Sunday, August 23, 2009

Grace Chang - Pathe 100 Vol.15

An upload and liner notes translation by Remorseful Prober.

Grace Zhang (Ge Lan, real name Zhang Yu-Fang) was born in the city of Haining in Zhejiang province, and grew up in Shanghai. She immigrated to Hong Kong with her family in 1949. In 1952 she passed a screen test for the Taishan movie company, and dropped out of school to star in the movies. Her screen name Ge Lan comes from the English name Grace, selected by a studio director. In this year she starred in her first movie, "Love in Spring" which was shown in Singapore in 1953. By 1957, after starring and co-starring in several more movies her popularity soared, and she was considered for a brief time the queen of musicals. In 1959 she was invited by NBC to sing on US television, on the Dinah Shore show. She was married to a wealthy businessman in London in 1961, and then retired in 1964, having starred in over thirty movies.
Between 1950 and 1960 she made records for the Bai-Dai label, the most popular being, "I love the Cha-Cha", "Carmen", "I Want Your Love" and "I Want to Fly in the Blue Sky." In 1973 she began to study Beijing Opera, and when the state-sponsored Beijing Opera Troupe visited Hong Kong in 1979 she was allowed to perform one song with them, a considerable honor. In 1989 she recorded an album of famous songs of the Chinese Opera. In 1994 she performed in an a-capella commerative concert for the 100th birthday of one of Beijing's most famous opera performers, Mei Lan-Fang. In retirement, she continues to make occasional appearances.

This collection by Grace Chang is doubly different from the previous Pathe 100 discs. The singers featured before started in the Shanghai nightclubs and dancehalls and moved away from the mainland after 1950. While Grace Chang grew up in Shanghai, she began her career in Hong Kong. I think this is reflected in a more pronounced Western influence in her music. Secondly, the performers so far were singers first, and except for Zhou Xuan, appeared in the movies mostly in cameo roles or solely on the soundtrack. Grace Chang was foremost an actress, although she starred in musicals. The Soft Film blog has several posts with clips from her movies, promo photos etc. Make sure to check out her version of Carmen (Habanera) - strumming (pretending to strum) a National Tricone, no less!

Tagged in Chinese on mediafire
Tagged in English on sharebee
1. I Want Your Love (I Want You to Be My Baby)
2. What Do You Want
3. Moonless Night
4. Beautiful Taiwan
5. Carmen
6. Butterfly Lovers
7. Love in the Countryside
8. Good Tidings Come to the Door
9. World of Shadows
10. How Can I be Without Him?
11. Unspoken Joy
12. Beautiful Dancing
13. Suddenly I See Him
14. The Hula Hula Twist
15. Girl Soldier
16. Love Blossoming Everywhere
17. Marriage as a Cold War
18. Barroom Angel
19. Crazy in Love (literal: Love Sounds Like “Ding-Dong”)
20. Moonlight Love
21. Can’t Deny the Heart


  1. I have been listening to odd and unusual music for decades,but I must admit before listening to these Pathe 100 CDs,this Hong Kong/Chinese early rock and roll from the 50s had completely escaped me.This is great stuff.

  2. Do you have more volumes to upload ? I would like to hear volume 30.

    I also see the original records can be a bit expensive.

  3. That one sounds interesting. I do have a few more, but not #30.
    Shidaiqu fans are convening here lately, though, so maybe someone will see your request and post it.

  4. Roger-

    Your wish is my command. Unless you wished for a higher bitrate, or more accurate title translations. But anyway, here in glorious 128kbps, purloined from a Chinese website of dubious origin, is the disc you requested.

  5. Fantastic stuff, I like the synthesis of East / West. Grace's voice has a lot of emotion too. It's a pity that the version of Carmen is not the same as the youtube clip (wow at that low growling technique at around the 2 minute mark). Do you know if that particular version is available somewhere?

  6. I love Grace Chang! Thank you for the track list, I had a feeling "I need your love" was a cover of "I want you to be my baby".

  7. Hi,

    Just came across your blog and love it! Bookmarked!

    I found out about Grace Chang just now while doing some research to see if jazz influenced any part of Asia.

    Do you know if other genres like funk or soul every permeated Asia? If so, if you could point me in the right direction, I'd be very grateful!

    Also, do you have any other recommendations similar to Grace?

  8. Hello Ray,
    You can look at the far east tag here on my blog, there is a lot of stuff. Shanghai Lounge Divas is a great starting point.

    As far as other styles, there is a good number of releases documenting Asian rock. Here's my favorite: Asian Psychedelic Music; there's lots more, you can also look at the "world psych" tag. If you are specifically after Asian take on funk/soul, check out Bollywood soundtrack collections like this one.

  9. GraceChang-Pathe100-Vol15.rar (tagged english on sharebee) link is down, my friend.

  10. No, it works for me. I did not check every link, but Megaupload is still up; direct link is below:

  11. ok thank you. It works. What is the list of the albums you published on this compilation? I have to admit I want them all.

  12. they are all under a far east tag
    one more is here

  13. Found out about Grace Chang as her song "I want you to be my Baby" was heard in the background of IP Man The Final Fight around 1:39:00 in the movie. I checked the credits and it had Ge Lan and searching the net I found your blog. Thank you. Lovely singer

  14. could we get a re-up of this? thanks

  15. there is a live link on Sharebee, and it is