring track into a listenable one. It would be nice to hear and watch them do another duet.

      “Déjà Vu" - this one is really nice actually! As for the female singer, I didn't actually know her until I went hunting for the video…and it's most likely Kit has probable covered this song with Jacky at one point in time, though I haven't seen it or heard it so far. Hahaha. Well the fashion wasn't THAT bad (okay, maybe it was - but hey! Someone's old and campy outfit may be another's vintage!).

      “Difficult from Both Sides” - you know what they say! Bros' before h- well I guess you know how it goes. But yes, I think I generally do have a dislike for male duets where they fight over a girl. It is VERY cliché.

  4. Part 3:

    Light Up My Heart – This song is a rare gem that I came across years ago and ‘fell in love’ with almost instantly. Out of all the Jacky/Faye collaborations, this one is definitely my favorite. And yes, I agree with you – there’s a reason why Jacky and Faye were the lead vocalists with the most lines to sing….this song actually requires some “skill” to sing correctly and still have it come out as beautiful as it did….of course, very few singers out there would be able to pull it off as wonderfully as Jacky and Faye do.

    “Love You More Than You Do” – if we could just take out the Jackie Chan part and leave only Jacky in there, then this would be perfect (sorry, but I obviously can’t stand Jackie Chan -- he just gets increasingly annoying as the years go by…LOL). If I remember correctly, this isn’t the first time that the 2 of them sang this song together (the Mandarin and Cantonese versions simultaneously) – back then, every time the 2 of them would be in a show together, they almost always sang this song (probably cuz it’s one of the few songs that Jackie Chan can actually sing decently…haha…ok, sorry, being mean again…I’ll stop the ‘Jackie-bashing’ now….).

    “In Love with You” – Obviously, another one of my favorites (and totally ok with you including it in this section, even though it’s not in Mandarin…haha). This is one of Jacky’s few English duets, so it’s definitely a ‘must listen’ for everyone who likes Jacky! And yes, for a veteran artist whose first language isn’t English (unlike a lot of the younger artists nowadays), Jacky’s English is actually quite decent (not sure if you ever watched the interview he did with CNN, but it was entirely in English and he actually spoke it quite well – of course, he had that distinct accent that most non-native English speakers have, but like you said, nothing too bad at all….I understood everything he said perfectly clearly!).

    Hey, so thanks again for posting this up! It was definitely fun going through this again (and I tried not to write a book this time…haha). One last comment though….You know what’s missing from this list? A Jacky and Sandy duet (love it when the 2 of them sing together – their voices always seem to blend together so beautifully).

    1. "Light Up My Heart" - just what I was thinking! I don't think anyone can do it better than Faye and Jacky at this point, mainly because of their voice types. Faye's clear, crystal-bell voice melding in with Jacky's rich, baritone is really hard to beat.

      “Love You More Than You Do”. LOL. I get what you mean about the Jacky thing. I commiserate, especially when it comes to his singing and his love of it (why did he have to love singing so much?). That and his kissing China's ass attitude.

      “In Love with You” - hahahaha, so you noticed! LOL. And yes, his English isn't too Engrish and all - I caught a bit of the CNN interview (it's on my to finish watching list) and I must say, he has a good grasp of the language. Good for him!

      And thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment! I do appreciate it. About this Sandy and Jacky thing…you're right! I'll have to bring out my shovel and dig deeper to try and find something with them that'll fit right in! :D