Saturday, 28 March 2020

Wuthering heights / The man with the child in his eyes - Kate Bush

There's not much to write about Kate Bush that hasn't already been written a thousand times. She is undoubtedly one of the most talented women to have appeared on the music scene in the last century and her music is likely to last for decades to come.

Old Gold was quick to realize this when they released this double A-sided single featuring her first two hit singles in 1983, just five years after they were originally released. 'Wuthering heights' and 'The man with the child in his eyes' appear on this disc in their original single versions, which for the latter is quite unique, as that version has rarely appeared on a physical format since.

My collection: 7" single no. 6154
Found: Discogs.com, received August 9, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Wuthering heights' / 'The man with the child in his eyes'

No more lonely nights - Paul McCartney

Even a music legend can't get it right every time. Paul McCartney has been a victim of ridicule for his single 'We all stand together', the syrupy duet 'Ebony and ivory' and even his treatment of his deluxe editions of past albums, where digital files were sometimes favoured over physical releases.

A more personal example of failure for me is the extended version of 'No more lonely nights'. It is one of my favourite McCartney tracks, but the ballad version - present here on the B-side - is many times better than the so-called 'playout version'. And then there's the extended version... what a mess! I wanted to hear this version, which was my reason for buying this 12" single, but it turned out to be a disappointment. It will probably be up for sale soon. Any takers?

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'No more lonely nights (extended version)' / 'Silly love songs', 'No more lonely nights (ballad)'

No more winds to guide me - Maywood

In 1990, the Dutch duo Maywood participated in the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Ik wil alles met je delen'. It was their attempt to win back some of the popularity they had in the first half of the Eighties. Although the international audience probably didn't understand the sentimental and frankly trite lyrics, it didn't do the song any favours.

This English version of the song, 'No more winds to guide me' at least features better lyrics. The single was released internationally, but didn't achieve chart success. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6273
Found: Discogs.com, received March 25, 2020
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'No more winds to guide me' / 'I was born to love you'

Popcorn - Jam

This single is actually quite exciting for me, because it is the first time that I bought a single on the BASF label. We all know this manufacturer of tapes and such, but I've never actually seen a 7" single with a BASF label.

And then there is the track: another cover version of Gershon Kingsley's 'Popcorn'. There are so many versions of this single, and I just love adding to my collection for some reason.

Then there is the artist. According to the sleeve, this is 'the big hit from France'. Knowing that Kingsley was a German-American composer, we have to assume that Jam is a band from France. Assume, because there is no information about Jam. Just that this is one of only two singles they released. The other one? 'Jingle bells'....

My collection: 7" single no. 6270
Found: Discogs.com, received March 25, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn' / 'Ecco'

The woman and the girl in me - Kate

I already bought the original Norwegian version of 'The woman and the girl in me' by Kate, titled 'Mitt liv', six month ago. But while ordering some singles this German pressing turned up and I couldn't resist buying this.

So what happened to Kate after Eurovision? She performed the song 'Welcome to Lillehammer' at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Then in 1998, Jørn Hansen's 'Med gullet for øyet' was the official song for the Paralympic Winter Games in Nagano in Japan in 1998.
 

She was previously married and took the surname Gulbrandsen Syversen. The couple had one child together and separated in 2006.

My collection: 7" single no. 6269
Found: Discogs.com, received March 25, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'The woman and the girl in me' / 'Touch my fantasy'

Liebe gibt und nimmt - Corinne Hermès

In 1983, Luxembourg managed to win the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Si la vie est cadeau', performed by Corinne Hermès. I remember seeing the programme live - it was one of the first times that I was allowed to stay up until the end - and wondering why this song, out of all the songs that were performed that night, was rewarded with the prize.

This single presents the song in German and English. It is a nice curiosity, but listening to these two versions I am strengthened in my opinion that this really isn't a good composition. It's hard to listen to the cold, emotionless vocals of Hermès and the lyrics do little to improve the song. If it were me, any of the runners up would have been better winners.

My collection: 7" single no. 6272
Found: Discogs.com, received March 25, 2020
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Liebe gibt und nimmt' / 'Words of love'

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Popcorn - Orchester Volkmar Schmidt

Now that many countries are in some form of isolation, either self-isolated or instructed by their respective governments, there may be some sense of what people in the German Democratic Republic were going through for some decades after World War II. Despite their disappearance behind the iron curtain, music penetrated the country, either as performed by the original artists or as a cover version.

This single, released by state record company Amiga features a cover version of the popular Gershon Kingsley tune Popcorn, as performed by the Orchester Volkmar Schmidt. It was one of the singles I received in a package of six today. I'm glad that despite all the quarantines, international mail is still functioning.

My collection: 7" single no. 6270
Found: Discogs.com, received March 25, 2020
Cost: 3 euro

Tracks: 'Popcorn' (Orchester Volkmar Schmidt) / 'Eine neue Liebe ist wie ein neues Leben' (Peter Albert & Orchester Günter Gollasch)

Kiss me - Marty Wilde

I've already got a lot of singles by Marty Wilde - you have seen them on this blog no doubt - but there are still some missing. For instance, this one. 'Kiss me' was released in 1964. After having been signed to Philips for years, he switched labels in the early Sixties, for an unsuccessful run of singles on the Columbia label.

Unsuccessful in terms of chart success, because artistically these songs stand the test of time very well. Both sides of this single were written by Wilde himself, and recorded with his own backing band, the Wild Cats.

My collection: 7" single no. 6267
Found: Discogs.com, received March 20, 2020
Cost: 7 pounds
Tracks: 'Kiss me' / 'My what a woman'

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Sensitive - Mick Karn

I already owned a 7" single and a 12" single of 'Sensitive' by Mick Karn, but this latest addition is a recent discovery. Much to my surprise, this Dutch pressing of the single features a remix version of the track - a different remix from the one that appeared on the 12", surprisingly enough. While the 12" version has a duration of 4 minutes and 15 seconds, this single version is half a minute shorter and also appears to have been released some time after the single's original release. And of course, it has a slightly different sleeve!

You can understand this was the latest addition to my ever expanding 'Wilde' collection, because both sides of this single were produced and mixed by Mick Karn and Ricky Wilde.

My collection: 7" single no. 6266
Found: Discogs.com, received March 19, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Sensitive (remix)' / 'The sound of waves'


Boogaloo - Lotta Engberg

I bought '4 bugg & en coca cola' last year, fully aware that there was another version of this song as well. 'Boogaloo' was released shortly after that single, after the Eurovision officials decided that using a trademark name was not allowed on their stage. And so, not only the title of the song was changed, but also some of the lyrics.

The result is heard on this single: 'Boogaloo', released in time for the 1987 Eurovision Song Contest. The song ended up in twelfth place in Eurovision, in a field of 22 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 6265
Found: Discogs.com, received March 19, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Boogaloo (English version)' / 'Boogaloo (Swedish version)'

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Kun olen yksin - Tomi

Tom Jones recorded 'All I can say is goodbye', written by Marty Wilde and Ronnie Scott, on his 1968 album 'Help yourself'. That track was not released as a single - but it should have been - but other artists have had a go at the song, and Finnish singer Tomi was one of them.

He released 'Kun olen yksin' in 1969. The lyrics were translated by Finnish musician, producer and songwriter Reino Bäckman (1937-1990), who also translated the B-side: a version of 'Through the eyes of love', made famous by Engelbert Humperdinck that same year. When you listen to 'Kun olen yksin', you can almost hear Tom Jones in this version, but I doubt Tom Jones has ever recorded a song in Finnish...

My collection: 7" single n. 6264
Found: Discogs.com, received March 12, 2020
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Kun olen yksin' / 'Toinen tie'

Jezamine - Tommy Körberg

As a fan of Marty Wilde's songwriting, I have made a point of collecting cover versions of his songs whenever I get a chance to buy a copy for a not-too-ridiculous amount. Tommy Körberg's version of 'Jezamine' certainly qualifies as one of the more interesting ones, since it is sung in Swedish; the lyrics were translated by producer, lyricist and lyrics translator Per-Anders Boquist (1931-2014). The musical accompaniment was provided by Lars Samuelson's Orchestra.

And if you think the B-side, 'En som du' sounds familiar, it is the song 'Red red wine', written by Neil Diamond and made famous during the 1980's by UB40.

My collection: 7" single no. 6263
Found: Discogs.com, received March 12, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Jezamine' / 'En som du'

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Burn it up (Mr. DJ) - Risqué

Although I already own a 12" single of Risqué's 'Burn it up (Mr. DJ)', there was still another one worth seeking out. This one is the original 12" single, released in the Netherlands when the single was released. And the remix is created by Dutch remix legend Ben Liebrand.

Fans will have been disappointed by the sleeve of this record, because it doesn't come in the same picture sleeve as the 7" single. But I do know that Risqué fan Jos will be excited by this extended version nonetheless.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received February 28, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Burn it up (Mr. DJ) [extended]' / 'Burn it up (Mr. DJ) [extended instrumental]'

Someday I'll find you - Shola Ama & Craig Armstrong / I've been to a marvellous party - The Divine Comedy

This single was taken from 'Twentieth-Century Blues: The Songs of Noël Coward', an album curated by Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys. Profits from the album were donated to the Red Hot AIDS Charitable Trust. The single reached number 28 in the UK singles chart.

Both tracks on this single were among the strongest contributions. Shola Ama's take on 'Someday I'll find you' was made more compelling by the Massive Attack-alike instrumentation by Craig Armstrong, and The Divine Comedy contributed a decidedly stomping version of 'I've been to a marvellous party'. You have to wonder what Noël Coward would have thought of these modern interpretations.

My collection: 7" single no. 6262
Found: Discogs.com, received February 27, 2020
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Someday I'll find you' (Shola Ama & Craig Armstrong) / 'I've been to a marvellous party' (The Divine Comedy)

Before - Pet Shop Boys

During the bleak Nineties, the 7" single format was given up by record companies in favour of cd-singles. We all know what happened next: the music industry collapse under the pressure of cd copying and illegal downloading and reinvented itself with the even more worthless digital single, so that most singles aren't even released on a physical format anymore.

So all hail the 7" single. It seems there was a lively industry of so-called 'jukebox singles', so that this single by the Pet Shop Boys, 'Before', released in 1993 as the first single from their album 'Bilingual', was only available as one of those, and not with a pretty picture sleeve. I actually have a few of these 'jukebox singles' by the Pet Shop Boys, and only one is now missing: their cover version of 'Somewhere'. I'm sure it will turn up somewhere.

My collection: 7" single no. 6261
Found: Discogs.com, received February 27, 2020
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Before' / 'The truck driver and his mate'

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Be my next ex-girlfriend - La muñeca de sal & Anthony Reynolds

La muñeca de sal is a Spanish band, which formed during the 1990's, releasing their debut album 'Ultra-Realidad' in 1997. Welsh singer Anthony Reynolds joined them on this EP with the appealing title 'Be my next ex-girlfriend', released in 2010.

The pull of this EP was a cover version of Colin Vearncombe a.k.a. Black's 'Wonderful life', but rather surprisingly, it is the weakest track of this three track EP. Probably because the execution of this perfect song is a bit shoddy for my taste. The instrumental 'Luto', however, is beautifully atmospheric and the A-side track, 'Be my next ex-girlfriend', is a solid pop song. Sometimes singles can surprise you.

My collection: 7" single no. 6260
Found: Discogs.com, received February 13, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds

Tracks: 'Be my next ex-girlfriend' / 'Wonderful life', 'Luto'

Where do I go - Private Lives

I already own quite a few releases by Private Lives, a band from the UK which I discovered back when 'Living in a world (turned upside down)' was a minor hit in the UK and on Dutch pirate radio. Indeed I thought I had all of their singles by now, but I discovered what was probably their debut single recently.

'Where do I go' was released in 1980 on the WEA label, two years before they released their first of many singles on Chrysalis/EMI. It doesn't sound as polished as their later work, but that does give it a certain charm as well.

My collection: 7" single no. 6259
Found: Discogs.com, received February 13, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Where do I go' / 'On your own'

I feel for you - Prince

Utter the words 'I feel for you', and most people who are into Eighties music will immediately respond with the name Chaka Khan. For it was her who made the song immortal, with the stuttering 'Ch-ch-chaka khan' intro provided by rapper Melle Mel, and its funky sound effects. But the song was written by Prince - and not only that, he recorded the song on his eponymous second album, released in October 1979.

Prince passed away in 2016, and since then, his famous 'vault' has been used to release several albums and singles. This single is the most recent release, pressed on purple vinyl (how appropriate) and presenting for the first time a demo he recorded for the song. It is an interesting release, because you can clearly hear that it was recorded on cassette and it runs for over four minutes, longer than the eventual album version. The fact that the sleeve is pretty beautiful too makes this an interesting package for Prince fans and music lovers everywhere.

My collection: 7" single no. 6257
Found: Prince website, received February 5, 2020
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'I feel for you (acoustic demo)' / 'I feel for you'

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Chenko (tenka-io) - Red Box

I don't really buy a lot of 12" singles anymore: most of the extended remixes of my favourite artists have been released on cd - and that has become the preferred format in my household. That, and 7" singles, of course. 12" singles simply take up too much space. But then every once in a while I find a 12" that actually contains a rare remix.

Take for instance this 12" of 'Chenko (Tenka-io)'. Released in 1987, it was a re-release of an early single with a new remix on the 12". Amazingly, none of the 12" mixes of Red Box have ever been released on cd, and as you can hear on this one, there have been some great ones. This disc presents both a new remix of 'Chenko' and the extended version of the previous single 'Heart of the sun'. Both are pretty wonderful and would certainly warrant a cd release. Until then, I'll have to keep this in my collection.

Red Box actually released a new cd last year, which is certainly worth checking out. 

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Chenko (tenka-io) (No Reservations mix)' / 'Speeches', 'Heart of the sun (Slash and burn)'
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