Showing posts with label Eighties. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eighties. Show all posts

Saturday, 14 September 2019

West end girls '86 - Pet Shop Boys

The Pet Shop Boys became famous with their 1985 single 'West end girls', but the song was actually recorded before the version that made them famous. That version was produced by Bobby Orlando, and released in 1984. And of course I have that single, I bought it back in 1986.

But this single is a different beast: while the Pet Shop Boys were riding high in the charts with their first handful of singles and their debut album, ZYX Records decided to release a 'remix' of the original version of 'West end girls'. The track was remixed by Tess at Hurricane Studio Munich, and that probably tells you all you need to know. It's the sound of a record company trying to make money off a product that probably shouldn't have been made at all. Although I have to say that I do like this version.... actually.

My collection: 7" single no. 6161
Found: Ebay.com, received September 13, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'West end girls (remix '86)' / 'Theme for the Pet Shop Boys'

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Malaika - Anicken Loken

Anicken Loken released this single - and only this single - in 1989. There is no information about her anywhere on the internet, although back in February 2018 I wrote a little piece about this single on one of my other websites. But back then I didn't have the single myself - and now I do.

The single features two tracks: a version of the African traditional 'Malaika', and a cover version of the debut single by Ricky Wilde, 'I am an astronaut'. The original lyric by Marty Wilde was translated into Norwegian by Elvind Torp. And there you have it: it's very hard to find this Wilde-related single, but when it's Wilde-related, I gotta have it.

My collection: 7" single 6160
Found: Discogs.com, received August 22, 2019
Tracks: 'Malaika' / 'Jeg er en astronaut'

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Profoundly in love with Pandora - Ian Dury

Ian Dury wrote and performed the song 'Profoundly in love with Pandora' for the television series 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾', based on the book of the same name by Sue Townsend. I remember I was a bit shocked at the time,because I knew Dury from slightly controversial songs like 'Spasticus Autisticus' and 'Sex & drugs & rock & roll', and this was almost a 'normal' pop song.

I'd almost forgotten about this release over the years, but it recently popped up during an online shopping spree, and so I picked it up. Always nice to have some Ian Dury in your life, innit.

My collection: 7" single no. 6156
Found: Discogs.com, received August 9, 2019
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Profoundly in love with Pandora' / 'Eugenius (You're a genius)'

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Enjoy - Solid Gold Easy Amex featuring Red Box

This single comes with a promotional sticker on the front - as you can see - and a press release from EastWest Records. It explains a little about this release: "After enjoying an extended period of (expensive) bootlegged notoriety, this year's orbital theme-tune, "Enjoy" from Solid Gold Easy Amex featuring Red Box, is commercially released through East West Records on 21st May [1990]."

""Enjoy" in its original form is an old B-side from the outfit who scored top 10 hits in 1985 & 1986 with "Lean on me (Ah-Li-Ayo)" and "For America". The track's current notoriety began when DJ's like Paul Oakenfold unearthed the song and began playing it at orbital parties around the capital and elsewhere."

My collection: 7" single no. 6153
Found: Discogs.com, received August 9, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Enjoy (Paul Oakenfold future mix)' / 'Enjoy (Original Golden Lay)'

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Hélène - Julien Clerc

'Hélène' is the Eighties summer hit you may have missed if you weren't living in France or the Netherlands at the time. It was Julien Clerc's last hit in the Netherlands, peaking at number 5 in the Dutch Top 40 in the summer of 1987.

Clerc was best known for his Seventies hits 'Venise' and 'This melody' and this summery song with the mock-'Lion sleeps tonight' rhythm was a bit of a diversion in style for him. I didn't like the song very much back then, but these days it sounds fresh and much better than most music that is released these days...

My collection: 7" single no. 6145
Found: Gilbert Joseph, Paris, July 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hélène' / 'Avoir 15 ans'

Hijo de la luna (Dis-moi lune d'argent) - Mecano

When I saw this single, I had to look twice. Although the title 'Hijo de la luna' is featured prominently on the sleeve, the French subtitle is less so. And what did it mean - a French version of the song, or just a translation for the French who don't speak many languages other than French? It turned out to be the former, as made more obvious on the back of the sleeve, where lyrics for the French and Spanish versions appeared.

The Spanish band Mecano have always recorded their songs in multiple languages - and I have the single 'Une femme avec une femme' to prove it. That one was released in 1990, this one a year later - three years after 'Hijo de la luna' was recorded and one year after it was a hit in most of Europe.

My collection: 7" single no. 6144
Found: Gilbert Joseph, Paris, July 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hijo de la luna (Dis-moi lune d'argent)' / 'Hijo de la luna'

Friday, 19 July 2019

Living in Tooneland - Park Cafe

I bought the single 'Monsieur' four years ago, a rare Eurovision single from the act hailing from Luxembourg. I was quite surprised when I saw this single, featuring the English version of that song on the A-side. That version also appears on the B-side of 'Monsieur', but still... I was buying some Eurovision cd-singles from the same online seller so I didn't feel bad about adding this one to the stack.

The B-side 'Passion' comes from the band's 1989 album 'Goodtime boy'. That album also features 'Living in Tooneland', but not the Eurovision entry 'Monsieur'. That single remains the rarest of the two, then.

My collection: 7" single no. 6142
Found: Discogs.com, received July 19, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Living in Tooneland' / 'Passion'

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Popcorn '88 (The Woodstock remix) - T.I.C.

When I bought this single, I bought it together with this one, thinking that there had to be a difference between the two. And there is: this single features the 'Woodstock mix', which can also be found on this 12" single. The sleeve is slightly different, but most of all... the record company is different!

This single was released on the Arista label, a major label at the time, whereas the other one was released by the independent T.C. Records. There is no information about which single came first - just like there is no information about T.I.C., the act that created this version of 'Popcorn'. Well, at least I have both 7" singles, and that's what I wanted.

My collection: 7" single no. 6134
Found: Discogs.com, received July 5, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Popcorn '88 (The Woodstock remix)' / 'Talk about love'

Popcorn ('88 remix) - T.I.C.

When I bought and described the 12" single of T.I.C.'s 'Popcorn '88' almost two years ago, I stated that there were only ever two versions of their version of the Gershon Kingsley classic. But somehow I ended up buying two 7" singles of this track and I found out that I was wrong.

The 12" single features a 4'40 minute version of the '88 remix, whereas this single contains the '88 remix in an abridged 3'33 minute version. And that's great, because I really wanted to have this track on a 7" single - and to have a different edit is a nice bonus. But it gets a little weirder...

My collection: 7" single no. 6134
Found: Discogs.com, received July 5, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Popcorn ('88 remix)' / 'Talk about love'

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Ein Bisschen Frieden - Nicole

I dare say that no Eurovision Song Contest collection is complete without this maxi single. Although Nicole's 'Ein Bisschen Frieden' certainly isn't the best song ever to come from the Contest, it has become rather immortal, for instance because of the fact that the young girl spontaneously sang her winning song in several languages after securing the top spot in the Contest in 1982.

I already had Ein Bisschen Frieden, A little peace, La paix sur terre, Een beetje vrede, En smule fred and Un poco de paz on single, but this 12" single features a medley that strings all of them together - well, except the Danish version. But for all its polyglottal glory, the sleeve of this 12" single still spells the word 'Merci' wrong.

My collection: 12" single [unnamed]
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Ein Bisschen Frieden/A Little Peace/La paix sur terre/Een beetje vrede/Un poco de paz' / 'Thank you, merci, danke (German/English/French/Dutch version)'

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Will you still be there? - Howard Jones

Howard Jones' record company Elektra made the right call in the USA when they released this song as a single. 'Will you still be there?' is one of the best tracks on his 1987 album 'One to one', and the acoustic version of the song (included on the B-side here) adds some intimacy that some may find lacking in the electronically-driven original version.

Over here in Europe, three singles were taken from the album, with the record company favouring the intimate - and also intensely beautiful - 'Little bit of snow' being favoured over this track. I didn't know about the existence of this single, but I added it to my 'wantlist' on Discogs a few months ago. I'm glad I got to buy it finally from an American dealer who obviously took great care of his items - this single looks and sounds as if it was released last week instead of in 1987!

My collection: 7" single no. 6131
Found: Discogs.com, received June 26, 2019
Cost: $2
Tracks: 'Will you still be there?' / 'Will you still be there? (acoustic)'

Monday, 24 June 2019

I want to be a tree - Tim Pope

In the golden age of music television (circa 1983-1985), Sky Channel and Music Box reigned supreme and they had a way of showing great music videos from famous and less famous stars. The holy trinity of 'funny' music videos was Alexei Sayle's ''Ullo John, gotta new motor?', King Kurt's 'Mack the Knife' and Tim Pope's 'I want to be a tree'.

It took me some time to find the former two, but Tim Pope's single always remained elusive. And even when the internet made the acquisition of singles easier, this one remained very expensive and thus out of my reach. Prices have now come down a little, so finally after 35 years I can own this single. It was never a hit, but the famous music video director - who worked with The Cure amongst others - still has his own fan club, apparently. The demand for this single still outperforms the supply. And perhaps you have to see the video of this song to fully appreciate its weirdness.

My collection: 7" single no. 6128
Found: Discogs.com, received June 24, 2019
Cost: 8 euro
Tracks: 'I want to be a tree' / 'The double-crossing of two-faced Fred'

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Thunder & lightning - Risqué

Although the single 'Thunder & lightning' contains a 'special dance mix' on the B-side, it can not compare to the extended-version-fiesta that is contained on this 12" single. Both versions clock in on six minutes, adding two minutes to each side when compared to the 7" single.

There is something odd with the track listing: the A-side contains an extended version (or a special dance mix, if you will), whereas the B-side, which is advertised as a 'version spéciale danse', is an instrumental/dub mix. It doesn't really matter: this disc is a feast for the eighties-oriented senses.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Ebay, received June 22, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Thunder & lightning' / 'Thunder & lightning (Version spéciale danse)'

Friday, 21 June 2019

Mon coeur qui craque - Nathalie


The single 'My love won't let you down' was a translation of this original French version. Having had the English version for 25 years already, it was a pleasure to finally acquire this one. Like the other version, this single was produced by Peter Godwin. And, unusually for French songs, it does already contain a few lines in English.

My collection: 7" single no. 6126
Found: Discogs.com, received June 21, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Mon coeur qui craque' / 'Mon coeur qui craque (instrumental)'

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Nur noch Gefühl - Gary Lux

Collecting Eurovision Song Contest singles has become a little easier since buying online and worldwide has become more popular. Sites like Ebay and Discogs provide easy access to many singles that one would deem lost forever. But at the same time, some of those singles can become exceedingly expensive. Gary Lux's 'Nur noch Gefühl', for instance, commands a price of at least 20 euros.Which is why I was glad to find the Austrian version of Ebay in the shape of Willhaben. This is where I found this copy of the single for a fraction of the price.

'Nur noch Gefühl' was Austria's entry for the Contest in 1987. It wasn't a very successful entry: at the close of voting, it had received 8 points, placing twentieth in a field of 22 competitors. It must have been a disappointment: two years earlier, Gary's song 'Kinder dieser Welt' reached a respectable eighth place.

My collection: 7" single no. 6123
Found: Willhaben.at, received June 20, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Nur noch Gefühl' / 'Don't turn around'

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Gleðibankinn - Icy

In 1986, Iceland made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest. The song 'Gleðibankinn' was performed by the band Icy, consisting of Eiríkur Hauksson, Helga Möller and Pálmi Gunnarsson. During the national final, Gunnarsson performed the song alone, but Hauksson and Möller joined him before the official submission of the song.

The song, which is about the 'bank of fun' - happiness is stored in a bank, it can be withdrawn anytime one is feeling depressed - ended up in 16th place in a field of 20 competitors. For Hauksson this was not the end: in 1994 he joined Just 4 Fun, representing Norway with 'Mrs. Thompson'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6120
Found: Discogs.com, received June 11, 2019
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'Gleðibankinn' / 'Bank of fun'

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Cry - Godley & Creme

Picture discs can be very attractive when they are done well, and they are even more attractive when the sleeve is done even better. Such is the case with this picture disc of 'Cry' by Godley & Creme. You can not see it so well on this scan, but the transparent sleeve has five black squares and the disc contains the eight images that fit inbetween.

Of course I already had a copy of 'Cry', but I can never resist a good thing when I see it. And so, here's another copy of the single - but you'll have to agree that this one is a big improvement on the other one.

My collection: 7" single no. 4637 (2)
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Cry' / 'Love bombs'


Saturday, 8 June 2019

Love of the common people - Paul Young & The Family

Many people know Paul Young's 'Love of the common people' - just not in this particular version. It was the original single by Paul Young & The Family, released as his second solo single after 'Iron out the rough spots'. Just like that single, this one did not chart. It almost seemed like his solo career ended as soon as it had begun.

It was his cover version of 'Wherever I lay my hat' that subsequently saved his behind. But that is a story for another future entry in this blog...

My collection: 7" single no. 6116
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, June 1, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Love of the common people' / 'Tender trap'

Method of modern love - Daryl Hall & John Oates

Back in 1985, Daryl Hall and John Oates were regulars on pre-MTV music channels Sky Channel and Music Box. Their colourful music video for 'Method of modern love' appeared regularly - so much so that I got to hate the video and the track in time. Too much of a good thing and all that.

And so here we are in 2019 - and I am buying that single. What helps is that I haven't heard the song in three decades and that the pop music of today has become so much worse in the mean time. And then there's the added bonus of a second single in this package, presenting live versions of earlier hits 'I can't go for that' and 'Maneater'. Not bad at all!

My collection: 7" single no. 6115
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, June 1, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Method of modern love' / 'Bank on your love' // 'I can't go for that (No can do) (live version)' / 'Maneater (live version)'

Stuck on you - Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie is one of those artists that are loved by many and scorned by the rest. Especially his ballads are divisive: considered too mushy by some, and adored by many. 'Stuck on you' is one of those ballads. Taken from his multiplatinum album 'Can't slow down', this was the fourth single from that album. It reached number 3 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, number 12 in the UK singles chart and number 18 in the Dutch Top 40.


In 2003, 'Stuck on you' was covered by American band 3T. It was the first single from the band's second studio album 'Identity'. Released in summer 2003, it achieved success in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, where it was a top ten hit.

My collection: 7" single no. 6114
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, June 1, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Stuck on you' / 'Round and round'
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