Sunday, 9 December 2018

Chiquitita (cantado en español) - Abba

I have memories of Abba premiering 'Chiquitita', the song they wrote for Unicef, which was performed at a special concert and broadcast everywhere including the Netherlands. I was only eight years old but somehow the moment stuck in my head. I was never too fond of the song: compared to their earlier songs it was too schmaltzy, too kitsch and too slow for my taste. There was of course one exception: the last few seconds of the song with the impressive piano solo.

Being an Abba fan - and having been one for over forty years now, I am proud to say - I have recently acquired all the original German singles of them. It started when I bought the singles box set and saw all these replicas, and I wanted to have the originals as well. I found most of them for less than a euro, and some of them cost a little more - but I am very satisfied to have them all now. I have started looking into the rarer singles - as long as they are not insanely expensive, like most 'weird' Abba singles tend to be.

This Spanish version of 'Chiquitita' is my most recent Abba acquisition. I couldn't fault the price and it was nice to reacquaint myself with this little beauty. I think I like the Spanish version a little better than the original version, in fact!

My collection: 7" single no. 5964
Found: Discogs.com, received December 7, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Chiquitita (cantado en español)' / 'Lovelight'

Toi - Geraldine

After Abba won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, some countries were quick to adapt to the new times... and others were not. The Netherlands almost copied the style of that song, 'Waterloo', and won the contest.

Other countries weren't so smart and went ahead the way they always had, with boring ballads and incomprehensible lyrics. One of them was Luxembourg's Geraldine Brannigan with the song 'Toi'. She still managed to reach fifth place in a field of 19 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5967
Found: Discogs.com, received December 7, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Toi' / 'C'est mon secret'

Popcorn festival - Mat Camison

I have a lot of versions of the immortal Gershon Kingsley composition 'Popcorn', but there are very few with lyrics as it was originally an instrumental track. Mat Camison recorded this version in 1974 and it features French lyrics. Not that they make any sense: apparently it's all about girls and guys hanging out at the Woodstock festival and cops who apparently don't like the music.

I found this single by accident, browsing the stock of one of those online vendors you have to check out these days because there are no record stores anymore. It's hard to find anything by accident unless, like me, you have lots of weird little sub-collections in your record collection.

My collection: 7" single no. 5966
Found: Discogs.com, received December 7, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn festival' / 'Ma fleur d'amour'


You're hurting me - Dora

In 1986, Portugal was represented at the Eurovision Song Contest by Dora Maria Reis Dias de Jesus (born 1966), simply called Dora for the occasion. She sang the song 'Não sejas mau para mim', written by Guilherme Inês, Zé Da Ponte and Luís Manuel de Oliveira Fernandes. The song finished in 14th place in a field of 20 competitors.

For this single release, the song was translated by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey and called 'You're hurting me'. It was released in several European countries but without any chart success.

My collection: 7" single no. 5962
Found: Discogs.com, received December 7, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'You're hurting me' / 'This will be the last time'

Sunday, 2 December 2018

That's what friends are for - Swarbrigg

When you listen to 'That's what friends are for', you hear it's a rather quaint, slightly boring song. You certainly wouldn't expect a band to win a song contest with it.

Thomas and John James Swarbrigg, two Irish music promoters, still got on with it and took it to the Eurovision Song Contest stage in 1975. Their performance was notable for the fact that the singers wore identical electric blue suits, taking full advantage of the increasing trend towards bright and eye-catching costumes. At the close of voting, they ended up in ninth place in a field of 19 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5960
Found: Discogs.com, received November 30, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'That's what friends are for' / 'Love is'

Send me an angel 88 version - Real Life

The Australian band Real Life became one of the shooting stars of the year 1984 when they released 'Send me an angel'. In Germany they reached number 1 in the singles charts, and stayed there for four weeks.

In 1988, the band released a remixed version of the track. The single appeared on translucent red vinyl, making it more interesting for the record buying public. Still, this single didn't chart in Germany. The remix did fairly well in Australia and the USA, reaching number 51 and 26 respectively.

My collection: 7" single no. 5953
Found: Discogs.com, received November 14, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Send me an angel 88 version' / 'Send me an angel (Cloud nine mix)'

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Ne vois-tu pas? - Madeleine Pascal

Born in Paris in 1946, Madeleine Pascal started to sing when she was just 13 years old. Her professional singing career was short-lived: she released five EP's in 1965 and 1966, and then disappeared from the scene.

In the middle of all that was her appearance at the 1966 Eurovision Song Contest, representing Switzerland with 'Ne vois-tu pas?', a song written by Pierre Brenner and Roland Schweizer. The song ended up in sixth place.

My collection: 7" single no. 5906
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 14, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Ne vois-tu pas?', 'François' / 'Aux amoureux du monde', 'Le jour ou il va m'embrasser'

Ce soir je t'attendrais - Michèle Torr

The 1977 entry Une petite Française by Michèle Torr was not her first appearance on the Eurovision Song Contest stage. She first appeared in the 1966 edition, and while she represented Monaco in 1977, she appeared in the 1966 edition for Luxembourg.

The song was 'Ce soir je t'attendrais', composed by Bernard Kesslair and Jacques Chaumelle. At the close of voting, it had received 7 points, placing 10th in a field of 18. Torr recorded the song in French, German, English, Spanish and Italian. On this EP, the original French version appears. I actually bought this single in April, but it disappeared. I found it last week under my desk, where it has laid for six months. Which only goes to show that I sometimes make a mess in my room...

My collection: 7" single no. 5905
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 14, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Ce soir je t'attendrais', 'Notre amour n'est pas mort' / 'J'ai brule ta lettre', 'Je t'aime tant'

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

No trams to Lime Street - Marty Wilde

'No trams to Lime Street' is a British television play, written by the Welsh playwright Alun Owen. It was originally transmitted in 1959 on ITV in the UK. In 1965, the play was remade by the BBC and broadcast on 21 March 1965. Both these versions have been lost.The play was remade for television a second time, again by the BBC, in 1970. Broadcast on March 18, 1970, it included songs and music by Marty Wilde and Ronnie Scott. This version survives as a black and white telerecording, although it was made in colour.

The title track, 'No trams to Lime Street' was released as a single, with a Wilde composition on the B-side: 'A prelude to old age'. If you don't like the whimsical A-side, you are sure to love the more introspective, melancholical B-side. It's a thing of beauty.

My collection: 7" single no. 5954
Found: Discogs.com, recieved November 20, 2018
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'No trams to Lime Street' / 'A prelude to old age'

Hej gamle man! - Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson

A long time ago, back in 1970, two Swedish musicians recorded an album together: Björn Ulvaeus from the Hootenanny Singers and Benny Andersson from the Hep Stars. They met in 1966 and started writing songs together soon after that. They released the album 'Lycka' in November 1970 and this single was taken from that album.

'Hej gamle man!' is considered by many as the first official Abba single, since it features Bjorn's wife Agnetha Fältskog and Benny's fiancee Anni-Frid Lyngstad on backing vocals. The lyric of the song is about a salvation soldier who was always on the square in Västervik to collect money for the Salvation Army.

My collection: 7" single no. 5953
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2018
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'Hej gamle man!' / 'Lycka'

Amanece - Jaime Morey

In 1972, Spain was represented at the Eurovision Song Contest by Jaime Morey, a singer from Alicante. Born on June 16, 1942, his first experience as a professional singer was at the discotheque Pasapoga, singing songs by Charles Aznavour. He tried his luck at various festivals, among others in Benidorm, which was the main location for pop concerts in Spain at the time.

After two failed attempts to represent Spain at Eurovision, he achieved his goal and went to Edinburgh with his song 'Amanece', composed by Augusto Alguero. Despite the fact that the song only reached tenth place, it was Spain's best effort at the Contest until then. After a relatively successful career in music, he decided to abandon music in 1987. He passed away on July 7, 2015.

My collection: 7" single no. 5949
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2018
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Amanece' / 'Volvera'

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Sea of love - Phil Phillips & the Twilights / Marty Wilde

Phil Phillips' most famous song, "Sea of Love", peaked at the top of the US Billboard R&B chart and number 2 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959.The song was soon covered by Marty Wilde in the UK, and he had a top 10 hit with the song over there too.

In 1989, the movie 'Sea of Love', starring Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin and John Goodman was released. The soundtrack album featured both versions of the song - and they were eventually released as a single too. This is the UK pressing of that single, released in 1991.

My collection: 7" single no. 5748
Found: Discogs.com, received 10 November 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Sea of love' (Phil Phillips & the Twilights) / 'Sea of love' (Marty Wilde)

Saturday, 3 November 2018

When does it get to be love - Marty Wilde

Released in 1961, 'When does it get to be love' was released between Rubber ball, which peaked at no 9 in January, and Hide and seek, which got to no. 47 in July. The fact that this single didn't chart may be because of the slightly overenthusiastic choir girls on this record. It's not down to Marty's voice, because his performance of this song (which was written by Doug Morris and Camille Kaye) is excellent.

The B-side, 'Your loving touch' was penned by Marty himself and was covered by Joe Brown.

My collection: 7" single no. 5945
Found: Recordsale.de, Germany, received November 3, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'When does it get to be love' / 'Your loving touch'

I loved you (Dansevise) - Grethe og Jørgen Ingmann

The classic song Dansevise won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1963. I was always fond of the song, and very glad to find a good copy almost ten years ago. What I didn't know was that there is also an English version of the song. I discovered this just a week ago, when I was ordering singles from Germany. I always search for Eurovision when I do some online ordering and suddenly this one popped up.

'I loved you' is the English version of 'Dansevise' and it is every bit as beautiful as the original - the only difference being that the lyrics of this version are more accessible to those who don't speak Danish.

My collection: 7" single no. 5944
Found: Recordsale, Germany, received November 3, 2018
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'I loved you (Dansevise)' / 'My little boy'

Monday, 29 October 2018

Gori Vatra - Zdravko Čolić

I don't have a lot of Yugoslavian Eurovision singles, but I do love them, because I quite like the fact that I actually own singles from a country that does not exist anymore. These days you won't find a record with the words 'Made in Yugoslavia' anymore.

Zdravko Čolić represented Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 with the song 'Gori Vatra' ('The fire is burning'). The love song describes the love between him and his lover as a fire, burning inside them.The song did not impress the juries: with 65 points the song ended up in 15th place out of 17 contestants. Čolić has been described as Serbia's Tom Jones, and when you listen to this song, you can understand why. What a voice.

My collection: 7" single no. 5942
Found: Discogs.com, received October 25, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Gori Vatra' / 'Isti put'
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