Sunday, 31 August 2014

Love don't prove I'm right - The Babys

Internal conflicts led to rhythm guitarist and keyboard player Michael Corby being removed from the band by Chrysalis on August 28, 1978. The three remaining members of the Babys - John Waite, Wally Stocker, and Tony Brock - completed the album 'Head first' for a January 1979 release.

'Love don't prove I'm right' was a single taken from that album, the one that spawned their signature hit 'Every time I think of you'. The title track was also released as a single, but didn't fare as well and this one, released exclusively in the Netherlands - as far as I could find out - did even worse, as it failed to chart everywhere.

My collection: 7" single no. 5367
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Love don't prove I'm right' / 'I was one'

Judy min vän - Tommy Körberg

'Judy, min vän' ('Judy, my friend') was the Swedish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1969, performed by Tommy Körberg. The song was composed by Englishman Roger Wallis, living in Sweden since the early Sixties, originally with English lyrics and entitled 'Dear Mrs. Jones'. Lyricist Britt Lindeborg subsequently translated and re-wrote the Swedish lyrics specifically for the Swedish pre-selections, and then changed the title to 'Judy, min vän'.

Both versions of the song were released as singles in Sweden. 'Judy, min vän' was performed ninth on the night. By the close of voting, it had received 8 points, placing it in shared 9th place in a field of 16 competitors. After four countries won the Contest in 1969, Sweden - as all the other Scandinavian countries - withdrew from the 1970 contest, in protest of the voting system.

My collection: 7" single no. 5584
Found: KEG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Judy min vän' / 'Din tid är förbi'

Do you wanna funk - Patrick Cowley and Sylvester

Although my English wasn't as good as it is these days, even when this single was released I had a sneaking suspicion that the title was supposed to have a 'c' where the last 'n' was included. Somehow it seemed appropriate, because all I knew about clubbing at the time was that it seemed to involve drinking and... well... that other thing.

The dance song was recorded by American recording artist Sylvester. It was produced by Patrick Cowley, who incidentally died the same year. 'Do you wanna funk' was mostly successful in Europe, especially Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway (where it became a top 10 hit) and even in the United Kingdom where it made the top 40. It also made the Top 30 in Australia.

My collection: 7" single no. 5380
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Do you wanna funk' / 'Do you wanna funk (instrumental)'

Strawberry Fields forever - Beatles

Although I would love to own the box set of Beatles singles with the green sleeves, it is quite impossible to get for a reasonable price. These re-releases from the Eighties, however, pop up for a more reasonable price every now and again. And so I settled with this re-release of 'Penny Lane' and 'Strawberry fields forever', simply because they're two of the best tracks recorded by the fab four IMHO.

This single came with a piece of paper informing the buyer that the albums 'Rubber soul', 'Help' and 'Revolver' were soon to be released on compact disc. It wouldn't be the last time these albums were released on the format: since then, there have been remasters, box sets and what not. Still, no-one seems to have caught on to the idea that Beatles tracks are not the most attractive in their current state. A stereo remix wouldn't be too bad an idea in an age where music is usually listened to with in-ears.

My collection: 7" single no. 5369
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Strawberry Fields forever' / 'Penny Lane'

Running with the night - Lionel Richie

The dodgy lyrics of the man's later work may make you forget just how good his songs were at the height of his popularity. A song like 'Dancing on the ceiling' can't hold a candle to a great pop track like this one, 'Running with the night'.

It was the second single from his multi-platinum album 'Can't slow down'. The electric guitar solo was played by Steve Lukather, best known as a member of the rock band Toto. Lukather sat down in the studio and the engineer played the basic tracks of the song, for him to hear for the first time, so he could plan his part. As the music played, he jammed along on his instrument. At the conclusion of tune, he said to the engineer, "okay, I'm ready for a take." The producer replied, "That was a take." Singer Richard Marx added backing vocals on the track as a session singer; he had also lent his vocals to Richie's 'All Night Long (All Night)' and 'You Are'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5474
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Running with the night' / 'Serves you right'

Magnificent obsession - Fehlfarben

Fehlfarben is a German post-punk band from Düsseldorf, Germany. The band name is from a German printing term referring to erroneous colors in prints: singer Peter Hein was in this line of work at Xerox while in the band. Its founding members were Peter Hein (vocals), Thomas Schwebel (guitar), Michael Kemner (bass), Frank Fenstermacher (saxophone), Markus Oehlen and Uwe Bauer (drums).

'Magnificent obsession' was released as a single in 1983, but didn't register in any charts I know. Still, the single was picked up by radio stations, which is how I found out about it at the time. I also forgot about the song for a long time, until I finally got this single a few years ago.

My collection: 7" single no. 5394
Found: unknown
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Magnificent obsession' / 'Das Buschgespenst'

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Spetters - Kayak

Although the name Kayak isn't mentioned on the front of this sleeve, the soundtrack for the Dutch movie 'Spetters' was indeed played by Kayak. They are credited on the back of the sleeve, as is composed Ton Scherpenzeel.

Anyone who has seen the movie 'Spetters' will know that the story centres around a group of young people, with sex, jealousy and motorcross playing a big part - and there's also a recurring appearance of various variations on the theme of homosexuality. It was the controversy surrounding Spetters that caused Verhoeven to leave for Hollywood, where he went on to because a hugely successful director.

The music on this single tends to be overlooked - it wasn't even a hit in the Netherlands even though the movie attracted more than a million viewers in the cinema - but listen to it here and you will find this is actually great even without the movie.

My collection: 7" single no. 5428
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Theme from 'Spetters'' / 'Lost blue of Chartres'

Born free - Vic Reeves

Vic Reeves presented a television show on New Year's Eve 1990, which went on during the turn of the year. Just after midnight, one of his guest stars was Kim Wilde - which will go a long way into explaining why I bought this single.

'Oh! Mr. Songwriter' was a song performed by Kim during the show, and as this single shows, it would have been nice if she'd sung it on this recording as well. Vic Reeves, while a good comedian, doesn't have the best singing voice. Still, this release, featuring a cover of 'Born free', was received very well in 1991 and even reached the top 10 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5479
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Born free' / 'Oh! Mr. Songwriter...'

Contenders - Heaven 17

In a review of Heaven 17's 1986 single 'Contenders', Simon Reynolds for Melody Maker wrote: "This one practically hurls itself off the ropes at you, solid funk brawn but light on its feet, bobbing and weaving, jabbing and pummeling and always on the attack, but, somehow, failing to deliver that hook to floor you completely. The killer blow never comes."

I'm not a fan of music reviews, but this particular one hits the nail on the head: it is a nice enough song but it isn't particularly memorable. Which is surprising, because Heaven 17, up to that point, were able to serve up memorable pop songs each and every time. After their successful first three albums, the fourth album 'Pleasure one' failed to deliver a top 40 smash, and started a run of many non-charting albums.

My collection: 7" single no. 5404
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Contenders' / 'Excerpts from 'Diary of a contender''

Laat me nu gaan - Linda Lepomme

In 1985, actress and singer Linda Lepomme represented Belgium during that year's Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Laat me nu gaan' ('Let me go now'). She received only 7 points and ended up in last place.

A few months later, Lepomme started working at the musicals division of the Royal Ballet of Flanders, where she was artistic director between 1987 and 2005, until subsidies to musicals were no longer supplied by the government.

My collection: 7" single no. 5605
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Laat me nu gaan' / 'Laat me nu gaan (orchestral version)'

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

I'm going slightly mad - Queen

This song seems very appropriate for a night like tonight. Over in London, Kate Bush is premiering her first live show in 35 years. Yes, 'it finally happened'. Meanwhile 'I'm going slightly mad' at the thought that I will have to wait two weeks to see the show myself. Two UK newspaper are running a live blog with details of the show, and the press are sure to go mad with reports tomorrow.

But, back to Queen. They released 'I'm going slightly mad' as the second single from their album 'Innuendo' - the last Queen album to be released while frontman Freddie Mercury was alive. The video showed a pale, thin Mercury who was just months away from his passing. The band went on to release a greatest hits album, a pathetic single without Mercury and of course the lengthy 'Made in heaven' album, using vocals hastily recorded in Mercury's last year alive. There are rumours that a new album using old vocals is being made as we speak. Personally, I prefer music from artists who are still alive... and playing live. Even if the world had to wait 35 years for it.

My collection: 7" single no. 5442
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'I'm going slightly mad' / 'The hitman'

Living in a world (turned upside down) - Private Lives

I didn't know until I bought this 12" single that Private Lives released a remixed version of their single 'Living in a world (turned upside down)' within a year of its original release. The new version was produced by Stewart Levine, an American producer who's worked with an impressive line-up of soul-oriented names: The Crusaders, Minnie Riperton, Lionel Richie, Simply Red, B.B. King, Patti Labelle, Oleta Adams, Womack and Womack and many others.

Not that this new version is better than the original: sure, it sounds smooth but the spontaneity of the the original version is gone. Still, you can't go very wrong with great song material like this.

My collection: 7" single no. 5440
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Living in a world (turned upside down)' / 'Breakup'

Monday, 25 August 2014

Six months in a leaky boat - Split Enz

Easily one of the most imaginative titles of the Eighties, 'Six months in a leaky boat' was thought to be a dig at the British invasion on the Falkland Islands. As a result, the song was 'discouraged from airplay' in the UK, also because the phrase 'a leaky boat' was not thought to be appropriate during a naval action in the war.

The song is actually a reference to the time it took pioneers to sail to Australia and New Zealand, as well as a metaphor that refers to lead singer Tim Finn's nervous breakdown. The single reached number 2 in the Australian singles chart, number 7 in New Zealand and Canada and - despite the lack of airplay - number 83 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5409
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Six months in a leaky boat' / 'Make sense of it'

Loving feeling - Beloved

The Beloved were having some success as an indie band, when they slimmed down to a duo consisting of Jon Marsh and Steven Waddington. Having experimented with dance sounds already, the two decided to embrace it more and managed to sign a contract with Warner. Their first single for the major label was 'Loving feeling', released in a limited edition poster bag.

The single didn't become a chart hit, but their next single would be 'The sun rising', which did become more popular. In a way, this single is the start of it all, and foreshadowing the things that were ahead.

My collection: 7" single no. 5371
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Loving feeling' / 'Acid love'

Puppet on a string - Big Fair Organ

I couldn't find a release date for this particular single, but my guess it's a release from the Sixties - not too long after Sandie Shaw won the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest with 'Puppet on a string'.

This Big Fair Organ was used for more instrumental covers, as the album 'Dance party', released around the same time, proves: Engelbert Humperdinck's 'Release me', Louis Neefs' 'Ik heb zorgen' and even the 'Green green grass of home' were all given the organ treatment. Both the single and the album were made in Belgium, which would imply that the organ comes from that country as well.

My collection: 7" single no. 5624
Found:, received August 16, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Puppet on a string' / 'Edelweis'

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Tonight - Boomtown Rats

The Boomtown Rats recorded their sixth album 'In the long grass' in 1983, but it was initially rejected by the band's record company. When it was finally released in May 1984, it failed to chart at all. In the US, where the album was also released, it reached number 188 in the Billboard albums chart.

'Tonight' was the first single from the album, released in February 1984. It appeared in the UK singles chart for one week, at number 73. The B-side was a non-album track, which finally appeared on a 2005 CD release of the album.

My collection: 7" single no. 5374
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Tonight' / 'Precious times'

Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va - Romuald

Romuald Figuier was born in Saint-Pol-de-Léon (France) on May 5, 1941. He represented Monaco at the Eurovision Song Contest twice: in 1964 and 1974. In 1969, he appeared on stage too, that time representing Luxembourg. This single was released in 1974, and contains his last Eurovision song, 'Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va'. The song is sung from the perspective of a man whose lover has just ended their relationship. Romuald sings that there is always one half of a relationship who "stays" - that is, the person who does not do the breaking up - and the other half who "goes" - by doing the breaking up. He compares the fates of both people, and sings that while he is not angry with his former lover, he wants her to realise the situation for what it is.

At the close of voting, the song was placed fourth in a field of 17 competitors. Of course, we all know who won the competition that year, don't we?

My collection: 7" single no. 5610
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va' / 'Sur la pointe des pieds, sur la pointe du coeur'

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Say hello - Breathe

Breathe blasted into the UK singles charts with their second single 'Hands to heaven' and they were hailed as the year's biggest new promise back in 1989. However, after releasing six singles from their debut album 'All that jazz', only four made it into the charts in the UK, and when they came up with a second album 'Peace of mind' in 1990, nobody seemed to be interested.

'Say hello' was the lead single from that second album, and although it was released in this attractive limited edition package featuring a fold out sleeve and three photographs, not many people took the trouble of actually taking the single home. The result was a measly number 87 in the UK singles chart, After the second and third singles did even worse, the band called it quits.

My collection: 7" single no. 5375
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Say hello' / 'All that jazz'

Kloden drejer - Gry

'Kloden drejer' is a Danish song. The title means 'The planet's spinning'. It was performed on the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest by Gry Johansen. In the end, the song was placed 17th in a field of 20 contestants.

I already had a version of this song when I bought We're like starlight, which is an English version of the song. As you can see, the lyric of that song is as wildly different from this one as the sleeve of that single is from this one.

My collection: 7" single no. 5590
Found: KG Records (Sweden), received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Kloden drejer' / 'Den sidste dans'

Tantalise - Jimmy the Hoover

Jimmy The Hoover were a British pop band, who formed in 1982 and comprised Simon Barker (keyboards), Derek Dunbar (vocals), Carla Duplantier (drums), Flinto Chandia (bass) (later replaced by Cris Cole) and Mark Rutherford (guitar). Their manager Malcolm McLaren chose their name and gave them a support slot on a Bow Wow Wow tour.

In 1983 they signed to CBS subsidiary Innervision, and the same year they had their only hit, 'Tantalise'. It would be their only hit, reaching number 18 in the UK singles chart in July 1983. The track was produced by Steve Levine, who also produced Culture Club's multi-million selling 'Colour by Numbers' album that same year. A follow-up single "Kill Me Kwik", produced by Anne Dudley of Art of Noise fame, received positive reviews in the music press but failed to chart. The group were subsequently dropped by Innervision. In 1985, another single, "Bandana Street (Use It)", would appear on a new label, MCA Records, but with no further success.

The sleeve of this single is a nightmare for obsessive compulsives: the label has to be placed in a certain way so that it connects with the hole in the sleeve.

My collection: 7" single no. 5453
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Tantalise' / 'Sing sing'

Diggi loo diggi ley - The Herrey's

Sometimes owning a big collection that's still getting bigger leads to interesting statistical facts. Back in 1984, I bought the single Diggi loo diggi ley by the Herrey's. They'd just won the Eurovision Song Contest and I went to my local record store to buy this winner - even though I wasn't convinced this was the best song of the night.

Fast forward 30 years and here we are: I ordered another copy of 'Diggi loo diggi ley', this time from a shop in Sweden, still not convinced this was the best song of the night but excited to have a recording of the original Swedish version of the song. Because that's what this single is: it's the original Swedish release, featuring not only 'Diggi loo diggi ley' in Swedish, but also a different B-side - in English!

My collection: 7" single no. 5591
Found: KG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Diggi loo diggi ley' / 'Mirror, mirror upon the wall'

Close to me (remix) - The Cure

The Cure were at their most popular by the end of the Eighties, but what happened after their album 'Disintegration' almost seemed like a deliberate self-destruct mechanism: they released an iffy live album ('Entreat'), then a remix album, and no new music until 1992 - and even that album was quite a departure from the doom and gloom they'd demonstrated until then.

From the remix album came this single, 'Close to me (remix)', in 1990. Let's just say that this remix came from Paul Oakenfold's less inspired periods. On the other hand, the remix of 'Just like heaven' on the B-side is a deconstructed piece of bliss, created by Bryan 'Chuck' New. Who?...

My collection: 7" single no. 5381
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Close to me (Closest mix)' / 'Just like heaven (Dizzy mix)'

Friday, 22 August 2014

Divine - Sebastien Tellier

On March 7, 2008, it was announced by Bruno Berberes, head of EBU delegation in France, that Tellier would represent France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008. It was held in Belgrade on May 24, 2008. Tellier sang the song 'Divine'. This was the first time in the history of the contest that the nominated French entry was to be performed largely in English, which caused some controversy, leading to Tellier pledging to increase the amount of French in the song prior to the competition itself.

There was no shortage of record releases for this entry: 'Divine' was released on 7", 12" and CD-singles - very unusual for any release in 2008, especially coming from France. This 7" single was pretty expensive back in 2008, but now I managed to snap up a copy for much less. And it's clear vinyl, too!

My collection: 7" single no. 5603
Found: eBay, received August 9, 2014
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Divine vision' / 'Divine (Kasper Winding remix)'

One way ticket - Eruption

After recording this song for this blog a few days ago, it stuck in my head all day yesterday and today. It proves just how memorable those Frank Farian disco productions were during the second half of the Seventies, and why many of them ended up being such big hits. You just couldn't get them out of your head.

Originally, the song was recorded by Neil Sedaka in 1959. The disco update from 1979 was released by Eruption for their second album 'Leave a light'. It became a number 1 in Austria and Switzerland, and reached top 10 throughout Europe.

My collection: 7" single no. 5476
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'One way ticket' / 'Left me in the rain'

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Pet'r oil - Ajda Pekkan

There aren't many 7" singles of Turkish entries of the Eurovision Song Contest, and the ones I have are always made in other countries. This single of the 1980 entry, for instance, comes from France. The B-side also contains a French-language version of the song, probably to make it more interesting for the local record-buying audience.

Ayse Ajda Pekkan was born on February 12, 1946 and has become one of the most successful female Turkish artists of all time, selling over 42 million records worldwide during a career that spans five decades. She started in 1962 and is still making records now. Her appearance in Eurovision in 1980 was perhaps not her finest moment: it caused a temporary break from music, a move to the USA, and when she moved back to Turkey she released two failed albums before becoming successful again in the mid-Eighties. 'Pet'r oil' was placed 15th in a field of 19 contestants.

My collection: 7" single no. 5588
Found: KG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Pet'r oil' / 'Le roi du petrole'

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Heavy fuel - Dire Straits

The Dire Straits released 'Heavy fuel' as the second single from their 1991 album 'On every street'. In it, Mark Knopfler ironically extols the virtues of such conventionally frowned-upon vices as cigarettes, hamburgers, Scotch, lust, money, and violence. The phrase 'You gotta run on heavy fuel' is from the novel 'Money' by Martin Amis, on which Knopfler based his lyric.

The single reached number 55 in the UK singles chart and peaked at number 25 in the Dutch singles chart. I didn't like the song back when it was released, but two decades on, it's actually very enjoyable. And so I got a copy a while ago.

My collection: 7" single no. 5383
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Heavy fuel' / 'Planet of New Orleans'

I morgon är en annan dag - Christer Björkman

Released in 1992, this single is a historic one of sorts, since it's the last Eurovision entry from Sweden to be released on the 7" vinyl format. In the early Nineties, vinyl was on its way out, because record companies placed all their bets on compact discs instead. Well, we know what happened next: most record companies are out of business now.

'I morgon är en annan dag' is a beautiful ballad, which is not something you hear from Sweden when they win. 'Waterloo', 'Diggi loo diggi ley', 'Fangad av en stormvind', 'Take me to your heaven' and even Euphoria were uptempo, so it's rather surprising the Swedes sometimes come up with a ballad. When they do with beauties like this, they earn the respect of those viewers like me, who think that the real treats in Eurovision are not found among the winners, but with the runners-up.

My collection: 7" single no. 5593
Found: KG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'I morgon är en annan dag' / 'Demain il y a un autre jour'

Fade to grey - Phase One

Released in 1992, this single is a cover of Visage's Eighties hit 'Fade to grey'. The version comes with all the things you'd expect from an early Nineties dance track: monotonous rhythm from a box, dull synths and iffy vocals.

The vocals are apparently delivered by Katrina Baird, an English vocalist and dancer who is based in Rome. The song was recorded and mixed at MKS Studio in Italy according to the sleeve. The single, however, was made in Belgium. Some optimistic soul on is asking 75 euros for the CD-single, which was also released at the time. Good luck...

My collection: 7" single no. 5621
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Fade to grey (radio mix)' / 'Fade to grey (instrumental mix)'

Non ho l'eta - Ernie Englund

Ernie Englund was born as Ernest Englund in Chicago, Illinois (USA) on March 26, 1928. In 1944 he came to Sweden, where he started a career in music a decade later. He was a successful composer and trumpet player, releasing several albums and singles between 1954 and 1970.

I found this single recently, featuring an instrumental cover of Gigliola Cinquetti's Eurovision winner 'Non ho l'eta'. Presumably, the single was taken from the 1969 album 'Blue trumpet', which is listed on and features more instrumental covers like 'House of the rising sun' and 'I (who have nothing)'. 'Let me be your dream', he asks on the B-side of this single, but I wonder if anyone would want that, looking at the cover of this single. It doesn't matter anyway: Ernie passed away on December 21, 2001 in Hamra on Gotland (Sweden).

My collection: 7" single no. 5478
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Non ho l'eta' / 'Let me be your dream'

Monday, 18 August 2014

The photo song - Holger Czukay

Back in 1984, my days were filled with music videos. Coming home from school, the television would invariably entertain me with them until dinner time. I don't know why I was so obsessive about it - or maybe I do: I wanted to catch a glimpse of my favourite artists. More often than not, I didn't, of course: the hits of the day were shown ad nauseum, and sometimes something quirky would appear.

Such as the video of Holger Czukay's 'Photo song'. Which I didn't like at all. It was weird. It seemed like a lunatic had been set free from the asylum. It took me many years to see the charm of this song - but I did. I still think the music video is crazy, but now that I own the single, I can truly say I have changed my mind about the song.

My collection: 7" single no. 5382
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'The photo song' / 'Das massenmedium'


Le coeur grenadine - Laurent Voulzy

Taken from the album of the same name, Laurent Voulzy released 'Le coeur grenadine' in 1979. The single was a hit in France, although I haven't been able to establish just how big a hit the song was. In 2010, Laurent established a range of girls' clothing of the same name.

Voulzy entered my record collection when he released the single 'Les nuits sans Kim Wilde', but the compilation album 'Carib Islander' featured many more great pop songs. This single wasn't included, but it has the same breezy charm.

My collection: 7" single no. 5620
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Le coeur grenadine' / 'Grimaud'

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Straight or curly hair - Debbie Cameron & Tommy Seebach

The Danish entry for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest was the inimitable Krøller eller ej by Debbie Cameron and Tommy Seebach. I wrote about that single 18 monts ago, so I thought it would be nice to post this English edition today. I got it via mail order just over two weeks ago. I didn't know it existed, but now that I have it, it is a real find.

Tommy Seebach has had quite a life, although unfortunately he probably didn't die a happy man, judging from his biography. The Eurovision songs he's made during his career (he entered the contest on three occasions and tried to get it a few times more) were a bit camp but always enjoyable. And this English version just adds to the wonder. Listen to those strange lyrics...

My collection: 7" single no. 5589
Found: KG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Straight or curly hair' / 'Tiger'

The beat goes on - Nathalie

Belgian singer Nathalie had a hit with the Peter Godwin-produced 'My love won't let you down', but the subsequent single outings haven't been quite as successful. Nathalie Gabay released three more singles before calling it quits .These days she appears to work in the fashion industry.

'The beat goes on' was Nathalie's follow-up to 'My love won't let you down', and produced by Phil Gosez, it sounds very different from its predecessor. The song itself is a cover of the 1967 hit by Sonny & Cher. The sleeve? Well, it's pure Eighties bliss, isn't it?

My collection: 7" single no. 5623
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'The beat goes on' / 'You know my name'

As tears go by - Marianne Faithfull

If you've followed this blog from the beginning, you will have seen this single before. It was taken down by Blogger because of a DMCA complaint, probably caused by the fact that in those days, you could download the tracks. Now that I stream the music, those complaints don't seem to come by anymore.

'As tears go by', a song written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, was originally released by Marianne Faithfull in 1964. The Rolling Stones recorded their own version a year later, and both versions were hits both in the UK and abroad. Faithfull re-recorded the song in 1987, saying: "Forty is the age to sing it, not seventeen". The accompanying album 'Strange weather' featured 12 cover versions of songs from the 20th century.

My collection: 7" single no. 783
Found: All that music, Leiden, March 24, 1989
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'As tears go by' / 'Trouble in mind (the return)'

Kingston town - UB40

'Kingston town' was originally released in 1970 by Lord Creator, a calypso and soca artist from Jamaica. In 1989, the song was covered by UB40 on their album 'Labour of love II', another album filled with covers in their familiar reggae stylee.

The UB40 version reached number 1 in France and the Netherlands, and was a top 10 hit in many other European countries. I never really liked the song until very recently, and so I decided to snap up a copy after all.

My collection: 7" single no. 5480
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Kingston town' / 'Lickwood'

Pump pump - Fredi & Friends

One of the reasons why the Eurovision Song Contest is derided by some people, is that some of the acts on stage have a certain dodgy quality. It's hard to explain why, but sometimes these dodgy act are what makes the contest so much fun.

One has to wonder, for example, whether Fredi & Friends, coming from Finland in 1976, seriously thought they had a chance with 'Pump pump'. The song was slightly catchy, but the group looked like they'd only rehearsed it a couple of times before losing their minds completely during the live broadcast. The enthusiasm of the female singer was a big contrast with the inertia displayed by frontman Fredi. Still, 'Pump pump' ended up on 11th place in a field of 18 contestants, so it wasn't too bad after all. And very funny, too.

My collection: 7" single no. 5586
Found: KG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Pump pump' / 'Listen to the rolling sea'

Thursday, 14 August 2014

All make believe - Ilanit

In 1973, Israel participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time, creating the first occasion on which a country from outside geographical Europe competed. This is explained by the fact that the Contest is open to members of the European Broadcasting Union, an organisation that extends beyond Europe - in fact, there are members from all continents.

'All make believe' is the English version of the song 'Ey sham', which was performed (in Hebrew) by Ilanit. She reached fouth position with the song. Ilanit participated in the 1977 edition as well, and would also have participated in 1984, but her entry was withdrawn when the broadcast day coincided with an Israeli memorial day.

My collection: 7" single no. 5612
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'All make believe' / 'Still the green grass grows'

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

I can't wait - Nu Shooz

Nu Shooz is an American Freestyle-R&B-Dance group fronted by husband-and-wife team of John Smith and Valerie Day, based in Portland, Oregon. The Shooz released four albums in the U.S. during the 1980s, and it was its third album, Poolside, that brought the group's sound to a wider audience.

The single "I Can't Wait", taken from that album, climbed to number 2 on the R&B charts and number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1986. In Europe, it was a top 10 hit in many countries, and included in many DJ megamixes which were so popular at the time.

My collection: 7" single no. 5481
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'I can't wait' / 'Make your mind up'

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Spirits having flown - Bee Gees

For some reason I never managed to secure a copy of the Bee Gees' 'Spirits having flown' until now. I did buy a copy some years ago, but that one turned out to have a different single inside the sleeve. If I'd noticed it earlier, the dealer wouldn't have made any money of me, but in this case, I was too slow.

This time I had more luck. This Portuguese copy of the single features a different sleeve (although it has to be said that it's only different from the Dutch version, as the UK version didn't have a picture sleeve at all) and had the right disc inside.
Great! This is actually one of the trio's better tracks, in my humble opinion.

My collection: 7" single 5372
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Spirits (having flown)' / 'Wind of change'

Det börjar verka kärlek, banne mej - Claes-Göran Hederström

One would not expect a title like "It's beginning to look like love, damn it" to enter the Eurovision Song Contest back in the Sixties, but that's exactly what the title of this Swedish entry means.

Claes-Göran Hederström represented his country a year after his television debut and this became his most recognised song, partly thanks to its unconventional title and partly because of its humorous lyrics. The fact that this song ended up fifth in a field of 17 contestants also helped, of course.

My collection: 7" single no. 5583
Found: KEG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Det börjar verka kärlek, banne mej' / 'Natten är så lång'

Sámiid Aednan - Sverre Kjelsberg & Mattis Haetta

Every once in a while I get to buy a single I've been searching for - I mean, actively searching for - for many years. Earlier this week I finally had this beauty in my mailbox. It's the, frankly, rather bizarre Norwegian entry for the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest. Entitled 'Sámiid Aednan', the song was inspired by the autonomy movement among the Sami people of northern Norway. The line "framførr tinget der dem satt, hørtes joiken dag og natt" (in front of the parliament where they sat, the yoik was heard day and night), refers to a hunger strike in front of the Norwegian parliament building.

It is quite remarkable that such a politically-laden song made it into the contest, but even more remarkable is the song itself: after a rather traditional start, the song suddenly breaks off at 1'25 with Mattis Hætta contributing his yoik - a Sami form of vocal music without words. The song finished 16th in a field of 19 contestants.

My collection: 7" single no. 5601
Found:, received August 6, 2014
Cost: 6 euro
Tracks: 'Sámiid Aednan' / 'Detsikavisa'

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