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

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'

Friday, 31 August 2018

Little Julie - Peter Shelley

Taken from his album 'Girls and Places', 'Little Julie' may be a little sentimental, but this single was typical Seventies fare. Having launched Magnet Records in 1973 and Alvin Stardust's career (initially by performing as Stardust himself!), he started a career as a songwriter and performer in his own right.

His songwriting was often done in collaboration with Marty Wilde, who also penned the two songs on this disc: 'Little Julie' and 'Wisconsin'. Shelley was presented with the Ivor Novello Award in 1975 for his services to the UK music industry. However, due to differences between Magnet co-founder Michael Levy and himself, Shelley resigned from Magnet in late 1975 to pursue an independent career.

My collection: 7" single no. 5921
Found: Discogs.com, retrieved August 31, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Little Julie' / 'Wisconsin'

Friday, 10 August 2018

Hand me down love - Mike Huff

It is safe to assume that Mike Huff is a South African singer, since nothing can be found online about this performer. All I could find out is that he released two singles on the South African Satbel label: 'I can't wait to dream' and this single, 'Hand me down love' - both in 1976.

The B-side of this single is what got my attention: it's a cover version of the song 'Come back and love me' - and that, of course, was released in 1975 by Shannon. And Shannon was the nickname of Marty Wilde, who hoped to have a chart success with that song. A very obscure cover version of that song, then, ordered directly from South Africa. It was send to me on July 2, and it arrived.... today. You'd think that even the mail could be faster in this day and age, but no.

My collection: 7" single no. 5913
Found: Discogs, received August 10, 2018
Cost: $4
Tracks: 'Hand me down love' / 'Come back and love me'

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Down down - Status Quo

There are a few songs that are obvious candidates for a funeral: 'Shake your body down to the ground' and Status Quo's 'Down down'. I didn't have the latter yet, so I was glad to finally find a copy recently.


Written by Francis Rossi and Bob Young and produced by Status Quo, it was Status Quo's only number 1 single in the UK singles chart. The single spent a week at the top of the chart in January 1975. The album version lasts 5 minutes and 24 seconds and the single version 3 minutes and 49 seconds.

My collection: 7" single no. 5905
Found: Voorburg, April 27, 2018
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Down down' / 'Nightride'

Friday, 29 June 2018

Thunderchild - Jeff Wayne

Two weeks ago I went to a Dutch theatre production of Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds', the legendary soundtrack-without-a-film, retelling the H.G. Wells story in music. It was a pretty good performance despite the lack of spectacular effects. It inspired me to re-inspect my collection of 'War of the worlds' singles. It turned out that one single was still missing.

Mind you, I do have the biggest hits, 'The eve of the war', 'Forever autumn' and even 'Brave new world' - you can find them all here - but 'Thunderchild' was also released as a single and I didn't have that one yet. I quickly ordered my copy and now I have it. It's an interesting single version too!

My collection: 7" single no. 5906
Found: Discogs.com, received June 27, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Thunderchild' / 'Dead London'

Monday, 16 April 2018

Portugal no coração - Os Amigos

Now that I own pretty much all of the 'obvious' Eurovision 7" singles, I am heading towards the more obscure - and usually more expensive - releases. It is an art to spend as little as possible while also getting more and more Eurovision entries on 7" vinyl.

Who remembers the Portuguese entry from the 1977 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest? I would guess not many people do, but the sleeve of this single is a joy to watch - especially when it is in such good shape. I bought it from a Portuguese dealer at the record fair in Utrecht last Saturday, who promised more when he comes to the next edition in November. Here's hoping he'll help me find more great rarities.

'Portugal no coração' reached 14th place in the contest. The song is a ballad in praise of Portugal itself. The song is about freedom, brotherhood and hope. Many of the verses of the lyrics are acclamations of the end of the dictatorship that lasted for 48 years, and the end of the wars that the Portuguese people had been forced to fight on the African colonies by that dictatorship. It's also a love hymn from Portuguese people to their ex-colonies people, whom they had fought.

My collection: 7" single no. 5896
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 14, 2018
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Portugal no coração' / 'Cantiga de Namorar'

Friday, 13 April 2018

Strange phenomena - Kate Bush

I guess I didn't really need this 7" single by Kate Bush, but the fact that 'Strange phenomena' was never released as a single in other territories and the fact that this single came all the way from Argentina made it a bit of an irresistable purchase at last year's record fair in Utrecht. The fact that the EMI record company sleeve is in pretty good shape was another good argument to lose money for.

This single plays at 33rpm, which I guess is normal in South America - because I also have a few Brazilian singles (from other artists, mind you) that are 33rpm too. The B-side of this single is 'Wow', which of course was a single for Kate in other parts of the world.

My collection: 7" single no. 5882
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 11, 2017
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Strange phenomena' / 'Wow'


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