Monday, 26 March 2018

Wonderful life - Black

I have several singles of Black's 'Wonderful life', but when I found this one online I was a bit puzzled. The sleeve looked a bit generic and it was a Czechian pressing. Chechoslovakia - as it was known back then - wasn't known for its expansive record industry, and I wondered how this single ended up being released over there.

The mystery became even bigger after I received the single, as the B-side, 'Everything's coming up roses', sounds a bit different from the 'regular' single version. Listen to the intro and you'll know what I mean.

My collection: 7" single no. 5891
Found: Discogs.com, received January 31, 2018
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Wonderful life' / 'Everything's coming up roses'

Conquistador - Da Vinci

Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest last year with a beautiful ballad. Perhaps they should have tried this earlier, because the country rarely even got into the top 10 with their efforts. This 1989 effort by Da Vinci is an example: although it is typical Eighties fare, the song only reached number 16 during the night.The song reminisces about the former Portuguese colonial possessions worldwide, and how the singer has been to Brazil, Praia, Bissau, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, Macau and Timor.

Personally, I know the English version (featured on the B-side here) best, because it appeared on a Eurovision 1989 compilation CD. I am still trying to get all the entries on single, but some of them are selling online for upwards of 50 euro - which is a bit too rich for my blood.

My collection: 7" single no. 5989
Found: Discogs.com, received March 5, 2018
Cost: 7,5 euro
Tracks: 'Conquistador' / 'Love conquistador'

Fake - Alexander O'Neal

Here's another single I already owned - and I bought it just last year. However, I decided to get this one not only for its poster sleeve (I love poster sleeves) but also for the B-side which contains an instrumental version of the track. As luck would have it, the instrumental version is also longer than the A-side.

'Fake' reached number 33 in the UK singles chart and number 25 in the US Billboard Hot 100. In the Netherlands, the single reached number 15 during a six week chart run.

My collection: 7" single no. 5977
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 11, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Fake' / 'Fake (instrumental)'

Do it again, a little bit slower - Ricky Wilde

I already owned the Swedish single of 'Do it again, a little bit slower' since 2011, but recently I got my hands on the Portuguese version, and as you can see here, that sleeve is very different from the Swedish one. And also, not unimportant, the pressing turns out to be better too.

When you listen to the song it turns out that 'it' is simply kissing and holding, which is already a bit startling for a 12 year old, but when you listen to the flipside, Ricky promises to never get married, because he wants to 'Love around'. Whatever were dad Marty and producer Jonathan King thinking? Well, perhaps things were very different in the Seventies.

My collection: 7" single no. 5990
Found: Discogs.com, received March 5, 2018
Cost: 7,50 euro
Tracks: 'Do it again, a little bit slower' / 'Love around'

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

I'm only foolin' myself - Paul Young

According to the German press blurb included in my copy of this single, 'I'm only foolin' myself' was released on January 13, 1992. It was written by Dan Hartman and Charlie Midnight. The song was remixed by Michael Brauer, who previously worked with the Rolling Stones.

The single was taken from Paul's 'greatest hits' album 'From Time To Time' (1991), which was a triple platinum album in the UK. Released as that album's fourth single, it didn't get into the charts.

My collection: 7" single no. 5978
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 11, 2017
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'I'm only foolin' myself'' / 'Thinking about'

Fifth of May - Ph.D.

Although 'I won't let you down' remains their only big hit, Ph.D. did release some more singles. That much is evident from this blog already, but I found another single which I didn't know about. 'Fifth of May' was taken from the band's second album 'Is it safe?' and was apparently released in Italy only (although a promotional 7" single from the USA also exists).

The band reformed in 2009 and released a third album, appropriately titled 'Three', but that one wasn't a commercial success either.

My collection: 7" single no. 5979
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 11, 2017
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Fifth of May' / 'Johnny'

Friday, 10 November 2017

Light my fire - The Doors

It's hard to believe that the debut single of the Doors was released 50 years ago. The band has been around for such a short time - not counting their post-Jim Morrison output - but have impressed every generation since.

This single was made this year to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary, using the Japanese single's original artwork. It is a curious release because Japanese singles didn't come in cardboard sleeves, but this remade single does. Nevertheless, this is a nice little item and I'm pretty satisfied to have picked this up during a visit to London, saving a little on the online price and a lot on postage (although obviously you could argue that a return flight to London is much more expensive. But anyway.)

My collection: 7" single no. 5874
Found: Fopp, London, October 27, 2017
Cost: 8 pounds
Tracks: 'Light my fire' / 'The crystal ship'

Silly love songs - Wings

Recorded on January 16, 1976, 'Silly love songs' was a song written as a rebuttal to music critics who criticized Paul McCartney for writing lightweight love songs. According to McCartney, "The song was, in a way, to answer people who just accuse me of being soppy. The nice payoff now is that a lot of the people I meet who are at the age where they've just got a couple of kids and have grown up a bit, settling down, they'll say to me, "I thought you were really soppy for years, but I get it now! I see what you were doing!""

The single was released in April and reached number 2 in the UK and number 1 in the USA. The label of this single mentions 'Wings at the speed of sound', which is of course the album from which it was taken.

My collection: 7" single no. 5872
Found: Record exchange, Greenwich, London, October 27, 2017
Cost: 25p
Tracks: 'Silly love songs' / 'Cook of the house'


The number one song in heaven - Sparks

The Mael brothers have been making records for decades now and their band Sparks seems to get a new lease of life every few years or so. Their recent album 'Hippopotamus' has put them in the spotlights once again.

Back in 1979, they released this single, a disco track co-written and produced by legendary producer Giorgio Moroder. In the UK the single peaked at number 14, whereas in the Netherlands it never came near the charts. In addition to the standard black vinyl, both the 7" and 12" versions of the single were issued in a variety of coloured vinyl releases (red, blue, and green). Unfortunately, this single is the 'standard' black vinyl edition. But what can you expect, at this price.

My collection: 7" single no. 5873
Found: Record exchange, Greenwich, London, October 27, 2017
Cost: 25p
Tracks: 'The number one song in heaven' / 'The number one song in heaven (long version)'

Sad songs (say so much) - Elton John

Every once in a while I buy a single that I thought I already had bought long ago but I didn't. 'Sad songs (say so much)' by Elton John is a song that I confuse with I guess that's why they call it the blues for some strange reason.

That single was released a year earlier. 'Sad songs' was another big success for Elton. It reached the top 10 everywhere except in Germany where the single stalled at number 18. Even weirder, the single never even made the Top 40 in the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 5871
Found: Record exchange, Greenwich, London, October 27, 2017
Cost: 25p
Tracks: 'Sad songs (say so much)' / 'A simple man'

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Your love takes me higher - Beloved

 'Your love takes me higher' by the Beloved has been released and re-released, and all these releases came with different 12" singles. One was on this blog recently, and another one appeared six years ago. Since then, I have bought three more 12" singles, and since the mixes on these are sometimes the same, I am presenting them all in today's great big post.

Magic Juan (who?) created two mixes, the 'Sex mix' and the 'Rise up mix', which ended up on a promotional 12" single. 


The former also appeared on a commercially released 12" single, together with two other remixes - and those three also appeared on a double 12" package from the USA which I didn't have yet.

Listening to all the remixes, you can't help but notice that it's all rather uplifting and joyful. So here goes...


#1: 'Your love takes me higher (Sex mix)' / 'Your love takes me higher (Rise up mix)'
#2: 'Your love takes me higher (The pod went pop mix)' / 'Your love takes me higher (Magic Juan's sex mix)', 'Your love takes me higher (Burning with DJ Desire mix)'
#3: 'Your love takes me higher (Deep joy)', 'Your love takes me higher (New beats for old)' / 'Your love takes me higher (Simply divine)', 'Your love takes me higher (Divinely simple)' // 'Your love takes me higher (The pod went pop mix)' / 'Your love takes me higher (Magic Juan's sex mix)', 'Your love takes me higher (Burning with DJ Desire mix)'

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Popcorn '88 - T.I.C.

It's been a while since I last wrote about the Gershon Kingsley composition 'Popcorn', and that's while I am still collection versions of that tune. Fortunately, every once in a while I stumble on another release. This time it's a 12" single from 1988.

T.I.C.'s version is notable for its use of (sampled?) guitar on the track, something you don't hear very often. There are also a few vocal samples in this track. The 12" single features two versions of the track. And there were only ever two versions by T.I.C., so that is a comforting thought.

It's interesting to see how much has changed in 30 years, by the way: if you'd release this sleeve right now, it would be outright controversial. #metoo. 

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received October 25, 2017
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn '88 remix' / 'Popcorn '88 (The Woodstock mix)', 'Talk about love'


No one knows - Marty Wilde

Only two days until Marty Wilde performs live in London, celebrating 60 years in the music business. And this single, 'No one knows', comes almost from the very beginning of his career.... it was released in 1958. Unlike other singles around that time, this one wasn't a hit.

The song was written by Hecht and Maresca, and previously recorded by Dion and the Belmonts. That version actually reached number 19 in the American singles charts.

My collection: 7" single no. 5870
Found: Discogs.com, received October 25, 2017
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'No one knows' / 'The fire of love'

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Some edited highlights from her new album 'Never for ever' - Kate Bush

I have very few flexi discs in my collection, because usually they are not very interesting and/or very hard to play. But since Kate Bush is one of my biggest idols, I've always wanted to get my hand on this particular promotional flexi disc. I finally managed to find a copy in August when I bought the - also extremely rare - promotional CD-single of Kate Bush's 'Cloudbusting' from an American seller.

This flexi features extracts from three album tracks, 'Delius', 'Blow Away' and 'Egypt'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5857
Found: Discogs.com, August 2017
Cost: $5
Tracks: Some edited highlights from her new album 'Never for ever'

For America - Red Box

One of the best CD releases of recent years is undoubtedly Red Box's 'Plenty'. Red Box are better known, of course, from their Eighties hit 'For America'. This blog already featured the 7" single and the rare 10" single, so obviously the 12" single has to appear here too.

I've already had it for a couple of years, so it's one of those collection pieces that simply never made it to these pages yet. Perhaps because it features a rather strange 12" version. The 'Bazooka mix' - as it's called - was made by Red Box with Phil Harding.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'For America (Bazooka mix)' / 'Ain't got no... I got life', 'R 'n A'

Saturday, 21 October 2017

It's alright now - Beloved

The 7" single of  'It's alright now' was already in my possession for 20 years when I started hunting for the CD-single and 12" single. Having decided to hunt down remixes of the Beloved, there were a few surprises along the way. For instance: the CD-single of this track features the 'Back to basics instrumental' remix, whereas this 12" single features the 'Back to basics' version - i.e. with vocals. Both versions are very attractive.

This 12" single features three versions of the song, with only the first one also appearing on the CD-single. Worth owning this one, then!

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received May 6, 2017
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'It's alright now (Rattling good time)' / 'It's alright now (Back to basics)', 'It's alright now (Feeling fine)'

Endless road - Time Bandits

The list of Time Bandits 12" singles continues with this remix of 'Endless road', released in 1985. This remix was created by Ben Liebrand, just like the prevous single Reach out. You will find that this remix is different from the one on the other 12" single of 'Endless road'.

On the B-side, the remix of 'I'm only shooting love' by Steve Thompson reappeared.


My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, July 14, 2017
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Endless road (High Energy Dance Mix by Ben Liebrand)' / 'I'm only shooting love (USA Re-mix by Steve Thompson)'

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Helden - David Bowie

When it was announced that the German magazine Rolling Stone would have a cover 7" single of David Bowie's 'Helden' in October, I despaired a little. It sounded like a great item to have, but it would probably be impossible to get a hold of it for a reasonable price, because of the collectability of such an item.

As it turned out, it wasn't so hard to get this single after all. The magazine was offered for sale on Ebay and it was simple enough to order a copy. The single brings together an '89 remix of 'Helden' and a live version taken from the album 'Stages'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5869
Found: Ebay, received October 19, 2017
Cost: 6 euro
Tracks: 'Helden ('89 remix)' / 'Heroes (live version)'

Right on - Zappo

You will recognise the track 'Right on', the A-side of this single, as the B-side of Yellow Bird's 'Attack Attack'. No, it's not a cover version: it's the exact same recording. So who is this Zappo person? Well, it's a nickname of Marty Wilde. On different pressings of this single he appears on the sleeve in a strange superhero suit - but since those singles are quite expensive I opted for this French pressing instead.

Most editions have 'Rock and roll crazy' (which is the B-side on this single) as the A-side. Like 'Right on', that song is written by Marty Wilde and Peter Shelley.

My collection: 7" single no. 5792
Found: Ebay, received February 10, 2017
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Right on' / 'Rock and roll crazy'

Attack attack - Yellow Bird

The band Yellow Bird only ever released one single. 'Attack Attack' was written and produced by Peter Shelley and Marty Wilde. The couple worked together intensively as songwriters and producers during the Seventies, while Marty was no longer successful as a pop star in his own right. In 1974, when this single was released, he was also trying to launch his son Ricky's career, but it would be Kim, his daughter, who would find success in the next decade.

Yellow Bird was a five man band, as you can see on the sleeve on this single, but I don't know who they are. The B-side is an instrumental track that you will also find on another single, soon on this blog...

My collection: 7" single no. 5790
Found: Ebay, February 10, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Attack attack' / 'Right on'
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