Saturday, 11 August 2018

Wildfire - Time Bandits

Here's another American 12" single from the Time Bandits. You can't say that the record company didn't try: this release is from 1988, when the band was all but finished in the Netherlands. 'Wildfire' didn't make the Dutch Top 40 when it was released in 1987, and no further singles made it into the charts.

'Wildfire' was produced by Dan Hartman, and the remixes on this disc were made by John Potoker. Perhaps this is why Columbia felt that this single would be successful in the USA - but it wasn't. Still, I quite like these remixes.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received August 16, 2017
Cost: $4
Tracks: 'Wildfire (extended)' / 'Wildfire (dub)', 'Wildfire (instrumental)'

Dancing on a string - Time Bandits

Not one, but two different extended remixes exist of Time Bandits' 1986 single 'Dancing on a string'. The 12" single I featured last year had a remix by Ben Liebrand, a big name in the remix world, but this one, created for the American market and released by Columbia in the USA, features a slightly shorter extended remix by Michael Brauer.

One has to wonder whether it is the same Michael Brauer who got so much acclaim recently for his work with Coldplay - but this remix, being 30 years old, could be from a namesake. Fact is, I just don't know.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received 16 August 2017
Cost: $4
Tracks: 'Dancing on a string (extended version)' / 'Dancing on a string (single version)', 'Dancing on a string (dub version)'

Crystal wave - Beloved

A 8'54 version of 'Crystal wave' appears on the Beloved's 1996 album 'X', but this 12" single, released that same year, features a longer version. Adding a further three minutes or so, it resembles the album version but adds more beats and sounds. It is a rather anonymous dance track with no vocals or lyrics. Despite this 'hard' sound, I do like the track but I could understand if anyone didn't. After all, this is the kind of stuff that is played (loudly) in clubs and usually combined with a heavy dose of pills or other weird drugs. Usually I'm not into this kind of stuff, but I just can't resist any Beloved track.

The other side of this 12" is empty. So you only get one track, but at least it's a long one.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received August 2016
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Crystal wave'

Friday, 10 August 2018

Hand me down love - Mike Huff

It is safe to assume that Mike Huff is a South African singer, since nothing can be found online about this performer. All I could find out is that he released two singles on the South African Satbel label: 'I can't wait to dream' and this single, 'Hand me down love' - both in 1976.

The B-side of this single is what got my attention: it's a cover version of the song 'Come back and love me' - and that, of course, was released in 1975 by Shannon. And Shannon was the nickname of Marty Wilde, who hoped to have a chart success with that song. A very obscure cover version of that song, then, ordered directly from South Africa. It was send to me on July 2, and it arrived.... today. You'd think that even the mail could be faster in this day and age, but no.

My collection: 7" single no. 5913
Found: Discogs, received August 10, 2018
Cost: $4
Tracks: 'Hand me down love' / 'Come back and love me'

Any trick - Breathe

Breathe also released 'Any trick' from their debut album. It was remixed by Mike Ging and dubbed the 'Like a monkey radio mix'. The remix didn't help the fortunes of this single release: it did not trouble the UK charts.

If you dislike the sleek, polished sound of Breathe, you should check out the B-side of this single: it's a great dub mix that was not originally an album track. The 2013 re-release of Breathe's debut album 'All that jazz' does include the track - but then, that double CD edition collects virtually everything that was released by the band at that time.

My collection: 7" single no. 5912
Found: 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Any trick (Like a monkey radio mix)' / 'Make it funky'

Jonah - Breathe

Another release from Breathe's debut album was this single, 'Jonah'. Originally released as the band's third single, it didn't do much in the charts. After the impressive chart success of 'Hands to heaven', this single was re-released in a new poster sleeve. The record company probably hoped the song would do better the second time around.

Well, it did, sort of. This time the single reached number 60 in the UK singles chart. That was still not a great success, but history would prove that it was the fourth best chart placing in the UK for them. Later singles 'How can I fall' and 'Don't tell me lies' (another re-release) reached number 48 and 45 respectively.

My collection: 7" single no. 5911
Found: 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Jonah' / 'Liberties of love'

Hits EP - Clive Allen Orchestra & Singers

Another Hits EP by the Clive Allen Orchestra & Singers, and another Marty Wilde composition on this one: Lulu's 'I'm a tiger'. Perhaps the most extraordinary track on this EP is 'Lily the pink', a track originally performed by the UK comedy group The Scaffold. It is a modernisation of an older folk song titled 'The Ballad of Lydia Pinkham'. The lyrics celebrate the 'medicinal compound' invented by Lily the Pink, and chronicle the "efficacious" cures it has brought about, such as inducing morbid obesity to cure a weak appetite, or bringing about a sex change as a remedy for freckles.

Among the covers on this EP are also 'This old heart of mine', a hit for the Isley Brothers and 'Elenore', originally by the Turtles.

My collection: 7" single no. 5876
Found: Discogs.com, received November 8, 2017
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'This old heart of mine', 'Elenore', 'If I knew then what I know now' / 'Mexico', 'I'm a tiger', 'Lily the pink'

Hits EP - Clive Allan Orchestra & Singers

Back in the 1960s, it was a profitable business to release 'Hits EP's' performed by anonymous performers. Singles were selling fast but with six hits on them instead of just one, people tended to choose these EP's over normal singles. It was way before hits compilations like 'Now this is music' flooded the music shops.

The Clive Allan Orchestra & Singers were successful performers on such EP's. They released quite a few of them, and this is an example. Why I bought this EP? Obviously for the cover version of Status Quo's 'Ice in the sun', a song penned by Marty Wilde. But the cover versions of 'Light my fire' and 'With a little help from my friends' are nice bonuses.

My collection: 7" single no. 5875
Found: Discogs.com, received November 8, 2017
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'A day without love', 'Ice in the sun', 'Light my fire' / 'Wreck of the Antoinette', 'M'lady', 'With a little help from my friends'

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Lisa Mona Lisa - Wilfried

I got to know Austrian singer Wilfried pretty early on, because of a holiday in Austria in 1980. The sleeve of his album hung prominently in a shop window in the centre of Vienna, and since my brother was also named Wilfried at the time, 9-year-old me suddenly had this vision of a pop star sibling. It wasn't to be.

In 1988 Wilfried appeared in my life once again, this time representing Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Lisa Mona Lisa'. He ended up in last place with zero points. None of the other countries wanted to award points to a country that had recently elected Kurt Waldheim - a man with a shady past during World War II - as its president. Although one could argue that Wilfried's voice problems could also have been cause of this bad result.

My collection: 7" single no. 5909
Found: Discogs.com, received July 18, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Lisa Mona Lisa' / 'Lisa Mona Lisa (French version)'

Like a wind - Edin-Ådahl

Edin-Ådahl's 'Like a wind' was released as a single all over Europe in a time when Eurovision entries would be released as a single even if they didn't win. (These days you can't even buy the winning song anymore on a vinyl- or cd-single).

I already owned 'Som en vind', the Swedish single of this 1990 Eurovision entry for Sweden, but this European counterpart ditches the Swedish version for an instrumental version that is unavailable anywhere else. According to some, this version is the best because it doesn't contain any lyrics.

My collection: 7" single no. 5910
Found: Discogs.com, received July 18, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Like a wind' / 'Like a wind (instrumental)'

Down down - Status Quo

There are a few songs that are obvious candidates for a funeral: 'Shake your body down to the ground' and Status Quo's 'Down down'. I didn't have the latter yet, so I was glad to finally find a copy recently.


Written by Francis Rossi and Bob Young and produced by Status Quo, it was Status Quo's only number 1 single in the UK singles chart. The single spent a week at the top of the chart in January 1975. The album version lasts 5 minutes and 24 seconds and the single version 3 minutes and 49 seconds.

My collection: 7" single no. 5905
Found: Voorburg, April 27, 2018
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Down down' / 'Nightride'

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Ooh aah... Just a little bit - Gina G

Last year I bought a copy of Ooh aah... Just a little bit on vinyl. It was the jukebox copy presumably from the UK. When I found out about that version, I also found out about this American pressing. Normally I wouldn't collect just any old artist's different pressings of the same single, but this single actually contains a different track. The 'Eurovision Song Contest version' appears on the B-side instead of the 'Motiv8 extended vocal mix'.

Of course, this is also a Eurovision single and Eurovision singles have a special place in my collection.

My collection: 7" single no. 5907
Found: Discogs.com, received July 4, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Ooh aah… Just a little bit (Motiv8 radio edit)' / 'Ooh aah… Just a little bit (Eurovision Song Contest version)'

Friday, 29 June 2018

Thunderchild - Jeff Wayne

Two weeks ago I went to a Dutch theatre production of Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds', the legendary soundtrack-without-a-film, retelling the H.G. Wells story in music. It was a pretty good performance despite the lack of spectacular effects. It inspired me to re-inspect my collection of 'War of the worlds' singles. It turned out that one single was still missing.

Mind you, I do have the biggest hits, 'The eve of the war', 'Forever autumn' and even 'Brave new world' - you can find them all here - but 'Thunderchild' was also released as a single and I didn't have that one yet. I quickly ordered my copy and now I have it. It's an interesting single version too!

My collection: 7" single no. 5906
Found: Discogs.com, received June 27, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Thunderchild' / 'Dead London'

Once we might have known - Cock Robin

Cock Robin became very successful in Europe when they released 'The promise you made' - a number 1 hit in the Netherlands. Other singles didn't fare as well, but I still have a pretty complete collection of their singles and albums nonetheless.

This one, however, was missing. It was a single that only appeared in the USA. There are two versions: the commercial 7" single, and this promotional 7" single. This single features the single edit of 'Once we might have known' on both sides. It is a nice song, but not the best track from the band's debut album.

My collection: 7" single no. 5905
Found: Discogs.com, received June 22, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Once we might have known' / 'Once we might have known'

Monday, 16 April 2018

Golden boy - Kylie

A surprise find during the record fair last Saturday. A dealer specialized in hardrock had a box of Record Store Day releases, and among a lot of very loud stuff, there was this single called 'Golden boy' by a certain Kylie. The dealer had little faith that he could sell this one, as the price had gone down from ten euros to a mere six.

The single confused me, because I'd never heard of a track called 'Golden boy' before. I looked it up online and it turns out this single represents the only physical release of that track. I was pretty chuffed to find this single, even if I didn't know about its existence. It was released in 2014, just after the album 'Kiss me once', in a limiited run of a 1000 copies. The B-side contains an etching, but no music.

My collection: 7" single no. 5904
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 14, 2018
Cost: 6 euro
Track: 'Golden boy'

Tear up this town - Keane

Keane's most recent single release was 'Tear up this town', a track for the feature film 'A monster calls'. This picture disc single was released on Record Store Day in 2017, a few months after its digital release in September 2016. The picture disc only has one track; the B-side is blank.

It looks like this single is the last one Keane has released, as they went their separate ways. Singer Tom Chaplin went solo, while Tim Rice-Oxley started the project Mt. Desolation together with fellow Keane band member Jesse Quin.

My collection: 7" single no. 5903
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 14, 2018
Cost: 8 euro
Track: 'Tear up this town'



Boom bang-a-bang (spanish version) - Lulu

In 1969, four artists won the Eurovision Song Contest. This was due to there being not enough rules in case of a draw. Since then, the rules - and the voting system! - have changed so this is not likely to ever happen again.

One of the winners that year was Lulu with her song 'Boom bang-a-bang'. Such was the success, that she recorded the song in German, Italian, French and Spanish. Wikipedia casts some doubts about the existance of a Spanish version sung by Lulu, but I think the listener has to decide whether this is Lulu or not. She certainly pronounces her Spanish very bueno!

My collection: 7" single no. 5901
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 14, 2018
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Boom bang-a-bang (cantado en espanol)' / 'Morning dew'

Jesus he knows me - Genesis

Genesis had a good run of hit singles after the release of 'We can't dance', their last album with Phil Collins. The album was a far cry from their experimental-folkrock-psych beginnings, sounding more poppier than they ever had.

'Jesus he knows me' was the fourth single from the album, a satire of televangelism as performed by people like Jimmy Swaggart, Robert Tilton and Jim Bakker. It was a hit in most countries where it was released, peaking at number 20 in the UK, number 23 in the USA and number 11 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 5900
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 14, 2018
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Jesus he knows me' / 'Hearts on fire'

C30 C60 C90 go - Bow wow wow

This is the debut single of Bow wow wow, released in July 1980. Initially it was only released as a cassette single (the world's first ever cassette single, in fact), but a few weeks later this single appeared. With a black label and the lyrics of the song on the sleeve it was an attractive design but pretty anonymous.Who were these people?

The band was put together by Malcolm McLaren, after persuading Matthew Ashman, David Barbarossa and Leigh Gorman to leave Adam & the Ants. 13-year-old Annabella Lwin was recruited as the band's singer. The band's debut single reached number 34 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5899
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 14, 2018
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'C30 C60 C90 go' / 'Sun sea and piracy'

Fall at your feet - Crowded House

Crowded House have consistently released great singles throughout their career. I never became interested in their albums, but those singles stand the test of time. A recent discovery was 'Fall at your feet', a song which I ignored when it was released, but when I heard it on Kim Wilde's radio show recently it struck me as a beautiful song with a beautiful melody.

The song was taken from the band's 1991 album 'Woodface'. It peaked at number 17 in the UK. The B-side of this single is the earlier hit 'Don't dream it's over'. 'Fall at your feet' has been covered by James Blunt, English pop punk band Busted, and flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook with singer Danny Wilde.

My collection: 7" single no. 5898
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, June 14, 2018
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Fall at your feet' / 'Don't dream it's over'
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