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

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Djambo Djambo - Peter, Sue & Marc

Peter, Sue and Marc represented Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest on four occasions, each time singing in a different language. Their 1976 entry 'Djambo Djambo' was sung in English.

The song received 91 points, placing 4th in a field of 18 competitors. This is quite amazing, as like all their other Eurovision songs, this track is largely forgettable.

My collection: 7" single no. 6191
Found:, received November 14, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Djambo Djambo' / 'Moby Dick'

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

When the night comes - Björn Skifs

Björn Skifs was featured on this blog five years ago when I bought Fångad i en dröm, the song he performed at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981. It was his second Eurovision performance: in 1978 he took to the Eurovision stage with 'Det blir alltid värre framåt natten'. It was released as a single both in Swedish and in English - and this single features the English version.

Skifs actually intended to cause controversy by singing in English, which could have disqualified him from the contest (since the rules of the contest stipulated that singers should perform in their native languages at the time). Although he decided to perform the song in Swedish he forgot some of the words during the performance, replacing them with gibberish. At the close of voting, it had received 26 points, placing 14th in a field of 20 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 6211
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'When the nights comes' / 'Don't stop now'

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Empire State Human - Human League

Although the Human League is known as an "Eighties band" by most people, their career actually started in 1978 with Being boiled. Their next single was 'Empire state human', released in 1979. It was the first and only single from their debut album 'Reproduction'. The single did not chart, but fared slightly better when it was re-released in 1980, reaching number 62 in the UK singles chart.

Lyrically, "Empire State Human" is a song about becoming powerful using the analogy of size, with Oakey declaring that he wants to be "tall" a total of 60 times in 3 minutes. Uncut magazine drew a comparison with Oakey's own personal ambition: ""I wanna be tall, tall, tall, as big as a wall, wall, wall". Oakey's Nietzschian pop fantasy reflected his own burgeoning full-on pop ambitions..."

My collection: 7" single no. 6210
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Empire state human' / 'Introducing'

Tvoj dječak je tužan - Krunoslav Slabinac

Krunoslav "Kićo" Slabinac was born on March 28, 1944 in Osijek, Yugoslavia (now Croatia). During the 1960s Slabinac was a member of several rock 'n' roll bands. He then went solo and moved to Zagreb.

In 1971 he was selected to represent Yugoslavia at the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Tvoj dječak je tužan' ('Your boy is sad'). The song was not particularly successful, ending in 14th place in a field of 18 competitors. Slabinac's song "Zbog jedne divne žene" was a huge hit in his country, which solidified his status as a singer. However, later on in the decade, legal troubles and time spent abroad set back his career. After his return from the United States, Slabinac focused on folk music.

My collection: 7" single no. 6209
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Tvoj dječak je tužan' / 'I gori nego ja'

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Trans Europe Express - Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk singles are rather hard to find, so every time I manage to buy one for a reasonable price, I am quite pleased. 'Trans Europe Express' was the title track of the German band's sixth album, released in 1977. The album was recorded at Kling Klang Studio in Düsseldorf. Artistic control over the songs was strictly in the hands of members Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, with Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Flür contributing sequenced electronic percussion. The four of them went to railway bridges to listen to the sounds the train would actually produce. The group found the sound the train made was not danceable and changed it slightly.

The single became their first hit in Sweden, peaking at number 15 in the singles chart over there. In Canada, it was actually the band's last charting single, peaking at number 96 only.

My collection: 7" single no.  6206
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Trans Europe Express' / 'Franz Schubert'

Disco Duck - Rick Dees

Rick Dees was working as a DJ on the Memphis AM radio station WMPS when he heard a guy doing a duck voice while he was working out at his local gym. Inspired by this duck voice, Dees wrote 'Disco Duck', and he hired the guy from the gym to do the duck voice on the song. The name of the guy was Kenneth Pruitt. He did a lot to help Dees promote 'Disco Duck'. He went on the TV shows 'Midnight Special' and the 'Merv Griffin show'. He did a promotional walk through Times Square with Dees while wearing a duck costume. A few months after 'Disco Duck' hit number 1 in America, Pruitt sued Dees, claiming that he’d only been paid $188 for all of this. WMPS wouldn’t let Dees play the song; they figured it would violate FCC rules about conflict of interest.
In 1977, 'Disco Duck' even made an appearance in the iconic disco film 'Saturday Night Fever' in a scene in which a group of senior citizens were learning to dance disco.

This Japanese single is an interesting curio, since it features a drawing of Donald Duck on the sleeve. You can't help but wonder if Disney knew about this.

My collection: 7" single no. 6201
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Disco duck' / 'Disco duck (instrumental)'

Go west - Village People

Continuing on the theme of Japanese singles of songs that I already own, this is another copy of the single 'Go west', a single I've had for fourty years already. But I thought after buying 'YMCA' and 'In the navy', it would be good to complete the hattrick of great singles by the Village People in Japanese form. After all, these sleeves are as colourful as the band.

Most people are more familiar with the version by the Pet Shop Boys, but this is the original version of the song, recorded by the American band that featured a cop, a cowboy, an indian, a GI/Sailor, a leather man and a construction worker.

My collection: 7" single no. 6200
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Go west' / 'Citizens of the world'

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Rasputin - Boney M

I've had a copy of Boney M's 'Rasputin' for ten years already, so I guess that means that this single is superfluous in my collection - but with a totally different sleeve, this Japanese single is a great addition to my collection.

Two other Japanese singles on offer by the same dealer, 'Hooray! Hooray! It's a holiday' and 'Gotta go home', had sleeves that were similar to their German counterparts, so I left them there.

My collection: 7" single no. 6198
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Rasputin' / 'Never change lovers in the middle of the night'

Genghis Khan - Genghis Khan

So, I have the single 'Dschinghis Khan' by the German band Dschinghis Khan, and I have the English version of the song, 'Genghis Khan', also by Dschinghis Khan. But this German release, both the band and the song are called Genghis Khan - but it is the German version of the song playing on the record, i.e. 'Dschinghis Khan'.

I love the fact that this Eurovision song in German was released in Japan, a country where German is probably as exotic a language as Korean is over here. It's a great addition to my ever growing Eurovision collection.

My collection: 7" single no. 6196
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Genghis Khan' [i.e. 'Dschinghis Khan'] / 'Desert land'

Monday, 18 November 2019

In the navy - Village People

The song 'In the navy' was basically a promotion for the navy, describing it as an attractive employer. Until the bridge, when the lead singer declares upon hearing 'They want you': 'Who me? But... but... but... I'm afraid of water!'. It was a weird twist in the song that I understood even with my basic knowledge of English when I heard this song when I was nine years old.

I never bought this single despite this piece of youth nostalgia, until I finally spotted this Japanese edition at yesterday's record fair. What a treat!

My collection: 7" single no. 6194
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, Novembber 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'In the navy' / 'Manhattan woman'

YMCA - Village People

The Village People had the biggest hit of their career with 'Y.M.C.A.', a number one hit in the UK and the Netherlands, peaking at number 2 in the USA. Taking the song at face value, its lyrics marvel at the virtues of the Young Men's Christian Association. In the gay culture, from which the group sprang, the song was understood as celebrating the Y.M.C.A.'s reputation as a popular cruising and hookup spot, particularly for the younger gay men to whom it was addressed. As such, this disco classic became a gay anthem, but bizarrely enough also a favourite at wedding parties and school dances.

Producer Henri Belolo recalls that he saw the Y.M.C.A. sign while walking down the street with composer Jacques Morali, who seemed to know the institution fairly well. He told Henri, that this was a place where a lot of people went when they were in town. Then Henri got the idea: 'Why don't we write a song about it?'
My collection: 7" single no. 6193
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'YMCA' / 'The women'

Thursday, 14 November 2019

På en gammal bänk - Siw Malmkvist

Although the sleeve of this single simply credits the song 'På en gammal bänk' to Siw, the label clears up the mystery: yes, this is Siw Malmkvist, the Swedish singer who was popular both in Sweden and in Germany. In 1969 she participated in the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Primaballerina', but this single proves that she was still interested in the Contest two years later: 'På en gammal bänk' is a Swedish version of 'Un arbre, un banc, une rue', with which Severine won the Contest that year.

What's more, the B-side, 'Ett Rött Äpple' is a Swedish version of 'Pomme pomme pomme', another Eurovision song from that year. No wonder, then, that this single had to end up in my collection. Even if the sleeve isn't in the best of conditions...

My collection: 7" single no. 6190
Found:, received November 12, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'På en gammal bänk' / '
Ett Rött Äpple'

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

The busker - Marty Wilde

Released in 1971, 'The busker' is one of the rarer Marty Wilde singles. Marty continued to release singles in the 1970's, even if he didn't manage to reach the singles charts anymore by himself. By contrast, his song 'I'm a tiger' was a hit for Lulu in 1968 and 'Jesamine' was a worldwide hit for the Casuals in 1969.

Written by Parker and Stirling, 'The busker' was the only Marty Wilde single I was still very much after - although obviously I'll continue to hunt for variations and EP's in the near future.

My collection: 7" single no. 6188
Found:, received November 9, 2019
Cost: 10 pounds
Tracks: 'The busker' / 'It's so unreal'

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Hammer horror - Kate Bush / Una serata in rima - Marras

Another odd pairing on this Italian promo single: Kate Bush and Italian singer Piero Marras. And since Kate Bush is a familiar name on this blog, here is some information about that Italian guy.

He started his musical career in Nuoro, playing in local bands like Jollymen and I Granchi. In 1967 he moved to Cagliari and joined the Nobles, immediately after he founded the Yamaha and later in 1971, he will be a singer keyboardist with the 2001 Group, which is part of the Italian progressive rock scene. The band releases three singles and one album, after which Marras went solo in 1974. 
An initial period of songs in Italian with three LPs released for EMI, was followed by a period of songs in Sardinian with the records Abbardente, Funtanafrisca and Tumbu. Their contents refer to characters and atmospheres of Sardinian culture. In 2000 he was invited to participate in the Christmas Concert in the Vatican before John Paul II.

My collection: 7" single no. 6107
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, June 1, 2019
Cost:  5 euro

Tracks: 'Hammer horror' (Kate Bush) / 'Una serata in rima' (Marras)

Sunday, 29 September 2019

I was made for lovin' you - Kiss

The very first Kiss single I ever bought could also be my last - at least, I don't foresee any more purchases on disc from this legendary American band. But I had to have this one, because it appeared on red vinyl, back in 1979, when this single charted all over the world. This red vinyl single was released in Germany, and as far as I know it's the only territory where the 7" single was released on red vinyl.

A 12" single on red vinyl also exists, but since I don't collect 12" singles that much, I doubt that will ever appear in my collection. You never know, of course...

My collection: 7" single no. 6164
Found:, received September 18, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'I was made for lovin' you' / 'Hard times'

Monday, 23 September 2019

The worker - Fischer Z

Of course I already own a copy of Fischer Z's 'The Worker' - I bought it 30 years ago! - but this picture disc was just too beautiful to pass up. It's so beautiful, in fact, that there is even a movie of it on YouTube.

Fischer Z continues to tour and record albums, the most recent being 'Swimming in thunderstorms', released earlier this year. Their earliest work remains the best, in my humble opinion.

My collection: 7" single no. 6176
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'The worker' / 'Kitten curry'

No regrets - The Walker Brothers

One of the great classics of the 1970's was the Walker Brothers' 'No regrets', released in November 1975 as their comeback single after seven years. The single reached number 7 in the UK singles chart, making it their fourth and last top 10 hit - and their last UK hit overall.

The single shown here was a re-release of the track in 1991, taken from a compilation album called 'No Regrets - The best of Scott Walker and the Walker Brothers 1965-1976'. While the album reached number 4 in the UK albums chart, this single did not chart at all.

My collection: 7" single no. 6174
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'No regrets' (Walker Brothers) / 'Boy child' (Scott Walker)

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Give love a chance - Seija Simola

Seija Simola was born in Helsinki on September 25, 1944. She began her musical career in the mid-Sixties in the band Eero Seija & Kristian Trio, and her debut solo album was released in 1970: Seija Simola 1.

In 1978, she represented Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest. She sang 'Anna rakkaudelle tilaisuus', which finished in 18th place, in a field of 20 competitors. Despite this poor result, Simola continued a long and successful career in her native Finland. She passed away in Vantaa on August 21, 2017.

This single presents the English version of her Eurovision song: 'Give love a chance'. It comes in one of the thinnest paper sleeves I have ever seen.

My collection: 7" single no. 6155
Found:, received August 9, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Give love a chance' / 'Little smile'

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Do I dream - Maxi

Maxi was the stage name of Irene McCoubrey, born February 23, 1950. In the late 1960s Maxi teamed up with Barbara Dixon and Adele King to form Maxi, Dick and Twink. The trio toured Ireland, the UK and Canada and recorded two singles. They also worked a session singers in Motown studios in Detroit, Michigan, before disbanding. Following this she pursued a career with Danny Doyle and Music Box before going solo. She represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 singing 'Do I Dream', finishing tenth in a field of 17 competitors.
In the late 1970s, Maxi became part of another all-girl trio Sheeba, with Marion Fossett and Frances Campbell. The group represented Ireland in the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Horoscopes'. Maxi embarked on a career in broadcasting with the Irish national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). Working mainly on radio, she also took on some television work including a quiz show, presenting Ireland's lottery and fronting the Miss Ireland contest. In 1987 Maxi presented the national final for Eurovision alongside Marty Whelan.

My collection: 7" single no. 6148
Found:, received July 29, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Do I dream' / 'Here today and gone tomorrow'

DJ - David Bowie

Just days after buying the 'Space oddity' box set, I found this picture disc of DJ in Parlophone's series of '40th anniversary' discs. I bought the 'Boys keep swinging' picture disc a few weeks ago in Antwerpen, so it's nice to have found this one in Paris. Like the one before, it is quite an expensive acquisition, but online prices have not been any lower.

What's most interesting about this disc - to me at least - is not the A-side, but the B-side, because it contains a version of 'Boys keep swinging' that was performed in a television show in 1979. Why Parlophone decided to include this instead of the original B-side 'Repetition' is therefore obvious to me.

Note: now that picosong has ceased existing I will have to link to other online files to offer sound and sometimes vision with the tracks that are on my singles. In this case, it's extra interesting because you get to see the full TV performance along with the sound that's on the single. Obviously the single fades out until 2'33.  

My collection: 7" single no. 6147
Found: Fnac, Paris, July 28, 2019
Cost: 14 euro (!)
Tracks: 'DJ (2017 Tony Visconti mix - single edit)' / 'Boys keep swinging (Kenny Everett Video Show version)'
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