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

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

When the lights go out - Naked Eyes


The single 'When the lights go out' was only released in Canada and the USA, and this copy is the promotional 7" single, made in the USA. Instead of the album track 'Low life' on the B-side, this single plays the same song on both sides, which is not unusual for promotional 7" singles. 

Naked Eyes had a very distinctive sound, made possible by the extraordinary producer Tony Mansfield, who had previously created those great New Musik singles and albums. I've been playing those albums a lot lately, and so it was no wonder that I went to search for related singles recently. Here I was thinking that I had all the Naked Eyes singles - but I didn't. 

It's an appropriate title to end this year with. Let's put out the lights on 2020, it's time to enter 2021. Hopefully it will be a better year for all of us.

My collection: 7" single no. 6340
Found: Discogs.com, received 30 December 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'When the lights go out' / 'When the lights go out'

Scarlet - All about Eve

The British band All about Eve has few equals. Born from the goth scene they managed to cross over to the mainstream with their first and second albums, only to triumph artistically if not commercially with their third and fourth album. 

'Scarlet' was the third single from their second album 'Scarlet and Other Stories', released near the end of the Eighties. The B-side features a live version of one of their earliest tracks, 'Our Summer'. This promotional 7" single features a slightly edited version of 'Scarlet', chopping off 20 seconds without doing the kind of damage some other single edits can do. Still, this edit does not appear anywhere else, which makes this single a bit of a rarity.

My collection: 7" single no. 6335
Found: Discogs.com, received 29 December 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Scarlet [edit]' / 'Our Summer (live)'

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Paperlate - Genesis


Part of a larger mail order - and I'm glad it escaped the UK before the borders were closed! - this single of Genesis was a steal at just a few pence. I vaguely recalled 'Paperlate' from back when it was in the charts in 1982, and I was quite surprised that it wasn't already in my collection. But these strange omissions turn up from time to time.

'Paperlate' was actually part of an EP that clocks in at over 15 minutes of music. They were part of a session for the album 'Abacab' but according to the blurb on the back of the sleeve they didn't fit on the album - remember when LP's forced artists to stick to a maximum of 45 minutes? 

My collection: 7" single no. 6333
Found: Discogs.com, received 23 December 2020
Cost: 50p
Tracks: 'Paperlate', 'You might recall' / 'Me and Virgil'

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Jennifer she said - Lloyd Cole & the Commotions

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions had an interesting but short career during the 1980's. Starting out with the album 'Rattlesnakes' (1984) and three successful singles, their second album 'Easy Pieces' (1985) did even better - at least, in the UK. When their third album 'Mainstream' did slightly worse, the album called it a day and Lloyd Cole went solo.

'Jennifer she said' was the band's penultimate single, and it was released in a rather impressive four panel fold out sleeve. As it turns out, it's also the penultimate single by the band that I shall buy - I only need 'Lost weekend' to complete the set. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6322
Found: Discogs.com, received August 22, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Jennifer she said' / 'Perfect blue'

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

There are more snakes than ladders - Captain Sensible

One of the problems of shopping online is that it's hard to find something new. You'll always use familiar keywords, and there isn't any way to browse through a certain stock without scrolling until you get a headache. 

The only way to inject a bit of originality is searching for producers - which is exactly what I did recently. As a fan of New Musik and Tony Mansfield I thought he would be the man to produce some interesting Eighties singles. And indeed I found this 'forgotten' (at least by me) single by Captain Sensible. The single managed to reach number 57 in the UK singles chart, but went by unnoticed over here in the Netherlands. What a shame, because it's a great song. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6321
Found: Discogs.com, received August 14, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'There are more snakes than ladders' / 'The 4 Marys Go Go Dance All Night At The Groovy Cellar'

Sunday, 16 August 2020

I'm in love with a German film star - The Passions

Some singles are on my wantlist, just waiting to pop up for a reasonable price. In the absence of record fairs - Lord knows when I will finally see a record dealer in the flesh again! - I scour the internet for singles, but there's a limit to what I can take. I won't buy a single for one or two euros, only to pay three to five times as much because of postage. And so this single only got to me in combination with another one. And since it's a Spanish copy, it comes with the beautiful title 'Estoy enamorada de una estrella Alemana de cine' (I don't know why the Spanish want to translate song titles, but they always do.)

The Passions were a British band, which formed in 1978 and broke up five years later. Their major chart hit, 'I'm in love with a German film star', was released as the band's fourth single on January 23, 1981. It was their only hit, peaking at number 25 in the UK singles chart and number 30 in Ireland. I have vague memories of hearing this song during the 1980's, but it took a long time - until early this year, in fact - to rediscover this track.

My collection: 7" single no. 6316
Found: Discogs.com, received August 8 ,2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'I'm in love with a German film star' / '(Don't talk to me) I'm shy'

 

Jealous of youth - The The

There's a special place in my record collection for The The, one of those British bands that managed to 'get to me' at a very early age. Their versions of 'Uncertain smile' grabbed me from the first time I heard them, and I have collected their albums and singles ever since. 

For a long time I thought that their later singles were never issued on vinyl, because record companies were very busy phasing out the format in the early 1990's. And so, here I am, almost three decades after its release, finding a copy of the Spanish promotional 7" single of 'Jealous of youth', one of the songs that became part of the soundtrack of my life back in 1991. It's a one-sided promo, so no B-side on this one.

My collection: 7" single no. 6314
Found: Discogs.com, received August 8, 2020
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Jealous of youth'

Friday, 31 July 2020

Mothers little soldier - Fra Lippo Lippi

Just like 'Love is a lonely harbour', 'Mothers little soldier' is a single taken from Fra Lippo Lippi's 1989 album 'The colour album'. Adding this one to my collection means that I'll only need 'Count on me' to make the set complete - but I am waiting until the price of that one comes down.

Although the melody of this song is as strong as anything they've release, the single didn't manage to chart in Europe. Perhaps it did in Norway, but I couldn't find any chart data from that country.

My collection: 7" single no. 6313
Found: Discogs.com, received July 31, 2020
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Mothers little soldier' / 'Under the same sun'

Mothers talk - Tears for fears

This single by Tears for fears is an interesting one: it was released in April 1986 in the USA, after the 'Songs from the big chair' campaign had already ended in the rest of the world. I never knew that the so-called 'US remix' of 'Mothers talk' had actually been a single, but here you go. Although labeled as a "remix", this version of the song is actually a complete re-recording, done by the band after their 'Big Chair' tour had ended. It was mixed by the award-winning producer Bob Clearmountain, who would go on to mix the band's next album with them.

The single managed to peak at number 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The sleeve is almost identical to a UK 12" single from 1984.

My collection: 7" single no. 6310
Found: Discogs.com, received July 27, 2020
Cost: $3
Tracks: 'Mothers talk' / 'Sea song'

Never as good as the first time - Sade

I could buy a lot of singles by Sade just for the artwork. There have been a lot of different sleeves in different territories, and they usually look stunning, because their frontwoman is rather photogenic. Still, I haven't actively collected their singles, buying them is often just a case of adding them to a stack of singles I'm buying from a dealer at a record fair, or in this case, an online order.

'Never as good as the first time' came in this great sleeve in America. I was actually buying a rare promotional cd by Happy Rhodes - you won't find her in this blog because she never released any 7" singles unfortunately - but the same dealer had a few rather interesting singles to go with it. The sleeve is very different from this one and this one, and so I decided to get it without much doubt.

My collection: 7" single no. 6311
Found: Discogs.com, received July 27, 2020
Cost: $2
Tracks: 'Never as good as the first time (remix edit)' / 'Keep hanging on (live instrumental)'

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties - Jona Lewie

During holidays I make a point of visiting local record shops, which this year was a bit of a challenge since the small town of Dahn in Germany didn't have any and I only had a few hours to visit the inner city of Worms, where one record shop was located. But I did get there, so I had a chance to check it out.

Unfortunately the shop only had one box of 7" singles, and they were all Record Store Day releases too. You know, Record Store Day is the annual event that causes record companies to release horribly expensive items that are unavailable to the real fans of artists who are then forced to buy the items at inflated prices via Ebay. What's left in shops are usually the discs that only a few people are after. And so it was in this case. However, I did find one copy of this single, pressed on green vinyl for Record Store Day 2016. It is a re-edition of Jona Lewie's single from 1980. Interestingly, the B-side of this edition is 'Hallelujah Europa', which was released as a single in 1978.

My collection: 7" single no. 6307
Found: Heaven Records, Worms (Germany)
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'You'll always find me in the kitches at parties' / 'Hallelujah Europa'

Five miles out - Mike Oldfield

You might wonder why I bought this single, when I've already got a copy of Mike Oldfield's Five miles out. The answer is quite simple: this is a picture disc - and picture discs are always great to have, especially when they come quite cheap. In this case, I ordered it together with a couple of cd's.

Musically, this is a confusing piece, and certainly not 'hit material', although it did reach number 43 in the UK singles chart and number 42 in the German singles chart.


My collection: 7" single no. 6306
Found: Discogs.com, received July 15, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Five miles out' / 'Live punkadiddle'

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Experience - Diana Ross

Released in 1985, 'Experience' was a single by Diana Ross that went by almost unnoticed, even if the song was written by the Bee Gees and remixed by François Kevorkian - big names. The track was not released as a single in the USA, but even where it was released, it didn't manage to get to the top 10. Ireland was the most generous, with its highest chart placing at no. 14, but in Australia and the UK  the single finished at number 64 and 47 respectively.

That's not to say it's a bad track: I actually quite enjoy this. It's the B-side that seems to be a throwaway track, although even that one appears, like the A-side, on the album 'Eaten Alive'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6297
Found: Plato, Leiden, June 30, 2020
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Experience' / 'Oh teacher'

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Love is a lonely harbour - Fra Lippo Lippi

Although most people will remember 'Shouldn't have to be like that' as Fra Lippo Lippi's only achievement, they actually released several albums and singles. Their album 'Songs' (from which 'Shouldn't have to be like that' was taken) remains their best in my opinion, but 1989's 'The colour album' is a recent discovery and can almost compete with it.

This single, 'Love is a lonely harbour' is one of the best tracks on that album. With inspiring lyrics and beautiful music it grabbed me from the first listen. It begs for an extended version, but unfortunately, that doesn't exist.

My collection: 7" single no. 6286
Found: Discogs.com, received May 23, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Love is a lonely harbour' / 'Shouldn't have to be like that (live)'

Everyday I write the book - Elvis Costello and the Attractions

I recently re-discovered Elvis Costello's 'Everyday I write the book', a song that was regularly on TV back in 1983 and 1984, when MTV didn't yet exist in Europe and we still had the great Sky Channel and Music Box to provide us with daily doses of music videos. I was always waiting for my favourites to show up, so this video kindof got in the way of that.

I don't know, exactly, how this song suddenly crawled its way up from the dark corners of my memory, but I am glad it did. It's one of Elvis' finest pop songs. His career has taken many turns since then but the early pop stuff never loses its charm.

My collection: 7" single no. 6285
Found: Discogs.com, received May 23, 2020
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Everyday I write the book' / 'Heathen town'

Monday, 25 May 2020

Främling - Carola Haggkvist

Although I realise that I already had the A-side track of this single on the B-side of 'Je ogen hebben geen geheimen' by Carola, I couldn't resist buying the original Swedish release of her 1983 Eurovision Song Contest entry. With a different sleeve and the original Swedish version of 'Life' (on the B-side of 'Love isn't love') the set is now complete. Well, almost, because there is also the multi-language 12" version, which I am still looking for.

The song was a good success in various countries, thanks to the English (and Dutch!) version, but the original Swedish version remains the most charming one. Of course, Carola went on to win Eurovision by the end of the decade - but with a much less charming song.

My collection: 7" single no. 6284
Found: Discogs.com, received May 23, 2020
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Främling' / 'Liv'

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Ka' du se hvad jeg sa'? - Kirsten & Søren

After Det' lige det in 1984 and Sku' du' spørg fra no'en? in 1985, Kirsten & Søren returned to the Eurovision stage in 1988 with 'Ka' du se hvad jeg sa'?', another breezy Danish pop tune in their all too familiar style. It was their most successful attempt, finishing in third place.

I was quite surprised to find that I did have the single Who is wrong and who's right, featuring both the English and French versions, but the original Danish version was still lacking. I was lucky to find this single with the same dealer who was selling Brandenburger Tor, which eased the pain of having to shell out postage from Finland a little.

My collection: 7" single no. 6279
Found: Discogs.com, received April 23, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Ka' du se hvad jeg sa'?' / 'Lullaby (Sang til Kaj)'

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

No estas solo - Patricia Kraus

Patricia Kraus was born on January 4, 1964 in Milan, Italy as the daughter of Alfredo Kraus, a Spanish tenor. She was selected to represent Spain during the Eurovision Song Contest in 1987 with 'No estas solo'. As you can hear, the song is a bit messy and really doesn't go anywhere. No wonder, then, that it finished in 19th place in a field of 22 competitors.

Kraus released her first self-titled album shortly after her Eurovision appearance. Further albums followed, including two of experimental electronica in collaboration with Daniel Assante, which were critically well-received although modest sellers. In 1999 she formed the group Waxbeat with Juan Belda and Juan Gómez Acebo, and two albums were released. Kraus, along with Assante and Italian musicians Enrico Barbaro and Gherardo Catanzaro, is currently working under the name of Vintage Club Band.

My collection: 7" single no. 6274
Found: Discogs.com, received April 8, 2020
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'No estas solo' / 'With love'

Saturday, 28 March 2020

No more lonely nights - Paul McCartney

Even a music legend can't get it right every time. Paul McCartney has been a victim of ridicule for his single 'We all stand together', the syrupy duet 'Ebony and ivory' and even his treatment of his deluxe editions of past albums, where digital files were sometimes favoured over physical releases.

A more personal example of failure for me is the extended version of 'No more lonely nights'. It is one of my favourite McCartney tracks, but the ballad version - present here on the B-side - is many times better than the so-called 'playout version'. And then there's the extended version... what a mess! I wanted to hear this version, which was my reason for buying this 12" single, but it turned out to be a disappointment. It will probably be up for sale soon. Any takers?

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'No more lonely nights (extended version)' / 'Silly love songs', 'No more lonely nights (ballad)'

The woman and the girl in me - Kate

I already bought the original Norwegian version of 'The woman and the girl in me' by Kate, titled 'Mitt liv', six month ago. But while ordering some singles this German pressing turned up and I couldn't resist buying this.

So what happened to Kate after Eurovision? She performed the song 'Welcome to Lillehammer' at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Then in 1998, Jørn Hansen's 'Med gullet for øyet' was the official song for the Paralympic Winter Games in Nagano in Japan in 1998.
 

She was previously married and took the surname Gulbrandsen Syversen. The couple had one child together and separated in 2006.

My collection: 7" single no. 6269
Found: Discogs.com, received March 25, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'The woman and the girl in me' / 'Touch my fantasy'
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