Monday, 7 December 2009

You made me the thief of your heart - Sinéad O'Connor

The movie 'In the name of the father' was directed by Jim Sheridan and was based on the true life story of the Guildford Four, four people falsely convicted of the IRA's Guildford pub bombing, which killed four British soldiers and a civilian.

The soundtrack of the movie, which was an Irish production, featured a host of Irish musicians, most notably Sinéad O'Connor, who perfomed 'You made me the thief of your heart', the first single release from the soundtrack. The song was written by Maurice Seezer, Gavin Friday and Bono from U2. The single reached number 42 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 2072
Found: Record fair, February 19, 1994
Cost: 8 guilders
Tracks: 'You made me the thief of your heart' / 'The father and his wife the spirit'

Still loving you - The Scorpions

The German rock band The Scorpions recorded 'Still loving you' in 1984 on their album 'Love at first sting'. It was released as the second single from the album, reaching number 64 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Oddly enough, the single only managed to hit the Dutch Top 40 in 1987, when it reached number 4. On that occasion, the track was taken from the Scorpions compilation album 'Gold ballads'.

The song is considered to be a thinly veiled metaphor for a still divided Eastern & Western Germany. 'Your pride has built a wall so strong that I can't get through, is there really no chance to start once again?' was a clear reference to the Berlin Wall and the despair many Germans felt about their divided homeland.

My collection: 7" single no. 512
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, 1987
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Still loving you' / 'Holiday'

I'll put you together again - Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate followed up one of the biggest hits of their career, 'Every 1's a winner' with the ballad 'I'll put you together again'. The track was written by Don Black and composed by Geoff Stephens. Stephens is one of the most successful composers of the UK, based on the number of weeks which his songs have spent in the UK singles chart.

'I'll put you together again' was released in December 1978 and reached number 13 in the UK singles chart and number 11 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 2442
Found: August 26, 1995
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'I'll put you together again' / 'West End of Park Lane'

Piece of the action - Bucks Fizz

Bucks Fizz followed up their Eurovision-winning song 'Making your mind up' with their second single, 'Piece of the action'. The song was written by Andy Hill and included on their self-titled debut album, released later on in 1981.

The single reached number 12 in the UK singles chart. The song was covered by the Bay City Rollers in 1983 as a Japanese-only single release.

My collection: 7" single no. 938
Found: All that music, Leiden, July 7, 1989
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Piece of the action' / 'Took it to the limit'

Elisabeth's eyes - Nik Kershaw

'Elisabeth's eyes' was the second and last single to be released from Nik Kershaw's fourth album 'The works'. Unlike the previous single, this one failed to reach the UK singles chart.

After this, Kershaw devoted himself to writing songs for other artists - the most successful track being 'The one and only' which launched Chesney Hawkes' career in 1991, peaking at number 1 in the UK - and only returned with an album called '15 minutes' in 1999, ten years after the release of this single.

My collection: 7" single no. 2718
Found: July 20, 1996
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Elisabeth's eyes' / 'My friend John'

Dance in the light - Mai Tai

It's interesting how Wikipedia states that Mai Tai didn't release any new work after 1987, whereas I have in my hand the proof that this statement is false. The single 'Dance in the light' was made in 1988. The track was produced by Eric van Tijn and Jochem Fluitsma, who were involved in most of Mai Tai's Eighties songs.

'Dance in the light' is mentioned on the Wikipedia page, but as a new track on a 1991 compilation album. Wrong again! But one thing is true: the band did split up and reformed in 2003. Don't trust the online encyclopedia too much.

My collection: 7" single no. 4333
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Dance in the light' / 'Wrap me up'

Heart of glass - The Associates

'Heart of glass' began its life in 1975 as a slow reggae track called 'Once I had a love', performed frequently on live tours by the band Blondie. It was recorded on their album 'Parallel lines' in 1978 as a disco-oriented track with producer Mike Chapman. It became one of the band's better known tracks.

The Associates recorded a cover of 'Heart of glass' in 1988, and their version hit number 58 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 2679
Found: Record Exchange, London, July 2, 1996
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Heart of glass' / 'Her only wish'

Denis - Blondie

'Denis' seemed to be Blondie's debut single when it charted in the Netherlands in 1978, but in reality the band had already been going for some time. In the UK, it was Blondie's second single release, and in America three singles went before this one, including the second single which was 'In the flesh', featured here on the B-side.

The song is a gender-swapping cover of the 1963 hit 'Denise' by Randy & the Rainbows. Blondie's recording of the song contains a verse with partly improvised lyrics in French by vocalist Debbie Harry. Although Chrysalis insisted that the band re-record the song with a grammatically correct French translation, both the band and producer Richard Gottehrer preferred the first take. Eventually this version was released. (The second, re-recorded version had its debut as a bonus track on EMI UK's 1994 re-issue of the album 'Plastic letters'.) The single reached number 2 in the UK singles chart and number 1 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 3048
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, January 23, 1999
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Denis' / 'In the flesh'

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Distant sun - Crowded House

'Distant sun' was the first single release from Crowded House's fourth album 'Together alone' (1993). The single was a hit in the UK in the autumn of 1993, peaking at number 19, and in Australia, where it reached number 21. In March 1994, a remixed version of 'Distant sun' was released in the USA, but it did not chart.

Buying this single was a gamble: it was a new release during a week when I was in London, and I decided to buy it on account of the fact that I liked the band's previous singles.

My collection: 7" single no. 1989
Found: Virgin Megastore, London, October 18, 1993
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Distant sun' / 'Walking on the spot'

If she knew what she wants - The Bangles

I wrote about 'If she knew what she wants' once before, but that was a UK pressing, and a limited edition double single to boot. This single, which I'd bought some time earlier, is the Dutch pressing, with a completely different sleeve.

A different sleeve, but no different tracks: both were taken from the Bangles' 1986 album 'Different light'. The single did not chart in the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 1610
Found: Record fair, March 28, 1992
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'If she knew what she wants' / 'Angels don't fall in love'

Love in itself - Depeche Mode

'Love in itself' was released in September 1983 as the final single from Depeche Mode's third album 'Construction time again'. The single version was called 'Love in itself 2', as it was an edit of the album version. Number 3 is an extended version, and number 4 is an acapella version with piano. The B-side was the track 'Fools', written by Alan Wilder instead of the band's main songwriter, Martin Gore.

The single reached number 21 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 867
Found: All that music, Leiden, June 2, 1989
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Love in itself 2' / 'Fools'

Church of the poisoned mind - Culture Club

'Church of the poisoned mind' was Culture Club's third big hit single, released in spring 1983. The uptempo track has some similarities to Motown tracks, especially 'Uptight (Everything's alright)' by Stevie Wonder.

The single was a number 2 hit in the UK singles chart and reached number 7 in the Dutch Top 40. The band also had their first hit in the USA with this track, peaking at number 10 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 2064
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, December 29, 1993
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Church of the poisoned mind' / 'Man shake'

Don't stand so close to me - The Police

Sting, lead singer of the Police, was an English teacher before he found fame with his band. 'Don't stand so close to me', with its lyric dealing with the mixed feelings of a teacher (lust/guilt/fear), and inappropriateness leading to confrontation, caused some speculation on whether the song was actually autobiographical. Sting denied this in 2001 when he promoted the concert dvd 'All this time'.

The single was released in 1980. It gave the band their first hit in the USA, as it reached number 11 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the UK, it was a number 1 hit, while in the Dutch Top 40 it reached number 3. The single I have is part of a limited edition with a poster sleeve.

My collection: 7" single no. 1219
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, April 22, 1990
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'Don't stand so close to me' / 'Friends'

War party - Eddy Grant

'War party' was originally a track on Eddy Grant's 1981 album 'Killer on the rampage'. The track was remixed and released as a single in 1982. The single reached number 42 in the UK singles chart during a four week chart run.

This single was released as a limited edition pressed on red vinyl in Germany. This copy is one of that limited edition.

My collection: 7" single no. 3206
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 30, 2000
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'War party (Bajan remix)' / 'Say I love you'

A quoi je sers... - Mylene Farmer

Mylene Farmer released 'A quoi je sers...' ('To whom I serve...') in the summer of 1989, coinciding with her first live tour in France. It was a new song, not available on her debut album which the tour promoted. Both this song and its B-side, 'La veuve noire' were recorded fairly quickly.

As often with Mylene, the lyric of the song is very pessimistic. It's about madness, the desire of suicide and the impression of the futility of the life. According to some observers, the song sums up most of Mylene's work, as it displays the singer's doubts about her usefulness on Earth. The single reached number 16 in the French singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 1971
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 25, 1993
Cost: 10 guilders
Tracks: 'A quoi je sers...' / 'La veuve noire'

Something to believe in - Clannad

Clannad collaborated with American singer/songwriter Bruce Hornsby to record 'Something to believe in'. He played piano and accordion on the track and also sang along on the track (his voice is clearly audible in the chorus).

The track was released as the first single from Clannad's 1987 album 'Sirius' but failed to chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 1471
Found: June 30, 1991
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Something to believe in' / 'Second nature'

Venus - Bananarama

'Venus' was written by Dutch musician Robbie van Leeuwen for his band Shocking Blue, released as a single in late 1969. Bananarama had the song in their live repertoire for a couple of years before they decided to record it. They wanted to turn it into a dance track and brought the idea to producers Stock Aitken Waterman. It became Bananarama's first collaboration with them.

Initially, Stock, Aitken and Waterman also resisted the idea because they believed that 'Venus' would not make a good dance record. The three members of Bananarama persisted, and so they recorded the song. When it was released as a single in the summer of 1986, it went to number 1 in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Mexico and South Africa. In the UK, the single reached number 8 and in the Dutch Top 40 it reached number 4. The collaboration on 'Venus' led Bananarama and SAW to work together on the group's follow-up album 'Wow!' in 1987.

My collection: 7" single no. 4324
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Venus' / 'White train'

Young offender / Liberation - Pet Shop Boys

Throughout their career, the Pet Shop Boys have always been keen on remixing their songs. In the beginning, they made most of their extended remixes themselves, but when the Nineties started, they utilised more and more 'outsiders' for their remixes. This double 12" single set displays both the merits and the disadvantages of that approach.

The two Jam & Spoon remixes of 'Young offender' are great trance experiences, using most of the original song but in a very different musical setting. 'Liberation' was remixed by Murk, Oscar G and E Smoove, but none of them have been able to come up with something even remotely sounding like the original track. Some of them use one word from the track, namely its title, but the whole experience of disc 2 has become unlistenable dross. Remixing? Not everyone is good at it, you know.

My collection: 12" single no. 228
Found: Record fair, 1993
Cost: 10 guilders
Tracks: 'Young offender (Jam & Spoon's Trip-o-matic fairy tale mix)' / 'Young offender (Remix no. 2)' // 'Liberation (E Smoove 7" mix)' / 'Liberation (Murk Deepstrumental mix)', 'Liberation (Oscar G's dopeassdub mix)', 'Liberation (Murk Dirty Club mix)'

Who's gonna ride your wild horses - U2

U2 recorded 'Who's gonna ride your wild horses' many times during the sessions for their 1991 album 'Achtung baby', but they eventually ended up with a version that was very similar to the original demo. Bono wrote the song's lyrics for The Edge, who was going through a rough divorce from his wife during the recording sessions.

Bono has commented that the band were still dissatisfied with the track: 'It's a song I feel we didn't quite nail on the record because there was another whole set of lyrics that were dumped and I wrote those quickly and off we went.' The track was remixed for the single release. It reached number 14 in the UK singles chart and number 13 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 1795
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, November 28, 1992
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Who's gonna ride your wild horses' / 'Paint it black'

Welcome to my party - Luv'

In a rather desperate bid to revive past successes, Luv member Marga Scheide recruited Diana van Berlo and Michelle Gold to record new tracks as Luv', starting in 1989. This was after the original line-up reunited briefly in 1988, but quickly concluded that they had enough conflicts to not want to reform.

The new trio recorded one successful single, 'Welc0me to my party'. It reached number 22 in the Dutch Top 40. In 1990, Michelle Gold was replaced by another member, Carina Lemoine. During the Gulf War, Luv' performed in Dubai to support the Dutch troops. The formation finally split up in 1992. It wasn't the best version of Luv': just listen to the lifeless Medley on the B-side, in which they perform the biggest Luv hits without the bubbly cheerfullness of the original versions.

My collection: 7" single no. 1118
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, December 1, 1989
Cost: 3,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Welcome to my party' / 'Medley'

Zwei kleine Italiener - Conny Froboess

Conny Froboess was born on October 28, 1943. She became a teen idol of the Fifties and early Sixties in Germany. In 1962, she represented Germany during the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Zwei kleine Italiener' ('Two little Italians') . She finished sixth in a field of 16 competitors during the Contest.

The lyric of the song describes the plight of two gastarbeiters from Italy who wish to return to their homeland to be with their girlfriends, Tina and Marina. She contrasts this situation with that of the rest of German society (at the time undergoing the Wirtschaftswunder largely as a result of immigrant labour), for whom 'a journey to the South is something chic and fine'. The two Italians, it seems, despair of ever returning to Naples. This unusual subject matter marks the first time that a social issue was described in a Eurovision entry.

My collection: 7" single no. 4344
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Zwei kleine Italiener' / 'Hallo hallo hallo'

Music - Madonna

Madonna had her creative peak in the late Nineties with 'Ray of light'. When that album and its singles had been a great worldwide success, she followed it up with 'Music', the album and the single of the same name. Unfortunately, her voice was falling back to the rather childish range she had before she used a vocal coach for the movie 'Evita', and so the quality of her recordings also slowly deteriorated.

Fortunately, 'Music' is still a very nice song, produced by Mirwais Ahmadzai and promoted with a music video incorporating animation and special guest star Ali G. The single was a number 1 hit in Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. In the Dutch Top 40, 'Music' peaked at number 4.

My collection: 7" single no. 3223
Found: Record fair, 2000
Cost: 10 guilders
Tracks: 'Music' / 'Cyberraga'

Qualified - Lois Lane

Although the Dutch band Loïs Lane were never officially part of Prince's entourage, they did get to work with him on a few occasions. This single is a good example of their collaboration: 'Qualified' was written and produced by Prince and Kirk Johnson. The track was even recorded at his Paisley Park studios in Minneapolis.

'Qualified' was a track on Lois Lane's 1992 album 'Precious' and released as the first single from that album. It reached number 8 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 1653
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, May 9, 1992
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Qualified' / 'Need a little space'

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Eye in the sky - Alan Parsons Project

'Eye in the sky' is a 1982 song by the Alan Parsons Project from their album of the same name. The song is in part a reference to George Orwell's classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, regarding a possible future in which individual privacy is virtually non-existent due to the ever-watching eye of Big Brother. Songwriter and vocalist Eric Woolfson has also commented that he spent a lot of time in casinos and in commercial districts, fascinated by the hidden security cameras that monitor gamblers and shoppers.

The single reached number 3 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, but failed to chart in the UK.

My collection: 7" single no. 3277
Found: November 11, 2000
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Eye in the sky' / 'Mammagamma'

All woman - Lisa Stansfield

'All woman' was released as the second single from Lisa Stansfield's second album 'Real love'. The single reachde number 56 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, number 20 in the UK singles chart and number 21 in the Dutch Top 40.

The title was also used for a series of compilation albums featuring songs performed by female singers.

My collection: 7" single no. 1587
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, February 22, 1992
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'All woman' / 'Everything will get better'

Just around the corner - Cock Robin

'Just around the corner' was released as the first single from Cock Robin's second album 'After here through midland'. The band, originally a quartet, slimmed down to its core members Peter Kingsbery and Anna LaCazio, but the sound of the group remained intact: melodious pop songs with a strong drum hook.

The single was released in a limited edition posterbag and reached the charts all over Europe. In the Netherlands, the single peaked at number 19, while it didn't chart in the UK. The highest position was reached in Switzerland, where it got to number 6.

My collection: 7" single no. 534
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 19, 1992
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks:
'Just around the corner' / 'Open book'

The pleasure principle - Janet Jackson

'The pleasure principle' was written by Monte Moir and recorded by Janet Jackson for her successful 1986 album 'Control'. The track was remixed by Shep Pettibone and released as the sixth single from the album in the summer of 1987.

Although the single reached number 14 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, it was much less successful in other territories: in the UK it only got as far as number 24. The best result outside the USA was made in the Netherlands, where the single peaked at number 15.

My collection: 7" single no. 2061
Found: Wreckastow, Rotterdam, December 24, 1993
Cost: 2 guilders
Track: 'The pleasure principle (Shep Pettibone remix)' / 'The pleasure principle (Shep Pettibone dub edit)'

L'amour en soi - Vanessa Paradis

Since I'm not based in France the whole Vanessa Paradis phenomenon pretty much passed me by, but she must have been quite the phenomenon back in 1990. Her second album 'Variations sur le meme t'aime' featured songs written by legendary French songwriter Serge Gainsbourg and she sounded a lot more adult than on her debut album, released just two years earlier.

'L'amour en soi' was one of the tracks on the album and released as its third and last single. Contrary to the two previous singles, this one didn't chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 4319
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'L'amour en soi' / 'Flagrant délire'

Sinterklaas wie kent hem niet - Henk en Henk

On a blog with an international readership, it's hard to explain Dutch music sometimes. And today is even more difficult, as we celebrate St. Nicolas day in the Netherlands today. Sinterklaas, as he is called in the Netherlands, brings presents to good little children and punishment for those children who have not behaved themselves.

Henk Westbroek and Henk Temming from the Dutch band Het Goede Doel recorded 'Sinterklaas wie kent hem niet' ('Sinterklaas, who doesn't know him?') in 1982. It was released under the name of Henk & Henk to avoid confusion with the regular releases by the band. It became a seasonal hit in December 1982, peaking at number 24 in the Dutch Top 40. The B-side is a Christmas song, to add to the seasonal joy.

My collection: 7" single no. 3763
Found: Marktplaats.nl, received June 3, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Sinterklaas, wie kent hem niet?' / 'Het hoort met Kerstmis ook te sneeuwen'

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Leave in silence - Depeche Mode

'Leave in silence' was the sixth single by Depeche Mode, and the first one with the 'Bong' label, which is still used to this day. It was also the first song that was remixed several times. When it was released, it reached number 18 in the UK singles chart.

The B-side of this 7" single was quite unique, as it can be played on 45rpm as well as 33rpm. Both versions have been included below.

My collection: 7" single no. 538
Found: 1986
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Leave in silence' / 'Excerpt from My Secret Garden'

Tragedy - Bee Gees

'Tragedy' was recorded by the Bee Gees for their 1979 album 'Spirits having flown'. It was released as a single in January 1979 and reached number 1 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK singles chart. In the Dutch Top 40, it got to number 4.

Though not originally in the movie 'Saturday night fever', 'Tragedy' has subsequently been added to the musical score of the West End version of the musical version of that movie. In 1979, NBC aired 'The Bee Gees Special' in whcich Barry Gibb showed how the sound effect for the explosion in this song was created: he cupped his hands over a microphone and made an exploding sound. Several of these sounds were then mixed together creating one large boom heard on the record.

My collection: 7" single no. 379
Found: Den Haag, 1985
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Tragedy' / 'Until'

Play the game - Queen

The Eighties started for real when Queen accepted synthesizers on their recordings. Until 1980, they had a strict 'no synths' policy, but the track 'Play the game' on their 1980 album 'The game' features some unmistakable synthesizer noises. The track begins with overlapping noises from an Oberheim OB-X synthesizer.

When the track was released as a single, it reached number 42 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, number 14 in the UK singles chart and number 15 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 2109
Found: June 4, 1994
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Play the game' / 'A human body'

Take that look off your face - Marti Webb

'Take that look off your face' was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black for the musical 'Tell me on a Sunday' (1978). It was recorded and released by Marti Webb in 1980. It became a number 3 hit in the UK singles chart and peaked at number 7 in the Dutch Top 40. Marti Webb re-recorded the song on her 2003 album 'Limelight'.

There are several cover versions of this song, performed by singers like Bernadette Peters, Denise van Outen and Sarah Brightman. Nothing beats the original, of course.

My collection: 7" single no. 4339
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Take that look off your face' / 'Sheldon bloom'

Do not disturb - Bananarama

'Do not disturb' was written and produced by Steve Jolley and Tony Swain and recorded by Bananarama as a stand-alone single, released in 1985. It reached number 31 in the UK singles chart. The track was subsequently included on Bananarama's third album 'True confessions', released in 1986.

The trio did not like the song. Group member Keren Woodward later said of the 'True confessions' album: 'It is all our ideas, it is what we wanted to sound like and sing about. Except 'Do Not Disturb' which Swain and Jolley wrote and which we don't think is very good. Thats why there's eleven songs on the LP instead of ten'.

My collection: 7" single no. 4327
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Do not disturb' / 'Ghost'

Katinka - De Spelbrekers

Theo Rekkers (born April 24, 1924) and Huub Kok (born February 10, 1918) formed the Spelbrekers in 1945. They met in a German arms factory where they were performing forced labour in 1943. They had their first hit in 1956 with 'Oh wat ben je mooi' ('Oh how beautiful you are').

In 1962, they represented the Netherlands during the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Katinka'. They ended up in joint last place, failing to score any points. This result was partly to blame on a bad broadcast: during their performance the image on television went almost entirely black, causing the two to look almost like criminals. Still, in their homeland they reached number 9 in the charts in May 1962.

My collection: 7" single no. 4274
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2009
Cost: 3,5 euro
Tracks: 'Katinka' / 'Carnaval'

Dracula's tango - Toto Coelo

'Dracula's tango (Sucker for your love)' sounds a lot like songs performed by various other girl groups at the time - even Dutch ones. The single was released in November 1982 and reached number 54 in the UK singles chart. It was their last single to reach the chart, although they did release a handful of other singles after that.

My collection: 7" single no. 4338
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Dracula's tange (Sucker for your love)' / 'Mucho macho'

She blinded me with science - Thomas Dolby

Thomas Dolby's 'She blinded me with science' was originally released in October 1982 as a single in October 1982 and subsequently included on the second edition of his debut album 'The golden age of wireless'. The single only reached number 49 in the UK singles chart, but when it was released in the USA, it reached number 5 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song's title 'She blinded me with science' plays upon the British expression 'to blind with science', meaning to deliberately confuse someone by giving the impression of highly complex knowledge. In the song, however, the phrase is interpreted as a straightforward reference to the natural sciences. The song features interjections from the British scientist and TV presenter Magnus Pyke, who repeatedly shouts 'Science!' and delivers other lines in a deliberately over-the-top "mad scientist" voice.

My collection: 7" single no. 4337
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'She blinded me with science' / 'One of our submarines'

Right next door (Because of me) - Robert Cray

Robert Cray was born on August 1, 1953. By the age of twenty, he had seen Albert Collins, Freddie King and Muddy Waters live, and decided to form his own band. After years of regional success, Robert Cray was signed to a record company in 1982. He released his breakthrough album 'Strong persuader' in 1986.

The single 'Right next door' was released in the summer of 1987, and it was his first international success, peaking at number 50 in the UK singles chart and number 2 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 4335
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Right next door (because of me)' / 'New blood'

Shame - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

'Shame' was released as the third single from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's 1987 album 'The pacific age'. The band had suggested another track, 'Stay', as a possible single from the album, but label Virgin thought 'Shame' had more potential. The band relented, although feeling the album version was a bit slow, they re-recorded the track with producer Rhett Davies.

The single, released in May 1987, was not the big success that it was hoped to be, reaching only number 52 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 4334
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Shame (re-recorded version)' / 'Goddess of love'

Body and soul - Mai Tai

Mai Tai only made a name for themselves in their native Netherlands, when they had some success abroad. The single 'History' was released in May 1985 and became a top 10 hit in the UK, while it only reached number 22 in the Dutch Top 40.

Their next single in the UK was 'Body and soul', released in August 1985, which reached number 9 in the UK singles chart. That single had already been released in the Netherlands a year before, peaking at number 31. Like most of their early work, the single was produced by Eric van Tijn and Jochem Fluitsma, who would go on to produce some of the Netherlands' entries for the Eurovision Song Contest.

My collection: 7" single no. 4332
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Body and soul' / 'The rules of love'

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

I just can't wait - Mandy Smith

Mandy Smith had a successful career as a model in 1987, while she was just 16 years old. By then, she already had a stop/start relationship with Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, whom she married as soon as she turned 18. That marriage only lasted for two years.

Her music career was equally short-lived, with just one album and a handful of singles, of which 'I just can't wait' was the first. Produced by Stock, Aitken and Waterman, the single did not chart in any territory, but hordes of pop lovers were already falling in love with this beautiful young woman.

My collection: 7" single no. 4340
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'I just can't wait' / 'You're never alone'

Right now! - Tomas Ledin

Tomas Ledin represented Sweden during the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Just nu'. With the song, he finished number 10 in a field of 19 participants.

The song became a big hit in Scandinavia, but since he also recorded a version in English, called 'Right now!', he also scored in Greece and Portugal. This copy of the single is a promotion copy, made in Sweden.

My collection: 7" single no. 4336
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Right now!' / 'It's sure worth giving a try'

True life confessions - The Korgis

Although commercial success eluded them, the Korgis continued to record and release singles until the mid-Eighties. In their catalogue, 'True life confessions' is a somewhat atypical song for them, with a rather breezy pop sound, slightly caribbean.

'True life confessions', which was released as a single in the summer of 1985, also appears on the 1986 album by lead singer James Warren, 'Burning questions'. A 12" single with an extended version of 'True life confessions' also exists, but I have yet to find a copy.

My collection: 7" single no. 4331
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'True life confessions' / 'Possessed'

Catch my fall - Billy Idol

'Catch my fall' is a track from Billy Idol's second solo album 'Rebel yell' (1983). On the sleeve of the single, Idol is pictured with red and black paint on his face, which I'm sure has to mean something, although nobody knows what.

The single was not a hit in the UK when it was originally released in 1984, but a re-release in 1988 caused the single to peak at number 63.

My collection: 7" single no. 4330
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Catch my fall' / 'Daytime drama'

Go wild in the country - Bow wow wow

Bow wow wow's manager Malcolm McLaren found himself in a bit of a pickle when the mother of frontwoman Annabella Lwin sued him for exploitation of a minor. Part of the controversy was caused by the photograph on this sleeve, Bow wow wow's take on Manet's painting 'Le déjeuner sur l'herbe', which was taken when Lwin was only 15 years old...

'Go wild in the country' was released in January 1982 and became Bow wow wow's first top 10 hit in the UK, peaking at number 7.

My collection: 7" single no. 4329
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Go wild in the country' / 'El boss dicho'

Megarama '89 - Bananarama

Released in 1989, 'Megarama '89' is a megamix of hit songs by Bananarama. The single was released in Germany, France and Japan only. This copy is a German pressing. The single had its greatest success in France, where it peaked at number 17 in the singles chart.

The megamix does not appear on any of Bananarama's albums and has not been included on any of the group's greatest hits packages. Tracks that were used for this mix were: 'Na na hey hey kiss him goodbye', 'Cruel summer', 'Love in the first degree' and 'Venus'.

My collection: 7" single no. 4328
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Megarama '89' / 'Venus (The Greatest remix edit)'

I didn't want to need you - Heart

'I didn't want to need you' was written and composed by songwriter Diane Warren and recorded by Heart on their 1990 album 'Brigade'. The track was released as the second single from the album.

The single reached number 23 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached number 47 in the UK singles chart. In Europe, the single went by without anyone noticing.

My collection: 7" single no. 4323
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'I didn't want to need you' / 'The night'

Happy hour - The Housemartins

Sometimes I am still surprised at my own tastes in music. Back in 1986, I didn't really like 'Happy hour' by the Housemartins, but when I heard it recently I realised it is actually quite nice. Now I finally understand why it became a hit: it reached number 3 hit in the UK and number 22 in the Dutch Top 40 in the summer of 1986.

The Housemartins was formed in 1983 by Paul Heaton and Stan Cullimore. They recruited Ted Key and Dodger. The band's membership changed considerably over the years. By 1986, Key and Dodger were replaced by Hugh Whitaker and Norman Cook (who would become Fatboy Slim in the Nineties). It was a John Peel session that helped the band get their breakthrough with 'Happy hour'.

My collection: 7" single no. 4322
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Happy hour' / 'The mighty 'ship'

The rhythm - Mari Wilson

Mari Wilson disappeared from the music scene for five years, until she returned in 1991 with the album 'The Rhythm Romance'. The first single was 'The rhythm', recorded with Rumba Tres.

The song sounds very different from her material circa 1984, when she was going for a Fifties/Sixties sound. This is a sunny, energetic track which, if anything, sounds more like an Eighties production. The single did not chart in the UK or anywhere else.

My collection: 7" single no. 4321
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'The rhythm' / 'Someone to watch over me'

Mosquito - Vanessa Paradis

I bought Vanessa Paradis's debut album 'M&J' a long time ago and I thought I had all the singles taken from that album, but I discovered one I didn't know about. Although both tracks on the single appear on the album, it is the nice and moody sleeve that convinced me to buy this one.

With her sixteen years, Vanessa didn't really have an engaging voice, but she was fortunate enough to be surrounded by great songwriters and producers. And so, 'Mosquito', the fifth and final single to be taken from the album still reached number 22 in the French singles chart in early 1989.

My collection: 7" single no. 4318
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, December 1, 2009
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Mosquito' / 'Chat ananas'

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