Sunday, 31 January 2016

Young guns (go for it) - Wham!

When Wham! released 'Young guns (go for it)' in October 1982, it broke new ground for the duo George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. The single became a number 1 hit in Sweden, and reached number 3 in the UK. It was only their second single, and they were already on the way to superstardom.

While the single was entertaining, the extended mixes were intriguing. There were actually two remixes of this song. A 5'10 minute remix has become by far the most widespread, having had a release even on CD ('Best remixes' in Japan and 'The 12" album' in Europe). The 7 minute remix featured on this 12" single is much harder to find: it was only ever released on a 12" single in the USA and this one, made in Holland. And yes, you can find it on CD, if you are able to find the 1996 compilation album 'Club Epic' or the 2013 'Dance Classics Pop Edition vol. 10', released in the Netherlands. Why Sony Music have never made a definitive Wham! box set, I'll never know.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Kringloop Rijswijk, January 31, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Young guns (Go for it!)' [club remix] / 'Going for it'

Listen to the song

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Say say say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson

Why not start the new year with two music legends? I received this 12" single just before the turn of the year, after a month of waiting. Released for Black Friday (November 27), this disc was pressed on clear vinyl and originally only slated for release in the United States. Fortunately, Europe followed suit and eventually I was able to order this via Amazon.

I would actually have preferred a CD release, because 12" singles are rather big and take up a lot of space, but it has to be said that this is a beautiful record. The 2015 remix of 'Say Say Say' adds some nice touches, such as reversed vocals on the verses and some added instrumentation throughout - without destroying  the feel of the original track.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Amazon France, received December 29, 2015
Cost: 8 euro
Tracks: 'Say say say (2015 remix)' / 'Say say say (Jellybean Instrumental remix)'

Listen to the 2015 remix & listen to the instrumental remix

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Kaupungin lapset - Make Lentonen

There are many versions of Kim Wilde's 'Kids in America', but there are also a lot of versions of 'Kaupungin lapset', the Finnish translation of that very song. The earliest version was already recorded in the same year as the original song (1981) by Mona Carita - and many other Finnish artists have had a stab at this translated version since.

Make Lentonen recorded his version in 1993. This single is hard to find; for a long time a version without the picture sleeve has been available on Discogs.com, but finding the version with its original cover proved to be more difficult. It took me a long time, but I've finally found a copy - also on that website. Once it was offered, I snapped it up within a couple of hours.

My collection: 7" single no. 5817
Found: Discogs.com, received December 19, 2015
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Kaupungin lapset' / 'Puistokatu krs. 6'

Listen to the song

Think sometimes about me - Sandie Shaw

'Think sometimes about me' was released in November 1966, just months before the singer would become a Eurovision icon with 'Puppet on a string'. This single would end up on the album named after that Eurovision hit.

What's interesting (for me anyway) is not so much the A side of this single, but the B side: 'Hide all emotion' was written by Marty Wilde. Hence, I had to have this single.

My collection: 7" single no. 5816
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, December 19, 2015
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Think sometimes about me' / 'Hide all emotion'

Listen to the song

Monsieur - Park Cafe

Park Cafe formed in 1986 with members Rom Heck, Maggie Park and Gast Waltzing in Luxembourg. They released their self-titled debut album a year later. In 1989, they represented Luxembourg during the Eurovision Song Contest with this song, 'Monsieur'. As you can hear, it was a bouncy pop song that would have done well in the charts with proper promotion. As it was, they only reached 20th place in a field of 22 competitors. That said, that year's winner was Riva's infamous 'Rock me', proof that the real winning songs sometimes end up down below.

The band released the album 'Monsieur' that same year, and eventually folded in 1993. This single is a real rarity and only appears online from time to time for rather excessive prices.

My collection: 7" single no. 5815
Found: Discogs.com, received November 26, 2015
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Monsieur' / 'Living in toonland'

Listen to the song

La la la - Heidi Brühl

Heidi Rosemarie Brühl was born on January 30, 1942. She was a German singer and actress who came to prominence as a young teenager and had a prolific career in film and television. She was also a successful recording artist, and is known for her participation in the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest for Germany with the song 'Marcel'.

In 1968, she recorded this cover version of Spain's winning song 'La la la' - in German. She died of breast cancer on June 8, 1991, aged just 49.

My collection: 7" single no. 5813
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'La la la' / 'Und mein Zug fährt immer weiter...'

Listen to the song

Red rose - Alphaville

'Red rose' was the fifth and final single from Alphaville's 1986 album, 'Afternoons in Utopia'. It was released in April 1987.

Although the single didn't chart anywhere in Europe, it did reach number 24 on the US Hot Dance Chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5813
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'Red rose' / 'Concrete Soundtracks For Imaginary Films 1: Big Yellow Sun'

Listen to the song

Falling - D. Twins

Five years ago you met the D. Twins on this blog, with a 12" single of 'Falling', which was a cover version of Julee Cruise's theme song for 'Twin Peaks'. It turns out that besides cd-singles and this 12" single there was also actually a 7" single! And since I collect 7" singles (avidly), I had to buy this copy the first time I saw it - which was this time five weeks ago. Fortunately it came cheap, too.

My friend Puck and I have had a lot of fun about this version because of the silliness of certain versions, but I guess you had to be there to fully appreciate the fun of it. So for now, just enjoy these cover versions for yourself if you can.

My collection: 7" single no. 5812
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, December 26, 2015
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'Falling (Peaks version)' / 'Falling (Twin Club mix)'

Listen to the Peaks version / Listen to the Twin Club mix

The way you are - Agnetha Fältskog & Ola Håkansson

Agnetha Fältskog and Ola Håkansson of the Swedish band Secret Service recorded 'The way you are' in 1986. The song was used to promote Falun, Sweden as a candidate for hosting the 1992 Olympic Winter Games. Falun was not selected to host the Games, but the song became a big hit in Sweden. 
The song on the B-side, "Fly like the eagle", was also a duet by Fältskog and Håkansson.

Both songs were featured in the documentary 'It's Time for Sweden'. The single reached No. 1 in Sweden, but was not successful in the rest of the world.

My collection: 7" single no. 5811
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'The way you are' / 'Fly like the eagle'

Listen to the song

Alles und noch viel mehr - Manuela

Another example of Manuela's practice of recording German versions of Eurovision songs is this single: 'Alles und noch viel mehr', a version of Dana's winning song for Ireland in the 1970 Contest. The single reached number 26 in the German singles chart.

Manuela, born as Doris Inge Wegener, died on February 13, 2001. Ten years later, a road was named after her: the Manuelaweg in Berlin-Kladow.

My collection: 7" single no. 5810
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 0.8 euro
Tracks: 'Alles und noch viel mehr' / 'Sei wieder gut'

Listen to the song

Der schwarze Mann auf dem Dach - Manuela

The popularity of the Eurovision Song Contest was perhaps even bigger in the Seventies than it is now. The winning songs were often big hits everywhere in Europe and even songs that didn't win made an impact.

German singer Manuela made a career out of recording German-language versions of Eurovision songs. This single is an example: 'Der schwarze Mann auf dem Dach' is the German version of Clodagh Rodgers' 'Jack in the box', the 1971 Eurovision entry from the United Kingdom.

My collection: 7" single no. 5809
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'Der schwarze Mann auf dem Dach' / 'Dich vergessen kann ich nie'

Listen to the song

Saturday, 28 November 2015

L'amour s'en va - Françoise Hardy

Françoise Hardy was born on January 17, 1944. She grew up in Paris. She had her breakthrough when she was just 18 years old with the hit 'Tous les garçons et les filles', which sold 700,000 copies in France alone.

She represented Monaco during the 1963 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. 'L'amour s'en va' is a chanson, popular in the early years of the Contest. Hardy sings about a relationship which is conducted in the knowledge that love is a fleeting thing - however this does not seem to matter to either of the lovers involved, as they 'chase after it'. Hardy also recorded the song in Italian and German. She finished 5th in a field of 16 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5808
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'L'amour s'en va', 'Je pense a lui' / 'Comme tant d'autres', 'L'amour d'un garçon'

Listen to the song

Don Quichotte (The remixes) - Magazine 60

Once you get that line 'No señor, Don Quichotte y Sancho Panza no están aqui', you may fall victim to actually liking this song. The original single of Don Quichotte, released in 1985, has already been in my collection for almost 15 years, but this version was a new find for me.

Released in 1992, this single features two remixes of the track created by Yannick Rosco, a remixer and producer who was most active in the early Nineties. The cd-single, also released at the time, features two further versions: the original mix and a remix from 1990.

My collection: 7" single no. 5805
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Don Quichotte (Underground mix)' / 'Don Quichotte (Espagna mix)'

Listen to the song & Listen to the B-side

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Writing's on the wall - Sam Smith

With the latest installment of James Bond movies, 'Spectre' in the cinemas right now, these are exciting times for James Bond fans. Less so for the lovers of Bond themes: 'Writing's on the wall' was co-written and performed by Sam Smith, and we can only know him from his style of singing, which resembles the sound of a man who's in constant pain. Inexplicably, this song became the first James Bond theme to reach number one in the UK singles chart, although these days you can easily get to number one in the singles chart if you get more than a hundred downloads.

If after all this you think I hate this song, that's not necessarily true. It's nice enough but it is a bit too restrained for a James Bond theme, and although it easily surpasses the all time low of Another way to die, this song won't exactly be remembered in a decade from now. Unlike, of course, Adele's Skyfall.

My collection: 7" single no. 5803
Found: Amazon.co.uk, received November 11, 2015
Cost: £6
Tracks: 'Writing's on the wall' / 'Writing's on the wall (instrumental)'

Listen to the song

The same old way - Frankie Vaughan

Frankie Vaughan was born on February 3, 1928. He made a name for himself singing easy listening and traditional pop music, starting with 'The old piano roll blues' in 1950. Between then and the end of the Eighties, he released more than 80 singles. In 1955, he recorded what was to become his trademark song, 'Give me the moonlight, give me the girl'.

One of his singles, released in 1959 was 'The same old way', which like most of his singles after 1958 didn't become a hit. But I didn't buy this single for that song, I wanted to have it for the B-side, which was written by Marty Wilde and Ronnie Scott: 'You can't stop me dancing'. Vaughan died from heart failure in Oxford in 1999.

My collection: 7" single no. 5802
Found: Discogs.com, received October 28, 2015
Cost: £ 1
Tracks: 'The same old way' / 'You can't stop me dancing'

Listen to the song

Yo soy aquel - Raphael

One of my favourite singers of the early years of Eurovision is Raphael. He's got a voice that cuts through your soul and songs to match. I bought his Hablemor de amor years ago, but never found a reasonably priced copy of his other Eurovision smash, 'Yo soy aquel' ('I'm that one').

Raphael was born as Miguel Rafael Martos Sanchez in Linares, Spain on May 5, 1943. His musical career started in 1965 and continues to this day. 'Yo soy aquel' was a reasonable success: it finished 7th in a field of 18 competitors at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1966. He returned the next year with that other song, and finished one place higher.

My collection: 7" single no. 5799
Found: Revolver Records, Barcelona, September 22, 2015
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Yo soy aquel', 'Es verdad' / 'La noche', 'Hasta venecia'

Listen to the song

June bride - China Crisis

China Crisis recently returned with a crowdfunded album, and it's one of the best releases of this year I think - even if it didn't cause much of a media storm. Such is the nature of the band: they've gone on making their music quietly even after the massive success of songs like 'Wishful thinking' and 'King in a catholic style' had gone.

It was a big surprise to find a promotional 7" single for this band in a Spanish record shop. The song on it is even more of a surprise: it's 'June bride', a song from their 1986 album 'What price paradise', which was never actually released as a single anywhere. It could have been a single, and perhaps even a hit, because it's quite catchy, actually!

My collection: 7" single no. 5798
Found: Revolver Records, Barcelona, September 22, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'June bride' / 'June bride'

Listen to the song

Friday, 13 November 2015

Que tiempo tan feliz - Mary Hopkin

There are a lot of Spanish singles with translated titles on the sleeve - Bobby Goldsboro's Autumn of my life is an example - but when a sleeve announced 'canta en espanol', you can be sure that the artist has re-recorded their song in Spanish.

Mary Hopkin did this with her 1968 hit single Those were the days. I couldn't pass up on 'Que tiempo tan feliz', because the original is so beautiful and it would be interesting to hear it in a different language. All I need now is the Japanese version of The Police's 'De do do do de da da da'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5796
Found: Revolver Records, Barcelona, September 22, 2015
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Que tiempo tan feliz' / 'Gira, gira, gira'

Listen to the song

La source - Paul Mauriat and his Orchestra

Isabelle Aubret competed in the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest with 'La source', representing France. Paul Mauriat and his orchestra were quick to profit from the commercial success of the song, recording an instrumental cover version of it for a single release quickly after the Contest took place.

He did a similar thing the year before with L'amour est bleu. That single sold millions of copies, this single went by almost unnoticed in most territories.

My collection: 7" single no. 5795
Found: Revolver Records, Barcelona, September 22, 2015
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'La source' / 'Ne sois pas triste'

Listen to the song

The autumn of my life - Bobby Goldsboro

There are some singers that are blessed with both a unique voice and great compositions. I haven't heard much from Bobby Goldsboro during my life, but what I've heard has impressed me. His song Honey is an evergreen, of course, and Summer (The first time) always touches anyone who has a heart.

The autumn of my life is a similar work of art. I found this single during a few days in Barcelona. Whenever I go to a different city I check out the local record shops, and fortunately the second one I visited delivered some goodies. This was the only single I didn't know at all, but I was not disappointed: Bobby Goldsboro is a gifted man.

My collection: 7" single no. 5794
Found: Revolver Records, Barcelona, September 22, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'The autumn of my life' / 'Pledge of love'

Listen to the song

The Shang-a-lang song - Ruby Pearl and the Dreamboats

Marty Wilde wrote some catchy songs, verging on the naff sometimes. The title 'Shang-a-lang song' alone will have some people shudder. It doesn't exactly suggest a very 'deep' lyric, but it is still a pop song that will not leave your head once you've heard it.

It was released by Ruby Pearl and the Dreamboats on April 12, 1974, but never managed to reach the charts in the UK. As far as I know, this is the only single this band ever released. The song was also picked up that same year by French singer Sylvie Vartan, who had French lyrics written for her by Gilles Thibault.

My collection: 7" single no. 5793
Found: Discogs.com, received August 13, 2015
Cost: £ 2
Tracks: 'The Shang-a-lang song' / 'Holding you'

Listen to the song

Rub my tummy - Zenda Jacks

I've recently started buying songs that were written by Marty Wilde. Between his own career in the early Sixties and his daughter's career in the Eighties, he's been quite prolific. I have been able to find a few songs that were written by him, others are unavailable or too expensive, but I am pretty sure there's dozens more out there. (I'm always willing to receive donations by the way...)

One of my recent finds has been this single by Zenda Jacks, 'The goddess of rock'. The song 'Rub my tummy' is rather typical for the glam rock age: loud, proud and noisy. After her rather brief solo career, Zenda joined the trio Silver Convention, who represented Germany in the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Telegram'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5792
Found: Discogs.com, received August 13, 2015
Cost: £ 2
Tracks: 'Rub my tummy' / 'Party queen'

Listen to the song

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

In the night - Ben Cramer

In 1969, Marty Wilde released 'Diversions', an album of original songs written by himself and several collaborators. One of the songs on the album was Abergavenny, which was a hit in several European countries, but there was also the song In the night.

That song was covered that same year by Dutch singer Ben Cramer and released on this single. It spent three weeks in the 'bubbling under' chart of the Dutch top 40, but didn't become a hit. It was included on the album 'My world of music', released on the Omega label in 1969.

My collection: 7" single no. 5801
Found: eBay.nl, received September 29, 2015
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'In the night' / 'Although you're gone'

Listen to the song

Night of the swallow - Kate Bush

After seeing Kate Bush live on stage in London, a little over a year ago, my bucket list was almost totally executed. There was only one thing left to do: get me a copy of her elusive 1983 single 'Night of the swallow'. A track from her excellent fourth album 'The Dreaming' (1982), it was only released in Ireland and copies of the single never made it to the Netherlands at the time. By now, the single almost always fetches premium prices.

In July this year, I finally got hold of a decent copy of 'Night of the swallow', after seeing a copy in Utrecht in April. That copy featured a torn square on the front sleeve; this copy is in excellent state. I have nothing more to ask for - which is probably why my record collection is growing less fast by now.

My collection: 7" single no. 5790
Found: Discogs.com, received July 23, 2015
Tracks: 'Night of the swallow' / 'Houdini'

Listen to the song

Jag är en astronaut - Linus Wahlgren

By all accounts, Ricky Wilde's I am an astronaut was a hit in Scandinavia, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the song was covered a few times by Scandinavian artists. Unfortunately those singles are exceedingly hard to find - except if you're willing to part with considerable sums of money. But sometimes, in these days of the internet, you can get lucky.

I found a copy of Linus Wahlgren's 'Jag är en astronaut' (on yellow vinyl, no less!) on Discogs, the website where people not only describe their records, but also buy and sell them. Linus Wahlgren was born 10 September 1976 in Gustavsberg, Värmdö, Sweden. He is an actor an musical artist.

My collection: 7" single no. 5789
Found: Discogs.com, received July 9, 2015
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Jag är en astronaut' / 'Svart på vitt'

Listen to the song

Heimatpop EP - Heimatglück

The German punk rock band Heimatglück was founded in 1996 in Hamburg by Coco and Jana after their previous band Paradontax broke up. They recruited Felix, formerly from the band Tohu-wa-bohu, and started recording songs and performing live. The band still exists in the original lineup.

Their most interesting release - for me anyway - is their 2001 EP Heimatpop. It features five cover versions of Eighties tracks by Kim Wilde, Nena, Madonna, Slime (another German punk band) and Fehlfarben. The song 'Wasserglass' is the most interesting of the lot: a version of Kim Wilde's 'Water on glass'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5788
Found: Discogs.com, received May 2015
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Hamster', 'Wasserglass', 'Ich brenne ab' / 'Paul ist tot', 'Disco'

Listen to 'Wasserglass'
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