Friday, 30 August 2013

Kids in America - Radio Wendy

I don't buy a lot of 7" singles these days, but every now and again I find something online that I've been looking for. This single first came to my attention last year. It was another cover version of Kim Wilde's 'Kids in America' - and there are loads of cover versions of that song! - but this particular one has never surfaced online as an mp3 or anything. The single was for sale but upon ordering the seller found out he couldn't find the single he was offering. At the time, he was the only one.

Earlier this month, I looked again and there were actually three sellers for this single! I picked one, ordered it, and two weeks later it was in my mailbox. It turns out Radio Wendy was signed to an independent record company in San Diego, California. Not much more information than that, even the year of release can't be traced. It is a nice cover version, but nothing too spectacular I'm afraid. It's been done before.

My collection: 7" single no. 5346
Found: Discogs.com, received August 27, 2013
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Kids in America' / 'Growing old'

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Moments of pleasure - Kate Bush

I would describe my latest vinyl acquisition as a shocker. I never knew that 'Moments of pleasure' by Kate Bush, released in 1993 as the second single off her album 'The red shoes' was released on a 7" single. But it was, albeit only on this jukebox version and never commercially.

Having always thought that only 'Rubberband girl' got a 7" version (and there's a jukebox version of that one too) this is quite a revelation for me. I'm lucky to have found a copy on eBay and win the auction too at such a low price. You'd think that hordes of Kate Bush fans are after this great single, but apparently not...

My collection: 7" single no. 5345
Found: eBay.co.uk, received July 9, 2013
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Moments of pleasure' / 'Moments of pleasure (instrumental)'

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Running up that hill - Sweep featuring Linda Carriere

Not content with just one disc, Sweep and Linda Carriere released several 12" singles of their cover of 'Running up that hill'. This second 12" features just two remixes of the track, featuring a sort of budget Shaggy clone (as if Shaggy himself isn't cheap enough already).

Repetitive and a bit of an insult to the original track, it's no wonder Sweep disappeared from the music scene directly after this one release.

My collection: 12" single no. 645
Found: unknown, 199X
Cost: unknown
Tracks: "Running up that hill (Running status mix)' / 'Running up that hill (Killer Bee mix)'

Running up that hill - Sweep featuring Linda Carriere

Most people who are fan of a certain artist don't have much interest for cover versions of their favourite artist. I tend to act differently: for most of the acts that I have more than a passing interest in, I like to collect as much cover versions as I can. It does mean that you need a lot of perseverance and in some cases lots of endurance too. Some cover versions are dreadful, others can turn out to be quite nice.

Unfortunately, Sweep's 1993 version of Kate Bush's 'Running up that hill' does not fall into the latter category. It's a rather unimaginative take on what was a very innovative pop song back in 1985. The vocals by Linda Carriere are sometimes ridiculous, but she does manage to hold a few notes. Which I guess is a positive point.

My collection: 12" single no. 644
Found: unknown, 199X
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Running up that hill (Jam's Labyrinth mix)', 'Running up that hill (1993 mix)' / 'Running up that hill (laser mix)', 'Running up that hill (radio edit)'

Friday, 24 May 2013

When you really loved someone - Agnetha Fältskog

The biggest disappointment of this year's Eurovision Song Contest was that Abba didn't appear on stage when the song 'The winner takes it all' was performed live on stage by someone else. But that disappointment was balanced somewhat by the surprise announcement earlier this year that Agnetha was to release a new album. This single, 'When you really loved someone' was meant to be a teaser.

Now in the old days, a 7" single would consist of an A-side and a B-side. But in this case, the artist nor the record company could be bothered to supply the latter, so when you play the B-side of this disc, all you hear is silence. But that's the only gripe: the song itself is nice, and the picture disc looks very beautiful.

My collection: 7" single no. 5342
Found: CDON.com, received May 22, 2013
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'When you really loved someone'

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Running up that hill (2012 remix) - Kate Bush

I guess it's reassuring that after a surge of productivity in 2011, Kate Bush has returned to her old non-prolific self. However, she did manage to produce the biggest, and only, highlight of last year's Olympic Games in London by making a 2012 version of her 1985 hit, 'Running up that hill'. (Billed as a remix here, it actually features new vocals by Kate herself.) However disappointing it was that she didn't appear in person, I guess it was a wise decision because so many B- and C-list celebrities did turn up.

Another disappointment was the lack of physical releases of this new track. Sure, there are promotional CD-singles about but they are insanely expensive. I was glad that this 10" vinyl was released for Record Store Day last month, even if it meant having to wait for an online retailer to sell them because there are no record stores anymore in my hometown. Fortunately, 7inchsingles.nl came to the rescue. Hurray!

My collection: 10" single [unnumbered]
Found: 7inchsingles.nl, received May 1, 2013
Cost: enough
Tracks: 'Running up that hill (2012 remix)' / 'Walk straight down the middle'

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Hip hurra - det' min fødselsdag - Tommy Seebach Band

Tommy Seebach made another appearance at Eurovision in 1982. After trying it with 'Disco tango' and 'Krøller eller ej', this third effort was a piece of synthpop done in Eurovision style: hyperactive and with Danish lyrics. The title means something like 'Hip hooray it's my birthday' and it is a typically happy song.

Despite all this fun, Tommy Seebach was a kind of tragic figure in Eurovision: despite participating four times, he never really had a big success and apparently he had to deal with alcoholism and other private problems. Even the Danish didn't always treat him like the hero I always thought he was. His musical legacy still sounds like a lot of fun and games. And of course it's better that way.

My collection: 7" single no. 5340
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2013
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Hip hurra - det' min fødselsdag' / 'Ta' med mig'

Born to sing - Colm "C.T." Wilkinson

I first saw part of this song in a documentary about the Eurovision Song Contest some 20 years ago: a large, slightly sweaty man turning purple as he was belting out the last few seconds of this song. It makes the high notes of Johnny Logan look like kids stuff: here was the equivalent of Joe Cocker being strangled while having surgery at his prostrate while singing 'With a little help from my friends'.

The single was pretty hard to get, though. I wasn't prepared to pay too much for it so the few copies I ever saw I always passed on. Until this weekend! And indeed, on record these last few seconds still sound very impressive.

My collection: 7" single no. 5339
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2013
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Born to sing' / 'Simple things in life'

Krøller eller ej - Debbie Cameron & Tommy Seebach

For about ten years, I've seen a record dealer from Denmark in Utrecht every six months, with a decent Eurovision collection. The only reason that I never bought anything from the man - although I was tempted from time to time - was the fact that his prices were too high. Starting at 4 euros, an interesting title would easily cost you 10 euros or more.

Much to my surprise, this weekend he was selling off all of his singles for just 2 euros. I guess he is stopping his business. Good news for me though; I got my hands on four singles that were missing from my collection, and this one is perhaps the most interesting of the four. Tommy Seebach is a Eurovision icon and 'Krøller eller ej' was one of his Eurovision successes. An overly hysterical Eighties production, but very amusing nonetheless.

My collection: 7" single no. 5338
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2013
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Krøller eller ej' / 'Jeg en gard mig bygge vil'

Bra vibrationer - Kikki

'Bra vibrationer' was Sweden's entry for the 1985 Eurovision Song Contest. Even without this information, you would recognise this song as a Swedish Eurovision track, because it sounds suspiciously like a Seventies Abba track. Like many Swedish entries for Eurovision after 1974, I would say.

I already owned the English version, but it's great to have the original version on single now as well.

My collection: 7" single no. 5337
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2013
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Bra vibrationer' / 'Plingeling'

The world stood up - Marty Wilde

Marty Wilde's 'Abergavenny' is a well-known hit from 1968 in most European countries. It comes from the album 'Diversions', also released in 1968 and very much in need of a CD release. But little did I know that another single was taken from that album.

I was at a record fair this Saturday and while walking past some dealers I suddenly spotted a stack of singles at the side of one stall. On top was this one: 'The world stood up' by Marty Wilde. Well, obviously I had to have this one and I was pleased that it didn't cost a fortune. Backing vocals on this track were performed by Marty's wife Joyce.

My collection: 7" single no. 5336
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2013
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'The world stood up' / 'In the night'

Sunday, 24 March 2013

La mer - Charles Trenet

This is probably the oldest song I've ever written about on this blog, although obviously some songs were written earlier but recorded after the 1940's. This recording stems from the Fourties and was written by the singer while travelling in a train along the French Mediterranean coast. He supposedly wrote the song in ten minutes on toilet paper supplied by the SNCF. He recorded the song in 1946, and it subsequently became a chanson classic.

I never actually thought I would buy this particular single but when I found it for almost nothing I couldn't resist. It does not say when this EP was released, but I suppose it is actually a release from the 1950's or 1960's. We played 'La mer' two years ago on the occasion of my father's cremation and so it has some resonance. It's good to own this now.

My collection: 7" single no. 5335
Found: Kringloop Den Haag, March 2013
Cost: 0,25 euro
Tracks: 'La mer', 'La romance de Paris' / 'L'ame des poetes', 'La jolie Sardane'.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Magic dance - David Bowie

Now that everybody's in awe of the new album by David Bowie, I thought it would be fun to showcase on of his less critically acclaimed moments. So I dug out this 12" single of 'Magic dance', released in the USA in 1986. Bowie recorded this song, as well as a handful of others, for the soundtrack of the Jim Henson movie 'Labyrinth', in which he also played the role of the Goblin king, wearing a strange wig and performing magic tricks. Even on the sleeve of this record he appears to be doing a silly walk.

The remixes of the track are typical mid-Eighties fare: lots of drums and sampled sounds. Some people would argue that Bowie wasn't at his creative peak in the Eighties, personally I do prefer his work during this decade over his acclaimed early Sixties rock. But each to their own...

My collection: 12" single no. 643
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Magic dance (dance mix)' / 'Magic dance (dub)', 'Within you'

Les lacs du Connemara - Michel Sardou

'Les lacs du Connemara' was released by Michel Sardou in 1982. It became a hit single in several European countries, and also in the Netherlands, where the single peaked at number 9. It was his first and only success in this country.

The song is about the Irish region Connemara. The lyric mentions Oliver Cromwell, Tipperary, Galway and Irish family names like Sean, Maureen, O´Connell and Flaherty. The music is performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

My collection: 7" single 5334
Cost: nothing
Tracks: 'Les lacs du Connemara' / 'Je viens du Sud'

Friday, 1 March 2013

If you could read my mind - Aurora

Sung by Marcella Detroit (of Shakespear's Sister fame), 'If you could read my mind' was a pretty nice cover version of a song originally performed by Gordon Lightfoot (and also covered by Viola Wills in 1980). Aurora released only one album in 2001, from which several singles were released. Three singles were a hit, but this, the fourth single drawn from the album, failed to chart.

Upon hearing these remixes I wasn't too impressed. The Roksolid dub in particular has nothing to do with the original track, and that's a shame. But still, it's good to have this disc, as it represents a full collection of remixes of a pretty much forgotten gem.

My collection: 12" single no. 642
Found: Discogs.com, received March 1, 2013
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'If you could read my mind (Coloursound club mix)' / 'If you could read my mind (If you could funk my head mix)', 'If you could read my mind (Roksolid dub)'

You only tell me you love me when you're drunk - Pet Shop Boys

I don't have many Pet Shop Boys 12" singles, even though I really like their music. Most of their remixes have been released on cd - I think - so whenever I see a 12" single by them I cross off my list: 'Do I have all the tracks?'. If not, I go to the next question: 'Is it cheap'? If not, I have no trouble leaving it be.

So this double 12" set ended up in my collection because it contained one remix I didn't have yet and because it was dirt cheap. When I finally received it today I concluded that it was a good buy: the outer sleeve looks a bit boring (see the picture) but the two inner sleeve are actually quite attractive, featuring a photograph on one side each (picturing one member of the duo each) and the same dark brown colour on the other side. Well designed. But then, all of the Pet Shop Boys sleeves have been well designed.

My collection: 12" single no. 641
Found: Discogs.com, received March 1, 2013
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'You only tell me you love me when you're drunk (Brother Brown's newt mix)' / 'You only tell me you love me when you're drunk (Attaboy still love you when we're sober mix)' // 'You only tell me you love me when you're drunk (The T-Total mix)' / 'You only tell me you love me when you're drunk (Brother Brown's newt dub)'

Sweet love - Fierce

'Sweet love' was a cover version of the 1986 Anita Baker track by the female trio Fierce, consisting of Chantal Alleyne, Aisha Peters and Sabrina Weathers. The group sang R&B tracks and had four hits in the UK, including this one. The original version was released on their only album, 'Right here right now' (1999) and produced by Jeremy Wheatley and Magnus Fiennes, while the single version, entitled 'Sweet love 2K' was produced by Stargate.

This double 12" release features remixes by Rhythm Masters and Trouser Enthusiasts. And there lies the answer to the question 'why did I buy this?'. The UK collective Trouser Enthusiasts have made some excellent remixes and this is one of them. It's very hard to get hold of them all but this 12" was pretty cheap when I found it online.

My collection: 12" single no. 640
Found: Discogs.com, received March 1, 2013
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Sweet love (Rhythm Masters vocal mix)' / 'Sweet love (Trouser Enthusiasts dub)' // 'Sweet love (Trouser Enthusiasts mix)' / 'Sweet love (Rhythm Masters dub)'

Monday, 18 February 2013

Spread a little happiness - Sting

When Police frontman Sting starred in the movie Brimstone and Treacle, an adaption of a play of the same name, he wrote and co-wrote the majority of the songs on the soundtrack. Most people tend to forget that 'Spread a little happiness', taken from this soundtrack, is actually Sting's debut solo single. It reached number 16 in the UK singles chart.

I did like the track but never got around to buying the single at the time because of budget constraints. Later on, the single would only turn up for ridiculous prices at record fairs and the like. So I was glad to get my hands on a copy for next to nothing this month.

My collection: 7" single no. 5333
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, February 5, 2013
Cost: 0,25 euro
Tracks: 'Spread a little happiness' / 'Only you'

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Reactive - Sixteen Deluxe

The American band Sixteen Deluxe are a "psychedelic noise-pop band", according to their own biography, from Austin, Texas. Formed in 1994, they played for seven years together before breaking up in July 2000 after Carrie Clark left the band. Apparently they reformed ten years later - the website sixteendeluxemusic.com has been abandoned almost as soon as it was started but still gives that information from 2010.

This 7" single became part of my collection after I found out a cover of Kim Wilde's 'Kids in America' was featured on the B-side. There are many cover versions of Kim's debut hit, but this is a pretty hard to find one. It isn't actually too bad, if you're expecting the dozenth punk-inspired cover version.

My collection: 7" single no. 5300
Found: Discogs.com, received February 2, 2013
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Reactive' / 'Kids in America'

Monday, 19 November 2012

Flower - Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue is in the music business for 25 years now. Hard to believe that the Neighbours actress who brought us 'The loco-motion' and 'I should be so lucky' finally became a serious pop artist, with some very beautiful ("Put yourself in my place", "Finer feelings") and well-produced ("Can't get you out of my head", "On a night like this") pop songs in her repertoire.

An artist like Kylie is assumed to only perform well under highly produced and perhaps autotuned circumstances, but her latest album 'The Abbey Road sessions' contains some great versions of those wellknown pop songs - and it certainly sounds like her voice is as authentic as the orchestra that backs her up. The song 'Flower' is a new one and this one was released as a single. This picture disc 7" single proves both that Kylie can perform well and that Photoshop is a popular tool to create immaculate photographs with.

My collection: 7" single no. 5299
Found: Recordstore.co.uk, received November 17, 2012
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Flower' / 'Flower (instrumental)'

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