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'

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Valentine's day - David Bowie

Another single from David Bowie's most recent album 'The next day', 'Valentine's day' was released as a picture disc in a partly transparent sleeve with the lyric of the song printed on it. This single actually comes with a B-side, although 'Plan' is just a short instrumental piece.

What's on the picture disc? I was wondering about that for a while, but then I realised: the album sleeve of 'The next day' uses the artwork of Bowie's album 'Heroes', and the picture disc here shows the right and left hand from that album artwork. Another clever design.

My collection: 7" single no. 5357
Found: Head, Bristol, December 18, 2013
Tracks: 'Valentine's day' / 'Plan'

The next day - David Bowie

The surprise comeback of David Bowie at the beginning of 2013 was something that took hold of the 'serious' music press all through the year. Bowie didn't do many interviews, there were some music videos but that was about it. Oh, and of course: the Japanese edition of the album had four bonus tracks whereas the European one had only three. Having ordered the Japanese edition from Europe, the end of the year came with the announcement of a "special edition" with all the tracks included and more. Nice going...

Anyway, the title track was released as a single on a white square disc. The transparent sleeve featured the title and credits, so the disc was indeed completely white. Clever design. Just a shame that the disc features the same track on both sides.

My collection: 7" single no. 5356
Found: Head, Bristol, December 18, 2013
Tracks: 'The next day' / 'The next day'

Change - Tears for Fears

The single Change was originally released as a single from Tears for Fears' debut album 'The hurting', and apparently there were different versions of the sleeve. When 'The hurting' was released as a boxed 3cd-1dvd deluxe edition, this new 7" single was offered by Universal as a limited edition bonus, featuring a reprint of a rare sleeve. Indeed, I've never seen this sleeve before, so it is probably pretty rare.

The tracks on this single are identical to the original release: 'Change' from the album and the intriguing B-side, 'The conflict'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5355
Found: Universal mail order, November 2013
Cost: nought, but the box set wasn't cheap of course.
Tracks: 'Change' / 'The conflict'

Hiroshima - Wishful Thinking

Here's another track I already had on 7", but with added Nineties pleasure. 'Hiroshima' by Wishful Thinking was re-released with a 90's mix after German singer Sandra had released her cover version of the song as a single. This single - which comes with a promotional fact sheet, by the way - presents both the original version of the song plus a remix by Dave Morgan.

Who's Dave Morgan, you ask? He was a guitarist with Electric Light Orchestra from 1981 to 1986 and also the original writer of the song, recorded by Wishful Thinking back in 1970.

My collection: 7" single no. 5354
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hiroshima (originalversion)' / 'Hiroshima (90er mix)'

Angelina - Matia Bazar

I already have a version of Angelina in my collection, but this one was pressed on red vinyl, and that is always a good excuse to buy another copy.

Fortunately, this single also comes with a different B-side, and I have to say I rather like that song. Matia Bazar have always been good at crafting melodic songs, and 'Cose' is a good example of what these Italians can do, aided with synths, drum computers and layered vocals.

My collection: 7" single no. 5353
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Angelina' / 'Cose'

Lido shuffle - Boz Scaggs

One of the songs that defined the year 1977 for me was What can I say by Boz Scaggs. Don't know why, I probably heard it a lot back then - courtesy of my sister. Another single from the same album was 'Lido shuffle', which was not as big a hit in the Netherlands, but it was still well-known.

This version of the single is a German promotional 7", with a white label. Shameful fact: I actually thought this was a different song, but I don't know the title of that one now. Fortunately, this track is another one I vaguely recall from the old days...

My collection: 7" single no. 5352
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Lido shuffle' / 'Love me tomorrow'

One love to give - Stephanie

At the turn of the year I saw Stephanie in the audience of the annual Circus show from Montreux. She looked a bit old, much older than when she released her debut album back in 1986. That's logical, I guess. Back in 1986 the old comment 'she looks better than she sings' was very much in play. I wonder if that is still the case right now.

Anyway, I have most of the singles from that debut album, but this one is a rarity: a promotion single released in Germany, featuring both the English and French versions of the song 'Flash'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5351
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'One love to give' / 'Flash'

Un poco de paz - Nicole

So when you have Ein Bisschen Frieden, A little peace, La paix sur terre, Een beetje vrede and En smule fred, there's only one more version of 'Ein Bisschen Frieden' to get hold of: 'Un poco de paz' of course. It's the Spanish version of the 1982 Eurovision winner, and I have searched for this one for years. Try it yourself: when you come across it online it's a pretty expensive item.

At the Record Fair in Utrecht, which takes place every six months, I never saw this single before either, but during the last edition I was finally lucky. If the price seems a bit high to you, you have to consider that shipping is usually part of the deal when ordering online. So I think I still got a good deal. Now I'll never have to buy a Nicole single anymore...

My collection: 7" single 5350
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Un poco de paz' / 'Thank you, merci, danke'

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