HONG KONG - The early sales figures for Jacky Cheung's long-awaited concert album echo the singer's belief that the music industry needs quality, not speed.
One of Cantonese pop's Four Heavenly Kings, Cheung did his 1/2 Century Tour three years ago to coincide with his 50th birthday, but the live concert DVD was not released until this month. His goal was to recreate the live concert experience, so he reasoned that both time and costs were not a priority.
"The production cost, from the packaging, to the recording to the filming is much higher than before. There are things like 3D, so the whole production actually was quite expensive," he said. "But I don't think so much of it. We're not rushing to get it out there. We wish to have control over the quality of the product. I want my fans, or anyone who buys my concert album to think, oh they've put in a lot of effort. I hope they can feel that and continue to support our music industry."
The album went on sale Friday but has sold 40,000 copies through pre-order sales, a hard feat when more and more people purchase music digitally these days. Cheung's record company congratulated his success with two framed double platinum discs.
Cheung is in no hurry to hold another concert in the near future.
"People who want to watch my concerts know that I need new material before I will agree to perform," he said. "I hope I come up with new ideas really soon, so I can tell myself that I'm ready to perform. I want to perform. I really hope I have new material before that happens."
Cheung added that the music industry needs more quality singers and performers, and he's doesn't fear having competitors for his pop idol status.
"I think it's a good thing if we have more "Kings of Pop" and things like that. Right now when I put out albums, or new material, my fans would do anything, to spend money to have our products. I hope that more good singers, good performers, idols would have that too, to have more fans to support our music industry. Then I'll be content," he said.
Cheung is one of the few Hong Kong artists to maintain a steadfast fan base 20 years after his debut. His bestselling album, "Goodbye Kiss" sold 4 million copies in 1993 alone, and some of his most popular hits include "Loving You More Every Day" and "Everlasting Love."
The album has Cheung singing 40 of his classics on the tour across 77 cities.
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