Showing posts with label Eighties. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eighties. Show all posts

Sunday, 19 August 2018

More than words can say - Mel & Kim

Mel & Kim are best known for their four singles released in 1987 and 1988, from Showing out to That's the way it is. It may come as a surprise that another single saw the light of day in 1989. It was this one, 'More than words can say', a track taken from their debut (and only) album. It was released in Scandinavia to support the release of 'Something Special', an album that was also released in only a few countries. 'Something Special' brought together a selection of remixes, and this single was apparently released to promote that compilation album.

I didn't know all this until a few years ago, but the single, rare as it is, is pretty hard to find. I was pleasantly surprised recently when a copy popped up in the collection of a Danish seller on Discogs.com, so I snapped it up immediately (along with a few other singles).

My collection: 7" single no. 5916
Found: Discogs.com, received August 16, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'More than words can say' / 'You changed my life'

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Sister paradise - Time Bandits

'Sister paradise' was the Time Bandits' second single, but it wasn't as successful as their debut single, 'Live it up'. The 12" single, shown here, featured the full length version of the track, which was also found on their debut album, released some time after this single. It does sound a lot like an extended remix, with the instrumental part in the second half of the track.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received August 11, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Sister paradise' / 'Cues part 2'

Burn it up (Mr. DJ) - Risqué

Valapucci (real name: Mike Wilkinson) was the head of programming and president of 'Disconet', which was a remix service for DJ's in America. He created the remix of 'Burn it up (Mr. DJ)' that was released on this 12" single. The remix was originally found on Disconet volume 6 program 2, but apparently Polydor (Risqué's record company) was so impressed with it, they released it as a 12" single in its own right.

Next to the original extended version of 7 minutes, this 12" single also features a vocal and dub version, also created by Valapucci. And it has to be said: this remix improves on the original track quite a bit.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received August 11, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Burn it up (Mr. DJ) (Club mix)' / 'Burn it up (Mr. DJ) (Vocal)', 'Burn it up (Mr. DJ) (dub)'

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Wildfire - Time Bandits

Here's another American 12" single from the Time Bandits. You can't say that the record company didn't try: this release is from 1988, when the band was all but finished in the Netherlands. 'Wildfire' didn't make the Dutch Top 40 when it was released in 1987, and no further singles made it into the charts.

'Wildfire' was produced by Dan Hartman, and the remixes on this disc were made by John Potoker. Perhaps this is why Columbia felt that this single would be successful in the USA - but it wasn't. Still, I quite like these remixes.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received August 16, 2017
Cost: $4
Tracks: 'Wildfire (extended)' / 'Wildfire (dub)', 'Wildfire (instrumental)'

Dancing on a string - Time Bandits

Not one, but two different extended remixes exist of Time Bandits' 1986 single 'Dancing on a string'. The 12" single I featured last year had a remix by Ben Liebrand, a big name in the remix world, but this one, created for the American market and released by Columbia in the USA, features a slightly shorter extended remix by Michael Brauer.

One has to wonder whether it is the same Michael Brauer who got so much acclaim recently for his work with Coldplay - but this remix, being 30 years old, could be from a namesake. Fact is, I just don't know.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received 16 August 2017
Cost: $4
Tracks: 'Dancing on a string (extended version)' / 'Dancing on a string (single version)', 'Dancing on a string (dub version)'

Friday, 10 August 2018

Any trick - Breathe

Breathe also released 'Any trick' from their debut album. It was remixed by Mike Ging and dubbed the 'Like a monkey radio mix'. The remix didn't help the fortunes of this single release: it did not trouble the UK charts.

If you dislike the sleek, polished sound of Breathe, you should check out the B-side of this single: it's a great dub mix that was not originally an album track. The 2013 re-release of Breathe's debut album 'All that jazz' does include the track - but then, that double CD edition collects virtually everything that was released by the band at that time.

My collection: 7" single no. 5912
Found: 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Any trick (Like a monkey radio mix)' / 'Make it funky'

Jonah - Breathe

Another release from Breathe's debut album was this single, 'Jonah'. Originally released as the band's third single, it didn't do much in the charts. After the impressive chart success of 'Hands to heaven', this single was re-released in a new poster sleeve. The record company probably hoped the song would do better the second time around.

Well, it did, sort of. This time the single reached number 60 in the UK singles chart. That was still not a great success, but history would prove that it was the fourth best chart placing in the UK for them. Later singles 'How can I fall' and 'Don't tell me lies' (another re-release) reached number 48 and 45 respectively.

My collection: 7" single no. 5911
Found: 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Jonah' / 'Liberties of love'

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Lisa Mona Lisa - Wilfried

I got to know Austrian singer Wilfried pretty early on, because of a holiday in Austria in 1980. The sleeve of his album hung prominently in a shop window in the centre of Vienna, and since my brother was also named Wilfried at the time, 9-year-old me suddenly had this vision of a pop star sibling. It wasn't to be.

In 1988 Wilfried appeared in my life once again, this time representing Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Lisa Mona Lisa'. He ended up in last place with zero points. None of the other countries wanted to award points to a country that had recently elected Kurt Waldheim - a man with a shady past during World War II - as its president. Although one could argue that Wilfried's voice problems could also have been cause of this bad result.

My collection: 7" single no. 5909
Found: Discogs.com, received July 18, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Lisa Mona Lisa' / 'Lisa Mona Lisa (French version)'

Friday, 29 June 2018

Once we might have known - Cock Robin

Cock Robin became very successful in Europe when they released 'The promise you made' - a number 1 hit in the Netherlands. Other singles didn't fare as well, but I still have a pretty complete collection of their singles and albums nonetheless.

This one, however, was missing. It was a single that only appeared in the USA. There are two versions: the commercial 7" single, and this promotional 7" single. This single features the single edit of 'Once we might have known' on both sides. It is a nice song, but not the best track from the band's debut album.

My collection: 7" single no. 5905
Found: Discogs.com, received June 22, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Once we might have known' / 'Once we might have known'

Monday, 16 April 2018

C30 C60 C90 go - Bow wow wow

This is the debut single of Bow wow wow, released in July 1980. Initially it was only released as a cassette single (the world's first ever cassette single, in fact), but a few weeks later this single appeared. With a black label and the lyrics of the song on the sleeve it was an attractive design but pretty anonymous.Who were these people?

The band was put together by Malcolm McLaren, after persuading Matthew Ashman, David Barbarossa and Leigh Gorman to leave Adam & the Ants. 13-year-old Annabella Lwin was recruited as the band's singer. The band's debut single reached number 34 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5899
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 14, 2018
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'C30 C60 C90 go' / 'Sun sea and piracy'

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Please please please let me get what I want - Dream Academy

I am pretty pleased and surprised when I find a single I never saw before of a band I know and love - and with this one it was a case of 'well, it's cheap, I may as well check it out'. Most people know the Dream Academy for their mid-Eighties hit Life in a Northern town only, but I checked out a few other singles by them and I was never disappointed.

This particular single was released in 1985, pretty soon after The Smiths released the song as a B-side to their 1984 single 'William, it was really nothing'. The single reached number 83 in the UK singles chart. A later cover version by Slow Moving Millie in 2011 was more successful: it peaked at number 31.

My collection: 7" single no. 5894
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 14, 2018
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Please please please let me get what I want' / 'In places on the run'

Friday, 13 April 2018

The right side won - What Fun!

When I hear 'The right side won' I can't help but think back to the year 1983 when my life revolved around pirate radio stations and watching music videos on television. My school results suffered, of course, but that was no big problem - or so I thought.

What Fun! was a pop/reggae group based in Haarlem, Netherlands. Within two years, the group grew rapidly in size to a total of ten members. Their single 'The right side won' was the band's biggest hit, reaching number 3 in the Dutch Top 40. The song was inspired by the Falklands war. By 1989, after a few singles and albums, What Fun! had run out of steam and the members went their separate ways, only to reform again in 2005 with five of the original members and three new ones.

My collection: 7" single no. 5786
Found: Kringloop Den Haag, January 6, 2017
Tracks: 'The right side won' / 'The right side won (instrumental)'

V Patek Nevolej - M. Javurek

This is an interesting one. If you were to listen to 'V Patek Nevolej', the A-side of this single, you would think I have truly lost my mind. It is a sort of country-inspired song from Czechoslovakia, released in 1984. Not too good, is it?

But, of course, I bought this single for the B-side. 'At zivot ma svuj dej' is still sung in the Czech language, by Jirina Urbanova this time, but it is actually a cover version of Kim Wilde's 'Cambodia'. How did I find this rare track? Thanks to Discogs.com of course - my main source of rare records these days.

My collection: 7" single no. 5890
Found: Discogs.com, January 31, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'V Patek Nevolej' (M. Javurek) / 'At zivot ma svuj dej' (J. Urbanova)

Monday, 9 April 2018

Wildfire - Time Bandits

As mentioned before, Wildfire was the original Time Bandits' last single, released in 1987. This 12" single represents the original European 12" release - a very different 12" single was released in the United States (more about that later on this blog...). The remix on this 12" single was created by Rutger Kroese.

I bought this record as part of a bigger collection of Time Bandits 12" singles. There's a couple more to follow, so if you're a fan, stay tuned...

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, July 14, 2017
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Wildfire (Special Meltdown remix)' / 'Wildfire (instrumental dance mix)', 'Wildfire'

Monday, 26 March 2018

Wonderful life - Black

I have several singles of Black's 'Wonderful life', but when I found this one online I was a bit puzzled. The sleeve looked a bit generic and it was a Czechian pressing. Chechoslovakia - as it was known back then - wasn't known for its expansive record industry, and I wondered how this single ended up being released over there.

The mystery became even bigger after I received the single, as the B-side, 'Everything's coming up roses', sounds a bit different from the 'regular' single version. Listen to the intro and you'll know what I mean.

My collection: 7" single no. 5891
Found: Discogs.com, received January 31, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Wonderful life' / 'Everything's coming up roses'

Conquistador - Da Vinci

Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest last year with a beautiful ballad. Perhaps they should have tried this earlier, because the country rarely even got into the top 10 with their efforts. This 1989 effort by Da Vinci is an example: although it is typical Eighties fare, the song only reached number 16 during the night.The song reminisces about the former Portuguese colonial possessions worldwide, and how the singer has been to Brazil, Praia, Bissau, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, Macau and Timor.

Personally, I know the English version (featured on the B-side here) best, because it appeared on a Eurovision 1989 compilation CD. I am still trying to get all the entries on single, but some of them are selling online for upwards of 50 euro - which is a bit too rich for my blood.

My collection: 7" single no. 5989
Found: Discogs.com, received March 5, 2018
Cost: 7,5 euro
Tracks: 'Conquistador' / 'Love conquistador'

Fake - Alexander O'Neal

Here's another single I already owned - and I bought it just last year. However, I decided to get this one not only for its poster sleeve (I love poster sleeves) but also for the B-side which contains an instrumental version of the track. As luck would have it, the instrumental version is also longer than the A-side.

'Fake' reached number 33 in the UK singles chart and number 25 in the US Billboard Hot 100. In the Netherlands, the single reached number 15 during a six week chart run.

My collection: 7" single no. 5977
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 11, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Fake' / 'Fake (instrumental)'

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Fifth of May - Ph.D.

Although 'I won't let you down' remains their only big hit, Ph.D. did release some more singles. That much is evident from this blog already, but I found another single which I didn't know about. 'Fifth of May' was taken from the band's second album 'Is it safe?' and was apparently released in Italy only (although a promotional 7" single from the USA also exists).

The band reformed in 2009 and released a third album, appropriately titled 'Three', but that one wasn't a commercial success either.

My collection: 7" single no. 5979
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 11, 2017
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Fifth of May' / 'Johnny'

Friday, 10 November 2017

Sad songs (say so much) - Elton John

Every once in a while I buy a single that I thought I already had bought long ago but I didn't. 'Sad songs (say so much)' by Elton John is a song that I confuse with I guess that's why they call it the blues for some strange reason.

That single was released a year earlier. 'Sad songs' was another big success for Elton. It reached the top 10 everywhere except in Germany where the single stalled at number 18. Even weirder, the single never even made the Top 40 in the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 5871
Found: Record exchange, Greenwich, London, October 27, 2017
Cost: 25p
Tracks: 'Sad songs (say so much)' / 'A simple man'

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Popcorn '88 - T.I.C.

It's been a while since I last wrote about the Gershon Kingsley composition 'Popcorn', and that's while I am still collection versions of that tune. Fortunately, every once in a while I stumble on another release. This time it's a 12" single from 1988.

T.I.C.'s version is notable for its use of (sampled?) guitar on the track, something you don't hear very often. There are also a few vocal samples in this track. The 12" single features two versions of the track. And there were only ever two versions by T.I.C., so that is a comforting thought.

It's interesting to see how much has changed in 30 years, by the way: if you'd release this sleeve right now, it would be outright controversial. #metoo. 

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received October 25, 2017
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn '88 remix' / 'Popcorn '88 (The Woodstock mix)', 'Talk about love'


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