Monday, 8 September 2014

Sneaking out the back door - Matt Bianco

'Sneaking out the back door' was the second single by Matt Bianco, taken from the band's debut album 'Whose side are you on'. Released in April 1984, this single reached number 44 in the UK singles chart and number 22 in Ireland.

The single is considered a double A-side, since the instrumental 'Matt's Mood' was used a lot on the radio in the Eighties. When you play the track (below), you will almost certainly recognise it.

My collection: 7" single no. 5622
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Sneaking out the back door' / 'Matt's Mood'

Love fire - Simply Red

'Love fire' is a single taken from Simply Red's second album 'Men & women'. The single was only made in Germany and Spain, although this probably implies a Europe-wide release. However, this did not earn them any chart success.

Only three of the six singles released from 'Men & women' had some substantial (international) chart success, which was surprising in light of the sales of the album. The band's third album 'A new flame' would yield four hit singles and remains their biggest success.

My collection: 7" single no. 5445
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Love fire' / 'Love fire (dub mix)'

Tama - Mory Kante

Most people would consider Mory Kante a one hit wonder, as his only hit was 'Yé ké yé ké', released in 1987. Fair enough, I suppose. However, this single is evidence that the man produced some more music. 'Tama' was taken from the same album, and even managed to reach number 44 in the German singles chart.

It is even more stunning to realise that Mory Kante has released more than ten albums during a career that began in 1981. So is this single worth a spin? It is, even if the B-side is a bit wordy.

My collection: 7" single no. 5427
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Tama' / 'Inch'Allah'

It sure brings out the love in your eyes - David Soul

David Soul was best known for his acting, starring as Ken Hutchinson on the American TV series Starsky & Hutch, when he embarked on a singing career. His debut single, 'Don't give up on us' was a smash hit, as was the follow-up, 'Going in with my eyes open', but subsequent releases weren't as successful.

'It sure brings out the love in your eyes' was his last hit in the UK, peaking at number 12. For some reason, the B-side of this single appears in Mono sound only.

My collection: 7" single no. 5466
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'It sure brings out the love in your eyes' / 'A friend of mine'

Love will tear us apart - Joy Division

'Love will tear us apart' was written in August 1979, and debuted when the band supported Buzzcocks on their UK tour in September and October 1979. It is one of the few songs in which singer Ian Curtis played guitar (albeit somewhat minimally). The lyrics reflect the problems in Ian Curtis's marriage to Deborah Curtis, as well as his general frame of mind in the time leading up to his suicide in May 1980.

The song was first released in June 1980 and became the band's first chart hit, reaching number 13 in the UK Singles Chart. The band postponed their US tour after Ian Curtis's death, performed a few short sets as The No-Names, then finally renamed the group as New Order. 'Love Will Tear Us Apart" was re-released in 1983 and reached number 19 on the UK charts.

My collection: 7" single no. 5425
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Love will tear us apart' / 'These days', 'Love will tear us apart'

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Quedate esta noche - Trigo Limpio

'Quédate esta noche' ('Stay this night') was the Spanish entry in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest, performed in Spanish by Trigo Limpio, a popular trio in Spain during the Seventies and Eighties, consisting of Amaya Saizar, Iñaki de Pablo and Luis Carlos Gil. During their performance in Eurovision, however, Amaya Saizar was replaced by Patricia Fernández.

The song is a romantic up-tempo number with influences from disco, in which the trio sings 'If perhaps I made a mistake / I want to say I'm sorry'. They go on to sing 'Put away the keys / and put the suitcase back in its place again' and the chorus is a direct invitation to the other part; 'Sleep beside me tonight / Stay beside me tonight / Love me a lot tonight / I'll be yours tonight...' The B-side is a French translation of the song.

My collection: 7" single no. 5606
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Quedate esta noche' / 'Viens rever'

Wooden heart - Elvis Presley

Some would argue that this music blog could never be a music blog when there isn't a single mention of "The King", Elvis Presley. I would reply in turn that rock & roll isn't the focus of my collection - aside from the occasional Marty Wilde gems, of course - but now that I finally have an Elvis single in my possession, there is no need for controversy.

'Wooden heart' was re-released just after Elvis died. Perhaps that's why this song is such a powerful childhood memory, as I vividly recall seeing a video of this song on television around that time. The song was originally a hit in 1961, when it was number 1 for six weeks in the UK singles chart. Upon its re-release in the Netherlands in August 1977, it reached number 2.

My collection: 7" single no. 5439
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Wooden heart' / 'Tonight is so right for love'

Weekend (Remix '88) - Earth & Fire

Some time ago, I bought a compilation cd of Earth & Fire's greatest hits, and it came with a remix of their biggest hit 'Weekend'. I didn't realise - although I probably should have - that this remix version was released as a single at the time of that album release.

The remix sounds decent enough, it certainly updates the sound to the year 1988, but it wasn't a chart success for the band. Not that they were still together: Earth & Fire disbanded in 1983. After this single release the band regrouped a year later, releasing just one more album: 'Phoenix'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5393
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag
Cost: 3,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Weekend (Remix '88)' / 'Weekend'

Saturday, 6 September 2014

E' de' det här du kallar kärlek - Lasse Holm och Monica Törnell

The single 'Another kind of loving', which I described four years ago, is an English version of 'E' de' det här du kallar kärlek', the Swedish entry of the 1986 Eurovision Song Contest. That song appears on this single as the A-side, coupled with another Swedish track. The title actually means 'Is this what you call love?'.

During the 2010 Swedish national final of the Eurovision Song Contest, this song was performed by Timo Räisanen and Hanna Eklöf.

My collection: 7" single no. 5642
Found: eBay, received September 2, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'E' de' det här du kallar kärlek' / 'En kärleksmagi'

In the flesh - Blondie

The second single from Blondie's self-titled debut album, 'In the flesh' was written by Deborah Harry and Chris Stein. It was released in 1976 in the USA by Private Stock records, the last single for Blondie on that label. It appeared in Australia on Chrysalis a year later.

This single is a different kettle of fish: it was released by Chrysalis in the Netherlands in 1981, to fill up the silence caused by the lack of new material between the release of  'AutoAmerican' (1980) and 'The Hunter' (1982).

My collection: 7" single no. 5373
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'In the flesh' / 'One way or another'

Banana banana - King Kurt

Music doesn't always have to be serious. The psychobilly rock band King Kurt specialised in wild and funny singles, such as the hilarious cover version of Mack the knife which I described previously.

In August 1984, they followed up that single with 'Banana banana', a 2'38 minute piece of fun that reached number 54 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5430
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag

Cost: 3,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Banana banana' / 'Bo Diddley goes east'

Friday, 5 September 2014

This time - INXS

Only in the UK you would have double single packages, sometimes at the price of a single 7", featuring extra tracks that made the purchase of a certain future hit that much more attractive. This 'two record set' of INXS's 'This time' is a great attractive, as it features two extended versions of previous singles plus a glossy gatefold sleeve. What's not to like?

'This time' was taken from INXS's fifth studio album 'Listen like thieves' (1985). The album was a charttopper in Australia and did fairly well in Canada and the USA, as well as peaking at number 46 in the UK albums chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5452
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'This time' / 'Original sin (extended version)' //  'Burn for you (extended remix)' / 'Dancing on the jetty'

Paul McCartney's theme from The Honorary Consul - John Williams

'The Honorary Consul' was originally a book written by Graham Greene, published in 1973. The book was subsequently made into a film, directed by John Mackenzie in 1983, featuring Richard Gere and Michael Caine.

The soundtrack of the movie featured a theme which was composed by Paul McCartney and performed by John Williams. It's true, when you listen to the recording of this single you'll notice that it's had better days, but this single is pretty hard to find these days. So I guess I'm lucky to have found it at all.

My collection: 7" single no. 5408
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Paul McCartney's theme from The Honorary Consul' / 'Clara's theme' (Quimantu)

Summer (The first time) - Bobby Goldsboro

Bobby Goldsboro was born in Marianna, Florida. In 1941, Goldsboro's family moved 35 miles north from Marianna to Dothan, Alabama. He graduated from Dothan High School in 1959 and later enrolled at Auburn University. Goldsboro left college after his second year to pursue a musical career. He played guitar for Roy Orbison from 1962 to 1964, then started a solo career.

'Summer (The first time)', a reminiscence about a 17-year-old boy's first sexual experience with a 31-year-old woman, was a Top 20 hit in the U.S. and reached number 9 in the UK singles chart. Using a repeating piano riff, 12-string guitar, and an orchestral string arrangement, the song was suggestive enough to spark some controversy at the time.

My collection: 7" single no. 5397
Found: Beanos, London
Cost: 1,5 pounds
Tracks: 'Summer (The first time)' / 'Childhood - 1949'

The colour field - The colour field

The Colourfield were a British band formed in 1984 in Manchester when former Specials and Fun Boy Three frontman Terry Hall joined up with ex-Swinging Cats members Toby Lyons and Karl Shale. Despite the fact that all three of them hailed from Coventry, they made their homebase in Manchester.

In January 1984 The Colourfield released their debut single, 'The colour field', which just missed making the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 43.

My collection: 7" single no. 5379
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'The colour field' / 'Sorry'

I'm your money - Heaven 17

'I'm your money' was released in 1981 as the second single by Heaven 17, the synthpop trio formed by Martyn Ware, Ian Craig Marsh and Glenn Gregory. After the success of their debut single '(We don't need this) Fascist Groove Thang', the chart result of this single came as a disappointment, as it didn't chart at all.

In recent years, Heaven 17 have started performing live, something they never did during the Eighties. In an interview in 2010 for the website Electricity Club, Martyn Ware said: "We weren't writing songs with the anticipation of playing them live so I'm Your Money is very... say for instance we waved a magic wand and it was exactly the backing track that we did... we can't do because we don't have the original tapes. But if it was exactly the same backing track as we did in the 1981, I think it would really jar on the ear! It's incredibly repetitive and monotonous but on record, it sounds great. "

My collection: 7" single no. 5401
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'I'm your money' / 'Are everything'

Julia says - Wet Wet Wet

'Julia says' was released as the second single from Wet Wet Wet's sixth studio album, 'Picture this'. It was released on March 13, 1995 and peaked at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart. Marti Pellow recorded his own version of the song for inclusion on his 2002 album 'Marti Pellow Sings the Hits of Wet Wet Wet & Smile'.

This 7" single was released as a limited edition on purple vinyl. The song is nice but it is quite unfortunate that the band decided to 'rock out' near the end, which kindof sours the mood.

My collection: 7" single no. 5414
Found: Record fair, 1995
Cost: 12 guilders
Tracks: 'Julia says' / 'It's now or never'

Such a shame - Talk Talk

EMI have always been excellent at recycling their music. Countless compilation albums and re-releases of old hits is what this big record company based a lot of its success on - in the past of course, because EMI isn't that successful anymore these days.

Case in point: this re-release of Talk Talk's 'Such a shame', released in 1990, was made in Germany and was different from the UK version. That one had a live version of 'Dum dum girl' on the B-side, whereas this one simply has the studio version. Confusing matters even more, the CD-single equivalents of these single had completely different track listings, the European one winning because it had the live version of 'Tomorrow started' as well as the rare track 'Another word' on it.

My collection: 7" single no. 5412
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Such a shame' / 'Dum dum girl'

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Un train qui part - Marie

'Un train qui part' ('A departing train') was a song performed by French singer Marie, representing Monaco during the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. The song is about people striking out on their own. Marie sings about a girl from rural France who is boarding a train to Paris in the hope that she will find work there, despite not knowing exactly what she will do. The departing train, she sings, 'is a bit like a home...For one who has never known home'.

The song was performed sixth on the night. At the close of voting, it had received 85 points, placing it eighth in a field of 17 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5595
Found: Marktplaats.nl, August 2, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Un train qui part' / 'Le géant'

You ain't seen nothin' yet - Bachman Turner Overdrive

'You ain't seen nothin' yet' was written by Randy Bachman. The chords of the chorus riff are very similar to the ones used by The Who in their song 'Baba O'Riley', and also, the stuttering vocal is reminiscent of 'My generation'. Randy insists that the song was performed as a joke for his brother, Gary, who had a stutter, with no intention of sounding like 'My generation'. They only intended to record it once with the stutter and send the only recording to Gary.

The first single from the Not Fragile album was 'Roll on down the highway', appearing here on the B-side. It performed well, reaching number 4 on the Canadian charts, but eventually stalled at number 14 on the US charts. 'You ain't seen nothin' yet', meanwhile, was becoming a hit as an album cut. Radio stations all over the USA were giving it a great deal of airplay. So much so that Bachman was embarrassed because he thought it was a stupid song, just something that he wrote as a joke. Fach would regularly call him with airplay reports, asking for permission to release the track a single. Bachman says, 'And I refused for three weeks... I was producer, so I had final say on what went out. I woke up one day and asked myself, 'Why am I stopping this?' Some of my favorite records are really dumb things like 'Louie, Louie'... so I said to Charlie, 'O.K., release it. I bet it does nothing.' The song went on to become a charttopper and a rock classic.

My collection: 7" single no. 5368
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'You ain't seen nothin' yet' / 'Roll on down the highway'

Talking in your sleep - Romantics

'Talking in your sleep' is a chart-topping hit song by Detroit rock band The Romantics. It appeared on the Romantics' 1983 album 'In heat' and was the Romantics' biggest chart hit, garnering substantial radio airplay and a million in U.S. 45 RPM single sales. The song reached number 3 - where it held for three weeks - on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1984.

The song's music video, widely aired at the time on MTV and elsewhere, featured the band performing while surrounded by standing, but seemingly sleeping women who were dressed in lingerie, pajamas, and other sleepwear. The song was unsuccessful in the UK, but went on to reach number 15 in the UK singles chart when it was covered by Bucks Fizz.

My collection: 7" single no. 5464
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Talking in your sleep' / 'Rock you up'

If you don't know me by now - Simply Red

If You Don't Know Me by Now" is a song written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and recorded by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. The song was originally written for Labelle (a trio led by Patti LaBelle) but they never recorded it.

The song was later covered by the English band Simply Red, also becoming their best-known hit after reaching number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in July 1989. It peaked at number two in the UK Singles Chart. The B-side was recorded live in Manchester on February 22, 1989.

My collection: 7" single no. 5447
Found: unknown
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'If you don't know me by now' / 'Move on out (live)'

Like a surgeon - "Weird Al" Yankovic

Although "Weird Al" Yankovic refuses to use parody ideas from other people, Madonna is partly responsible for 'Like a surgeon'. Madonna asked one of her friends how long it would take until Yankovic satirized her song 'Like a virgin' as 'Like a surgeon'. This friend was a mutual friend of Al's manager, Jay Levey. When word got back to Yankovic, he decided it was a good idea and wrote the song. This is the only known time that Yankovic has gotten a parody idea directly from the original artist.

The music video, which takes place in a hospital, can be considered an extension of the parody. Several features of the 'Like a virgin' music video — famously set in Venice - are mimicked: shots of Yankovic singing on a moving gurney are substituted for footage of Madonna on a canal boat, and both videos feature a lion at the beginning.

My collection: 7" single no. 5416
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Like a surgeon' / 'Slime creatures from outer space'

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Love her madly - The Doors

'Love her madly' is a song by The Doors that was released as a single in March 1971. Composed by guitarist Robby Krieger, it served as the lead single from L.A. Woman, their final album with frontman Jim Morrison. Session musician and TCB Band member Jerry Scheff played bass guitar on the song. The single became one of the highest-charting hits for The Doors. It peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and reached number 4 in the Dutch top 40.

The B-side of the single is one of only three non-album B-sides by The Doors. 'Don't go no further' was subsequently released on the album 'Weird scenes inside the gold mine', a compilation album from 1972.

My collection: 7" single no. 5391
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Love her madly' / 'Don't go no further'

Hyperactive - Thomas Dolby

"Hyperactive!" is a single by British musician Thomas Dolby, taken from his second album 'The flat earth', released in 1984. Additional vocals were provided by Louise Ulfstedt. According to Thomas Dolby, he initially composed the song for Michael Jackson, whom he met in 1982. He decided to record it by himself since he never got any feedback from Jackson after sending him a demo tape.

It was the first single to be taken from the album and peaked at number 17 on the UK singles chart, but only reached number 62 on the US Billboard Hot 100. A remix was also done of the song, which became quite popular in clubs and on dance charts.

My collection: 7" single no. 5384
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Hyperactive' / 'White city'

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Nee voor mij - Daniela Simons

It doesn't happen very often that a Eurovision artist chooses to re-record their song in Dutch. Nicole did it with her 'Ein Bisschen Frieden', and there's a Dutch version of Carola's 'Främling', but aside from a few lesser known releases, that's about it.

Daniela Simons, who represented Switzerland in 1986 with the song 'Pas pour moi', did it with 'Nee voor mij' ('No for me'). Hilariously, she pronounces the word 'man' ('man') as 'maan' ('moon'). Still, she speaks Dutch better than I do French, so I won't make too much a fuss about it. However, the single didn't chart in the Netherlands and I have no info about any other artist attempting to release a Dutch cover of their Eurovision entry after 1986.

My collection: 7" single no. 5625
Found: Marktplaats.nl, received August 28, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Nee voor mij' / 'Pas pour moi (instrumental)'

Japanese boy - Aneka

Scottish folk singer Mary Sandeman recorded the song 'Japanese boy' in 1981. Realising that the name didn't fit the song, they decided to come up with a name to put to the single. Leafing through the telephone directory, they came upon the name of Aneka. This was then released as a single and Sandeman came up with a Japanese image under which to perform the song. To their surprise, the song became a major hit when it eventually reached No. 1 in August 1981. The song went on to become a hit all over Europe and beyond, although according to Sandeman, it failed to chart in Japan itself because 'they thought it sounded too Chinese.'

The success of the single proved to be a problem however, as Sandeman was left with a dilemma of what to do as a follow-up, now that her image was so firmly associated with one song. She modified her image and kept the Aneka name, but future single releases failed to chart highly in the UK, although she did score two follow-up hits in many countries in Europe. 'Japanese boy' sold almost half a million copies in the UK, making it one of the best-selling singles of 1981, and the second-best seller by a solo female artist (behind Kim Wilde's 'Kids in America').

My collection: 7" single no. 5366
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Japanese boy' / 'Ae fond kiss'

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