Sunday, 31 May 2009

Rosie - Joan Armatrading

Joan Armatrading was born in Basseterre, Saint Kitts in the West Indies on December 9, 1950. She moved with her family to Birmingham, England in 1957. She moved to London in the early Seventies to perform in a production of the musical 'Hair'. This led to her meeting lyricist Pam Nestor and recording her debut album 'Whatever's for us' (1972).

'Rosie' was released after five albums in 1980. It became her first European hit, reaching number 15 in the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 2422
Found: July 22, 1995
Cost: 3,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Rosie' / 'How cruel'

Tausendmal du - Münchener Freiheit

Taken from their debut album 'Von Anfang an', 'Tausendmal du' became Münchener Freiheit's first hit outside of Germany. The single entered the Dutch Top 40 in June 1986 and peaked at number 28 during its five week chart run.

The song would be re-recorded in English as 'Baby it's you' two years later, aiming for more international success.

My collection: 7" single no. 2952
Found: February 7, 1998
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Tausendmal du' / 'Kalt oder heiss'

A walk in the park - Nick Straker Band

The Nick Straker Band formed in the late Seventies. Its members were Nick Straker, Tony Mansfield, David McShera, Pete Hammond and Phil Towner. In 1979 they released 'A walk in the park', a rather innovative disco song. It did not reach the Dutch Top 40, but it did peak at number 20 in the UK singles chart.

Tony Mansfield and Nick Straker were also members of New Musik, but while Straker didn't return to his old group, Mansfield did. Both the Nick Straker Band and New Musik did not meet a lot of commercial success after 'A walk in the park'.

My collection: 7" single no. 2147
Found: August 25, 1994
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'A walk in the park' / 'Something in the music'

Rock bottom - Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran

Mike Moran (born March 4, 1948) and Lynsey De Paul (born June 11, 1960) wrote the song 'Rock bottom' together and also got to perform it together on the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest, representing the United Kingdom. Although the song was in the lead when the juries started giving their points, the song finally came second, behind the winning song 'L'oiseau et l'enfant'.

De Paul and Moran went on to write a number of songs such as 'Let your body go downtown', a UK top 40 hit for the Martyn Ford Orchestra and the follow up 'Going to a disco' as well as the songs 'Without you' and 'Now and then'. Moran was also a wellknown songwriter in his own right, co-writing Freddie Mercury's 'Barcelona'.

My collection: 7"single no. 3746
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, May 23, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Rock bottom' / 'You shouldn't say that'

Bad girls - Donna Summer

'Bad girls' was taken from Donna Summer's 1979 album of the same name. Donna Summer wrote the song herself, after being inspired by an incident: a police officier mistook one of her assistants for a street prostitute.

The song was a chart success in many countries. In America it was a number 1 hit, in the UK it peaked at number 14 while in the Netherlands it went to number 7. The 'toot-toot, beep-beep' chant would be sampled by various hip hop artists.

My collection: 7" single no. 2959
Found: Record fair, February 9, 1998
Cost: 2,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Bad girls' / 'On my honor'

Marliese - Fischer Z

Fischer Z released their third album 'Red skies over paradise' in 1981. This was the last album released under the classic line-up, despite the departure of keyboardist, Steve Skolnik. The album featured many songs about politics and several references to the Cold War. After this album, band leader John Watts pursued a solo career.

'Marliese' was taken from the album and became the band's last hit. In the Netherlands, it reached number 31.

My collection: 7" single no. 922
Found: Parkpop, Den Haag, June 25, 1989
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Marliese' / 'Right hand men'

When love rules the world - Simone Angel

In the late Eighties and early Nineties I was a regular viewer of MTV, back when they were still broadcasting music videos. I was not the only one: I had a fellow student and friend who was just as addicted to the channel as I was. We both loved Rebecca de Ruvo, and hated Simone Angel (We had so much in common).

The difference between the two became more obvious when they recorded music. Rebecca released 'I caught you out' in 1994, Simone released 'When love rules the world' in 1991. While the former is an interesting funky dance track, the latter is just a throwaway house clone with bad vocals. It's these vocals my friend and me had loads of fun with. Whenever I grunted 'When love rules the world' he would reply with a falsetto 'When love rules the world!' and vice versa. This single is a souvenir of those times. It's actually one of few songs in my singles collection that I don't like.

What happened to Simone Angel? She moved to the other side of the world - thankfully - and is - unfortunately - still presenting a radio show there. She has a blog which you can read here.
My collection: 7" single no. 1766
Found: Sounds Familiar, London, October 20, 1992
Cost: 20p
Tracks: 'When love rules the world (Let love rule edit)' / 'When love rules the world (original mix)'

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Ein Bisschen Frieden - Nicole

'Ein Bisschen Frieden' was written by Eurovision Song Contest veterans Ralph Siegel and Bernd Meinunger. It was performed at the 1982 edition of the Contest by 17 year old high school student Nicole. With her innocent looks and white guitar, she managed to secure Germany's first (and last) ever win.

I hated the song with a passion. The tacky lyrics and the corny melody did nothing for me. But all these years later, there is one convincing reason to own this single: I have nearly all of the Eurovision winners.

My collection: 7" single no. 3376
Found: Geest, Den Haag, 2003
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Ein Bisschen Frieden' / 'Thank you, merci, danke'

Human features - Black

Originally a three-piece pop outfit from Roby, near Liverpool, England, Black featured Colin Vearncombe (born June 25, 1962, West Derby, Liverpool), Dave Dickie and Jimmy Sangster. Vearncombe was previously in the Epileptic Tits at the age of 16, playing punk cover versions. He then moved on to producing his own tapes until Dickie (ex-Last Chant) and Sangster formed a unit together.

Black's first single was 'Human features', released in 1981 on the independent Rox label. The single did not chart and was probably released in a very small quantity. Finding this single is next to impossible. I searched for it for years on end, and finally only got it because an old Black fan was selling off his items. I spent a small fortune, but was extremely happy to get my hands on this rare recording.

My collection: 7" single no. 2983
Found: Private seller, received April 9, 1998
Cost: 20 pounds (or more)
Tracks: 'Human features' / 'Electric church'

I don't want to talk about it - Everything but the girl

'Everything but the grl are Tracey Thorn on vocals and Ben Watt on guitar and vocals. 'I don't want to talk about it' was released to coincide with their fourth LP, 'Idlewild' (February 1988) from which the B-side 'Oxford Street' is taken. The string arrangement was written by Ben Watt and Nick Ingman.'

The back of the sleeve tells a rather complete story. However, the single only became a hit in July 1988, but when it did, it reached number 3 in the UK singles chart, making it the duo's biggest hit up to that point.

My collection: 7" single no. 1566
Found: All that music, Leiden, January 2, 1992
Cost: 2,5 guilders
Tracks: 'I don't want to talk about it' / 'Oxford Street'

I don't want to talk about it - Rod Stewart

'I don't want to talk about it' was written by Danny Whitten. His band Crazy Horse released it on their self-titled album in 1971. In 1975, Rod Stewart recorded his version for his album 'Atlantic Crossing'.

The single topped the singles chart in the UK, although it has been claimed afterwards that this was rigged and that the Sex Pistols' 'God save the queen' was the actual best selling single at the time. In Germany the single reached number 4, and in the Netherlands it went to number 3.

My collection: 7" single no. 1162
Found: All that music, Leiden, January 27, 1990
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'I don't want to talk about it' / 'The first cut is the deepest'

Run silent - Shakespear's sister

The debut album by Shakespear's sister, 'Sacred heart', featured a track 'Run silent, run deep'. It was released as a single with the shorter title 'Run silent'. The single was released in a limited edition gatefold sleeve, with a booklet in the middle.

It did not help the chart placing of the single: it only made number 54 in the UK singles chart. To me, it's still one of the better tracks from the album.

My collection: 7" single no. 991
Found: Tower Records, London, October 16, 1989
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Run silent' / 'Mr. Wrong'

Wicked game - Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak recorded 'Wicked Game' for his third studio album 'Heart shaped world'. Despite being released as a single in 1989, it didn't become a hit until it was later featured in the David Lynch film 'Wild at heart'. This single is the latter release, with an instrumental track by Angelo Badalamenti - also from the film - on the B-side. Part of the success can also be attributed to the music video, directed by Herb Ritts, featuring a topless Helena Christensen.

The single went to number 10 in the UK and number 5 in the Netherlands. It also become Chris Isaak's only American hit single, peaking at number 6 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

My collection: 7" single no. 1380
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, February 9, 1991
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Wicked game' (Chris Isaak) / 'Cool cat walk' (Angelo Badalamenti)

Love of my life - Queen

The studio version of 'Love of my life' appeared on Queen's 1975 album 'A night at the Opera'. Freddie Mercury wrote it on the piano and guitarist Brian May rearranged the song for acoustic 12-string guitar to facilitate live performances. The song was written for Mary Austin, Mercury's girlfriend at the time.

This live version, taken from the double album 'Live killers' was released as a single in 1979. It was a number one hit in Brazil and Argentina, but stalled at number 63 in the UK.

My collection: 7" single no. 1574
Found: January 25, 1992
Cost: 7,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Love of my life (live)' / 'Now I'm here (live)'

This affair - Maisonettes

Lol Mason formed the Maisonettes in the early Eighties with Mark Tibenham and Nick Parry. They recorded a demo of the song 'Heartache Avenue', which was discovered by David Virr in a pile of demo tapes in his office. He decided to release it on his own label, entitled Ready, steady, go!. To fill out the band, two teenage models, Denise Ward and Elaine Williams were recruited as backing vocalists.

'Heartache Avenue' became a big hit in several countries, but irritated the hell out of me. I was more impressed by the later single release, 'This affair'. A beautiful ballad, which appeared regularly on a local radio station. It was not a hit, the band would never even have a hit again.

My collection: 7" single no. 869
Found: All that music, Leiden, June 2, 1989
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'This affair' / 'Say it again'

West end girls - Pet Shop Boys

In 1984, the Pet Shop Boys recorded three songs with producer Bobby Orlando, at Unique Studios in New York. 'West end girls' was one of them. Tennant and Chris Lowe devised an arrangement involving what Tennant calls 'Barry White chords' and a drum part lifted from Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean'. Orlando was thrilled by the song's production; his idea was to make a rap record in a British accent.

In April 1984, this original version of 'West end girls' was released, becoming a club hit in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a minor dance hit in Belgium and France, but was only available in the United Kingdom as a 12" import. The song would be a worldwide hit a year later, when the Pet Shop Boys signed to EMI records and re-recorded the track.

My collection: 7" single no. 502
Found: Den Haag, 1986
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'West end girls' / 'Pet shop boys'

Friday, 29 May 2009

Tu te reconnaitras - Anne Marie David

Anne Marie David was born on May 23, 1952 in Arles, France. She moved to Paris when she was eighteen to get involved in musical theatre. In 1972, she was cast in the role of Mary Magdalene in the French version of 'Jesus Christ superstar'. A year later, she was selected to represent the country Luxembourg with the song 'Tu te reconnaitras'.

The 1973 edition of the Contest was a threeway battle between three legendary songs: 'Power to all our friends' by Cliff Richard (representing the UK), 'Eres tu' by Mocedades (representing Spain) and Anne Marie David's song, which was the one that won the Contest in the end. Anne Marie David secured a second successive triumph for Luxembourg. The single was bought for me by Puck, helping me to complete my collection of winning Eurovision Song Contest songs.

My collection: 7" single no. 3703
Found: May 5, 2009
Cost: -
Tracks: 'Tu te reconnaitras' / 'Au bout du monde'

Mothers talk - Tears for fears

After their debut album 'The hurting' had been a reasonable success, Tears for fears had to come up with a follow-up. The new album - which would be 'Songs from the big chair', released in 1985 - was preceded by the single 'Mothers talk'. Roland Orzabal commented: 'The song stems from two ideas. One is something that mothers say to their children about pulling faces. They say the child will stay like that when the wind changes. The other idea is inspired by the anti-nuclear cartoon book 'When the wind blows' by Raymond Briggs.

The single version was different from the album version (and shorter, too) and did not appear on cd as far as I know. 'Mothers talk' reached number 14 in the UK singles chart, which was good. But more successful singles were on the way...

My collection: 7" single no. 644
Found: Brussels, August 2, 1988
Cost: 120 Belgian Francs
Tracks: 'Mothers talk' / 'Empire building'

New song (live) - Howard Jones

Howard Jones was not unlike other popular artists in the Eighties, in that he had a fanclub. The difference to many other artists was that the fanclub was run by his parents. In the pre-internet age, fans had to be informed with newsletters and fanclub magazines that were usually released a few times a year.

The fun thing about the Howard Jones fanclub was that they also released a few exclusive singles. Although I was never a fanclub member, I did get a chance to order these singles at some point. I had internet access for about two years when I ordered these three exclusive singles from the fanclub in one go. This is single number one, with live versions from 'New song' and 'Don't always look at the rain', recorded live at High Wycombe Town Hall on December 22, 1983.

My collection: 7" single no. 2791
Found: Howard Jones fanclub, received November 28, 1996
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'New song (live)' / 'Don't always look at the rain (live)'

Silent all these years - Tori Amos

The last single release in the UK from Tori Amos' debut album was a re-release of 'Silent all these years'. There was a special limited edition cd-single with added new B-side tracks such as 'Song for Eric' and 'Ode to the banana king'.

The 7" vinyl single was also different. While the original release of 'Silent all these years' featured 'Me and a gun' on the B-side, but this time around the B-side contained Tori's cover version of Nirvana's 'Smells like teen spirit'. The original track was a grunge rock type song - as you probably well know - but Tori's cover turned it into a beautiful ballad. It's a shame that her 2001 album of covers, 'Strange little girls', didn't have a similar quality to it.

My collection: 7" single no. 1725
Found: Tower Records, London, October 17, 1992
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Silent all these years' / 'Smells like teen spirit'

Poison arrow - ABC

ABC's second single 'Poison arrow' defined the glamorous, baroque sound that would make their debut album 'Lexicon of love' (1982) such a classic album. Written by the band and produced by Trevor Horn, the single peaked at number 6 in the UK and number 13 in the Netherlands.

The B-side is an alternate version of 'Poison arrow'. According to the sleeve notes by Martin Fry on the back of this sleeve, it is 'the result of a late night spent with my producer Trevor Horn and piano accompanist'.

My collection: 7" single no. 1716
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 19, 1992
Cost: 3,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Poison arrow' / 'Theme from 'Man trap''

Masked moods - Blue Rondo

Nothing can adequately describe that feeling of satisfaction, relief and happiness when you finally hold in your hand that one item you've been searching for ages. In this case, twenty five years! I got to know 'Masked moods' thanks to this video, which appeared regularly on the Music Box TV channel.

I loved this song, but I could never find the single, despite looking for it intensively ever since 1984, when it was released. I did find the album 'Bees Knees & Chicken Elbows' (1984), which contains a different version of the track. But I was obviously after the single version. Last week, I finally spotted a copy on the Vinyl Tap website. I bought it, and today I could finally hold it in my hands. A long quest has finally come to an end.

My collection: 7" single no. 3760
Found: Vinyl Tap website, received May 29, 2009
Cost: 7 euro
Tracks: 'Masked moods' / 'Samba no pé'

Samson - Emly Starr

Emly Starr was born as Marie-Christine Mareel in Laarne, Belgium on September 5, 1957. Her music career started in 1976 with the single 'Tears of gold'. After five years, she represented Belgium during the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Samson'. The song finished in 13th place, in a field of 20 participants.

The song is inspired by the Biblical story of Samson, with Starr singing that the object of her desires is like Samson in that he is not interested in love. She suggests that he should 'find yourself a Delilah'. This single features the Dutch and English version of the track.

My collection: 7" single no. 3739
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, May 23, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Samson (Nederlandstalige versie)' / 'Samson (English version)'

Hou van mij - Het Goede Doel

'Hou van mij' ('Love me') was the sixth single by Het Goede Doel, released in April 1983. The single was notable for lasting for almost 6 minutes, making it another lengthy track in the tradition of the band's biggest hit 'Belgie', released just months earlier.

The single reached number 29 in the Dutch Top 40, the group's lowest chart placing since their singles started charting.

My collection: 7" single no. 3751
Found: Empire Records, Den Haag, May 27, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hou van mij' / 'Iets van gevoel'

Biscaya - James Last

Despite a career spanning many decades, German orchestra leader James Last never managed to crack the Dutch Top 40. His albums sold millions all over Europe including the Netherlands, but the singles were less successful here.

Until he released 'Biscaya'. This single became his one and only hit song, reaching number 5 in the summer of 1982. I didn't know much about James Last when I bought this single - it was merely one of the few singles that were available for 3 guilders in the shop where I used to spend my last money. I can never decide if this is a beautiful track or just plain cheesy.

My collection: 7" single no. 143
Found: Wouters, Den Haag, 1982
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Biscaya' / 'Verlorener Sommer'

Little Suzi's on the up - Ph.D.

The duo Ph.D. (Jim Diamond and Tony Hymas) followed up 'I won't let you down' within a few months, hoping to have similar success. They didn't: the single did not chart anywhere. The music video for this song was shown as the fifth video on MTV in America, on its first broadcasting day on August 1, 1981.

Subsequent singles were equally unsuccessful and when singer Jim Diamond contracted hepatitis, the band couldn't go on tour. This ultimately led to the group disbanding. Diamond would come back some time later as a solo artist.

My collection: 7" single no. 2139
Found: Grammofoonwinkel, Utrecht, August 2, 1994
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Little Suzi's on the up' / 'I'm gonna take you to the top'

Sweet bird of truth - The The

Released in 1987 as the first single from The The's second album for Epic Records, 'Sweet bird of truth' did not chart. Perhaps this was because the subject matter of the song was a bit 'heavy'. The band's key member Matt Johnson wrote the song about an airforce pilot who is apparently killing people above the Gulf of Arabia.

At the time of its release, Matt Johnson was actually the only remaining member of The The, using session musicians to create the music on the album 'Infected'. I actually have a cd-single of 'Sweet bird of truth' as well, one of those early cd-single releases.

My collection: 7" single no. 1343
Found: London, October 17, 1990
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Sweet bird of truth' / 'Sleeping juice'

Le blé en herbe / Pour un flirt - Michel Delpech

Michel Delpech was born on January 26, 1946 in the Paris suburb Courbevoie. He clocked up hit after hit in France during the Seventies. In the Netherlands, he only made the charts once. 'Pour un flirt' reached the Dutch Top 40 in the Summer of 1971 and reached number 3.

This French single contains 'Pour un flirt', but oddly enough it's on the B-side. The A-side contains the unknown - at least, unknown to me - song 'Le blé en herbe'. I got this single as a present. 'Pour un flirt' is one of those songs that belong in every collection - it's an evergreen.

My collection: 7" single no. 3759
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, May 28, 2009
Cost: -
Tracks: 'Le blé en herbe' / 'Pour un flirt'

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Obcene phone caller - Rockwell

'Obscene phone caller' was Rockwell's second single and an attempt to follow up the highly successful debut 'Somebody's watching me' with an equally successful song. Where 'Somebody's watching me' could be construed as a song about voyeurs, this time around Rockwell sang about a heavy breather on the phone.

The audiences were not impressed. In the USA, where according to this sleeve the single was a 'Top hit', it peaked at number 35. In German, where this single was made, it only made number 53 and in the UK it stalled at number 79. It soon became obvious that Rockwell had gained a status as a one hit wonder.

My collection: 7" single no. 2471
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 16, 1995
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Obscene phone caller' / 'Obscene phone caller (instrumental)'

Jij bent mijn leven - Anneke Grönloh

Anneke Grönloh is celebrating her 50th year as a performing artist this year. It seems amazing, because she only ever had one big hit in the Netherlands ('Brandend zand'). But there is one more standout moment in this woman's career, and that was representing the Netherlands during the 1964 Eurovision Song Contest.

'Jij bent mijn leven' is a song about a woman accepting the lies and deceit of her man because 'you are my life'. It's obvious that there was no trace of emancipation back then. The song reached 10th place in the Contest and was only a minor hit in the Dutch chart, reaching number 30.

My collection: 7" single no. 3752
Found: Empire Records, Den Haag, May 27, 2009
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Jij bent mijn leven' / 'Weer zingt de wind'

Long hot summer - The Style Council

The official title of this single is 'A Paris', a four track ep with 'Long hot summer' as the lead track. The Style Council had formed earlier on in 1983 and consisted of ex-The Jam frontman Paul Weller together with Mick Talbot, Steve White and Weller's then-wife, backing singer Dee C. Lee.

This single reached number 3 in the UK singles chart and remained the Style Council's biggest hit. In 1989 a new version of the track was released, but that one only made number 48.

My collection: 7" single no. 3756
Found: Empire Records, Den Haag, May 27, 2009
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Long hot summer', 'Party chambers' / 'The Paris Match', 'Le départ'

Remember the time - Michael Jackson

Once I set out to do something, I usually succeed. Not so long ago I decided that I wanted to have all of Michael Jackson's hit singles. It's ambitious, but right now, I don't need to fill in that many blanks anymore. This was one of them.

'Remember the time' was released as the second single from Jackson's 1991 album 'Dangerous'. It was accompanied by a groundbreaking music video, clocking it at nine minutes. Featuring Eddie Murphy, Iman and Magic Johnson and set in ancient Egypt, the video was almost more memorable than the song. The single was a number 1 hit in New Zealand and made the top 10 almost everywhere else.

My collection: 7" single no. 3755
Found: Empire Records, May 27, 2009
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Remember the time' / 'Come together'

Seven into the sea - In tua nua

In tua nua (roughly translated from Irish as 'A new tribe' formed in the early Eighties. Originally they set out to make early Roxy Music-style rock, but soon started to fuse this with traditional Irish music, with uillean pipes and acoustic guitars.

Some personnel changes resulted in 1986 in the following line-up: Leslie Dowdall, Martin Clancy, Ivan O'Shea, Jack Dublin, Paul Byrne, Aingeala de Burca and Brian O'Briain. This line-up recorded the album 'Vaudeville' and their most famous recording, 'Seven into the sea'. In the Netherlands, this single peaked at number 24.

My collection: 7" single no. 3757
Found: Empire Records, May 27, 2009
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Seven into the sea' / 'Balled of Irish love'

Koud hè - The V-boys

Henk Spaan and Harry Vermeegen have both become very irritating TV personalities, obsessed with sports programmes. But two decades ago they were actually funny at times. As Verona, named after the TV programme they made at the time, they released the song 'Geluk' in 1986, and while they were still making the TV programme Verona, they released this single a year later under a new pseudonym, the V-boys.

'Koud hè' ('Cold, isn't it?') evolved from an unfortunate interview outside a building where Spaan and Vermeegen were waiting to question Dutch celebrities. Due to the weather, Vermeegen could only utter 'Koud hè?' to one of them. In the end, this was all the duo asked anyone. This single made number 17 in the Dutch Top 40 in the winter of 1987/88.

My collection: 7" single no. 3750
Found: Empire Records, May 27, 2009
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Koud hè' / 'Dat is lachen, dat is leuk'

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Jij en ik - Bill van Dijk

Willem Edsger van Dijk was born in Rotterdam on December 22, 1947. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. After graduation he acted in various musicals in the Netherlands, where the genre was still in its infancy. Next to his acting he also made a name for himself in music: performing live with the Skymasters and the Metropole Orkest for radio and television in the Seventies and Eighties.

In 1982 he represented the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Jij en ik' ('You and me'). It was not a successful performance: he ended up in 16th place out of 18 participants. As a result, the single did not reach the charts in the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 3743
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, May 23, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Jij en ik' / 'Leven is'

Crucify - Tori Amos

Released as the fifth single from her debut album 'Little earthquakes', 'Crucify' was the most successful one, being the first Tori Amos single to reach the charts in Canada, France and Ireland. It was also Tori's biggest hit in the UK up to that point, peaking at number 15.

Accompanied by a provocative music video and a strange sleeve, Tori started to make a name for herself as a quirky songwriter, often nicknamed 'Kate Bush's loony stepsister'. I guess there's some truth to that.

My collection: 7" single no. 1658
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, May 30, 1992
Cost: 6,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Crucify' / 'Here in my head'

In the clouds - All about Eve

'In the clouds' was originally released as an 'indie' 12" single in 1986, as the follow-up to All about Eve's debut 12" single 'D for desire'. When the band signed to a major label in 1987, 'In the clouds' was one of the few songs to survive from those early years and make it onto the self-titled debut album. Subsequently, the track was again released as a single.

This time, 'In the clouds' rose to number 47 in the UK singles chart and became the band's biggest hit up to that point. The three subsequent singles, all taken from the debut album, would each do better than the one before, and All about Eve quickly became a popular band in the UK.

Part of the success can be attributed to the plethora of limited editions that came with every release. This 7" single, for instance, was also released in a limited edition box set including a small poster. I was lucky enough to find a copy, number 1491 out of a limited edition of... well, I don't know. The 12" singles were also released in box sets, and then there were 10" singles, and later on, picture discs, cd-singles... the real All about Eve fan had a big job to do.

My collection: 7" single no. 1771
Found: October 21, 1992
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'In the clouds' / 'She moved through the fair'

Girlfriend - Pebbles

Perri Nixon was born on August 29, 1964. When she was 10 years old, her godfather nicknamed her after Fred and Wilma Flintstone's daughter. From an early age, she entered talent shows and studied opera and classical ballet. In highschool her focus shifted to singing.

In 1988 she released her debut album 'Pebbles', which included the hit single 'Girlfriend'. Produced by L.A. Reid and Babyface, the single reached number 5 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 8 in the UK singles chart. In the Netherlands, the single got to number 21. The song was not unlike Janet Jackson's hit singles at that time, a funky dance sound that was so popular in the second half of the Eighties.

My collection: 7" single no. 2754
Found: House of Rhythm, London, October 29, 1996
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Girlfriend' / 'Girlfriend (instrumental)'

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