Friday, June 4, 2010

150 Best-Loved Melodies

When I was studying in Singapore in early 1980s, I had 5 very good friends in my class. They were K. Kamalanathan, Bikar Singh, Surinder Singh, Yu Huat and Wei Keong. We were so close that we had breakfast and lunch, studied, talked nonsense together almost daily. We even spent many Saturdays staying overnight at various parks, sea sides, river sides and off-shore island together.

We always pooled our brains by studying together, even on some Saturdays. However, in most study sessions, we usually ended up arguing and debating on all kinds of nonsensical issues.

During one study session, we ended up discussing classical music. Bikar Singh was the one who talked the most that day. He brought up a series of names like Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, their styles of music, names of their masterpieces, etc. The rest of us were dumbfounded and listened with full admiration as we had so little knowledge on the subject. Bikar Singh was our hero of the day.

A few weeks later, five of us went to Bikar Singh’s hostel to play football. After our football session, we went to Bikar’s room to take shower. In his room, some of us requested Bikar Singh to show us his grand collection of classical music. Bikar searched through his cassette tapes and coyly pulled out one miserable cassette tape with the title “Hooked on Classics” and declared that it was his one and only classical music collection. Needless to say, Bikar Singh was verbally bashed by us for the rest of that day.

When I listened to music on CD in late 80s, 90s and 2000s, the only classical music CD that I ever purchased was “Hooked on Classics” too.

When I started to collect LPs, I noticed that there were many classical music LPs but they never attracted my attention. During one LP hunting session in October 2008, the glossy-finished cover of a classical music box-set attracted me. The title of the box-set was “150 Best Loved melodies”. Reader Digest produced that box-set in 1981. It contained 8 LPs. Each side of an LP contained classical music of a certain theme. After close inspection, I found that the all the LPs were in mint condition. So I bought the box-set.

As the condition of all the LPs was so good and the music selection was equally great, I enjoyed listening to the classical music in this box-set very much. Subsequently I bought another 3 classical music box-sets.

If I ever have chance to meet Bikar Singh again, I will declare proudly to him that I know who is Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and many more now.
Song List:


  1. Lucky man indeed BC to get the box set. I love the selection after trying in vain to read the back sleeve cover. Great stuff!

    Mr. Singh must have been very embarassed and made his own 'kepala pusing.'

  2. Ha, I think "Hooked on Classics" is the same one I bought too. Yes, at the time RD sold LPs in attractive packages.

    Where's your friend Singh now by the way?

  3. Andy, Bikar felt embarrassed when he was verbally bashed by us. However as we were good friends, we just let him off after a proper bashing.

  4. Roger, I have never really compared the music list from "Hook on Classics" against "150 Best-Loved Melodies. However the music pieces in "Hooked on Classics" are short versions whereas the pieces in "150 Best-Loved Melodies" are long versions.

    Presently, I am still in contact with Yu Huat. I have lost contact with the rest of the gang.