Following a previous post about NWLP 5, here's another cool record released by New Wave Record Co. in Hong Kong during the second half of the 60s. This seems to be a lounge / pop rendition of traditional Chinese and Japanese popular songs and melodies, and feature the electric organ as main instrument.
No author is clearly mentioned on the front cover, but some logograms that appear on the back cover provide a few information: the album is filed under easy listening (輕音樂) and is credited to The Electric Organ Orchestra (電子風琴樂隊), which just like The New Wave Orchestra on the aforementioned blog entry, was probably more an ensemble of studio musicians than a real band.
Althought a release date doesn't appear anywhere on the cover, other releases by the same label bearing a later catalogue number are proven to have been published in 1969. This information places "Hong Kong Tokyo" sometimes earlier in the late 60s, probably in 1967-68.
The arrangements are credited to Oscar Young (楊道火) who probably also played all the organ parts and solos. Young was a key-figure in the Hong Kong music scene of the late 60s / early 70; with his arrangements he also had the merit to introduce and popularise classical music to the younger generations.
He arranged for many famous bands and singers, including Teresa Teng (鄧麗君) and Frances Yip (葉麗儀), and released countless albums with his Oscar Orchestra (奧斯卡管弦樂團). I'm not 100% sure about it, but it could be that he was also a member of the prolific and versatile The Apollo (太陽神樂隊), or at least he arranged many of their albums, as a matter of fact. It could also be that "Hong Kong Tokyo" was recorded by The Apollo themselves in one of their earlier studio incarnation, who knows...
[edit 02.06.2012: I just discovered that Oscar Young (楊道火) was in fact the leader of The Apollo (太陽神樂隊)...]
Thanks to OCR technology I was able to import the original texts and tried to obtain an English translation using some on-line tools. I guess that the results are not perfect - to say the least - but they give more than a rough idea about the song titles.
By the way, I would be really grateful if someone could help me with this release: I need a correct translation of the songs titles; a better translation of the logograms on the back cover would also be much appreciated. If you can help and share your knowledge please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!
"Hong Kong Tokyo" contains the following tracks:
01. 山地情歌 [Mountain Love Song] (2:49)
02. 負心的人 [Heartless Person] (3:13)
03. 香港旅程 [Hong Kong Journey] (3:38)
04. 蘇州河邊 [By the Suzhou River] (2:53)
05. 夕陽之戀 [Sunset Love] (2:53)
06. 交換 [Exchange] (2:58)
07. 蘋莫花 [Apple Flowers] (2:47)
08. 何必要燒香 [Why You Want To Burn Incense] (2:38)
09. 東京的黃昏 [Tokyo Dusk] (3:49)
10. 星心相思 [Heart of Acacia] (2:39)
11. 梅花 [The Plum Blossom] (3:11)
12. 夢裏相思 [Acacia Dream] (2:36)
All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in April 2012 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include completely restored PDF artwork. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.
I wasn't able to gather much information about the songs on this album, but anyway, here's what I discovered:
山地情歌 [Mountain Love Song] is a traditional Chinese song, while 負心的人 [Heartless Person] consists of a Japanese melody to which lyricist Shenzhi (慎芝) added Mandarin lyrics. It was a big hit for Yao Su Rong (姚蘇蓉) in the early 60s; among others, Pancy Lau (劉鳳屏) and Tsui Ping (崔萍) also recorded their own version of the song.
蘇州河邊 [By the Suzhou River] is regarded by many as the most romantic Chinese pop song. It was written by legendary Chinese composer Yao Min (姚敏). Published in 1946, it was first recorded as a duet between him and his sister Yao Li (姚莉).
夢裏相思 [Acacia Dream] was originally recorded in the early 60s by Tsui Ping (崔萍) and was subsequently performed by many other female singers, that's all I know...
The following is the only Oscar Young picture I was able to find on the web; the original was available at a very low resolution, I did my best to enhance it.
A few more information about Oscar Young and the New Wave Record Co. catalogue is available here:
In the next months I will post more Hong Kong/Taiwan/Singapore/etc. Pop/Instrumental records released in the late-60s / mid-70s. As usual, I would like to provide information about these releases and their authors.
Unfortunately the Internet doesn't offer much information - written in English - about these artists and this is the reason why I need help: if you can translate from Chinese to English please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!
It's been difficult to obtain these vinyls, some are not in the best conditions and I'm currently working hard to properly master them. It seems that these artists and their music are poorly known in the West, of course it's a real pity because they made stunning releases: I'd like to share them with you with a proper presentation, hope that someone will be able to help.