Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Waterfalls - Paul McCartney

I don't know why, but I've always thought that this sleeve is a very beautiful one. It's one of those illustrations that keep impressing me, even after all these years. The song itself is equally beautiful. It was taken from McCartney's first solo album after Wings disbanded, 'McCartney II'.

The single reached number 9 in the UK singles chart in 1980. But when he was asked which of his single he wished were more successful, McCartney answered, 'There's quite a few, actually... 'Waterfalls', I think is nice.'

My collection: 7" single no. 624
Found: Parkpop, Den Haag, June 26, 1988
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Waterfalls' / 'Check my machine'

Young heroes - Kim Wilde

I don't buy many Kim Wilde singles anymore, since my collection is fairly complete. But sometimes a rare item pops up, and I have to have it. I was lucky to find this one for a fairly reasonable price - and that's including the price I had to pay for flying it over from the country where it was made!

'Young heroes' is a track from Kim Wilde's 1981 debut album. That album was released in America in 1982, so I guess it's logical that this single, made in Peru, came out in 1983. 'Young heroes' was not a single in any other country, although a flexi disc from Russia also exists. But that one is without a B-side, and this one is.

My collection: 7" single no. 4010
Found: eBay.com, received August 25, 2009
Cost: 13 euro
Tracks: 'Young heroes' / 'Our town'

Always something there to remind me - Naked Eyes

I had the 12" single of 'Always something there to remind me' by Naked Eyes years before I found the 7" single. The track was produced by Tony Mansfield, of New Musik fame.

Released in July 1983, this single became the only (minor) hit for Naked Eyes in the UK. It peaked at number 59 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 3075
Found: Beanos, East Croydon, London, May 10, 1999
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Always something there to remind me' / 'Pit stop'

I will follow (live) - U2

In 1982, a relatively new band called U2 performed live in the Netherlands. The performance was recorded by Veronica, a Dutch broadcaster. When their recording of 'I will follow' was played a few times on the radio, the demand was so big that it was released as a single.

This live recording became U2's first hit in the Netherlands, peaking at number 12 in the Dutch Top 40 in September 1982. And all the rest is history...

My collection: 7" single no. 2973
Found: March 1, 1998
Cost: 10 guilders
Tracks: 'I will follow (live)' / 'Gloria (live)'

Monday, 24 August 2009

Knolraap en lof, schorseneren en prei - Drs. P

Today is the 90th birthday of Heinz Polzer, better known as drs. P. in the Netherlands. (Foreign readers are probably looking away now.) He became best known for his songs 'Veerpont' and 'Dodenrit'. Released more recently, in 1987, 'Knolraap en lof, schorseneren en prei' ('Turnips and chicory, salsify and leeks') narrowly missed the Dutch Top 40, but it also rather wellknown these days.

Drs. P. has always sought his challenge in writing poetic lyrics about unpoetic subjects. The 'Tuindersliedboek' ('Songbook for gardeners') contains loads more poems about fruit and vegetables. See the dossier about drs. P. from the National library of the Netherlands for more information about drs. P.

My collection: 7" single no. 1153
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, January 19, 1990
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Knolraap en lof, schorseneren en prei' / 'Olijf', 'Het land is moe'

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Martika's kitchen - Martika

Although this song sounds innocent and playful, rumour has it that Prince wrote this song for Martika with something else than cooking on his mind. When you see 'kitchen' and 'oven' as a metaphor for something, this track takes on an entirely different meaning.

In America this suggestive song failed to become a hit. In the UK, it reached number 17 whereas in the Netherlands it only managed a number 38 placing in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 2503
Found: House of Rhythm, London, October 30, 1995
Cost: 60p
Tracks: 'Martika's kitchen' / 'Broken heart'

Three little pigs - Green Jelly

Green Jelly band members Marc Levinthal and Bill Manspeaker wrote 'Three little pigs' after a 'late-night drinkfest' at Zatar's in Hollywood. It is a re-telling of the classic fairy tale Three Little Pigs, with modern twists such as pot-smoking pigs, an appearance by Rambo and a Harley-Davidson-riding wolf.

The song's claymation music video received regular rotation on MTV. As a result, it became a hit in various countries, reaching number 5 in the UK singles chart and number 15 in the Dutch Top 40. This single, released in the UK, was pressed on pink vinyl.

My collection: 7" single no. 2891
Found: Beanos, East Croydon, London, October 29, 1997
Cost: 2,5 pounds
Tracks: 'Three little pigs' / 'Obey the cowgod'

Hungry like the wolf - Duran Duran

Duran Duran worte and recorded 'Hungry like the wolf' on a Saturday in the spring of 1982 at the basement studios of EMI's London headquarters. Rhodes started the song's demo in the morning with a sequencer; the song was built throughout the day as each band member arrived, and by the evening it was essentially complete. The laugh at the beginning of the song and the screams during the song's fade-out were performed by Nick Rhodes’ girlfriend at the time.

The single was another top 10 hit for the band, peaking at number 5 in the UK singles chart. It also reached number 3 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

My collection: 7" single no. 3246
Found: London, October 20, 2000
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Hungry like the wolf' / 'Careless memories (live)'

Mat's Prozac - Mice

After All about Eve disbanded, Julianne Regan went on to work with Tim McTighe (ex-Powder) to work on new songs. Levitation guitarist Christian Hayes and ex-All about Eve drummer Mark Price were also involved in the band, which was to be called The Innocent. Just before the release of their first single, the name changed to Mice.

'Mat's Prozac' was the first single taken from their album. Since I was such a big fan of All about Eve's music, I bought it right away - but I did have some doubts whether this was the kind of music I really liked. The single did not chart in the UK, let alone anywhere else. This single was pressed on yellow vinyl.

My collection: 7" single no. 2850
Found: Record fair, 1995
Cost: 10 guilders
Tracks: 'Mat's Prozac' / 'Bang bang'

Cities in dust - Siouxie and the Banshees

'Cities in dust' was released as the first single from the seventh studio album by Siouxie and the Banshees: 'Tinderbox' (1985). The lyric of the song obliquely describes the city of Pompeii, destroyed in a volcanic eruption in the year 79. Imagery describing the volcano and its magma chamber, the condition of the victims of the eruption, and the subsequent discovery and excavation of the city comprises the bulk of the lyrics.

Although the subject matter was still dark, the band seemed to be headed in a more poppy area of music, leaving their goth roots. The single made number 21 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 2017
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 19, 1993
Cost: 60p
Tracks: 'Cities in dust' / 'An execution'

You - Ten Sharp

After being away from the music business for five years, Ten Sharp returned in the form of a duo. Michiel Hoogenboezem and Niels Hermes picked up where their three band members had thrown in the towel - and their reward was big. Where chart success eluded Ten Sharp in the Eighties, they had a European hit on their hands with 'You', released in 1991.

Not only did the band reach number 3 in the Netherlands (a position they'd never achieved in the Eighties), it also went number 1 in France, Norway and Sweden. In the UK, the single peaked at number 10. All of a sudden, Ten Sharp had become popular.

My collection: 7" single no. 1430
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, April 13, 1991
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'You' / 'You (instrumental)'

Thank you world - World Party

The 1991 single 'Thank you world' by World Party was released in between albums. 1990's 'Goodbye Jumbo' had been relatively successful, but the next album would only appear in 1993.

The chart performance of this single was disappointing, reaching number 68 in the UK singles chart during a one week chart run. Even the cover of the Beatles' 'Happiness is a warm gun' on the cd-single didn't help matters. This 7" single features two versions of 'Thank you world'. To be honest: I don't play it much myself.

My collection: 7" single no. 1488
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, July 4, 1991
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Thank you world' / 'Thank you world (Peter Lorimer remix)'

Get up! (Before the night is over) - Technotronic

Time for some intellectual music again. Back in 1990, I simply couldn't resist a track that had the great lyric 'Get up, get up, get busy do it / I wanna see you party'. It was the second single by Technotronic from their debut album 'Pump up the jam'. Somehow this single managed to hit the top 10 all over the world. It has to be because of the fact that people simply cannot resist a song with such beauty and depth.

The sheer vacuousness of it all is what drove me to buy this - and to use it as an example of what I simply cannot understand about other people's taste in music of course.

My collection: 7" single no. 1172
Found: Melody Maker, February 17, 1990
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Get up! (Before the night is over)' / 'Get up (Before the night is over) (instrumental)'

Hang on to your love - Sade

The most interesting singles are those you can't find in the shops. And then there's the singles released in other countries. Combine the two, and there you have it: the foreign promo. This particular one is a promo 7" single for Sade's 'Hang on to your love', released in Spain.

Not only did it have a different sleeve, it's also a one-sided single, which means that the B-side is missing here. A lovely item, which I picked up a long time ago!

My collection: 7" single no. 1955
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 25, 1993
Cost: 10 guilders
Track: 'Hang on to your love'

She's strange - Cameo

After I found the 12" single of 'She's strange', the 7" single followed rather quickly. You know how it is: you search for something for years, then you decide to buy another version and suddenly what you're looking for appears.

Taken from the album of the same name, the single version is edited from the 7'12 album version. It reached number 37 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 2475
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 16, 1995
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'She's strange' / 'Cameo megamix'

Memories - Beverley Craven

'Memories' was the last single to be released from Beverley Craven's self-titled debut album. The song already foreshadowed the sappy ballads that would appear on her later work. It also showed that the audiences weren't impressed: the single stalled at number 68 in the UK singles chart.

The single was mainly released to promote the live video that was released. Beverley Craven in concert: not the most exciting show, but (mostly) good songs nonetheless. This 7" single featured one live track on the B-side, the two cd-singles would feature three more.

My collection: 7" single no. 2745
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 1996
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'Memories' / 'Holding on (live)'

Dark is the night - A-ha

A-ha was going through troubled times when they released their 1993 album 'Memorial beach'. There were internal conflicts and conflicts with their record company. And on top of it all, the chart performance of the album was disappointing. The album was entirely recorded at Prince's Paisley Park studios and lacked a lot of what made previous A-ha albums so special.

'Dark is the night' was the first single taken from the album, and the only single from the album to reach the top 20 outside of Norway: it reached number 19 in the UK. It was also the last A-ha single to be released in the United States.

My collection: 7" single no. 1948
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 25, 1993
Cost: 8 guilders
Tracks: 'Dark is the night' / 'Angel in the snow (instrumental)'

Looking for clues - Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer's sixth solo album 'Clues' was released in 1980 and 'Looking for clues' was released as the second single from that album.

The single peaked at number 33 in the UK, number 7 in Canada and number 15 in the Netherlands. It was more successful than the previous single, 'Johnny and Mary', which peaked at number 44, 32 and 21 respectively.

My collection: 7" single no. 1045
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 17, 1989
Cost: 30p
Tracks: 'Looking for clues' / 'Good care of you'

Crack the shutters - Snow Patrol

'Crack the shutters' was the second single from Snow Patrol's most recent album 'A hundred million suns'. Band leader Gary Lightbody has described the song as 'the purest love song I've ever written. Even more so than 'Chasing cars'. It's luxuriating in the beauty and wonder of someone you love with all your heart.'

The single reached number 43 in the UK singles chart and number 14 in the Dutch Top 40. This 7" single is a numbered limited edition; I've got number 259. I've also got number 1513 so that one's for sale if you want it.

My collection: 7" single no. 3544
Found: Recordstore.co.uk, received January 10, 2009
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Crack the shutters' / 'One day like this'

The woman in me - Donna Summer

'The woman in me' was the third and final single from Donna Summer's self-titled 1982 album. It was a ballad produced by Quincy Jones, following after the worldwide hit 'State of independence'. While on that song Michael Jackson sang backing vocals, here the background vocals are performed by James Ingram. The single stalled at number 62 in the UK singles chart but reached number 7 in the Dutch Top 40.

I've got two copies of the single: one Belgian pressing (pictured above) and one German pressing. When I bought the German one, I didn't recognise the sleeve so I thought I didn't have the song. I've no idea when I bought the German single, because when I already have a single it doesn't get into my administration...

My collection: 7" single no. 2594
Found: Grammofoonwinkel, Utrecht, December 30, 1995
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'The woman in me' / 'Livin' in America'

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