Friday, 14 April 2017

Ain't no sunshine - Bi Virtue feat. Joe McGann & Rebecca de Ruvo

It's not the first time that Joe McGann and MTV hottie Rebecca de Ruvo appear in this blog, as I've owned the 12" single of 'Ain't no sunshine' for 17 years now. I wrote about that one way back in December 2009.

When you compare the sleeve of that 12" single with the sleeve of this 7" single, I'm pretty sure you'll agree that this one looks way better. Why the record company decided to go with the ugly version for the 12" single remains a mystery. The song remains the same: a nice but unhistoric version of a classic song.

My collection: 7" single no. 5802
Found: Discogs.com, received April 4, 2017
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Ain't no sunshine' / 'Why can't we just be friends'

Listen to the song

Friday, 17 March 2017

Raggio di luna - Matia Bazar

When you say 'Matia Bazar', most people immediately scream 'Ti sento', but it is less well known that the band actually participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1979. Formed in 1975 by Piero Cassano, Aldo Stellita, Carlo Marrale, Giancarlo Golzi and Antonella Ruggiero, they have released over 20 albums between then and now.

'Raggio di luna', the song they performed in 1979 at the Contest, representing Italy, was the very first Eurovision entry that didn't have an orchestral accompaniment, two decades before the orchestra was disposed of altogether. The song received 27 points and became 15th in a field of 19 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5893
Found: Discogs.com, received March 8, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Raggio di luna' / 'Pero che bello'

Listen to the song

Ring dinge ding - Thérèse Steinmetz

In 1967, Thérèse Steinmetz represented the Netherlands during the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Ring dinge ding' written by Johnny Holshuyzen and Gerrit den Braber. Performed first on the night, it ended up at place 14 in a field of 17 competitors, with just 2 points.

Steinmetz was born on May 17, 1933 in Amsterdam. She played various theatre, television and film roles and in 1966 she was given her own TV series, Thérèse. After participating in the Eurovision Song Contest she won the Golden Stag Festival in Romania, making her very popular in that country. These days she lives in Cannes (France), where she has become a successful painter.

My copy of this single turns out to be rather damaged, but it is a promotional copy which makes it a bit more special. 

My collection: 7" single no. 5892
Found: Discogs.com, received March 8, 2017
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Ring dinge ding' / 'Zing'

Listen to the song

Monday, 27 February 2017

Fun - Blondie

One band that continues to release albums on a regular basis is Blondie. Their latest release 'Pollinator' is due soon, and this single, 'Fun', was out recently to signal that release. It's nothing very innovative, but still an entertaining pop song that respects the bands legacy and adds a little to their already impressive body of work.

I've always seen Blondie as a singles band, especially when the albums I bought from them ('No exit', 'Panic of girls' and 'Ghosts of download') were a bit disappointing in the end. Still, the new album is released as a box set of singles and I will definitely be buying that one. Now that's fun.

My collection: 7" single no. 5889
Found: Amazon, received February 23, 2017
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Fun' / 'My monster'

Listen to the song

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Sex cymbal - Sheila E.

My wife came home with a few singles, and I had almost all of them. Still, no harm, because it allowed me to ditch the copies that were in lesser shape, and there was one I didn't know. It was this song by Sheila E., released in 1991.

'Sex cymbal' was taken from Sheila's fourth solo album, the first not to be made with any input from her mentor Prince. It has a very prominent house- and dance-focused sound that was popular in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. It's not her best single, but it's a decent effort nonetheless.

My collection: 7" single no. 5878
Found: Kringloop Den Haag, December 27, 2016
Cost: 0
Tracks: 'Sex cymbal' / 'Bass base'

Listen to the song

I'm Mandy fly me - 10CC

10CC band member Eric Stewart recalled about this song, 'National Airlines used to have this beautiful poster that they displayed of this gorgeous stewardess inviting you onto the plane. Now her name wasn't Mandy actually, it was something like, er, oh gosh knows, "I'm Cindy", a very American name. "I'm Cindy, fly me" which was a quite sexual connotation as well, but I remember seeing in Manchester this beautiful poster and just below it was this tramp, I mean a serious tramp, quite a raggedy guy, looking up at this girl, and I thought God, do you know, there's a song there. I know he's never gonna get on an aeroplane, I don't think, except in his dreams. So I brought it back, the idea back to the studio, where we were writing for the How Dare You! album, and put it to the guys: "Anybody interested in this 'I'm Mandy Fly Me'". I'd switched it to Mandy. And Graham said "yeah, that sounds like a good idea. I've got some ideas, I've got some chords. Let's slot those things in, try it, mess it around". We wrote it, and we didn't like it. But, enter from stage left, ha ha, the "wicked villain" Kevin Godley, twiddling his moustache, says "I know what's wrong with it. Let's sit down again." He said "I think it just gets too bland, it just goes on, on one plane, your verses and your middles and your der-der-der, they're all going on the one plane. What it needs is someone to go 'Bash' on the side of your head". So we changed the rhythm completely, and we put two whacking great guitar solos in there, in the middle of this quiet, soft, floaty song. Once we'd got that idea in, it, it just gelled into something else. Again, impossible to dance to, as a lot of 10cc tracks were.'

I found this single in between a heap of old, uninteresting vinyl, but this one stood out because both the sleeve and record were in great condition. I couldn't let go of a classic track like this.

My collection: 7" single no. 5877
Found: Kringloop Den Haag, November 12, 2016
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'I'm Mandy fly me' / 'How dare you'

Listen to the song

I've got mine - UB40

UB40 was between albums when they released 'I've got mine' in 1983. It was just months before they hit the big time with their smash hit 'Red red wine', but while it was still very much a UB40 track -  reggae rhythm and all - it was more dynamic than songs like 'Love is all is alright' and 'Food for thought'.

I picked up this single at work, oddly enough. In the 'little white library' colleagues exchange books, but sometimes cd's and vinyl pop up as well. It's the newest way to add to my collection, I guess!

My collection: 7" single no. 5876
Found: Little white library, November 2016
Cost: 0
Tracks: 'I've got mine' / 'Dubmobile'

Listen to the song

Monday, 26 September 2016

Pas gentille - Jef Barbara

The song 'Pas gentille' was first recorded by Françoise Hardy in 1964. Based on Marty Wilde's 'Bad boy', she translated the lyrics herself and it became a rather beautiful French chanson. In 2012, this song was covered by Jef Barbara.

Born in Montreal, Jef Barbara is a pop star who seems to wander around the gender spectrum rather loosely: sometimes man, sometimes woman but always himself (or herself, depending on your views). The 2012 single with 'Pas gentille' (only available as a 7" vinyl single) showcases a beautiful voice in a subtle musical arrangement.

My collection: 7" single no. 5860
Found: Discogs.com, received July 26, 2016
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Pas gentille' / 'I have a friend'

Listen to the song

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Skorápky orechu - Marie Rottrová

Every once in a while I buy a single not for the A-side, but for the B-side. This is a good example. Marie Rottrová's 1983 single 'Skorápky Orechu' is a bit of a rarity for Kim Wilde fans, since the B-side features the only known cover version of Kim's song 'Action city'. Entitled 'Já tvé sny znám', you won't easily find it, but fortunately the sleeve does actually mention 'Action city' between brackets (as you can see below).

Marie Rottrová was born in Ostrava-Hrušov (Czech Republic) on November 13, 1941. She was born and raised in a musical family, with her mother a singer and her father an organist. She initially started working as a bank clerk but after participating in a talent show in Ostrava she was discovered and became a member of groups like Františka Trnka, Octect, Samuel, Majestic and the Flamingos. Her first LP with the Flamingos was recorded in 1970. This self-titled debut album in the Czech language was re-recorded a year later in English as 'This is our soul'. Several solo albums followed.Rottrová still performs and records these days, although she never became as prolific as she was during the 1970's and the first half of the 1980's.

My collection: 7" single no. 5859
Found: Discogs.com, received July 1, 2016
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Skorápky orechu' / 'Já tvé sny znám'

Listen to the song

Jezebel - Marty Wilde

The last time I saw Marty Wilde live - which, I'm ashamed to say, is almost ten years ago now! - it was his song 'Jezebel' that made the biggest impression on me. It sounded every bit as vibrant as it did on this original recording from 1962. The man and his voice were every bit as powerful as they were when he was just in his twenties.

At the time of the release of this single, Marty had already become a songwriter in his own right, but this song 'Jezebel' was written by Wayne Shanklin and originally recorded by Frankie Laine. Wilde added his own composition on the B-side. This single became his last top 20 hit in the UK, peaking at number 19.

My collection: 7" single no. 5855
Found: Discogs.com, received June 24, 2016
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Jezebel' / 'Don't run away'

Listen to the song

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Jezamine - Misty

If you hear the name Misty, you might think of a middle-aged sultry female singer, but in fact it was a duo consisting of Mark Eden and Mickey Fudge. They recorded a couple of singles which were released in 1977. Their first release was 'Jezamine', a cover of the track originally recorded by the Casuals, and written by Marty Wilde. They followed it up with 'Magic spell', which was an original track written by Fudge.

Their version of 'Jezamine' was typical Seventies disco fodder, although you could also recognize it as a proto-Level 42 track.

My collection: 7" single no. 5867
Found: Discogs.com, received September 7, 2016
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Jezamine' / 'That's no way'

Listen to the song
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