Showing posts with label Nineties. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nineties. Show all posts

Saturday, 28 March 2020

No more winds to guide me - Maywood

In 1990, the Dutch duo Maywood participated in the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Ik wil alles met je delen'. It was their attempt to win back some of the popularity they had in the first half of the Eighties. Although the international audience probably didn't understand the sentimental and frankly trite lyrics, it didn't do the song any favours.

This English version of the song, 'No more winds to guide me' at least features better lyrics. The single was released internationally, but didn't achieve chart success. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6273
Found: Discogs.com, received March 25, 2020
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'No more winds to guide me' / 'I was born to love you'

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Someday I'll find you - Shola Ama & Craig Armstrong / I've been to a marvellous party - The Divine Comedy

This single was taken from 'Twentieth-Century Blues: The Songs of Noël Coward', an album curated by Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys. Profits from the album were donated to the Red Hot AIDS Charitable Trust. The single reached number 28 in the UK singles chart.

Both tracks on this single were among the strongest contributions. Shola Ama's take on 'Someday I'll find you' was made more compelling by the Massive Attack-alike instrumentation by Craig Armstrong, and The Divine Comedy contributed a decidedly stomping version of 'I've been to a marvellous party'. You have to wonder what Noël Coward would have thought of these modern interpretations.

My collection: 7" single no. 6262
Found: Discogs.com, received February 27, 2020
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Someday I'll find you' (Shola Ama & Craig Armstrong) / 'I've been to a marvellous party' (The Divine Comedy)

Before - Pet Shop Boys

During the bleak Nineties, the 7" single format was given up by record companies in favour of cd-singles. We all know what happened next: the music industry collapse under the pressure of cd copying and illegal downloading and reinvented itself with the even more worthless digital single, so that most singles aren't even released on a physical format anymore.

So all hail the 7" single. It seems there was a lively industry of so-called 'jukebox singles', so that this single by the Pet Shop Boys, 'Before', released in 1993 as the first single from their album 'Bilingual', was only available as one of those, and not with a pretty picture sleeve. I actually have a few of these 'jukebox singles' by the Pet Shop Boys, and only one is now missing: their cover version of 'Somewhere'. I'm sure it will turn up somewhere.

My collection: 7" single no. 6261
Found: Discogs.com, received February 27, 2020
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Before' / 'The truck driver and his mate'

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Winds of chance - Stephanie

Stéphanie Marie Elisabeth Grimaldi, or princess Stephanie of Monaco as she is better known is a regular appearance on this blog, because she had a nice little music career in the second half of the 1980's and the beginning of the 1990's. Her last single 'You don't die from love' was featured here in 2016, and now I have found the last missing single, the equally ill-fated 'Winds of chance'.

Produced by Michael Verdick and Ron Bloom, this song reveals the rather thin voice of the princess, and some auto-mutant drum beats that do little to improve the song. Certainly not her best effort.

My collection: 7" single no. 6244
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Winds of chance' / 'Winds of chance (instrumental)'

Thursday, 23 January 2020

I wanna change the score - Nik Kershaw & Tony Banks

Tony Banks is best known as founding member of the rock band Genesis. However, he is also a prolific solo artist, releasing six solo albums that range through progressive rock, pop, and classical music.

In 1991, he released his third solo album called 'Still'. On the album he collaborated with Fish from Marillion on one track, and with Nik Kershaw on two tracks. The song 'I wanna change the score' was released as a single from the album. Despite a fairly heavy promotional effort by Giant Records, the album and the single failed to sell well.

My collection: 7" single no.  6238
Found: Discogs.com, received January 22, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'I wanna change the score' / 'Hero for an hour'

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Private universe - Crowded House

The second 7" single that came from the USA was a song I didn't already have on vinyl: Crowded House's 'Private universe'. I didn't actually know the song, but it was described as 'gold translucent' vinyl. When you look at the scan, it does seem bright orange, but in real  life it is a lot darker - but still orange to me.

Anyway: I love coloured vinyl and Crowded House are known for their sophisticated pop songs. 'Private universe' was taken from their 1993 album 'Together alone', featuring the hit single 'Distant sun'. In Australia, 'Private universe' reached number 46 in the singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 6231
Found: Discogs.com, received January 7, 2020
Cost: $3
Tracks: 'Private universe' / 'Black and white boy'

Perfect day - Duran Duran

I originally bought Duran Duran's version of 'Perfect day' in 1995, when it was released. That was the UK edition, complete with a 'scratch 'n' sniff' sleeve. This American pressing comes with a different B-side: 'Success', also taken from the covers album 'Thank you', released that same year.

I wouldn't even have this single if it weren't for the fact that I was ordering a rare CD from the USA and decided to order two 7" singles along with it. As long as you're paying for postage you might as well get a few extra items in, right?

My collection: 7" single no. 6230
Found: Discogs.com, received January 7, 2020
Cost: $3
Tracks: 'Perfect day' / 'Success'

Monday, 23 December 2019

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'

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

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)'

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Eloise - Arvingarna

One of the best ever Swedish contributions to the Eurovision Song Contest in my opinion - and there have been many - is 1993's 'Eloise' by Arvingarna. This Swedish 'dansband' was formed in 1989 by Casper Janebrink, Lars Larsson, Kim Carlsson and Tommy Carlsson. Their name Arvingarna ('The heirs') refers to the fact that their parents were also active in 'dansbands'.Their song finished in seventh place in a field of 25 competitors.

This vinyl single is a bit of a rarity, as the 7" single format was rapidly disappearing all over Europe in 1993. I was rather glad to find this copy, as online it fetches a minimum of 20 euros.

My collection: 7" single no. 6207
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'Eloise' / 'De' e' bara jag'

Monday, 18 November 2019

To know someone deeply is to know someone softly - Terence Trent d'Arby

I haven't written about Terence Trent d'Arby in ten years, I just found out, and there's a reason for that: I think I have all the singles I want from him. Even 'To know someone deeply is to know someone softly' was already in my colleciton, but I couldn't resist buying this UK edition with a gatefold sleeve, because it is different from that German version: it features two of his previous hits, 'Wishing well' and 'Dance little sister' on the B-side.

Musically, it's nothing new, but a beautifully designed limited edition EP is something I just have to have.

My collection: 7" single no. 6192
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'To know someone deeply is to know someone softly' / 'Wishing well', 'Dance little sister'

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Star people '97 - George Michael

Taken from his third album 'Older', 'Star people '97' was the fifth single from that album. It was called 'Star people '97' because the single version is a remixed and re-recorded track. The lyrics make reference to the materialism and frivolity of certain (not specified) people in the show business, suggesting that those behaviors are derived from some insecurity or a bad childhood (parental neglect, being given up for adoption, etc.).The single peaked at number 2 in the UK singles chart.

The B-side of the single was taken from George's MTV Unplugged performance, recorded in New York on April 10, 1996.

My collection: 7" single 6186
Found: Discogs.com, received October 3, 2019
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Star people '97' / 'Everything she wants (Unplugged)'

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Spinning the wheel - George Michael

You may have noticed a recent surge in my acquisition of George Michael singles. Truth is, I ordered this one online before I came across 'Older' and 'You have been loved' at the record fair last week. There's a few more I'd like to have, but that's something for another day.

'Spinning the wheel' was the third single from the album 'Older' and would have been the third number one hit in the UK, if it wasn't for the Spice Girls' debut single 'Wannabe' which kept it from the top spot. The song depicts the worry of a lover whose partner is sexually promiscuous during the period when AIDS was newly discovered and rampant in the West.

My collection: 7" single no. 6182
Found: Discogs.com, received September 26, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Spinning the wheel (radio edit)' / 'You know that I want you'

Monday, 23 September 2019

Calling you - Paul Young

One of the big surprises of Paul Young's later career is that he started recording cover versions of better known song. 'Don't dream it's over' wasn't exactly an obscure track, as is 'Calling you', my latest catch.

The song was written by Bob Telson. Jevetta Steele and Telson himself both recorded versions of the song, and they both appeared on the soundtrack of the movie 'Bagdad Cafe' in 1987. The singing chainsaw Celine Dion also did a version during her live concerts in the 1990's. Less regrettable was this, Paul Young's version. It appeared on his 1990 album 'Other voices' and it was released as the album's fourth single. It stalled at number 57 in the UK singles chart, just before his career was revived by the duet with Zucchero, 'Senza una donna' and his compilation album 'From time to time'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6179
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Calling you' / 'Everything must change (live)'

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Vienna 92 (The classic mix) - Ultravox

Sometimes you find a single and you wonder: what the hell went wrong here? I was already familiar with the fact that Ultravox had released a version of 'Vienna' in the Nineties, and I even heard it once, years ago, but to find the single was a different challenge.

So now that I have it, here are the facts. Ultravox split up in 1988 after the lack of success of their album 'U-vox'. Having not toured after the album, Ure concentrated on his solo career and Chris Cross retired from music altogether and returned to his former career as a psychotherapist. And then, Billy Currie decided to reform Ultravox in 1992, without any of the other original members. This single was their first product. One has to wonder what went on in Billy Currie's mind: 'Oh, let's re-record the biggest hit Ultravox ever had, but with weaker vocals and cheaper instruments'. Or something like that. Its only redeeming quality in the drum beat, which is slightly original when compared to the original (and better) version. Predictably, the single failed to chart.

Undeterred, this version of Ultravox with vocalist Tony Fenelle recorded the album 'Revelation' (which it wasn't) and in 1994 the album 'Ingenuity' (well... no). The band dissolved again in 1996. When the "classic" line-up of Midge Ure, Billy Currie, Warren Cann and Chris Cross reformed in 2012 for the album 'Brilliant', the results were lots better.

My collection: 7" single no. 6172
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Vienna 92 (the classic mix)' / 'Systems of love'

You have been loved - George Michael

Released as the sixth and final single from George Michael's third album 'Older', 'You have been loved' is a remarkably beautiful song. Although he continued to record music for another two decades, nothing comes close to this track.

The song's lyrics are about his lover, Anselmo Feleppa, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1993. It tells the story of Anselmo's mother, who visits his grave, while passing by the school he attended. The first chorus has Anselmo's mother saying goodbye, telling him 'You have been loved'. The ending chorus has Anselmo dying, telling George, 'You have been loved'. The line, 'If I was weak, forgive me; but I was terrified', refers to the trauma George felt during Anselmo's decline in health. The song also addresses a spiritual struggle: while Anselmo and his mother both say that God is not dead, George counters their comments, challenging God, 'What's the use in pressing palms, if you [God] won't keep such love from harm? It's a cruel world. You've so much to prove'.

The single peaked at number 2 in the UK singles chart, behind Elton John's tribute to the then recently deceased Lady Diana, Candle in the wind 1997

My collection: 7" single no. 6171
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'You have been loved' / 'The strangest thing '97'

Older - George Michael

These jukebox singles aren't very pretty to look at, but it never ceases to amaze me that so many of them were made long after vinyl singles had left the shops seemingly forever. 'Older' was the fourth single taken from George Michael's third album of the same name, and this single was produced for the UK jukebox market only.

The B-side is the real attraction of this single - it's a version of the Bonnie Raitt song 'I can't make you love me' and George Michael's interpretation of the track is a beautiful, soulful one. It was a few years before his ill-fated 'Songs of the century' album, on which his cover versions sounded a lot less inspired...

My collection: 7" single no. 6170
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Older' / 'I can't make you love me'

Falling - Alison Moyet

'Falling' was released as the lead single of Alison Moyet's fourth studio album 'Essex'. The album was originally rejected by Columbia, who insisted that it be re-recorded to create a more commercial package. Ian Broudie was hired to produce the re-recorded tracks. This single was released in October 1993, almost half a year before the album's release.

The single stalled at number 42 in the UK singles chart, which prompted more resistance from the record label. The next single, 'Whispering your name', had to be remixed to become an upbeat dance track, for release as the following single in early 1994. That single was not released on 7" vinyl anymore, making this single the last Alison Moyet vinyl single ever.

My collection: 7" single no. 6169
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Falling' / 'Ode to boy'

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Downtown - Lloyd Cole

It is very possible that Lloyd Cole is one of Britain's best songwriters, but he is also largely ignored. His first four solo albums made the album top 40 in the UK, but after that (from 2000 onwards) they didn't make a dent anymore, except in Sweden where two of his albums made the top 20.

'Downtown' comes from his first solo outing, and was released as its third single. It didn't chart, despite its catchy hook. I bought that solo album some time ago and when I saw this single I decided to pick it up. I think Lloyd Cole needs more recognition.

My collection: 7" single no. 6168
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Downtown' / 'A long way down (live)'

Hit me with your rhythm stick '91 (The Flying remix) - Ian Dury & the Blockheads

Usually I know what I am buying, but I like to experiment a little from time to time as well. In the case of this single, I'd never heard this remix of the classic 'Hit me with your rhythm stick'. I already owned the Paul Hardcastle version from 1984, but I'd never heard of this 1991 version until I found it online recently. I decided to buy this single.

It is an interesting enough remix, but I think it's a shame that it omits one of the best sax solos ever. Fortunately, the original version can be found on the B-side, so the record-buying public at the time still had a chance to hear it.

My collection: 7" single no. 6166
Found: Discogs.com, received September 20, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Hit me with your rhythm stick '91 (The Flying remix)' / 'Hit me with your rhythm stick (original version)'
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