Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Pale shelter - Tears for fears

Tears for Fears released 'Pale Shelter' as a single three times. The first edition - this one - was produced by Mike Howlett and was released as the band's second single, after their debut single 'Suffer the children'. Both tracks of this single would appear on the band's debut album 'The hurting', but in re-recorded versions.

About the lyric, Roland Orzabal said: 'It's a kind of a love song, though more referring to one's parents than to a girl'. The title of the song is a reference to "Pale Shelter Scene", a 1941 drawing by British sculptor Henry Moore.

My collection: 7" single no. 2536
Found: Beanos, East Croydon, London, November 1, 1995
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Pale shelter (You don't give me love)' / 'The prisoner'

Going underground - The Jam

With a basic knowledge of English as a child, I thought this song was about taking the subway in London. In reality, of course, the lyric is an indictment of the British policy on arms, referencing the government of the UK's commitment to nuclear weapons, implying a level of acceptance on the part of the general population.

The Jam had three instant number one hits in the UK in 1980, of which this was the first. The band consisted of Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler and broke up in 1982.

My collection: 7" single no. 48
Found: Rapsody, Den Haag, 1980
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Going underground' / 'The dreams of children'

Call me my baby - Georgie Davis

Kees Rietveld was born in Den Haag, Netherlands in 1969. He participated in the Soundmix show in the Netherlands in 1985, and won the contest with his imitation of Stevie Wonder. After this television debut, he scored a Dutch top 10 hit as Georgie Davis with 'Blackstar', a very Wonderesque-sounding track.

Davis released four more singles, but all of them failed to reach the Dutch Top 40. The last one was 'Call me my baby', a more adult-sounding track released in December 1988. In 1990 he participiated in the national finals for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Eenmaal', but ended up being last of the ten participants.

My collection: 7" single no. 748
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, February 17, 1989
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Call me my baby' / 'I don't wanna wait to give up'

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Shouldn't have to be like that - Fra Lippo Lippi

The Norwegian band Fra Lippo Lippi had a European hit with 'Shouldn't have to be like that' in 1986. It would be their only hit, because subsequent singles were hits in countries like Norway and the Phillipines only. In the Phillipines the band still has a great fan following to this day.

I found this picture disc during a holiday in London. I liked it so much, that I bought it even though it looks discoloured and worn. I've never seen a copy again. I do have the regular single as well, but a collector's item is always more interesting to use for show and tell. So here it is...

My collection: 7" single no. 390
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 1989
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Shouldn't have to be like that' / 'The distance between us'

Maggie - Fay Lovski

Another single by Fay Lovski, and another one that didn't become a hit. It was a popular song on radio and television, probably because of its upbeat sixties-style production. The song was taken from the album 'Confetti', an album I've been looking for since the late Eighties, mostly because of the track 'He don't love me anymore', a beautiful ballad that was not released as a single, unfortunately.

I found this single just before going to a birthday party in Utrecht that night. It was an annual tradition to buy some records before going to that party.

My collection: 7" single no. 2228
Found: Grammofoonwinkel, Utrecht, December 30, 1994
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Maggie' / 'Fool moon'

China - Huang Chung

The band that found fame as Wang Chung originally started in 1980 as Huang Chung. Jeremy Ryder, Nick Feldman and Darren Costin chose this name as it refers to the standardized bass pitch of ancient China. The literal translation means 'yellow bell', the band summarized the definition as 'perfect pitch'.

They released three singles as Huang Chung before finding fame with 'Dance hall days' with their new band name Wang Chung. 'China' narrowly missed the Dutch Top 40. My sister bought the single when it came out, which is the reason I still remembered it 15 years later. I was very surprised to find the extended version of the track on the B-side. A very good deal.

My collection: 7" single no. 3002
Found: Geest, Den Haag, June 20, 1998
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'China' / 'China (extended version)'

Dr. Mabuse - Propaganda

I'm glad to say I got into Propaganda before they took over the charts in Europe with their second single 'Duel'. 'Dr. Mabuse' peaked at number 27 in the UK singles chart and number 7 in Germany in 1984, but elsewhere the single failed to chart.

The song was named after the fictional character made famous by film maker Fritz Lang. Journalist Paul Morley was involved in signing the band to Trevor Horn's newly-formed ZTT Records label. He marketed the band as 'a twisted, hellish version of Abba'. Well, as a child I thought this was a scary song, indeed.

My collection: 7" single no. 1597
Found: All that music, Leiden, June 28, 1992
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Dr. Mabuse' / 'Dr. Mabuse der Spieler'

De Troubadour - Lenny Kuhr

Today is the 40th anniversary of Lenny Kuhr winning the Eurovision Song Contest with 'De Troubadour'. The event took place on March 29, 1969 and the 16 participating countries awarded the exact same 18 points to four competitors, causing four countries to win that year. Since there was no tie-break rule in place, Spain's Salome won with 'Vivo Cantando', Lulu from the United Kingdom won with 'Boom bang-a-bang', France's Frida Boccara won with 'Un jour, un enfant' and Lenny Kuhr won for the Netherlands.

According to some, France would have been the overall winner because it was their song that got votes from all but six countries, although Lenny Kuhr was the only participant of the four that got the highest mark from one country: six points. Whatever the real outcome might have been, today is a great day to highlight this song. There is a whole website devoted to the 40th anniversary of 'De Troubadour' here, and if you want to hear the song in German, Spanish, French, English and Italian, go to this page. On this blog you can hear the original song plus its B-side, 'Mais non monsieur'.
My collection: 7" single no. 3600
Found: Record fair, Rijswijk, March 14, 2009
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'De Troubadour' / 'Mais non, monsieur'

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Me and my foolish heart - Johnny hates Jazz

Before Johnny hates Jazz signed to Virgin records and released the debut album that yielded these hits, they recorded their debut single on RAK records, the label owned by the father of band member Calvin Hayes: Mickie Most. This single did not chart, but the track would end up on their debut album anyway.

Sounds familiar? Well, true, because I wrote about the 12" single of 'Me and my foolish heart' a while ago. The 7" single is in my collection as well. It's got less tracks and a different sleeve.

My collection: 7" single no. 2097
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, April 16, 1994
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Me and my foolish heart' / 'Living in the past'
Download: here

Miyel - Joelle Ursull

After Joelle Ursull participated in the Eurovision Song Contest with 'White and black blues', my friend Puck suddenly bought this cd-single by her. I didn't know the song 'Miyel', but it turned out to be an earlier track by her, taken from her debut album of the same name, released in 1988. The cd-single contained four mixes of the track, and I had to admit that it was a nice song. Not outstanding, but nice.

The vinyl single, which I bought shortly after that, actually featured a B-side track, 'Mal'. It proved that Joelle rarely surpassed the level of 'average'. Except for that French entry of the Contest in 1990, of course...

My collection: 7" single no. 1274
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, August 16, 1990
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Miyel' / 'Mal'

Secret garden - T'pau

In 1987 T'pau became one of my favourite bands. I had all their singles, bought the album, and waited anxiously for album number 2. When their new single 'Secret garden' came out, I couldn't wait to buy it, and so I didn't. It turned out to be a disappointment: I didn't like the harsh rock sound of the A-side, and the B-side sounded just as messy and loud.

It was a first sign of things to come: the album 'Rage' was full of tracks like this, and contained only a few standout tracks. I don't know why I held on. Thankfully, album number three was much better.

My collection: 7" single no. 657
Found: Leiden, September 23, 1988
Cost: 6,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Secret garden' / 'This girl'

Sealed with a kiss - Bobby Vinton

When Jason Donovan hit the charts in 1989 with 'Sealed with a kiss', I immediately recognised a beautiful song - but with a terrible singer. I was relieved when I found out that it was actually a cover version and older versions existed.

One of those versions was pointed out to me by my sister: Bobby Vinton recorded the track in 1972 and reached number 3 in the Dutch Top 40 with it. It's my favourite version, although earlier versions also exits: Four Voices recorded it in 1960, Brian Hyland in 1962 and Gary Lewis and the Playboys in 1968.

My collection: 7" single no. 1411
Found: Grammofoonwinkel, Utrecht, April 3, 1991
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Sealed with a kiss' / 'All my life'

Believe in me - Utah Saints

Jez Willis and Tim Garbutt formed Utah Saints in 1990. Early on in their career they had a few hit singles in what they call their 'vocal sample trilogy', of which this one, 'Believe in me' is the third. It features a sample of the Human League's 'Love action', whereas the B-side, a remix of the first part in the trilogy 'What can you do for me', with a sample from the Eurythmics' 'There must be an angel (playing with my heart)'.

The single did not chart in the Netherlands, but peaked at number 8 in the UK singles chart. I bought the single because of the Human League sample. When you listen to this track you quickly realise that the guys forgot to make a song.

My collection: 7" single no. 2709
Found: House of Rhythm, London, July 3, 1996
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Believe in me (7" edit)' / 'What can you do for me (Def Mix 7 inch)'

Love action - Human League

'Love action' was the Human League's first top 10 hit in the UK in 1981, which was quite a feat since they'd been at it since 1977. The song is a semi-autobiographical account of lead singer Phil Oakey's relationships. The song contains a cryptic reference to Lou Reed in the lyric, 'I believe what the old man said'. Oakey, speaking in 1982 said, 'no one ever asks me who the old man is... it's Lou (Reed).'

At the time, as a short-lived marketing stunt, the Human League labelled their singles 'Red' or 'Blue'. This was supposed to help buyers differentiate between the band's musical styles. 'Red' was for dance tracks, 'Blue' for pop songs, although the exact difference was never fully explained. 'Love Action' was designated 'Red'.

My collection: 7" single no. 2829
Found: February 1, 1997
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Love action' / 'Hard times'

The runner - Three Degrees

The long career of the Three Degrees is quite extraordinary. Formed in 1963 in Philadelphia, they managed to be successful in three decades, first with Philadelphia soul, then with glittering disco and finally with Stock/Aitken/Waterman-produced dance music.

This single comes from the middle period: released in 1979, 'The runner' is an upbeat, fast-paced disco track, which has become a radio classic.

My collection: 7" single no. 3175
Found: Record fair, February 19, 2000
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'The runner' / 'Out of love again'

Fly like an eagle - Steve Miller Band

'Fly like an eagle' was written by Steve Miller. It appeared on his 1976 album of the same title. The song went to number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart during the week of January 8, 1977. Amazingly, it didn't chart in the UK, but it did reach number 27 in the Netherlands. Since then, it has gotten some sort of 'classic' status.

In 1997, Seal recorded a cover version of this song for the soundtrack of the movie 'Space Jam'. Still, nothing beats the original.

My collection: 7" single no. 359
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1985
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Fly like an eagle' / 'Mercury blues'

Is it a dream - Classix Nouveaux

Classix Nouveaux was formed in 1979 by Jak Airport, B.P. Hurding, Mik Sweeney and Sal Solo. Their first live gig took place in August 1979 at Camden Palace. With publicity growing for the band, their dramatic and heavily made up image helped quickly associate them with the New Romantic movement, alongside bands like Japan and Ultravox.

Their debut album 'Night people' came out in 1981. The single 'Guilty' narrowly missed the UK top 40, just like the three subsequent singles. It was 'Is it a dream', taken from their second album 'La Verité' (1982) that finally propelled them to number 11 in the UK chart. It is still their biggest hit and a regular on eighties compilation cd's.

My collection: 7" single no. 2886
Found: London, October 29, 1997
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Is it a dream' / 'Where to go'

Sweet lullaby - Deep Forest

Deep Forest is a musical group consisting of two French musicians, Michel Sanchez and Eric Mouquet. Michel Sanchez came up with the idea of mixing Baka Pygmy chants with modern music after hearing on-site recordings of these tribes. Along with Eric Mouquet they created the project Deep Forest.

Their first self-titled album (nominated for a Grammy) was released in 1992, with 'Sweet lullaby' being the hit single that would put Deep Forest on the musical map. It peaked at number 10 in the UK singles chart. The song is adapted from a traditional song from the Solomon Islands.

My collection: 7" single no. 3346
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, 2001
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Sweet lullaby (original mix)' / 'Sweet lullaby (ambient mix)'

Words - The Christians

The brothers Garry, Roger and Russell Christian together with Henry Christian Priestman formed the Christians in 1985. Roger left the band in 1987 because of his reluctance to go on tour. After a very successful debut album and a couple of charity singles, the band released their second album 'Colour' in 1990.

It was preceded by the single 'Words', based on a traditional folk tune. It was a good success in Europe, where it became a number 1 hit in France and peaked at number 5 in the Netherlands. It did less well in the UK, where it stalled at number 18. The vinyl single features an edit of 'Words', whereas other formats contained the full album version which lasts over 7 minutes.

My collection: 7" single no. 1127
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, December 8, 1989
Cost: 6,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Words' / 'Long gone'

See that glow - This Island Earth

This Island Earth was formed by John Hawkins and Kevin Brown in early 1983. The band also included Steve Brown, Rachel Furness and Mark Griffith. They signed to Magnet records, and released 'See that glow' in 1984. It became a minor hit in January 1985, peaking at number 47 in the UK singles chart. After one more single, the band disappeared from view.

This is a very catchy tune, but I forgot all about it after 1985. Almost a decade later I remembered it, and got this single during a record fair. It's always nice to rediscover and old gem.

My collection: 7" single no. 2572
Found: Record fair, Rotterdam, December 16, 1995
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'See that glow' / 'See that glow (instrumental)'

Friday, 27 March 2009

Today - Talk Talk

'Today' was Talk Talk's first top 20 hit in the UK and Ireland. Taken from their debut album 'The party's over', the single was written by the whole band and featured the album track 'It's so serious' on the B-side. The songs were produced by Colin Thurston (who would go on to produce hits for Duran Duran and Howard Jones).

I bought the single several years after its release, like all the singles taken from that album. At some point there seemed to be no end to those early singles. But now I'm glad that I have them all.

My collection: 7" single no. 2168
Found: Record Exchange, London, September 26, 1994
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Today' / 'It's so serious'

Stay (I missed you) - Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories

Lisa Anne Loeb was born March 11, 1968 in Bethesda, Maryland (USA). She started her career in 1994 with the song 'Stay (I Missed You)'. The song was originally named 'Stay', but at the time it was getting popular, there were several popular songs with 'Stay' in the title, such as the U2 song 'Stay (Faraway, So Close!)'. '(I Missed You)' was tacked on to the end to differentiate it from the others.

The single became a number 1 hit in America and peaked at number 6 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 2160
Found: HMV, London, September 26, 1994
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Stay (I missed you)' / 'Stay (I missed you) (Living room mix)'

Vi maler byen rød - Birthe Kjaer

Birthe Kjaer was born on September 1, 1948. She's a Danish singer who began her career in the late Sixties. She made several attempts to represent Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest by participating in the national finals of 1980, 1986 and 1987. In 1989 she was finally chosen to do so with the upbeat song 'Vi maler byen rød' ('We paint the town red'). After a hilarious intro, the song keeps its optimistic atmosphere alive. The performance ensured a third place in that year's Contest for Denmark, one of the best placings for the country since Denmark won the 1963 edition.

Kjær hosted the Danish national final to pick the 2009 entry for the Contest, which was broadcast on January 31, 2009.

My collection: 7" single no. 2969
Found: Bea Records, February 21, 1998
Cost: 8 guilders
Tracks: 'Vi maler byen rød' / 'Det menneske, jeg er'

Could it be I'm falling in love - Worlds Apart

The boyband Worlds Apart was founded in 1993 by Dan Bowyer, Cal Cooper, Schelim Hannan, Steve Hart, Marcus Patrick and Aaron Poole. Bowyer, Patrick and Poole left the band within a year, to be replaced by Nathan Moore. This formation had some chart success with hits like 'Heaven must be missing an angel', 'Everlasting love' and 'Could it be I'm falling in love'. Do these track titles sound familiar? Could be - Worlds Apart released a lot of covers during their career. After five hits in the UK their career played out mostly in Europe, especially in France where they became very popular.

'Could it be I'm falling in love' ended up being in my collection because of this limited edition poster sleeve and the fact that the tracks on this single were produced by Ricky Wilde. The B-side track 'Like it was, like it is' was co-written by him as well.

My collection: 7" single no. 3069
Found: Beanos, East Croydon, London, May 10, 1999
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Could it be I'm falling in love' / 'Everlasting love', 'Like it was, like it is'

Those were the days / Goodbye - Mary Hopkin

This single features two hits by Mary Hopkin. She was born on May 3, 1950. She started her music career as a folk singer in a Welsh local group called the Selby Set and Mary. After her appearance in the BBC talent show 'Opportunity knocks' she was recommended by model Twiggy to Paul McCartney, who signed her to the Beatles' Apple label.

Her debut single, 'Those Were the Days', produced by McCartney, was released in the UK in 1968 and went on to become a number1 hit. on 30 August 1968. The 1969 single 'Goodbye' reached number 2 in the UK. It's funny that her chart performance was just the opposite in the Netherlands, with 'Goodbye' reaching number 1 and 'Those were the days' peaking at number 2.

My collection: 7" single no. 1957
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 25, 1993
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Those were the days' / 'Goodbye'

You're the voice - Heart

Heart released a live album called 'Rock the house' in 1991. The album marked a sharp decline in sales after a period of success that began in 1985 with the release of the self-titled 'Heart'. The single 'You're the voice' was taken from this album, a cover of the song by John Farnham.

I bought the single not because I thought this was a particularly good version (live tracks are usually unlistenable) but because of the limited edition etched disc. This disc featured the lyric of the song on one side, and the A- and B-side track on the other side. These kind of special editions are always so nice to have.

My collection: 7" single no. 3080
Found: London, May 10, 1999
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'You're the voice', 'Call of the wild'

For the love of Conchita - Doce

The Portuguese girl group Doce was formed in 1980 by Laura Diogo, Lena Coelho, Fátima Padinha, and Teresa Miguel. They participated in the Portuguese national final for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1980, but finished second. In 1981 they tried again, with the song 'Ali-Bábá, um homem das Arábias', which finished fourth. Their third try in 1982 was successful: the song 'Bem bom' brought them to Harrowgate to participate in that year's Contest.

After this song was released as a single, they followed it up with 'For the love of Conchita'. It didn't chart in most countries, except for Portugal. I bought the single while buying a stack of singles in my favourite shop round the corner, just out of curiosity.

My collection: 7" single no. 3294
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, February 24, 2001
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'For the love of Conchita' / 'Choose again'

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Why - Annie Lennox

After having been one half of Eurythmics together with David A. Stewart, Annie Lennox started to work on a solo album together with former Trevor Horn protegé Stephen Lipson. The first result of their work was the single 'Why', released in early 1992. The single was an immediate commercial success, peaking at number 1 in Italy, number 5 in the UK and Ireland and number 6 in Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

I bought the single immediately after its release, convinced as I was that Annie Lennox's work was worth buying. And it was, at least for that first album 'Diva'. Later albums never quite reached that level of quality in my humble opinion...

My collection: 7" single no. 1594
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, March 21, 1992
Cost: 6,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Why' / 'Primitive'

Twist in my sobriety - Tanita Tikaram

Tanita Tikaram achieved an international breakthrough with the song 'Twist in My Sobriety' in 1988. Taken from her debut album 'Ancient heart', this self-penned song was immediately recognised as something special. The single peaked at number 22 in the UK, number 23 in the Netherlands, number 2 in Germany and Austria and number 6 in Switzerland, Norway and France.

The first line of the song, 'All God's children need travelling shoes' is the title of a book by writer/poet Maya Angelou. The song was covered by Liza Minelli in 1989. Other covers were made by Italian disco singer George Aaron, Chinese singer Chyi Yu and death metal band Cynicism.

My collection: 7" single no. 673
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, October 28, 1988
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Twist in my sobriety (edit)' / 'Friends'

La folie - Valerie Lagrange

Valerie Lagrange was born in Paris on February 25, 1942. During her teens she started auditioning for acting roles, which resulted in her appearing in various French films. In 1964 she released her first single, a double A-side featuring the songs 'Paris-Wellington' and 'La nuit de mon amour'.

Many singles and albums later, Valerie released 'La folie' in 1984. It was taken from her album 'Les trottoirs de l’éternité'. It was a big hit in French-speaking countries, and also nearly made the Dutch Top 40. This is how I caught on to this song: it was regularly played on the radio and on one occasion I recorded it. Seven years later, I got hold of the single. It's still an alltime favourite of mine.

My collection: 7" single no. 1457
Found: Grammofoonwinkel, Utrecht, June 27, 1991
Cost: 3,9 guilders
Tracks: 'La folie' / 'Personne n'entend'

Felicidad - Boney M

Boney M released the single 'Felicidad' in 1980. The song was not included on any studio album. It was a cover of one hit wonder Massara's 'Margherita'. The single peaked at number 6 in Germany, but failed to chart in other countries.

Due to a frosty relationship to the group's members at the time, producer Frank Farian tried to record it with session singers Cathy Bartney, Patricia Shockley and Madeleine Davis plus himself only on vocals. He was then forced by record company Hansa to overdub Boney M. singers Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett's vocals.
My collection: 7" single no. 81
Found: Vienna, July 1980
Cost: nothing (present)
Tracks: 'Felicidad' / 'Strange'

The honeythief - Hipsway

Hipsway were formed in Glasgow in 1984 by ex-Altered Images guitarist Johnny McElhone on bass, and featuring Grahame Skinner (vocals), Pim Jones (guitar) and Harry Travers (drums). They were soon signed up by Mercury Records and released their self-titled debut album in 1985. Their debut single 'The honeythief' made number 17 in the UK singles chart, but stalled at number 33 in the Netherlands. The band split up in 1989, with McElhone leaving to found Texas.

I don't think I remembered the song when I bought it, but I did know I liked the song. Many years later, the track has disappeared from my memory alltogether. It was nice to hear it again when I played it recently.

My collection: 7" single no. 833
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, May 20, 1989
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'The honeythief' / 'Wild sorrow'

Follow my rainbow - Sheena Easton

Sheena Easton made her acting debut in November 1987 in the television series 'Miami Vice', playing a singer named Caitlin Davies. She was to be protected by Sonny Crockett (played by Don Johnson) until her court appearance to render crucial testimony against certain corrupt music industry mavens. After five episodes, the character ended up being killed just moments after singing 'Follow my rainbow'.

The song was featured on the soundtrack album for 'Miami Vice', which was released in 1988, and subsequently also appeared on Easton's own album 'The lover in me', that same year. The single was released in late 1989, but did not chart. Personally I think the sleeve is better than the record, actually.

My collection: 7" single no. 2320
Found: Record fair, June 3, 1995
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Follow my rainbow' / 'Days like this'

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Geluk - Verona

When I recently saw a report about Dutch presenter Harry Vermeegen on television, anouncing his comeback to television, I immediately thought of this single. Together with Henk Spaan he formed a satyrical duo making programmes in the Eighties. Initially their programme was called 'Pisa', but when they moved to a different broadcaster (Veronica) they changed the name of their programme to 'Verona'.

Under this name they released the 1986 single 'Geluk' ('Happiness'). The lyric of the song refers to a man who is searching for happiness. ('I've searched everywhere, it's making me unhappy'). The lyric cannot be translated without loss of a lot of Dutch wordplay, but the music, produced by Henk Temming from Het Goede Doel, is strong and transcends all language barriers.

My collection: 7" single no. 1407
Found: Concerto, Amsterdam, April 3, 1991
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Geluk' / 'Geluk (instr.)'

Zarah (Ich weiss, es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehn) - Nina Hagen

'Ich weiss, es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehn' was originally performed by Zarah Leander in the first half of the 20th century. Nina Hagen recorded this cover version in 1983 for her album 'Angstlos', produced by Giorgio Moroder.

Although not a hit in the Netherlands, I heard the song pretty soon after its release thanks to my sister. It was a remarkable cover, because for all its disco stomp in the second half, the first half of the song is a pretty faithful cover of the original version.

My collection: 7" single no. 1676
Found: Parkpop, Den Haag, June 28, 1992
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Zarah (Ich weiss, es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehn)' / 'Frühling in Paris'

This heart of mine - Anders Frandsen

Anders Frandsen was born ub Denmark on December 8, 1960. Although not a trained actor, he made his stage debut during the Eighties in theatre performances. In 1991 he represented Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Lige der hvor hjertet slår', a jazz-influenced lovesong composed by Michael Elo. The song didn't do well at the Contest, and placed 19th with only 8 points. That didn't hurt his popularity however, and the following year at the Danish national final, he was the host.

This single features the English-language version on the A-side. The song sounds rather more intruguing in Danish, though.

My collection: 7" single no. 1837
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, January 23, 1993
Cost: 10 guilders
Tracks: 'This heart of mine' / 'Lige der hvor hjertet slår'

Flash - Duke of Burlington

Nothing beats a good instrumental track from time to time. This 'golden oldie' appeared as background music in a commercial on a local radio station I listened to a lot during the Eighties. In time, I found out the name and artist behind the music, and then I found out that it was actually released when I was just born.

I have no idea who hides behind the stage name Duke of Burlington, but this track was a success in the Netherlands nonetheless: it peaked at number 11 in the autumn of 1970.

My collection: 7" single no. 382
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1985
Cost: 3,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Flash' / 'Viva Tirado'

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Say you'll be mine - Amy Grant

I'd just discovered Amy Grant's albums 'Lead me on' and 'Heart in motion' when she started to release singles from her new album 'House of love'. One of those singles was 'Say you'll be mine'. I bought it on the hunch that this material might be just as good. I was not too disappointed: the songs were a bit on the bubblegum pop side, but still nice and melodic.

Grant didn't score a big hit with this: it roamed the UK singles chart for only two weeks in the autumn of 1994, peaking at number 41.

My collection: 7" single no. 2227
Found: Record fair, Rotterdam, December 17, 1994
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Say you'll be mine (radio mix)' / 'Life's gonna change'

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