Author??s note: In the early 1980s, the conservatives led by Deng Liqun were firmly in charge of propaganda and culture. They continued to bash away at maintaining a pure ??socialist?? cultural foundation for China??s masses, in the face of huge changes in attitude as China??s people awoke from the mass hysteria of the Cultural Revolution and blind acceptance of the party??s interference and control of everything down to the songs you listen to on your new black market-bought cassette player.
This was also the age when bell-bottomed jeans (???????) were constantly being criticized by the official media, egged on by nasty old men reminiscent of the teacher screaming at Rogers Waters that ??If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding??. Mind you, the quote in last paragraph below is spot-on. Frank Zappa expressed exactly the same view on many occasion.
Western pop music a low note to China
By Graham Earnshaw in Peking
November 4, 1982
Can you tell a decadent song when you hear it? If you can??t the Chinese People??s Music Publishing House has come to your rescue.
A pamphlet issues recently entitled ??How to distinguish decadent songs?? [see below], gives guidelines for the musically naïve and condemns almost all Western popular music as unhealthy and sometimes even harmful.
In the past few years, there has been an explosion of interest among young Chinese in pop music from outside China, an interest which the Communist Party has been unable either to accept or control.
The pamphlet is mostly concerned with Chinese language pop songs produced in Hong Kong and Taiwan but also sharply attacks jazz, rock and roll, and disco as being equally subversive.
The best way to pick a decadent song is by the way it is sung, according to the pamphlet, which gives the following checklist of corrupting signs: ??Quivering rhythm, extra notes, or an unclear, loose drunken pronunciation.??
Next come the song??s lyrics. Decadent songs ??give a distorted reflection of life and do not express working class sentiments. Specifically, some are shallow, some sexually enticing and some are about the uninhibited seeking for pleasure.??
Songs dealing with non-socialist love are to be avoided, the booklet sternly warns.
??So-called love songs have the greatest influence on youth, but in the lyrics, it is just ??love me, love me forever, never forget me?? etc. Individual love becomes the be-all and end-all of life.??