Friday, 2 December 2022

Come along - Duo Datz

A long time ago, I bought the single 'Come along' by the Israeli Duo Datz, just two months after they represented their country at the Eurovision Song Contest with the Hebrew version of that song, 'Kan'. I didn't know then that there was also a 12" single of the song. How could I know? The world was very different in 1991, there was no internet to find out about Israeli releases.

All that has changed. I found out about this 12" single earlier this year - now it was just a question of getting a copy. And a copy at a reasonable price, of course. All the 12" singles are available from Israeli sellers only, it seems no copies made it to other countries since 1991. (Well, they must have, but people are obviously not selling them here.) I was lucky enough to find a copy recently, and now I am the proud owner of five remixes of the track; three in Hebrew and two in English. It's just a shame that same old James Brown sample is overused. 

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received 18 November 2022
Tracks: 'כאן (12" dance mix)', 'כאן (12" instrumental mix)', 'כאן (a capella)' / 'Come along (The Two Inch Remix)', 'Come along (The Two Inch Edit)'

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Tubular bells - Keyboards affair

When you look at this sleeve you probably notice the amusing spelling mistake in the title. Fortunately the label of this 12" single shows the correct title, i.e. 'Tubular bells'. 

I found this record in a collection of a German seller, and he had two different versions of this 12" - the other sleeve doesn't feature the picture that is nicked from Mike's original album. Of course I found this one more attractive.

The version created by Keyboards Affair offers all the things you would expect from a production in the early 1980's: big drums, electronic music and a straightforward copy of the melody. It is kitsch, but still very nice.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Tubular bells' / 'Commando'

You win again - Bee Gees

In another installment of 'unexpected surprises', there's this 12" single of the Bee Gees' 'You win again'. For me this was a strong comeback of the Gibb brothers, back in 1987, and a very different sound compared to what they produced in the late Seventies.

The thought occured that there was never a Bee Gees 12" singles compilation on CD - this could be a great idea. But as we know, record companies are not big on great ideas lately.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'You win again (extended version)' / 'You win again', 'Backtafunk'

Three times a lady / Brick house - Commodores

It's fair to say that the Commodores had one of the coolest logos of any band ever, and with 'Three times a lady' they had one of the best ballads of the late Seventies in their repertoire. This 12" single features extended versions of that song and the previous hit 'Brick house', a beautiful soul/disco stomper that made the band a household name. 

I found this 12" single during a record fair - one of those unexpected purchases that you wouldn't find online, simply because I never even knew there were extended versions of these tracks. It's what I always say: with the disappearance of record shops and the occurance of record fairs also getting ever more rare, these chance encounters will become more difficult as time goes by.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Three times a lady' / 'Brick house'

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Pretty boys and pretty girls - Book of love

Friends since high school, Ted and Susan Ottaviano (who share the same last name but are not related) initially worked musically with Jade Lee, Susan's classmate at the Philadelphia College of Art, in the early 80s. In 1983, the trio began recording as Book Of Love; the following year, Ted recruited New York’s School of Visual Arts fellow student Lauren Roselli to round out the quartet. 

In 1988 they released 'Pretty boys and pretty girls', a nice pop song, but I bought it for the B-side: a cover of Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular bells'. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6807
Found: Discogs.com, received 16 November 2022
Tracks: 'Pretty boys and pretty girls' / 'Tubular bells'

Vienna - Ultravox

If I had to buy promotional copies of all my singles, I would be bankrupt. However, this particular promotional single is something special, because it contains an edit of Ultravox's 'Vienna' which I've never heard before. It is shorter than the single version we all know, which is called 'album version' on the B-side of this single (I guess it was too hard to include the actual album version of the song). 

I think that with this single I've bought all the versions of 'Vienna' that exist in the world, but you never know what happens in the future...

My collection: 7" single no. 6804
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Vienna [edit]' / 'Vienna (album version)'

Nel blu dipinto di blu - Rocky Roberts

Charlie 'Rocky' Roberts (23 August 1941 - 13 January 2005) spent some time in the U.S. navy, was a welter weight championship boxer and got his first musical cudo's with the Airedales, recording in the U.S. and in France. In the second half of the sixties he moved to Italy where he recorded most of his songs (as a solo artist) and he was a guest in every other popular TV music show. His American accent didn't stop him from having a great hit with 'Stasera Mi Butto' and he was well known for his energetic Italian language cover versions of Motown & Atlantic soul hits, live and on record. 

He also, almost predictably, recorded his version of 'Nel blu dipinto di blu', the famous song by Domenico Modugno, in 1970. I bought the Argentine promo single, which is a nice rarity. In Italy the sides were flipped and 'Victoria' was the A-side. The B-side was called 'Volare' on the Italian sleeve, because that is the more familiar title the song goes by. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6803
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Nel blu dipinto di blu' / 'Victoria'

Papa Pinguin - Dorthe

Dorthe Larsen (born 17 July 1947) grew up in Copenhagen. She received her musical training from her father, who was conductor of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. She also learned acting, dance and pantomime. She recorded her first single when she was eight years old. Four years later she got her first gold record for the single 'Åh, det er søndag' (cover version of 'Oh Lonesome Me' by Don Gibson). 

She came to Germany in the early 1960s and started a successful career there as a schlager singer. At the beginning of the 1970s, Dorthe took a step back from the limelight but continued to record songs in the years that followed. In 1980 she recorded a German version of 'Papa Pingouin', Luxembourg's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest that year. Like the original version it was produced by Ralph Siegel and released on his record label. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6802
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Papa Pinguin' / 'Immer wenn Kinder träumen'

Stop - mens legen er go - Ulla Pia

The Danish entry of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1966 was Ulla Pia's ‘Stop, Mens Legen Er Go’’ (‘Stop, While The Going Is Good’). It was the first Eurovision performance that involved some dancing: Ulla was joined on stage by a couple who were making the most moves that anyone had done on the Eurovision stage until then. 

I'd been looking for this single for a long time, but it was never available for a reasonable price - until I stumbled on this near mint copy for a mere 5 euros. Maybe the dealer didn't know what he was selling - it was my only purchase from him but I was very happy.

Later in the year, Niels-Jørgen Kaiser became the head of entertainment at DR, Denmark’s national broadcaster. He hated the Contest and made sure that Denmark would not compete again - until he left his post in 1978. Ulla Pia died of cancer on 22 August 2020.

My collection: 7" single no. 6801
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Stop - mens legen er go' / 'Kom og dans en Bossa Nova'

Someday - Ronnie Tober

Ronnie Tober represented the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Morgen' ('Tomorrow') in 1968. The Blue Diamonds recorded a version of the song in English, entitled 'Someday'. However, Ronnie also recorded 'Someday', and five months ago I was still searching for that single. 

Online I could only find copies without the picture sleeve, and that would be a waste because the sleeve was so creatively put together. As you can see here, a photograph of Ronnie was superimposed on some very creative hand lettering. My copy of the sleeve is a bit tattered and torn, but a mint copy would probably cost thrice as much as what I paid for it. If not more.

My collection: 7" single no. 6800
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Someday' / 'I feel like crying'

Fernando y Felipe - Milly Scott

The Dutch Eurovision entry in 1966 was called 'Fernando en Filippo' and was performed by Milly Scott, the first black singer to ever enter the Eurovision stage. 

She also recorded her song in English and Spanish. 'Fernando y Felipe' is the Spanish version, released by the Spanish record company Belter in a surprisingly sturdy cardboard sleeve. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6799
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Fernando y Felipe' / 'Ya no me quieres'

Le monde tourne comme un manege - Heddy Lester

In 1977 Heddy Lester represented the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'De mallemolen'. The song was also recorded in English, German and French, and although I haven't been able to find a copy of the German version yet, here is the French one!

It was released in France - obviously - with a different sleeve than the other three. The German version, 'Karussel des Lebens' has a different sleeve entirely - also in colour - but the only copy that is available online right now costs €150. I'm not that crazy. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6798
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Le monde tourne comme un manege' / 'Ce monsieur qui passe'

Jennifer Jennings - Louis Neefs

Why would I buy yet another copy of Louis Neefs' 1969 Eurovision song 'Jennifer Jennings'? As I pointed out recently, he recorded his song in several languages. I already own the Spanish version, and although the sleeve of this single does not explicitly state it, here is the French version of the song. The B-side, 'Au risque de te perdre' is also a beautiful song, worth listening to. 

There's only the German and Italian versions of this song to go, and I am pretty sure that I will get those if I am patient enough. After all, this is one of Belgium's better entries of the Sixties. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6797
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Jennifer Jennings' / 'Au risque de te perdre'

Kuin silloin ennen - Jarkko & Laura

Jarkko & Laura are a Finnish pop-duo, consisting of Jarkko Antikainen (born 9 August 1950) and Laura Ruotsalo (born 12 August 1949). They were chosen to represent Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1969 in Spain with the song ‘Kuin silloin ennen’ (‘Like in those times’). The song sounds very oldfashioned when you hear it now, but like most Finnish entries at the time it is very charming. 

What's interesting is that the single was released in Finland without a picture sleeve, but the Spanish version comes with a picture sleeve. It is usually hideously expensive on places like Ebay and Discogs, but I was lucky enough to find a copy at a more reasonable price.

My collection: 7" single no. 6796
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Kuin silloin ennen' / 'Et mennä saa'

 

Angelique - Gunnar Wiklund

Dario Compeotto represented Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961 with the song 'Angelique'. The Swedish singer Gunnar Wiklund saw an opportunity and recorded his own version of the song - and filled an EP with two other Eurovision songs from the same year: 'Are you sure?' and 'April, April'. The fourth track, 'Spela på regnbågen' was the song that finished in second place at the Swedish national final for Eurovision in 1961, behind 'April, April'. 

Gunnar would record more Eurovision covers in 1966 on this EP.

My collection: 7" single no. 6794
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Angelique', 'Du kan vara säker på' / 'April, April', 'Spela på regnbågen'

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Song for a friend - Maxi & Chris Garden

The funny thing about Eurovision singles is that there were often many editions and versions in different languages. I already owned Maxi & Chris Garden's 'Lied für einen Freund' in two languages, but there was also a version in English. Best of all, this version was released in a different sleeve. 

Maxi was actually called Meike Gärtner.When she grew up she acquired a solid music education. She appeared in several major musicals and had a big hit in Austria with ‘Ich Kann Dich Heilen’ as part of the group Aschenputtel in 2005.

My collection: 7" single no. 6793
Found: Record fair, Den Bosch, 12 November 2022
Tracks: 'Song for a friend' / 'Chant pour un ami'

Friday, 11 November 2022

SloMo - Chanel

At the beginning of this century it was quite a task to acquire all the physical releases of Eurovision Song Contest entries. Around 25 CD-singles from various European countries was not easy to get hold of. Flash forward to 2022 and there are just a handful of physical releases of Eurovision songs - and some of them were only released on vinyl in the confusing trend to release more on vinyl than on CD, despite a shortage of vinyl.

And so it happened that 'De diepte' was released two weeks ago, and the Spanish entry 'SloMo' followed last week - both six months after the Contest took place. Granted, this release is an interesting one: it's a shaped picture disc that functions as a 7" vinyl but still contains four tracks. The weird shape of the disc was caused by a mango, pictured on the A-side of this disc, because of the lines "Te gusta to' lo que tengo / Te endulzo la cara en jugo de mango" ("You like everything I have / I sweeten your face in mango juice"). Chanel's song loses some of its appeal without the engaging stage show, but this is still a nice pop song. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6792
Found: FNAC Spain, received 11 November 2022
Tracks: 'SloMo (single version)', 'SloMo (acoustic version)' / 'SloMo (Eurovision's Dancebreak Edit)', 'SloMo (Karaoke version)'

Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Human features - Black

It's hard to believe, but it's ten years since I saw Black, or should I say Colin Vearncombe, live at Paradiso in Amsterdam. It was the penultimate time, because I would see him again in Bruges in November 2015 - two months before his untimely death. 

Having been a fan of Black almost since the beginning (well, since 1984) it took me some time to get hold of his early singles, but I succeeded when I finally managed to get a copy of 'Human features' in 1998. It was Black's earliest release on the Rox label, and although the man himself disowned his earliest material, I very much enjoyed it. 

I was quite surprised when a limited edition of this single was released this year. It was released on the Optic Nerve label, in their series of Optic Sevens. Apparently it is a series of re-releases of "classic indie singles", always on coloured vinyl and with a poster and postcard. In this case, it is pressed on white vinyl. It is a lovely release and a new chance to get acquainted with these two fabulous tracks.

My collection: 7" single no. 6776
Found: HHV (Germany), received 14 September 2022
Tracks: 'Human features' / 'Electric church'

Downtown - One 2 Many

The group One 2 Many only released one album, but it was a great pop album and one of those albums that I still play regularly. Their biggest hit was 'Downtown', released in 1988. I own two singles of the track and a CD-single, but somehow it got past me that there was also a 12" single with exclusive remixes on it. 

And so, a quarter of a century later, I acquired it from a Dutch seller on Discogs - an American promotional 12" single with two mixes on it. Actually, the 7" edit on this one also sounded different to me, because at 2'17 lead singer Camilla Griehsel sings 'This is no time in a village for a while', a line I never heard on the three discs I mentioned before. So, three 'new' tracks by One 2 Many - that's a good catch.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received 9 November 2022
Tracks: 'Downtown (Way Downtown mix)' / 'Downtown (7" edit)', 'Downtown (2 Down Dub)'

Pazzo amore / Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare) - Domenico Modugno

The earliest Eurovision song to obtain legendary status is Domenico Modugno's 'Volare', or, more correctly, 'Nel blu dipinto di blu'. I'm not sure that everybody knows that Domenico actually re-recorded this song a few times, and this single, released in 1984, is one of those versions.

It was recorded with the orchestra of maestro Nello Ciangherotti for the TV series La luna nel pozzo - although I'm not sure if that claim holds true for both tracks on this single. I can say for sure that 'Pazzo amore' was featured on that TV show. The modernized and slightly 'discofied' version of 'Nel blu dipinto di blu' is what is the real attraction on this disc for me, however. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6784
Found: Discogs.com, received 8 October 2022
Tracks: 'Pazzo amore' / 'Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare)'


Eres tu - Mocedades

The Spanish group Mocedades represented Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 with the song 'Eres Tu'. Without winning, the song still gained a legendary status and became a big hit all over the world.

Proof of this is found in this Mexican copy of the song. It is actually an EP, featuring four tracks by the band. I got my hands on it when I ordered the 12" single of 'Parlez-vous Français', which was released in Mexico only. But this is a very nice item too, and probably quite rare in this part of the world.

My collection: 7" single no. 6777
Found: Discogs.com, received 14 September 2022
Tracks: 'Eres tu', 'Rin ron' / 'Adios amor', 'Ayer (fue un dia feliz)'

Saturday, 5 November 2022

De diepte - S10

It was reported recently that the Netherlands will be sending two unknown singers to next year's Eurovision Song Contest. Some people think that we should send "big names"; that is, artists that are wellknown in the Netherlands. The past has proven that this is a recipe for disaster. Just remember Willeke Alberti, The Toppers and the 3JS for example. 

In recent years we've done pretty well with unknown artists. Duncan Laurence won a few years ago and this year's entry met critical acclaim. 'De diepte' ('The depth') reached 11th place in the contest and was released on 7" vinyl just recently. There were actually two versions: one on black vinyl and one on pink vinyl. The sleeve remained the same, and the tracks as well. One point of criticism: the 'acoustic live session' on the B-side sounds like a home tape. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6786 & 6787
Found: Top Notch website, received 12 October 2022
Tracks: 'De diepte' / 'De diepte (acoustic live session)'

Amiga Quartett - Abba

A few East German singles from Abba, released by the state-run record company Amiga have already popped up on this blog: Dancing Queen/Fernando, Mamma Mia and The winner takes it all. The collection is not complete yet, but I recently found perhaps the most interesting of them all: an EP that featured four of the Swedish band's hits. 

This quartet mops up singles from their last two albums, plus the track 'Under attack' that was released as the last original Abba single back in 1982. The cover actually features a photograph of the band, which didn't happen often on these Amiga releases. As far as I know, there's only two more singles to go. I'm sure they will pop up on here sometime.

My collection: 7" single no. 6778
Found: Discogs.com, 1 October 2022
Tracks: 'Super trouper', 'Head over heels' / 'One of us', 'Under attack'

All souls night - Loreena McKennitt

When I posted this single recently, I noticed that there was no previous entry about Loreena McKennitt on this blog. Which is strange, because I definitely own another single by her. I bought it on 30 December 1994 in a period of frantic singles buying because I'd just recently started - and lost - my first proper job. I bought this single in Utrecht in a shop called Grammophoonwinkel, and I recently found out that the shop had closed down back in May, after almost fifty years. I would have liked to visit the shop one last time, but I found out too late. 

Anyway, 'All souls night' is one of the singles I bought on that cold and dark December afternoon, just before a birthday party in the same city. I think this single must have been on this blog in the early days, but back then Blogger used to honour "copyright claims" from unknown parties who apparently protested against me writing about "their" records. Fortunately this doesn't happen anymore. So here it is, just a few days too late because the traditional Irish All Souls' Night happened a few days ago. 

My collection: 7" single no. 2230
Found: Grammophoonwinkel, Utrecht, 30 December 1994
Tracks: 'All souls night (edit)' / 'Bonny Portmore'

Liebe, so heisst meine Welt - Véronique Muller

The German language has a tendency to sound a bit aggressive, especially when during my childhood my peers did impressions of a certain leader. A song like 'Liebe, so heisst meine Welt' shows a more tender side of the language: Véronique Muller shows that German can sound tender and soft as well.

'Liebe, so heisst meine Welt' is the German version of 'C'est la chanson de mon amour', with which she represented Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972. I bought that single almost a year ago, and this one is the only other version of that song. Even the B-side was translated into German: 'Quand le printemps revient' became 'Der Frühling kommt niemals allein'. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6791
Found: Discogs.com, received 28 October 2022
Tracks: 'Liebe, so heisst meine Welt' / 'Der Frühling kommt niemals allein'

Nur ein Lied - Thomas Forstner

In 1989 Thomas Forstner represented Austria with the song 'Nur ein Lied'. Avid readers of this blog will know this because I already wrote about the single back in 2009. 

A recent discovery was the 12" single of this song, which featured an extended version of the song. It still contains the rather bombastic sound of the single recording, but adds an instrumental part in the middle. It wouldn't be hard to construct this extended version using the single, since that one already contains the instrumental as well as the vocal version of the song, but there you go. 

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received 28 October 2021
Tracks: 'Nur ein Lied [extended]' / 'Nur ein Lied (instrumental)', 'Nur ein Lied'

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