Showing posts with label Seventies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seventies. Show all posts

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Danswijsje - Corry Brokken

The Eurovision Song Contest isn't often won by the best song, but in 1963 it happened: 'Dansevise' by Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann was the winner that year, representing Denmark. It is one of my favourite Eurovision tunes of all time.

What I didn't know was that previous Eurovision winner Corry Brokken (who represented the Netherlands when she won with 'Net als toen' in 1957) recorded a cover version of the song in Dutch. Entitled 'Danswijsje', the lyrics stay fairly true to the original and the music certainly does too. The B-side is called 'Ga niet weg', and that is a cover of the Swiss entry from 1963: 'T'en va pas' by Esther Ofarim, who represented Switzerland. The orchestra on this single was conducted by Jack Bulterman, who also conducted that legendary Dutch jazz ensemble The Ramblers.

My collection: 7" single no. 5997
Found: Discogs.com, received February 13, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Danswijsje' / 'Ga niet weg'

Thursday, 17 January 2019

It's nice to be in love again - The Swarbriggs plus two

The Irish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977 was performed by the Swarbriggs Plus Two. Following on from The Swarbriggs' first appearance at the Contest two years earlier, Thomas (Tommy) and John James (Jimmy) Swarbrigg recruited Nicola Kerr and Alma Carroll to form the bizarrely named quartet The Swarbriggs Plus Two. They were dressed in dark blue outfits, with the two men wearing their blazers of that colour over white suits.


The song was performed first on the night. At the close of voting, it had received 119 points, placing third in a field of 18 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5983
Found: Discogs.com, received January 16, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'It's nice to be in love again' / 'Here we are again'

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Rayo de luna - Matia Bazar

The Italian band Matia Bazar has had a few hits in Europe, but their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest seems to have been forgotten by many. In 1979 they represented Italy with the song 'Raggio di luna'.

They recorded the song both in Italian and in Spanish - and the single containing the Spanish version appeared when I was ordering some singles from Spain recently. Of course I wanted to have it, because it's always a delight when an artist records their own song in a different language.

My collection: 7" single no. 5981
Found: Discogs.com, received January 4, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Rayo de luna' / 'Esta tarde... Que tarde'

Estoy sonando - Abba

'Estoy sonando' is of course the Spanish version of 'I have a dream'. With the help of Buddy and Mary McCluskey the ballad was turned into a warm-blooded version for the Spanish speaking market.

I ordered this single along with a few others from Spain. The problem with online ordering is illustrated right here: this was by far the worst sleeve of the whole package. You can't always know what you'll get. The might be an occasion to replace this single, but I am not rushing it. For now this is good enough to have - a nice curiosity doesn't always need to be perfect.

My collection: 7" single no. 5980
Found: Discogs.com, received January 4, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Estoy sonando' / 'As good as new'

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Chance in time - Severine

When Severine won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971 with 'Un banc, un arbre, une rue', she also recorded the song in other languages. I already found the German version ('Mach die Augen zu (und wünsch dir einen Traum)') in 2010, and yesterday I suddenly found the English version. 'Chance in time' was released in several countries, and this is the Dutch pressing.

Now all that's left for me to find is the Italian version, 'Il Posto'. I am sure it will come to me some day.

My collection: 7" single no. 5977
Found: Top 2000 café, Circus, Den Haag
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Chance in time' / 'Nothing bad can be this good'

Whatever happened to Benny Santini? - Chris Rea

During my life I have shopped for singles in many strange places. Yesterday was a very strange one indeed. Two days ago I went to the circus with my daughters, and discovered a record shop inside the tent. Turns out the organiser of the circus also acquired a record collection, to sell during the event until today. With two children by my side I didn't have time to browse all the singles, and so I went back yesterday.

My first find was immediately a good one: this Chris Rea single on red vinyl. Released in the UK in 1978, this track, the title track of Rea's debut album, was an unsuccessful follow-up to 'Fool (If you think it's over)'. The single did reach number 71 in the US Billboard Hot 100 for some curious reason.

My collection: 7" single no. 5972
Found: Top 2000 cafe, Circus, Den Haag
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Whatever happened to Benny Santini?' / 'Three angels'

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Chiquitita (cantado en español) - Abba

I have memories of Abba premiering 'Chiquitita', the song they wrote for Unicef, which was performed at a special concert and broadcast everywhere including the Netherlands. I was only eight years old but somehow the moment stuck in my head. I was never too fond of the song: compared to their earlier songs it was too schmaltzy, too kitsch and too slow for my taste. There was of course one exception: the last few seconds of the song with the impressive piano solo.

Being an Abba fan - and having been one for over forty years now, I am proud to say - I have recently acquired all the original German singles of them. It started when I bought the singles box set and saw all these replicas, and I wanted to have the originals as well. I found most of them for less than a euro, and some of them cost a little more - but I am very satisfied to have them all now. I have started looking into the rarer singles - as long as they are not insanely expensive, like most 'weird' Abba singles tend to be.

This Spanish version of 'Chiquitita' is my most recent Abba acquisition. I couldn't fault the price and it was nice to reacquaint myself with this little beauty. I think I like the Spanish version a little better than the original version, in fact!

My collection: 7" single no. 5964
Found: Discogs.com, received December 7, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Chiquitita (cantado en español)' / 'Lovelight'

Toi - Geraldine

After Abba won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, some countries were quick to adapt to the new times... and others were not. The Netherlands almost copied the style of that song, 'Waterloo', and won the contest.

Other countries weren't so smart and went ahead the way they always had, with boring ballads and incomprehensible lyrics. One of them was Luxembourg's Geraldine Brannigan with the song 'Toi'. She still managed to reach fifth place in a field of 19 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5967
Found: Discogs.com, received December 7, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Toi' / 'C'est mon secret'

Popcorn festival - Mat Camison

I have a lot of versions of the immortal Gershon Kingsley composition 'Popcorn', but there are very few with lyrics as it was originally an instrumental track. Mat Camison recorded this version in 1974 and it features French lyrics. Not that they make any sense: apparently it's all about girls and guys hanging out at the Woodstock festival and cops who apparently don't like the music.

I found this single by accident, browsing the stock of one of those online vendors you have to check out these days because there are no record stores anymore. It's hard to find anything by accident unless, like me, you have lots of weird little sub-collections in your record collection.

My collection: 7" single no. 5966
Found: Discogs.com, received December 7, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn festival' / 'Ma fleur d'amour'


Sunday, 2 December 2018

That's what friends are for - Swarbrigg

When you listen to 'That's what friends are for', you hear it's a rather quaint, slightly boring song. You certainly wouldn't expect a band to win a song contest with it.

Thomas and John James Swarbrigg, two Irish music promoters, still got on with it and took it to the Eurovision Song Contest stage in 1975. Their performance was notable for the fact that the singers wore identical electric blue suits, taking full advantage of the increasing trend towards bright and eye-catching costumes. At the close of voting, they ended up in ninth place in a field of 19 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5960
Found: Discogs.com, received November 30, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'That's what friends are for' / 'Love is'

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

No trams to Lime Street - Marty Wilde

'No trams to Lime Street' is a British television play, written by the Welsh playwright Alun Owen. It was originally transmitted in 1959 on ITV in the UK. In 1965, the play was remade by the BBC and broadcast on 21 March 1965. Both these versions have been lost.The play was remade for television a second time, again by the BBC, in 1970. Broadcast on March 18, 1970, it included songs and music by Marty Wilde and Ronnie Scott. This version survives as a black and white telerecording, although it was made in colour.

The title track, 'No trams to Lime Street' was released as a single, with a Wilde composition on the B-side: 'A prelude to old age'. If you don't like the whimsical A-side, you are sure to love the more introspective, melancholical B-side. It's a thing of beauty.

My collection: 7" single no. 5954
Found: Discogs.com, recieved November 20, 2018
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'No trams to Lime Street' / 'A prelude to old age'

Hej gamle man! - Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson

A long time ago, back in 1970, two Swedish musicians recorded an album together: Björn Ulvaeus from the Hootenanny Singers and Benny Andersson from the Hep Stars. They met in 1966 and started writing songs together soon after that. They released the album 'Lycka' in November 1970 and this single was taken from that album.

'Hej gamle man!' is considered by many as the first official Abba single, since it features Bjorn's wife Agnetha Fältskog and Benny's fiancee Anni-Frid Lyngstad on backing vocals. The lyric of the song is about a salvation soldier who was always on the square in Västervik to collect money for the Salvation Army.

My collection: 7" single no. 5953
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2018
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'Hej gamle man!' / 'Lycka'

Amanece - Jaime Morey

In 1972, Spain was represented at the Eurovision Song Contest by Jaime Morey, a singer from Alicante. Born on June 16, 1942, his first experience as a professional singer was at the discotheque Pasapoga, singing songs by Charles Aznavour. He tried his luck at various festivals, among others in Benidorm, which was the main location for pop concerts in Spain at the time.

After two failed attempts to represent Spain at Eurovision, he achieved his goal and went to Edinburgh with his song 'Amanece', composed by Augusto Alguero. Despite the fact that the song only reached tenth place, it was Spain's best effort at the Contest until then. After a relatively successful career in music, he decided to abandon music in 1987. He passed away on July 7, 2015.

My collection: 7" single no. 5949
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2018
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Amanece' / 'Volvera'

Monday, 29 October 2018

Gori Vatra - Zdravko Čolić

I don't have a lot of Yugoslavian Eurovision singles, but I do love them, because I quite like the fact that I actually own singles from a country that does not exist anymore. These days you won't find a record with the words 'Made in Yugoslavia' anymore.

Zdravko Čolić represented Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 with the song 'Gori Vatra' ('The fire is burning'). The love song describes the love between him and his lover as a fire, burning inside them.The song did not impress the juries: with 65 points the song ended up in 15th place out of 17 contestants. Čolić has been described as Serbia's Tom Jones, and when you listen to this song, you can understand why. What a voice.

My collection: 7" single no. 5942
Found: Discogs.com, received October 25, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Gori Vatra' / 'Isti put'

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Them heavy people - Kate Bush

Nothing beats the beauty of Japanese singles. If they weren't so damn expensive, I would buy much more of them. The attention to detail on these things is astonishing and they often have different sleeves. Sometimes even different tracks! This single of Kate Bush features the album version of 'Them heavy people', instead of the live version that was released in Europe over a year later. Both tracks on this single were taken 'from her mysterious album', as it says on the cover. Which is a bit funny.

Despite being 40 years old, this single still plays like it is new and that's what I love most about this single. When I spend a bit much on a single I want it to sound good, and this one does. It's all part of my effort to buy more Kate Bush singles, a special part of my collection because Kate Bush is one of my all time favourite artists.

My collection: 7" single no. 5941
Found: eBay, received September 16, 2018
Cost: 14 euro
Tracks: 'Them heavy people' / 'The man with the child in his eyes'

If faut chanter la vie - Severine

In 1973, the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Luxembourg. The previous year the contest was won by Vicky Leandros with 'Apres toi', and in 1973, Luxembourg snatched pole position once again with Anne-Marie David's 'Tu te reconnaitras'. It was proof of the dominance of French as the 'lingua franca' at the time.

1973 was an interesting year, because Israel debuted with Ilanit's 'Ey Sham' and the United Kingdom sent Cliff Richard over to sing 'Power to all our friends' - five years after he appeared at Eurovision with 'Congratulations'. Severine, the French singer who had won Eurovision in 1971 with 'Un banc, un arbre, une rue', decided to profit from the popularity of the Contest by covering the two songs on this single. 'Il faut chanter la vie' was a French version of Cliff Richard's song, and 'Autour de nous' was the French version of 'Ey Sham'. My finding this French single in a German second hand store only emphasises the international appeal of the Eurovision Song Contest.

My collection: 7" single no. 5938
Found: Come Back, Mannheim, September 13, 2018
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Il faut chanter la vie' / 'Autour de nous'

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Hot summer girls - Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids

This past summer was hot. While we are enjoying the last few rays of sunshine, here's a sunny summer track. Recorded by Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids in 1975, 'Hot Summer Girls' was a cover version of a song written by Marty Wilde. I knew about this single but didn't buy it online because with added postage it would become a bit pricey. I was very pleased, therefore, to find this single for just one euro in a local free record fair.

Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids started out in 1969 in Boulder, Colorado (USA). They got their name from Hughey Plumley who spent most of his time in the back of a Boulder bar, The Sink, and who entertained himself by creating names for bands. The band released five albums between 1972 and 1988. 'Hot Summer Girls' appeared on their third album, 'Sons Of The Beaches'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5933
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, September 1, 2018
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hot summer girls' / 'Time will tell'

Sunday, 2 September 2018

If - Bread

I don't have a lot of original singles by Bread, although I do like the band. They are simply quite hard to come by if you're not prepared to pay a lot for them. But sometimes I do get lucky. This original release of 'If', one of the band's most sentimental ballads, suddenly turned up in one of the many racks in Leiden's biggest vinyl shop, and of course I took it immediately.

Released in 1971, it was the first of only three hit singles in the Netherlands. It reached number 19 during a chart run of four weeks. In the USA, the single got to number 4, but in the UK it did not chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5929
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, August 31, 2018
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'If' / 'Take comfort'

Saturday, 1 September 2018

The world keeps turning - Heddy Lester

Heddy Lester represented the Netherlands with the song 'De Mallemolen', with a fairly depressing lyric. I wrote about that nine years ago. I didn't know back then, that there was also an English version of the song. It seems to have a more positive stance: even the title is 'The world keeps turning', which seems to offer a glimmer of hope.

Heddy recorded her song in four different languages: in Dutch, English, German and France. The latter two are very hard to come by, but who knows... as long as the world keeps turning there might be a chance for those to turn up in my collection and on this blog.

My collection: 7" single no. 5923
Found: Discogs.com, received August 28, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'The world keeps turning' / 'Never saw him laughing'

A ave e a infancia - Marie Myriam

'A ave a infancia' is the Portuguese version of 'L'oiseau et l'enfant', the song that won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977. I ordered a few singles from Portugal recently and this one came up as well, so I thought I might as well take it. I've always had a soft spot for Eurovision songs by the original artists in a different language.

French singer Marie Myriam is actually of Portuguese descent, so her pronunciation of this version is probably spot on. She also recorded the song in English, German and Spanish. I'm still looking for those singles...

My collection: 7" single no. 5922
Found: Discogs.com, received August 28, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'A ave e a infancia' / 'On garde toujours'
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