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

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'

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Di dai, di dai dai - MFO

Mazhar Alanson, Fuat Güner and Özkan Uğur represented Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest back when Turkey was still participating in the annual event. Their first of two attempts at eternal fame on the Eurovision stage took place in 1985 with the song 'Di dai, di dai dai'. The song title is sometimes written with the phrase 'Aşık oldum', which means 'I fell in love'.

The single was released in the Netherlands by Dureco Benelux, although I don't recall this to ever appear in any record shop I visited back then. These days the single has become quite a collectors item, fetching around 40 euros for a decent copy online. Which explains that I was rather pleased to get this for less.

My collection: 7" single no. 6208
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 15 euro
Tracks: 'Di dai, di dai dai' / 'Di dai, di dai dai (Aşık oldum) (Turkish version)'

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Maya - Errol Brown

Having been a member of the legendary band Hot Chocolate, Errol Brown went solo in the mid-Eighties, and somehow I can't help but wish he'd been more successful as a solo singer. But to be honest, a single like this just wasn't handled all that well. The gatefold sleeve is quite nice, but the photograph of a caucasian girl seems a little odd when the lyric speaks about 'the reincarnation of an African queen'. The music on the A-side track is typical Eighties fare, but could have been produced with a little more care. And then there is the B-side... 'She's my lady' is the weakest song I ever heard from Errol. I bought this single hoping to hear something great, but to be honest it is a bit of a letdown. You can't win them all, I guess.

My collection: 7" single no. 6204
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Maya' / 'She's my lady'

Gold - Spandau Ballet

I only bought 'Gold' in 1994, but evidently I should have waited 25 years longer because only now did I find a copy of the limited edition with a poster bag.

'Gold' was prominently used in 2012 on BBC's 'Olympic Tonight' TV show, when the UK hosted the Olympic Games. It is one of the band's most wellknown songs, despite only reaching number 2 in the UK singles charts back in 1984 when it was originally released. More than 400,000 copies were sold in the UK, which means that the band received an award for it... a gold disc.

My collection: 7" single no. 6203
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Gold' / 'Gold (instrumental)'

Careless whisper - Wham! featuring George Michael

Everybody knows 'Careless whisper' as George Michael's first solo single, and I bought it 35 years ago when it came out. When I saw this Japanese release, credited to Wham! featuring George Michael I thought it was a nice one to add to my collection. 'Careless whisper' was first released on Wham!'s second album 'Make it big', of course, but it became a single credited to George Michael everywhere except in Japan.

Despite its success, George was never fond of the song. He said in 1991 that it 'was not an integral part of my emotional development ... it disappoints me that you can write a lyric very flippantly—and not a particularly good lyric—and it can mean so much to so many people. That's disillusioning for a writer.'

My collection: 7" single no. 6202
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Careless whisper' / 'Careless whisper (instrumental)'

Bette Davis eyes - Kim Carnes

Back in 2004, I bought a copy of 'Bette Davis eyes', a great hit from 1981. And more recently, I bought an Italian promo featuring Kate Bush's 'Sat in your lap' and 'Bette Davis eyes' by Kim Carnes. Two copies on vinyl would be enough for most people - but I just couldn't resist this Japanese version of the single.

In recent years, Carnes has written songs such as 'It's a mighty hand' with Greg Barnhill on a 2006 film, 'Chances: The Women of Magdalene', 'Enough' with Dana Cooper on his 2010 album, 'The Conjurer', for which she also provided backing vocals. Carnes also co-wrote 'Live to tell' with Jamie Appleby, Marv Green and Alyssa Reid on Reid's 2011 album, 'The Game'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6199
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Bette Davis eyes' / 'Miss you tonite'

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Make love whenever you can - Arabesque

The German trio Arabesque was very successful in the far east, and this Japanese single just underlines that fact. Their advice for the Japanese record buyers was a sound one: 'Make love whenever you can'. This song was taken from the trio's fourth album, but only released as a single in Japan.

I bought this single from a seller who had many Japanese singles on offer for the measly sum of 2 euros (Usually these great singles fetch a minimum sum of two digits). There were quite a few Arabesque singles on offer, but I decided against buying them all. I still am unsure whether I regret that - most of Arabesque's songs are quite forgettable after all.

My collection: 7" single no. 6197
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Make love whenever you can' / 'I don't wanna have breakfast with you'

Hungry eyes - Sheena Easton

While most of the world released Sheena Easton's 'Strut' as a single, in Japan the A- and B-sides were flipped, and so 'Hungry eyes' became the Japanese single release. Quite why they did this I don't know, but perhaps the Japanese felt that the lyrics of 'Strut' were a bit too explicit.

Interestingly, there are two versions of this Japanese release: this is actually a reissue. A single with a different sleeve was released in Japan a few months earlier. I think this is the prettier of the two.

My collection: 7" single no. 6195
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Hungry eyes' / 'Strut'

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Wonderful life - Black / Hai hai - Roger Hodgson

Another Italian promo I acquired recently is this single, featuring a track by Black and one by Roger Hodgson. 'Wonderful life' went on to become a major hit worldwide, whereas ex-Supertramp frontman Hodgson didn't really make an impression with the title track of his second solo album.

'Hai hai' did make the album charts in strange places like Canada, Switzerland and Norway (peaking at number 42, 16 and 20 respectively) but it was released just after Hodgson fell from a loft in his home and broke both wrists, which disabled him from promoting the album. Doctors told him he would never play music again. Within a year and a half, he was playing again. These days, he is still touring, although I understand his Supertramp past is still what attracts the most attendees.

My collection: 7" single no. 5965
Found:, received December 7, 2018
Cost: 5 euro

Tracks: 'Wonderful life' (Black) / 'Hai hai' (Roger Hodgson)

Running up that hill - Kate Bush / Some people - Belouis Some

There's not much to be said about Kate Bush's 'Running up that hill' that hasn't already been said. It's the first of four remarkable singles from a remarkable album - some would say her creative peak (although the previous album 'The dreaming' and 2005's 'Aerial' are not to be missed either!). The single reached number 31 in Italy, and for this Italian promo it was paired with a track by Belouis Some.

Belouis Some's 'Some people' was a hit in Italy, reaching number 34, just one place below its chart peak in the UK.

My collection: 7" single no. 6109
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, June 1, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Running up that hill' (Kate Bush) / 'Some people' (Belouis Some)

Babooshka - Kate Bush / Dammelo - Bianca Berg

Two women on this single: one is a woman who has produced excellent music since 1978, the other has only ever released one single. They ended up on this Italian promotional single, because Bianca Berg's 'Dammelo' was released around the same time as Kate Bush's 'Babooshka'.

After the release of 'Dammelo', Bianca Berg faded back into anonymity, and today it's impossible to find information about this Italian singer with her thin voice. Kate Bush, on the other hand, is still going strong. There are even some rumours that there might be a new album in the works for the next decade.

My collection: 7" single no. 5994
Found:, received January 29, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Babooshka' (Kate Bush) / 'Dammelo' (Bianca Berg)

Sat in your lap - Kate Bush / Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes

The unlikely pairing of Kate Bush and Kim Carnes is something that can only happen in Italy. For years they released promotional 7" singles with two (potential) hits on them. I recently acquired quite a few of them.

Whether these singles became a hit in Italy is unknown: although the web offers mountains of information, I have yet to find a good source for Italian singles charts data from the past. Suggestions welcome in the comments, of course...

My collection: 7" single no. 6108
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, June 1, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Sat in your lap' (Kate Bush) / 'Bette Davis eyes' (Kim Carnes)

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Mitt liv - Kate

'Mitt liv' ('My life') was the Norwegian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1987, performed in Norwegian by Kate Gulbrandsen. She was only 21 when she performed the song on the Eurovision stage. This was, after all, the year after Sandra 'Je suis quinze ans' Kim won the Contest, so young women and children were flocking towards that stage at the time. (It would take the EBU decades to finally organize a Junior contest for those who are actually interested in seeing children sing. For the record: I am not one of them.)

The song was written and composed by Norwegian Eurovision veterans Hanne Krogh and Rolf Lovland. It finished ninth in a field of 22 competitors. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6184
Found:, received October 2, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Mitt liv' / 'The woman and the girl in me'

Monday, 23 September 2019

Heaven's in the backseat of my Cadillac (DD mix) - Hot Chocolate

After Errol Brown left Hot Chocolate in 1986, there must have been some panic at the record company quarters. In 1987 they put together a remix album, using the hits that the band racked up until then to 'update' the tracks to the dance flavours of the time. Confusingly, the remix album was called '2001'

Several singles were released from the remix album, one of which was this, 'Heaven's in the backseat of my Cadillac', remixed by Al Topo. Who? Exactly. Meanwhile, the band went on without Errol Brown - but didn't have any chart success with their releases.

My collection: 7" single no. 6181
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Heaven's in the backseat of my Cadillac (DD mix)' / 'Brother Louie'

Popmuzik (Hip Hop 1989 Re-mix) - M

This single serves to confuse matters more than they already were... Back in 2009 I bought the 1989 remix of 'Popmuzik', a UK release that was a hit in the UK. A year later I found the Ben Liebrand single edit, released in Europe. That single did not chart.

Enter this UK pressing of a 'Hip Hop 1989 re-mix' - also subtitled 'Ben Liebrand Re-mix'. A different sleeve, but it contains the same remix found on the European release. All I can conclude is that the record company was pretty busy with this track, but in all honesty it's quite confusing. All I know is that this version did not chart - the other one did.

My collection: 7" single no. 6177
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Popmuzik (Hip Hop 1989 Re-mix)' / 'Popmuzik (Original 1979 mix)'

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Romeo and Juliet - Dire Straits

'Romeo and Juliet' was released as a single from Dire Straits' 1980 album 'Making Movies' in early 1981. The lyrics of the song describe the experience of the two lovers of the title, hinting at a situation that saw the Juliet figure abandon her Romeo after finding fame and moving on from the rough neighborhood where they first encountered each other.

Mark Knopfler, who wrote the song, said that it was inspired by his failed romance with Holly Vincent, lead singer of the short-lived band Holly and The Italians. The song speaks of a Romeo who is still very much in love with his Juliet, but she now treats him like "just another one of [her] deals". Knopfler has both stated and implied that he believes Vincent was using him to boost her career. The song's line "Now you just say, oh Romeo, yeah, you know I used to have a scene with him," refers to an interview with Vincent, where she says "What happened was that I had a scene with Mark Knopfler and it got to the point where he couldn't handle it and we split up." 

The single matched the success of their debut single 'Sultans of Swing' three years earlier, peaking at number 8 in the UK singles chart. However, where the former charted in many other countries, this single did not.

My collection: 7" single no. 6173
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Romeo and Juliet' / 'Solid rock'
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