|February 15, 2013 | Asia, Found Sounds, Travels
I got my hands good and dirty going through boxes of records in a Malaysian junk shop a couple of weeks ago ( I mentioned that here ), and ended up buying a couple of Singapore-Chinese rock n’ roll 45s – and, ahem, the amount of rocking going on on these discs varies widely – two of them feature sappy Chinese pop songs, dressed up, times being what they were, with groovy cover art, sideburns, and fuzz-wah guitar. All stuff I appreciate, but none of which necessarily makes for kool jamz.
01. Tony & The Polar Bear Five : Bloom And Wilt / Gone Too Quickly / Loving Pair
So, what can we surmise about this? There’s no year of manufacture listed, but knowing what I do about how American electric guitar music made its way to this part of the world via visiting U.S. servicemen and Japanese eleki, and because of the cover of 1968’s Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da ( entitled Bloom And Wilt, for some reason ) I’m going to say that the record dates from quite a while after Beatle boots, matching suits, and The Ventures would have been considered cool in the West.
This is a band who played music for dancing to, probably every night, probably 4 or 6 or 8 sets a night, and they do it here like they did it on stage, without a break in the action, and I decided to leave it that way. The organ gives this material a chaste, roller-rink ( ballpark, even ) feel, but I nonetheless enjoy putting this on from time to time. Verdict : score!