Thursday, 30 April 2009

Blue velvet - Bobby Vinton

'Blue velvet' was first a hit for Tony Bennett in 1951. Bobby Vinton recorded his version twelve years later, and made number 1 in America. In the UK, the song did not chart until it was used in a commercial by Nivea lotions. On that occasion, it made number 2.

In 1986, the song was used prominently on David Lynch's movie 'Blue velvet', which is where I heard this song when the film was televised somewhere in the late Nineties. I didn't like the movie, but I did like the song. And so I bought it when I found the 1990 UK release.

My collection: 7" single no. 3259
Found: October 20, 2000
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Blue velvet' / 'Blue on blue'

With every beat of my heart - Taylor Dayne

'With every beat of my heart' was the first single from Taylor Dayne's second album 'Can't fight fate' (1989). The single wasn't a big success, as it peaked at number 53 in the UK and didn't chart in the Netherlands.

In the UK, the single was released as a limited edition with a posterbag and featuring Taylor Dayne's debut hit 'Tell it to my heart' on the B-side. It has to be said that the two pictures on the posterbag were quite sexy.

My collection: 7" single no. 3110
Found: Big Company records, London, May 13, 1999
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'With every beat of my heart' / 'Tell it to my heart'

This house - Alison Moyet

'This house' was originally released as the B-side to Alison Moyet's single 'Love letters' (1987). When Moyet recorded her 1991 album 'Hoodoo', she decided to re-record the song, adding a bridge near the end of the song, and deleting the beautiful guitar solo that embellished the original.

It was released as the third - and most successful - single from the album, peaking at number 31 in the Dutch Top 40 and number 40 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 1552
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, December 7, 1991
Cost: 3,5 guilders
Tracks: 'This house' / 'Come back home'

A question of lust - Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode released 'A question of lust' as the second single from their multimillion selling album 'Black celebration' (1986). In the Netherlands, where the band had a little difficulty getting any chart success, it was only their fourth chart single, peaking at number 24. However, in the UK, where the band was usually more successful, it only made number 28.

'A question of lust' was only the second single by Depeche Mode featuring lead vocals by Martin Gore, the first one being 'Somebody' (1984).

My collection: 7" single no. 438
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, 1986
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'A question of lust' / 'Christmas island'

I see a boat on the river - Boney M

Not long after the American band Styx released their single 'Boat on the river', Boney M released 'I see a boat on the river'. It was another big hit for the band, reaching number 7 in the Netherlands. The track appeared on the compilation album 'The magic of Boney M', along with the B-side, 'My friend Jack'. This track was released as an A-side in the UK, but only made number 57 there.

My collection: 7" single no. 47
Found: Wouters, Den Haag, 1980
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'I see a boat on the river' / 'My friend Jack'

Gli impermeabili - Paolo Conte

Italian singer Paolo Conte had his first Dutch chart success in 1987 with 'Gli impermeabili', a beautiful melodic piece of work. It peaked at number 30 in the Dutch Top 40. His biggest hit 'Max' followed six months later.

I didn't catch this song as it was in the charts, but got to know it later through a Paolo Conte compilation album. I bought the single some time after that, having already forgotten what the song sounded like, but remembering that I liked it. Sometimes all you need is a title.

My collection: 7" single no. 2273
Found: Record fair, April 23, 1995
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Gli impermeabili' / 'Simpati-Simpatia'

Come back to me - Janet Jackson

'Come back to me' is the fifth single taken from Janet Jackson's highly successful album 'Rhythm nation 1814'. It reached number 20 in the UK singles chart in January 1990.

Part of the success can be attributed to this limited edition 7" box set, which came with a free fold-out poster and an '1814' metal badge. I had a hard time finding a copy of this, but finally managed to do this during a holiday in London in October 1990.

My collection: 7" single no. 1169
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 1990
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Come back to me (7" I'm beggin' you mix)' / 'Alright (7"R&B mix)'

The piano song - Freur

Freur's second album 'Get us out of here!' (1985) was only released in Germany and the Netherlands. The single 'The piano song' was taken from this album, but it was another unsuccessful release by the band.

In 1986, Freur went into recess when John Warwicker left the band. A year later, remaining members Karl Hyde, Rick Smith, Alfie Thomas and Bryn Burrows, along with bassist Baz Allen started a new band called Underworld, and had a minor success with the single 'Underneath the Radar' (1988).

My collection: 7" single no. 2955
Found: Record fair, February 7, 1998
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'The piano song' / 'Emeralds and pearls'

Mama used to say - Junior

Junior Giscombe debuted in 1982 with 'Mama used to say'. It was a number 7 hit in the UK, but also made it into the top 10 in the USA, which earned him a 'best newcomer' award from Billboard magazine. This flying start didn't help his further career, though: the only other top 10 hit Junior had in the UK was a duet with Kim Wilde in 1987 ('Another step (closer to you)').

I got to know the song because of an acapella rendition during a television programme. It was interesting enough for me to try and find out the original version.

My collection: 7" single no. 2383
Found: House of rhythm, London, July 1, 1995
Cost: 60p
Tracks: 'Mama used to say' / 'Mama used to say (instrumental mix)'

World outside your window - Tanita Tikaram

The fourth and last single from Tanita Tikaram's debut album 'Ancient heart' was 'World outside your window'. The single did not chart in the Netherlands and only managed a number 58 placing in the UK during its two week run in the singles chart. It was probably a tad optimistic for the record company to want to milk the album.

The song is upbeat, quite catchy and accessible nonetheless. I bought my - slightly tattered - copy in a warehouse after it was thrown in the discount bin.

My collection: 7" single no. 948
Found: V&D, Den Haag, July 21, 1989
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'World outside your window' / 'For all these years (instrumental)'

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

While you wait - New Musik

At some point, every New Musik single I found was a nice surprise. I had the albums 'From A to B', 'Anywhere' and 'Warp', and I knew that all the tracks were great. So all I had to look for next were the B-sides. And there were B-side aplenty: 'While you wait', this single, even had two.

I never understood the lack of commercial success New Musik had though. Out of a dozen singles, only four made the UK singles chart - and even less abroad. It's a shame: when you listen to these tracks now they still sound fresh.

My collection: 7" single no. 2915
Found: November 1, 1997
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'While you wait' / 'From the village', 'Guitars'

Blijf zoals je bent - Justine

In 1989, Justine Palmelay was the Netherlands' biggest hope. For the first time in 14 years we might have a shot at winning again. 'Blijf zoals je bent' was a formulaic song, carefully evading the hard 'g' that makes Dutch such a nasty language to listen to, an uplifting melody and a high note at the end of the song. In the previous year, the Dutch audience had suffered a trauma when Gerard Joling didn't end his song 'Shangri-la' with his famous high note, but ended with a low one instead. This time around, Justine wouldn't get away with that and she was experienced enough to do as she was briefed to do... or was she?

At the night of the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest, her voice broke exactly when she sang the last three words of the song. It sounded like a shriek of a seagull being strangled. As a result, Justine ended 15th in a field of 22 participants.

My collection: 7" single no. 877
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, June 10, 1989
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Blijf zoals je bent' / 'Stay the way you are'

Open your heart - Human League

'Open your heart' was the third single to be released before the album 'Dare' saw the light of day in 1982. The song was full of drum machines, synths and power vocals, plus uplifting words like 'But if you can't stand the test you know your worst is better than their best'. Words to live by.

The cover artwork and promotional video was deliberately coordinated with its parent album. Video director Brian Grant borrowed heavily from the album’s imagery. The opening scene is a video montage of the portraits of the six band members exactly as they appear on the cover of the album. The band are all dressed and made up in the same style as 'Dare''s photography.

The single was a big success in the UK, peaking at number 6.

My collection: 7" single no. 2830
Found: House of Rhythm, London, February 1, 1997
Cost: 50p
Tracks: 'Open your heart' / 'Non-stop'

All kinds of everything - Dana

The first time Ireland won the Eurovision Song Contest, it was actually with a nice song (It's a shame they broke with that tradition from the second time they won). Dana Rosemary Scallon sang 'All kinds of everything' in 1970 and won the Contest.

The sleeve of this Dutch pressing of the song pictures previous winner Lenny Kuhr (who was one of four winners of the 1969 Contest) handing a bunch of flowers and the Eurovision award to Dana.

My collection: 7" single no. 1638
Found: All that music, Leiden, May 3, 1992
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'All kinds of everything' / 'Channel breeze'

Our lips are sealed - Fun Boy Three

'Our lips are sealed' was written by Gogo's guitarist Jane Wiedlin and Fun Boy Three's Terry Hall. It was released as the Gogo's debut single in 1981, and reached number 47 in the UK. A year later, Fun Boy Three recorded their own versiono the single, which was released in1983. This version was more successful, peaking at number 7 in the UK singles chart.

This limited edition features a second single with two live tracks, recorded at the Regal Theatre in Hitchin (UK).

My collection: 7" single no. 3248
Found: London, 2000
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Our lips are sealed' / 'Our lips are sealed (Urdu version)' // 'We're having all the fun (live)' / 'Going home (live)'

January February - Barbara Dickson

Another single produced by Alan Tarney, 'January February' was also written by him. The single reached number 11 in the UK in April 1980, spending a total of 10 weeks in the chart. It was Dickson's biggest hit since "Answer Me" in 1976 and would be her biggest until the UK number 1 hit 'I Know Him So Well' together with Elaine Paige in 1985.

Mary Roos recorded a German version of this song, entitled 'Wenn ich dich nicht halten kann' ('If I cannot hold you').

My collection: 7" single no. 3292
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, February 24, 2001
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'January February' / 'Island in the snow'

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Biko - Peter Gabriel

'Biko' was originally recorded in 1980 on Peter Gabriel's third solo album. The song was about Stephen Biko, a noted black South African anti-apartheid activist. Biko had been arrested by the South African police in late August 1977. After being held in custody for several days, he was interrogated in room 619 of the Walmer Street prison in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. Following the interrogation, during which he sustained serious head injuries, Biko was transferred to a prison in Pretoria, where he died shortly afterwards, on September 12, 1977.

'Biko' was re-released in 1987 to draw attention to Sir Richard Attenborough's film 'Cry freedom'. This live version was recorded at the Blossom Music Centre, Cleveland, 27th July 1987.

My collection: 7" single no. 2711
Found: House of Rhythm, London, July 3, 1996
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Biko' / 'No more Apartheid'

You can swing it - Sheena Easton

The mock-Jam & Lewis production 'You can swing it' was overlooked by the record-buying audience. 'What comes naturally' was Sheena Easton's last significant hit, after which none of Sheena's singles ever charted anymore (with the exception of 'Giving up giving in' (2000), which peaked at number 54 in the UK).

It has to be said that the song sounds very dated when you listen to it now. The scratching noises even sound pre-1991. A pretty picture on the sleeve didn't even help matters anymore...

My collection: 7" single no. 1508
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, August 10, 1991
Cost: 6,5 guilders
Tracks: 'You can swing it (7" version)' / 'You can swing it (Swingstrumental)'

Do you sleep? - Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories

The follow-up to 'Stay (I missed you)' was 'Do you sleep?'. It was taken from Loeb's debut album 'Tails'. The album was co-produced by Juan Patiño, her then longtime boyfriend. Although none of the singles from Tails matched the breakthrough appeal of 'Stay', Loeb still managed a top 20 hit in America with this single. In the UK, it only managed a placing at number 45.

The single was released as a limited edition picture disc 7", which was an appealing proposition to me. Still, the single didn't interest me that much, so it was also the last Lisa Loeb purchase I ever made.

My collection: 7" single no. 2483
Found: October 29, 1995
Cost: 1,3 pounds
Tracks: 'Do you sleep?' / 'Birds', 'When all the stars were falling'

Dancing in the city - Marshall, Hain

'Dancing in the city' was the debut single of Marshall Hain, the duo formed by Julian Marshall and Kit Hain. The single peaked at number 3 in the UK and number 7 in the Netherlands. The single even made it to the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 43 in the winter of 1979. Meanwhile, the duo released one more single, 'Coming home' and an album, 'Free ride'. After these were unsuccessful, the duo called it quits.

My collection: 7" single no. 403
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1986
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Dancing in the city' / 'Take my number'

Showing out - Mel and Kim

'Showing out' was the debut single of the sisters Mel and Kim Appleby. Originally the song was supposed to be the B-side of 'System', but ultimately the sides were flipped, and 'Showing out' became the smash hit single which is still a wellknown track even now. The single reached number 1 in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, and peaked at number 3 in the UK.

The single was released in two different sleeves, both of which I own. The UK sleeve (pictured above) was the first one I bought, during a holiday in London. A few years later I bought the original sleeve, released in Europe (pictured below). This single launched a short, but very successful career.

My collection: 7" single no. 546 (1 & 2)
Found: Tower Records, London, 1987 /All that music, Leiden, February 23, 1989
Cost: 2 pounds / 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Showing out' / 'System (House mix)'

Monday, 27 April 2009

P-Machinery - Propaganda

When I called this song 'Machinery' in this post, someone immediately corrected me, writing that the song is called 'P-Machinery'. Of course, I do know this, but it has been subject of a heated discussion between a friend and me over the years. His supporting evidence was that the song's lyric never mentioned 'P-Machinery'. My evidence was that it is continually listed as 'P-Machinery' in 'Britains Hit Singles' and the Dutch 'Hit Dossier'.

Whatever. The song was not a big hit in the UK, but peaked at number 12 in the Netherlands. I loved the song right from the beginning, although I didn't think it was the stroke of genius 'Duel' was. After this single, Propaganda disappeared from view for a couple of years.

My collection: 7" single no. 319
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1985
Cost: 3,5 guilders
Tracks: 'P-Machinery' / 'Frozen faces'

As one - Sam Brown

This 12" single represents a discographical mystery within my collection. Sam Brown released several singles from her second album 'April moon', all of which appeared on cd-single. Yet, I've never seen a cd-single for 'As one', just this 12" single with three exquisite B-side tracks. So was there never a cd-single? If you know, let me know.

'As one' was the last single drawn from 'April moon', and was not rewarded with a chart placing. It effectively ended Sam Brown's recording contract with A&M, because when she presented '43 minutes' a good two years later, the company did not want to release it, for fear of its lack of commercial appeal. Fortunately, the album still came out after the contract was ended after some legal wranglings. For '43 minutes' represents Sam's finest work.

My collection: 12" single no. 185
Found: Record Exchange, London, 1993
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'As one', 'Tune with no name (part 2)' / 'Think about your troubles', 'Smile'

Runaway - Freur

'Runaway' was the second single taken from Freur's debut album 'Doot doot' (1983). Just like other singles taken from the album, it did not chart. When you listen to it now, you may be able to understand: the sound is a bit muddled, over-produced and although the whole thing sounds pretentious, the lyric is a bit simple. Still, I like the song for all its eccentricity.

My collection: 7" single no. 2734
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 7, 1996
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Runaway' / 'You're a hoover'

Angel - Fra Lippo Lippi

When I bought this single I didn't know much more about Fra Lippo Lippi than their 1985 album 'Songs'. I found the single 'Angel' and decided I wanted to try out whether they'd continued on the path of listener-friendly synthpop.

'Angel', like the album 'Light and shade' (1987) is a slight departure, though. It moves into the territory of bland middle-of-the-road pop, although it does steer away from all too obvious cliches. Not their best work, then. But it's not too bad, either. It's a bit... well... middle of the road.

My collection: 7" single no. 1034
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 17, 1989
Cost: 60p
Tracks: 'Angel' / 'Everytime I see you (live)'

Iki dakika - Reyhan Karaca, Izel Çeliköz and Can Ugurluer

Turkey became a bit lazy after a hattrick of totally inventive entries to the Eurovision Song Contest. After 'Sufi' by MFO (1988), 'Bana bana' by Pan (1989) and 'Gözlerninin Hapsindeyim' by Kayahan (1990), they sent the trio of Reyhan Karaca, Izel Çeliköz and Can Ugurluer (try saying that three times without stuttering!) with a twist-type track called 'Iki dakika' ('Two minutes').

The Belgian record company Madierpo released this single with the English version on the A-side. Another mistake: the Turkish version may be unintelligable for foreign listeners, but the English one is too, for totally different reasons, of which pronunciation is one. The group finished 12th in the Contest, which at that time was a reasonably respectable placing for Turkey.

My collection: 7" single no. 1649
Found: Bea Records, May 6, 1992
Cost: 10 guilders
Tracks: 'Iki dakika (English version)' / 'Iki dakika (Turkish version)'

Precious - Annie Lennox

'Precious' was the second single taken from Annie Lennox' debut cd 'Diva'. The song was written by Annie Lennox herself and produced, like the album, by Steve Lipson. The single version was very different from the album version.

The single was not the big success the previous single 'Why' was, peaking at number 23 in the UK and number 30 in the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 1962
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, September 25, 1993
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Precious (single version)' / 'Precious (album version)'

Another word - Talk Talk

The sleeve of this German-only single proclaims that the song 'Another word' was used in an episode of the German detective Derrick called 'Ende einer Sehnsucht'. The track comes from Talk Talk's debut album 'The party's over' (1982).

Whereas Talk Talk didn't have any success in Germany until then, this single went to number 25 in the chart. The worldwide hit 'It's my life' passed the country by, they would reward 'Such a shame' with Talk Talk's second singles chart placing. Sometimes those Germans have a mind of their own...

My collection: 7" single no. 2802
Found: December 29, 1996
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'Another word' / 'Candy'

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Tell it to my heart - Taylor Dayne

A number one hit in Austria, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, Taylor Dayne had a massively successful debut single with 'Tell it to my heart'. The single took off so unexpectedly in America, that she was forced to speed up the recording process for her debut album just to satisfy the record buying audience's appetite for more.

I didn't buy the single right away, because the follow-up 'Prove your love' came pretty quickly in the Dutch charts. I bought the single a few months after its release at a discount price.

My collection: 7" single no. 645
Found: All that music, Leiden, August 12, 1988
Cost: 3,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Tell it to my heart' / 'Tell it to my heart (instrumental version)'

I'm a tiger - Lulu

Lulu was born on November 3, 1948. She is best known for her hits 'To sir, with love' and 'Shout'. This single, recorded in 1968, was written for her by Marty Wilde, which explains why I would want to have it. It's a charming little song in which Lulu shows her Scottish accent more than usual. The B-side was written by another prominent artist, Harry Nilsson.

My collection: 7" single no. 3235
Found: Beanos, East Croydon, London, October 18, 2000
Cost: 2,5 pounds
Tracks: 'I'm a tiger' / 'Without him'

Giving up giving in - Three Degrees

Produced by Giorgio Moroder, 'Giving up giving in' is an all out disco track, which gave the Three Degrees a big hit in many countries. In the Netherlands, the single peaked at number 8, while in the UK it reached number 12.

I bought the single from my favourite little record shop with a custom sleeve from one of the Netherlands' biggest warehouses. And so, only the record is shown here: an American pressing.

My collection: 7" single no. 84
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1980
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Giving up giving in' / 'Woman in love'

There's a virus going round - Spectral Display

I am extremely curious what foreign readers think of this particular Dutch song. When I first heard it - a friend played it to me because she recorded it from the radio ages before - I couldn't believe this was made by a Dutch band. And what's more, it turned out to be the same band that had recorded 'It takes a muscle to fall in love' that same year. I knew that single, but I'd completely missed this one.

I think this single is an extremely well accomplished piece of intimate synthpop, with beautiful vocals to boot. So come on, tell me what you think...

My collection: 7" single no. 3300
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, February 24, 2001
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'There's a virus going round' / 'Hang ups'

Window widow - Maarten Peters and the Dream

Being almost bilingual by now, I still don't know exactly if the expression 'Window widow' would be used by an Englishman. I've always thought it was a weird title, but anyway... The track itself is a beautiful ballad with a neat little story of a woman who loses her husband and keeps hoping for his return.

'Window widow' was the last single taken from Maarten Peters' second album 'Burn your boats' (1987), and it was re-recorded especially for this single. As such, it was never released on cd, because many Dutch bands didn't release cd-singles yet. The single didn't chart, which makes it even more collectable, I guess.

My collection: 7" single no. 572
Found: Free Record Shop, Utrecht, 1987
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Window widow' / 'Sunset in Rio'

Kiss me - Stephn Tin Tin Duffy

The original version of 'Kiss me' was released in 1982. Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy tried to have a hit with the song two more times. First he released a remixed version in 1983 which was just as unsuccessful as the original version - even though famous remixer François Kevorkian did his work on the track - but the 1985 version was a top 5 hit in the UK. The Art of Noise-esque sound must have helped a lot.

This version became a Europe-wide hit, and was played endlessly on radio and television. I didn't really want to have the single anymore after that. Now, more than two decades later, this double pack was really great to get. And I have to admit, it's great to hear 'Kiss me' again - even in the 1985 version.

My collection: 7" single no. 3634
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 18, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Kiss me (1985)' / 'In the twilight' // 'Kiss me (1983)' / 'Holes in my shoes'

Fairytale of New York - The Pogues

Often voted as the best ever Christmas song, The Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York' was specifically recorded for this merry time of year. It did not reach number one in the UK, being held off the top spot by the Pet Shop Boys' 'Always on my mind'. In Ireland, the Pogues did have a number one hit with this.

Guest vocals were performed by Kirsty MacColl. Her part was originally intended for band member Cait O'Riordan. She left the band, however, in 1986, and so producer Steve Lillywhite proposed to have his wife sing a guide vocal for the recording. The band liked her contribution so much that she also sang the part on the actual recording.

On December 18, 2007, BBC Radio 1 banned the words 'faggot' and 'slut' from the song to 'avoid offence'. The words were dubbed out. MacColl's mother Jean, called the ban "too ridiculous", while the Pogues said they found it "amusing". However, that evening Radio 1 backed down and said that after a day of criticism from listeners, the band, and MacColl's mother, they reversed the decision. The unedited version was then played later on that day.

My collection: 7" single no. 3673
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 18, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Fairytale of New York' / 'The Battle March medley'

't is O.K. - Harmony

Ab van Woudenberg, Donald Lieveld and Rosina Lauwaars formed Harmony in 1978 and represented the Netherlands in the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest with ''t Is OK' ('It's OK'), lyrically a pale imitation of the 1975 Contest winner 'Ding-a-dong': 'sing a melody / Happy and in harmony'.

The group finished 13th in the Contest, which took place in Paris after the 1977 victory by Marie Myriam. In the Dutch Top 40, ''t Is O.K.' peaked at number 29.

My collection: 7" single no. 3647
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 18, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: ''t Is O.K.' / 'Bim bam bom'

You are my world 87 - The Communards

I wrote about the Communards' 'You are my world' before (although Blogger seems to have deleted that post again in their random actions vandalism), but that was the original version from 1986 with which they made their debut.

In 1987, they re-released the track in a re-recorded version. This version did better than the original: while that one peaked at number 30 in the UK, this one peaked at number 21. And in the Netherlands, where the original didn't chart, it reached number 24. I bought the single to get my collection of Communards singles complete. Always a good feeling to be complete.

My collection: 7" single no. 3646
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 18, 2009
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'You are my world 87' / 'Judgement day'

Saturday, 25 April 2009

A little bit further away - Kokomo

The British funk band Kokomo formed in the Seventies. They released their debut album 'Kokomo' in 1975. The second album 'Rise & shine' appeared two years later and the third album, again titled 'Kokomo' came out in 1982. This album contained the hit single 'A little bit further away', a beautiful soul song with vocal harmonies and a very early Eighties soul music backing.

While not a big hit in the UK, it peaked at number 4 in the Netherlands. I got to know the song thanks to a compilation cd which I bought in the late Eighties. Now I've finally got the original single as well.

My collection: 7" single no. 3680
Found: La La Land, Den Haag, April 25, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'A little bit further away' / 'Keep on dancin''

The ballroom blitz - The Sweet

'The Ballroom Blitz' was written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. It was released as a single in 1973, where it reached number 1 in Australia and entered at number 2 in the UK singles chart but failed to go to number one. The song reached number 5 in the United States and number 4 in the Netherlands.

The song itself was written about the Grand Hall of the Palace Theatre in Kilmarnock, Scotland, after the band was forced off stage by a barrage of bottles.

My collection: 7" single no. 3678
Found: La La Land, Den Haag, April 25, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'The ballroom blitz' / 'Rock & Roll disgrace'

Belfast - Boney M

'Belfast' was originally written by Drafi Deutscher for Marcia Barrett while she was still performing as a solo artist in the early Seventies. Boney M performed the song live because they didn't have enough of their own material yet, and it proved to be an audience favourite. This gave producer Frank Farian the idea to record it anew.

However, because of the politically tinted lyrics ('when the hate you have for one another's past') he first recorded it with Gilla in German. It still appeared on Boney M's 1977 album 'Love for sale' and ended up being a single for them. It peaked at number 9 in the UK and number 3 in the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 3682
Found: La La Land, Den Haag, April 25, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Belfast' / 'Plantation boy'

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