Cambodian Rocks Volume 1 (3rd Edition)
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Before the genocide in Cambodia in 1975, Cambodians traveled in and out of France and became very influenced by the western music. Can you imagine music echoed from the Beatles, Bee Gees, Monkees, Santana, Van Morrison, Scott McKenzie, Carpenters, and much more in Cambodian versions and lyrics?! These two collections prove it all with many more to be heard in the future compilation. These late-60's/early 70's era songs have a sound that's completely inexplicable despite the use of standard rock instrumentation and song structures. The blossoming night club scene in the urban areas and loads of bar bands during the '70s brought true music groups together, combining a fascinating and primal version of rock n roll, surf, r 'n' b - sometimes all in one song. We recommend Cambodian Rocks series to everyone! Period!
A fair number of people may have heard the earlier disc known as Cambodian Rocks (Parallel World, 1996), but Cambodian Rocks vol 1, disc along with Cambodian Rocks vol. 2, are vastly superior. I'm not dissing Parallel Wolrd's effort - that's where I first heard classic Cambodian rocknroll - but this disc smokes! The mix is much better, the singers are identified (and photos included) and english translations of the lyrics are included. This disc is a vibrant mix of both rocknroll intruments and Cambodian instruements into a sound that gets you on your feet and moving. The range of the songs run from pop to psychedelic. The same company has a whole series of discs by individual artists. The whole scen really needs to be documented so we can all (Cambodian and non-Cambodian) can enjoy and cherish the pre-Khmer Rouge scene. Just the soulfulness of the music makes me really wonder what the scene there must have been like. Listening to this disc I know it must have been fun! --Deran Ludd (Back in the day) (Seattle, WA United States)
Top customer reviews
This CD has some excellent music, but it isn't at all essential. I found the music on Parallel World's "Cambodian Rocks" to be even better - more of the madcap circle music (missing from this compilation), and much better covers. Some of the rock-standard covers here border karaoke, which the instrumental covers on Parallel World's CD never did (although the absolute lack of liner notes with that CD is annoying).
Also somewhat less-than-ideal with this CD is the track choice, which is split almost entirely between Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Sereysothea - both are well-regarded, but I want more variety in a compilation, and to my mind, the best songs on the compilation are by Yol Aularong. One might be better just buying a "best of Sinn Sisamouth" CD, from the same label. Volume 2 isn't quite as bad in this regard.
So it's still great music. But there's better alternatives, if this is your first go at Cambodian Music.