Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Skorápky orechu - Marie Rottrová

Every once in a while I buy a single not for the A-side, but for the B-side. This is a good example. Marie Rottrová's 1983 single 'Skorápky Orechu' is a bit of a rarity for Kim Wilde fans, since the B-side features the only known cover version of Kim's song 'Action city'. Entitled 'Já tvé sny znám', you won't easily find it, but fortunately the sleeve does actually mention 'Action city' between brackets (as you can see below).

Marie Rottrová was born in Ostrava-Hrušov (Czech Republic) on November 13, 1941. She was born and raised in a musical family, with her mother a singer and her father an organist. She initially started working as a bank clerk but after participating in a talent show in Ostrava she was discovered and became a member of groups like Františka Trnka, Octect, Samuel, Majestic and the Flamingos. Her first LP with the Flamingos was recorded in 1970. This self-titled debut album in the Czech language was re-recorded a year later in English as 'This is our soul'. Several solo albums followed.Rottrová still performs and records these days, although she never became as prolific as she was during the 1970's and the first half of the 1980's.

My collection: 7" single no. 5859
Found: Discogs.com, received July 1, 2016
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Skorápky orechu' / 'Já tvé sny znám'

Listen to the song

Jezebel - Marty Wilde

The last time I saw Marty Wilde live - which, I'm ashamed to say, is almost ten years ago now! - it was his song 'Jezebel' that made the biggest impression on me. It sounded every bit as vibrant as it did on this original recording from 1962. The man and his voice were every bit as powerful as they were when he was just in his twenties.

At the time of the release of this single, Marty had already become a songwriter in his own right, but this song 'Jezebel' was written by Wayne Shanklin and originally recorded by Frankie Laine. Wilde added his own composition on the B-side. This single became his last top 20 hit in the UK, peaking at number 19.

My collection: 7" single no. 5855
Found: Discogs.com, received June 24, 2016
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Jezebel' / 'Don't run away'

Listen to the song

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Jezamine - Misty

If you hear the name Misty, you might think of a middle-aged sultry female singer, but in fact it was a duo consisting of Mark Eden and Mickey Fudge. They recorded a couple of singles which were released in 1977. Their first release was 'Jezamine', a cover of the track originally recorded by the Casuals, and written by Marty Wilde. They followed it up with 'Magic spell', which was an original track written by Fudge.

Their version of 'Jezamine' was typical Seventies disco fodder, although you could also recognize it as a proto-Level 42 track.

My collection: 7" single no. 5867
Found: Discogs.com, received September 7, 2016
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Jezamine' / 'That's no way'

Listen to the song

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Eurovision songs - Groot Draaiorgel Mortier

This is probably the most mysterious single I've ever bought. It didn't come with a sleeve, so all I have is the disc and the info on the label. It is credited to Groot Draaiorgel Mortier, and since the single is made in Belgium I have to assume it's a Belgian barrel organ.

The songs played by this barrel organ all come from the 1960 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest: 'Niet voor mij', 'Wat een geluk', 'Looking high' and 'Tom Pillibi'. There is no information about Groot Draaiorgel Mortier on the web, so this single looks likely to remain a mystery.

Listen to one side
Listen to the other side

My collection: 7" single no. 5819
Found: Kringloop Den Haag, January 16, 2016
Cost: 0,25 euro
Tracks: 'Niet voor mij', 'Wat een geluk' / 'Looking high', 'Tom Pillibi'

Io senza te - Peter Sue & Marc

I already bought Io senza te by Peter Sue & Marc at the end of 2009 as part of a big stack of Eurovision singles. The B-side of that single featured the English version of the song. When I was in Vienna last month, I suddenly spotted the German version of that song, with the German version of the song on the B-side.

Nothing wrong with a little language variation here and there, and so I bought this single as well, especially since it was so cheap (if you ignore travel fares and hotel costs, that is). It just goes to show that you never know what you find when you go shopping for records in other countries!

Listen to the song

My collection: 7" single no. 5857
Found: Moses Records, Vienna, June 3, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Io senza te' / 'Ich ohne dich'

December - All about Eve

Ordering online can be a treat sometimes, especially when you're able to combine things and get a few interesting singles together. I was a little surprised when this one arrived in a picture sleeve. It is a promotional 7" single for All about Eve's 'December', featuring the single edit on one side and an even shorter radio edit on the other side.

This track is of course best in its unedited version, but to own an exclusive radio edit is a nice addition to my already impressive All about Eve collection.

Listen to the song

My collection: 7" single no. 5857
Found: Discogs.com, received July 1, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'December (radio edit)' / 'December [single edit]'


Hon går rakt fram - Leyla

Having a complete Kim Wilde collection also includes many cover versions. Through the years I have been able to identify over 250 cover versions of Kim Wilde songs, and more than half of those are cover versions of 'Kids in America'. So it really is a nice surprise when it turns out that not everyone has turned to Kim's debut hit for inspiration.

The Swedish band Cotton Club debuted in 1984 with a self-titled album full of cover versions from hits between 1981 and 1984. One of them was Kim Wilde's 'Love blonde'. All the songs were translated into Swedish, and so 'Love blonde' became 'Hon går rakt fram'. When the track was released as a single, the record company decided to release it as a solo single from the band's lead singer, Leyla Yilbar Norgren.

Listen to the song

My collection: 7" single no. 5865
Found: Discogs.com, received July 27, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Hon går rakt fram' / 'En enda rad'

Sunday, 3 July 2016

The world would never turn again - Keith Potger

Keith Potger was a member of the Seekers, as the sleeve of his first solo single proclaims. The band had some success during the Sixties, until they disbanded in 1968.

'The world would never turn again' was released the next year, and although Potger would become a songwriter and producer, this first single was written by someone else. The B-side, interestingly, was provided by Frere Manston, which of course is a pseudonym of Marty Wilde. And there it is... the main reason for me to pick up this single. 

My collection: 7" single no. 5854
Found: Marktplaats, received June 22, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'The world would never turn again' / 'Santa Maria'

Friday, 24 June 2016

Do the Bartman - The Simpsons

I wasn't really planning on spending a lot of money on a single called 'Do the Bartman', despite the fact that I have an impressive amount of Michael Jackson singles in my collection. It is an amusing little song but songs by cartoon characters don't do very much for me. I finally found the single last month at a price that can't be beat.

There has been a lot of confusion about Michael Jackson's involvement in this song, mainly because he was under contract with Epic Records at the time of this single's release. However, the song's writer Bryan Loren has conceded that Jackson's contributions included back up vocals, providing the title "Do the Bartman" and that Jackson insisted his own name to be mentioned in the lyrics (read the story here).

My collection: 7" single no. 5852
Found: Kringloop, Leiden, May 14, 2016
Cost: 0,1 euro
Tracks: 'Do the Bartman (7" House mix/edit)' / 'Do the Bartman (LP edit)'

Listen to the song

Bodies / Kids in America - Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy was founded by Singer Dane Etteridge, who began writing and demoing a handful of songs with the intention of starting a new band. He teamed up with Simon Goldring (drums), Joseph Heaselgrave (guitar), Greg Bishop (bass) and Tom Beck (organ/keys). Their debut single 'Home' was released in 2014.

With just a few tracks released and a handful of live shows under their belt, they were invited to record two tracks for the RAK Singles Club. The original track 'Bodies' was coupled with a cover version of Kim Wilde's 'Kids in America'. As you know I collect everything to do with Kim, so this single was quickly included in my collection.

My collection: 7" single no. 5851
Found: RAK Singles Club, received May 14, 2016
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Bodies' / 'Kids in America'

Listen to the song

You don't die from love - Stephanie

Princess Stephanie from Monaco appeared on this blog before with singles from her debut album, released in 1986. It was a rather successful album in some parts of Europe, so she went about recording a follow-up. Unfortunately, that took such a long time that the music scene had totally changed in the mean time.

That self-titled second album was finally released in 1991, with the lead single 'Winds of chance' failing to reach the charts. This single, 'You don't die from love' was the second and last single to be released by Stephanie. She did appear on Michael Jackson as the mystery voice on 'In the closet', but after that, her music career was over and done.

My collection: 7" single no. 5848
Found: Discogs.com, received May 2, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'You don't die from love' / 'Good dreams'

Listen to the song

Song of love - Thomas Forstner

On the day of the dramatic outcome of the British referendum about the EU and proof that democracy does not always work well, I thought it would be nice to write about something else the Brits are really good at: Eurovision. In fact, they are so good at it that they haven't reached the top 10 in that competition for over a decade now (except in 2009, when they made number 5 just for once).

Even Austria has done much better in recent years, winning in 2014 and reaching the top 10 once as well. And in 1989, they did pretty well too: Thomas Forstner's 'Nur ein Lied' made it to number 5. Such was the success that he even recorded an English version of that song. 'Song of love' was released as a separate single, but this didn't become a hit outside of Austria.

Listen to the song



My collection: 7" single no. 5846
Found: Discogs.com, received May 2, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Song of love' / 'Song of love (instrumental)'

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Layla - Habibi

Habibi represented Israel during the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Layla'. The band consisted of: Shlomit Aharon, Kikki Rothstein, Yuval Dor and Ami Mendelman. They had originally been offered the song 'Hallelujah' in 1978, but they turned it down. That song was performed by Milk and Honey, and famously won the contest in 1979.

'Layla' fared less well, with just 56 points placing seventh in a field of twenty competitors. They released one more album in 1982 (which included their Eurovision song) before disbanding.

My collection: 7" single no. 5845
Found: Discogs.com, received May 2, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Layla (English version)' / 'Layla (Hebrew version)'

Listen to the song

Radio's on - Promises

I remember the song 'Radio's on' by Promises best for a home-made remix of Queen's 'Radio gaga' which was played on Dutch radio in 1984. The intro consisted of several radio-inspired song snippets, seemingly played while someone was dialing the radio.

The song was never a hit, unlike Baby it's you, which I bought in 1989. Yep, 27 years apart - that surely must be some kind of record, right?

My collection: 7" single no. 5843
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 17, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Radio's on' / 'Toby jug'

Listen to the song

Tonight - The Look

Just like I am the beat, The Look's 'Tonight' is a song I know well from my childhood. Finding the single has proved a little more difficult, because I haven't seen it through the years between then and now. And it's quite amusing to note that I bought the other single in 1995 and this one just 21 years later...

I don't really know why I remember the song that well, since it wasn't a hit - neither in the UK nor in the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 5842
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 17, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Tonight' / 'Three steps away'

Listen to the song

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Genghis Khan - Dschinghis Khan

Such was the success of the song 'Dschinghis Khan' at the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest, that the German band decided to also record an English version of their song. 'Genghis Khan' was released in Germany - as this German pressing proves - but there were also singles made in the UK, Italy, France, Spain and, yes, even Australia and Brazil.

Whether the track was a hit in any of these territories, I don't know. I am however glad to have found a copy of this single, because the English lyrics betray even more clearly what the song is about.

My collection: 7" single no. 5856
Found: Moses Records, Vienna, June 3, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Genghis Khan' / 'Desert land'

Listen to the song

Love goes up and down - Errol Brown

Although 2016 has confronted us with morality in a big way - with David Bowie, Prince and several other big names in music departing - last year was no small matter either. In February Visage's face Steve Strange passed away, and in May we lost Errol Brown, the frontman of Hot Chocolate.

It's easy to forget that beside his 18 years with that band, he also released a handful of solo releases in the late Eighties. 'Love goes up and down' was his fourth solo effort, which only got to number 89 in the UK singles chart. If you listen to the song here, you'll hopefully agree that the song was very much underrated.

My collection: 7" single no. 5853
Found: Moses Records, Vienna
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Love goes up and down' / 'Thank you'

Listen to the song

Young ones everywhere - Stephanie

Princess Stephanie from Monaco made a name for herself as a singer with the 1986 hit 'Ouragan' / 'Irresistible', and on the back of that success released an album of reasonably good pop songs. But royalty is almost obliged to do something for charity as well, and so one of the tracks from the album ended up being connected to Unicef in 1987.

'Young ones everywhere' was the appropriate title of the single, and it announced in large letters 'Stepahnie for Unicef'. It is not known whether this single raised a lot of money for Unicef, but since it wasn't a Europe-wide hit, the worst is to be feared.

My collection: 7" single no. 5847
Found: Discogs.com, received May 2, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Young ones everywhere' / 'Young ones everywhere (instrumental)', 'Besoin'

Listen to the song
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