Sunday, 29 December 2019

I could easily fall in love with you - Cliff Richard

Cliff Richard released 'I could easily fall in love with you' in 1964. The song reached silver status in the UK, where it reached number 6 in the singles chart. It did even better in the Netherlands, where it peaked at number 4 in the Dutch Top 40.

I don't have a lot of Cliff Richard singles, but this song has a certain evergreen status and I instantly remembered it when I saw this single in the shop. The fact that the disc and sleeve were in such a great condition after all these years made me buy the single on the spot.

My collection: 7" single no. 6227
Found: 33|45 Records, Den Haag, December 28, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'I could easily fall in love with you' / 'I'm in love with you'

Puppet on a string - Teddy Mertens

During the 1960's, Teddy Mertens released a string of singles with trumpet-based instrumentals. Among them was a cover of 'Non ho l'eta', the winning song of the 1964 Eurovision Song Contest, and this one: 'Puppet on a string', which was the winning song in 1967. The B-side of the single is 'Il doit faire beau lá bas', the French entry of that year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Teddy Mertens also released a few albums with "his orchestra", but faded back into anonymity at the end of the decade. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6226
Found: 33|45 Records, Den Haag, December 28, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Puppet on a string' / 'Il doit faire beau lá bas'

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Songfestival Londen 1960 - Festival Orchestra

The 1960 Eurovision Song Festival took place in London, with artists from thirteen different European countries. Thirty million viewers watched France win this time with the song 'Tom Pillibi'.

This EP features four songs from the contest: 'Wat een geluk', 'Romantica', 'Tom Pillibi' and 'Looking high high high', the entries from the Netherlands, Italy, France and the UK respectively. The songs were performed by uncredited vocalists with the Festival Orchestra conducted by Harry S. Owens. The single turns up regularly when you hunt for Eurovision singles, but never at a decent price. Until today, that is.

My collection: 7" single no. 6225
Found: 33|45 Records, Den Haag, December 28, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Wat een geluk', 'Romantica' / 'Tom Pillibi', 'Looking high high high'

Thursday, 26 December 2019

I wish it could be Christmas every day - Wizzard

A few years ago I went to a Christmas gig by Kim Wilde, and she played a version of 'I wish it could be Christmas every day'. The original song was released in 1973 by Wizzard - around the time I started watching Toppop on a weekly basis as a wee three year old kid. I didn't really know this song very well, but it did sound vaguely familiar.

When I started looking for the single I quickly found out it was issued in a gatefold sleeve - and it was pretty hard to find. I was therefore delighted to find this single finally in April this year. Not really the season for a Christmas single, but when something is on your list for a few years, you can't miss the opportunity.

'I wish it could be Christmas every day' reached number 4 in the UK singles chart when it was released. It has had no less than 15 re-entries since then, in 1981, 1984 and then from 2007 until this year - every year in December of course. However, since the original tapes were lost all the re-entries were based on a re-recording made in 1981.

My collection: 7" single no. 6033
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'I wish it could be Christmas every day' / 'Rob Roy's nightmare'

Mary's boy child (remix) - Boney M

The legacy of Boney M was tarnished somewhat when Frank Farian continued to churn out singles after Bobby Farrell left the group. Less successful singles eventually forced him to stop - but in 1988 he came back with a vengeance when the compilation 'Greatest Hits of all times remix '88' was released. The original line-up reformed and several singles were released: new remixes of old hits.

'Mary's boy child' was released in time for Christmas in 1988, in a remix version created by mix-master Pete Hammond - an obvious attempt to use the name and fame of the Stock, Aitken & Waterman team, who were continually in the charts with their acts. The single did not chart. Tensions ran high between the members, and Liz Mitchell left in the spring of 1989 to be replaced by Madeleine Davis.

My collection: 7" single no. 6175
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Mary's boy child (remix)' / 'Megamix (edited version)'

Monday, 23 December 2019

Mary's boy child (Oh my Lord) / Dancing in the streets - Boney M

'Mary's boy child' is a Christmas song, originally written by Jester Hairston. The song was written when Hairston was sharing a room with a friend. The friend asked him to write a song for a birthday party. Hairston wrote the song with a calypso rhythm because the people at the party would be mainly West Indians. The song's original title was "He Pone and Chocolate Tea", pone being a type of corn bread. It was never recorded in this form. Some time later Walter Schumann, at the time conducting Schumann's Hollywood Choir, asked Hairston to write a new Christmas song for his choir. Hairston remembered the calypso rhythm from his old song and wrote new lyrics for it.

Harry Belafonte heard the song being performed by the choir and sought permission to record it. It was recorded in 1956 for his album 'An Evening with Belafonte'. It was also released as a single. It reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart in November 1957, and has since sold over 1.19 million copies there.

When Boney M recorded 'Mary's boy child' in 1978, they coupled it with a new song, 'Oh my Lord', written by Frank Farian and Fred Jay. This version also reached number 1 in the UK, and topped the chart for four weeks. When Hairston - who was 78 years old at the time - found out how well the Boney M version had done, he said: "God bless my soul. That's tremendous for an old fogey like me".

After Christmas, Hansa Record flipped the single and released it with 'Dancing in the streets' as the A-side. As you can see from the pictures here, the sleeve was different. On the labels the 'A' and 'B' were indeed changed. The tracks, however, remained the same.

I was lucky enough to find three versions of this single in the same store: the Dutch pressing with the black and white sleeve and two versions of the German pressing. This Boney M single remains one of the best selling Christmas singles of all time.

My collection: 7" single no. 6073
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 3x1 euro
Tracks: 'Mary's boy child (Oh my Lord)' / 'Dancing in the streets'

Elton John's Christmas EP - Elton John

Now that Christmas is approaching, it's finally time to post a few Christmas singles I acquired this year. And here's a good one: back in 1990, Elton John released the compilation album 'The very best of Elton John', featuring a good portion of his hits spread over two CD's.

Elton John's Christmas EP cleverly brought together two Christmas-themed songs along with two other songs that were less Christmassy but very enjoyable nonetheless. Packaged in a gatefold sleeve which on the inside marketed the compilation album and left open the space for the label on which you could write a dedication ("To:.... From:..." on both sides).

My collection: 7" single no. 6178
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Step into Christmas', 'Cold as Christmas (In the middle of the year)' / 'Easier to walk away', 'I swear I heard the night talking'

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Last Christmas - Wham!

The Christmas season is never complete without the Wham! track 'Last Christmas'. Especially this year, when the movie of the same name is in the cinemas everywhere. The record company decided to capitalize on the success and re-release the video in remastered form - it was recorded on film back in 1984, making it possible to release a 4K version now. Never has it looked any better than this.

The same goes for the 7" vinyl single, released this month. Pressed on white vinyl, it comes in a reproduction of the original gatefold sleeve. So, despite already owning Last Christmas, Last Christmas, Last Christmas and Everything she wants / Last Christmas, I had to have this one of course.

My collection: 7" single no. 6222
Found:, received December 17, 2019
Cost: 8 pounds
Tracks: 'Last Christmas' / 'Everything she wants'

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Burning the heather - Pet Shop Boys

The second single off the Pet Shop Boys' forthcoming album 'Hotspot' is 'Burning the heather', a ballad with Bernard Butler on guitar. Curiously, the Boys didn't release this single as a cd-single (like the first one, 'Dreamworld') but on 7" vinyl. That would have been great if they had released previous singles on this format, but this is the first 7" vinyl release since 'Leaving' in 2012. It's a nightmare for completists.

As far as the song is concerned, I don't think this will be a huge hit. But I'm not sure the Boys are really bothered about that: the new album is bound to be a great seller, and more importantly, there's a live tour coming in 2020. That's where the real revenue comes from these days. Personally, I prefer records though. And cd-singles.

My collection: 7" single no. 6221
Found:, received December 16, 2019
Cost: 8 pounds
Tracks: 'Burning the heather' / 'Decide'

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Casanova - Anita Skorgan

Anita Skorgan was born on November 13, 1958 in Gothenburg, Sweden. She first appeared on the Eurovision stage in 1977 with the song 'Casanova'. The song was written by Svein Strugstad and Dag Nordtømme and participated in NRK's semi-final for Central Norway ahead of the Norsk Melodi Grand Prix 1977. In the radio broadcast semi-final, the song was performed by Supergruppa, a specially composed group of professional musicians. 'Casanova' won the semi-final and became one of six songs in the Norwegian final at NRK Marienlyst in Oslo on February 19, 1977.

When Skorgan performed the song on the 1977 edition of the Eurovion Song Contest, she finished on 15th place in a field of 18 competitors. She would return to the Eurovision stage as a solo performer once more, and once with her later husband Jahn Teigen, and then twice as a backing singer.

The B-side of this single contains an amusing cover of Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' in Norwegian, entitled 'Marie'. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6220
Found:, received December 14, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Casanova' / 'Marie (Jolene)'

Comme on s'aime - Peter McLane & Anne-Marie Godart

Peter McLane, real name Vincent Reichenauer, was born in 1945 and became a French singer at the start of the Seventies. He was asked to represent Monaco at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972, together with Anne-Marie Godart. She had a little more experience as a singer: she started out singing duets with Pascal Sevran in 1966, and released her first album two years later.

Their song 'Comme on s'aime' was performed right after 'Härliga sommardag', but was even less successful than that song, ending on 16th place out of 18 competitors. Both Peter McLane and Anne-Marie Godart released a few more singles during the Seventies, but then faded back into anonymity.

My collection: 7" single no. 6219
Found:, received December 14, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Comme on s'aime' / 'Oublie-moi'

Härliga sommardag - Family Four

You may remember that in March I bought a copy of 'Vita vidder' by Family Four, the group that represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971. Well, the year after they returned with another song: 'Härliga Sommardag'. And I found this single online this month, which means that I managed to buy all the Family Four singles I'll ever own within one year.

When you look at the video of their performance, you'll agree that this is typical Seventies fare, innocent and a little twee. The song is about a lovely summer's day, with the band describing a beautiful day of summer which inspires people to make ballads and songs. The song didn't impress much: it finished on 13th place in a field of 18 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 6218
Found:, received December 14, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Härliga sommardag' / 'Mr. Bojangles'

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Djambo Djambo - Peter, Sue & Marc

Peter, Sue and Marc represented Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest on four occasions, each time singing in a different language. Their 1976 entry 'Djambo Djambo' was sung in English.

The song received 91 points, placing 4th in a field of 18 competitors. This is quite amazing, as like all their other Eurovision songs, this track is largely forgettable.

My collection: 7" single no. 6191
Found:, received November 14, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Djambo Djambo' / 'Moby Dick'

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Take on me - A-ha

So I already owned 'Take on me', 'Take on me', 'Take on me' and 'Take on me' and the 12" singles 'Take on me' and 'Take on me', but still this single was an essential addition, because of the B-side. Somehow the record company managed to locate an 'alternative mix' of the original 1984 version of the song; the stuff that collectors go for.

Also, the single was pressed on light blue vinyl, which for me is another bonus. And so I ended up buying this - slightly reluctantly.

My collection: 7" single no. 6217
Found: Rhino Eurostore, received November 26, 2019
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'Take on me' / 'Take on me (1984 version, alternate mix)'

Passion - Rod Stewart

It's been over ten years since I last bought a Rod Stewart single, the classic pop song 'Baby Jane'. In the mean time Rod has turned his attention to the American Songbook and even a Christmas album.

'Passion' was released in 1980 as the lead single from Rod's album 'Foolish behaviour'. The song reached number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two in Canada. It was also a sizeable hit across Europe. The song describes the people, places, and situations in which passion is found. Passion is described as a powerful but dangerous essential motivator, being so compelling that it is prone to sometimes break outside the boundaries of loving relationships. 'Hear it on the radio' and 'read it in the papers' speaks of the potentially disruptive power of unleashed desire.

My collection: 7" single no. 6216
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'Passion' / 'Better off dead'

Wherever I lay my hat - Paul Young

'Wherever I lay my hat (that's my home)' is a song written by Marvin Gaye, Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield, and first recorded by Gaye in 1962. It was the B-side to his 1969 hit 'Too busy thinking 'bout my baby'.Nearly two decades later, Paul Young's version of the song was a UK number 1 single for three weeks in July 1983.

After the Q-Tips disbanded in 1982, Young was signed by Columbia Records as a solo performer. His new backing band The Royal Family included keyboardist Kewley, fretless bass player Pino Palladino, guitarist Steve Bolton, drummer Mark Pinder, and backing singers Maz Roberts and Kim Leslie AKA 'The Fabulous Wealthy Tarts'. His first two singles, 'Iron out the rough spots' and a cover of 'Love of the common people', had no success, but this third single was a hit. It was a start of a very successful career all through the Eighties.

My collection: 7" single no. 6215
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'Wherever I lay my hat' / 'Broken man'

Love is love - Culture Club

I bought a French copy of the single 'Love is love' by Culture Club ten years ago. I still knew that, so there was no reason to buy this single other than it being the German pressing with a different cover. And, much to my surprise, as it turns out this single also has a different B-side, which is quite a good song too.

There's even more to this single: there is a mistake on the back cover of this single: the B-side is listed as 'The dream', but actually contains the song 'Mistake no. 3'. That song is taken from the band's 1984 album 'Waking up with the house on fire'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6214
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'Love is love' / 'Mistake no. 3'

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

New Europeans - Ultravox

I don't think I am unique when I list Ultravox's album 'Vienna' among my favourites of all time, but it is, and it has been so since its release. I thought I owned all the singles taken from that album until I saw this one.

In Japan, they relegated the classic track 'Vienna' to the B-side and released 'New Europeans' as the A-side instead. This is interesting as the segue from the album has gone and the track starts 'clean'. These are the kind of details I love. That, and the unique artwork made this single an essential purchase for me.

My collection: 7" single no. 6213
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'New Europeans' / 'Vienna'

Confide in me - Kylie Minogue

During some time in the Nineties, Kylie Minogue had a hard time finding success. She was actually praised by 'serious' critics for her songs, but the records didn't sell as well as her earlier material. 'Confide in me' was the first single released after her lengthy collaboration with Stock, Aitken & Waterman. Produced by Brothers in Rhythm the sound was certainly more daring.

The single went to number 1 in Australia and number 2 in the UK singles chart, but in other territories it wasn't as successful. Two albums later, Kylie would be posing for H&M in lingerie and it would seem that her music career was over. Of course, it wasn't.

This single release was made for jukeboxes only, hence the absence of any cover artwork. Which is a shame, because the cd-single's artwork was rather intriguing.

My collection: 7" single no. 6212
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Confide in me' / 'Confide in me (Truth mix)'

When the night comes - Björn Skifs

Björn Skifs was featured on this blog five years ago when I bought Fångad i en dröm, the song he performed at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981. It was his second Eurovision performance: in 1978 he took to the Eurovision stage with 'Det blir alltid värre framåt natten'. It was released as a single both in Swedish and in English - and this single features the English version.

Skifs actually intended to cause controversy by singing in English, which could have disqualified him from the contest (since the rules of the contest stipulated that singers should perform in their native languages at the time). Although he decided to perform the song in Swedish he forgot some of the words during the performance, replacing them with gibberish. At the close of voting, it had received 26 points, placing 14th in a field of 20 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 6211
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'When the nights comes' / 'Don't stop now'
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