Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Halt mich fest - Wolfgang Ziegler

Wolfgang Ziegler was born in Rostock on October 8, 1943. His first solo album 'Halt mich' was released in 1988 on the East German Amiga label. It featured a cover version of Johnny Logan's 1987 Eurovision winner 'Hold me now', entitled 'Halt mich fest'.

That single was released in the Western part of Germany, and although it didn't become a hit, it is a decent version of that song. It is every bit as (over)emotional as the original track. The big success arrived a year later, when the next single 'Verdammt' was released. By the time Wolfgang's second solo album was released, Germany was no longer separated between East and West.

My collection: 7" single no. 5752
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Halt mich fest' / 'Nächte in Berlin'

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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Runner in the night - Ryder

I wrote about the disappointment of the United Kingdom's 1986 Eurovision Song Contest entry 'Runner in the night' before, and how its tinny sound and unruly synthesizers ruined what could theoretically have been a good song.

So why extend the horror even more? Well, there was a maxi single release at the time, and it features an extended version that, because of its approach of the song, manages to make it slightly more enjoyable than it was. There aren't many remixes of Eurovision entries, even from the Eighties, so this makes a rather interesting release after all.

My collection: 12" single no. 656
Found: Fun Records, Berlin, received August 29, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Runner in the night (extended)' / 'Runner in the night', 'Runner in the night (ballad)'

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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Esta balada que te dou - Armando Gama

Armando António Capelo Diniz da Gama was born on April 1, 1954 in Luanda, Angola. He grew up in a colonial family in Angola and moved to Portugal in 1971. He studied at the Portuguese music conservatory in Luanda and managed to sell over five million records in Portugal alone during his career which now spans four decades.

In 1983 he represented Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Esta balada que te dou' ('This ballad that I give you'). Gama describes the end of a relationship, all the while dedicating "this pretty ballad" to his former lover and explaining that there is nothing wrong with being sad. At the close of voting, it had received 33 points, placing 13th in a field of 20 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5750
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Esta balada que te dou' / 'When love has gone'

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Laisse-moi danser tout l'été - Keeley Ford

Keeley Ford was born as Mair Davies and hails from Redditch. In 1973, she represented the United Kingdom on the Japanese World Popular Song Festival with a song called 'Head over heels'. Two years later, she recorded a cover version of the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest entry for the UK by the Shadows, 'Let me be the one'.

What's more remarkable, is that she also recorded a cover version of that song in French. 'Laisse-moi danser tout l'été' was released in France, but whether it was a commercial success remains unknown. In fact, there isn't a lot of information about Keeley Ford at all, although it seems she passed away not so long ago if I am to believe certain messages on the web.

My collection: 7" single no. 5749
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Laisse-moi danser tout l'été' / 'Le jour où je t'ai rencontré'

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Waterman - Hearts of Soul

Hearts of Soul was formed by three Dutch Indo sisters from Harderwijk: Bianca, Stella and Patricia Maessen. They worked in the late 1960s as session singers for Dusty Springfield until 1968. In 1969, they recorded their debut album.

In 1970, they were chosen to represent the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Waterman'. They finished 7th out of 12 competitors. In the mid-seventies the group moved to Belgium. There they formed Dream Express in 1975 with former Pebbles musician Luc Smets (who married Bianca). They represented Belgium in the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest. During the Eurovision song contest of 1986 Patricia was the backing singer of winning entrant Sandra Kim. In 1987, she was also a backing singer for Plastic Bertrand's Luxembourg entry. Patricia Maessen died on May 15, 1996 in Mortsel near Antwerp at the age of 44, from the effects of a stroke.

My collection: 7" single no. 5748
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Waterman' / 'Kom nou'

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Was soll ich tun? - Edina Pop

I'm not really an expert on Eurovision cover versions - there are other people who know much more about that particular field of expertise - but I do know that I like a cover version now and then. Especially when they are slightly odd. This particular oddity comes from Germany, and is a German language version of the 1972 Dutch entry of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Edina Pop is the stage name of Marika Késmárky, who was born in Budapest on February 4, 1941. She came to Germany in 1969 and started her singing career in German shortly afterwards. She appeared in the German national final for Eurovision in 1972 with the song 'Meine Liebe will ich dir geben', but she didn't win. She recorded this single. Whether this was a chart success in Germany remains unknown.

My collection: 7" single no. 5747
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Was soll ich tun?' / 'Schreib es in den Wind'

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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Say hello - Chocolate Menta Mastik

To find the German version of Chocolate Menta Mastik's 1976 Eurovision entry, Komm' heut zu mir, was a bit of good luck, but obviously the original Hebrew version was still missing. It appears on this single as the B-side, while the English version, 'Say hello' (which was included on the B-side of that German version), appears on the A-side.

Listening to the various versions, it has to be said that the Hebrew version sounds less polished somehow. Perhaps the girls were more familiar with the song when they recorded the international versions? Who knows....

My collection: 7" single no. 5746
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Say hello' / 'Emir shalom'

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Dann kamst du (Apres toi) - Vicky Leandros

Vicky Leandros won the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest with Après toi. Just four months ago I found the English version, Come what may, and I mentioned in passing that I still had to find the Italian, German, Spanish, Greek and Japanese versions.

Well, obviously, from the five, the German version is the easiest one to track down, since German singles are regularly offered on the internet and record fairs. 'Dann kamst du' turned up on the recent record fair in Utrecht, and in a mint picture cover too.

My collection: 7" single no. 5745
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Dann kamst du (Après toi)' / 'Alles, was ich hab'

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Piove (Ciao ciao bambina) - Willy Alberti

Dutch singer Willy Alberti was born on October 14, 1926. He began recording professionally in the early Fourties. He became increasingly popular in the 1950s, when he had a string of hits beginning with a cover version of 'Nel blu dipinto di blu' in 1958. Alberti was successful as a singer of Dutch schlagers as well as Italian repertoire.

In 1959, he recorded a cover version of 'Piove (Ciao ciao bambina)', just like 'Nel blu...' originally performed by Domenico Modugno. The song was a big success in the pre-Top 40 year 1959: it peaked at the top of Dutch charts, printed in music magazines at the time.

My collection: 7" single no. 5743
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Piove (Ciao ciao bambina)', 'Li per li' / 'Una marcia in fa', 'Tuo'

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Piove (Ciao ciao bambina) - Domenico Modugno

Domenico Modugno represented Italy in the 1959 Eurovision Song Contest for the second time, a year after he made a world hit with Nel blu dipinto di blu. This time, he wrote 'Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina)' ('It's raining (Bye, bye baby)') together with Eduardo Verde. The song is a dramatic ballad, with Modugno telling his lover that he knows their relationship is about to come to a close. He asks her for one more kiss and then tells her not to turn back as she walks away from him, because he still has feelings for her.

At the Contest, the song was not too successful. At the close of voting, it had received 9 points, placing 6th in a field of 11 competitors. There are, however, several cover versions of this song, including one by the Yee Tin Tong Mandolin Band from Hong Kong which charted over there.

My collection: 7" single no. 5742
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina)' / 'Ventu d'estati'

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Julie - Martin

When Milan Popović, a.k.a. Daniel performed the song Julie for Yugoslavia at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1983, it was an unlikely contender for a Europe-wide hit. But it became exactly that, hitting the charts in Norway and the Netherlands, among other countries.

In fact, the song inspired a cover version as well, as is proven by this single. A certain Martin, hailing from the Netherlands, recorded a Dutch language version of Julie, featuring a woman on the cover. Probably this Martin didn't have a pretty face. This version was not a hit, of course, even if the B-side is comical for its attempt at drama.

My collection: 7" single no. 5741
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Julie' / 'Nu heeft hij spijt'

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Uno per tutte - Tony Renis

Tony Renis was born in Milan, Italy on May 13, 1938. Paired with Adriano Celentano in the mid-Fifties, they performed covers of songs by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. In 1958, he signed to the label Combo Records as a singer and started releasing covers of Italian and American songs. In 1962, Renis gained international success with the song 'Quando, Quando, Quando', written with Alberto Testa and performed at the Sanremo Music Festival. One year later, he won the same Festival with the song 'Una per tutte'.

That song was performed by Emilio Pericoli on the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest. It finished in third place. This original version remains just as charming.

My collection: 7" single no. 5740
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Uno per tutte' / 'Le ciliege'

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Dio, come ti amo - Gigliola Cinquetti

Domenico Modugno represented Italy in the 1966 Eurovision Song Contest with 'Dio come ti amo' ('God how I love you'). The song was not a success, as it was the first and only Italian entry in Eurovision history to receive the dreaded nul points.

When Gigliola Cinquetti, who had represented Italy in the Contest in 1964, recorded the song, she had considerably more success. Her version of 'Dio come ti amo' became a worldwide hit. At the San Remo festival in 1966, she performed the song together with Domenico, which is why this single mentions that festival on the sleeve.

My collection: 7" single no. 5739
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 11, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Dio come ti amo' / 'Vuoi'

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Storm and thunder - Earth and Fire

When the Dutch band Earth and Fire first started out, there was a definite symphonic rock vibe to their work. It is perhaps most obvious on this early single, 'Storm and thunder', which sounds nothing like the pop hits they would have from 1976 onwards.

'Storm and thunder' was released in 1971 as the second single from their second album 'Song of the marching children'. It was a hit in the Netherlands, peaking at number 6 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 5737
Found: Flea market, Rijswijk, April 6, 2015
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Storm and thunder' / 'Lost forever'

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Deixar de sonhar - Nucha

Like many singles on this blog lately, this single has a few connections to the Eurovision Song Contest, as Nucha performed in the 1990 edition with Ha sempre alguem, representing Portugal. This single was a follow-up to that one, and amazingly, the song was written and composed by Maarten Peters, with a lyric translation by the brothers Fransisco and Frederico Teotónio Pereira.

Maarten Peters wrote the song as 'Het zal nooit meer zo zijn' ('It will never be the same') for the national finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands in 1989. It was performed by Ingrid Souren and finished in third place. It was translated into Portuguese for this version by Nucha and ended up in the top 10 in Portugal. Afterwards, the original Dutch version was recorded by Willeke Alberti, who herself appeared on the Eurovison Song Contest with the embarrassing song 'Waar is de zon' in 1994.

My collection: 7" single no. 5736
Found: Kringloop Sassenheim
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Deixar de sonhar' / 'Se o dia nascesse'

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4 Tophits - Various

This EP is a mixed bag, and gives a little impression of what people listened to back in the Sixties. It has to be said, of course, that this '4 Tophits' EP is part of a series of so-called Fonodiscs which included classical music and light entertainment, as well as marching band music and children's songs.

Of special interest is the first track on this EP: it's a cover version of 'Zwei kleine Italiener', the song that was performed by Conny Froboess as the German entry in the 1962 Eurovision Song Contest. This version is almost identical, which was the secret behind the cheap EP's of Fonodisc: cheap versions of hits could mean big profits. Although this EP never charted, of course.

My collection: 7" single no. 5735
Found: Kringloop Voorhout
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Zwei kleine Italiener' (Charlotte Marian), 'Auf wiederseh'n, Marlene' (The Music-Makers) / 'Tanze mit mir in den morgen' (Udo Spitz), 'Hawaii Tattoo' (Ernst Zeiner)

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Friday, 24 April 2015

Someone else's home - Johnny Curious

This single is an interesting one, as it was never a hit but it is still a bit of a collector's item. It's very hard to get this for any price below 15 euros, although I am proud to say that I did manage that. I was almost ready to have this flown in from Scandinavia or America, when suddenly a Dutch seller had this one. And I had to have it, although I can't exactly say why. But at least one of my Twitter followers knows....

Johnny Curious formed in Welwyn Garden City in 1976. As far as I know, the band only released two singles: 'In tune' (1978) and this one, 'Someone else's home' (1979). Band members Alan Cowley and Ian Cowley are credited on the sleeve of this single. Original band members John Philips and Bob Green had already left.

My collection: 7" single no. 5734
Found: Discogs.com, received March 12, 2015
Cost: a little too much
Tracks: 'Someone else's home' / 'Backwards in the night'


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Welche Farbe hat der Sonnenschein - Rainy Day

Rose Rengel, Paul Braukmann and Gerry Braukmann formed Rainy Day, the band that represented Switzerland at the 1984 Eurovision Song Contest with 'Welche Farbe hat der Sonnenschein'. The song asks the question: "What colour is the sunshine?". The group ask us 'how to paint it?' They say that there are many colours, the way we see the world depends on our feelings.

The song was not very successful at the Contest: at the close of voting, it had received 30 points, placing 16th in a field of 19 competitors. 

My collection: 7" single no. 5733
Found: Discogs.com, received February 25, 2015
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Welche Farbe hat der Sonnenschein' / 'Die Stadt'


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Nova - You're summer

Keywords on blogs can be misleading. Nova, for instance, exists as a Dutch duo of synthesizer wizards, but also as a Swedish duo consisting of Claes af Geijerstam and Göran Fristorp, who made a name for themselves representing their country at the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. They were originally called Malta, but were forced to change their band name because of the possible confusion with one of the participating countries in that year's contest.

Their song was called 'You're summer', which contains the rather intriguing line 'Your breasts are like swallows in nesting', written by the well-known poet Lars Forssell. At the close of voting, it had received 94 points, placing 5th in a field of 17 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5732
Found: Discogs.com, received February 25, 2015
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'You're summer' / 'You never tell me no'

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Simone Drexel - Mikado

Simone Drexel was born in St. Gallen, Switzerland on May 13, 1957. In 1975, she represented Switzerland on the Eurovision Song Contest with her self-penned song 'Mikado'. At the close of voting, it had received 77 points, placing 6th in a field of 19 competitors.What's interesting about this single is that it's a Yugoslavian pressing, complete with a very colourful sleeve.

In 1984, following the birth of her daughter, Drexel retired from the music industry and a year later she started working in transfusion medicine. In recent years Drexel has returned to the music industry as a music teacher, she is also the lead singer of the group Bluesonix.

My collection: 7" single no. 5731
Found: Discogs.com, received February 25, 2015
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Mikado' / 'Die Marionetten'

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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Huilumies - Vesa-Matti Loiri

I have bought a lot of Eurovision singles over the past year (as you can see on this blog), but so far it has been difficult to buy all the singles of one particular year. But I finally did it recently, as this single completes the year 1980 for me. Well... almost, because this copy unfortunately came without the picture sleeve. But for now, this will certainly do, because the track 'Huilumies' is one of my favourites of the year.

'Huilumies' (Finnish for 'A flute man') is sung from the perspective of the tititular 'flute man', who sings that while he may not be able to express his feelings in words, he is able to do so with his flute. At the close of voting, it had received 6 points, placing last in a field of 19 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5730
Found: Discogs.com, received February 25, 2015
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Huilumies' / 'Vie minut valoon'

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Sans toi - Martine Clemenceau

Martine Clemenceau was born in 1949. In 1973 she represented France with the song 'Sans toi'. The song is a dramatic ballad, with Clémenceau expressing her feelings about a lover who has left her. Clémenceau also recorded the song in German, under the title 'Immer'. At the close of voting, it had received 65 points, placing 15th in a field of 17 competitors.

Her song Solitaire, written in 1981 is her most important hit in France. Laura Branigan 1983 recorded a cover of that song in 1983, which peaked at number 7 in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5729
Found: Discogs.com, received February 25, 2015
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Sans toi' / 'L'arlequin'

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Nocas mi se pjesma pise - Ambasadori

Ambasadori formed in 1968 when guitarist Slobodan Vujović recruited other band members. They came and went throughout the 1970s and include various musicians active on the Sarajevo music scene at the time and after, such as trumpet player Krešimir "Keco" Vlašić, singer Ismeta Dervoz, drummer Perica Stojanović, organist Vlado Pravdić bassist Ivica Vinković and saxophonist Andrej "Lale" Stefanović.

In 1976 Ambasadori represented Yugoslavia at the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Ne mogu skriti svoju bol', which appears on this single as the B-side, remarkably. The song is about a woman who is suffering because her lover had gone and she wants him to remember her. At the close of voting, it had received 10 points, placing 17th in a field of 18 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5728
Found: Discogs.com, received February 25, 2015
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Nocas mi se pjesma pise' / 'Ne mogu skriti svoj bol'

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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Chez nous - Dominique Walter

Dominique Walter was born as Dominique Gruère on May 22, 1942. In 1966, he represented France at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Chez nous'. At the close of voting, it had received just 1 point, placing 16th in a field of 18 competitors.

The song deals with the traditions of France (and, by extension, Europe) as they are seen by the rest of the world, with Walter remarking that they appear to be overly romantic. Walter also recorded the song in German under the same title.

My collection: 7" single no. 5727
Found: Discogs.com, received February 25, 2015
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Chez nous', 'Chaque fois que je te revois' / 'E pericoloso l'amour', 'Si tu peux rire'
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Sonntag - Mess

The Austrian band Mess consisted of Michael Scheikl and Elisabeth 'Lizzy' Engstler. They represented their country on the Eurovision Song Contest in 1982. Their song 'Sonntag' was composed by Michael Mell and written by Rudolf Leve. The song is in praise of lying around on a Sunday, which is described as being one of the best things to do.

At the close of voting, it had received 57 points, placing 9th in a field of 18 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5726
Found: Discogs.com, received February 25, 2015
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Sonntag' / 'Honey Bee'

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