Thursday, 27 November 2014

Haven't we said goodbye before - Dollar

This limited edition 'special 2 record set' brings together two of Dollar's singles, the 1986 single 'Haven't we said goodbye before' and their debut single from 1978 'Shooting star'. It is an odd pairing, probably made because the record company thought there would be some interest in a re-release of the duo's debut, which peaked at number 14 when it was originally released.

The plan didn't work: 'Haven't we said goodbye' did not chart in any territory. It would take an Erasure cover to resurrent their career, albeit briefly.

My collection: 7" single no. 5385
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Haven't we said goodbye before' / 'Platinum rap' // 'Shooting star' / 'Tokyo'

Puppet on a string - Sandie Shaw

Although I already had a copy of Sandie Shaw's Puppet on a string, I thought this German copy would be a worthwhile addition for its colourful sleeve. The different B-side is just a bonus, of course.

Sandie Shaw won the 1967 edition of the Contest with this song, despite the fact that she wasn't particularly fond of the song. In August 2014, Shaw was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue. I guess she wanted Scotland to be the puppet on England's string, then...

My collection: 7" single no. 5628
Found: Fun Records, Berlin, received August 29, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Puppet on a string' / 'Had a dream last night'

Out of sight, out of mind - Level 42

Despite this song's irresistible hook, Level 42's 'Out of sight, out of mind' only managed to get to number 41 in the UK singles chart, just missing the top 40. The song was released as the first single from their 1983 album 'Standing in the light', the album that gave them their first top 10 hit in the shape of 'The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up)'.

It would take the band two more years to become world famous with the album 'Running in the family'. Compared to some of their later singles, this one sounds fresher and more innovative... but that's just my opinion.

My collection: 7" single no. 5436
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Out of sight, out of mind' / 'You can't blame Louis (remix)'

Never-ending dream - Atlantis 2000

Atlantis 2000 competed in the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest with Dieser Traum darf niemals sterben. I bought the single of that song five years ago, as you can see here. I didn't know, however, that an English version was also released. That version appears here, on a single which contains both the English and German version. The lyric of the English version was written by Richard Palmer-James.

It was a nice try, but this single didn't chart in any territory. And so, the never-ending dream came to a premature end.

My collection: 7" single no. 5626
Found: Fun Records, Berlin, received August 29, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Never-ending dream' / 'Dieser Traum darf niemals sterben'

Destination Zululand - King Kurt

King Kurt are best known for this single, 'Destination Zululand', which was their biggest hit in the UK, peaking at number 36 in October 1983. The rockabilly band played rowdy gigs where nobody left the room unscathed. A good example of their live presence can be seen in this YouTube video of 'Destination Zululand'.

Subtitled 'Humdiddledu mhoowahaya', this song was produced by Dave Edmunds.

My collection: 7" single no. 5431
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Destination Zululand' / 'She's as hairy'

Light my fire - The Doors

The double LP and double CD collection 'The best of the Doors', originally released in 1985, can still be seen as the ultimate introduction to the American band's output. The album was re-released in 1991 and promoted by this single, featuring an edit of 'Light my fire' and the classic 'People are strange'.

At the time of release, there was also a 12" single featuring the full length version of 'Light my fire' and the additional track 'Soul kitchen'. And, to top it all off, a CD-single featured all four tracks. Although it isn't particularly inspiring to hear both the edit and full length version of 'Light my fire' side by side, I'd have to say.

My collection: 7" single no. 5386
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Light my fire (edit)' / 'People are strange'

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Day after day - Chips

Many Swedish Eurovision entries sound like old Abba tracks, and this entry from 1982 is no exception. The duo Chips, consisting of Kikki Danielsson and Elisabeth Andreasson (the latter would go on to be part of Bobbysocks and win the 1985 edition) performed the song 'Dag efter dag' (appearing here on the B-side), written by Lasse Holm and Monica Forsberg. They finished eighth in a field of 18 contestants.

This single was a chart success in Scandinavia: it peaked at number 4 in Sweden and at number 5 in Norway. Elsewhere, of course, the single did not chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5658
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 23, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Day after day' / 'Dag efter dag'

If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me - Bellamy Brothers

Easily one of the longest titles of a hit single ever, this song was written by David Bellamy and recorded by the Bellamy Brothers. It was released in March 1979 as the second single from their album 'The Two and Only'.

'If I said you had a beautiful body...' derived its double entendre title from a Groucho Marx line. Songwriter David Bellamy told country music journalist Tom Roland that he regularly watched Marx's program, You Bet Your Life, where Marx sometimes used the quote while interviewing an attractive female contestant, then shake his cigar and raise his eyebrows to elicit a reaction. The comment stuck in Bellamy's head as a possible hook line for a song.

My collection: 7" single no. 5654
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 23, 2014
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me' / 'Make me over'

Spirit in the sky - Norman Greenbaum

'Spirit in the sky' was originally written and recorded by Norman Greenbaum. Released in 1969, the single sold over two million copies, reaching number 3 in the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, number 1 in the UK, Australia and Germany.

According to Greenbaum, he was inspired to write the song after watching Porter Wagoner on TV singing a gospel song. Greenbaum later said: "I thought, 'Yeah, I could do that,' knowing nothing about gospel music, so I sat down and wrote my own gospel song. It came easy. I wrote the words in 15 minutes." The lyric makes several references to Jesus, despite the fact that Greenbaum is in fact Jewish.

Several artists have covered 'Spirit in the sky', including Kim Wilde, who released her version of the song on a single, released on February 24, 2012 as a double A-side with a cover of the Buzzcocks' 'Ever fallen in love'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5653
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 23, 2014
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Spirit in the sky' / 'Tars of India'

Eve of the war - Jeff Wayne

I really didn't expect to find yet another different version of Jeff Wayne's 'Eve of the war', having written about one so recently, but I did. I was very surprised to find this one, as the sleeve is so different from others and the disc actually contains a rather rare version too: it's an edit of a 'disco mix' that was created by Steve Thompson and Geoff Young in 1979.

The disco versions appears on a 12" single from 1979, and was also released on a 3" CD-single some ten years later, but that one was over six minutes long. This version runs at 4'40 minutes and is an edit of that disco mix. As far as I know, this version was only released on this 7" single. But feel free to correct me in the comments if you know otherwise...

My collection: 7" single no. 5671
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 23, 2014
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Eve of the war [disco mix edit]' / 'Horsell Common and the heat ray'

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Lot ons swingen - De Strangers

Another Eurovision cover by the Belgian band 'De Strangers', this time from 1985 winner 'La det swinge' by the Bobbysocks. Lyrically, the men from Antwerp stay pretty close to the subject of the original: rock and roll is much better than the modern 'dance' music. All this in true local dialect, of course.

The B-side is a version of the year's Belgian entry to the Eurovision Song Contest: Linda Lepomme's 'Laat me nu gaan'. Entitled 'Lot ons na gaan' ('Let us go') is a plea to let the band go to Eurovision as they feel they might have a good shot at winning the contest. Some interesting foreign languages fly by in this track...

My collection: 7" single no. 5617
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Lot ons swingen' / 'Lot ons na gaan'

(And then) After love - Paulo

Paulo represented Portugal during the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'E depois do adeus'. Despite the modest result at the Contest (it ended up in 14th place in a field of 17 competitors), the song achieved considerable fame as one of the two signals to launch the Carnation Revolution in Portugal against the Estado Novo regime of Marcelo Caetano - the other being the folk song 'Grândola Vila Morena' by Zeca Afonso, which was the signal for the coup leaders to announce that they had taken control of strategic parts of the country. It was broadcast at 22.55 on 24 April 1974 by 'Emissores Associados de Lisboa'.


Perhaps this is part of the reason why Paulo also recorded his song in English. This single, '(And then) After love' presents the song, which sounds suspiciously like a mellow jazz standard. It turns up online as a rather expensive single, so I'm glad I found it where I did.

My collection: 7" single no. 5611
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: '(And then) After love' / 'I'll be there with you'

The rhythm divine - Yello featuring Shirley Bassey

Written by Yello's Boris Blank and Dieter Meier with The Associates' Billy MacKenzie, 'The Rhythm Divine' was released in 1987 as a single by Yello with Shirley Bassey. It actually featured Billy MacKenzie on backing vocals. The song was said to have been written specially with her voice in mind.

Bassey's vocals were recorded at Yello's studio in Zurich. The song blends the electro-pop sound of the 1980s with a classic big Bassey ballad. It reached number 54 in the UK singles chart, number 24 in the Netherlands and number 21 in Switzerland.

My collection: 7" single no. 5418
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'The rhythm divine' / 'Dr. van Steiner'

Let's make this last - Mari Wilson

Released in 1984, 'Let's make this last' was the first of many Mari Wilson singles that failed to chart. Until then, most of her singles had charted in the UK - although many of them only made it to lower positions - but starting with this single, she never charted again.

So what happened? It's not that this was a bad song. Tony Mansfield produced this single, and he had been responsible for many interesting sounds in the early Eighties, with a.o. New Musik and even the debut single by A-ha.

My collection: 7" single no. 5415
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Let's make this last' / 'Let's make this last (Stereo shift mix)'

Tourada - Fernando Tordo

'Tourada' ('Bullfight') was the Portuguese entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1973, performed by Fernando Tordo. Born on Marh 29, 1948, Tordo was a singer and composer who debuted in 1969, competing at the national final for Eurovision in Portugal.

The song features the metaphor of a bullfight, comparing it either with the autocratic regime in Portugal at the time or with the culture of materialism. The song was performed third on the night. At the close of voting, it had received 80 points, placing 10th in a field of 17 contestants.

My collection: 7" single no. 5650
Found: Discogs.com, received October 11, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Tourada' / 'Carta de longe'

Oh girl - Paul Young

Written by Eugene Record, 'Oh girl' was originally a hit for the Chi-Lites in 1972. The song centers on a relationship on the verge of break-up. The narrator expresses concern that the break-up may prove unbearable for him, while knowing that staying will be no better. The song became their first and only number one hit in the USA.

Paul Young recorded a cover of the song in 1990 on his album 'Other voices'. It was released as the second single from the album. It reached number 25 in the UK singles chart, while climbing to number 8 in the USA.

My collection: 7" single no. 5421
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Oh girl' / 'You're the one'

The farm yard connection - Fun Boy Three

'The farm yard connection' is the last single by the Fun Boy Three, released in 1983. While all their previous singles ended up in the UK singles chart (and, bar one, all in the top 20), this single did not chart.

The single was taken from the band's second album 'Waiting', which was produced by Jeremy Green and David Byrne. That album fared pretty well, peaking on number 14 in the UK albums chart and achieving the silver status.

My collection: 7" single no. 5396
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'The farm yard connection' / 'We're having all the fun'

Don't sing - Prefab Sprout

The band Prefab Sprout debuted in 1982 with their self-released single 'Lions in my own garden: exit someone'. Two years later, they debuted on Kitchenware Records with this single, 'Don't sing'.

Taken from their debut album 'Swoon', released in March 1984. This album has a markedly different, and less accessible, musical feel than their later works, featuring intricate guitar-based compositions that drew comparisons with Aztec Camera and Steely Dan.
My collection: 7" single no. 5438
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Don't sing' / 'Green Isaac II'

Cross your heart - Tina

'Cross Your Heart' was the Irish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974, performed by Tina Reynolds. The song is moderately up-tempo, with Reynolds using a number of childhood rhymes ("cross your heart and hope to die" and "sticks and stones wouldn't break my bones") to communicate to a would-be lover how serious she is about a potential relationship, with the contrast between the serious intention and the playful nature of the rhymes being drawn out throughout the lyrics.

The song was performed thirteenth on the night. At the close of voting, it had received 11 points, placing 7th in a field of 17 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5609
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Cross your heart' / 'What would I be'

Friday, 21 November 2014

Jennie, Jennie - Lars Berghagen

'Jennie, Jennie' was the Swedish entry in the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest, performed by Lasse Berghagen. The song was performed eighteenth on the night. At the close of voting, it had received 72 points, placing 8th in a field of 19 competitors.

Berghagen has released this song also in his language native Swedish and in German, both with the same title "Jennie, Jennie". A year later, Sweden opted out of the contest. Broadcaster Sveriges Radio (SR) did not have enough money to host another contest if Sweden won again and in Sweden there were protests against the commercial character of Eurovision Song Contest.

My collection: 7" single no.  5585
Found: KEG records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Jennie, Jennie' /  'Ett brev till dig'

The height of the fighting - Heaven 17

'The height of the fighting' was the fifth and last single taken from Heaven 17's debut album 'Penthouse and pavement'. Three out of the four previous singles had reached the lower regions of the UK singles chart, but this one, like their second single 'I'm your money', failed to chart. This single only managed to get to number 20 in... New Zealand.

Glenn Gregory from the band said about this song and some others of their debut album: "Some things will always be relevant. We wrote about subjects that touched our lives and our souls, things that mattered not just to us as individuals but also to us as a part of a political or social system. We never preached and always (I hope) ranted with wit and humour. They were political times and the album reflected those times and I believe as you say, some of those songs are still very relevant today."

My collection: 7" single no. 5403
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'The height of the fighting' / 'Penthouse and pavement'

The End / Riders on the storm - The Doors

Without a doubt, this 'Oldiethek' single is the 7" single with the longest playing time in my entire collection. The disc has to be played at 33rpm to accommodate the 11'35 minute epic 'The end' on side A and the slightly shorter, but still impressive 7'14 minute track 'Riders on the storm'. Released in 1988, this single was meant for all those who wanted to have a piece of classic Doors music on a little disc.

'Riders on the storm' was originally released in 1971 on the band's last album with Jim Morrison, 'L.A. Woman'. 'The End' was a track from their debut album, originally released in 1967. The song was recorded live in the studio without overdubbing. Two takes were done, the second take being the one that was used on the record.

My collection: 7" single no. 5389
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'The End' / 'Riders on the storm'

Just a charade - Linda Lepomme

When Linda Lepomme represented Belgium in the 1985 Eurovision Song Contest, there was a feeling she would do well, apparently, because French and English versions of her song Laat me nu gaan were recorded and released as a single. English lyrics were provided by Ad Bear and French lyrics by Michel Detry.

In the end, Linda ended up in last place at the Contest and this single never became a chart hit outside of Belgium. And even in Belgium, the single only got to number 38.

My collection: 7" single no. 5597
Found: Marktplaats.nl, received August 2, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Just a charade' / 'Delivre-moi'

Who wants to live forever - Queen

'Who wants to live forever' was a track on Queen's 1986 album 'A kind of magic', and was written by guitarist Brian May for the soundtrack to the film Highlander. The song is used to frame the scenes in the film where Connor MacLeod must endure his beloved wife Heather MacLeod growing old and dying while he, as an Immortal, remains forever young. The song's title is taken from a line in another movie scored by Brian May and Queen, Flash Gordon (the line can be heard on "Battle Theme" from the Flash Gordon soundtrack album) and is based on May's personal troubles (the death of May's father and failing first marriage).

Released as a single, the song peaked at number 24 in the UK singles chart. It did better in France and the Netherlands, peaking at number 5 and 6 respectively.

My collection: 7" single no. 5461
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Who wants to live forever' / 'Killer Queen'

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Nights in white satin - Moody Blues

There's not much to write about the Moody Blues' 'Nights in white satin' that hasn't already been written about hundreds or thousands of times. The single reached number 19 in the UK singles chart in 1967, number 2 in the Dutch Top 40 in 1968 and number 2 in the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1972. The single was re-released in the UK that same year, and reached number 9 on that occasion.

But the real surprise on this disc - and we know record collecting is full of surprises - is the B-side. 'Cities' is a bit of a doomy look on cities, where 'rivers are sewers' and 'flowers don't grow'. I never heard this track before buying this single, and so it is a real discovery.

My collection: 7" single no. 5455
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Nights in white satin' / 'Cities'

Come comedie - Betty Mars

'Comé-comédie' ('Come-Comedy') was the French entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1972, performed by Betty Mars. The song was performed second on the night. At the close of voting, it had received 81 points, placing 11th in a field of 18 contestants.

The song is a moderately up-tempo number, with Mars singing about the joy which will come when she and her lover say that they love each other. Mars also recorded the song in German, under the title 'Komödiant der Liebe' ('Comedian of love').

My collection:  7" single no. 5613
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Comé-comédie' / 'Mon café russe'

(We don't need this) Fascist groove thang - Heaven 17

"(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" is a song written and performed by British synthpop band Heaven 17. It reached number 45 in the UK singles chart in 1981, despite being banned by the BBC. It was also a minor dance hit in the US. The song was written by members Martyn Ware, Ian Craig Marsh and Glenn Gregory and included on their 1981 debut album 'Penthouse and Pavement'

In the lyrics fascism and racism are described in an ironic fashion, using the lexicon of funk music. The lyrics of the song also reference the UK and US political leaders of the time, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan, respectively, and include denunciations of both racism and fascism. The song was banned by the BBC due to concerns by Radio 1's legal department that it libeled President Reagan.

My collection: 7" single no. 5402
Found: unknown
Tracks: '(We don't need this) Fascist groove thang' / 'The decline of the west'

Al da d'Haar... krijde cadeau - De Strangers

The Belgian band 'De Strangers' (introduced in an earlier post here) delivered possibly the strangest single of their lengthy career with this 'Al da d'Haar... krijde cadeau'. It rougly translates into 'You get all that hair as a gift' and it is a cover of the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest winner 'Si la vie est cadeau', performed by Corinne Hermes.

And, as if that year's Belgian entry wasn't already weird enough (the legendary 'Rendez-vous' by Pas de deux), they included a cover entitled 'Parlez-vous' on the B-side. Amazingly, this single did not get into the Belgian chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5616
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Al da d'haar... krijde cadeau' / 'Parlez-vous'

Tug of war - Paul McCartney

'Tug of war' is the title track from Paul McCartney’s 1982 album. Rolling Stone described the song as McCartney's equivalent to John Lennon's 'Imagine'. The song has a clear division between the verses featuring sad lyrics about the struggle to survive, the necessity of conflict (pushing and pulling) and the hopeful refrain, in which McCartney looks for a future where these struggles are no longer necessary.

The lyrics are seen as describing his complex relationship with Lennon, who was killed two years prior. The single reached number 53 in both the UK singles chart and the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, It failed to chart everywhere else.

My collection: 7" single no. 5437
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Tug of war' / 'Get it' (duet with Carl Perkins)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Smells like Nirvana - "Weird Al" Yankovic

Somehow, the music press and media were taking guitar bands from Seattle very seriously at the beginning of the Nineties. The previous obsession with drugs-fuelled dance music was forgotten, everyone suddenly had to listen to screaming bipolar maniacs who'd just come from rehearsal studios without ever seriously studying things like melody or lyrics.

It was refreshing, therefore, that 'Weird Al' Yankovic came with his parody on Nirvana's 'Smells like teen spirit'. Entitled 'Smells like Nirvana', it pokes fun at the socalled 'grunge' band from Seattle and their largely atrocious music. The single reached number 35 in the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, number 48 in Canada, number 38 in Sweden, number 24 in Australia and a rather surprising number 4 in New Zealand!

My collection: 7" single no. 5417
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Smells like Nirvana' / 'Waffle king'

Always on the run - Lenny Kravitz

'Always on the run' was the first single released from Lenny Kravitz's 1991 album 'Mama said'. by Lenny Kravitz. It features a contribution from former Guns N' Roses guitarist, Slash. Slash had written the music for the song with the original intention of releasing it on a Guns N' Roses studio album but since former drummer Steven Adler had difficulty playing the song, he saved it for this eventual collaboration with Kravitz.

This limited edition 7" single pack features a hand written lyric sheet (well, Lenny's handwriting printed on a piece of paper, that is), a postcard and a European Tour Map. It didn't help sales in the UK: the single only reached number 41 in the singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5434
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Always on the run' / 'Always on the run (instrumental)'

Just nu! - Tomas Ledin

'Just nu!' ('Right now!') was the Swedish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1980, performed by Tomas Ledin. The song talks about a man tired of the monotonous life in the city, in that moment he wants to live his life, he wants to feel the air in his lungs and perhaps to travel to Paris. During the performance at Eurovision, the cable was accidentally plugged out of Tomas Ledin's microphone. He was able to plug it in again, just in time before the start of the second verse.

The song was performed 8th on the night. At the close of voting, it had received 47 points, placing 10th in a field of 19 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5587
Found: KEG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Just nu!' / 'Det är säkert värt ett försök'

Is this love - Bob Marley

'Is this love' was originally released by Bob Marley on his 1978 album 'Kaya'. The song became one of the best known Marley songs and the studio version was part of the compilation 'Legend'. It peaked at number 9 in the UK charts upon its release in 1978.

This single was released a year later, featuring the live version taken from the album 'Babylon by bus', recorded in Paris in 1978.

My collection: 7" single no. 5454
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Is this love [live]' / 'Kinky reggae [live]'

Break on through - The Doors

I got to know The Doors thanks to a TV documentary by Dutch broadcaster Veronica in the mid-Eighties. I missed the band when they were around due to being born in 1970, but the age of 15 is a great time to get in touch with the moody ramblings of Jim Morrison, I guess.

And so I hope that many more youngsters were around in 1991 when the movie 'The Doors', starring Val Kilmer, was released in cinemas worldwide. Oliver Stone directed this movie loosely based on Morrison's life and career, and although I have virtually no recollection of that movie, the music of course stood up firmly. The record company even released this single to coincide with the cinema release. 'Break on through' is nice enough, but one of my favourite Doors-tracks graces the B-side: 'Love street', taken from their most engaging album 'Waiting for the sun'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5387
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Break on through' / 'Love street'

Come to my aid - Simply Red

'Come to my aid' was released as the second single from their debut album 'Picture book'. Five singles were taken from the album, of which this one was the least successful one, peaking at number 66 in the UK singles chart. It did manage to reach number 11 in Italy and number 24 in New Zealand as well, but in other countries, this single did not chart.

According to Wikipedia, 'Picture book' was included in Robert Dimery's '1001 Albums you must hear before you die'. I wouldn't go quite that far, personally, but the singles from this album are nice enough.

My collection: 7" single no. 5444
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Come to my aid' / 'Valentine'

Go (before you break my heart) - Gigliola Cinquetti

I'm not exactly thrilled when I buy a damaged 7" single (the pronged center is missing) without a picture sleeve (although this single was not released in a picture sleeve, apparently). However, in this case, the single was very cheap, and so I just decided to order it along with a couple of other discs that were, fortunately, in better shape. Sometimes collecting records is just about the music contained on the disc...

So what is this? The English version of Gigliola Cinquetti's 1974 Eurovision entry, 'Si'. Entitled 'Go (before you break my heart)'. This version actually got to number 8 in the UK singles chart, which is a remarkable achievement for any non-winning song from the Contest.

My collection: 7" single no. 5599
Found: Discogs.com, received August 5, 2014
Cost: 40 pence
Tracks: 'Go (before you break my heart)' / 'Si'

Dressed for success - Roxette

'Dressed for success' was released on June 28, 1988 as the third single from the Swedish pop duo Roxette's 1988 album 'Look Sharp!'. Originally, 'Dressed for success' was their first Swedish single to promote that album in 1988. It was re-released after 'The look' had become a worldwide hit.

The recording of the song was marked by a dispute between the band members but this apparently contributed to the strength of Marie's performance. According to her: "I was so mad when I did it. Everything about that session went wrong, we argued about the arrangement, we changed the key, I was dead tired of the song when I went in to do a guide vocal. Did it in one blast and suddenly realized, "hmm... this is it"."

My collection: 7" single no. 5465
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Dressed for success' / 'The voice'

Monday, 17 November 2014

Pull up to the bumper - Grace Jones

When you talk about limited edition singles, the poster sleeve is another nice giveaway used by record companies to boost sales. Grace Jones is probably the most unlikely poster girl around. The photograph on the cover of this single is replicated as a 21" x 14" poster inside, and although it is a provocative pose, I wouldn't exactly choose this as a decoration on my wall.

The music, fortunately, is for listening, and listening well. Both 'Pull up to the bumper' and 'La vie en rose' have been big hits for Grace Jones in 1981 and 1977 respectively, and this package sought to capitalize on the big success of 'Slave to the rhythm' in 1985. The strategy worked: this single got to number 12, which was the exact same peak position as 'Slave to the rhythm' a few months earlier.

My collection: 7" single no. 5407
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Pull up to the bumper' / 'La vie en rose'

Laura - Nick Heyward

Although my latest visit to London was a bit of a disappointment with respect to record hunting, I still managed to get hold of one double single. Ahh, the double single... it's a feast to behold. Often these were housed in luxury gatefold sleeves, with extra artwork and, if you were very lucky, even a booklet.

This double single is less lavish: it's a regular sleeve with two discs crammed in, and a rather blunt sticker on the front. Still, the sticker served its purpose, otherwise I would not have noted the remix version of 'Favourite shirts' enclosed in this package - and that's why I bought it. Quite a good deal actually: disc one isn't half bad.

My collection: 7" single no. 5644
Found: Alan's Records, London, September 9, 2014
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Laura' / 'Over the weekend (part one)' // 'Favourite shirts (remix)' / 'Calling captain autumn (remix)'

The eve of the war - Jeff Wayne

I have quite an interesting Jeff Wayne collection, consisting basically of two singles: 'The eve of the war' and 'Forever autumn'. I am adding yet another one to it with today's entry. This is the Spanish version. As you can see, the song is titled 'La vespera de la guerra', and although a Spanish translation of Jeff Wayne's concept album 'War of the world' exists, this is just the regular English version. And the original version at that, with Chris Thompson doing vocal duties.

As you can see, the picture used here was also used for the 1989 re-release of Forever autumn. The picture was not used on other European versions of Eve of the war, as you can see in this example. This is what makes collecting vinyl so interesting: there are always new surprises around the corner.

My collection: 7" single no. 5413
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'The eve of the war' / 'The red weed'

Naa moette traawe - De Strangers

The Strangers are a Belgian band, hailing from Antwerp. They became famous for singing satirical lyrics on wellknown hits. The band was formed on May 8, 1952 by Gust Torfs, Alex Boeye, Pol Ballansee and John Dewilde. In the early days they would perform in standard Dutch, but they soon moved to performing in Antwerp dialect.

Some of their hits were derived from Eurovision hits, and I recently managed to buy several of those... in Antwerp, of course. The first of these is 1976's 'Naa moette traawe', a version of Eurovision winner Brotherhood of Man's 'Save your kisses for me'. The B-side was their version of that year's runner-up 'Un deux troi' by Catherine Ferry. This single reached number 17 in the Belgian singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5615
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerp, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Naa moette traawe' / 'Een twee drij'

Keep it comin' love - KC and the Sunshine Band

'Keep it comin' love' is the quintessential disco song, recorded in 1977 by KC and the Sunshine Band. It appeared on their 1977 album 'Part 3'. The song, like its predecessor 'That's the way (I like it)', became widely successful due to its sexual double entendres.

The single peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and reached number 1 in Canada.It was also a top 10 hit in most of Europe, but amazingly only got to number 31 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5426
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Keep it comin' love' / 'Baby I love you'

Stool pigeon - Kid Creole and the Coconuts

I featured Stool Pigeon five years ago on this very blog, but the version featured here actually predates that one. That one was a remix of this one. What's more, this single also features another hit, 'I'm a wonderful thing, baby'. The former reached number 7 in the UK singles chart, whereas the latter got to number 4.

This copy was actually in very bad shape when I got it, with dirty stains on the vinyl. Cleaned it up with some dishwashing liquid, and the result is a pretty clean piece of vinyl.

My collection: 7" single no. 5473
Found: unknown
Tracks: 'Stool pigeon' / 'I'm a wonderful thing baby'

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