Friday, 30 December 2011

We'll be together - Sandra

The last record I'm describing this year is also the last 12" single by Sandra I have to describe. After 'We'll be together' a few more 12" singles were released, but as they were also available on cd-single with the same content, I preferred buying those for some reason.

'We'll be together' was released in 1989, almost a year after the release of the album 'Into a secret land', and so got the 'trendy' label "'89 remix". The extended and dub versions certainly add some punch to the pop song. It's a lovely sentiment to end the year with... We'll be together!

My collection: 12" single no. 612
Found: Fun Records, Berlin, 2002
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'We'll be together (extended version)' / 'We'll be together (dub version)', 'We'll be together (single version)'

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Live-in world - Anti-Heroin Project

Fish, Nik Kershaw, Cliff Richard, Dave Stewart, Holly Johnson, Robin Gibb, Kim Wilde and many others contributed their voices and music to the Anti-Heroin Project in 1986. It was one of many charity projects in music that took place in the mid-Eighties, following the lead of Band Aid and Live Aid.

The single 'Live-in world' was lifted from a double album that contained tracks from various artists. This was the track that contained vocals from over fifty artists on a new song written by Charley Foskett. The Anti-Heroin Project was not very successful: neither the single nor the album charted. This 12" single adds two tracks to the two included on the 7" single release: one by Lenny Henry and one by Ringo Starr.

My collection: 12" single no. 392
Found: Record fair, 2000
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'Live-in world' (Anti-Heroin Project), 'On the street' (Lenny Henry) / 'Something better' (Anti-Heroin Project), 'You know it makes sense' (Ringo Starr)

Monday, 26 December 2011

Montuno - Gloria Estefan

'Montuno' was the fourth single released by Gloria Estefan on her first Spanish album 'Mi Tierra'. It was released only in the UK, while 'Tradición' was released in the United States and 'Si Señor!...' in selected European countries.

A limited edition 7" single was released, featuring two B-sides: the single remix of 'Go away', taken from her 'Greatest hits' album, and the then-unreleased 'This Christmas', which was a track from her album 'Christmas through your eyes'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5254
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 19, 2011
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Montuno' / 'This Christmas', 'Go away (single remix)'

Rockin' around the Christmas tree - Mel & Kim

Mel Smith and Kim Wilde were asked to record a song for Comic Relief, to be released just in time for Christmas 1987. At the time, Mel and Kim Appleby were storming the charts as Mel & Kim, so this 'Mel & Kim' release was quite an original invention.

The 12" single features extra comedy dialogues by Mel Smith and Griff Rhys-Jones, who were wellknown for their comedy TV series 'Alas Smith & Jones'. Kim Wilde still sings 'Rockin' around the Christmas tree' live whenever an appropriate occasion comes up, such as this month's Quofestive tour together with Roy Wood and Status Quo.

My collection: 12" single no. 61
Found: LP Top 100, Den Haag, 1987
Cost: 15 guilders
Tracks: 'Rockin' around the Christmas tree (The Mega Merry Magimix)' / 'Deck the blooming halls' (The Mel Smith Yuletide Choir)

Experiment IV - Kate Bush

Kate Bush released 'Experiment IV' in October 1986 as a single from the compilation album 'The whole story'. The song tells a story about a secret military plan to create a sound that is horrific enough to kill people. The ending of the story is unclear, but in the music video nearly every person working on the project is killed by the horrific sound, which is personified by Bush herself as she changed from an angelic woman into a banshee (a horrifying screaming apparition of Irish lore).

The 12" single features an extended mix which highlights the violin solos by Nigel Kennedy even more than in the single version. An extra bonus is the track 'December will be magic again' on the B-side, which gives this disc some relevance for Christmas.

My collection: 12" single no. 37
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, 1986
Cost: 15 guilders
Tracks: 'Experiment IV (12" mix)' / 'Wuthering heights (new vocal)', 'December will be magic again'

Cheers then - Bananarama

'Cheers then' appears on Bananarama's 1983 debut album 'Deep sea skiving' and was released as its third single. The song was the first Bananarama single to be written by group members Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward and also their first ballad release.

The 12" single remix has a decidedly seasonal flavour to it, with added jingle bells. The song was originally recorded in January 1982, but the single was released in December of that year.

My collection: 12" single no. 611
Found: Plaatboef, Den Haag, December 5, 2011
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Cheers then (extended version)' / 'Girl about town (extended version)'

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas darling - The Carpenters

The voice of Karen Carpenter is almost universally lauded as one of the loveliest ever recorded. No wonder, then, that the Carpenters tried their hand at a Christmas recording. 'Merry Christmas darling' was originally recorded in 1970. The single reached number 45 in the UK singles chart.

In 1978, The Carpenters issued their 'Christmas Portrait' album, which contained a new remix of 'Merry Christmas Darling'. The original 1970 mix continued to be used for all single releases, however. The major difference between it and the 1978 version is a newly recorded vocal by Karen Carpenter on the latter. Richard Carpenter himself calls the original recording one of his sister's very best.

My collection: 7" single no. 5008
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, January 29, 2011
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Merry Christmas darling' / 'Ticket to ride', 'Saturday'

Christmas through your eyes - Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan was very popular in the second half of the Eighties, but it seemed she lost her touch in the Nineties somehow. She remained popular for her solid fanbase, of course, but the rest of the world didn't seem to care as much anymore.

Maybe her music became too predictable. Even 'Christmas through your eyes', released in 1992 in time for the Christmas season, never became a seasonal classic, which for most artists is very easy once they have become a household name. The song is nice enough, but the Megamix on the B-side is a nice treat, too.

My collection: 7" single no. 4996
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, January 15, 2011
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Christmas through your eyes' / 'Megamix'

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Saturday night - The Blue Nile

I bought this 12" single of 'Saturday night' a few years after its release. When I spotted it, I wasn't entirely sure whether a cd-single of this release also existed - and so I snapped it up. Of course, a few years later I would find the cd-single with exactly the same track listing. Still, it is nice to showcase this disc here - and on a Saturday too.

On the B-side an instrumental piece called 'Our lives' appears, divided in three parts, entited 'Lost', 'Bolivia' and 'New York'.

My collection: 12" single no. 209
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 1994
Cost: 50p
Tracks: 'Saturday night (edit)', 'Saturday night (album version)' / 'Our lives'

Friday, 23 December 2011

The big sky - Kate Bush

The last release from Kate Bush's milestone album 'Hounds of love' was 'The big sky'. The track was remixed for the single release and the 12" single featured an extended remix of the track plus a previously unreleased B-side called 'Not this time', a euphoric singalong track that remains quite rare in Kate's musical output.

I remember having a hard time deciding to buy this disc. Of course I was very much into Kate Bush but the constant flow of singles meant a drain on my pocket money. In the end, I bought this disc a few months after its release - just before it became unavailable in fact.

My collection: 12" single no. 31
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, 1986
Cost: 15 guilders
Tracks: 'The big sky (Metereological mix)' / 'Not this time', 'The morning fog'

I'm not scared - Eighth wonder

The Pet Shop Boys produced 'I'm not scared' for Eighth Wonder, the group with frontwoman Patsy Kensit. She appeared in the BBC programme 'Saturday kitchen' earlier this month, with some people commenting that she looked like she'd had some cosmetic surgery done. Shame, because she always looked so great in the past and cosmetic surgery rarely does anything to enhance looks. Just ask Pete Burns.

The single 'I'm not scared' was produced by the Pet Shop Boys and Phil Harding. This 12" single features an extended 'disco mix'. I looked for the cd-single for ages, but it's very hard to find a copy for a reasonable price. So in the mean time, this disc will have to do.

My collection: 12" single no. 433
Found: House of Rhythm, London, 2003
Cost: 1,4 pounds
Tracks: 'I'm not scared (disco mix)' / 'I'm not scared', 'J'ai pas peur'

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Secret land - Sandra

Personally I consider 'Secret land' to be one of Sandra's best ever tracks. The 12" single was particularly interesting for its inclusion of both an extended remix (called the 'reverse mix') and a dub version. The melody of the track and the rhythms are engaging enough to keep the listener interested throughout the length of the entire disc.

'Secret land' was taken from Sandra's third album, which again I consider to be her best. After this album, her music became increasingly 'Enigma'-ish, and less pop.

My collection: 12" single no. 204
Found: Marik, Vienna, July 1994
Cost: 99 Schilling
Tracks: 'Secret land (Reverse mix)' / 'Secret land (single version)', 'Secret land (dub mix)'

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Hounds of love - Kate Bush

The third single from Kate Bush's classic album 'Hounds of love' (1985) was the title track. Released in February 1986, the single came with an unreleased B-side: the near-acapella 'The handsome cabin boy'.

The 12" single featured an alternative version of 'Hounds of love', apparently created by Kate in the autumn of 1985. With less lyrics and a different backing track, it was a real treat for fans who had been waiting for the album for three years. It seemed an eternity back then, but later in life fans would learn that Kate wouldn't always be as prolific as she's been in 1978 or 2011.

My collection: 12" single no. 25
Found: Free Record Shop, 1986
Cost: 15 guilders
Tracks: 'Alternative Hounds of love' / 'Jig of life', 'The handsome cabin boy'

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Love pains - Liza Minelli

After the American and European 12" single of Liza Minelli's 'Love pains', I should probably confess that I have the UK 12" single as well. It's the least interesting of the three, since all tracks can be found on the other two, but the truth is, the sleeve is so different from the other two even my photographic memory didn't help much when I thought of whether I had this one or not.

Or at least, that's how I remember it. But in fact, this was the first one I bought, so the other two discs were improvements on this one.

My collection: 12" single no. 186
Found: Record Exchange, London, 1993
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Love pains (Steve 'Silk' Hurley's remix)' / 'Love pains (Deep dub)', 'Rent'

Cloudbusting - Kate Bush

The American 12" single of Kate Bush's 'Cloudbusting' was released a year after the European one. EMI had just released 'The whole story', a compilation album of Kate's biggest hits between 1978 and 1985, and used this album as a vehicle to promote her music Stateside.

'Cloudbusting' appears on this disc as the 'Meteorological mix', which is actually a mislabeling: it is the 'Organon remix', whereas the single 'The big sky' was released in Europe in a 'Meteorological mix' a few months before this disc. A cd-single of 'Cloudbusting' was also released in the USA - and I'm still looking for a copy...

My collection: 12" single no. 15 (2)
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, 1986
Cost: 15 guilders
Tracks: 'Cloudbusting (Meteorological mix) [= The Organon remix]' / 'The man with the child in his eyes', 'Sat in your lap'

Heaven can wait - Sandra

Sandra released 'Heaven can wait' as the first single from her third studio album 'Into a secret land'. Sandra had just gotten married to her producer Michael Cretu and they had moved to Ibiza. The album would showcase a more open sound, and stronger melodies than in the two previous albums.

The 12" single contained three versions of the song, all of them quite similar to the album version that appeared shortly afterwards.

My collection: 12" single no. 203
Found: Marik, Vienna, July 1993
Cost: 99 Schilling
Tracks: 'Heaven can wait (extended version)' / 'Heaven can wait (dub mix)', 'Heaven can wait (single version)'

Bon Anniversaire - Guesch Patti & Encore

'Bon anniversaire' was released as the fourth and final single from Guesch Patti's 1988 album 'Labyrinthe'. The single failed to chart, although the song was a good single choice in my humble opinion.

This 12" single features a remix version of the track, which is 90 seconds longer than the original version.

My collection: 12" single no. 458
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 22, 2008
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Bon anniversaire (version remix)' / 'Bon anniversaire', 'Backstage d'une star'

Here it comes again - Black

'Here it comes again' was the second single from Black's third album, released in 1991. I never bought the 12" single because at the time the cd-single was becoming the dominating format and I didn't particularly want to spend money buying the same music twice. Of course, recently I realised that it's silly to have a complete Black collection bar a handful of 12" singles.

This disc features an alternative version of Black's biggest hit 'Wonderful life' plus two B-side tracks: a new song called 'Every waking hour' plus 'Shades', a cover of the Iggy Pop track, written by Iggy Pop and David Bowie. With Black's beautiful voice, I reckon it's better than the original...

My collection: 12" single no. 590
Found:, received October 8, 2011
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Here it comes again', 'Every waking hour' / 'Shades', 'Wonderful life (Chritsmas '88 recording)'

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Ghost of love - Fiction Factory

Readers of this blog have been able to follow the course of my Fiction Factory collection over the years. I had the 12" single of '(Feels like) heaven' for a long time, then I bought the 7" single of 'Ghost of love' in April 2009, a year later I found the 7" single of '(Feels like) heaven' and now I finally have the 12" single of 'Ghost of love' as well.

This disc features a nice extended version of the title track as well as two B-sides. It's made in the best Eighties traditions: big drums, clear melodies and a remarkable vocal. The band released four more singles plus two albums, so it looks like there's some more collecting to do in future years. At this rate, it should take me about two decades.

My collection: 12" single no. 610
Found: Plaatboef, Den Haag, December 5, 2011
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Ghost of love (extended)' / 'The other side of grey', 'Old game blue flame'

Only happy when it rains - Garbage

'Only happy when it rains' was written, recorded and produced by Garbage at their own recording studio in Madison, Wisconsin. The song was released as the third single from the band's debut album 'Garbage'. Shirley Manson explained that the song was 'a dig at ourselves because we like records that don't make us feel very happy, and at this so-called 'alternative' scene of 'we're so weird and more wonderful than everybody else'.'

Continuing their theme of collectible 7" vinyl releases, which had seen 'Vow' packaged in an aluminium sleeve and 'Subhuman' in black rubber, Mushroom packaged the 7" format for "Only Happy When It Rains" in a "Prismaboard" (rain-effect) die-cut card sleeve, with a hologram logo sticker on the inner jacket. The B-side was pressed with a double groove, so that either 'Girl don't come' or 'Sleep' played, depending on where the stylus landed; the songs were shorter on the vinyl than they were on the CD or cassette formats to accommodate both on one side of the disc. This pressing was limited to 5,000 copies.

My collection: 7" single no. 5268
Found:, received December 6, 2011
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Only happy when it rains' / 'Girl don't come', 'Sleep'

Walking wounded - Everything but the girl

'Walking wounded' was released as the first single from Everything but the Girl's ninth studio album of the same name, their first album to showcase a more electronic and dance style, after the success of the remixed version of their song 'Missing' from the previous album 'Amplified heart'. The single reached number 6 in the UK singles chart and number 29 in the Irish chart.

I didn't know this song was released as a 7" single until I did a little research on EBTG 7" releases recently. Fortunately, a copy was available online so I ordered it right away.

My collection: 7" single no. 5267
Found:, received December 6, 2011
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Walking wounded (Main vocal mix edit)' / 'Walking wounded (Hard vocal mix)'

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Heart of glass - Blondie

Blondie's 'Heart of glass' was released in January 1979. Almost immediately after its release, it became the subject of controversy because of its disco sound. At the time, Blondie was one of the bands at the forefront of New York's growing New Wave music scene and were accused of "selling out" for releasing a disco song. The band itself has jokingly taken to referring to the song as "The Disco Song" in interviews.

This 12" single features an instrumental version of the song as well as an extended remix. The song 'Rifle range' was originally released in 1976 on Blondie's debut album.

My collection: 12" single no. 182
Found: Record exchange, London, October 1993
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Heart of glass (extended)' / 'Heart of glass (instrumental)', 'Rifle range'

Flowers in our hair - All about Eve

I got to know All about Eve thanks to a TV special on a satellite channel. On that occasion I saw short clips of 'Every angel', 'Martha's harbour' and 'Flowers in our hair'. I hadn't had much of a chance to find out more about them, but within weeks I spotted this 12" single in a discount record store. A once in a lifetime chance, as I found out later. At least, this 12" single became quite expensive in later years, although the price seems to have dropped in recent years.

Besides an extended version of the title track, this disc features a cover version of the Cliff Richard track 'Devil woman'. Cliff Richard? Well it's hard to imagine him singing this lyric I have to say, but he did.

My collection: 12" single no. 77
Found: Haags Modehuis, Den Haag, 1989
Cost: 2,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Flowers in our hair (extended)' / 'Devil woman', 'Paradise'

Rise to the occasion - Climie Fisher

Although most people are familiar with the unattractive 'Hip hop mix' of Climie Fisher's 'Rise to the occasion', originally it was actually a very nice song. One should consider that remix as a misguided attempt to attract a new audience for the pop duo, as if regular pop audiences aren't worthwhile.

This 12" single features an extended remix of the original version, still free from the random mumblings of someone hailing from one 'hood' or another.

My collection: 12" single no. 370
Found: Plaatboef, Rotterdam, 2000
Cost: 2,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Rise to the occasion (extended mix)' / 'Rise to the occasion', 'Mental block'

Never let me down - David Bowie

'Never let me down' was released as the third single from David Bowie's album of the same name in the summer of 1987. The song is about Bowie's long-time personal assistant, Coco Schwab. Bowie described their relationship, saying 'It's platonic. But there is a romance in it, I guess, inasmuch as it's hard for two people to feel totally at ease in each other's company for that period of time and not expect too much from each other. Always being prepared to be there if the other one needs someone, you know? There's not many people you find in life that you can do that with, or feel that way with.'

This 12" single features an extended remix of the track, as well as a dub and acapella version.

My collection: 12" single no. 352
Found: Record fair, 1999
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'Never let me down (extended dance remix)' / ''87 and cry', 'Never let me down (dub)', 'Never let me down (acapella)'

Genetic engineering - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

This 12" single features the so-called '312 mm version' of 'Genetic engineering', a single released by the band as the first single from their fourth album 'Dazzle ships'. The single was a commercial disappointment for the band, as it peaked at number 20 in the UK singles chart, thus ending a run of four consecutive Top 10 hits in the UK.

This remix clocks in at 5'18 minutes and as such adds 90 seconds to the original version of the song. It mostly consists of added instrumental passages.

My collection: 12" single no. 287
Found: Record exchange, London, 1996
Cost: 50p
Tracks: 'Genetic engineering (312 mm version)' / '4 Neu'

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...