Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Rhapsody in blue - Leonard Bernstein

As you can gather from this blog, my collection focuses on pop music, but I do enjoy a bit of classical music now and then. Whether George Gershwin's compositions are actually classical music is another debate, because his work borders on the modern and has even been turned into pop songs by the likes of Kate Bush and Fun Boy Three.

Anyway, whatever: this single was interesting enough to warrant a place in my collection. It's an outtake from an album that presents 'Rhapsody in blue' and 'An American in Paris', released in 1959 by Philips in the Netherlands. This single cuts 'Rhapsody in blue' in two and presents the two parts on a 7" single, to be played on 33 rpm, in order to offer the full 16 minute work.

My collection: 7" single no. 6294
Found: Plato, Leiden, May 30, 2020
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Rhapsody in blue (part 1)' / 'Rhapsody in blue (part 2)'

Sunday, 31 May 2020

I've found love (now that I have found you) - Love & kisses

I'm not really sure if a sleeve like the one shown here would be well received nowadays, with all the #metoo scandals we have been witnessing over the past few years. But back in 1977, this wasn't a problem. Love & Kisses was a disco group assembled by European producer Alec Costandinos, using a variety of male/female singers. Costandinos was born Alexandre Kouyoumdjiam in Cairo, Egypt, in 1944 to an Armenian father and a Greek mother.

The debut album consisted of just two songs: 'Accidental lover' and 'I've found love (now that I've found you)'. This single contains the same two tracks, but obviously in edited form, because the LP presented versions that exceeded 15 minutes.The single reached number 12 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 6293
Found: Plato, Leiden, May 30, 2020
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'I've found love (now that I've found you)' / 'Accidental lover'

Friday, 29 May 2020

Since you've gone - The Wilde Three

The previous two entries on this blog came with the big one: this single. I have been hunting for the two Wilde Three singles for decades now, but they are very rare and so I haven't been able to get them - until now. 'Since you've gone' was the first release by the Wilde Three, the group formed by Marty Wilde after his solo career didn't go as well as before. Figuring that there was a trend for harmony groups, he enlisted his wife Joyce and a young unknown singer called Justin Hayward to record a handful of tracks. This single shows exactly what they were made of: two great songs written by Marty (using his pseudonym Frere Manston) and performed with passion by three excellent singers.

The single didn't chart, and Justin soon parted ways again. However, it was Marty who encouraged him to write his own song material. Without him, the world might never have heard songs like 'Nights in white satin', for that was a song penned by Hayward just two years later.

Meanwhile, this single sits proudly in my record collection now. And if anyone can find the other one, 'I cried', I will gladly pay. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6292
Found: Discogs.com, received May 29, 2020
Cost: enough
Tracks: 'Since you've gone' / 'Just as long'

He's misstra know it all - Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder has a lot of big hits on his name, but sometimes even Stevie Wonder released unsuccessful singles. 'He's misstra know it all' was one of them. It was taken from his album 'Innervisions' as the fifth single, but only managed to chart in New Zealand and the UK, peaking at number 18 and number 10 respectively.

While scouring through a list of singles sold by an online dealer I came across this title and heard the song for the very first time. It was immediately catchy to my ears, which made me wonder why the single wasn't more successful in other territories. But it's nice to discover something new sometimes - even if it's almost 50 years old.

My collection: 7" single no. 6291
Found: Discogs.com, received May 29, 2020
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'He's misstra know it all' / 'You can't judge a book by its cover'

Dizzy - Tommy Roe

American singer-songwriter Tommy Roe was born on May 9, 1942 started his career in the USA, but moved to the UK after a successful tour with Roy Orbison in that country. In 1964, Roe recorded 'Diane From Manchester Square' about a girl who worked at EMI House, when it was based in London's Manchester Square. Sales of this single in the UK were poor, and it failed to chart.

Other singles were more successful, such as 'Sweet Pea' and 'Hooray for Hazel', both top 10 hits in Canada. In 1969, his song 'Dizzy' went to number 1 on the UK Singles Chart as well as Canada and the USA. It remains easily his most remembered song, and I picked up a copy of this single while buying two more online because I still remembered it despite not having heard it for decades. So that means something.

My collection: 7" single no. 6290
Found: Discogs.com, received May 29, 2020
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Dizzy' / 'The you I need'

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Dancing in the city (Summer '92 remixes) - Marshall, Hain

'Who comes up with these things?' is a question I ask myself sometimes when I hear remixes of great old songs. Take for instance this 'Summer 92' take on Marshall & Hain's 'Dancing in the city'. Steve Proctor may have had a good time creating this (as evidenced on the title of the B-side: it's certainly self-indulgent but not a pleasure to listen to!) but the song suffers.

I must say that I am a fan of the British duo but these remixes don't really do them justice. One has to wonder what would have happened if they'd stayed together longer. Their music would certainly have been a joy to listen to with more eighties influences. As it stands, Kit Hain now lives in the USA and has become an author of novels, whereas Julian Marshall is a songwriter, composer, teacher, lecturer, mentor and musician.

My collection: 7" single no. 6288
Found: Discogs.com, received May 27, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Dancing in the city (Summer '92 remix)' / 'Dancing in the city (Steve's self-indulgent trumpet mix)'

Im Wartesaal zum grossen Gluck - Walter Andreas Schwarz

German singer Walter Andreas Schwarz was born on June 2, 1913. In 1956, he was one of two performers representing Germany during the first ever Eurovision Song Contest. His placing is not known, but it is rumoured that he finished second. The song was released as a single but commercially, it was not very successful. Other notable records were not released.

Schwarz went on to become a successful author of novels and especially radio dramas. One of his last contributions was an adaption of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' in 1990 and 1991. In 1985, he appeared – along with many other former German representatives – in the interval act of the German national final, which was a medley of all German entries until that year. For many years, he lived in London before he moved back to Germany. He died on April 1, 1992 in Heidelberg.

When you listen to this song, you can hear how different music for Eurovision Song Contests was at the time. It is one of the many attractions of getting a collection of Eurovision singles together.

My collection: 7" single no. 6287
Found: Discogs.com, received May 26, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Im Wartesaal zum grossen Gluck' / 'Fur 300 Francs'

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Love is a lonely harbour - Fra Lippo Lippi

Although most people will remember 'Shouldn't have to be like that' as Fra Lippo Lippi's only achievement, they actually released several albums and singles. Their album 'Songs' (from which 'Shouldn't have to be like that' was taken) remains their best in my opinion, but 1989's 'The colour album' is a recent discovery and can almost compete with it.

This single, 'Love is a lonely harbour' is one of the best tracks on that album. With inspiring lyrics and beautiful music it grabbed me from the first listen. It begs for an extended version, but unfortunately, that doesn't exist.

My collection: 7" single no. 6286
Found: Discogs.com, received May 23, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Love is a lonely harbour' / 'Shouldn't have to be like that (live)'

Everyday I write the book - Elvis Costello and the Attractions

I recently re-discovered Elvis Costello's 'Everyday I write the book', a song that was regularly on TV back in 1983 and 1984, when MTV didn't yet exist in Europe and we still had the great Sky Channel and Music Box to provide us with daily doses of music videos. I was always waiting for my favourites to show up, so this video kindof got in the way of that.

I don't know, exactly, how this song suddenly crawled its way up from the dark corners of my memory, but I am glad it did. It's one of Elvis' finest pop songs. His career has taken many turns since then but the early pop stuff never loses its charm.

My collection: 7" single no. 6285
Found: Discogs.com, received May 23, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Everyday I write the book' / 'Heathen town'

Monday, 25 May 2020

Främling - Carola Haggkvist

Although I realise that I already had the A-side track of this single on the B-side of 'Je ogen hebben geen geheimen' by Carola, I couldn't resist buying the original Swedish release of her 1983 Eurovision Song Contest entry. With a different sleeve and the original Swedish version of 'Life' (on the B-side of 'Love isn't love') the set is now complete. Well, almost, because there is also the multi-language 12" version, which I am still looking for.

The song was a good success in various countries, thanks to the English (and Dutch!) version, but the original Swedish version remains the most charming one. Of course, Carola went on to win Eurovision by the end of the decade - but with a much less charming song.

My collection: 7" single no. 6284
Found: Discogs.com, received May 23, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Främling' / 'Liv'

Lost in your love - John Paul Young

John Paul Young will forever be remembered for that other single, 'Love is in the air', but that isn't the only single he ever released. In fact, between 1975 and 1983 he released ten studio albums and a multitude of singles.

'Lost in your love' was taken from the same album as 'Love is in the air', which explains why it sounds so similar. The single became a minor hit in the USA, Austria and the Netherlands only. The real pull of this particular single is that it is pressed on gold vinyl. Well.... gold in this case means a sort of oily brown, but it's still coloured vinyl.

My collection: 7" single 6283
Found: Discogs.com, received May 14, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Lost in your love' / 'Standing in the rain'

Summer kisses winter tears - Julee Cruise

Julee Cruise became a big star for a moment when she rode the wave of the phenomenon that was 'Twin Peaks' in the early 1990's. Her music was produced by David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti, giving the single 'Falling' the same mysterious atmosphere as the legendary TV series. When the series ended, Cruise had already been forgotten by most people.

But she still released one more interesting single: 'Summer kisses winter tears' was recorded for the motion picture 'Until the end of the world' and still produced by Lynch and Badalamenti. It's a short but engaging track, which I've had on CD for decades now. I was glad to find this 7" vinyl version.

My collection: 7" single no. 6282
Found: Discogs.com, received May 14, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Summer kisses winter tears' / 'Falling'

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Popcorn - Tom Spencer

Tom Spencer was one of many people who recorded a cover version of the Gershon Kingsley tune 'Popcorn', but he is the only one - as far as I know at least - who can claim to have recorded the 'Deutsche Originalversion', in other words: the German original version. Which in itself seems like a lie, because the original version of 'Popcorn' was certainly not German.

As for Tom Spencer, he is an unknown artist who released only this single and a single called 'Ghostrider (Riders in the sky)', both in 1972.

My collection: 7" single no. 6281
Found: Discogs.com, received May 12, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Popcorn' / 'Moog March'

Tattoo - Mike Oldfield

I guess I should save this single for December because of its seasonal B-side, but heck, this is Mike Oldfield and this is Tubular Bells, so I couldn't really wait that long. 'Tattoo' was released in 1992 and charted in - you guessed it - December of that year, peaking at number 33 in the UK singles chart.

It was one of three single releases taken from his album 'Tubular Bells II', a different take on his classic 1970's album. Years later, he would also make 'Millennium Bells' and 'Tubular Bells III', and we're all still waiting for 'Tubular Bells IV', which is rumoured to be an interactive thing. We can't wait.

My collection: 7" single no. 6280
Found: Discogs.com, received May 12, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Tattoo (edit)' / 'Silent night'
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