The Life Before James Chu

(Credit: fowrmusic)

Blame it on Vanadia for this one. I was searching for James’ album that he released ages ago for her since she mentioned it. And what do you know, found this song. If anyone wants to check out the new live version, go here. Anyway, I totally forgot that he used to go by a different name as a singer. Okay, more like I totally was ignorant of the label on the cover. He was known as Yang Xuan (楊軒) back then when he released the album titled “Love Isn’t Intended For Your Appreciation” (愛不是要你感激) under Forward Music. (And NOT quite sure regarding translation so bear with me on that one. It was kind of tricky for me.) What I found really, really, really strange was why didn’t James get famous back then? He has a unique voice and had a nice image. Even if he couldn’t go on the ‘idol’ route, but he was quite cute back then too. Boyish in the old days, but quite manly right now. What doesn’t change is his respectable image. Some of the people back then weren’t that good but got quite famous so how come James didn’t make the cut? Then what got me thinking even more was why he wasn’t using his real name back then? Was that his move or Forward Music’s move? Because honestly, he has a nice name and quite distinguished from others so he would definitely stand out. (If anyone know more about the background of it, please clarify it for me since I would love to hear it too.) I’m not saying Yang Xuan’s not a nice name since it is and through his music, he has garnered some fans too, but because of the confusion in the name in the past, some had lost track of him, even if he’d been in the spotlight more and more recently. (I actually saw some comments in some sites I found when someone posted the new version of the song above and also posted a link to the old MV, another person had said that they loved it back then but never realized it was James.)

Even if James had mentioned at one time that this album wasn’t up to his standard (thanks to Vanadia for reminding me of that), I felt it had set apart from others. (If you want to listen to the album and couldn’t get your hands on it, go here.) But I guess we can’t dwell on the past anyway because we can’t change anything regardless. So to make the best of it, I’m so waiting for James’ new album. (If Mr. Perfectionist would just allow it to move forward a tad more, lol. Not that I’m rushing since I know ‘art’ takes a lot more time than what half of the album released now are going through.)

I know I just said not to dwell on the past, but I couldn’t help noticing a certain similarity. One of the songs in James’ album was titled “I Want To Cry” (我想哭) and several years later in Jacky’s debut album, there was a track titled “Won’t Let You Cry” (不讓你哭). A coincident or what?

My next move? Searching to see if there are more MVs from that album to obsess over. YES, look out for further updates regarding it! Hey, I have to occupy my time with what’s around while I wait for the ‘epic’ album, right?

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5 thoughts on “The Life Before James Chu

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  1. I totally agree that this sweet, old fashioned MV is a real gem. The type of song and the vocal style are a bit reminiscent of an older generation of balladeers–it’s the kind of song that could serve as the closing theme to a Hokkien drama set in the 1950s or 1960s. But that’s part of its appeal.
    I also had no idea that in addition to brother Jacky, James had also released a solo album in his late teens. The first I heard of it was when he mentioned it to Judge Huang on Asian Wave in (I think) July last year:
    http://wp.me/pjFwX-NB

  2. He was singing the song at one of the events you attended, lol. They overhead showed images from the album, lol. But I guess it’s not a big deal to miss it since I wasn’t paying attention to the ‘name’ on the album either until I went searching yesterday, lol. So yeah…

  3. Yes, January 2011, at Riverside Live House. I remembered they projected some early photos of James but my Chinese was so poor in those days that I simply didn’t realise it was an early album. V who was there with me said when I sent her the link to the original MV that she knew she had heard it before, having recognised the chorus. Beautiful song, sensitively sung.

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