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

Friday, 21 June 2019

Popcorn - Revolution System

One of my first ever singles was Revolution System's 'Brand new Popcorn' called 'Carmen Brasilia'. This is where my collection of 'Popcorn' versions started, although this version was, of course, not the original Kingsley-composed 'Popcorn'.

Through the years I have wondered whether Revolution System actually recorded a cover version of the original 'Popcorn', but I hadn't located a copy... until recently! This single is apparently the only disc where you can find Revolution System's version of 'Popcorn'. It is a reissue single by Dureco in their 'Golden Hit-Parade' serie, released around 1980. After all these years, it is a pleasure to finally own this track.

My collection: 7" single no. 6125
Found: Discogs.com, received June 21, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn' / 'Carmen Brasilia'

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Sing die Melodie - Johannes & Christin

Together with 'Nur noch Gefühl' I ordered another single from the Austrian seller I found online. It is this cover version of the Dutch entry for the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest: Harmony's ''t Is O.K.'. 

Johannes & Christin only released this one single together. Not much is known about Christin, but Johannes Prömmer had already released two singles in Austria in 1972. After this duet, he disappeared again, resurfacing in 1988 with one more single, 'Zigeuner'. And that's basically it. The Austrian music scene is not renowned for its big worldwide stars, but it is interesting that in this day and age some singers can remain so anonymous.

My collection: 7" single no. 6124
Found: Willhaben.at, received June 20, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Sing die Melodie' / 'Komm mit mir'

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Tubular bells - Mike Oldfield

It is whispered that Mike Oldfield is working on a fourth version of 'Tubular bells'. Let's hope so, because with each version the tune is becoming more awesome. However, nothing comes close to those first few minutes of the original 'Tubular bells'.

Oldfield and his record company probably realise this, because they released this beautiful picture disc 7" in 2013. There's also a history-rewriting B-side: 'In dulci jubilo', originally released as a single in 1975 - two years after 'Tubular bells'. By the way, the A-side of this single is not the original single version. Instead it contains a new edit of the opening minutes of the album version of 'Tubular Bells (Part One)'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6119
Found: Discogs.com, received June 11, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Tubular bells' / 'In dulci jubilo'




Sunday, 9 June 2019

Rivers of Babylon - Boney M

Back in 1980, I already bought a copy of Boney M's biggest hit - and one of the biggest hits of all time - 'Rivers of Babylon'. That sleeve and record were made in the Netherlands. This one, bought more recently, was made in Germany. And as you can see, the sleeve is far prettier.

Apparently, there are different versions of this song on different pressings. The original pressings featured an early version that was soon replaced by a more widely available mix. The initial single mix of 'Rivers of Babylon' is most notable for lead singer Liz Mitchell's ad-libs ('Dark tears of Babylon, you got to sing a song, sing a song of love, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah') between the two verses. On subsequent single pressings, only the 'yeah's were retained. Well, both singles I have are apparently 'original pressings', because there is no difference.

My collection: 7" single no. 71 (2)
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Rivers of Babylon' / 'Brown girl in the ring'

Friday, 7 June 2019

Deeper than the night - Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John's career is long and impressive. In 1978 she didn't just appear in (and sing on the soundtrack to) the movie 'Grease', but she also released the excellent album 'Totally hot'. Excellent, because some great singles were taken from that disc: 'A little more love', the title track 'Totally hot' and this one, 'Deeper than the night'.

After having scored four singles that were awarded silver, gold and/or platinum, the chart performance of this single was a relative disappointment, as it only reached number 64 in the UK singles chart and number 18 in Canada. However, it did reach number 11 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and that's still quite impressive.

My collection: 7" single no. 6110
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, June 1, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Deeper than the night' / 'Please don't keep me waiting'

Für immer (Rock bottom) - Lynsey de Paul & Mike Moran

Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977 with 'Rock bottom'. Such was the popularity of the song that they decided to also record the song in German. 'Für immer' was only released in German-speaking territories.

As brave as their attempt was, the single did not chart. Which makes this single all the more interesting, because it wasn't pressed in huge quantities. It is therefore a great pleasure to have found a copy for a reasonable price.

My collection: 7" single no. 6105
Found: eBay, received March 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Für immer' / 'You shouldn't say that'

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Boom boom boomerang - Schmetterlinge

Eurovision Song Contest fans always have to deal with criticism from other people. There are always comments about the music, the nonsensical lyrics, the show itself, the dreadful presenters, the boring intermezzo acts, sometimes even the organising country. But to Eurovision fans, all these elements are just part of the deal: in order to discover beautiful songs you'll have to deal with the odd nonsensical ones, just like when you listen to the radio.

The Austrian band Schmetterlinge have took the 'nonsensical lyrics' aspect to uncharted terrritories in 1977. What to make of a chorus that goes: 'Boom Boom Boomerang, Snadderydang / Kangaroo, Boogaloo, Didgeridoo / Ding dong, sing the song, hear the guitar twang / Kojak, hijack, me and you'? The performance is also memorable, as the band featured four male singers wearing cream suits and red shirts. During the performance, the men would turn their backs to the audience at various points, revealing a costume which looked like the front of a tuxedo, complete with a fake face. The song ended up in seventeenth place out of 18 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 6106
Found: eBay, received May 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Boom boom boomerang' / 'Mr. Moneymaker's Musicshow'

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Boys keep swinging - David Bowie

Parlophone continues with their series of '40th anniversary picture discs' of David Bowie singles. It is a lucrative series because the singles keep selling despite their decidedly inflative prices. It's hard to realise that you'd only pay a couple of pounds for a single like this 40 years ago, a price that has doubled a few days now in 2019. Shame on Parlophone.

This picture discs presents the 2017 mix by Tony Visconti of 'Boys keep swinging', along with a rare unreleased track 'I pray, Olé' - at least, it was unreleased in 1991 when it appeared as a bonus track on the Rykodisc reissue of the album 'Lodger'. Although the takes of the instruments and vocals were recorded during the sessions of the 'Lodger' album, the mix of the song was performed in 1990. It is unclear whether overdubs were recorded later.

My collection: 7" single no. 6101
Found: Fnac, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 14 euro (!)
Tracks: 'Boys keep swinging (2017 Tony Visconti mix)' / 'I pray, olé'

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Occhi di ragazza - Gianni Morandi

Italy was represented at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970 by Gianni Morandi, singing 'Occhi di ragazza' ('Eyes of a girl'). The breezy song is a ballad, with Morandi musing on the power of his lover's eyes. Initially, he describes them as windows into her soul and places where he can see their future. The song ends, however, on something of a pessimistic note, as he explains that these same eyes will one day fill with tears as their relationship ends. The song received 5 points, placing it eighth in a field of 12 competitors.

Gian Luigi Morandi was born in a little village called Monghidoro on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. His father Renato was active within the Italian Communist Party and Gianni used to help him sell the party newspapers. At an early age Morandi worked as a shoe-shiner, cobbler and as a candy vendor in the village's only cinema. His vocal abilities led him to a number of small gigs, some of which were during the Communist Party’s activities. His career took flight during the Sixties. He achieved national stardom with the song 'Fatti mandare dalla mamma', and remained Italy’s darling throughout that decade. He remains active in the Italian music scene until the present day. One of his most recent hits is a duet with Fabio Rovazzi, called 'Volare' - not the Domenico Modugno song!

My collection: 7" single no. 6100
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Occhi di ragazza' / 'T'amo con tutto il cuore'

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Lost without your love - Bread

To be honest, I had forgotten that I already owned a copy of Bread's 'Lost without your love', so you might argue that I wasted some money on this one. On the other hand, the sleeve of this French edition is a lot more beautiful than the other one.

'Lost without your love' was the product of a reunion. Bread had broken up in 1974 but reconvened in 1976 to record one more album. It was to be the band's last hit. Through the years it has become a real classic and a surefire tearjerker. Perhaps that's what I like about this song. It's worth owning it twice at least.

My collection: 7" single no. 6085
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Lost without your love' / 'Change of heart'

Sunday, 26 May 2019

How do you mend a broken heart - Guys 'n' Dolls

As one of the popular groups of the Seventies, Guys 'n' Dolls scored a string of hits in the UK and Europe. It is less wellknown that they also had a shot at representing the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest.

In 1979, the group took part in the national A Song For Europe contest with the song 'How do you mend a broken heart?'. Although the TV show was abandoned due to a BBC strike, the song finished in tenth place of the 12 entries when the judges cast votes on the audio recordings of the songs. When you hear the song now, you could say that it might have been a better effort than Black Lace's 'Mary Ann'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6077
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'How do you mend a broken heart' / 'Perfectly well'

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Love is blue - Paul Mauriat and his Orchestra

I already bought a copy of 'L'amour est bleu' by Paul Mauriat and his Orchestra in January 2015, and in the very same store too, but when I saw this copy I just couldn't leave it there last Saturday. This is the original French single, complete with a small price tag attached to the sleeve (not scanned here) and a different B-side.

It does happen occasionally that I buy different releases of the same single, especially when it comes to Eurovision releases. And since we're in a winning mood this week, why not listen to this great instrumental version of the Vicky Leandros song all over again?

My collection: 7" single no. 6070
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Love is blue' / 'Comme un garçon'

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Save your kisses for me - Bobby Vinton

There was excitement here when the Netherlands finally won the Eurovision Song Contest yesterday, for the first time since 1975. It was the first time that I experienced this and I guess it is a historic moment in time. While celebrating this amazing result, we also have to spare a thought for those who were less lucky. Across the North Sea, Eurovision fans weren't quite as happy. The UK ended up in last place, with - it has to be said - a song that was unable to touch anyone's heart.

Things were quite different in 1976: 'Save your kisses for me' was a hit before the Contest even took place and copies of the Brotherhood Of Man single were pressed in such high amounts that they pop up in every thrift shop on a regular basis still. This single, on the other hand, is rare: it wasn't even listed on the excellent Discogs.com website! It is a German pressing of the Bobby Vinton cover of that song. And if, like me, you've heard the original too often, you will like this version a lot, because it is lush and polished.

My collection: 7" single no. 6068
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Save your kisses for me' / 'Love shine'

Sunday, 12 May 2019

I giorni dell'arcobaleno - Nicola di Bari

I don't know if anyone has ever wondered if there is a connection between The Doors and the Eurovision Song Contest, but if you have been wondering about this, wonder no more, because this single offers the solution to that particular riddle. Italian singer Nicola di Bari offers not only his 1972 Eurovision entry on this EP, but also cover versions of 'La Bamba' (the Richie Valens song) and 'Light my fire' (The Doors track).

Nicola di Bari was born as Michele Scommegna on September 29, 1940. His first commercial success followed in 1964 when he recorded the song 'Amore ritorna a casa'. Since then he was a regular competitor at the San Remo festival, winning in 1971 and 1972. 'I giorni dell'arcobaleno' ('The days of the rainbow') went on to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972 and reached sixth place in a field of 18 competitors.The EP was given to me as a gift during a visit at a fellow Eurovision fan recently. Music connecting people.

My collection: 7" single no. 6063
Found: Den Haag, May 8, 2019
Tracks: 'I giorni dell'arcobaleno', 'La bamba' / 'Era di primavera', 'Dammi fuoco'

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Love's theme - Love Unlimited

The female vocal trio Love Unlimited, consisting of Glodean James, Linda James and Diane Taylor, were most famous for providing backing vocals for American singer Barry White. However, they also found success with their own recordings.

'It may be winter outside (but in my heart it's spring)' was written by Barry White and Paul Politi and became a minor hit for Love Unlimited, reaching number 83 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 11 in the UK singles chart. This Belgian contains that song but also the instrumental A-side 'Love's theme', a top 10 hit in the Netherlands in 1974. Younger listeners will remember this melody from OMD's single 'Dream of me'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6060
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, May 4, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Love's theme' / 'It may be winter outside'

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Opstalan - Monica Aspelund

Monica Aspelund represented Finland during the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977 with 'Lapponia', a happy song about a region in the nordic country.

Some marketing genius in the Netherlands made possible something you'd never expect to see nowadays: a promotional single featuring a Dutch version of the song to promote Opstalan isolation plates, made of Finnish plywood. Although Monica's pronunciation of Dutch leaves a little to be desired, it is a remarkable feat for a Finnish woman to record a song entirely in Dutch, especially when the lyrics suggest a product is 'strong as our reindeers'.

I was aware of this single and had seen the sleeve pictured online, so when I saw this copy in real life, I immediately grabbed it. The price was worth it: online it is always more expensive, especially when it's in such a good state as this copy.

My collection: 7" single no. 6062
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, May 4, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Opstalan', 'En Karneval' / 'Jojk', 'So you're having an affair'

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Tom tom tom - Marion

'Tom tom tom' was the Finnish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1973, performed in English by Marion Rung. This was Rung's second Eurovision entry, in 1962 she had made her debut in the Contest as a 16-year-old with 'Tipi-tii', which finished in 7th position. 'Tom tom tom' was performed first on the night and ended up in sixth place in a field of 17 contestants.

Marion went on to perform at the Polish Sopot festival in 1974 and 1980. During the Seventies and Eighties she had numerous TV shows. In 1995 she had a tour celebrating her 50th birthday. As one of the most popular Finnish female singers, Marion is still active. In 2000 she had a successful tour in Finland together with Katri Helena, Paula Koivuniemi and Lea Laven, three other popular Finnish female artists.

My collection: 7" single no. 6055
Found: Discogs.com, received April 30, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Tom tom tom' / 'My son John'

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Keep me warm - Carita

I have acquired many Eurovision Song Contest singles through the years, especially in the last few years. The more I have collected, the more obscure the new additions get. I'd never seen the 1974 entry from Finland before last Saturday - and now I saw this single with two different dealers during the Utrecht record fair. I bought this single the first time I saw it, which is just as well since the other dealer asked two more euros for it.

Carita Elisabeth Holmström was born on February 10, 1954 in Helsinki. She represented Finland with the song 'Keep me warm'. She finished in 13th place in a field of 17 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 6043
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Keep me warm' / 'Shadow on the wall'

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Pomme pomme pomme - Monique Melsen

Luxembourg is a small country, which is why it is allowed to attract artists from other countries to represent it during the Eurovision Song Contest. In the history of the Contest, only eight native Luxembourgians have represented their own country. One of them was Monique Melsen, born on February 24, 1951 in Ettelbruck.

In 1971 she sang 'Pomme pomme pomme' ('Apple apple apple'), a song about eating an apple. Yes, this is how simple a song can be. Doing so reminds her that it is spring, which causes her to wonder if she will find love during that season, or whether she will only find 'the snake'. The song finished on 13th place, in a field of 18 contestants.

My collection: 7" single no. 6041
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Pomme pomme pomme' / 'Fa fa fa'


Make it with you - Bread

Hard to believe, but the Bread song 'Make it with you' was recorded by only two people: Mike Botts (drums) and David Gates (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass & strings). Gates also wrote the song. It was released in June 1970 and became their first top 10 hit in the USA, peaking at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The single also did well in the UK (where it peaked at number 5), Canada (number 2), New Zealand (number 6) and Australia (number 7). In France, where the single I bought was made, it didn't chart at all.

My collection: 7" single no. 6036
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Make it with you' / 'Why do you keep me waiting'
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