2008/07/18

The 33rd Revolution

The 33rd Revolution, released by The Quests before their conquest of Hong Kong. The tracks included Hava Nagila, Come on Down To My Boat, Hur Pi Tzu Shau Hsiang, Never Ever, Mr Rainbow, Guantaramera, Georgy Girl, 26 Miles, What's Wrong With The Way I Live, This Nearly Was Mine, I'll Never Fall In Love Again, A World Of Tomorrows. Mr Rainbow became a great hit in Hong Kong, while Never Ever also hit the charts there. A World Of Tomorrows was an original composition by Reggie Verghese.

4 comments:

Izlynn said...

Dear Vernon,

Thank you for remembering me in your new Blog. Very interesting compilation of the 60s. The 33rd Revolution was probably the best LP ever produced by a local group during the 60s. This is the obvious product when we gather six of the best musicians and entertainers together to record an album. Well done, Reg, Jap, Wee, Sam, Jimmy & Vernon.

JoeWuSeattleWaUSA said...

According to The Quests Discography compiled by Henry Chua, this LP was released in November, 1967. I remember 1967 mostly as the year of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," hippies, flower power, marijuana and a phenomenon totally shocking to the way I was brought up, something people called free sex, at least from what I read in the newspapers about what's happening in Europe and America. Free sex? Really?

But back to music. To me the music world was going absolutely crazy. Overnight, it seemed, we went from the sweet and melodic pop songs of the late 50's and early to mid-60's, with some good old rock and roll records thrown into the mix, to nothing but psychedelic music, drugs-induced lyrics, and very, very naughty lyrics. What happened? Personally, I remember being extremely unprepared for the switch, and I often agonized over the state of pop music.

The Beatles were the worst culprits of all. They were the ones who changed, and them being the Pied Pipers of the 1960's, they forced the whole world to change with them. I was so upset with John, Paul, George and Ringo. For the longest time I could not even listen to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." For those of us in Singapore, we were already exposed to Indian music, so it's not the sitar or the saris or Transcendental Meditation or even the overpowering smell of incense.

It was the fun and the innocence of our childhood lives. Suddenly, all that vanished completely, like into a purple haze in the sky. All gone! Even the so-called naughty long-haired boys of British pop, The Rolling Stones, seemed so tame and childlike when Jimi Hendrix dropped out of the sky.

And The Beatles. What happened to "Love Me Do" and "She Loves You" and all the yeah, yeah, yeahs? It's now "Within You Without You" and "A Day In The Life"??? What the heck's going on?

1967 was also the year I took my Cambridge Exams. The finality of secondary school suddenly gripped my throat and quickly became an obsession. What's next for my life, I would constantly wonder. The fear of the unknown.

Suddenly, I began to find little comfort in Cliff Richard and The Shadows, The Blue Diamonds and even The Quests. My whole world was turning upside down. I tried so desperately to cling on to my past, I just didn't want to let go of my happy youth. All this new psychedelic music just symbolized an unknown future I was not ready for.

And in 1967 I did not even know that I was going to be leaving Singapore for good in a year.

So let me confess now, when The Quests' "33rd Revolution" LP was released in November, 1967, I cast it aside after hearing a few tracks. Didn't even buy the LP. These were not the same Quests who spiced up my life with "Shanty" and "Mustapha" and made me worship Keith Locke. I did not recognize these boys at all.

Fast forward to 2008. Here I am, looking at this LP cover again, and reading the same tracklist that I'm sure I also did back in 1967, and I now understand quite well why I just did not want anything to do with that LP when it first came out.

Nothing against The Quests, of course. They themselves could not help but be influenced by The Beatles in 1967, and also by all the things that were going on in the world at that time. Hmmmm, I do wonder if some of the boys still own their flower jackets. Better yet, I wonder if any one even dares to wear them out in the streets in Singapore now.

moo said...

OT but if you take a walk into some ladies wear shops you will see that in some ways , amongst some groups of people the Huay huay look is still occasionally about

but not everyone can carry it off

Anonymous said...

This was probably the best LP ever produced by a local group. The Quests were at their very best in this cut. Hava Nagila - well, the music speaks for itself. What a gathering of great musicians in the same group, the incredible Reggie Verghese, handsome boys now men..Jap Chong & Samuel Toh (great bass work man !), keyboard maestro Jimmy Chan, and King Drummer Lim Wee Guan. Vernon Cornelius ..the icing on the cake with his great vocals and looks !

Jean Lim