Thursday, May 29, 2014


Gone, but never forgotten

Today marks the 41st anniversary of the passing of P. Ramlee, who I consider to be the greatest artist of Malaysia. I mentioned a bit about P. Ramlee back in March last year when his 1960 movie "Ali Baba Bujang Lapok" was the entry for Sunday Movie Theater. ^^ Even though he was long gone before I was born, watching, enjoying, rewatching, and still enjoying his monochrome movies was part of my childhood. As I grew up and started listening to a wider range of music, I really enjoy listening to P. Ramlee's deep, smoothing voice in many of the songs he composed himself. A true multi-talented artist he was, and a great one at that.

"Lagenda" (legend), written by Fauzi Marzuki and Habsah Hassan in 1990 was the titular song in Sheila Majid's fourth album. While that album itself was a tribute to P. Ramlee, being a collection of some of his songs in new arrangement and performed by Sheila Majid, "Lagenda" itself was a new song. When I was still a kid, Sheila Majid's angelic performance for that song totally captivated me, even though I knew very little of the meaning of its lyrics back then. ^^; When I eventually found out that the song was about P. Ramlee, it became my all time favorite Malay song, even till this day. ^^

Sheila Majid - Lagenda
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to Youtube if you can't see anything.

Apart from Sheila Majid's original performance, I like the Malaysian Queen of Rock, Ella's rendition of the song as well. ^^ More popularly known as "Lagenda 25", it was Ella's entry in "P. Ramlee: 25 Tahun Tanpamu (1973-1998)", a 1998 compilation album featuring various artists' take on selected songs once performed by P. Ramlee. In English, the album's title is "P. Ramlee: 25 Years Without You", hence the appending of 25 behind Ella's version of "Lagenda". It was later included in Ella's 2003 personal album "Simbiosis", which was where I first got to listen to her version of that classic. ^^

Ella - Lagenda
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to Youtube if you can't see anything.

I always like Ella's powerful voice, as well as her usual Rock style arrangement. ^^ Some folks might not like such a soft song to be given that Ella treatment, but I really love it. ^^ As time moves on, I'm pretty sure there will be newer version of that song coming out in the future, but given the message of the song is, and will always be about remembering P. Ramlee, the change in presentation method never bothers me. It almost reminds me of his movies - I used to watch them on my family's 14-inch TV at night when I was a kid, as that was the only way I got to see them; As of now, I get to watch them on streaming sites whenever I want to, but I still get the same enjoyment as I did decades ago. ^^ In many ways, that's the testament of the great artist's magic in his work I suppose.

Image is from The Star Online.

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