Musical ephemera from Australia and beyond. Jazz, soundtracks, field recordings, vaguely ethnic, folk, pop and whatever else I may find in the second-hand shops of Victoria.
Saturday, 7 April 2012
Discovery - Frances Yip (1974)
This is quite a cool album showcasing the musical (and linguistic) talents of Cantopop singer Frances Yip in the service of promoting Cathay Pacific airlines. This is something of a promotional concept album, with Yip singing songs from the many countries that Cathay Pacific are happy to fly you to: Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. Most of the tracks have a great feel to them and production that suggests that Cathay Pacific were happy to spend a bit of money on this album to ensure that it sounded good. Not only was money spent on the music, but this promotional album came in a gatefold sleeve as well (yes, my copy is signed by Frances, try not to die of jealousy). The opening track 'Discovery', isn't representative of any country and is sort of a theme song for the album to get you started on your journey. It's a rockin' number with some great time changes and a killer guitar solo. The next track which is likely to grab your attention (particularly Australian listeners) is 'Green Is The Mountain (Tawain)' as the opening section of this song is one of the key samples used in Gotye's 'State Of The Art' from his hugely successful Making Mirrors album. Overall, Discovery generally manages to avoid a sense of seventies Asian minstrelsy that could easily have crept in, except on 'Kowloon Hong Kong Medley' which sounds a little tasteless and dated to my ears. Given that Yip herself is from Hong Kong, this seems particularly egregious. Then again, as an Australian, I found the rendition of 'Waltzing Matilda' on this album fairly cringe-inducing so maybe it's all relative (although, I do appreciate the whistling over the outro).
Label: EMI (My copy appears to have been purchased in Malaysia)