15 April 2011
Japanese songs in Cantopop
Album cover of Hacken Lee's 紅日
Feeling a little nostalgic recently.
While nowadays I don't listen to Cantopop (Cantonese pop), also known as HK-pop (Hong Kong pop), it has a period that I do enjoy listening to in the 80s and perhaps early 90s too, and what's interesting is that a lot of them are actually Japanese songs originally. Inspired by Z's post, this post picks a few examples of songs to compare with.
李香蘭 by Jacky Cheung
行かないで by Tamaki Koji
風繼續吹 by Leslie Cheung
さよならの向う側 by Momoe Yamaguchi
藍月亮 by Hacken Lee
月に濡れたふたり by Anzen Chitai (sung by Koji Tamaki)
紅日 by Hacken Lee
それが大事 by 大事MANブラザーズバンド
我只在乎你 by Teresa Teng, a mandarin song sung by a well known Taiwanese singer but is very popular not only in Taiwan and Hong Kong, but also in Japan too
時の流れに身をまかせ by Teresa Teng (both are sung by the same person, as Teresa is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese)
A lot of these well known cover songs were released during the "golden era of Cantopop", which is mainly in the 1980s. While these liscensed songs were not the sole reason that made that period of Cantopop (or HK-pop) considered as the "golden age", a good lot of them have been very popular among us, and are still something we remember the period by.
There are people who criticise the existence of cover songs as lacking originality, or in a way even a "ripoff", or using other artists' content for their benefits of fame and success. I personally think it was quite a good link between Hong Kong and Japanese music entertainment, with Japanese artists being invited to Hong Kong to sing along with those who covered their songs in our localised language back then. Perhaps this is not something we'll get to see much nowadays due to various reasons, and looking back I do miss the good old days of music when the artists seem to put in a lot more effort and heart into the songs. It may very well be a biased feeling anyway, since I don't really know what to listen to nowadays.
I wonder whether similar things may be said about recent anime too, but I'll like to stay optimistic for the time being, at least for a bit longer. I do like to keep onto the hope.