Wednesday, 20 February 2019

War of the worlds EP - Jeff Wayne

Several singles from the legendary 'War of the world' album by Jeff Wayne have already been featured on this blog, but today's addition to my collection is especially rare. While I was browing the Discogs website - I have done that a lot lately - I discovered this promotional EP, released in New Zealand only. Normally I wouldn't consider buying a single just like that, but it was cheap and the same seller also had an extremely rare New Zealand pressing of Kim Wilde's 'Kids in America'. It was simply an offer I couldn't resist.

So here it is, a rare EP from New Zealand with four tracks from 'War of the worlds' in edited form. These edits appear on the singles for 'Horsell Common and the Heat Ray', 'Forever autumn' and 'Thunderchild' as well, but anyway...

My collection: 7" single no. 5999
Found: Discogs.com, received February 20, 2019
Cost: $5
Tracks: 'Horsell Common and the Heat Ray', 'Forever autumn' / 'The fighting machine', 'Thunder child'

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

The one that got away - Nana Mouskouri

Collecting Eurovision Song Contest singles is both a joy and a pain. The older the singles are, the more expensive they get. And in the case of artists that became famous, they can get very expensive indeed.

You can imagine my surprise when I found this single by Nana Mouskouri in a thrift store during a day out in Haarlem. Nana famously participated in the Contest in 1963 with 'A force de prier' for Luxembourg, but I haven't found that single until now - at least not for a reasonable price. This single features the English version of that song. After buying the single I checked online what it would cost me... Well that would be at least 30 times as much - not including shipping. My day started well.

My collection: 7" single no. 5998
Found: Rataplan, Haarlem, February 19, 2019
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'The one that got away (A force de prier)', 'My colouring book' / 'No moon at all', 'The touch of your lips'

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Danswijsje - Corry Brokken

The Eurovision Song Contest isn't often won by the best song, but in 1963 it happened: 'Dansevise' by Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann was the winner that year, representing Denmark. It is one of my favourite Eurovision tunes of all time.

What I didn't know was that previous Eurovision winner Corry Brokken (who represented the Netherlands when she won with 'Net als toen' in 1957) recorded a cover version of the song in Dutch. Entitled 'Danswijsje', the lyrics stay fairly true to the original and the music certainly does too. The B-side is called 'Ga niet weg', and that is a cover of the Swiss entry from 1963: 'T'en va pas' by Esther Ofarim, who represented Switzerland. The orchestra on this single was conducted by Jack Bulterman, who also conducted that legendary Dutch jazz ensemble The Ramblers.

My collection: 7" single no. 5997
Found: Discogs.com, received February 13, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Danswijsje' / 'Ga niet weg'

Save your love for me - Marty Wilde

In my ongoing quest for Marty Wilde singles, I have found yet another one. It is slightly damaged as you can see here, but finding a copy of 'Save your love for me' isn't easy to begin with. Released in 1963, it was one of the first singles that didn't end up in the UK singles charts, and also one of the first singles that Marty released for Columbia instead of Philips.

The hits of Marty Wilde have become very wellknown, but I have to say that I heard these two songs for the first time. And I liked them a lot. It's interesting how the music from half a century ago is more captivating than whatever's in the charts right now.

My collection: 7" single no. 5996
Found: Discogs.com, received February 12, 2019
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Save your love for me' / 'Bless my broken heart'

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Them heavy people - Ray Shell

It should be no surprise that I love Kate Bush's music, just look at my collection of Kate Bush records on this blog. I also like cover versions, so any cover version of Kate Bush songs will catch my attention. The problem is: some are good, others can be very bad.

I'm not really sure in which category Ray Shell's disco version of 'Them heavy people' should belong. It's innocent fun, but could also be considered sacrilege. It's quite weird to sing about whirling dervishes on the disco handclap beat in this track. But for some reason, it does tickle me in a pleasant way. The fact that I've searched for this single a long time (it is usually much too expensive) makes the relief that I finally own it now that much bigger.

My collection: 7" single no. 5995
Found: Discogs.com, received February 5, 2019
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Them heavy people' / 'Them heavy people (version)'

Respectable - Mel & Kim

When I bought the Japanese single of 'Showing out', the same online dealer also offered the Japanese single of 'Respectable'. And these are the only two 7" singles from Mel & Kim ever released in Japan, so that makes a complete collection in this case.

Interesting on this release is the mention of the 'dub mix' on the B-side. It is actually the very same track that is listed as 'instrumental' on the European releases of this single.

My collection: 7" single no. 5988
Found: Ebay.co.uk, received January 29, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Respectable' / 'Respectable (dub mix)'

Showing out (Get fresh at the weekend) - Mel & Kim

This single has been featured on this blog a few times before, both as a 7" single and as a 12" single (oh, and another 12" single). This Japanese 7" single is an interesting one, because it features the album version of 'Showing out', whereas the European versions had an edited single version.

Japanese singles are always interesting, of course, because the Japanese make a special package of every single: a record company sleeve with the disc in it comes with a special inlay that often features the song lyrics in English and Japanese and sometimes an extra photograph - and then there's the picture front which in this case is different from the European ones. The fact that I got this single for a low price also helped, of course.

My collection: 7" single no. 5987
Found: Ebay.co.uk, received January 29, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Showing out (Get fresh at the weekend)' / 'System (House mix)'

Friday, 1 February 2019

Love is - Vikki

I have very few 12" singles of Eurovision entries. Not that many have been made, an some of the ones that have been made are overly expensive. But every once in a while I come across one for a reasonable price - and then of course I have to have it. Especially since the remixes on such 12" singles are very rare, because they have rarely been released on CD in later years.

A good example is my most recent acquisition: Vikki represented the UK with 'Love is' in 1985. The 12" single features a special remix. Clocking in at 4 minutes and 23 seconds, it's not very much longer than the original verison but still a different take on this slightly cheesy song.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received January 29, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Love is (special remix)' / 'Lead me through the darkness'

Two hearts beat as one - U2

U2 is an undeniably popular band, and so I am surprised that somehow I always get hold of these double packs. The unforgettable fire was produced in large quantities, but Pride (In the name of love) was a rather more limited edition, and this 'Two hearts beat as one' double pack is probably even rarer.

I'm not really a U2 fan, but I love limited editions like this and a remix of 'New years day' was just too delicious to pass up on. It's one of my favourite U2 tracks, and the intro of this remix is beautiful. The US remixes were created by François Kevorkian. 'Two hearts beat as one'  reached number 18 in the UK singles chart and number 2 in Ireland.

Tracks: 'Two hearts beat as one' / 'Endless deep' // 'New years day (US remix)' / 'Two hearts beat as one (US remix)'

Here it comes again - Black

So this is an odd one. I ordered this promotional 7" single because it only had one side - the B-side was reportedly empty. And indeed, although it looks like this side can be played, the only sound on side B is the sound of silence.

On the A-side this single features 'Here it comes again', the second single from Black's 1991 album. But while the commercially available 7" contains the album version of that track, this promotional 7" single features a remix! I knew this remix from a promotional cd-single released in the USA at the time - but this single was made in England! How very confusing. Why would the record company promote a remixed version of a track when it isn't available commercially? Answers on a postcard please...

My collection: 7" single no. 5986
Found: Ebay, received January 29, 2019
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Here it comes again [remix]'

Horsell Common and the Heat Ray - Jeff Wayne

I didn't know this single existed. It was released in 1981, when Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds' album was edited into a single LP and released as 'Highlights from The War of the Worlds'. The single featured an edited version of 'Horsell Common and the Heat Ray', with an extra sprinkling of 'Ulla's here and there.

Oddly enough, this is an instrumental track and anyone could have foreseen that this wouldn't be a hit. But perhaps record company executives were more optimistic back then, I don't know. It is a nice addition to my ever growing collection of 'War of the Worlds' singles anyway.

My collection: 7" single no. 5986
Found: Vinyl Tap, received February 1, 2019
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Horsell Common and the Heat Ray' / 'Dead London'

Thursday, 17 January 2019

It's nice to be in love again - The Swarbriggs plus two

The Irish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977 was performed by the Swarbriggs Plus Two. Following on from The Swarbriggs' first appearance at the Contest two years earlier, Thomas (Tommy) and John James (Jimmy) Swarbrigg recruited Nicola Kerr and Alma Carroll to form the bizarrely named quartet The Swarbriggs Plus Two. They were dressed in dark blue outfits, with the two men wearing their blazers of that colour over white suits.


The song was performed first on the night. At the close of voting, it had received 119 points, placing third in a field of 18 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5983
Found: Discogs.com, received January 16, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'It's nice to be in love again' / 'Here we are again'

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Rayo de luna - Matia Bazar

The Italian band Matia Bazar has had a few hits in Europe, but their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest seems to have been forgotten by many. In 1979 they represented Italy with the song 'Raggio di luna'.

They recorded the song both in Italian and in Spanish - and the single containing the Spanish version appeared when I was ordering some singles from Spain recently. Of course I wanted to have it, because it's always a delight when an artist records their own song in a different language.

My collection: 7" single no. 5981
Found: Discogs.com, received January 4, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Rayo de luna' / 'Esta tarde... Que tarde'

Estoy sonando - Abba

'Estoy sonando' is of course the Spanish version of 'I have a dream'. With the help of Buddy and Mary McCluskey the ballad was turned into a warm-blooded version for the Spanish speaking market.

I ordered this single along with a few others from Spain. The problem with online ordering is illustrated right here: this was by far the worst sleeve of the whole package. You can't always know what you'll get. The might be an occasion to replace this single, but I am not rushing it. For now this is good enough to have - a nice curiosity doesn't always need to be perfect.

My collection: 7" single no. 5980
Found: Discogs.com, received January 4, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Estoy sonando' / 'As good as new'

Que mas quisiera yo - Massiel

Spanish singer Massiel won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1968 with the song 'La la la'. It was a much-criticised win, which 40 years later was revealed to be fraudulent. Whatever the facts, 'La la la' remains a curiosity: in a contest that has given us many 'la's through the years, this song probably used that two letter word the most.

I didn't know until recently that a live version of the song existed and was put on a B-side of a single. In 1985, Massiel, who was still a performing artist in Spain after all those years, released 'Que mas quisiera yo', with 'La la la' in a live version on the B-side.

My collection: 7" single no. 5979
Found: Discogs.com, received January 4, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Que mas quisiera yo' / 'La la la (live)'

Dame! Dame! Dame! - Abba

Abba was a successful band, but while they were having success in Europe and beyond, they also achieved quite a bit in the Spanish-speaking world. They translated some of their songs and released them as a single in those countries as well.

Obviously, since these singles were never released around these parts, I never actually bought them. Since I recently completed my collection of 'normal' Abba singles, these rarities have started to catch my eye. I recently acquired two Spanish Abba singles, and this the first of them: 'Dame! Dame! Dame!' is the Spanish version of 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!'. Although it is not among their most successful singles, it has always been one of my own favourites, and hearing it in Spanish is something special.

My collection: 7" single no. 5978
Found: Discogs.com, received January 4, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Dame! Dame! Dame!' / 'The king has lost his crown'
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