The Quests 征服樂隊

November 8, 2006

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(From left to right: Henry Chua, Vernon Cornelius, Reggie Verghese, Jap Chong and Lim Wee Guan)

The classic lineup for The Quests was: Reggie Verghese (lead), Jap Chong (rhythm), Henry Chua (bass) and Lim Wee Guan (drums). Raymond Leong was the original lead guitarist but did not record with the band. Keith Locke joined as singer and they performed together as Keith Locke & The Quests. When Keith left, Vernon Cornelius replaced him. When Henry left, he was replaced by Sam Toh. Jimmy Chan joined as keyboardist when they went to Hong Kong. When Jimmy decided to stay in Hong Kong, he was replaced by Peter Richards.

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(In Hong Kong from left to right: Lim Wee Guan, Jimmy Chan, Sam Toh, Reggie Verghese and Jap Chong)

The Quests signed with EMI in 1964 and the A-side of its first record, an original instrumental composition, Shanty, quickly shot to No. 1 on the Singapore hit parade chart. Other original instrumental hits like Gallopin’, Tea Break, Pop Inn Theme, Champagne and I’m Feeling Good followed. Keith Locke, a British serviceman of Jamaican descent, then joined The Quests as the front singer. They recorded a wonderful cover version of “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)” which left an indelible mark on the local music scene.

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When Keith returned to UK, Vernon Cornelius took over. The band kept it up with more original vocal hits like Silly Girls and I’ll be your man. The band’s fame and fortune continued to soar high as the new song Roller Coaster Man topped the charts all over the region including Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand. The Quests had reached the pinnacle of their career locally. They needed to expand and grow. The group, now with Sam Toh and Jimmy Chan, set out to conquer Hong Kong, the “Pearl of the Orient”. There were an abundance of local favorite bands in H.K. The Quests played to a discerning audience but soon, had their No. 1 hit Mr. Rainbow and their own TV show on HKTVB. The group disbanded in 1971.

Being fine musicians and playing very tight as a group, The Quests were regularly sought out to provide backing for other singers. The legacy of Quests music is not complete without the inclusion of the band’s brilliant interpretation and solid performance on the Mandarin covers of popular English hits sung by Rita Chao and Sakura Teng.

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(DON’T PLAY THAT SONG)
Don’t play that song for me
It brings back the memory
Of days that I once knew
Those days that I spent with you
Oh no, don’t let it play
It fills my heart with pain
Please stop it right away
I remember every word you said
You said it (Darlin’ I love you)
You know that you lied!
(Darlin’ I love you)
You know that you lied!
(Darlin’ I love you)
Woe baby you lied, you lied, you lied, lied, lied, yeah, yeah
*Remember on our first date
I kissed you and you walked away
You were only seventeen
I never knew that
You’d act so mean, my darlin’
You told me you loved me
You told you cared
You said I’ll go with you darlin’, almost everywhere
But darlin’ (Darlin’ I love you)
You know that you lied!
(Darlin’ I love you)
You know that you lied!
(Darlin’ I love you)
Woe baby you lied, you lied, you lied, lied, lied, yeah, yeah

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