1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear
#98: Wing – From The Beginning (2021)

MATT KELLY’s tribute to one of the best/worst singers ever to grace NZ stages and Southpark, a true classic of awful. RIP Wing.

What better way to celebrate our little corner of the globe than by remembering that one of the all time titans of awful music hails from the land of the long white cloud?

The love child of Mrs Miller and William Hung, Winghan Tsang emigrated to NZ from Hong Kong in the early 2000s, the 40-year-old becoming known for her… shall we say “enthusiastic” performances of show tunes and pop classics as she entertained patients in nursing homes and hospitals around Auckland.


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One can only assume these institutions hoped it would up the bed clearance rate because as this compilation attests, Wing possesses – or more accurately is possessed by – a voice like few others. It’s rhythmless, can’t find C with a map and a flashlight, and unusually for a singer with no training or laryngeal strength, Wing can rocket into the upper octaves and reach soprano register notes, but it’s anyone’s guess what notes they’ll be or what intensity they’ll be sung at.

You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Wing assay the finale of Phantom Of The Opera’s title track as she charges headlong at Christine Brightman’s famous sixth-octave solo and lets rip with incredible gusto while never going anywhere near the notes Brightman actually hit. (I’d like to see a vocal chart for some of Wing’s performances – occasionally she seems to slip between the keys and discover new quarter tones.)

The version of ‘Sing’ is incredibly funny as Wing takes The Carpenters’ soothing easy listening evergreen and uses it to show banshees how it’s done. Oh and do you like the Bee Gees’ ‘Too Much Heaven’? Good luck enjoying it ever again after you’ve survived the never-ending version here, apparently sung by Mickey Mouse after inhaling a tank of helium and taking a donkey kick to the privates.

But best of all may be ‘Total Eclipse Of Heart’. Yes, Bonnie Tyler’s dark power ballad classic is here in its full six-minute glory and even this mighty fortress of a song crumbles to dust in the face of Wing and a wonky synthesized whistle that attempts to paper over the cracks in the vocal melody. For something that’s less of an endurance test, if you’ve ever wanted to hear Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ sung Beijing Opera style, here you go.

An easy five stars for lovers of awful music, FTB will make you laugh until you cry. Or cry until you laugh but what’s the difference?

RIP Wing.


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Matthew Kelly is the most important person in the music industry – the type of obsessive nerd without whom it would have no reason to produce box sets and nine-hour long documentaries.

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