City Rhythm

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City Rhythm
Studio album by Sandy Lam
Released December 1988 (1988-12)
Genre Cantopop
Label Warner Bros. Records
Sandy Lam chronology
City Rhythm

City Rhythm (都市觸覺Part I City Rhythm) is the sixth studio album by Sandy Lam, released by Warner Bros. Records in the winter of 1988. "City Rhythm" is the first of a trilogy of albums that launched Sandy's career into the top ranks of 1980s Hong Kong female pop stars like Anita Mui, Sally Yeh, Priscilla Chan, etc. "City Rhythm" also marks the beginning of Hong Kong mainstream concept albums. Much was riding over what musical direction this album will take, especially because Sandy had just signed with Warner Bros. Records Hong Kong earlier in 1988 shortly after the release of her last CBS Records album Ready. On this first "City Rhythm" album, the songs are mainly dance-pop and covers of ballads originally recorded by American and European pop singers. Sandy had considerably more creative control on the album since she served as executive producer along with Clarence Hui and Anthony Lun.

Track listing[edit]

1. In the Midst of the Night (三更夜半)
2. Thunderstorm Windy Night (雷電風雨夜) (Cover version of "Infatuation" by Taja Sevelle)
3. It's Late at Night... No Excuses (夜了...沒有藉口) (Cover version of "Make It Real" by The Jets)
4. What's Left Behind... (還有...) --Duet with Dave Wang
5. See The Morning Sun Again (又見朝陽)
6. Once We've Touched (一接觸) (Cover version of "Cross My Heart" by Eighth Wonder)
7. You Are My Man (你是我的男人) (Cover version of "You Are My Man" bun Viktor Lazlo)
8. City Dreams (偷閒) (Cover version of "Love In A World Gone Mad" by Agnetha Faltskog)
9. Talk More Mistaketh More (講多錯多) (Cover version of "Don't Rush Me" by Taylor Dayne)
10. Crazy Because of You (因你瘋了)

Alternate versions[edit]

In the Midst of the Night (Spring Version)--Released under "City Rhythm Part One Take Two" Warner Bros. Records 1989
What's Left Behind... (Music Version)--Released under "City Rhythm Part One Take Two" Warner Bros. Records 1989
Talk More Mistaketh More (So Angry that You can Dance)--Released under "City Rhythm Part One Take Two" Warner Bros. Records 1989

Conceptual Aspect[edit]

“City Rhythm” is definitely most praised for the conceptual aspect. “City Rhythm” series are a delicate set of albums that was constructed to hit the market while introducing bits of new music with the then unpopular concept album. To help with this, producers Clarence Hui, Anthony Lun, and Sandy Lam has portrayed a surreal young urban professional woman in the realistic city of the late 80s. The lyrics were often positively described as very fine, whilst being very narrating. The lyrics were, if not warm and romantic, very daring when they touch on rare topics such as sex. They describe their experiences of life and love in the busy streets, with many flexibility to it, which can be joyful or sad. To achieve this, they dug out talented lyricists Richard Lam, Thomas Chow and Calvin Poon, along with occasional changes to write adult contemporary stories of modern-day women. In “City Rhythm”, the specific theme is a woman trying their best to have a “perfect world” to have a job and many desires for a lover, but keeping themselves a very high social status, and therefore, not accepting ordinary lovers.

Description of concept of specific songs:
In the Midst of the Night—A woman’s desperate desire for love and sex
Thunder Stormy Night –A woman’s continuous thoughts about a lover
It's Late at Night... No Excuses—A woman’s clear oath about breaking up very calmly and strongly
What's Left Behind...—A Pair of lover’s past
Seeing the Morrow Again—A woman’s growing self-esteem for a better tomorrow
Once We've Touched—A woman’s desire for a man, after meeting them once
You Are My Man—A woman’s very rich relationship with a man
City Dreams—A woman’s wish to escape from work for rest, and to have a “City Dream”
Talk More Mistaketh More—The man is being dishonest with the woman, where the woman is more than glad that the man decide to leave
Crazy Because of You—A woman’s interlooping undecided monologue after seeing their last lover

Commercial Aspect[edit]

Being the first album for a new company, “City Rhythm” lived up to expectations and went platinum. The album has succeeded because of Sandy’s new image and an extension of her last album’s music. Hit singles (chronologically) include “Talk More Mistaketh More”, “What's Left Behind...”, “In the midst of the Night” and “You are My Man”. All four singles performed very well commercially, the biggest hit being “Talk More Mistaketh More”. The first two singles topped the RTHK charts, while “Talk More Mistaketh More” also reaches No. 1 on the CRHK charts. In the CRHK charts, “What’s Left Behind…”, “You are My Man” and “In the Midst of the Night” peaked at No.3, 10 and 17 respectively. “Talk More Mistaketh More” and “In the Midst of the Night” both earned a Jade Solid Gold seasonal award and nomination in 1988 and 1989 respectively, although not winning either.

Musical Aspect[edit]

“City Rhythm” is fairly similar to Ready. Slow songs tend to be ordinary pop songs. Upbeat songs tend to be dance pop songs. “What’s Left Behind…” is somewhat another milestone, becoming Sandy’s first official duet, promoting Dave Wang in Hong Kong. Music is not a major improvement, or possibly a disappointment since it does not have the strong R&B and Jazz of Ready, nor the Eurodance of Grey. Therefore, it is not the album that has music that is absolutely unique in 1988. Arrangers are quite similar to her previous albums, which is mainly Anthony Lun and Andrew Tuason. With the exception of “In the Midst of the Night”, all songs were covers of songs all around the world, including USA, Japan, Taiwan, even France. This is most likely due to the rush the team is in for a winter release.

External links[edit]