21 May 2007

Malay Pop Yeh Yeh

On a recent trip to Malaysia, I found several cd compilations of original 1960s Malay pop recordings. A few looked obviously non-official (tacky cover illustrations) but I picked up a couple of label-sanctioned 'digitally remastered' ones as well. I couldn't resist buying one bootleg cd, for the sake of some tracks not available elsewhere, and found the quality comparable to the legit ones. It was amazing to find such a wide selection of 1960s compilation cds there, because it's a different situation here in Singapore, where local 1960s cd comps are few and far between. So the only way to hear long-forgotten tunes would be to go out and collect vinyl records, or tune in to Gold 90.5 on Sundays with Brian Richmond. Ok that's enough bitterness for one post!

My next 3 posts will feature tracks from Malaysia's pop scene of the 1960s.

"In the 1960s, western-influenced Pop Yeh-yeh musicians came to the forefront. The Pop Yeh-yeh genre was popular in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei in the 1960s. Pop Yeh-yeh ruled the Malay music scene from 1965 to 1971. The music and fashion of The Beatles and other British rock and roll bands during the 1960s were a strong influence of the pop yeh-yeh bands and also generally influenced the Malay music industry of that period. The first local song in the Pop Yeh-yeh vein was a song called "Suzanna", sung by M Osman in 1964." Taken from this incredibly informative Wiki page on Malaysian music history.

M. Osman - Suzanna

Another article on Malaysian music, here.

Two of the cd comps I bought are listed here: "Pujaan Pop Yeh Yeh 60'an Vol 1 & 2".


Anonymous said...

.. no doubt: beautiful!

now I won't catch sleep until you've posted the other 2 tracks.

Thanks a lot!

Michael Vee - Milano

sid presley said...

Thanks for the link to Wanita.net. I ordered the two CD's you mentioned.

So true about compilations in Malaysia. Last year we stopped in a huge mall by the JB checkpoint (Don't know the name, but it's got Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, McDonald's, and a bazillion other shops) and I was amazed at what I found in a CD shop there. There were lots of 60's compilations for sale.

To classify these comps as bootlegs may be inaccurate, as I'm told that the copyrights for much 60's SE Asian music, especially those released on indie labels, have long expired.

Any insight to this???

modcentric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
modcentric said...

I think that would only apply to music on labels now non-existent (eg. not EMI/Decca/Philips). Not 100% sure on this though. For cover versions, I understand the song rights will still have to be cleared. I once tried contacting the composer's and authors society (compass) here regarding this issue of expired 1960s music rights, but got no reply.

spikedcandy said...

That's a very interesting wiki. I'm curious about whether Yeh-Yeh there was named separately, or after French pop. It's hard to get a clear idea of how the term is used in other countries. That wiki mentions that Pop Yeh-Yeh was named for the lyrics "She loves you, yeah yeah yeah', but that was also claimed in the wiki about French ye-ye, and it's definitely not true in that case. I don't know if someone's making a presumption or basing it on fact, since there's no citation.

Anonymous said...


is it possible to put the malaysian songs on line again?
I am very curious

txs in advance
greetings from belgium