Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Danube - M

You wouldn't be far off the mark if you associated the letter M with that one hit single, Popmuzik, from 1979. Personally I always preferred Moonlight and muzak, a track taken from the same album 'New York London Paris Munich', but that's as far as the general public's recall of Robin Scott's work goes.

After three albums M was dropped by his label. At this point Robin Scott signed to Stiff Records and released the single 'Danube', featuring his girlfriend Brigit Novik on vocals. The single was released on yellow vinyl with a transparent sleeve on which a blue M was printed. With the single in it, this M turned green in parts - what a nice effect. High marks for the novelty effect!

My collection: 7" single no. 6019
Found: Discogs.com, received March 19, 2019
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Danube' / 'Neutron'

Word up - Melanie G

After the Nineties were taken over by the Spice Girls, the group fell apart as quickly as they'd appeared in the charts and the members all went solo. Melanie G - who was previously called Melanie B, but changed that last letter after her marriage with Jimmy Gulzar - released a cover version of Cameo's 'Word up' in 1999. Interesting fact: 'Word up' was actually her only release as Melanie G. In 2000 she released her debut album 'Hot' as Melanie B. That's how brief her marriage was...

This jukebox release features the song in the radio edit and a remix version. I wasn't particularly intent on owning this single but as part of a bigger mail order I didn't mind getting it, especially since it wasn't that expensive.

My collection: 7" single no. 6020
Found: Discogs.com, received March 19, 2019
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Word up (radio edit)' / 'Word up (Tim's dance mix)'

Menina do alto da serra - Tonicha

Tonicha was born as Antónia de Jesus Montes Tonicha on 8 March 1946, in Beja, Alentejo, Portugal. She represented Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 1971, with the song 'Menina do alto da serra' ('Girl from the country mountain'). She finished on ninth place in a field of eighteen competitors.

'Menina do alto da serra' is a classic Eurovision song, the kind you don't get to hear anymore these days. It's beautiful and melodious. This copy comes straight from Portugal, where I ordered it, and despite its age it looks almost like new.

My collection: 7" single no. 6012
Found: Discogs.com, received March 13, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Menina do alto da serra' / 'Mulher'

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Midnight - Coldplay

Coldplay has become, for some, the epitome of uncool. Still the band manages to release some cool songs from time to time - although I must say that I lost track of them in recent years. I couldn't resist buying this single, though: it was released for Record Store Day in 2014, and limited to just 3000 copies. The B-side contains no music - it just has an etching which frankly isn't even that beautiful. 'Midnight' was taken from the band's album 'Ghost stories', also released in 2014.

I found this single while shopping in Delft, in a real 'bricks and mortar' record shop. 'Support your local record shop' a huge banner inside screamed. 'I would love to', I thought, 'but where I live there are no more record shops'. Still I didn't mind supporting this record shop because they did have a good selection: I also bought two cd's together with this single. It was a good day. It felt good buying music in a real record shop. Shit, I'm getting old.

My collection: 7" single no. 6017
Found: Sounds, Delft, March 16, 2019
Tracks: 'Midnight'

Leyla - Vayta

Vayta was born as Seid Memić on March 8, 1950. He was the vocalist for the Yugoslav rock band Teška Industrija between 1975 and 1979. In 1981, he was selected to represent Yugoslavia with the song 'Leyla'. The song ended up in 15th place in a field of 20 competitors, despite its noticeable dramatic qualities. This single is a Portuguese copy, which isn't surprising because it came from a Portuguese seller from whom I ordered quite a few singles.

Vayta went on to present a children's programme throughout the Eighties. In 2007, Teška Industrija reunited and released a new album, 'Kantina'. They continued to released new albums, their most recent being 'Selfie' (2016).

My collection: 7" single no. 6014
Found: Discogs.com, received March 13, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Leyla (Yugoslavian version)' / 'Leyla (English version)'

Both sides now - Clannad & Paul Young

After a successful album campaign for 'From time to time', a collection of Paul's hits since he went solo, he recorded 'Both sides now' with those Irish folk giants Clannad. The track was created for the motion picture 'Switch'. The single wasn't very successful; it peaked at number 74 in the UK singles chart. At the same time, it was the first time that Clannad appeared in the Canadian singles chart. No wonder: 'Both sides now' was a cover of a song by their beloved Joni Mitchell.

The B-side of this single features 'Broken man', a track taken from Paul's debut album 'No parlez'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6008
Found: Discogs.com, received March 9, 2019
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Both sides now' / 'Broken man'

Monday, 18 March 2019

Matador - Jeff Wayne

People who know me, know that any activities involving sports or anything associated with sports turn me off big time. So it's quite ironic that I should buy this single - a theme tune for the 1982 World Cup. In my defence: this is a Jeff Wayne single and since I am slightly obsessed with Jeff Wayne this single qualified as a nice-to-have in my book.

It was one of Jeff's first single releases since the very successful 'War of the worlds' campaign and it is an interesting instrumental piece. The B-side is named 'Henry Higgins', presumably titled after the English bullfighter who lived between 1944 and 1978. 'Matador' reached number 57 in the UK singles charts in the summer of 1982.

My collection: 7" single no. 6010
Found: Discogs.com, received March 12, 2019
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Matador' / 'Henry Higgins'

Bravo tu as gagné - Mireille Mathieu

I wonder how many Abba fans are aware that this track happened. I don't recall any news items about this back in 1981, but it is pretty astounding that Benny, Björn and Frida contributed backing vocals to 'Bravo tu as gagné', a French cover version of their then-recent hit 'The winner takes it all', recorded by Mireille Mathieu. The back cover of this single even shows a photograph of the four in the studio. Why Agnetha wasn't present, I don't know - she was probably sulking at home somewhere.

The song was actually produced by Benny and Björn as well, which makes it almost an Abba single. I found this single while shopping online. It was a big surprise for me, especially since the single wasn't particularly expensive. You'd think that any rare Abba track would fetch a lot of money.

My collection: 7" single no. 6009
Found: Discogs.com, received March 9, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Bravo tu as gagné' / 'Viens chanter pour le Bon Dieu'

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Die Roboter - Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk singles are pretty rare, so whenever I see one for an affordable price I leap at the chance to own it. Even if, in this case, the state of the sleeve is a bit questionable. 'Die Roboter' is the original German version of the track better known as 'The robots' in English speaking countries, and it was released in 1978.

Taken from the album 'Die Mensch Machine', the single reached number 25 in the German singles chart and number 23 in Austria. The track was remixed for the album 'The Mix' in 1991 and got to number 18 in Germany then.

My collection: 7" single no. 6006
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, March 2, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Die Roboter' / 'Spacelab'

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Bang-a-boomerang - Sven & Charlotte

Svenne Hedlund and Charlotte Walker met in 1967 when Svenne was the vocalist in the band Hep Stars, which also included Benny Andersson who would go on to form Abba. They spent time together during the Swedish leg of Lotta's concert tour with the American band the Sherrys. Upon Lotta's return to America, the pair missed each other so greatly that Lotta soon travelled back to Sweden; this time with her three children. Seeking parental approval, Lotta also brought her mother to meet Svenne.

After the Hepstars broke up and Abba became a phenomenon  after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, Sven and Charlotte competed in the Swedish national finals for the Contest in 1975 with 'Bang-a-boomerang'. The song was composed by the male members of Abba, who didn't want to represent Sweden a year after having won the contest, so they gave the duo the song instead. It became a big hit in Scandinavia. Abba recorded the song as well, but from a Scandinavian perspective, this is primarily a Seven & Charlotte hit.

My collection: 7" single no. 6005
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, March 2, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Bang-a-boomerang' / 'Roly-poly girl'

The best things in life are free - Luther Vandross & Janet Jackson

The movie 'Mo' Money' featured this track by Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson, 'The best things in life are free'. The 12" version presents six versions of that track. It can become a bit of a monotonous affair to listen to these remixes one after another, despite the fact that two different remixers have done their thing.

The first two tracks on the B-side were created by David Morales and Frankie Knuckles, whereas the three other remixes were made by CJ Mackintosh. The whole thing was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who were also responsible for Janet Jackson's other output at the time.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received March 2, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'The best things in life are free (LP version)', 'The best things in life are free (CJ's UK 12" with rap)', 'The best things in life are free (CJ's Mackapella)' / 'The best things in life are free (Classic 12" with rap)', 'The best things in life are free (Def version)', 'The best things in life are free (CJ's UK dub 1)'


Friday, 8 March 2019

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

There's been a lot of attention for Kate Bush these last few months, on the occasion of her 'Remastered' box sets. Re-releases of Kate Bush music have been very scarce - between 1978 and now there has even only been one official compilation album.

Which is why this 'Old gold' single is a bit of a rarity too. It presents Kate's first two hits on one single. It was released in 1983, while EMI also released the 7" singles box set 'The Single File'. Interestingly, this single features the single version of 'The man with the child in his eyes', which has never been released on any Kate Bush CD until now (although it does appear on a compilation CD of love songs somewhere...).

My collection: 7" single no. 6004
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, March 2, 2019
Cost: 3,5 euro
Tracks: 'Wuthering heights' / 'The man with the child in his eyes'

Don't give up - Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush / Big time - Peter Gabriel

During the past year I have 'sanitized' my collection of Kate Bush singles. The ones I had - and which were featured on this blog - were often damaged and/or in damaged sleeves. As a Kate Bush fan, that wouldn't do, so I have bought new copies of most of them by now. There's still a handful missing, but I am almost satisfied that I have good UK, Dutch and German copies of those singles now (and even a few French ones!).

While looking for the last few, I found this American single, featuring 'Don't give up', the famous duet with Peter Gabriel, backed with Gabriel's 'Big time'. It is a re-released 'oldies' single in the 'Back to back hits' series. No-one knows when this single was released, apparently. I couldn't resist buying this little gem.

My collection: 7" single no. 6003
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, March 2, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Don't give up' (Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush) / 'Big time' (Peter Gabriel)

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Heaven can wait - Paul Young

Having had his biggest successes in the Eighties, Paul Young soldiered on in the Nineties with his album 'Other voices' (1990). One of the singles from that album was the opening track 'Heaven can wait', written by Paul Rutter. The single was a failure, peaking only at number 71 in the UK singles chart.

It would take a duet with Italian singer Zucchero to revive his career a year later, his last top 10 hit 'Senza una donna'. Later albums could not equal the worldwide success he had with his first three solo albums.

My collection: 7" single no. 6002
Found: Discogs.com, received March 1, 2019
Cost: 1,5 pound
Tracks: 'Heaven can wait' / 'Back where I started'

Wisconsin - Peter Shelley

The song 'Wisconsin' appears as the B-side of the single Little Julie, which I bought just six months ago. And here's the UK single of that very song, this time on the A-side. Released on the Magnet label, this single did not reach the UK charts, contrary to 'Gee baby' and Love me love my dog, which were minor hits in the UK.

This single is mainly an addition to my ever expanding Marty Wilde collection, but it has to be said that 'Wisconsin' is a beautiful composition.

My collection: 7" single no. 6001
Found: Discogs.com, received March 1, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Wisconsin' / 'I'm flying'
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