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

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Puisque tu l'aimes dis-le lui - Raffaella Carra

Another purchase that is explained by the artwork only. This French edition of Raffaella Carra's biggest hit, 'A far l'amore comincia tu' swaps the two sides to present the French version as the A-side track. Both the disc and the sleeve were made in France.

Raffaella Maria Roberta Pelloni was born on June 18, 1943 and became successful as a singer, dancer, TV presenter and actress. After her boom in the Italian market of the early 1970's, she moved to Spain, doing television and releasing records in the Spanish language. This led her to move to South America, where her records had been heard for some years. In 1979, she established her headquarters in Buenos Aires, which was under a military dictatorship. Raffaella Carrà was one of the figures of the ATC, the official television network of Argentina.

My collection: 7" single no. 6246
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, January 24, 2020
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Puisque tu l'aimes dis-le lui' / 'A far l'amore comincia tu'

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Det blir alltid värre framat natten - Björn Skifs

Two months ago, I bought 'When the night comes', the English version of 'Det blir alltid värre framat natten'. It was only a matter of time, of course, until I would get the original Swedish version as well - so here it is.

As you can see, the sleeve is virtually the same as the English version, however this single is made in Sweden and not in Germany like the other one. I ordered this single along with a few others from Norway.

My collection: 7" single no. 6241
Found: Discogs.com, received January 22, 2020
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Det blir alltid värre framat natten' / 'Part time love'

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Rock and roll crazy - Zappo

I have been after this single for a long time, primarily because of the sleeve. I already have the two tracks on this single, thanks to the French edition that swapped the two sides. On this sleeve, you can see Marty Wilde - for it is him - wearing a Superman costume, complete with a 'glam rock' helmet... it is a priceless picture.

Both sides of this single were written and produced by Peter Shelley and Marty Wilde, who collaborated a lot during this time. Released in 1973, 'Rock and Roll crazy' wasn't a hit, even though it was a glam rock stomper if ever I heard one.

My collection: 7" single no. 6233
Found: Discogs.com, received January 8, 2020
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'Rock and roll crazy' / 'Right on'

I will follow starlight - Katri Helena

Long before Katri Helena appeared on the Eurovision stage with the immortal 'Tule luo', she represented Finland in 1979 with the song 'Katson sineen taivaan'. She had actually participated in the Finnish national finals in 1969, 1972 and 1978, but this song made an impression and she went on to Israel with this song. 'Katson sineen taivaan' ended up in 14th place in a field of 19 competitors.

This single presents the English version of the song. 'I will follow starlight' was translated by Paul Fagerlund. The sleeve of this single isn't without its flaws - but for a rare single like this I am not complaining.

My collection: 7" single no. 6232
Found: Discogs.com, received January 7, 2020
Tracks: 'I will follow starlight' / 'Spring is around the corner'

Thursday, 26 December 2019

I wish it could be Christmas every day - Wizzard

A few years ago I went to a Christmas gig by Kim Wilde, and she played a version of 'I wish it could be Christmas every day'. The original song was released in 1973 by Wizzard - around the time I started watching Toppop on a weekly basis as a wee three year old kid. I didn't really know this song very well, but it did sound vaguely familiar.

When I started looking for the single I quickly found out it was issued in a gatefold sleeve - and it was pretty hard to find. I was therefore delighted to find this single finally in April this year. Not really the season for a Christmas single, but when something is on your list for a few years, you can't miss the opportunity.

'I wish it could be Christmas every day' reached number 4 in the UK singles chart when it was released. It has had no less than 15 re-entries since then, in 1981, 1984 and then from 2007 until this year - every year in December of course. However, since the original tapes were lost all the re-entries were based on a re-recording made in 1981.

My collection: 7" single no. 6033
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'I wish it could be Christmas every day' / 'Rob Roy's nightmare'

Monday, 23 December 2019

Mary's boy child (Oh my Lord) / Dancing in the streets - Boney M

'Mary's boy child' is a Christmas song, originally written by Jester Hairston. The song was written when Hairston was sharing a room with a friend. The friend asked him to write a song for a birthday party. Hairston wrote the song with a calypso rhythm because the people at the party would be mainly West Indians. The song's original title was "He Pone and Chocolate Tea", pone being a type of corn bread. It was never recorded in this form. Some time later Walter Schumann, at the time conducting Schumann's Hollywood Choir, asked Hairston to write a new Christmas song for his choir. Hairston remembered the calypso rhythm from his old song and wrote new lyrics for it.

Harry Belafonte heard the song being performed by the choir and sought permission to record it. It was recorded in 1956 for his album 'An Evening with Belafonte'. It was also released as a single. It reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart in November 1957, and has since sold over 1.19 million copies there.

When Boney M recorded 'Mary's boy child' in 1978, they coupled it with a new song, 'Oh my Lord', written by Frank Farian and Fred Jay. This version also reached number 1 in the UK, and topped the chart for four weeks. When Hairston - who was 78 years old at the time - found out how well the Boney M version had done, he said: "God bless my soul. That's tremendous for an old fogey like me".

After Christmas, Hansa Record flipped the single and released it with 'Dancing in the streets' as the A-side. As you can see from the pictures here, the sleeve was different. On the labels the 'A' and 'B' were indeed changed. The tracks, however, remained the same.

I was lucky enough to find three versions of this single in the same store: the Dutch pressing with the black and white sleeve and two versions of the German pressing. This Boney M single remains one of the best selling Christmas singles of all time.

My collection: 7" single no. 6073
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 3x1 euro
Tracks: 'Mary's boy child (Oh my Lord)' / 'Dancing in the streets'

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Casanova - Anita Skorgan

Anita Skorgan was born on November 13, 1958 in Gothenburg, Sweden. She first appeared on the Eurovision stage in 1977 with the song 'Casanova'. The song was written by Svein Strugstad and Dag Nordtømme and participated in NRK's semi-final for Central Norway ahead of the Norsk Melodi Grand Prix 1977. In the radio broadcast semi-final, the song was performed by Supergruppa, a specially composed group of professional musicians. 'Casanova' won the semi-final and became one of six songs in the Norwegian final at NRK Marienlyst in Oslo on February 19, 1977.

When Skorgan performed the song on the 1977 edition of the Eurovion Song Contest, she finished on 15th place in a field of 18 competitors. She would return to the Eurovision stage as a solo performer once more, and once with her later husband Jahn Teigen, and then twice as a backing singer.

The B-side of this single contains an amusing cover of Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' in Norwegian, entitled 'Marie'. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6220
Found: Discogs.com, received December 14, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Casanova' / 'Marie (Jolene)'

Comme on s'aime - Peter McLane & Anne-Marie Godart

Peter McLane, real name Vincent Reichenauer, was born in 1945 and became a French singer at the start of the Seventies. He was asked to represent Monaco at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972, together with Anne-Marie Godart. She had a little more experience as a singer: she started out singing duets with Pascal Sevran in 1966, and released her first album two years later.

Their song 'Comme on s'aime' was performed right after 'Härliga sommardag', but was even less successful than that song, ending on 16th place out of 18 competitors. Both Peter McLane and Anne-Marie Godart released a few more singles during the Seventies, but then faded back into anonymity.

My collection: 7" single no. 6219
Found: Discogs.com, received December 14, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Comme on s'aime' / 'Oublie-moi'

Härliga sommardag - Family Four

You may remember that in March I bought a copy of 'Vita vidder' by Family Four, the group that represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971. Well, the year after they returned with another song: 'Härliga Sommardag'. And I found this single online this month, which means that I managed to buy all the Family Four singles I'll ever own within one year.

When you look at the video of their performance, you'll agree that this is typical Seventies fare, innocent and a little twee. The song is about a lovely summer's day, with the band describing a beautiful day of summer which inspires people to make ballads and songs. The song didn't impress much: it finished on 13th place in a field of 18 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 6218
Found: Discogs.com, received December 14, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Härliga sommardag' / 'Mr. Bojangles'

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Djambo Djambo - Peter, Sue & Marc

Peter, Sue and Marc represented Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest on four occasions, each time singing in a different language. Their 1976 entry 'Djambo Djambo' was sung in English.

The song received 91 points, placing 4th in a field of 18 competitors. This is quite amazing, as like all their other Eurovision songs, this track is largely forgettable.

My collection: 7" single no. 6191
Found: Discogs.com, received November 14, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Djambo Djambo' / 'Moby Dick'

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

When the night comes - Björn Skifs

Björn Skifs was featured on this blog five years ago when I bought Fångad i en dröm, the song he performed at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981. It was his second Eurovision performance: in 1978 he took to the Eurovision stage with 'Det blir alltid värre framåt natten'. It was released as a single both in Swedish and in English - and this single features the English version.

Skifs actually intended to cause controversy by singing in English, which could have disqualified him from the contest (since the rules of the contest stipulated that singers should perform in their native languages at the time). Although he decided to perform the song in Swedish he forgot some of the words during the performance, replacing them with gibberish. At the close of voting, it had received 26 points, placing 14th in a field of 20 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 6211
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'When the nights comes' / 'Don't stop now'

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Empire State Human - Human League

Although the Human League is known as an "Eighties band" by most people, their career actually started in 1978 with Being boiled. Their next single was 'Empire state human', released in 1979. It was the first and only single from their debut album 'Reproduction'. The single did not chart, but fared slightly better when it was re-released in 1980, reaching number 62 in the UK singles chart.

Lyrically, "Empire State Human" is a song about becoming powerful using the analogy of size, with Oakey declaring that he wants to be "tall" a total of 60 times in 3 minutes. Uncut magazine drew a comparison with Oakey's own personal ambition: ""I wanna be tall, tall, tall, as big as a wall, wall, wall". Oakey's Nietzschian pop fantasy reflected his own burgeoning full-on pop ambitions..."

My collection: 7" single no. 6210
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Empire state human' / 'Introducing'

Tvoj dječak je tužan - Krunoslav Slabinac

Krunoslav "Kićo" Slabinac was born on March 28, 1944 in Osijek, Yugoslavia (now Croatia). During the 1960s Slabinac was a member of several rock 'n' roll bands. He then went solo and moved to Zagreb.

In 1971 he was selected to represent Yugoslavia at the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Tvoj dječak je tužan' ('Your boy is sad'). The song was not particularly successful, ending in 14th place in a field of 18 competitors. Slabinac's song "Zbog jedne divne žene" was a huge hit in his country, which solidified his status as a singer. However, later on in the decade, legal troubles and time spent abroad set back his career. After his return from the United States, Slabinac focused on folk music.

My collection: 7" single no. 6209
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Tvoj dječak je tužan' / 'I gori nego ja'

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Trans Europe Express - Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk singles are rather hard to find, so every time I manage to buy one for a reasonable price, I am quite pleased. 'Trans Europe Express' was the title track of the German band's sixth album, released in 1977. The album was recorded at Kling Klang Studio in Düsseldorf. Artistic control over the songs was strictly in the hands of members Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, with Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Flür contributing sequenced electronic percussion. The four of them went to railway bridges to listen to the sounds the train would actually produce. The group found the sound the train made was not danceable and changed it slightly.

The single became their first hit in Sweden, peaking at number 15 in the singles chart over there. In Canada, it was actually the band's last charting single, peaking at number 96 only.

My collection: 7" single no.  6206
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Trans Europe Express' / 'Franz Schubert'

Disco Duck - Rick Dees

Rick Dees was working as a DJ on the Memphis AM radio station WMPS when he heard a guy doing a duck voice while he was working out at his local gym. Inspired by this duck voice, Dees wrote 'Disco Duck', and he hired the guy from the gym to do the duck voice on the song. The name of the guy was Kenneth Pruitt. He did a lot to help Dees promote 'Disco Duck'. He went on the TV shows 'Midnight Special' and the 'Merv Griffin show'. He did a promotional walk through Times Square with Dees while wearing a duck costume. A few months after 'Disco Duck' hit number 1 in America, Pruitt sued Dees, claiming that he’d only been paid $188 for all of this. WMPS wouldn’t let Dees play the song; they figured it would violate FCC rules about conflict of interest.
In 1977, 'Disco Duck' even made an appearance in the iconic disco film 'Saturday Night Fever' in a scene in which a group of senior citizens were learning to dance disco.

This Japanese single is an interesting curio, since it features a drawing of Donald Duck on the sleeve. You can't help but wonder if Disney knew about this.

My collection: 7" single no. 6201
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Disco duck' / 'Disco duck (instrumental)'

Go west - Village People

Continuing on the theme of Japanese singles of songs that I already own, this is another copy of the single 'Go west', a single I've had for fourty years already. But I thought after buying 'YMCA' and 'In the navy', it would be good to complete the hattrick of great singles by the Village People in Japanese form. After all, these sleeves are as colourful as the band.

Most people are more familiar with the version by the Pet Shop Boys, but this is the original version of the song, recorded by the American band that featured a cop, a cowboy, an indian, a GI/Sailor, a leather man and a construction worker.

My collection: 7" single no. 6200
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Go west' / 'Citizens of the world'

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Rasputin - Boney M

I've had a copy of Boney M's 'Rasputin' for ten years already, so I guess that means that this single is superfluous in my collection - but with a totally different sleeve, this Japanese single is a great addition to my collection.

Two other Japanese singles on offer by the same dealer, 'Hooray! Hooray! It's a holiday' and 'Gotta go home', had sleeves that were similar to their German counterparts, so I left them there.

My collection: 7" single no. 6198
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Rasputin' / 'Never change lovers in the middle of the night'

Genghis Khan - Genghis Khan

So, I have the single 'Dschinghis Khan' by the German band Dschinghis Khan, and I have the English version of the song, 'Genghis Khan', also by Dschinghis Khan. But this German release, both the band and the song are called Genghis Khan - but it is the German version of the song playing on the record, i.e. 'Dschinghis Khan'.

I love the fact that this Eurovision song in German was released in Japan, a country where German is probably as exotic a language as Korean is over here. It's a great addition to my ever growing Eurovision collection.

My collection: 7" single no. 6196
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Genghis Khan' [i.e. 'Dschinghis Khan'] / 'Desert land'

Monday, 18 November 2019

In the navy - Village People

The song 'In the navy' was basically a promotion for the navy, describing it as an attractive employer. Until the bridge, when the lead singer declares upon hearing 'They want you': 'Who me? But... but... but... I'm afraid of water!'. It was a weird twist in the song that I understood even with my basic knowledge of English when I heard this song when I was nine years old.

I never bought this single despite this piece of youth nostalgia, until I finally spotted this Japanese edition at yesterday's record fair. What a treat!

My collection: 7" single no. 6194
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, Novembber 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'In the navy' / 'Manhattan woman'

YMCA - Village People

The Village People had the biggest hit of their career with 'Y.M.C.A.', a number one hit in the UK and the Netherlands, peaking at number 2 in the USA. Taking the song at face value, its lyrics marvel at the virtues of the Young Men's Christian Association. In the gay culture, from which the group sprang, the song was understood as celebrating the Y.M.C.A.'s reputation as a popular cruising and hookup spot, particularly for the younger gay men to whom it was addressed. As such, this disco classic became a gay anthem, but bizarrely enough also a favourite at wedding parties and school dances.

Producer Henri Belolo recalls that he saw the Y.M.C.A. sign while walking down the street with composer Jacques Morali, who seemed to know the institution fairly well. He told Henri, that this was a place where a lot of people went when they were in town. Then Henri got the idea: 'Why don't we write a song about it?'
.
My collection: 7" single no. 6193
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'YMCA' / 'The women'
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