Tuesday, 5 June 2012

THE APOLLO "SPRING AGAIN" (太陽神樂隊 "大地回春")

Once again, here comes a very nice instrumental album published by New Wave Record Co. (新風) in Hong Kong during the late 60s. Just like for the previous posts about NWLP 5 and NWLP 6, I am not able to provide an exact release date for this LP catalogued as NWLP 8. Oh, and by the way, in case you were wondering about it, it seems that a NWLP 7 doesn't exist, at least according to my own tireless and long research... If you own a copy or if you have any information about it please let me know.

Anyway, other albums released on the same label with a later catalogue number are proven to have been published in 1969, so I guess that we could place "Spring Again" (大地回春) a little bit earlier, probably in 1968.

This LP is credited to The Apollo (太陽神樂隊), 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), Pancy Lau (劉鳳屏), Frances Yip (葉麗儀), Stella Chee (奚秀蘭), etc. It should be noted that in the early days of the label, they were the only available band at Life Records headquarters, so this comes as no surprise... Phew, what a hard schedule!

Their instrumental records, often arranged by band leader Oscar Young (楊道火), a key-figure in the Hong Kong / Singapore music scene of the late 60s / early 70, usually feature a prominent guitar sound that has spawned a lot of imitators...

...and "Spring Again" (大地回春) is in fact labeled as a guitar music album; most solos are obviously performed on the electric guitar but the organ plays an important part in the group's nice alchemy, providing accompaniment and counterpoints that, recorded on separate tracks, are panned on the far left and right side of the mix to reach for that early days massive stereo effect..

The back cover provides an English translation of the titles, so for once I am able to present a correct track list; since I can't read/write Chinese, sometimes it is very hard to properly present these Far-East records here...

"Spring Again" (大地回春) contains the following tracks:

01. 採檳榔 [Chai Pin-Laang] (3:05)
02. 大地回春 [Spring Again] (2:01)
03. 送郎一朵牽牛花 [A Flower For You] (2:58)
04. 媽媽說我沒人嫁 [Mother Says I'm Not Wanted] (2:22)
05. 加多一点点 [Add a Little] (2:13)
06. 兩相依 [We Two] (2:36)
07. 王老五 [Bachelor's Song] (2:04)
08. 姑娘的心意 [Young Emotion] (2:34)
09. 搭錯線 [Wrong Number] (2:18)
10. 意乱情迷 [Bewildered] (1:53)
11. 忘不了的你 [Colours of the Rainbow] (2:56)
12. 漁家女 [Fisher Girl] (3:06)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in May/June 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.

Here's what I discovered searching information about the music included on this release:

採檳榔 [Chai Pin-Laang] is a popular Taiwan song whose title can be translated as "Picking Betel Nuts", it was performed by many female singers, including Zhou Xuan (周璇) - one of the Seven Great Singing Stars - and Teresa Teng (鄧麗君) who remembered about this being the very first song her mother taught her to sing as a child.

大地回春 [Spring Again] is a classic Mandarin song from the late 40s. It was first recorded in Shanghai by Wu Ying Yin (吴莺音) - another one of the Seven Great Singing Stars of China - and has become a synonymous of the Chinese New Year festivities. 送郎一朵牽牛花 [A Flower For You] is another song brought to success by Wu Ying Yin (吴莺音) in the late 50s.

姑娘的心意 [Young Emotion] was successfully performed by Chang Loo (張露) and later by Pancy Lau (劉鳳屏), while 忘不了的你 [Colours of the Rainbow] is a 1966 hit by Judi Jim (詹小屏) who used to sing both Mandarin and Western songs. 漁家女 [Fisher Girl] is best remembered in the version performed by singer/actress Zhou Xuan (周璇) during the gramophone era, and that's all I know...

A few more information about The Apollo (太陽神樂隊) and the New Wave Record Co. (新風) 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.



    FLAC: https://dfiles.eu/files/goiqznvxw

    MP3: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?6ro2277tjwgaakj

  2. Hi Bro,

    Thank you very much for sharing...simply awesome
    Just wondering do you have this album by them too ?
    新風 LFLP679
    Cos I do have this LP before. but somehow lost it during shifting.
    And have been trying to find a CD version, especially during Chinese New Year.


    1. Hi, thanks for your comment! Sorry, I don't have a copy of the LFLP679 "賀新年" LP but I have a couple of other Apollo releases that I will hopefully be able to post here in the next months, best wishes!

  3. Oh I forgot.. I can totally help with your Chinese.. Here is the correct characters for the songs you have in question:

    Track 6 on Side A - 兩相依
    Track 3 on Side B - 搭錯線

    1. THANK YOU Brian for taking the time to help me with those titles, you are very kind!!!

    2. I updated the post with the correct titles according to your input, THANKS again!


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