Showing posts with label Village People. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Village People. Show all posts

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

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'

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, 16 April 2009

Go west - Village People

Another track I've featured on this blog before, but now in the shorter single version, as opposed to the long 12" version. 'Go west' peaked at number 31 in the Netherlands in the summer of 1979. At the same time, it made number 15 in the UK.

At the time, I was spending my weekly allowance of 3 guilders in the local record shop. While chart singles cost 6 guilders, the shop discounted them once they left the Top 40. I went round that shop almost every week, hoping for something good to be available. I seem to recall that this catch was a relative disappointment, since more singles had left the chart, but they were already sold out. So I made do with this one. I'm glad I have it now, because of course it is the original version of the Pet Shop Boys' 1992 cover version. But how was I to know?

My collection: 7" single no. 23
Found: Wouters, Den Haag, 1979
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Go west' / 'I wanna shake your hand'

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Go west - Village people

The Village People were big in the gay scene at the end of the 1970's. They managed to break into the mainstream thanks to their catchy and memorable songs, often inspired by gimmicks. Their best known tracks were 'Y.M.C.A.' and 'In the navy'. However, 'Go west' was also a rather successful song, not least because it was covered in 1992 by the Pet Shop Boys.

I bought the single back in 1979 soon after it came out, but the 12" single is a relatively new acquisition. It features extended mixes of the title track and the B-side. An essential disco track.

My collection: 12" single no. 464
Found: Record exchange, London, 2005
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Go west (Disco mix)' / 'Citizens of the world (Disco mix)'
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