Saturday, 12 April 2014

Video video - Brixx

Denmark was represented in the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest by the group Brixx. The group members were Jens Brixtofte (brother of the Danish politician Peter Brixtofte), John Hatting, Torben Jacobsen, Steen Ejler Olsen and Bjørn Holmgård Sørensen. Their song 'Video video' was a praise of the then-new technology of video recorders, with the singer describing the wealth of viewing he has on tape — everything from Humphrey Bogart to Wimbledon. Indeed, he remarks that "Susanne" (possibly a lover) has left him for fear that his viewing habits have made him "not all normal".

The song ended up 17th in the contest,  receiving 3 points from Portugal and 1 point each from Sweden and Ireland. Only Kojo from Finland did worse, receiving no points at all.

My collection: 7" single no. 5359
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Video video' / 'I wanna dance med dig'

Radio bonheur - Herve Cristiani

With Kate Bush concerts in sight, it's no surprise I started looking for some Kate Bush records at the record fair in Utrecht today. I have many of them and the ones I saw that were slightly interesting were way too expensive. But this single was a good find. I knew that Herve Cristiani had recorded a track called 'Kate Bush', and I'd even heard it, but I didn't know it was released on a single. On the B-side, but hey, I'm not complaining - I'm buying!

Herve Cristiani was born on November 8, 1947 in Paris, France. His debut album was released in 1975. This single comes from his fourth album, 'Il est libre Max', released in 1981.

My collection: 7" single no. 5358
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Radio bonheur' / 'Kate Bush'

Da da da ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht aha aha aha - Trio

The German band Trio constructed the early synthpop hit 'Da da da' with a Casio VI-Tone and some bits of German dialogue. It was a hit not only in Germany, where the 'Neue Deutsche Welle' was making waves, but also in other European countries and even in UK, where German acts were rarely found in the charts (although Boney M had considerable success in the Seventies...)

This 12" single presents a six minute remix (or 'extended version') of the track and two quite funny, almost punk-inspired, B-sides.

My collection: 12" single no. 646
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Da da da ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht aha aha aha', 'Frau A spricht ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht' / 'Halt mich fest ich werd verrückt', 'Lady-o-lady'

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Valentine's day - David Bowie

Another single from David Bowie's most recent album 'The next day', 'Valentine's day' was released as a picture disc in a partly transparent sleeve with the lyric of the song printed on it. This single actually comes with a B-side, although 'Plan' is just a short instrumental piece.

What's on the picture disc? I was wondering about that for a while, but then I realised: the album sleeve of 'The next day' uses the artwork of Bowie's album 'Heroes', and the picture disc here shows the right and left hand from that album artwork. Another clever design.

My collection: 7" single no. 5357
Found: Head, Bristol, December 18, 2013
Tracks: 'Valentine's day' / 'Plan'

The next day - David Bowie

The surprise comeback of David Bowie at the beginning of 2013 was something that took hold of the 'serious' music press all through the year. Bowie didn't do many interviews, there were some music videos but that was about it. Oh, and of course: the Japanese edition of the album had four bonus tracks whereas the European one had only three. Having ordered the Japanese edition from Europe, the end of the year came with the announcement of a "special edition" with all the tracks included and more. Nice going...

Anyway, the title track was released as a single on a white square disc. The transparent sleeve featured the title and credits, so the disc was indeed completely white. Clever design. Just a shame that the disc features the same track on both sides.

My collection: 7" single no. 5356
Found: Head, Bristol, December 18, 2013
Tracks: 'The next day' / 'The next day'

Change - Tears for Fears

The single Change was originally released as a single from Tears for Fears' debut album 'The hurting', and apparently there were different versions of the sleeve. When 'The hurting' was released as a boxed 3cd-1dvd deluxe edition, this new 7" single was offered by Universal as a limited edition bonus, featuring a reprint of a rare sleeve. Indeed, I've never seen this sleeve before, so it is probably pretty rare.

The tracks on this single are identical to the original release: 'Change' from the album and the intriguing B-side, 'The conflict'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5355
Found: Universal mail order, November 2013
Cost: nought, but the box set wasn't cheap of course.
Tracks: 'Change' / 'The conflict'

Hiroshima - Wishful Thinking

Here's another track I already had on 7", but with added Nineties pleasure. 'Hiroshima' by Wishful Thinking was re-released with a 90's mix after German singer Sandra had released her cover version of the song as a single. This single - which comes with a promotional fact sheet, by the way - presents both the original version of the song plus a remix by Dave Morgan.

Who's Dave Morgan, you ask? He was a guitarist with Electric Light Orchestra from 1981 to 1986 and also the original writer of the song, recorded by Wishful Thinking back in 1970.

My collection: 7" single no. 5354
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hiroshima (originalversion)' / 'Hiroshima (90er mix)'

Angelina - Matia Bazar

I already have a version of Angelina in my collection, but this one was pressed on red vinyl, and that is always a good excuse to buy another copy.

Fortunately, this single also comes with a different B-side, and I have to say I rather like that song. Matia Bazar have always been good at crafting melodic songs, and 'Cose' is a good example of what these Italians can do, aided with synths, drum computers and layered vocals.

My collection: 7" single no. 5353
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Angelina' / 'Cose'

Lido shuffle - Boz Scaggs

One of the songs that defined the year 1977 for me was What can I say by Boz Scaggs. Don't know why, I probably heard it a lot back then - courtesy of my sister. Another single from the same album was 'Lido shuffle', which was not as big a hit in the Netherlands, but it was still well-known.

This version of the single is a German promotional 7", with a white label. Shameful fact: I actually thought this was a different song, but I don't know the title of that one now. Fortunately, this track is another one I vaguely recall from the old days...

My collection: 7" single no. 5352
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Lido shuffle' / 'Love me tomorrow'

One love to give - Stephanie

At the turn of the year I saw Stephanie in the audience of the annual Circus show from Montreux. She looked a bit old, much older than when she released her debut album back in 1986. That's logical, I guess. Back in 1986 the old comment 'she looks better than she sings' was very much in play. I wonder if that is still the case right now.

Anyway, I have most of the singles from that debut album, but this one is a rarity: a promotion single released in Germany, featuring both the English and French versions of the song 'Flash'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5351
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'One love to give' / 'Flash'

Un poco de paz - Nicole

So when you have Ein Bisschen Frieden, A little peace, La paix sur terre, Een beetje vrede and En smule fred, there's only one more version of 'Ein Bisschen Frieden' to get hold of: 'Un poco de paz' of course. It's the Spanish version of the 1982 Eurovision winner, and I have searched for this one for years. Try it yourself: when you come across it online it's a pretty expensive item.

At the Record Fair in Utrecht, which takes place every six months, I never saw this single before either, but during the last edition I was finally lucky. If the price seems a bit high to you, you have to consider that shipping is usually part of the deal when ordering online. So I think I still got a good deal. Now I'll never have to buy a Nicole single anymore...

My collection: 7" single 5350
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Un poco de paz' / 'Thank you, merci, danke'

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Love me love my dog - Peter Shelley

This single caught my attention because I own several singles which were written by Marty Wilde and Peter Shelley. When I checked out the label, I found out that 'Love me love my dog' was another song written by the duo. Being quite interested in the Wilde dynasty, I had to buy this single of course!

Peter Shelley entered the UK music industry in 1965 working initially as a song plugger with the music publisher, Chappell & Co. He then joined EMI as personal assistant to their chief songwriter/record producer Norman Newell, his responsibilities covering various aspects of music co-ordination, production and administration. He later joined Decca Records as a talent scout, discovering for the label Amen Corner, Ten Years After and Giles, Giles and Fripp — the nucleus of a band later to be called King Crimson. He left Decca in 1968 to become an independent writer/producer, working with other writers such as Ben Findon and Marty Wilde. He had several minor European single hits during this period.

In 1973 Shelley co-founded Magnet Records with Michael Levy. Shelley's role was that of director of A&R and Levy's as president/general manager/administrator. Shelley wrote, produced and sang Magnet's first release "My Coo Ca Choo" which reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and number 1 in many other countries. Magnet became one of the UK's most successful independent record labels under Shelley's creative direction. He also helped sign Guys 'n' Dolls and Chris Rea to the label. Shelley was presented with the Ivor Novello Award in 1975 for his services to the UK music industry. However, due to differences between Levy and himself, Shelley resigned from Magnet in late 1975 to pursue an independent career. He now lives in Canada and works primarily as a songwriter.

My collection: 7" single no. 5347
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, October 19, 2013
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Love me love my dog' / 'My sweet Deutsche friend'

Cent mille chansons - Frida Boccara

Although Casablanca-born Frida Boccara was already a big star in France since her debut in 1960, she was introduced to an international audience with this single, 'Cent mille chansons'. A year later, she was one of four acts to win the Eurovision Song Contest when she sang 'Un jour, un enfant', but despite this, 'Cent mille chansons' remains her best known song. It makes an appearance in the Dutch Top 2000 of all times every year since 1999, with number 622 as its highest place back in 2006.

My collection: 7" single 5348
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, October 19, 2013
Cost: 0,25 euro
Tracks: 'Cent mille chansons' / 'Je ne veux pas te dire adieu'

Gonna get along without you now - Viola Wills

I was quite amazed to see this sleeve and not recognise it. It meant, under normal circumstances, that I didn't have this song (I have been fooled by my photographic memory many times, because some singles appeared in different sleeves). Viola Wills' 'Gonna get along without you now' is one of those late Seventies disco records that wasn't the biggest hit but still sounds so familiar because it was played a lot on the radio both in 1979 when it came out and in later years.

The song is actually a disco cover version of a song written by Milton Kellern in 1951. The original version was recorded by Teresa Brewer and released in early 1952. It was recorded as a big band 'swing' track. The track was subsequently covered by countless others, including Chet Atkins, Trini Lopez, Bad Manners and UB40.

My collection: 7" single no. 5349
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, October 19, 2013
Cost: 0,25 euro
Tracks: 'Gonna get along without you now' / 'Your love'

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)'

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Skyfall - Adele

Who can still hum the melody of 'Another way to die', the previous Bond theme? Thought not. The steady decline of James Bond movie theme songs that had started at the end of the last century seems to have been halted when the powers that be decided that this year's Bond song would be performed by a British artist again. And that's the first time since 1985 when Duran Duran recorded 'A view to a kill'. 'Skyfall' is "Bond by numbers", some people commented. With a large orchestra to back her up, it certainly feels like a retro track.

Obviously I was wondering if a 7" single would be released, but even before I started looking out for it, my friend Puck contacted me because he'd seen the single during a shopping trip. I was very happy to get this little present, which will probably prompt me to start buying more "Bond singles". I missed out on a few during the last 50 years...  

My collection: 7" single no. 5298
Found: Den Haag, November 8, 2012
Cost: Nothing (a present)
Tracks: 'Skyfall' / 'Skyfall (instrumental)'

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Love me do - The Beatles

I'm not a Beatles fan and not an expert either, but when I found out that 'Love me do' was to be re-released this month because of the fact it was originally released 50 years ago, my interest in this 7" single was raised. I think everyone is familiar with this song, as it is always played on the radio and some people consider it as the start of pop music as we know it now. The Beatles were the defining group of the Sixties, like Abba was in the Seventies and, well, many British bands were in the Eighties.

The was a slight f***up with this single because EMI pressed it with a wrong version of 'Love me do' (featuring Andy White instead of Ringo Starr on drums), causing its release to be postponed. (One does wonder: how does this even happen?) But, lo and behold, it was ultimately released on October 22, 50 years and 17 days after its original release.

My collection: 7" single no. 5297
Found: Amazon.co.uk, received October 30, 2012
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Love me do' / 'P.S. I love you'

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Leaving - Pet Shop Boys

Released last month, the Pet Shop Boys’ latest album Elysium is a very consistent set of songs. The duo tried to maintain a mood for a whole album and they were pretty successful, even if one or two songs are very different from the others. The second single from the album was released last week and is entitled 'Leaving'. Even in this era where single releases are becoming quite scarce, the Pet Shop Boys have chosen to release two cd-singles, a 12" single and even a 7" single. Much to my delight, of course, because 7" singles are still the best format. It comes with an inner and outer sleeve, with Chris Lowe on the outer sleeve and Neil Tennant on the label of the A-side. The inner sleeve features a beautiful laminated photograph of clouds in a dark sky, befitting the mood of the song. The demo version, featured on the B-side, is slightly different from the finished recording and can be considered quite a treat for fans and casual listeners alike. One of the best tracks on the album as far as I'm concerned.

My collection: 7" single no. 5296
Found: Rough Trade website, received October 18, 2012
Cost:
6 pounds
Tracks: 'Leaving' / 'Leaving (demo version)'

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Swingtime - Black

After two years of absence from the music scene, Black returned in 1993, free from his contract with A&M records and owner of a new self-owned company called Nero Schwarz ltd. His comeback album was called 'Are we having fun yet?', taking a stab at his moody, melancholy image. The album was full of quirky sounds and well written pop songs, but unfortunately this music was not picked up by the general public. A concert in Rotterdam at the time was visited by only 60 people. I was one of them, and I also bought all of the cd-singles released from that album.

Little did I know that in Spain a 7" single was released as well. I found out about this some eight years after the fact, when I started corresponding with other Black fans. And I tried for the last decade to find this single. Especially since it contains an otherwise unreleased B-side track. It was on my 'want list' on Discogs.com for two years. And then, suddenly, last Monday morning I found an e-mail from Discogs saying that an item was for sale on my wantlist. I ordered it within minutes. Only five days later, I held a copy of that great sought after item in my hands. Bliss.

My collection: 7" single no. 5295
Found: Discogs.com, received August 10, 2012
Cost: 8 euro
Tracks: 'Swingtime' / 'Quiet side of the road'

Sunday, 10 June 2012

For a friend - Communards

In the late Eighties, record companies released as much formats of a single as they could, to sell more copies which meant higher chart placings. In the case of the Communards' impressive 1988 single 'For a friend', the record company opted for a luxurious three disc 12" single set, featuring live tracks from a concert in Paris.

Entitled 'The Communards storm Paris', the set featured twelve tracks, but weirdly enough the single's original B-side, a live version of 'Victims', featured on all three discs. Still, it's a nice item to have and I have searched for it for a couple of years.

My collection: 12" single no. 637 to 639
Found: Discogs.com, received May 10, 2012
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks disc 1: 'For a friend', 'Victims (live)' / 'Don't leave me this way (live)', 'Heavens above (live)'
Tracks disc 2: 'For a friend (remix)', 'You are my world (live)' / 'So cold the night (live)', 'Victims (live)'
Tracks disc 3: 'For a friend (live)', 'Never can say goodbye (live)' / 'Victims (live)', 'Hold on tight (live)'

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Lake Tahoe / Among angels - Kate Bush

After a very productive 2011, during which Kate Bush released both the album 'Director's cut' and '50 words for snow', Record Store Day 2012 featured an exclusive 10" vinyl release by Kate. (Incidentally, it was her first vinyl single of recent work since 1993's 'Moments of pleasure'.) Featuring two tracks from the latter album, the 10" picture disc was released in a limited edition of just 2000 copies worldwide.

This spells hell for Kate Bush fans, since record shops participating in Record Store Day in the Netherlands are even more rare than trustworthy right-wing politicians. The official Kate Bush website stepped in and offered copies of the 10" a few weeks after Record Store Day. Again: hell, because the website was stormed by fans and I was clicking my fingers numb, frustrated at the slowness of the site. But after 72 minutes, I finally succeeded to buy my copy. Two weeks later, I hold it in my hands. And indeed, it is a beautiful disc. The tracks may be a bit slow for some, but 'Among angels' is among Kate's most moving songs ever.


My collection: 10" single [unnumbered]
Found: Katebush.com website, received May 31, 2012
Cost: 15 pounds
Tracks: 'Lake Tahoe' / 'Among angels'

Friday, 11 May 2012

One step ahead - Nik Kershaw

The end of the Eighties was a strange time. Many idols who were very successful in the mid-Eighties were declared 'yesterday's news' and suddenly didn't the charts anymore. One of them was Nik Kershaw, who had been very successful with his first two albums, but the third and fourth one were not so popular.

'One step ahead' was taken from his fourth album 'The works', which left the album charts even before it entered it. Not that the music was bad: personally I think this single is one of his finest tracks. And the remix included on this 12" single is very impressive indeed.

My collection: 12" single no. 356
Found: Record fair, Rotterdam, circa 2000
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'One step ahead (Industrial mix)' / 'One step ahead', 'When I grow up'

Friday, 4 May 2012

Julia - Eurythmics

Taken from the soundtrack of the movie '1984', for which Eurythmics provided the soundtrack, 'Julia' was the second single from that album. It couldn't be as successful as the catchy 'Sexcrime (1984)' but personally I find this track much more beautiful.

This 12" single features extended versions of both the A- and B-side of the single. Although 'Julia' is labelled as 'extended', it is actually the album version of the track, and not, like the B-side, a 'real' extended version.

My collection: 12" single no. 153
Found: Plaatboef, Rotterdam, 1992
Cost: 2,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Julia (extended)' / 'Ministry of love (extended)'

Moments of pleasure - Kate Bush

With a still from the movie 'The line, the cross & the curve', EMI Records could have chosen a better picture for the sleeve of this fantastic 12" single. The one they picked was a bit tasteless, especially since 'Moments of pleasure' is such a beautiful, emotional song. The movie retold the fairy tale of the red shoes, featuring a lot of dance scenes because Kate is forced to dance by the shoes she put on.

Anyway, the 12" single - which was the last 12" single by Kate Bush ever released - features a poster sleeve and one exclusive track which was never officially released on CD: the instrumental version of 'Moments of pleasure'. You can hear the orchestra in its full glory, showing how beautifully crafted these melody lines really are.

Truth be told, I have been feeling a bit sad and this song is the perfect soundtrack for such feelings. It's also one of the most beautiful tracks Kate Bush has ever committed to tape.

My collection: 12" single no. 187
Found: HMV, 1993
Cost: 4 pounds
Tracks: 'Moments of pleasure' / 'Moments of pleasure (instrumental)', 'Home for Christmas'

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