Monday, 15 May 2017

Hang on now (US mix) - Kajagoogoo

Although I already own a copy of Hang on now by Kajagoogoo, this single caught my eye because of the completely different sleeve. When I checked the label, it turned out to contain a "US mix" of the song. Obviously I had to buy this one. Checking this single out on Discogs.com, I found out that this particular mix was never released on CD, which makes it a nice collectable one. Sometimes you get lucky.

The synth saturated 'Hang on now' is one of my favourite Kajagoogoo singles. It flopped it the Netherlands, but reached a respectable number 13 in the UK singles chart. This single was made in France. I wonder if the single was a hit there...

My collection: 7" single no. 5830
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 13, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hang on now (US mix)' / 'Hang on now (instrumental)'

Listen to the song

Are you ready - Bucks Fizz

Bucks Fizz had a good 1981, winning the Eurovision Song Contest and having considerable success with their debut album and singles. By 1982, they had to work on maintaining that high profile. They were reasonably successful, with singles like The land of make believe and My camera never lies, although they were still regarded as a lightweight pop act.

'Are you ready' was the title of their second album. The title track was released as a single outside of the UK. The single didn't end up in the Dutch singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5829
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 13, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Are you ready' / 'Now those days are gone'

Listen to the song

Lonely avenue - Marty Wilde

The song Lonely Avenue was featured on this blog eight years ago, because it appeared on an EP together with three other songs. Two of them appear on this original 7" single, released some time before that EP. Bought together with a few other Marty Wilde releases, I decided I wanted to have this original release too.

It's interesting for fans of John Barry that he appears on these two tracks with his orchestra as well.

My collection: 7" single no. 5824
Found: Recordsale.de, received May 11, 2017
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Lonely avenue' / 'Brand new love'

Listen to the song

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Occidentali's karma - Francesco Gabbani

Well, this year's Eurovision Song Contest happened, with a landslide victory for Portugal - and rightfully so. It was the first time in a very long time that I agreed 100% with the song winning. Musically the song vaguely resembles the 1963 winner Dansevise, with its timeless melody and, yes it has to be said, lyrics almost no-one can understand.All the same, this was the only song this year that was actually moving and beautiful.

It doesn't seem likely that we'll get a vinyl single of 'Amar pelos dois', but in the mean time another former (!) favourite for the Eurovision trophy has made it to 7" vinyl, and that's Italy's Francesco Gabbani. Lyrically, 'Occidentali's karma' is quite interesting, stating that despite all our technology, Westerners are still naked apes dancing in the rain. The fact that the performance underlined this by presenting the audience with a person in a gorilla suit once more outlined the 'gimmicky' nature of the Eurovision Song Contest. And so I'm happy that the song didn't win. This 7" single, pressed on blue translucent vinyl, is a keeper though.

My collection: 7" single no. 5828
Found: Amazon.it, received May 13, 2017
Cost: 8 euro
Tracks: 'Occidentali's Karma' / 'Occidentali's Karma (instrumental)'

Listen to the song

Friday, 12 May 2017

Heel de wereld - Corry Brokken

Tomorrow night is Eurovision night for the 62nd time, so it is appropriate to post something Eurovision before the fun starts. The Netherlands won't win this year - again - so I might as well post something from the old days when we still had winning artists.

Corry Brokken won the Contest in 1957 with 'Net als toen'. I can't post about that one because I already have. However, she also competed in 1958. That single has proved elusive during the past five or so years. Believe me, I was looking everywhere: Ebay, Discogs, record fairs... the lot. And suddenly, earlier this week, I thought I might as well type in 'Corry Brokken Heel de wereld kopen' (kopen being Dutch for 'buy') in Google and see what happened. And there it was... a link to a Dutch web store, selling a copy of this single for a ridiculously low price. I ordered it right away and received the single today, just in time for a little Eurovision celebration.

My collection: 7" single no. 5827
Found: Klaver vijf webstore, received May 12, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Heel de wereld' / 'Weet je'

Listen to the song

Hide and seek - Marty Wilde

You are bound to see a few Marty Wilde singles on this blog in the foreseeable future, because I am working on getting them all. That's not always easy, but this week I managed to mail order five of 'em together.

'Hide and seek' is the oldest of the lot, released in July 1961. After 'Rubber ball' was a top 10 hit, peaking at number 9 in the UK singles chart, this single was a relative disappointment, stalling at number 47. The B-side, 'Crazy dream' was written by Marty himself, while the A-side was a cover of a song written by Lionel Bart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5823
Found: Recordsale.de, received May 11, 2017
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Hide and seek' / 'Crazy dream'

Listen to the song

Wonderful life (re-recording) - Black

In 1988 Black re-recorded his 1987 hit 'Wonderful life' for the American market. The new version was included in a version of his second album 'Comedy' that was compiled for the USA. It included this version of 'Wonderful life' and 'Sweetest smile', and a selection of tracks from 'Comedy' as it was released in Europe.

I didn't know that a single of this re-recorded version existed, until I started scouring websites like Discogs.com some time ago. And even then I didn't feel the urgency to buy the single. But the opportunity came up recently when I bought a stack of singles from a German dealer, and I just couldn't resist. As far as I know, this single is the only one with the re-recorded version, although CD-singles exist. But, of course, I do own those.

My collection: 7" single no. 5826
Found: Recordsale.de, received May 11, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Wonderful life (re-recording)' / 'I can laugh about it now'

Listen to the song

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Mexican boy - Marty Wilde

Marty Wilde is best known for his run of hit singles between 1958 and 1962, but his output from later years is less well known. Most compilation albums focus on those five years, whereas he naturally evolved as a singer and songwriter. This single from 1964 is a great example.

The music of 'The Mexican boy' evokes images of Latin America whereas the story told by the lyric of the song is like a small theatre piece. Marty almost sounds like a crooner despite his relatively young age (he was 25 years old at the time). The single didn't become a hit, but obviously it should have been.

My collection: 7" single no. 5821
Found: Recordsale.de, received May 11, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'The Mexican boy' / 'Your kind of love'

Listen to the song

Military drums - Hubert Kah

'Erstauflage in rotem vinyl' declares the sleeve of this single, meaning that red vinyl is what you get. And that is of course a great incentive for buying a single. In this case, it was my main incentive because I didn't know the song. I did know, however, that Hubert Kah collaborated with Michael Cretu and Sandra at the time, and that meant that this single would probably be German pop at its best.

And indeed it is. 'Military drums' delivers quickly, and the production is typically Michael Cretu mid-'80s style. No real surprises, then, but a pleasant piece of pop nonetheless.

My collection: 7" single no. 5809
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 8, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Military drums' / 'Explain the world in a word'

Listen to the song

De mono-kini - De Strangers

There have been a few earlier entries about the Belgian band De Strangers, as they have a repertoire partly consisting of covers of Eurovision songs. These covers are interesting because they are so different from the original.

'De mono-kini' is a version of '9 to 5', originally performed by Dolly Parton. But I really bought this single for the B-side.'Mor ni me den deze' - recorded in their local Antwerp dialect as usual - is a version of Bucks Fizz's 'Making your mind up'. I wish I could tell you what the lyric is about, but there is no way of knowing for someone who cannot understand that dialect. The fact that I found this single at a local flea market makes it interesting: how does a Belgian single like this end up near The Hague?

My collection: 7" single no. 5812
Found: Flea market, Voorburg, April 16, 2017
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'De mono-kini (9 to 5)' / 'Mor ni me den deze (Making your mind up)'

Listen to the song

We'll live it all again - Al Bano & Romina Power

Those Spanish singles can be treacherous sometimes. When you buy a single like this, with the title 'Viviremos todo de nuevo' prominently on the front sleeve and on the label, you'd think there was a Spanish version of this 1976 Eurovision song. Even Wikipedia fell for it. But nothing could be further from the truth: this single simply features the English/Italian version as sung during the festival, as you can hear below.

Al Bano and Romina Power reached 7th place in a field of 18 competitors in 1976, making it a quite successful entry for Italy. They would actually return in 1985 with Magic oh Magic.

My collection: 7" single no. 5817
Found: Discogs.com, received April 25, 2017
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'We'll live it all again' / 'Na na na'

Listen to the song


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Love gives - Hoffmann & Hoffmann

Hoffmann & Hoffmann represented Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1983 with Rücksicht. The duo also recorded their song in English, as you can see here. The single appeared in record fairs and online for handsome prices, so I was suitably amused when I found this copy for half a euro at a local flea market.

While his brother committed suicide in 1984, Michael Hoffmann continued in music and worked as a producer and composer for other artists, including Eurovision veterans Gitte Haenning, Wencke Myhre and Nicole throughout the Eighties. Afterwards he focused mainly on making spiritual and meditative music.

My collection: 7" single no. 5811
Found: Flea market, Voorburg, April 16, 2017
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Love gives' / 'I need you now'

Listen to the song

Gwendolyne - Rosy Armen

One of the most beautiful Spanish entries for the Eurovision Song Contest was Julio Iglesias' 1970 song 'Gwendolyne'. I didn't know that the song was actually covered, but stumbled upon this single during a bit of online shopping, much to my delight.

Rosy Armen was born on May 1, 1939 in Paris (France) to an Armenian couple. She became popular as a singer of French, Spanish, German and Armenian songs at the end of the Sixties. She released her version of 'Gwendolyne' within months of Julio Iglesias's original.

My collection: 7" single no. 5816
Found: Discogs.com, received April 25, 2017
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Gwendolyne' / 'Pasternak'

Listen to the song

Saturday, 6 May 2017

By the time I get to Phoenix - Marty Wilde

Jimmy Webb wrote 'By the time I get to Phoenix'. It was originally recorded in 1965 by Johnny Rivers. Two years later, it was covered by country singer Glen Campbell, who had a hit with it Stateside.

Marty Wilde recorded his version in 1968. The song was not a hit for him, but it should have been. Around the same time, he recorded his classic album 'Diversions'. Some success was looming in Europe with 'Abergavenny', a single taken from that album. Both were criminally ignored in the UK, but since Marty received an MBE yesterday, I guess all is forgiven now.

My collection: 7" single no. 5820
Found: Discogs.com, received May 6, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'By the time I get to Phoenix' / 'Shutters and boards'

Listen to the song

Friday, 28 April 2017

Poison - M. Walking on the water

The German band M. Walking on the water was founded in 1985 in Krefeld by Marcus Maria Jansen, Mike Pelzer, Jürgen Jähnke and Krystian Lembke. They released their debut self-titled album in 1988. Two years later they signed with Polydor and released their first album on a major label.

'Elysian' was released in 1991, and this single, 'Poison', was taken from that album. The real reason for me to buy this single was the B-side: a cover version of Black's immortal 'Wonderful life'.

My collection: 7" single no.5790
Found: Discogs.com
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Poison' / 'Wonderful life'

Listen to the song

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Tu volveras - Sergio & Estibaliz

'Tú volverás' ('You'll return') was the Spanish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1975, performed in Spanish by the duo Sergio y Estíbaliz. Sergio Blanco Rivas and Estíbaliz Uranga Améraza were both former members of Mocedades, the group which represented Spain at the 1973 Contest with Eres tú. Estíbaliz is in fact the sister of lead singer Amaya Uranga, and both 'Eres tú' and 'Tu volverás' were written by Juan Carlos Calderón. I guess the Spanish thought they had a winner on their hands at the time...

The song was performed seventeenth on the night. At the close of voting, it had received 53 points, placing 10th in a field of 19 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5803
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 8, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Tú volverás' / 'Cuando habla la noche'

Listen to the song

Festival San Remo 65 - Bobby Solo

Bobby Solo was born as Roberto Satti in Rome on March 18, 1945. At 19 he participated in the San Remo music festival, but he was disqualified for using playback, which was contrary to the festival's regulations.

The next year, 1965, he participated again... and won with the song 'Se piangi, se ridi'. As was tradition, the song went on to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest that year. Bobby ended up in fifth place. This EP features four songs, but of course 'Se piangi, se ridi' is the first track on it.

My collection: 7" single no. 5806
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 8, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Se piangi, se ridi', 'Saro' un illuso' / 'Cristina', 'Meglio non parlar'

Listen to the song

I'm afraid of me - Culture Club

Prior to 'making it big' with Do you really want to hurt me, Culture Club released two singles that weren't quite so successful. I found the first one - White boy - eight years ago, and this month number two popped up almost equally cheap: 'I'm afraid of me'.

The single only got to number 100 of the UK singles chart. A remixed version of this track appeared on the band's debut album 'Kissing to be clever'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5807
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 8, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'I'm afraid of me' / 'Murder rap trap'

Listen to the song

Volare - Larry Page Orchestra

Domenico Modugno's Nel blu dipinto di blu became better known simply as 'Volare', a track that was covered by many other artists including Al Martino and John Raver. When I bought a few singles from a Spanish record dealer, I decided to order this single as well: an instrumental cover version by the Larry Page Orchestra.

Larry Page started his recording career in the mid-Sixties, continuing until the end of the Seventies. His albums contained instrumental versions of contemporary hits. This particular cover version, released years after the original, was an attempt at discofying this classic song. I'll let you decide whether that was a fortunate choice.

My collection: 7" single no. 5804
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 8, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Volare' / 'I'm hooked on you'

Listen to the song

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

What'cha gonna do for me - Jody Watley

Jody Watley had a nice career going in the Eighties, especially with singles like Looking for a new love and Still a thrill. By the end of the decade, not so much. This single faded into obscurity rather quickly and she didn't return into the charts until 1993, when her song 'When a man loves a woman' (not a cover version) reached number 33 in the UK singles charts.

'What'cha gonna do for me' was taken from her 1989 album 'Larger than life', but didn't reach the charts anywhere. The sleeve looks colourful enough, and the song isn't half bad either. I don't know what went wrong there...

My collection: 7" single no. 5808
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 8, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'What'cha gonna do for me' / 'What'cha gonna do for me (dub)'

Listen to the song
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