Saturday, 30 September 2017

Machinery - Propaganda

I can conclude my trilogy of Propaganda 12" singles today with this one, 'Machinery' from 1985. At the time of release I felt that this song was less strong and impressive than Duel, but three decades later it proves to have stood the test of time well. I'm incredibly fond of the Eighties 12" singles by ZTT anyway, because they were always so full of interesting extended remixes that were truly extended.

In this case, two versions of 'Machinery' are presented, and the 'Polish' version actually almost hits 10 minutes. You are probably tempted to disregard the B-side 'Frozen faces', but don't. It's a very interesting track.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Den Haag, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Machinery (Polish)' / 'Machinery (Passive)', 'Frozen faces'

Is there something I should know? - Duran Duran

The trick of Record Store Day for record companies is to get people to buy stuff they already have another time. Many different strategies are followed: exclusive tracks, posters, different formats, and of course... coloured vinyl.

In the case of 'Is there something I should know' by Duran Duran, which I already owned as a single, the coloured vinyl route was used in 2013. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of this song, EMI released this single on thick blue vinyl. I doubted for a little while but in the end I couldn't resist this one.

My collection: 7" single no. 5859
Found: Record Bag, Vienna, September 25, 2017
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'Is there something I should know' / 'Faith in this colour'

All I want - Howard Jones

This single is an interesting one: a limited edition featuring a second disc, containing an interview with Howard Jones conducted by Paul Gambaccini. The other single of All I want that I have featured a booklet gatefold sleeve, so that was already a limited edition, and this one seems to be another one.

As far as I can tell, there's even another version of this single, featuring both discs and a gatefold sleeve. That one was released for promotional purposes only. The release of Howard Jones' 1986 singles was a feast of limited editions.

My collection: 7" single no. 1036a
Found:, received September 2017
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'All I want' / 'Roll right up' // 'Howard Jones interviewed by Paul Gambaccini (part 1)' / 'Howard Jones interviewed by Paul Gambaccini (part 2)'

Live it up - Time Bandits

It's not often that you find a shrink-wrapped 12" single from America from 35 years ago. But my recent order from Denmark gave me just this: a pristine copy of Time Bandits' debut single 'Live it up', remixed for the American market.

As mentioned before,  there were two different 12" singles. This one was released in 1982, whereas the other one was the original release in Europe in 1981. In the mean time, the remix became longer and better.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found:, received 16 August 2017
Cost: $3
Tracks: Live it up (remix) / Juvenile acquiantance

Friday, 29 September 2017

Questo amore - Ricchi e Poveri

'Questo amore' ('This love') was the Italian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1978, performed by Ricchi e Poveri, at the time a quartet consisting of Franco Gatti, Angela Brambati, Angelo Sotgiu and Marina Occhiena. At the close of voting, the song received 53 points, placing 12th in a field of 20 competitors.

I bought this single in one of the strangest record shops I've had the pleasure to visit in Vienna this week. All of the singles cost more than 3 euros (most of them more than 5 euros) and the owners of the shop seemed more interested in their dog than they were in selling. I waited some time before I could pay, then left quickly. I'm not so fond of dogs.

My collection: 7" single no. 5864
Found: Sing Sing Records, Vienna, September 27, 2017
Cost: 3,5 euro
Tracks: 'Questo amore' / 'Anima'

Keeping the love alive - Air Supply

The band Air Supply rarely disappoint, if you like their music. It is almost formulaic but always melodious and catchy. They formed in Australia in 1975 and have included various accompanying musicians and singers.

'Keeping the love alive' was one of the band's lesser known singles, although it was released in Japan and achieved a top 10 status over there.

My collection: 7" single no. 5862
Found: Teuchtler records, Vienna, September 25, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Keeping the love alive' / 'Don't turn me away'

Do I have to - Inga Humpe

Inga Humpe (born January 13, 1956 in Hagen) is a German singer, composer and lyricist. With bands like Neonbabies, DÖF and Humpe & Humpe, she is one of the best-known musicians of the New Deutsche Welle. She is the younger sister of Annette Humpe.

Her solo career started in 1989 with the single 'Something Stupid'. A year later, she released this single, a cover of a Pet Shop Boys B-side. The single was taken from her only solo album 'Planet Oz', also released in 1990. These days she is active as a member of the band 2raumwohnung, together with Tommi Eckart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5866
Found: Moses Records, September 27, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Do I have to' / 'Falling (forward)'

Sold gold easy action - T Rex

'Solid Gold Easy Action' was released as a single in 1972 and reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart. While the song's musical style lies rooted in the Rock and roll of the 1950s, its lyrics are surrealistic and a typical example of Bolan's nonsense poetry. This song, like many of Bolan's hit singles, uses words such as "satisfaction" and "action". Combined with the rhythm and fast guitar strumming pattern on the song, Bolan creates an image of teenage sexual frustration.

Kerrang! magazine founder Geoff Barton, wrote in an article for Classic Rock magazine that the first two lines of the song, "Life is the same and it always will be / Easy as picking foxes from a tree", appeared to predict Marc Bolan's own death in 1977. The license plate of the car Bolan was in during the fatal collision with a tree was FOX 661L. This is one of many supposed 'prophesies' surrounding Marc Bolan's death.

My collection: 7" single no. 5863
Found: Teuchtler, Vienna, 25 September 2017
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Solid gold easy action' / 'Born to boogie'

In the heat of a passionate moment - Princess

Sometimes buying records involves a little luck as well as knowledge. I didn't recognise the sleeve of this single, a Princess release from 1986. But when I looked at my collection, of course, I already had a single called In the heat of a passionate moment. That one was the German release, featuring a remixed version of the single.

But this is the original single! And it doesn't contain the remix, but the original version. It sounds very much like a Stock/Aitken/Waterman production, like all of their output circa 1986. And a worthy addition to my singles collection.

My collection: 7" single no. 5865
Found: Moses Records, Vienna, September 27, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'In the heat of a passionate moment' / 'In the heat of a passionate moment (Garage mix)'

Working with fire and steel - China Crisis

Sometimes I like to upgrade my collection. Through the years I have bought many singles from Europe, whereas everyone knows that the UK pressings are much prettier. When I came across this mint copy of 'Working with fire and steel' by China Crisis, I thought it would be a much better one than the one I had.

When I came home, I found out that I didn't have this single at all! It's one of those omissions that you never really notice until you go search for it. Glad to have bought this single, then.

My collection: 7" single no. 5867
Found: Moses Records, Vienna, September 27, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Working with fire and steel' / 'Dockland', 'Forever I and I'

Love today - Mika

I don't know if anyone even remembers Mika these days. He was very popular when he released his debut album ten years ago, but I don't hear his name anymore. That's not to say that he stopped making music: his recent album 'No place in heaven' (2015) was pretty good, though perhaps not as good as 'The origin of love' (2012).

Anyway, I never bought the 7" singles from his debut album because they were only available for ridiculous prices. I was lucky enough to pick up the single Grace Kelly for just 2,5 euro seven years ago, and again this time, 'Love today' was there for me for just three euros. I wonder if, in time, I can find the other singles this cheap as well.

My collection: 7" single no. 5861
Found: Record Bag, Vienna
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Love today' / 'Stuck in the middle (acoustic)'

Turks Fruit - Rogier van Otterloo

It is kindof strange that as a Dutchman you need to go to Austria to find a single that was made by Dutch people and released mainly (but I guess not exclusively) for the Dutch version of Record Store Day. But here we are.

'Turks Fruit' is still the most popular movie ever made in the Netherlands, and not only for its scenes of gratuitous sex (although that helped, obviously). The music was also integral to the success of the movie. This single, pressed on clear red vinyl, features the two main themes of the movie. Central to the theme on the B-side is the harmonica played by Toots Thielemans, who passed away earlier this year. The music was originally released in 1973, whereas this single was released in 2016.

My collection: 7" single no. 5860
Found: Record Bag, Vienna
Cost: 12,90 euro
Tracks: 'Turks Fruit' / 'Dat Mistige Rooie Beest'

Take on me - A-ha

Ah... Record Store Day. The annual feast during which record companies release expensive products that are snapped up by people who actually have record stores in their neighbourhood - if the products they want are actually stocked by those stores.

The picture disc of 'Take on me' by A-ha eluded me until now, because Den Haag no longer has decent record shops anymore. I actually saw a copy in a store once but they asked 40 euros for it. 40 euros! I mean, seriously? Online these things cost less than half that - but the added postage makes it more expensive again. Which is why I was happy to find this copy during my trip to Vienna earlier this week. Sure, I still paid too much for it, but a chance like this never comes up again, I am sure. The single is special because of the picture disc, and the B-side, which is a live version from Dermot O'Leary's Saturday Sessions on BBC Radio 2 on 25 July 2009.

My collection: 7" single no. 5858
Found: Record Bag, Vienna
Cost: 19,90 euro
Tracks: 'Take on me' / 'Take on me (live)'

Listen to the song

Bad Boy - Freddie Starr

Marty Wilde's 'Bad Boy' has been covered a good many times, and some versions are more rare than others. I couldn't find Freddie Starr's version online, so there was nothing I could do except buy the single. These days you can buy singles online so easily, it only depends what you're prepared to pay for them. I try to be as selective as I can.

Freddie Starr, born 9 January 1943, was an English comedian who was previously the lead singer of the Merseybeat pop group the Midnighters. He released several solo albums during the 1970's and 1980's. 'Bad boy' was released in 1975, but it wasn't a hit. After the death of sex offender Jimmy Saville, Starr became one of the suspects but the Crown Prosecution Office decided not to bring charges on the grounds of 'insufficient evidence'. He lost a subsequent court case against his accuser, causing him to flee to an apartment in Spain.

My collection: 7" single no. 5857
Found:, received 21 September 2017.
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Bad boy' / 'Only sixteen'

Listen to the song
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