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張露 / Chang Loo / Xiao Loo / Zhang Lu

October 19, 2019

Chang Loo East and West CD 張露 東西遊 未開封黑膠唱片 (Sepia records 2014)


I have waited a very long time before even doing an attempt on reviewing this singer and album. There are a couple of interesting mixtures of styles (hence "east and west") revealing the Shanghai jazz and ballroom / movie song influence. "You are so Beautiful" in a happy way show this 50s styled mixture including even a yodeling part. "Watermelon Heart" shows mambo rhythms. It has partial English lyrics like some of the other firstly listed songs. But there are also more Chinese songs and even one Korean song there. A remarkable track is "The Robin", which I assume is an original traditional song imitating the bird brilliantly in a musical theme in rhythm and song, and featuring traditional instruments. The whole album is enjoyable. But there are also many light happy entertainment song modes too. When I notice the kind of smile that never disappears I can't help it wondering how much else is completely hidden or almost forbidden territory to express behind, giving me with that suspicion an odd feeling of discomfort too. Never the less, so many creative things happened the album remains providing a rewarding experiencing.


Track listing: 


1你真美麗 = You Are So Beautiful

2西瓜似的心 = Watermelon Heart

3多客氣 = Cachito

4望穿秋水 = Keep On Waiting

5女人與男人 = Woman Need The Man

6知更鳥 = The Robin

7你何必躲避 = The World Is Getting Smaller

8白蘭之戀 = Lonely White Orchid

9難抵抗的姑娘 = What A Girl

10豆蔻年華 = Teenage

11桔梗謠 = Korean Folk Song: Doraji

12自己迷自己 = Don't Be Crazy

13靜靜的河邊 = The Quiet Riverside

14太太回來了= Unexpected Return

15打情罵俏 = The Sweet Squabble



Yellow Music: Shanghai Pop from the 1930s-40s ; Bodega Pop vol.2 (2013)


13 雨儿那里来 / Rain will be coming

14 迎春花 / winter jasmine


"Rain Will be Coming" is a happy up tempo Chinese-sounding song, well arranged by a small orchestra. "Winter Jasmine" is a happy Chinese lullaby, from the "savely-expressing-only-happy-songs-area", an example of the kind of song which makes me suspicious of its choice.



Asian Takeaways (2001)


5 At Three Springtime 

11 When Will You Come Back Again


"At Three Springtime" is completely differently arranged, and clearly is from the heavier 60s psych-rock area, with a fuzz rock band, organ but also some heavier brass added a loud and groovy heavier dance floor track. “When will you come back again” is a Chinese folk song mixing the previous band with a calm Chinese traditional band on the other less loud balance. Funny it appears on a “Asian Takeways” compilation, which in this case I say it fits greatly.  It has something grotesque in its ambition to combine both worlds this way. Trumpets in full glory conclude this track.



 EMI Pathé Classics 百代經典101 Vol.1 CD box


CD2-1 蘋果花 / Apple flower


I also bought this cheap 16CD box with an overview of "Chinese Classics" on the Pathé label. It only contains one track by Chang Loo, which is 40s styled orchestral mambo (?) from a Chinese song.




CHANG LOO - 張露 膜拜好時代 UMG EMI (2CD) (2017)


I thought this could have been a compilation with a vision, but it simply is a collection of songs from around the same time. The first song is the least interesting one and it also is the least essential in the list if you ask me. It has a marching rhythm which in combination with Chinese language is a bit odd. It sounds like coming from a musical. The next two tracks are taken from a movie. First we have a Hawaiian song with Hawaiian guitar, but sung in Chinese language. The second is a more vivid mambo with congas, piano and brass orchestra. This is followed by a Chinese folk song from Taiwan with even traditional instruments. Also the track after that is such a Chinese song. Then we come back to the mambo style, with brass orchestra, and a chachacha track, with the same band and congas for the rhythm. A more up to date 60s version of mambo with twist is combined in "Mambo Rock". Once more the track after that falls back to Chinese songs. It sounds like a children song and again might fit to a musical-like context. Another modernization is in the last track, a Chinese interpretation of the gospel-like song from Tennessee Ernie Ford. Some tracks might still work on parties. The mixture of songs itself still is a bit too coincidental compared to the more perfect compilation above. Realizing how expensive Chinese CDs still are, this isn't something I would like to proceed in chasing or completing with more releases for the moment.


張露 - 張露之歌(花嫁) / Zhang Lu's Songs (Flower Marriage)

01. 花嫁“The Bride”[電影「蝴蝶夫人」插曲] (from Lady Butterfly")
02. 呼啦啦夷“Hawaiian Song”[電影「那個不多情」插曲] (from the movie "That is not passionate")
03. 跳一個曼波 [電影「那個不多情」插曲]“Let’s Do The Mambo” (from the movie "That is not passionate")
04. 桃花船(黃河合唱)“Peach Blossom Boat”[Ot:桃花過渡 (台灣民謠)] (Taiwanese Folk Song)
05. 紅睡蓮“The Sleeping Lotus” 
06. 稱心如意“Tra La La” 
07. 什麼話 “Rico Vacilon” 
08. 曼波迷“Mambo Rock” 
09. 梨渦太神秘“Where Will The Dimples Be” 
10. 靜心等“Sixteen Tons” 


The second album is mixture of Chinese folk music mixed with new music styles and a few old music styles. The first track is like a further orchestrated exotic (Hawaiian perhaps) beach song with congas and acoustic guitar. This is immediately alternated with a Chinese song traditional instruments. This then switches back to an early 60s styled song with additional brass from the twist era. A better track I think is "Funny Face", a nice ballroom-orchestra related song. This switches back to a Chinese folk music track, and two a bit more modernized Chinese folk tracks. "Choo Choo Train" was promising, imitating a train sound, but in the end using the theme merely as motive for a jive without a truly inspired message. It is basically modern entertainment with brass orchestra and rhythm. Then we have two more Chinese folk songs before a reference to Japan with the ballroom-like waltz "To say sayonara again." I don't think spending the money on how much Chinese CD costs took care for it that I will dig into it much more so easily any more. 

張露 - 扇舞 / Fan Dance (1970?)

01. 春風撩人醉 "When Spring Comes" 
02. 三更同心結“Love In The Night" [Ot: 五更同心結 (周璇/1939/Pathé)]  (original Zhou Yi / 1939 / Pathé)
03. 你去了那裡“Where Are You" [Ot: 海軍小唄人(ズンドコ節) Inspired By:ドリフのズンドコ節 (ザ・ドリフターズ の シングル/1969/Toshiba)] (Drift's Zundoko Buddhism Single)
04. 夢斷巫山“Life Is Like A Dream" 
05. 姑娘的臉“Funny Face" 
06. 春季相思“Love In Spring" [Ot: 四季相思 (周璇/1939/Pathé)] (original "Four Seasonal Thoughts")
07. 扇舞“Fan Dancing" [Ot: 芸道一代 (美空ひばり/1967/Nippon Columbia)] ('The first generation of crafts')
08. 月下佳人“A Fair Lady Under The Moon" [Oa: 周璇 (1940/Pathé)] (Zhou Wei)
09. 蜜月花車(1970 Version)“Choo Choo Train" 
10. 木蘭從軍(一)“Lady General Hwa Mu-Lan(1)" 
11. 木蘭從軍(二)“Lady General Hwa Mu-Lan(2)" 
12. 再說 Sayonara “To Say Sayonara Again" 




based upon the Dutch Wikipedia page: 


Chang Loo  张 露 (Suzhou, January 21, 1932 - Hong Kong, January 26, 2009) (jiaxiang: Jiangsu, Suzhou) was a Chinese singer who was especially popular in the 1940s and 1970s with her Shanghaise Standard Mandarin songs. She was born as Chang Shou-Ying / 张秀英. She was one of the singers who sang the popular music genre Mandarin songs from Shanghai. Chang was considered the queen of that genre. Her son Alex To Tak-Wai / 杜德伟 is a Standard Mandarin singer.


At the age of four, she moved with her family to the big city of Shanghai. When her father died, the family fell into poverty. One day in 1945 she sang a song for her brother to get him to sleep. The neighbor who worked at the radio heard that and thought she had a perfect singing voice. Without her mother knowing, she started singing on the radio. Later she started singing at night clubss. Not much later she got a record contract.


Her song recording career started in 1946. In 1948 she starred in the Liu lang xiu yang / 柳浪 细 鸯 movie and sang the song Shunü yao tiao / 淑女 窈窕. In the same year the song Ni zhen meili was released.


In 1952 she left Shanghai and went to work in Hong Kong. She later emigrated to Canada in 1980. To care for her son, she remigrated back to Hong Kong five years later.


In November 2008 she made her last trip to China. She went to Shanghai to visit relatives with her son, Alex, and sang "Gei wo yige wen" to the public. On January 25, 2009, she had a Cerebrovascular accident and ended up in the hospital. She died a day later at four in the afternoon at the age of 76. :


Born in Suzhou in 1932, Chang moved to Shanghai with her family when she was young. In the mid-1940s, a neighbour who was a broadcaster recommended, after hearing her sing, that she perform at a local radio station. She began singing covers of famous songs by her idol, Zhou Xuan. 'I had to sing her songs. She was such a big star. She was not just a singer - she was a movie star,' Chang said in an interview with the Post Magazine in 2003.


In the late 1940s, Chang, who signed with EMI, released a string of hits that cemented her position as a diva of the new generation.


Music industry veteran Chan Fai-hung, a former executive of EMI responsible for the label's 2003 release Shanghai Divas, which included songs by Chang, said the late star was a cheerful person whose upbeat personality was reflected in her music.


'Chang, together with other singers from the 1930s and '40s, were the pioneers of contemporary Chinese pop music,' Mr Chan said. 'They not only performed in Mandarin but they also sang in English, bringing in jazz and swing music to this part of the world.' One of Chang's best known songs, loosely translated as Give Me A Kiss, was a Mandarin cover of the much recorded Seven Lonely Days.


Chang moved to Hong Kong in 1952 and married musician Ollie Delfino in the late 1950s, after which Orlando and Alex were born. She retired in 1975, immigrated to Canada in the 1980s, but returned when Alex decided to stay in Hong Kong after winning TVB's New Talent Singing Awards in the mid-1980s. She had a quiet retirement, occasionally appearing in public to perform with her sons.




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