Wednesday, 31 July 2013

PANCY LAU (劉鳳屏) "快回頭望一望" (1969)



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 Lau Bak Lok (劉伯樂) - also known as Tin Ngai (天涯) - was a well-known Cantonese Opera Star. He was her very first music teacher, and guided her through the entertainment world.

Her career started when she was around 8 or 9 years old singing Cantonese Opera. As a teenager she transitioned to singing songs she enjoyed: Pop music. During the early 60s she participated two times in the Sing Tao Daily Singing Competition in Hong Kong with no significant results. In 1965 at last she won the Mandarin section of the 6th edition of the contest with the song "三年" (Three Years). Upon winning the competition, she became a resident singer at the prestigious Golden Crown Night Club (金冠).

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 musical artists who participated in the popular show "歡樂今宵" (Enjoy Yourself Tonight), which was the longest running variety show in Hong Kong's television history.

In 1968 Fung Hang Records released her debut album entitled "My Heart Is Beating - 我的心蹦蹦跳". The album was the first in a long series of recordings that continued for more than fifteen years.

Following two EPs entitled "水長流" ("Water Flows Long") and "山前山後百花开" ("When the Flowers Bloom On Mount Qian Shan"), Pancy Lau's second album - the subject of this post - was finally published in late 1969.

Entitled "快回頭望一望" ("Quickly Turn Around and Look"), 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. At the time, a lot of popular music was coming from being featured on television or were theme songs from television drama series. The album, however, did not need any push from the media to become an instant hit, as it contained enough fresh material to estabilish itself as 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 [1968-70]".




快回頭望一望" ("Quickly Turn Around and Look") 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 the original vinyl release in July 2013 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.




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 "" (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 Turn Around and Look), 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 Flows Long) 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) is a Mandarin version of the Japanese classic "ウナ・セラ・ディ東京 - Una sera di Tokyo" (One Night in Tokyo), which was initially performed in 1963 by vocal duo ザ・ピーナッツ (The Peanuts) with the title "東京たそがれ」" (Tokyo Twilight). When touring Japan in1964, famous Italian singer Milva recorded her own version adding the 'Una sera di Tokyo' line to the refrain. The song became successfull and The Peanuts re-recorded it with the new title and lyrics.

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 clips offers a preview of the remastered album, please enjoy my favourite tracks: "快回頭望一望" ("Quickly Turn Around and Look"), "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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Hong_Kong

http://home.ied.edu.hk/~hkpop/music/hkpophistory.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_gilbert/sets/72157608139056712/

http://www.goldenage.hk/b5/ga/ga_article.php?article_id=1079

http://paper.wenweipo.com/2007/04/21/EN0704210024.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUIeOiDudhg&feature=related

http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/vinyl-history/article?mid=42&l=f&fid=12

http://www.funghang.com/200610/asp/disc_list.asp?class1=6&singer=%E5%8A%89%E9%B3%B3%E5%B1%8F

http://blog.roodo.com/muzikland/archives/2578425.html

http://baike.baidu.com/view/5637119.htm

http://www.vinylparadise.com/4pop_can/1/066LFP0A.htm

http://www.inkui.com/a1/A/A4A8B8CB7ABE6FF6C1CF_a.html

http://robokon.orgfree.com/5080/5080_LauFungPing.htm

http://mypaper.pchome.com.tw/chrishui/post/1276979467

http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/%E5%8A%89%E9%B3%B3%E5%B1%8F

http://www.whatsinmag.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1004%3A2012-04-02-19-44-12&catid=75%3A2012-03-30-21-17-42&lang=tw

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 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.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

TRICATEL 25CM CLUB #3: SYMPHONY "M. PARVULESCO" (2000)



Borrowing its name from Jacques Tricatel, a character portrayed by Louis de Funès in the 1976 movie "L'aile ou la cuisse" (The Wing and the Thigh) - this, in turn, ispired by Jacques Borel, father of the "Restoroute" restaurant chain - French label Tricatel was founded in 1996 by musician and producer Bertrand Burgalat.

Since its creation, the label has been focused on releasing music of a futuristic lounge, refined pop, downtempo easy-listening and retro-chic nature. Proudly independent, Tricatel payed homage to labels like The Compact Organisation and él Records, that have been a source of inspiration for Burgalat.



During the years the label has released music by April March, Eggstone, Count Indigo, The High Llamas, Etienne Charry and many other artists, including veteran composer André Popp, actress Valérie Lemercier, writers Michel Houellebecq and Jonathan Coe, and - of course - its founder and gran maestro Betrand Burgalat.

The label had an high profile in France and many of its releases received huge critical acclaims both there and abroad, sadly this was not matched by commercial success and sales. Coupled with distribution problems, Tricatel was forced to slow down its release schedule after a few years of frenetic activity.



Symphony, Alain Berbier and Patrice Casali "Lego-people" style

In 1999 Tricatel launched a succulent initiative in the form a vinyl-only series aptly named "Tricatel 25cm Club". Initially, these 10" releases were only available by post and had to be ordered directly from the label, but sometimes later they also received a wider distribution through independent music stores.

Most of these records were pressed on clear vinyl; probably published in a limited edition, it is unclear how many copies of each release exist... The third issue in this series was "M. Parvulesco" by Symphony.

Well, there's not much I can write about Symphony, the Internet offers only the most basic information about them: they are (...or were...) a duo from Toulouse, France, formed by Alain Berbier and Patrice Casali.

In addition to the "M. Parvulesco" 10" vinyl published in 2000, they released a CD album entitled "Do Not Kiss" and a CD-single, "Un Tapez Deux", in 2002. All of their output was released by Tricatel.

No picture of the band is available - if we exclude the poor rendering you can see above - and biographic details are nowhere to be found except this short statement: "Everyone of us can remember of what he was doing on 9/11. Alain and Patrice from Symphony do not. Fortunately the C.I.A. didn't find us yet, please keep in touch."

The last update on their MySpace page dates back to 2009: maybe the Agency found them at last...


The "M. Parvulesco" vinyl EP contains the following tracks:

01. M. Parvulesco (3:04)
02. Un Tapez Deux (3:37)
03. Boat On the River (7:07)

All tracks were remastered from the original 10" vinyl in June 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.





Here's a short review of "M. Parvulesco", the original page is available here.

«Whilst both the title track and "Un Tapez Deux" are both pleasant down tempo ditties, it's "Boat On the River" that stands out from the three on this vinyl. This is probably one of the finest pieces of chillout music that I have in my collection. It features wonderful strings, deep male spoken lyrics in French and, towards the end of the track, some really weird squiggle fx sounds that only make sense at 6 a.m. in the morning - a masterpiece!»


The following credits appear on the back cover of "M. Parvulesco":

Symphony: instruments and machines

Bertrand Burgalat: bass on "Un Tapez Deux" and "Boat On the River"

Peter von Poehl: additional guitar on "Un Tapez Deux" and "Boat On the River"

Produced by Symphony, "Un Tapez Deux" produced by Symphony and Bertrand Burgalat.

"M. Parvulesco" and "Boat On the River" recorded and mixed by Patrice Casati and Alain Barbier at Symphony Studio (Toulouse).

"Un Tapez Deux" recorded and mixed by Patrice Casati and Alain Barbier at Tricatel Studio (Paris).

Artwork: Manel

Mastering: Translab


These two videos offer a preview of the remastered EP, enjoy "M. Parvulesco" and "Boat On the River"!






More information about Tricatel and Symphony is available here:

http://www.tricatel.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Burgalat

http://thequietus.com/articles/06299-rockfort-tricatel-interview

http://www.ukulele.fr/dc/index.php/2011/10/07/1005-bertand-burgalat-et-les-anti-ukulele

https://myspace.com/alanpersonproject/

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Symphony+%282%29

http://www.global-trance.co.uk/fr_index.html?/Symphony.html

http://www.magicrpm.com/a-lire/chronique/symphony/do-not-kiss


If you have any other useful information about Tricatel and Symphony - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...