Besides being the 20th anniversary of Wong Ka Kui’s death, it has also been 30 years since Beyond was formed. We celebrate the band’s legacy by highlighting the 10 greatest songs they have ever released:
Hoi Fut Tin Hong
(Vast Seas, Clear Skies)
This is without a doubt the greatest Beyond song made even more poignant and significant by the fact that it’s one of Beyond’s last ever hits before Ka Kui’s death.
This will always be the song Beyond will be remembered by, and what a magnificent song it is.
From the gloriously soaring melody and meaningful lyrics to Ka Kui’s impassioned vocals and Paul’s magnificent guitar solo at the end, this is the truest testament to Ka Kui’s genius and what a big loss his death was to the Asian music scene.
Guong Fai Shui Yuet
Who says Cantopop ballads have to be about love all the time? One of the band’s signature hits, the lyrics touch on racism and Nelson Mandela’s struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Deeply intellectual and moving, this remains one of the greatest songs Ka Kui ever wrote.
One of their biggest hits, this song is further proof of just how different Beyond’s music was from other Cantopop acts. Amani, which is Swahili for “peace”, was a moving anti-war anthem inspired by a trip to Africa with an NGO in 1991, from which they came back deeply affected by the poverty and suffering of the people there.
Dai Dei (Great Land)
Their breakthrough hit. In 1988, this was the band’s biggest hit since they formed in 1983. Included in the band’s third album, Secret Police, the song was Beyond’s biggest hit ever at the time, and won them the first of many Hong Kong musical awards.
Hei Foon Nei (Love You)
Even their love songs were different. Ka Kui wrote this song as a dedication to an ex-girlfriend whom he left in order to pursue his rock and roll dream.
The bridge, in which he acknowledges that he never considered her pain while he selfishly pursued his dream, is one of the most heart-breaking lines in a Beyond song ever.
Zoi Kin Lei Xiong
(Goodbye My Dreams)
Considered one of their classics, this song about chasing their rock and roll dream was already a huge hit in the underground scene even before it was included in Secret Police. The song meant a lot to Ka Kui especially, who once famously announced during a concert that he got so emotional after writing the song that he could not sleep for a few nights.
Bat Zhoi Yau Yi
(Never Doubt Again)
A soaring declaration of the band’s belief and never-say-die attitude (Paul’s opening guitar riff ranks as one of their most memorable ever), this song was the main theme for Beyond’s Diary, a semi-autobiographical film about the band’s struggle to achieve fame.
Zan Dek Ngoi Nei
(I Really Love You)
Despite the title, this is actually a tribute to mothers, and the sacrifices they make for their children. The chorus features Ka Kui singing about how thankful he is to his own mother for encouraging him to never give up on his dream, and to “never give up even after falling down”.
(The Great Wall)
The lead single from their heavier, much underrated Continue The Revolution album in 1992, this hard-hitting rocker tells the story of an “ancient ruined wall in the Far East” enclosing an “ageing country”.
Said to have been partly inspired by the Tiananmen incident in 1989, this was probably the most politically charged song they ever recorded, made even more powerful by the steely defiance in Ka Kui’s vocals.
Sui Yuet Mou Seng
(Years of Silence)
Actually a song Ka Kui wrote for female singer Connie Mak Kit Man in 1988, Beyond re-recorded this song for one of their albums, and the result was a far cry from the original singer’s more folk-ish, standard Cantopop version.
Arguably one of Beyond’s hardest rocking songs, this proved that despite their commercial success, they were still willing to stick to their roots and keep rocking on.