Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Non ho l'eta'... [1990 version] - Gigliola Cinquetti

Re-recording songs is seldom a good idea. Too many artists have re-recorded their hits from the beginning of their career, and it usually signalled a lack of creativity or it was motivated by legal complications involving greedy record companies.

Gigliola Cinquetti decided to re-record 'Non ho l'eta' in 1990. I have found no information why she did it, but one would guess it was prompted by Italy's Eurovision win that year, when Toto Cotugno performed 'Insieme: 1992' in Zagreb and won the Contest. She went on to present the 1991 edition together with Toto. This version is unfortunately not as charming as the original track from 1964.

My collection: 7" single no. 5477
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Non ho l'eta'... [1990 version]' (Gigliola Cinquetti) / 'Gli occhi miei' (Dino)

I love the nightlife - Alicia Bridges

No-one pronounces the word 'action' quite like Alicia Bridges, who scored a big hit in 1978 with 'I love the nightlife'. The song was a favourite in discotheques and was covered by artists like Laura Branigan, Bronski Beat and Taylor Dayne.

It also appeared in several Simpsons episodes and the movies 'Priscilla, queen of the desert' in 1994.

My collection: 7" single no. 5475
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'I love the nightlife' / 'Self applause'

Games without frontiers - Peter Gabriel

Although I do have a single with Peter Gabriel's 'Games without frontiers' on it (see it here) I really wanted to have the original single as well. So here it is, in all its weird glory.

For me, this single is also a celebration of the fact that in six weeks I will get to see the backing singer on this track, Kate Bush, live. Will Peter Gabriel appear live on stage with her? There is no telling, but it would be quite a thrill if they were to perform this track - or that other immortal duet 'Don't give up' live together. We'll wait and see...

My collection: 7" single no. 5470
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Games without frontiers' / 'The start I don't remember'

Friday, 11 July 2014

Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel

There was a bit of excitement recently when a compilation album of Eighties 12" remixes - you know the ones - suddenly included a rare remix. It was the dance mix by John Potoker of Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer', released only once previously on this limited edition 12" single. The regular 12" single simply contained the album version of the track, so this remix was a bit of a rarity.

Now that the track has finally been released on cd, it was time to dig out my own crackly vinyl copy, so you can listen to 'the real thing', so to speak. Music on vinyl is what it's all about, after all...

My collection: 12" single no. 652
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Sledgehammer (dance mix by John Potoker)', 'Don't break this rhythm' // 'Biko (12" extended version)', 'I have the touch ('85 remix)'

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Love like blood - Killing Joke

Sometimes there are these surprises when you're going through a stack of records. And finding this 12" single of Killing Joke's 'Love like blood' is a good example. I found this and for a moment I couldn't believe this disc actually contained a 'version' of the song. It isn't that strange in itself, since the single was released in the Eighties, but somehow I never thought there would be an extended version of this excellent track. Don't know why.

As it turns out, this extended version is excellent. A worthy addition to my collection.

My collection: 12" single no. 651
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Love like blood (version)' / 'Love like blood'

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Funny how love is - Fine Young Cannibals

'Funny how love is' was released as the fourth and final single from Fine Young Cannibals' self-titled debut album in early 1986. Unlike 'Johnny come home' and 'Suspicious minds', two of the three previous singles, this wasn't a big success, even if the track, originally produced by the band themselves, was re-recorded and produced by Robin Millar, famous for his work with a.o. Sade. No wonder, then, that there is a distinct Sade-esque feeling to this track.

The track was written by the band, although it sounds like an old jazz standard - which is quite a feat in itself! By buying this single I have completed the Fine Young Cannibals discography as far as I know, although tips for obscure releases are of course always welcome.

My collection: 7" single no. 5364
Found: Fun Records (Germany), received July 5, 2014
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Funny how love is [single version]' / 'Funny how love is (album version)'

Popcorn - Techno Talk

Although the intro of this version of Popcorn sounds a lot like Belgian techno collective Technotronic's 'Pump up the jam', this track is actually produced and arranged by Theo Werdin, a  producer and sound engineer from Bad Homburg, Germany.

I bought a damaged copy of the 3" cd single some 10 years ago, so it was nice to find a 7" single of the same version now. The dub edit included on this 7" single does not appear on that cd-single, so it is an exclusive track.

My collection: 7" single no. 5363
Found: Fun Records (Germany), received July 5, 2014
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn (single edit)' / 'Popcorn (dub edit)'

Popcorn - Coba

The timeless melody 'Popcorn', composed by Gershon Kingsley, has been covered many times, with varying success. Thanks to my recent order with Fun Records, I managed to find two singles from 1990. This is the first one, released by the unknown German act Coba. This particular copy was released 'for promotion only', as is printed on the back sleeve. One has to wonder whether this single was even released commercially.

The tune is kept intact, but suffers from typical Nineties production values, and so this 'fresh hot mix' has gone quite stale in time.

My collection: 7" single no. 5362
Found: Fun Records (Germany), received July 5, 2014
Cost: 1,75 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn (Fresh hot mix)' / 'Dago's Popcorn Rezept'

Heut' nacht - Frank Boyen

I have collected all of Dutch singer Frank Boeijen's singles (the result is shown here), but his ventures into foreign language have always been difficult to find. I knew that he'd recorded one single in German, called "Heut' nacht", but even in this internet age, I never found this disc. Until I found out, recently, that this German release was not by Frank Boeijen, but the name 'Frank Boyen'. Probably his real name was too hard to pronounce for German speakers.

Armed with the name 'Frank Boyen', I found this single within minutes. The indispensable Fun Records in Berlin had it in stock, and along with three more singles and a stack of cd-singles it arrived on my doorstep this morning. I was pleasantly surprised by the B-side, which is a longer version of the track 'Laat mij alleen', translated into 'Lass mich allein'. Both tracks were produced and arranged by Rob & Ferdi Bolland, who are, of course, pretty wellknown in their own right.

My collection: 7" single no. 5361
Found: Fun Records, Berlin, July 5, 2014
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Heut' nacht' / 'Lass mich allein'

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Sweetest smile - Black

Black's 'Sweetest Smile' was originally released in 1987 as the second single from his most successful album 'Wonderful life', just before the title track became a worldwide hit and an Eighties classic. Slightly more beautiful and sophisticated, the song never became as famous as 'Wonderful life' but it is worth a spin or two if you like good music.

During last month's Record Store Day, a special 10" record was sold featuring a 2011 re-recording of the track, which sound a lot like the original version but unlike its 1987 counterpart the rights belong to Colin Vearncombe himself and not to the Universal record company mammoth. What really makes this disc special is the inclusion of three other tracks from his post-2000 output. Listen to this tracks and you'll probably want to have this disc - or the cd's which these tracks were taken from - yourself. Head on over to www.colinvearncombe.com for more information.

I wasn't able to get this record on Record Store Day, but fortunately this disc was sold online after the day, so you can imagine I am a happy bunny now.

My collection: 10" single [unnumbered]
Cost: 9 pounds
Found: Vinyl180, UK, received May 20, 2014
Tracks: 'Sweetest smile [2011 re-recording]', 'Where the river bends' / 'In a heartbeat', 'Grievous angel'

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Slave to the rhythm - Grace Jones

A deluxe cd version of her career-overshadowing album 'Slave to the rhythm' has still not been issued, so all we can do in the mean time is pick up all the releases and rip the tracks from vinyl. Such as this one, the 12" single of Grace Jones' album's title track. I couldn't find it for a long time, but I finally found a good copy today - and for a very reasonable price, too.

The sleeve doesn't give you much information about the tracks contained on this disc, so I turned to Discogs.com for help. Fortunately, there is a decent listing for this disc. The 'blooded' version on the A-side is probably the best version of 'Slave to the rhythm' I've heard in a long time, as it adds much interesting things to the all too familiar single version. As for the B-side... Well, experimentation can be fruitful sometimes.

My collection: 12" single no. 648
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Slave to the rhythm (blooded)' / 'Junk yard', 'Annihilated rhythm'

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Lover come back to me - Dead or Alive

Nobody suspected that Stock, Aitken and Waterman would dominate the pop charts for the next half of the Eighties when this single, 'Lover come back to me' was released back in 1985. It was the second big hit for the UK group Dead or Alive, which, like the previous single 'You spin me round', was produced by the infamous trio.

'Lover come back to me' packs a good punch and it is demonstrated even more firmly in this extended 12" version. The '7" bonus mix' included on the B-side is different from the 7" single version, so basically fans got two remixes for their money. Which was never a bad thing in those days.

My collection: 12" single no. 649
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Lover come back to me (extended version)' / 'Far too hard', 'Lover come back to me (7" bonus mix)'

It ain't necessarily so - Bronski Beat

Bronski Beat had already had two hits in 1984 when they released 'It ain't necessarily so', a cover of the George and Ira Gerschwin classic. The song questions the authenticity of biblical tales; the song is a metaphor for African-Americans questioning slavery, Jim Crow and oppression in the USA as the natural order of things. The single reached the UK Top 20.

This 12" single features a slightly longer version of the track as well as two more dance-oriented B-side tracks.

My collection: 12" single no. 647
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'It ain't necessarily so' / 'Close to the edge', 'Red dance'

Waterloo - Lecia & Lucienne

It's a special year for Abba fans, as 'Waterloo' is celebrating its 40th birthday. Even back in 1974, the song was used as a vehicle by other stars to have a go at chart success. Take for instance the Danish sisters Lecia & Lucienne Jönsson. They started to compete in talent shows in 1961 and won no less than 43 of them. In 1964, they released their debut album.

Ten years later, they recorded this cover version of Abba's winning Eurovision song. You can hear how the production of this version is not quite up to the original, but it is still interesting to hear how a song is used and changed this way, only weeks after its release.

My collection: 7" single no. 5360
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Waterloo', 'Kom - tag min hand'

Video video - Brixx

Denmark was represented in the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest by the group Brixx. The group members were Jens Brixtofte (brother of the Danish politician Peter Brixtofte), John Hatting, Torben Jacobsen, Steen Ejler Olsen and Bjørn Holmgård Sørensen. Their song 'Video video' was a praise of the then-new technology of video recorders, with the singer describing the wealth of viewing he has on tape — everything from Humphrey Bogart to Wimbledon. Indeed, he remarks that "Susanne" (possibly a lover) has left him for fear that his viewing habits have made him "not all normal".

The song ended up 17th in the contest,  receiving 3 points from Portugal and 1 point each from Sweden and Ireland. Only Kojo from Finland did worse, receiving no points at all.

My collection: 7" single no. 5359
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Video video' / 'I wanna dance med dig'

Radio bonheur - Herve Cristiani

With Kate Bush concerts in sight, it's no surprise I started looking for some Kate Bush records at the record fair in Utrecht today. I have many of them and the ones I saw that were slightly interesting were way too expensive. But this single was a good find. I knew that Herve Cristiani had recorded a track called 'Kate Bush', and I'd even heard it, but I didn't know it was released on a single. On the B-side, but hey, I'm not complaining - I'm buying!

Herve Cristiani was born on November 8, 1947 in Paris, France. His debut album was released in 1975. This single comes from his fourth album, 'Il est libre Max', released in 1981.

My collection: 7" single no. 5358
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Radio bonheur' / 'Kate Bush'

Da da da ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht aha aha aha - Trio

The German band Trio constructed the early synthpop hit 'Da da da' with a Casio VI-Tone and some bits of German dialogue. It was a hit not only in Germany, where the 'Neue Deutsche Welle' was making waves, but also in other European countries and even in UK, where German acts were rarely found in the charts (although Boney M had considerable success in the Seventies...)

This 12" single presents a six minute remix (or 'extended version') of the track and two quite funny, almost punk-inspired, B-sides.

My collection: 12" single no. 646
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Da da da ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht aha aha aha', 'Frau A spricht ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht' / 'Halt mich fest ich werd verrückt', 'Lady-o-lady'

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