Like all tribute albums, this one is decidedly uneven. But the great stuff is pretty incredible.
Nearly a dozen independent Hong Kong bands cover songs originally recorded by Rebecca Pan aka Pan Wan Ching--Rebecca Pan sings on a couple of tracks as well. Pan, who was born in Shanghai, became a superstar in Hong Kong in the 50s and 60s, singing a variety of pop music in Chinese, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Thai, and more.
This CD, which I found in a store on the corner of Canal and Bowery, was my gateway to the world of indy Hong Kong music; after hearing it I searched everywhere for CDs by Ketchup, My Little Airport and, especially, The Pancakes--all of which I found at P-Tunes & Video, the store on Chrystie featured in the header image at the top of this blog.
The CD comes with an 88-page booklet, which includes lyrics, a narrative about the project, old clippings of Rebecca Pan and photos of the artists on the CD, including Pan, in the recording studio and hanging out together. Surprisingly, a number of the artists claimed to have never heard of Pan before the project--especially since they're essentially carrying on a tradition she was a huge figure in--that of Hong Kong artists covering or at least being inspired by pop music from around the world.