Tat Ming Pair

Recognized for their socially-charged lyrics and defiant political stance against China’s communist government, Tat Ming Pair brought the ruling new wave aesthetic of the 80s into the realm of Cantopop. Formed in Hong Kong in 1985, the group is composed of singer Anthony Wong Yiu-ming and composer Tats Lau, who met through an ad in a music magazine. The pair bonded over their love of electronic music and began writing their own material, landing a contract with PolyGram Records shortly after. They made their official debut with an eponymous mini-album in 1986, which was followed by the full-length Tats Ming Pair II in September of that year and a second album entitled The Story of the Stone in 1987. Considered by many as Hong Kong’s first concept album, I Shall Wait for Your Return arrived in 1988 and helped the band score two RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards for Best Record Design and Best Performance. That same year, they released Do You Still Love Me?, which featured the hits “A Murder Unannounced in Advance” and “Forbidden Colors,” a groundbreaking track that dealt with homosexuality and eventually became an LGBT anthem. In line with their previous releases, Fallen Angel hit the shelves in 1989 and touched on many controversial subjects such as AIDS (“Love in the Time of Cholera”) and gender fluidity (“Forget He Or She”). In 1990, the duo returned with Nerves, an album marked by the Tiananmen Square protests and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Following an amicable breakup due to creative differences in 1991, Lau went on to make his acting debut and Wong embarked on a successful solo career. They reunited in 1996 to celebrate their 10th anniversary with the release of Viva! Viva! Viva!, which was presented at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in a massive show that spawned a live album. The duo parted ways once more and reconvened in 2005 for their 20th anniversary, dropping the album The Party and the live album At The Service Of The People. In subsequent years, they continued to perform on an on-and-off basis, received the Golden Needle Award for their trajectory, and released the 2019 single “Memory Is a Crime,” a homage to the victims of the Tiananmen Square Massacre that topped the streaming charts but was censored in mainland China.

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