Mommy, What Is Cantopop?
:: Beautiful Sunday ::
:: El Condor Pasa ::
:: Funky Song I Don't Know The Title Of, But It's Track 11 ::
Sometimes it's fun to pick up albums where you can't understand a damn thing printed on the cover. Sometimes it's not fun to try to write about them, because even if you like the music, you can't really supply much info, or in some cases, song titles. I picked this up, suspecting and hoping that it might be a Connie Chan album. Dave from the Movie Fan Princess website quickly dismissed that suspicion, and through some industrious webtective work discovered that I had an album by Sandra Lang, a Hong Kong pop singer who was one half of the singing duo The Chopsticks. Thanks, Dave. You saved the world an article that went something like this: "This is Chinese music, by some chick."
Sandra Lang was evidently a seminal figure in something called Cantopop, which if you didn't guess, is cutesy shorthand for Cantonese Pop. She still performs, and it looks like she just played Reno last December.
This album from 1974 might be a soundtrack, or it might be a compilation. I really don't know, because I'm not that much of a polyglot. What I can tell you is that the first side of this is very Chinese to these occidental ears, and I didn't get into it much. Too slow, too sad. The flip side is much more entertaining. It kicks off with the sassy title track Sunday, and is followed by a fantastic HK-meets-Tijuana rendition of the oft-crooned El Condor Pasa.
The other song that really caught my ear is one of those songs I can't tell you the name of, but it's the 4th song on side two, and it's danceably delicious. The cymbal work kills me. Maybe some kindly Chinese speaker will let us in on what it's called, and whether it's a rocking send-up of an old song or an original. Even if your iTunes aren't happy with its tag, your dancin' bones won't care.