Showing posts with label Seventies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seventies. Show all posts

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Give love a chance - Seija Simola

Seija Simola was born in Helsinki on September 25, 1944. She began her musical career in the mid-Sixties in the band Eero Seija & Kristian Trio, and her debut solo album was released in 1970: Seija Simola 1.

In 1978, she represented Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest. She sang 'Anna rakkaudelle tilaisuus', which finished in 18th place, in a field of 20 competitors. Despite this poor result, Simola continued a long and successful career in her native Finland. She passed away in Vantaa on August 21, 2017.

This single presents the English version of her Eurovision song: 'Give love a chance'. It comes in one of the thinnest paper sleeves I have ever seen.

My collection: 7" single no. 6155
Found: Discogs.com, received August 9, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Give love a chance' / 'Little smile'

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Do I dream - Maxi

Maxi was the stage name of Irene McCoubrey, born February 23, 1950. In the late 1960s Maxi teamed up with Barbara Dixon and Adele King to form Maxi, Dick and Twink. The trio toured Ireland, the UK and Canada and recorded two singles. They also worked a session singers in Motown studios in Detroit, Michigan, before disbanding. Following this she pursued a career with Danny Doyle and Music Box before going solo. She represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 singing 'Do I Dream', finishing tenth in a field of 17 competitors.
 
In the late 1970s, Maxi became part of another all-girl trio Sheeba, with Marion Fossett and Frances Campbell. The group represented Ireland in the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Horoscopes'. Maxi embarked on a career in broadcasting with the Irish national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). Working mainly on radio, she also took on some television work including a quiz show, presenting Ireland's lottery and fronting the Miss Ireland contest. In 1987 Maxi presented the national final for Eurovision alongside Marty Whelan.

My collection: 7" single no. 6148
Found: Discogs.com, received July 29, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Do I dream' / 'Here today and gone tomorrow'

DJ - David Bowie

Just days after buying the 'Space oddity' box set, I found this picture disc of DJ in Parlophone's series of '40th anniversary' discs. I bought the 'Boys keep swinging' picture disc a few weeks ago in Antwerpen, so it's nice to have found this one in Paris. Like the one before, it is quite an expensive acquisition, but online prices have not been any lower.

What's most interesting about this disc - to me at least - is not the A-side, but the B-side, because it contains a version of 'Boys keep swinging' that was performed in a television show in 1979. Why Parlophone decided to include this instead of the original B-side 'Repetition' is therefore obvious to me.

Note: now that picosong has ceased existing I will have to link to other online files to offer sound and sometimes vision with the tracks that are on my singles. In this case, it's extra interesting because you get to see the full TV performance along with the sound that's on the single. Obviously the single fades out until 2'33.  

My collection: 7" single no. 6147
Found: Fnac, Paris, July 28, 2019
Cost: 14 euro (!)
Tracks: 'DJ (2017 Tony Visconti mix - single edit)' / 'Boys keep swinging (Kenny Everett Video Show version)'

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Shang shang a lang - Sylvie Vartan

During what was probably the hottest week of this year, I was on holiday in Paris with the family. And like every year there wasn't a lot of time to scour the record shops. However, last Wednesday, as the temperature was rising near 40 degrees Celsius, they went back to the apartment during the afternoon and I suddenly had a few hours on my own. Much to my dismay I found that Parisian record shops are a weird thing: they are either on holiday or unwelcoming to guests. The two shops that were open were 'Musiques Musiques' (but the owner turned me away for no apparent reason) and 'Monster Melodies' (which had closed their upper floor where the vinyl was stacked up high).

And so I had only one address left: Gilbert Joseph, a large store for second hand books, films and comics as well as records. Their second hand singles were quite interesting, I found. My first find was an old Sylvie Vartan single. 'Shang shang a lang' was written by Marty Wilde and Peter Shelley. I was so familiar with the sleeve of this single that I thought I already had it, but it turns out I didn't. It was very nice to scoop up this disc.

My collection: 7" single no. 6143
Found: Gilbert Joseph, Paris, July 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Shang shang a lang' / 'Toi mon aventure'

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Heute in Jerusalem - Christina Simon

Fans of Mezzoforte, Shakatak and elevator music in general, pay attention: Christina Simon created this single especially for you! 'Heute in Jerusalem' was Austria's attempt to make it big at the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, held in - you guessed it - Jerusalem. The song was about the hope of "peace in Jerusalem", bringing "sense against the nonsense". The song scored just five points, ending up in an equal last place in a field of 19 competitors.

But Christina Simon took it a step further on the B-side of this single: the track 'Babaya' is the kind of freestyle jazz that you could easily find on the aforementioned bands' albums. This single was, by the way, the last release by her. The Eurovision attempt proved to be the deadstop for her career.

My collection: 7" single no. 6138
Found: Discogs.com, received July 12, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Heute in Jerusalem' / 'Babaya'

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Mrs. Caroline Robinson - Springtime

Springtime was formed by Norbert Niedermayer, Walter Markel, Gerhard Markel and Erwin Broswimmer. They released two albums, 'Springtime' (1977) and 'Lonely road' (1978). But their biggest claim to fame was their Eurovision Song Contest appearance in 1978.

Representing Austria, they sang 'Mrs. Caroline Robinson'. The song did not make a big impact, as they finished in 15th place in a field of 20 competitors. No wonder, then, that the band broke up soon afterwards.

My collection: 7" single no. 6136
Found: Discogs.com, received July 12, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Mrs. Caroline Robinson' / 'Honey, bye, bye'

Gute Nacht Freunde - Inga & Wolf

Many people in the Netherlands are familiar with the song 'Gute Nacht Freunde', because it has been the closing song of a popular radio programme for decades, in the version by Reinhard Mey, who wrote the song. It was a hit for him in 1974, and reached number 14 in the Dutch Top 40.

However, it was originally written by him for the German national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972. Inga & Wolf performed the song, but finished in fourth place, so they didn't go on to represent their country. That honour went to Mary Roos with 'Nur die Liebe lässt uns leben'. Still, this is a charming song and belongs in my collection, despite only being 'von der Vorentscheidung'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6140
Found: Discogs.com, received July 12, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Gute Nacht Freunde' / 'Das Stundenglas'

Friday, 28 June 2019

When you wish upon a star - Scrumpy 'n Dumpy

Leigh Harline and Ned Washington wrote 'When you wish upon a star' for Walt Disney's 1940 adaptation of Pinocchio. The original version was sung by Cliff Edwards in the character of Jiminy Cricket, and is heard over the opening credits and in the final scene of the film. The song has since become the representative song of The Walt Disney Company. It won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was also the first Disney song to win an Oscar.

This single, released in 1972, contains a cover version of the song by Scrumpy 'n Dumpy. It is probably one of the most bizarre cover versions of the song. The minds behind this duo were Peter Shelley and Marty Wilde. They were probably just having a laugh when they released it, as you can hardly take this single seriously. It may surprise you, however, that despite this lack of seriousness and its obvious 'novelty record' status, this single has become very difficult to find - and pretty expensive when you have to buy it. As a collector, I had to get my hands on it, of course - even if this copy came without the original picture sleeve. Who can resist a Marty Wilde record in whatever shape or form?

My collection: 7" single no. 6133
Found: Discogs.com, received June 28, 2019
Cost: 4 pounds
Tracks: 'When you wish upon a star' / 'The Scrumpy 'n Dumpy boogaloo'

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Caribbean rock - Malcolm's Locks

Another single that I bought mainly for the B-side here. Malcolm's Locks was a group consisting of Antonio Augusto, Curvin Merchant, Lee Gates, Livingstone Wright, Liz Mitchell, Malcolm Magaron, Micho Plaza and Stuart S. Fahey. They released one album and two singles in the mid-Seventies. Magaron was a singer of the Les Humphries Singers who left the group before it's official end due to financial differences with Les Humphries. He was the boyfriend of Liz Mitchell, who went on to become a member of Boney M.

The B-side of this single features a version of 'Brown girl', which was released as 'Brown girl in the ring' by Boney M a few years later. Arranger Peter Herbolzheimer accused Frank Farian of stealing his arrangement for the song, for which Farian claimed credit on that single. The court case ran for more than 20 years in Germany.

My collection: 7" single no. 6130
Found: Discogs.com, received June 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Caribbean rock' / 'Brown girl'

Fremder - Didi Zill

Eight years ago I bought a cover version of 'Video killed the radio star' by Didi Zill. I'm not sure if I already knew back then that Didi also covered a Marty Wilde composition. 'Hoch lebe Rock 'n' Roll' is a German version of his composition 'Bring hack Rock 'n' Roll'.

But, even though that title features prominently on the cover of this single, it is not the A-side, but the B-side. The honour of being an A-side goes to the German schlager-type song 'Fremder'. And that song is based on the song 'Stranger' by Kris Kristofferson.

My collection: 7" single no. 6129
Found: Discogs.com, received June 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Fremder' / 'Hoch lebe Rock 'n' Roll'

Friday, 21 June 2019

Popcorn - Revolution System

One of my first ever singles was Revolution System's 'Brand new Popcorn' called 'Carmen Brasilia'. This is where my collection of 'Popcorn' versions started, although this version was, of course, not the original Kingsley-composed 'Popcorn'.

Through the years I have wondered whether Revolution System actually recorded a cover version of the original 'Popcorn', but I hadn't located a copy... until recently! This single is apparently the only disc where you can find Revolution System's version of 'Popcorn'. It is a reissue single by Dureco in their 'Golden Hit-Parade' serie, released around 1980. After all these years, it is a pleasure to finally own this track.

My collection: 7" single no. 6125
Found: Discogs.com, received June 21, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn' / 'Carmen Brasilia'

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Sing die Melodie - Johannes & Christin

Together with 'Nur noch Gefühl' I ordered another single from the Austrian seller I found online. It is this cover version of the Dutch entry for the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest: Harmony's ''t Is O.K.'. 

Johannes & Christin only released this one single together. Not much is known about Christin, but Johannes Prömmer had already released two singles in Austria in 1972. After this duet, he disappeared again, resurfacing in 1988 with one more single, 'Zigeuner'. And that's basically it. The Austrian music scene is not renowned for its big worldwide stars, but it is interesting that in this day and age some singers can remain so anonymous.

My collection: 7" single no. 6124
Found: Willhaben.at, received June 20, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Sing die Melodie' / 'Komm mit mir'

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Tubular bells - Mike Oldfield

It is whispered that Mike Oldfield is working on a fourth version of 'Tubular bells'. Let's hope so, because with each version the tune is becoming more awesome. However, nothing comes close to those first few minutes of the original 'Tubular bells'.

Oldfield and his record company probably realise this, because they released this beautiful picture disc 7" in 2013. There's also a history-rewriting B-side: 'In dulci jubilo', originally released as a single in 1975 - two years after 'Tubular bells'. By the way, the A-side of this single is not the original single version. Instead it contains a new edit of the opening minutes of the album version of 'Tubular Bells (Part One)'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6119
Found: Discogs.com, received June 11, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Tubular bells' / 'In dulci jubilo'




Sunday, 9 June 2019

Rivers of Babylon - Boney M

Back in 1980, I already bought a copy of Boney M's biggest hit - and one of the biggest hits of all time - 'Rivers of Babylon'. That sleeve and record were made in the Netherlands. This one, bought more recently, was made in Germany. And as you can see, the sleeve is far prettier.

Apparently, there are different versions of this song on different pressings. The original pressings featured an early version that was soon replaced by a more widely available mix. The initial single mix of 'Rivers of Babylon' is most notable for lead singer Liz Mitchell's ad-libs ('Dark tears of Babylon, you got to sing a song, sing a song of love, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah') between the two verses. On subsequent single pressings, only the 'yeah's were retained. Well, both singles I have are apparently 'original pressings', because there is no difference.

My collection: 7" single no. 71 (2)
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Rivers of Babylon' / 'Brown girl in the ring'

Friday, 7 June 2019

Deeper than the night - Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John's career is long and impressive. In 1978 she didn't just appear in (and sing on the soundtrack to) the movie 'Grease', but she also released the excellent album 'Totally hot'. Excellent, because some great singles were taken from that disc: 'A little more love', the title track 'Totally hot' and this one, 'Deeper than the night'.

After having scored four singles that were awarded silver, gold and/or platinum, the chart performance of this single was a relative disappointment, as it only reached number 64 in the UK singles chart and number 18 in Canada. However, it did reach number 11 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and that's still quite impressive.

My collection: 7" single no. 6110
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, June 1, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Deeper than the night' / 'Please don't keep me waiting'

Für immer (Rock bottom) - Lynsey de Paul & Mike Moran

Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977 with 'Rock bottom'. Such was the popularity of the song that they decided to also record the song in German. 'Für immer' was only released in German-speaking territories.

As brave as their attempt was, the single did not chart. Which makes this single all the more interesting, because it wasn't pressed in huge quantities. It is therefore a great pleasure to have found a copy for a reasonable price.

My collection: 7" single no. 6105
Found: eBay, received March 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Für immer' / 'You shouldn't say that'

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Boom boom boomerang - Schmetterlinge

Eurovision Song Contest fans always have to deal with criticism from other people. There are always comments about the music, the nonsensical lyrics, the show itself, the dreadful presenters, the boring intermezzo acts, sometimes even the organising country. But to Eurovision fans, all these elements are just part of the deal: in order to discover beautiful songs you'll have to deal with the odd nonsensical ones, just like when you listen to the radio.

The Austrian band Schmetterlinge have took the 'nonsensical lyrics' aspect to uncharted terrritories in 1977. What to make of a chorus that goes: 'Boom Boom Boomerang, Snadderydang / Kangaroo, Boogaloo, Didgeridoo / Ding dong, sing the song, hear the guitar twang / Kojak, hijack, me and you'? The performance is also memorable, as the band featured four male singers wearing cream suits and red shirts. During the performance, the men would turn their backs to the audience at various points, revealing a costume which looked like the front of a tuxedo, complete with a fake face. The song ended up in seventeenth place out of 18 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 6106
Found: eBay, received May 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Boom boom boomerang' / 'Mr. Moneymaker's Musicshow'

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Boys keep swinging - David Bowie

Parlophone continues with their series of '40th anniversary picture discs' of David Bowie singles. It is a lucrative series because the singles keep selling despite their decidedly inflative prices. It's hard to realise that you'd only pay a couple of pounds for a single like this 40 years ago, a price that has doubled a few days now in 2019. Shame on Parlophone.

This picture discs presents the 2017 mix by Tony Visconti of 'Boys keep swinging', along with a rare unreleased track 'I pray, Olé' - at least, it was unreleased in 1991 when it appeared as a bonus track on the Rykodisc reissue of the album 'Lodger'. Although the takes of the instruments and vocals were recorded during the sessions of the 'Lodger' album, the mix of the song was performed in 1990. It is unclear whether overdubs were recorded later.

My collection: 7" single no. 6101
Found: Fnac, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 14 euro (!)
Tracks: 'Boys keep swinging (2017 Tony Visconti mix)' / 'I pray, olé'

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Occhi di ragazza - Gianni Morandi

Italy was represented at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970 by Gianni Morandi, singing 'Occhi di ragazza' ('Eyes of a girl'). The breezy song is a ballad, with Morandi musing on the power of his lover's eyes. Initially, he describes them as windows into her soul and places where he can see their future. The song ends, however, on something of a pessimistic note, as he explains that these same eyes will one day fill with tears as their relationship ends. The song received 5 points, placing it eighth in a field of 12 competitors.

Gian Luigi Morandi was born in a little village called Monghidoro on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. His father Renato was active within the Italian Communist Party and Gianni used to help him sell the party newspapers. At an early age Morandi worked as a shoe-shiner, cobbler and as a candy vendor in the village's only cinema. His vocal abilities led him to a number of small gigs, some of which were during the Communist Party’s activities. His career took flight during the Sixties. He achieved national stardom with the song 'Fatti mandare dalla mamma', and remained Italy’s darling throughout that decade. He remains active in the Italian music scene until the present day. One of his most recent hits is a duet with Fabio Rovazzi, called 'Volare' - not the Domenico Modugno song!

My collection: 7" single no. 6100
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Occhi di ragazza' / 'T'amo con tutto il cuore'

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Lost without your love - Bread

To be honest, I had forgotten that I already owned a copy of Bread's 'Lost without your love', so you might argue that I wasted some money on this one. On the other hand, the sleeve of this French edition is a lot more beautiful than the other one.

'Lost without your love' was the product of a reunion. Bread had broken up in 1974 but reconvened in 1976 to record one more album. It was to be the band's last hit. Through the years it has become a real classic and a surefire tearjerker. Perhaps that's what I like about this song. It's worth owning it twice at least.

My collection: 7" single no. 6085
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Lost without your love' / 'Change of heart'
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