Sepia Rec. Li Mei & Julie Yeh : It's Always Spring 桃李爭春 (1962,re.2014)***°°
In general, after an introduction the old Shanghai music scene, it first took me a while to get used to the new singing language, which at times sounded round like a cat meow. Secondly, many of these Shanghai scene compilations seemed to have collected tracks randomly thrown together. It wasn’t until I discovered certain singers and even more original reissues (from Hong Kong, Taiwan & Shanghai) that the full qualities started to emerge and come forward. Where I thought at first I could not listen too easily to all tracks on the Shanghai compilations, when I finally found these originally remastered editions that was made the difference. They ware rather expensive, so I could only try a few, but it was absolutely worth the try. The albums still being starters for me made me feel like awaking in a new world of different influences coming perfectly together. At least now, in one compilation the songs seems to have made to make each other stronger into such a compilation.
The first track (by Yeh Feng) you can watch below on a movie fragment. It has teasing the imagination of the listeners vocals, giving poetic references to a situation, is guided by old dance rhythms, and is accompanied by some slide guitar with combo, a unique and refreshing song. The second, also nice song (by Lee Mei) sounds more like a Chinese folk song, accompanied in partly folkloristic, then orchestrated way. This is alternated by a ballroom instrumental theme. After that we hear another rather Chinese folk song in ballroom context, in a slightly different way. Then I recognise certain classical? melody on “I love you cha cha”, which is reborn in a chachacha context. This association bears emotional strength too, like a sadness mixed with a happy lightness elsewhere, with its entertainment ballroom orchestra, giving the whole mixture something very unique too. The next few tracks have again different sort of mixes of influences. “Rainbow over the sea” is orchestrated very well, in an almost filmic way. “Love is everywhere” (Lee Mei) shows a different emotion. Also this is orchestrated and sounds like an special, older folk song too. A next moment that reminds me very much of a classical opera theme can be heard on “I love you” (by Yeh Feng), I wish only if I could remember where this music comes from. Its interpretation is certainly worth checking out. Also “Mad about you” is strongly expressed with perfect accentuation and emotion, in a rather unique vocal and voice expression. Lighter, with dance rhythm and strings is “Mystery Girl”, followed by a slower orchestrated song, “Dreamy Feeling” ending the compilation with a happier tune and song with slow rhythm, “Deepin my heart” (all sung by Yeh Feng).
A highly recommended album.
One of the selling points gave this description : “Julie Yeh Feng (formerly known as Wang Jiu-Ling) was born in 1937 in Hubei Province, China. She moved to Taiwan following the creation of the The People's Republic of China in 1949. She became one of the great singing stars of the Hong Kong film world, making some 29 films between 1957 and 1969. Helen Li Mei was another Hong Kong film stars of the 1950s and 60s. Born in 1929 in Hebei province and She later lived in the USA, and passed away in 1994.”
CD on Sepia Records (Hong Kong 2014 - NCCPA157-2VD) : 1–葉楓*好預兆 = Good Omen2–李湄*賣餛飩 = Selling Wan Tun3–葉楓*好地方 = Wonderful Place4–葉楓*我愛你恰恰 = I Love You Cha Cha5–葉楓*桃李爭春 = It's Always Spring6–葉楓*海上彩虹 = Rainbow Over The Sea7–李湄*多情世界 = Love Is Everywhere8–葉楓* & 蓓蕾*不唱睡不着 = Can't Stop Singing9–葉楓*我愛你 = I Love You10–葉楓*情痴 = Mad About YouBonus Tracks:11–李湄*長夜曲 = The Long Night12–葉楓*神秘女郎 = Mystery Girl13–葉楓*夢一般的感情 = Dreamy Feeling14–葉楓*深印在心坎裏 = Deep In My Heart
Audio fragments : https://www.facebook.com/...