Sunday, 16 February 2020

Be my next ex-girlfriend - La muñeca de sal & Anthony Reynolds

La muñeca de sal is a Spanish band, which formed during the 1990's, releasing their debut album 'Ultra-Realidad' in 1997. Welsh singer Anthony Reynolds joined them on this EP with the appealing title 'Be my next ex-girlfriend', released in 2010.

The pull of this EP was a cover version of Colin Vearncombe a.k.a. Black's 'Wonderful life', but rather surprisingly, it is the weakest track of this three track EP. Probably because the execution of this perfect song is a bit shoddy for my taste. The instrumental 'Luto', however, is beautifully atmospheric and the A-side track, 'Be my next ex-girlfriend', is a solid pop song. Sometimes singles can surprise you.

My collection: 7" single no. 6260
Found: Discogs.com, received February 13, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds

Tracks: 'Be my next ex-girlfriend' / 'Wonderful life', 'Luto'

Where do I go - Private Lives

I already own quite a few releases by Private Lives, a band from the UK which I discovered back when 'Living in a world (turned upside down)' was a minor hit in the UK and on Dutch pirate radio. Indeed I thought I had all of their singles by now, but I discovered what was probably their debut single recently.

'Where do I go' was released in 1980 on the WEA label, two years before they released their first of many singles on Chrysalis/EMI. It doesn't sound as polished as their later work, but that does give it a certain charm as well.

My collection: 7" single no. 6259
Found: Discogs.com, received February 13, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Where do I go' / 'On your own'

I feel for you - Prince

Utter the words 'I feel for you', and most people who are into Eighties music will immediately respond with the name Chaka Khan. For it was her who made the song immortal, with the stuttering 'Ch-ch-chaka khan' intro provided by rapper Melle Mel, and its funky sound effects. But the song was written by Prince - and not only that, he recorded the song on his eponymous second album, released in October 1979.

Prince passed away in 2016, and since then, his famous 'vault' has been used to release several albums and singles. This single is the most recent release, pressed on purple vinyl (how appropriate) and presenting for the first time a demo he recorded for the song. It is an interesting release, because you can clearly hear that it was recorded on cassette and it runs for over four minutes, longer than the eventual album version. The fact that the sleeve is pretty beautiful too makes this an interesting package for Prince fans and music lovers everywhere.

My collection: 7" single no. 6257
Found: Prince website, received February 5, 2020
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'I feel for you (acoustic demo)' / 'I feel for you'

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Chenko (tenka-io) - Red Box

I don't really buy a lot of 12" singles anymore: most of the extended remixes of my favourite artists have been released on cd - and that has become the preferred format in my household. That, and 7" singles, of course. 12" singles simply take up too much space. But then every once in a while I find a 12" that actually contains a rare remix.

Take for instance this 12" of 'Chenko (Tenka-io)'. Released in 1987, it was a re-release of an early single with a new remix on the 12". Amazingly, none of the 12" mixes of Red Box have ever been released on cd, and as you can hear on this one, there have been some great ones. This disc presents both a new remix of 'Chenko' and the extended version of the previous single 'Heart of the sun'. Both are pretty wonderful and would certainly warrant a cd release. Until then, I'll have to keep this in my collection.

Red Box actually released a new cd last year, which is certainly worth checking out. 

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Chenko (tenka-io) (No Reservations mix)' / 'Speeches', 'Heart of the sun (Slash and burn)'

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Nothing compares 2 u - Prince

Since Prince's death in April 2016, his estate has been rather generous in releasing music from his personal vault. Several compilations of his unreleased work were released during the past three years, and this single, released in 2018, also contains a previously unreleased track.

'Nothing compares 2 u' was made famous by Sinéad O'Connor in 1990. This version, recorded by Prince and featuring saxophone by Eric Leeds and backing vocals by Susannah Melvoin and St. Paul Peterson, is actually the weaker of the two. You can't help wondering if this is why Prince never released this recording - and why it was released now. Still, it is a nice peek into the man's work.

My collection: 7" single no. 6256
Found: Amazon.co.uk, received January 31, 2020
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Nothing compares 2 u (edit)' / 'Nothing compares 2 u (full length version)'

Muzika i ti - Tereza Kesovija

Several years after releasing Doći Ćeš Sam - the EP that included a Eurovision cover - Tereza Kesovija made it to the Eurovision stage herself. She represented Yugoslavia during the 1972 edition with 'Muzika i ti' ('Music and you'), a pleasant little song in which Kesovija sings that music and her lover are the two things in which she has found happiness.

At the close of voting, the song had received 87 points, placing 9th in a field of 18 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 6255
Found: Discogs.com, received January 24, 2020
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Muzika i ti' / 'Prvi cvijet'

Addio, addio - Claudio Villa

'Addio, addio' ('Goodbye, goodbye') was the Italian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1962, performed Claudio Villa (born January 1, 1926). With music by Domenico Modugno and lyrics by Franco Migliacci (the same duo had collaborated on Modugno's previous entry 'Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare)'), the song is a ballad, in which Villa attempts to deal with the end of a relationship.

At the close of voting, it had received 3 points, placing 9th in a field of 16 competitors. The comparatively high place for a low-scoring song is partly explained by the fact that four entries at this Contest failed to record a point.

In 1967, Villa would return to the Eurovision stage with 'Non andare più lontano'. He died on February 7, 1987.

My collection: 7" single no. 6254
Found: Discogs.com, received January 24, 2020
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Addio, addio' / 'Quando il vento d'aprile..'

Dan ljubezni - Pepel in kri

'Dan ljubezni' ('A day of love') was the song entered into the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest by Yugoslavia. It was performend by the band Pepel in kri (credited on TV as 'Ashes and blood'). At the close of voting, it had received 22 points, placing 13th in a field of 19 competitors.

The song calls for a day of love in the whole world that never ends. Little did they know that Yugoslavia would be embroiled in a war that would cost many lives just two decades later.

My collection: 7" single no. 6253
Found: Discogs.com, received January 24, 2020
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Dan ljubezni' / 'Tvoj prvi rock 'n roll'

Doći Ćeš Sam - Tereza Kesovija

I haven't suddenly developed an interest in folk music from Yugoslavia, although this single certainly serves up some of the Balkan nation's loudest and most unnerving tracks. The title track, 'Doći Ćeš Sam' isn't very friendly to these Western European ears, but that isn't why I bought this EP anyway.

Track one on side B is called 'Još Mnogo Jače' and is a cover version of 'Bien plus fort', the Monegasque entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1966. I was interested to get this one as part of a bigger online order from Serbia. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6252
Found: Discogs.com, received January 24, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Doći Ćeš Sam', 'Tad Podimo' / '
Još Mnogo Jače', 'Madre mia'

Monday, 27 January 2020

Colorado - Xandra

Sandra Reemer renamed herself Xandra for the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest, singing 'Colorado'. I already owned the Dutch version of 'Colorado' and the English version of 'Colorado'. So when I saw this single, it was mainly the different sleeve that attracted me. The english version, announced on the sleeve, wasn't new to me, but I loved the sleeve variation, so I quickly decided to pick this single up.

I got home, looked at the singles a little closer, and suddenly I noted the other side of the sleeve, announcing a "deutsch. Version". And so I ended up buying a different version of this Eurovision song without really knowing it!

My collection: 7" single no. 6250
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Colorado (English version)' / 'Colorado (Deutsche Version)'

Sunday, 26 January 2020

The freeze - Spandau Ballet

I thought I already owned all Spandau Ballet singles, but somehow this one stayed under my radar until now. 'The freeze' was the band's second single release, peaking at number 17 in the UK singles chart in early 1981. Taken from their debut album 'Journeys to glory', it has a cold, hard sound that was the band's trademark at the time.

The single also features a nice alternative version of the track on the B-side, a trick they would employ a few more times in later singles. I was glad to find a fine UK pressing of this single.

My collection: 7" single no. 6249
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'The freeze' / 'The freeze (version)'

Volare - Rosario e i Giaguari

This is the Belgian pressing of 'Volare' by Rosario e i Giaguari, and it differs from the other one. Not only because the sleeve says '45 extended mix', but also because both the tracks on the single are... shorter. Confusing? I should say so.

This version of 'Volare' was not a hit, but it will probably have served a certain amount of dance and/or Italo afficionados in discotheques back in 1989. I can't say that I dreamed of having these singles, but they're a nice curiosity nonetheless.

My collection: 7" single no. 6248
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Volare (radio version)' / 'Volare (dub version)'

Volare - Rosario e i Giaguari

There's no information about Rosario e i Giaguari anywhere, so there really isn't much to say about this band. All I know is that they released one album called 'Maccaroni & Pizza' in 1989, and it featured three singles that were released around that time.

The first of those singles was 'Volare', a 1989 version of the classic Eurovision song by Domenico Modugno. It contains all the hallmarks of the dance tracks from around that time, including the worn out James Brown sample. It is an interesting addition to my collection of Eurovision singles, simply because I love cover versions - and 'Volare' has been covered by half the world.

My collection: 7" single no. 6247
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Volare (radio version)' / 'Volare (dub version)'

Puisque tu l'aimes dis-le lui - Raffaella Carra

Another purchase that is explained by the artwork only. This French edition of Raffaella Carra's biggest hit, 'A far l'amore comincia tu' swaps the two sides to present the French version as the A-side track. Both the disc and the sleeve were made in France.

Raffaella Maria Roberta Pelloni was born on June 18, 1943 and became successful as a singer, dancer, TV presenter and actress. After her boom in the Italian market of the early 1970's, she moved to Spain, doing television and releasing records in the Spanish language. This led her to move to South America, where her records had been heard for some years. In 1979, she established her headquarters in Buenos Aires, which was under a military dictatorship. Raffaella Carrà was one of the figures of the ATC, the official television network of Argentina.

My collection: 7" single no. 6246
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Puisque tu l'aimes dis-le lui' / 'A far l'amore comincia tu'

Saturday, 25 January 2020

If there is one thing that's forever - Nino de Angelo

Nino de Angelo represented Germany during the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest with a song written by Dieter Bohlen and Joachim Horn-Bernges, entitled 'Flieger'. Despite the star quality of both Bohlen (one half of Modern Talking) and Nino de Angelo, the song ended up in 14th place in a field of 22 competitors.

The song was also recorded in English as 'If there is one thing that's forever'. Dieter Bohlen made this version without the help of Horn-Bernges, so presumably Bohlen had more faith in his own capabilities when it came to writing songs in English.

My collection: 7" single no. 6245
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'If there is one thing that's forever' / 'Flieger'

Winds of chance - Stephanie

Stéphanie Marie Elisabeth Grimaldi, or princess Stephanie of Monaco as she is better known is a regular appearance on this blog, because she had a nice little music career in the second half of the 1980's and the beginning of the 1990's. Her last single 'You don't die from love' was featured here in 2016, and now I have found the last missing single, the equally ill-fated 'Winds of chance'.

Produced by Michael Verdick and Ron Bloom, this song reveals the rather thin voice of the princess, and some auto-mutant drum beats that do little to improve the song. Certainly not her best effort.

My collection: 7" single no. 6244
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Winds of chance' / 'Winds of chance (instrumental)'

T'en vas pas - Esther Ofarim

Exactly eight months after my last visit to Antwerp's Chelsea Records, I went there again. It's an amazing record store, stacked up to the ceilings with boxes of singles and albums. As usual, I checked out the Eurovision boxes first, and to my delight I found a copy of Esther Ofarim's 'T'en vas pas' within the first two minutes.

Almost three hours later, when the time had come to check out, the shop owner looked at the single and said this was a lovely single, and hard to find. I agreed - I actually bought one online a few months ago but although the sleeve was lovely it contained the wrong single ('Non je regrette rien' by Edith Piaf, to be exact). 'A rewarding visit then', he concluded. And I couldn't agree more.

Ofarim represented Switzerland in 1963 with this song. At the close of the voting, the song had received 40 points, placing 2nd in a field of 16 competitors. The winner that year? 'Dansevise' - admittedly a more legendary Eurovision song.

My collection: 7" single no. 6243
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'T'en vas pas' / 'La cité de mon coeur'

Dear Mr. Jones - Tommy Körberg

Back in 2014, I bought 'Judy min vän' by Tommy Körberg. I already wrote back then that there was also an English version of the single. It took me some time, but I have finally bought a copy of that one.

Featuring an entirely different photograph, but a similar layout, this single was released in Sweden. On the back of the sleeve we learn that Tom has released an album featuring cover versions of 'Jezamine' (the amazing Marty Wilde composition) and 'Nights in white satin'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6242
Found: Discogs.com, received January 22, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Dear mr. Jones' / 'Bird you must fly'

Det blir alltid värre framat natten - Björn Skifs

Two months ago, I bought 'When the night comes', the English version of 'Det blir alltid värre framat natten'. It was only a matter of time, of course, until I would get the original Swedish version as well - so here it is.

As you can see, the sleeve is virtually the same as the English version, however this single is made in Sweden and not in Germany like the other one. I ordered this single along with a few others from Norway.

My collection: 7" single no. 6241
Found: Discogs.com, received January 22, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Det blir alltid värre framat natten' / 'Part time love'

Dag efter dag - Chips

I already owned 'Day after day', the English version of this single, but as a Eurovision collector it was worth picking up the original Swedish version of the single as well. This single presents the original Swedish version 'Dag efter dag' along with a B-side called 'Här kommer solen' ('Here comes the sun'), which is not, as you might expect, a cover of the Beatles song.

Chips was founded by Kikki Danielsson and Lasse Holm in 1979.In 1980 they released their self-titled debut album, followed by 'Having a party' in 1982. This album included the two versions of 'Dag efter dag': in English and in Swedish. That album sold over 100.000 copies in Sweden. They toured the northern parts of Europe and had a successful 1982. However, the group split in 1983, due to limited success outside Sweden and Norway, and also because both members had solo careers.

My collection: 7" single no. 6239
Found: Discogs.com, received January 22, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Dag efter dag' / 'Här kommer solen'

Thursday, 23 January 2020

I wanna change the score - Nik Kershaw & Tony Banks

Tony Banks is best known as founding member of the rock band Genesis. However, he is also a prolific solo artist, releasing six solo albums that range through progressive rock, pop, and classical music.

In 1991, he released his third solo album called 'Still'. On the album he collaborated with Fish from Marillion on one track, and with Nik Kershaw on two tracks. The song 'I wanna change the score' was released as a single from the album. Despite a fairly heavy promotional effort by Giant Records, the album and the single failed to sell well.

My collection: 7" single no.  6238
Found: Discogs.com, received January 22, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'I wanna change the score' / 'Hero for an hour'
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