Pancy Lau (Lau Fung Ping, 劉鳳屏 or 刘鳳屏, also referred to as Liu Feng Ping) was born sometimes in the late 40s / early 50s in a family of musicians; her father (劉伯樂), a famous Cantonese Opera singer, was her very first music teacher.
At eight / nine years she was already performing operas, and at thirteeen / fourteen she began to explore Pop music. During the early 60s she participated in several singing contests with no significant results. In 1965 at last she won the Mandarin section of the 6th Sing Tao Daily singing competition with the song "三年" (Three Years). As a result of this success, she became a resident singer at the prestigious restaurant / nightclub 金冠 (Golden Crown).
Television Broadcasts Limited (電視廣播有限公司), commonly known as TVB, commenced broadcasting in Hong Kong on 19 November 1967. Pancy Lau was one of the first singers who participated in the popular show "歡樂今宵" (Enjoy Yourself Tonight) along with colleagues 仙杜拉 (Sandra Lang, one half of The Chopsticks duo along with 阿美娜 / Amina) and 鍾玲玲 (Betty Chung).
In 1968 Fung Hang Records released her debut 7" EP entitled "水長流" ("Water Always Flows") which included four songs. It was the first in a long series of recordings that was about to continue for more than fifteen years.
In this period Pancy was more and more busy, her bookings considerably increased bringing her to perform seven days a week in nightclubs and karaoke bars, sometimes offering two shows in different locations during the same evening/night.
Following a second EP entitled "山前山後百花开" ("When the Flowers Bloom On Mount Qian Shan") released in 1969, Pancy Lau's first album was finally published in 1970.
The record was a huge success with no less than four editions published - and sometimes also bootlegged - by different labels in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. In a time when many of the hit songs in Hong Kong were linked and driven by popular TV series, Pancy's debut album contained enough fresh material to become a modern classic.
For a more detailed biography of Pancy Lau I suggest that you read a previous post I dedicated to her here on Stereo Candies: "The Very Best of Pancy Lau Volume 1 [1968-72]".
快回頭望一望" ("Quickly Looking Back") contains twelve songs - including the eight tracks already released on her previous EPs back in 1968-69: tracks 03, 05, 06 and 07 were released on FHEP 610, while tracks 02, 04, 08 and 10 were released on FHEP 611... Here's the complete track list:
01. 快回頭望一望 (2:57)
02. 山前山後百花開 (2:18)
03. 水長流 (3:35)
04. 送君 (3:07)
05. 不知不嫁了 (2:18)
06. 我的心裡有個他 (2:13)
07. 姑娘的心意 (2:02)
08. 媽媽您在何方 (2:30)
09. 為甚麽 (2:04)
10. 寂靜的夜 (2:29)
11. 處處吻 (2:03)
12. 討厭的電話鈴 (2:14)
All tracks were remastered from vinyl in July 2013 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include scans of the original item in PDF format. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.
The music on tracks 01, 02, 04, 08, 09, 10, 11 and 12 is played by 太陽神樂隊 (The Apollo), an Hong Kong prolific studio band that reached a cult status in the region during the late 60s / early 70s. Their name has probably been borrowed from the Teisco / Kawai manufactured Apollo model guitar from that time period.
They recorded a lot of instrumental albums, a few of them for New Wave Record Co. (新風) and most of them for Life Records (麗風); they were also featured as a backing band on countless releases by popular singers like Teresa Teng (鄧麗君), Frances Yip (葉麗儀), Stella Chee (奚秀蘭) and Pancy Lau, of course.
Tracks 03, 05, 06 and 07 were probably recorded in an earlier session, and were arranged and conducted by Joseph Koo (顧嘉煇). Koo is a famous composer and arranger, and one of the most respected authors of Cantopop songs; he is considered the Godfather of Hong Kong pop music. During his career he has created more than 1.200 original compositions and many of them have become classics, including various themes of popular TV series.
In 1962, he composed his first hit (Mandarin Chinese) song "夢" (Dream) and later another hit song "郊道" (Country Road). In 1974, he wrote the first Cantonese TV theme song "啼笑姻緣" (Between Tears and Laughter), which became the actual first popular Cantopop song.
Here's what I discovered searching information about the songs included on this album; the translations of the song titles are approximate in most cases, but anyway...:
01. "快回頭望一望" (Quickly Looking Back), the album title track, is one of Pancy Lau's signature songs. During the years it has been covered many times and has become a karaoke classic.
02. The original version of the sweet "山前山後百花开" (When the Flowers Bloom On Mount Qian Shan) was recorded in 1962 by 劉韻 (Liu Yun, available here). The song was also later covered by 姚蘇蓉 (Yao Su Rong, available here) and 奚秀兰 (Stella Chee, here), among others.
03. "水長流" (Water Always Flows) originated from a 1959 Japanese song entitled "大川ながし" by 美空ひばり (Misora Hibari, available here). It was later translated into a Taiwanese song in 1967, "快樂的農家" and recorded by 陳芬蘭 (Chen Fen Lan, available here). The song was also recorded by 鄧麗君 (Teresa Teng, available here), 姚蘇蓉 (Yao Su Rong, here) and many others.
04. "送君" (Farewell) was originally performed in 1939 by singer / actress 周璇 (Zhou Xuan), one of China's seven great singing stars; you can listen and watch the original version here.
05. "不如不嫁了" (It Is Better Not To Marry) seems to be an original composition and I wasn't able to find any other information about it, except the name of its authors: music by 曹嘈 and words by 馮美葆.
06. "我的心裡有個他" (There Is Somebody In My Heart) was adapted from a Japanese song recorded by 翁倩玉 (Judy Ongg, available here) in 1967; it was also recorded by 鄧麗君 (Teresa Teng).
07. "姑娘的心意" (In the Heart of a Girl) is another adaptation of a song imported from Japan. The original was popularized by 美空ひばり (Misora Hibari, available here - the song begins at about 2:00); the Mandarin version was also successfully performed by 張露 (Chang Loo).
08. "媽媽您在何方" (Mother, Where Are You?) is a very sad song adapted, once again, from a Japanese composition which was originally performed in 1952 by 美空ひばり (Misora Hibari, available here - the song begins at about 00:30). In early 2013 the song was used in a bizarre commercial performed by Will Ferrell.
09. I guess that "為甚麽" (Why?) is probably an original composition - and not one of the highlights of the album -, sorry but I wasn't able to find any relevant information about it...
10. "寂靜的夜" (The Silence of the Night) seems to be another original composition, but I may be wrong... And yes, no information about it.
11. I can't find anything about the closing numbers on the album; "處處吻" (Kissing Everywhere) is probably another original song that will remain a mistery, at least for me...
12. Well, the telephone bell on "討厭的電話鈴" (An Annoying Telephone Call) is really irritating! It would be great if someone could share any information about the origin of this song, so if you can help, please get in touch!
The following videos offers a preview of the remastered album, please enjoy my favourite tracks: "快回頭望一望" ("Quickly Looking Back"), "我的心裡有個他" (There Is Somebody In My Heart), "姑娘的心意" (In the Heart of a Girl) and "寂靜的夜" (The Silence of the Night)!
More information about Pancy Lau is available here:
I'm currently trying to compile a Pancy Lau exhaustive discography, my work-in-progress is available here.
All my posts dedicated to Pancy Lau on this blog are 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 authours, here's a few names: 劉鳳屏 (Pancy Lau), 太陽神樂隊 (The Apollo), 麗莎 (Lisa Wong), 冉肖玲 (Ran Xiao Ling), 鄧麗君 (Teresa Teng), 奧斯卡管弦樂團 (Oscar Orchestra)...
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.