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Beyond in 1993
|Genre(s)||C-rock, Cantopop, Rock, J-rock|
|Instrument(s)||guitars, Bass Guitar, drums|
|Years active||1983 - 1999, 2003-2005|
|Current Members||Paul Wong
Wong Ka Keung
Yip Sai Wing
|Past Members||Wong Ka Kui
Lau Chi Yuen
Beyond was a rock band from Hong Kong that was founded in 1983. Their last lineup consisted of Paul Wong, Wong Ka Keung, and Yip Sai Wing. 海闊天空 (Boundless Oceans Vast Skies) & 光輝歲月(Glorious Years), by former member Wong Ka Kui, are two of their best known works. Wong Ka Kui was known for his distinctive vocal style, remarkable melodies, and meaningful lyrical themes.
Formed in 1983, the original members were Wong Ka Kui (vocals, guitar), Yip Sai Wing (vocals, drums), Lee Wing Chiu (Bass) and William Tang (Guitar). Ka Kui's younger brother Wong Ka Keung (vocals, bass) joined in 1984 followed by Paul Wong Koon Chung (vocals, lead guitar) in 1985. Other members for brief periods have included Owen Kwan, Chan See On and Lau Chi Yuen. Lau Chi Yuen left the band in 1988 to pursue studies in the US, then returned later, playing instruments and helping to produce 1998's Surprise.
Some of Beyond's very early works are in English, such as "Longway without a Friend" and "Myth". Beyond were initially part of the underground "band boom" which occurred in Hong Kong in the 1980s, alongside other groups such as Tai Chi, Tat Ming Pair, Blue Jeans, Fundamental, and Raidas.
After a couple of flops, Beyond started to gain popularity following the release of the song Dai Dei. Beyond began creating music with more of a pop sensibility, unlike other bands from this "band boom" period. Beyond was successful in this and the next few albums contained several of the most important songs in the history of Hong Kong music.
One of the songs, Glorious Age (Chinese: 光輝歲月), is about racism and the struggle of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. The song was more serious in tone than the love songs that were dominating the Hong Kong music scene. Wong Ka Kui won the best lyrics award in the Hong Kong Grammy-equivalent award ceremony. The song's guitar solo went on to be one of the most recognizable electric guitar riffs in Hong Kong rock music.
In 1991, Beyond released the song Amani in the album Delibrate. The song Amani was written by Wong Ka Kui during Beyond's trip to Tanzania. The lyrics of the song are in Chinese interspersed with words from the Swahili language. The title of the song, Amani means peace in Swahili. As suggested by the title, the song is about world peace and the plight of war-ravaged countries in Africa. The songs outro, morphing Kakui's to a kid's voice, reflects a plea for peace from the next generation. Unlike most of other Beyond's songs, this song is mostly written with open chords in the key of C Major. The simplicity of the structure and the common key instill in it a feeling of innocence.
In June 1993, Wong Ka Kui sustained massive head injuries after falling from a broken stage on a Fuji Television game show in Japan. Wong Ka Kui fell into a coma and died one week later, at age 31. His funeral procession caused traffic in various major city streets of Hong Kong to come to a standstill, and almost every famous Hong Kong Cantopop singer was in attendance.
At the time of his death, they were signed to Japanese record label Amuse, having already released several Japanese language singles and an album. The following album, This Is Love I, initially intended to be the first of two parts, was released the day after Wong Ka Kui's death.
There was debate as to whether the remaining three members would continue the band without him, but they reappeared on 30 November 1993 in Hong Kong at the Composer's Tribute Night concert. Beyond's first album post-Ka Kui was 2nd Floor Back Suite (二樓後座). The album contained a solo tribute to Ka Kui that was written, composed and sung by his younger brother, Ka Keung.
The post-Ka Kui albums have a more alternative rock feel, unlike the progressive rock sound of preceding albums. 1997's Please Let Go of Your Hands (請將手放開), which references Hong Kong's cultural changes after the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong that year, and 1995's grunge-inspired Sound are examples of this.
They played their last concert in Hong Kong under the Beyond name on 1 February 2005, before embarking on a world tour, including stops in the Canadian city of Toronto, and various cities in mainland China, after which the band officially disbanded in their last stop in Singapore. Since then, each member has pursued his own solo career.
Two members of the band (Yip Sai Wing & Paul Wong) held a concert, Beyond Next Stage Live 2008, on 11 Oct 2008 in Genting Highlands, Malaysia and later on 8 Nov 2008 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.