Rock band
Founded in the spring of 1989 by four women musicians in Beijing, Cobra began as a cover band playing English-language pop/rock songs and popularized versions of Chinese folksongs. Their debut appearance at the ‘Concert of Modern Music’ in Beijing (1990) launched their career—this landmark event was the first large-scale unveiling of local rock to the Chinese public. After the band’s initial success, the members began writing their own material. Cobra released their first original, ‘My Own Paradise’, on a compilation called Rocking Beijing in 1992. After replacing one member and adding a new instrumentalist, Cobra’s membership has remained unchanged since 1992, allowing for a musical camaraderie that has led, over time, to the band’s eclectic The Cure-meets-Nirvana’ sound.
Cobra’s unique status as China’s only all-female rock band from 1989 to 1999 brought the members much attention, especially from the news media and Westerners, who tended to see Cobra as a progressive force for Chinese feminism. The women’s private and public lives have been profiled in a number of press articles and documentaries, including 1966: My Time in the Red Guards by Wu Wenguang and Rockin’ the Great Wall by Victor Huey.
Cobra released two self-produced albums: Hypocrisy (1994, re-released as Cobra in mainland China, 1996) and Cobra II (2000). After twelve years of struggling in a fledgling rock scene with few economic rewards, and fewer opportunities for artistic recognition, the group finally disbanded in late 2000, shortly after the release of their second and final album. The members of the group are: Wang Xiaofang (drums/vocals, songwriter), Xiao Nan (guitar/vocals/songwriter), Yu Jin (keyboard/ manager), Lin Xue (saxophone, 1992–9), Yang Ying (bass, 1989–92) and Suo Yi (bass, 1992–2000).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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