Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Profoundly in love with Pandora - Ian Dury

Ian Dury wrote and performed the song 'Profoundly in love with Pandora' for the television series 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾', based on the book of the same name by Sue Townsend. I remember I was a bit shocked at the time,because I knew Dury from slightly controversial songs like 'Spasticus Autisticus' and 'Sex & drugs & rock & roll', and this was almost a 'normal' pop song.

I'd almost forgotten about this release over the years, but it recently popped up during an online shopping spree, and so I picked it up. Always nice to have some Ian Dury in your life, innit.

My collection: 7" single no. 6156
Found: Discogs.com, received August 9, 2019
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Profoundly in love with Pandora' / 'Eugenius (You're a genius)'

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Enjoy - Solid Gold Easy Amex featuring Red Box

This single comes with a promotional sticker on the front - as you can see - and a press release from EastWest Records. It explains a little about this release: "After enjoying an extended period of (expensive) bootlegged notoriety, this year's orbital theme-tune, "Enjoy" from Solid Gold Easy Amex featuring Red Box, is commercially released through East West Records on 21st May [1990]."

""Enjoy" in its original form is an old B-side from the outfit who scored top 10 hits in 1985 & 1986 with "Lean on me (Ah-Li-Ayo)" and "For America". The track's current notoriety began when DJ's like Paul Oakenfold unearthed the song and began playing it at orbital parties around the capital and elsewhere."

My collection: 7" single no. 6153
Found: Discogs.com, received August 9, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Enjoy (Paul Oakenfold future mix)' / 'Enjoy (Original Golden Lay)'

Give love a chance - Seija Simola

Seija Simola was born in Helsinki on September 25, 1944. She began her musical career in the mid-Sixties in the band Eero Seija & Kristian Trio, and her debut solo album was released in 1970: Seija Simola 1.

In 1978, she represented Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest. She sang 'Anna rakkaudelle tilaisuus', which finished in 18th place, in a field of 20 competitors. Despite this poor result, Simola continued a long and successful career in her native Finland. She passed away in Vantaa on August 21, 2017.

This single presents the English version of her Eurovision song: 'Give love a chance'. It comes in one of the thinnest paper sleeves I have ever seen.

My collection: 7" single no. 6155
Found: Discogs.com, received August 9, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Give love a chance' / 'Little smile'

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Arcade - Duncan Laurence

Every year when the Netherlands announce their Eurovision candidate, there is a sigh of desperation and the resigned thought: 'Okay, so we won't win this year - again'. Ever since Teach In won the contest back in 1975 - a feat I didn't consciously experience - there have been many attempts to get to the top spot, but with dud artists like Bernadette, Gerard Joling, Willeke Alberti, Glennis Grace and - oh how terrible - De Toppers, we didn't have a shadow a chance.

And then suddenly, the unknown artist Duncan Laurence was announced as this year's entry. The song sounded weird at first, but it was way better than most songs from previous years. And when the bookmakers started predicting that the Netherlands could win this year, a mixture of disbelief and hope started to rise. I couldn't believe it when 'Arcade' won the Contest in May. And then, of course, the question came: will it be released on any physical format? The answer came two full months later: 'Arcade' was released last week on 7" vinyl. So there you have it - a winning Dutch Eurovision song on vinyl. It doesn't really get much better than this.

My collection: 7" single no. 6151
Found: Bea Records, received July 30, 2019
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'Arcade' / 'Arcade (acoustic version)'

Smoke - Natalie Imbruglia

Natalie Imbruglia was born on February 4, 1975 in Sydney, Australia. After appearing in commercials for Coca-Cola and Australian snack Twisties, she joined the cast of Neighbours. After just two years she left the show to move to London in 1994. She met Anne Barret, who became her manager and convinced her to record a demo of four songs. One of those songs was a cover of the Ednaswap composition 'Torn', which landed her a record deal with RCA. Released as her first single, it was an immediate international hit.

The album 'Left of the middle' spawned a few more singles, of which 'Smoke' was artistically the most accomplished. Having been under the impression that none of her singles were ever released on vinyl, I was excited to get my hands on this one. 'Smoke' reached number 5 in the UK singles chart and number 42 in Australia.

My collection: 7" single no. 6150
Found: Discogs.com, received July 29, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Smoke' / 'Smoke (Martyn Philips & Marc Fox mix)'

Tell me when - Human League

Released on December 26, 1994, 'Tell me when' was the first single by Human League in four years. A lot had changed in the record industry: gone were most of the vinyl singles in favour of cd-singles. Until recently I didn't even know a vinyl single of this track existed. It became the Human League's most commercially successful single in nine years and reintroduced the band to many of the British general public. 'Tell me when' received considerable radio promotion in advance of its late 1994 UK release, hitting the airwaves at a time when many people started to get Christmas song fatigue.

The single peaked at number 6 in the UK singles chart and even made it into the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 31. The album from which this single was taken, 'Octopus', peaked at number 6 in the UK albums chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 6149
Found: Discogs.com, received July 29, 2019
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Tell me when (7" edit)' / 'Tell me when (Mix 1)'

Do I dream - Maxi

Maxi was the stage name of Irene McCoubrey, born February 23, 1950. In the late 1960s Maxi teamed up with Barbara Dixon and Adele King to form Maxi, Dick and Twink. The trio toured Ireland, the UK and Canada and recorded two singles. They also worked a session singers in Motown studios in Detroit, Michigan, before disbanding. Following this she pursued a career with Danny Doyle and Music Box before going solo. She represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 singing 'Do I Dream', finishing tenth in a field of 17 competitors.
 
In the late 1970s, Maxi became part of another all-girl trio Sheeba, with Marion Fossett and Frances Campbell. The group represented Ireland in the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Horoscopes'. Maxi embarked on a career in broadcasting with the Irish national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). Working mainly on radio, she also took on some television work including a quiz show, presenting Ireland's lottery and fronting the Miss Ireland contest. In 1987 Maxi presented the national final for Eurovision alongside Marty Whelan.

My collection: 7" single no. 6148
Found: Discogs.com, received July 29, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Do I dream' / 'Here today and gone tomorrow'

DJ - David Bowie

Just days after buying the 'Space oddity' box set, I found this picture disc of DJ in Parlophone's series of '40th anniversary' discs. I bought the 'Boys keep swinging' picture disc a few weeks ago in Antwerpen, so it's nice to have found this one in Paris. Like the one before, it is quite an expensive acquisition, but online prices have not been any lower.

What's most interesting about this disc - to me at least - is not the A-side, but the B-side, because it contains a version of 'Boys keep swinging' that was performed in a television show in 1979. Why Parlophone decided to include this instead of the original B-side 'Repetition' is therefore obvious to me.

Note: now that picosong has ceased existing I will have to link to other online files to offer sound and sometimes vision with the tracks that are on my singles. In this case, it's extra interesting because you get to see the full TV performance along with the sound that's on the single. Obviously the single fades out until 2'33.  

My collection: 7" single no. 6147
Found: Fnac, Paris, July 28, 2019
Cost: 14 euro (!)
Tracks: 'DJ (2017 Tony Visconti mix - single edit)' / 'Boys keep swinging (Kenny Everett Video Show version)'

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Space oddity - David Bowie

It's hard to believe that it's already been 3½ years since David Bowie died. Since then, a shedload of new releases has seen the light of day. It's becoming more obvious every month that the record company and the rights holders are making the most of the neverending lust for new product that seems to exist.

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing which made 'Space oddity' such a big hit, Parlophone has now released a boxed set of two singles with two versions of 'Space oddity' and its B-side, 'Wild eyed boy from freecloud': the original mono versions and new 2019 mixes by Tony Visconti. The box comes with a poster, an insert detailing all the credits for the tracks and some background information and a photo card - plus of course both the singles in different picture sleeves. I used an official packshot for this post, because the glossy box can not be scanned properly!

My collection: 7" single no. 6146
Found: Gilbert Joseph, Paris, July 24, 2019
Tracks: 'Space oddity (original mono single edit)' / 'Wild eyed boy from freecloud (original mono single version)' // 'Space oddity (2019 mix - single edit)' / 'Wild eyed boy from freecloud (2019 mix - single version)'

Hélène - Julien Clerc

'Hélène' is the Eighties summer hit you may have missed if you weren't living in France or the Netherlands at the time. It was Julien Clerc's last hit in the Netherlands, peaking at number 5 in the Dutch Top 40 in the summer of 1987.

Clerc was best known for his Seventies hits 'Venise' and 'This melody' and this summery song with the mock-'Lion sleeps tonight' rhythm was a bit of a diversion in style for him. I didn't like the song very much back then, but these days it sounds fresh and much better than most music that is released these days...

My collection: 7" single no. 6145
Found: Gilbert Joseph, Paris, July 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hélène' / 'Avoir 15 ans'

Hijo de la luna (Dis-moi lune d'argent) - Mecano

When I saw this single, I had to look twice. Although the title 'Hijo de la luna' is featured prominently on the sleeve, the French subtitle is less so. And what did it mean - a French version of the song, or just a translation for the French who don't speak many languages other than French? It turned out to be the former, as made more obvious on the back of the sleeve, where lyrics for the French and Spanish versions appeared.

The Spanish band Mecano have always recorded their songs in multiple languages - and I have the single 'Une femme avec une femme' to prove it. That one was released in 1990, this one a year later - three years after 'Hijo de la luna' was recorded and one year after it was a hit in most of Europe.

My collection: 7" single no. 6144
Found: Gilbert Joseph, Paris, July 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hijo de la luna (Dis-moi lune d'argent)' / 'Hijo de la luna'

Shang shang a lang - Sylvie Vartan

During what was probably the hottest week of this year, I was on holiday in Paris with the family. And like every year there wasn't a lot of time to scour the record shops. However, last Wednesday, as the temperature was rising near 40 degrees Celsius, they went back to the apartment during the afternoon and I suddenly had a few hours on my own. Much to my dismay I found that Parisian record shops are a weird thing: they are either on holiday or unwelcoming to guests. The two shops that were open were 'Musiques Musiques' (but the owner turned me away for no apparent reason) and 'Monster Melodies' (which had closed their upper floor where the vinyl was stacked up high).

And so I had only one address left: Gilbert Joseph, a large store for second hand books, films and comics as well as records. Their second hand singles were quite interesting, I found. My first find was an old Sylvie Vartan single. 'Shang shang a lang' was written by Marty Wilde and Peter Shelley. I was so familiar with the sleeve of this single that I thought I already had it, but it turns out I didn't. It was very nice to scoop up this disc.

My collection: 7" single no. 6143
Found: Gilbert Joseph, Paris, July 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Shang shang a lang' / 'Toi mon aventure'

Friday, 19 July 2019

Living in Tooneland - Park Cafe

I bought the single 'Monsieur' four years ago, a rare Eurovision single from the act hailing from Luxembourg. I was quite surprised when I saw this single, featuring the English version of that song on the A-side. That version also appears on the B-side of 'Monsieur', but still... I was buying some Eurovision cd-singles from the same online seller so I didn't feel bad about adding this one to the stack.

The B-side 'Passion' comes from the band's 1989 album 'Goodtime boy'. That album also features 'Living in Tooneland', but not the Eurovision entry 'Monsieur'. That single remains the rarest of the two, then.

My collection: 7" single no. 6142
Found: Discogs.com, received July 19, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Living in Tooneland' / 'Passion'

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Des larmes - Mylene Farmer

'Des larmes' ('Tears') is the latest single from French superstar Mylene Farmer. She's just finished a run of concerts in Paris last month. They have been filmed, and a movie of those concerts will appear in French cinemas this November. There are some rumours that these have been her last live concerts ever - but we'll have to wait and see if those rumours are true.

The record company has employed some weird tactics surrounding Mylene's last album 'Désobéissance': four singles were released, but only two of them ('N'oublie pas' and this one) were released on 7" vinyl. The three previous singles came with a flurry of remixes, but this single only comes with an instrumental version of the track. It does not seem to matter to her fans: they will buy whatever is released - just like I do.

My collection: 7" single no. 6141
Found: Amazon France, received July 12, 2019
Cost: 7 euro
Tracks: 'Des larmes (edit radio)' / 'Des larmes (version instrumentale)'

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Heute in Jerusalem - Christina Simon

Fans of Mezzoforte, Shakatak and elevator music in general, pay attention: Christina Simon created this single especially for you! 'Heute in Jerusalem' was Austria's attempt to make it big at the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, held in - you guessed it - Jerusalem. The song was about the hope of "peace in Jerusalem", bringing "sense against the nonsense". The song scored just five points, ending up in an equal last place in a field of 19 competitors.

But Christina Simon took it a step further on the B-side of this single: the track 'Babaya' is the kind of freestyle jazz that you could easily find on the aforementioned bands' albums. This single was, by the way, the last release by her. The Eurovision attempt proved to be the deadstop for her career.

My collection: 7" single no. 6138
Found: Discogs.com, received July 12, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Heute in Jerusalem' / 'Babaya'

Tom Pillibi - Jacqueline Boyer

Jacqueline Boyer represented France at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1960 with 'Tom Pillibi', and I was glad to buy the single of that song ten years ago. Just as happy as I am now, because I have actually found a copy of the German version of that song! This single was actually made in Germany - and presumably released in that country as well.

The B-side is the German version of the song 'Si tu rencontres l'amour', but I have found no information whether Boyer recorded that song in French at all...

My collection: 7" single no. 6139
Found: Discogs.com, received July 12, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Tom Pillibi' / 'Grüss mir die Liebe'
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