Saturday, 5 July 2014

Funny how love is - Fine Young Cannibals

'Funny how love is' was released as the fourth and final single from Fine Young Cannibals' self-titled debut album in early 1986. Unlike 'Johnny come home' and 'Suspicious minds', two of the three previous singles, this wasn't a big success, even if the track, originally produced by the band themselves, was re-recorded and produced by Robin Millar, famous for his work with a.o. Sade. No wonder, then, that there is a distinct Sade-esque feeling to this track.

The track was written by the band, although it sounds like an old jazz standard - which is quite a feat in itself! By buying this single I have completed the Fine Young Cannibals discography as far as I know, although tips for obscure releases are of course always welcome.

My collection: 7" single no. 5364
Found: Fun Records (Germany), received July 5, 2014
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Funny how love is [single version]' / 'Funny how love is (album version)'

Popcorn - Techno Talk

Although the intro of this version of Popcorn sounds a lot like Belgian techno collective Technotronic's 'Pump up the jam', this track is actually produced and arranged by Theo Werdin, a  producer and sound engineer from Bad Homburg, Germany.

I bought a damaged copy of the 3" cd single some 10 years ago, so it was nice to find a 7" single of the same version now. The dub edit included on this 7" single does not appear on that cd-single, so it is an exclusive track.

My collection: 7" single no. 5363
Found: Fun Records (Germany), received July 5, 2014
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn (single edit)' / 'Popcorn (dub edit)'

Popcorn - Coba

The timeless melody 'Popcorn', composed by Gershon Kingsley, has been covered many times, with varying success. Thanks to my recent order with Fun Records, I managed to find two singles from 1990. This is the first one, released by the unknown German act Coba. This particular copy was released 'for promotion only', as is printed on the back sleeve. One has to wonder whether this single was even released commercially.

The tune is kept intact, but suffers from typical Nineties production values, and so this 'fresh hot mix' has gone quite stale in time.

My collection: 7" single no. 5362
Found: Fun Records (Germany), received July 5, 2014
Cost: 1,75 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn (Fresh hot mix)' / 'Dago's Popcorn Rezept'

Heut' nacht - Frank Boyen

I have collected all of Dutch singer Frank Boeijen's singles (the result is shown here), but his ventures into foreign language have always been difficult to find. I knew that he'd recorded one single in German, called "Heut' nacht", but even in this internet age, I never found this disc. Until I found out, recently, that this German release was not by Frank Boeijen, but the name 'Frank Boyen'. Probably his real name was too hard to pronounce for German speakers.

Armed with the name 'Frank Boyen', I found this single within minutes. The indispensable Fun Records in Berlin had it in stock, and along with three more singles and a stack of cd-singles it arrived on my doorstep this morning. I was pleasantly surprised by the B-side, which is a longer version of the track 'Laat mij alleen', translated into 'Lass mich allein'. Both tracks were produced and arranged by Rob & Ferdi Bolland, who are, of course, pretty wellknown in their own right.

My collection: 7" single no. 5361
Found: Fun Records, Berlin, July 5, 2014
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Heut' nacht' / 'Lass mich allein'

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Sweetest smile - Black

Black's 'Sweetest Smile' was originally released in 1987 as the second single from his most successful album 'Wonderful life', just before the title track became a worldwide hit and an Eighties classic. Slightly more beautiful and sophisticated, the song never became as famous as 'Wonderful life' but it is worth a spin or two if you like good music.

During last month's Record Store Day, a special 10" record was sold featuring a 2011 re-recording of the track, which sound a lot like the original version but unlike its 1987 counterpart the rights belong to Colin Vearncombe himself and not to the Universal record company mammoth. What really makes this disc special is the inclusion of three other tracks from his post-2000 output. Listen to this tracks and you'll probably want to have this disc - or the cd's which these tracks were taken from - yourself. Head on over to www.colinvearncombe.com for more information.

I wasn't able to get this record on Record Store Day, but fortunately this disc was sold online after the day, so you can imagine I am a happy bunny now.

My collection: 10" single [unnumbered]
Cost: 9 pounds
Found: Vinyl180, UK, received May 20, 2014
Tracks: 'Sweetest smile [2011 re-recording]', 'Where the river bends' / 'In a heartbeat', 'Grievous angel'

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Slave to the rhythm - Grace Jones

A deluxe cd version of her career-overshadowing album 'Slave to the rhythm' has still not been issued, so all we can do in the mean time is pick up all the releases and rip the tracks from vinyl. Such as this one, the 12" single of Grace Jones' album's title track. I couldn't find it for a long time, but I finally found a good copy today - and for a very reasonable price, too.

The sleeve doesn't give you much information about the tracks contained on this disc, so I turned to Discogs.com for help. Fortunately, there is a decent listing for this disc. The 'blooded' version on the A-side is probably the best version of 'Slave to the rhythm' I've heard in a long time, as it adds much interesting things to the all too familiar single version. As for the B-side... Well, experimentation can be fruitful sometimes.

My collection: 12" single no. 648
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Slave to the rhythm (blooded)' / 'Junk yard', 'Annihilated rhythm'

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Lover come back to me - Dead or Alive

Nobody suspected that Stock, Aitken and Waterman would dominate the pop charts for the next half of the Eighties when this single, 'Lover come back to me' was released back in 1985. It was the second big hit for the UK group Dead or Alive, which, like the previous single 'You spin me round', was produced by the infamous trio.

'Lover come back to me' packs a good punch and it is demonstrated even more firmly in this extended 12" version. The '7" bonus mix' included on the B-side is different from the 7" single version, so basically fans got two remixes for their money. Which was never a bad thing in those days.

My collection: 12" single no. 649
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Lover come back to me (extended version)' / 'Far too hard', 'Lover come back to me (7" bonus mix)'

It ain't necessarily so - Bronski Beat

Bronski Beat had already had two hits in 1984 when they released 'It ain't necessarily so', a cover of the George and Ira Gerschwin classic. The song questions the authenticity of biblical tales; the song is a metaphor for African-Americans questioning slavery, Jim Crow and oppression in the USA as the natural order of things. The single reached the UK Top 20.

This 12" single features a slightly longer version of the track as well as two more dance-oriented B-side tracks.

My collection: 12" single no. 647
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'It ain't necessarily so' / 'Close to the edge', 'Red dance'

Waterloo - Lecia & Lucienne

It's a special year for Abba fans, as 'Waterloo' is celebrating its 40th birthday. Even back in 1974, the song was used as a vehicle by other stars to have a go at chart success. Take for instance the Danish sisters Lecia & Lucienne Jönsson. They started to compete in talent shows in 1961 and won no less than 43 of them. In 1964, they released their debut album.

Ten years later, they recorded this cover version of Abba's winning Eurovision song. You can hear how the production of this version is not quite up to the original, but it is still interesting to hear how a song is used and changed this way, only weeks after its release.

My collection: 7" single no. 5360
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Waterloo', 'Kom - tag min hand'

Video video - Brixx

Denmark was represented in the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest by the group Brixx. The group members were Jens Brixtofte (brother of the Danish politician Peter Brixtofte), John Hatting, Torben Jacobsen, Steen Ejler Olsen and Bjørn Holmgård Sørensen. Their song 'Video video' was a praise of the then-new technology of video recorders, with the singer describing the wealth of viewing he has on tape — everything from Humphrey Bogart to Wimbledon. Indeed, he remarks that "Susanne" (possibly a lover) has left him for fear that his viewing habits have made him "not all normal".

The song ended up 17th in the contest,  receiving 3 points from Portugal and 1 point each from Sweden and Ireland. Only Kojo from Finland did worse, receiving no points at all.

My collection: 7" single no. 5359
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Video video' / 'I wanna dance med dig'

Radio bonheur - Herve Cristiani

With Kate Bush concerts in sight, it's no surprise I started looking for some Kate Bush records at the record fair in Utrecht today. I have many of them and the ones I saw that were slightly interesting were way too expensive. But this single was a good find. I knew that Herve Cristiani had recorded a track called 'Kate Bush', and I'd even heard it, but I didn't know it was released on a single. On the B-side, but hey, I'm not complaining - I'm buying!

Herve Cristiani was born on November 8, 1947 in Paris, France. His debut album was released in 1975. This single comes from his fourth album, 'Il est libre Max', released in 1981.

My collection: 7" single no. 5358
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Radio bonheur' / 'Kate Bush'

Da da da ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht aha aha aha - Trio

The German band Trio constructed the early synthpop hit 'Da da da' with a Casio VI-Tone and some bits of German dialogue. It was a hit not only in Germany, where the 'Neue Deutsche Welle' was making waves, but also in other European countries and even in UK, where German acts were rarely found in the charts (although Boney M had considerable success in the Seventies...)

This 12" single presents a six minute remix (or 'extended version') of the track and two quite funny, almost punk-inspired, B-sides.

My collection: 12" single no. 646
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Da da da ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht aha aha aha', 'Frau A spricht ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht' / 'Halt mich fest ich werd verrückt', 'Lady-o-lady'

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Valentine's day - David Bowie

Another single from David Bowie's most recent album 'The next day', 'Valentine's day' was released as a picture disc in a partly transparent sleeve with the lyric of the song printed on it. This single actually comes with a B-side, although 'Plan' is just a short instrumental piece.

What's on the picture disc? I was wondering about that for a while, but then I realised: the album sleeve of 'The next day' uses the artwork of Bowie's album 'Heroes', and the picture disc here shows the right and left hand from that album artwork. Another clever design.

My collection: 7" single no. 5357
Found: Head, Bristol, December 18, 2013
Tracks: 'Valentine's day' / 'Plan'

The next day - David Bowie

The surprise comeback of David Bowie at the beginning of 2013 was something that took hold of the 'serious' music press all through the year. Bowie didn't do many interviews, there were some music videos but that was about it. Oh, and of course: the Japanese edition of the album had four bonus tracks whereas the European one had only three. Having ordered the Japanese edition from Europe, the end of the year came with the announcement of a "special edition" with all the tracks included and more. Nice going...

Anyway, the title track was released as a single on a white square disc. The transparent sleeve featured the title and credits, so the disc was indeed completely white. Clever design. Just a shame that the disc features the same track on both sides.

My collection: 7" single no. 5356
Found: Head, Bristol, December 18, 2013
Tracks: 'The next day' / 'The next day'

Change - Tears for Fears

The single Change was originally released as a single from Tears for Fears' debut album 'The hurting', and apparently there were different versions of the sleeve. When 'The hurting' was released as a boxed 3cd-1dvd deluxe edition, this new 7" single was offered by Universal as a limited edition bonus, featuring a reprint of a rare sleeve. Indeed, I've never seen this sleeve before, so it is probably pretty rare.

The tracks on this single are identical to the original release: 'Change' from the album and the intriguing B-side, 'The conflict'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5355
Found: Universal mail order, November 2013
Cost: nought, but the box set wasn't cheap of course.
Tracks: 'Change' / 'The conflict'

Hiroshima - Wishful Thinking

Here's another track I already had on 7", but with added Nineties pleasure. 'Hiroshima' by Wishful Thinking was re-released with a 90's mix after German singer Sandra had released her cover version of the song as a single. This single - which comes with a promotional fact sheet, by the way - presents both the original version of the song plus a remix by Dave Morgan.

Who's Dave Morgan, you ask? He was a guitarist with Electric Light Orchestra from 1981 to 1986 and also the original writer of the song, recorded by Wishful Thinking back in 1970.

My collection: 7" single no. 5354
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hiroshima (originalversion)' / 'Hiroshima (90er mix)'

Angelina - Matia Bazar

I already have a version of Angelina in my collection, but this one was pressed on red vinyl, and that is always a good excuse to buy another copy.

Fortunately, this single also comes with a different B-side, and I have to say I rather like that song. Matia Bazar have always been good at crafting melodic songs, and 'Cose' is a good example of what these Italians can do, aided with synths, drum computers and layered vocals.

My collection: 7" single no. 5353
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Angelina' / 'Cose'

Lido shuffle - Boz Scaggs

One of the songs that defined the year 1977 for me was What can I say by Boz Scaggs. Don't know why, I probably heard it a lot back then - courtesy of my sister. Another single from the same album was 'Lido shuffle', which was not as big a hit in the Netherlands, but it was still well-known.

This version of the single is a German promotional 7", with a white label. Shameful fact: I actually thought this was a different song, but I don't know the title of that one now. Fortunately, this track is another one I vaguely recall from the old days...

My collection: 7" single no. 5352
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Lido shuffle' / 'Love me tomorrow'

One love to give - Stephanie

At the turn of the year I saw Stephanie in the audience of the annual Circus show from Montreux. She looked a bit old, much older than when she released her debut album back in 1986. That's logical, I guess. Back in 1986 the old comment 'she looks better than she sings' was very much in play. I wonder if that is still the case right now.

Anyway, I have most of the singles from that debut album, but this one is a rarity: a promotion single released in Germany, featuring both the English and French versions of the song 'Flash'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5351
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 24, 2013
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'One love to give' / 'Flash'

Un poco de paz - Nicole

So when you have Ein Bisschen Frieden, A little peace, La paix sur terre, Een beetje vrede and En smule fred, there's only one more version of 'Ein Bisschen Frieden' to get hold of: 'Un poco de paz' of course. It's the Spanish version of the 1982 Eurovision winner, and I have searched for this one for years. Try it yourself: when you come across it online it's a pretty expensive item.

At the Record Fair in Utrecht, which takes place every six months, I never saw this single before either, but during the last edition I was finally lucky. If the price seems a bit high to you, you have to consider that shipping is usually part of the deal when ordering online. So I think I still got a good deal. Now I'll never have to buy a Nicole single anymore...

My collection: 7" single 5350
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Un poco de paz' / 'Thank you, merci, danke'

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Love me love my dog - Peter Shelley

This single caught my attention because I own several singles which were written by Marty Wilde and Peter Shelley. When I checked out the label, I found out that 'Love me love my dog' was another song written by the duo. Being quite interested in the Wilde dynasty, I had to buy this single of course!

Peter Shelley entered the UK music industry in 1965 working initially as a song plugger with the music publisher, Chappell & Co. He then joined EMI as personal assistant to their chief songwriter/record producer Norman Newell, his responsibilities covering various aspects of music co-ordination, production and administration. He later joined Decca Records as a talent scout, discovering for the label Amen Corner, Ten Years After and Giles, Giles and Fripp — the nucleus of a band later to be called King Crimson. He left Decca in 1968 to become an independent writer/producer, working with other writers such as Ben Findon and Marty Wilde. He had several minor European single hits during this period.

In 1973 Shelley co-founded Magnet Records with Michael Levy. Shelley's role was that of director of A&R and Levy's as president/general manager/administrator. Shelley wrote, produced and sang Magnet's first release "My Coo Ca Choo" which reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and number 1 in many other countries. Magnet became one of the UK's most successful independent record labels under Shelley's creative direction. He also helped sign Guys 'n' Dolls and Chris Rea to the label. Shelley was presented with the Ivor Novello Award in 1975 for his services to the UK music industry. However, due to differences between Levy and himself, Shelley resigned from Magnet in late 1975 to pursue an independent career. He now lives in Canada and works primarily as a songwriter.

My collection: 7" single no. 5347
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, October 19, 2013
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Love me love my dog' / 'My sweet Deutsche friend'

Cent mille chansons - Frida Boccara

Although Casablanca-born Frida Boccara was already a big star in France since her debut in 1960, she was introduced to an international audience with this single, 'Cent mille chansons'. A year later, she was one of four acts to win the Eurovision Song Contest when she sang 'Un jour, un enfant', but despite this, 'Cent mille chansons' remains her best known song. It makes an appearance in the Dutch Top 2000 of all times every year since 1999, with number 622 as its highest place back in 2006.

My collection: 7" single 5348
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, October 19, 2013
Cost: 0,25 euro
Tracks: 'Cent mille chansons' / 'Je ne veux pas te dire adieu'

Gonna get along without you now - Viola Wills

I was quite amazed to see this sleeve and not recognise it. It meant, under normal circumstances, that I didn't have this song (I have been fooled by my photographic memory many times, because some singles appeared in different sleeves). Viola Wills' 'Gonna get along without you now' is one of those late Seventies disco records that wasn't the biggest hit but still sounds so familiar because it was played a lot on the radio both in 1979 when it came out and in later years.

The song is actually a disco cover version of a song written by Milton Kellern in 1951. The original version was recorded by Teresa Brewer and released in early 1952. It was recorded as a big band 'swing' track. The track was subsequently covered by countless others, including Chet Atkins, Trini Lopez, Bad Manners and UB40.

My collection: 7" single no. 5349
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, October 19, 2013
Cost: 0,25 euro
Tracks: 'Gonna get along without you now' / 'Your love'

Friday, 30 August 2013

Kids in America - Radio Wendy

I don't buy a lot of 7" singles these days, but every now and again I find something online that I've been looking for. This single first came to my attention last year. It was another cover version of Kim Wilde's 'Kids in America' - and there are loads of cover versions of that song! - but this particular one has never surfaced online as an mp3 or anything. The single was for sale but upon ordering the seller found out he couldn't find the single he was offering. At the time, he was the only one.

Earlier this month, I looked again and there were actually three sellers for this single! I picked one, ordered it, and two weeks later it was in my mailbox. It turns out Radio Wendy was signed to an independent record company in San Diego, California. Not much more information than that, even the year of release can't be traced. It is a nice cover version, but nothing too spectacular I'm afraid. It's been done before.

My collection: 7" single no. 5346
Found: Discogs.com, received August 27, 2013
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Kids in America' / 'Growing old'

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Moments of pleasure - Kate Bush

I would describe my latest vinyl acquisition as a shocker. I never knew that 'Moments of pleasure' by Kate Bush, released in 1993 as the second single off her album 'The red shoes' was released on a 7" single. But it was, albeit only on this jukebox version and never commercially.

Having always thought that only 'Rubberband girl' got a 7" version (and there's a jukebox version of that one too) this is quite a revelation for me. I'm lucky to have found a copy on eBay and win the auction too at such a low price. You'd think that hordes of Kate Bush fans are after this great single, but apparently not...

My collection: 7" single no. 5345
Found: eBay.co.uk, received July 9, 2013
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Moments of pleasure' / 'Moments of pleasure (instrumental)'

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Running up that hill - Sweep featuring Linda Carriere

Not content with just one disc, Sweep and Linda Carriere released several 12" singles of their cover of 'Running up that hill'. This second 12" features just two remixes of the track, featuring a sort of budget Shaggy clone (as if Shaggy himself isn't cheap enough already).

Repetitive and a bit of an insult to the original track, it's no wonder Sweep disappeared from the music scene directly after this one release.

My collection: 12" single no. 645
Found: unknown, 199X
Cost: unknown
Tracks: "Running up that hill (Running status mix)' / 'Running up that hill (Killer Bee mix)'

Running up that hill - Sweep featuring Linda Carriere

Most people who are fan of a certain artist don't have much interest for cover versions of their favourite artist. I tend to act differently: for most of the acts that I have more than a passing interest in, I like to collect as much cover versions as I can. It does mean that you need a lot of perseverance and in some cases lots of endurance too. Some cover versions are dreadful, others can turn out to be quite nice.

Unfortunately, Sweep's 1993 version of Kate Bush's 'Running up that hill' does not fall into the latter category. It's a rather unimaginative take on what was a very innovative pop song back in 1985. The vocals by Linda Carriere are sometimes ridiculous, but she does manage to hold a few notes. Which I guess is a positive point.

My collection: 12" single no. 644
Found: unknown, 199X
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Running up that hill (Jam's Labyrinth mix)', 'Running up that hill (1993 mix)' / 'Running up that hill (laser mix)', 'Running up that hill (radio edit)'

Friday, 24 May 2013

When you really loved someone - Agnetha Fältskog

The biggest disappointment of this year's Eurovision Song Contest was that Abba didn't appear on stage when the song 'The winner takes it all' was performed live on stage by someone else. But that disappointment was balanced somewhat by the surprise announcement earlier this year that Agnetha was to release a new album. This single, 'When you really loved someone' was meant to be a teaser.

Now in the old days, a 7" single would consist of an A-side and a B-side. But in this case, the artist nor the record company could be bothered to supply the latter, so when you play the B-side of this disc, all you hear is silence. But that's the only gripe: the song itself is nice, and the picture disc looks very beautiful.

My collection: 7" single no. 5342
Found: CDON.com, received May 22, 2013
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'When you really loved someone'

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Running up that hill (2012 remix) - Kate Bush

I guess it's reassuring that after a surge of productivity in 2011, Kate Bush has returned to her old non-prolific self. However, she did manage to produce the biggest, and only, highlight of last year's Olympic Games in London by making a 2012 version of her 1985 hit, 'Running up that hill'. (Billed as a remix here, it actually features new vocals by Kate herself.) However disappointing it was that she didn't appear in person, I guess it was a wise decision because so many B- and C-list celebrities did turn up.

Another disappointment was the lack of physical releases of this new track. Sure, there are promotional CD-singles about but they are insanely expensive. I was glad that this 10" vinyl was released for Record Store Day last month, even if it meant having to wait for an online retailer to sell them because there are no record stores anymore in my hometown. Fortunately, 7inchsingles.nl came to the rescue. Hurray!

My collection: 10" single [unnumbered]
Found: 7inchsingles.nl, received May 1, 2013
Cost: enough
Tracks: 'Running up that hill (2012 remix)' / 'Walk straight down the middle'

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Hip hurra - det' min fødselsdag - Tommy Seebach Band

Tommy Seebach made another appearance at Eurovision in 1982. After trying it with 'Disco tango' and 'Krøller eller ej', this third effort was a piece of synthpop done in Eurovision style: hyperactive and with Danish lyrics. The title means something like 'Hip hooray it's my birthday' and it is a typically happy song.

Despite all this fun, Tommy Seebach was a kind of tragic figure in Eurovision: despite participating four times, he never really had a big success and apparently he had to deal with alcoholism and other private problems. Even the Danish didn't always treat him like the hero I always thought he was. His musical legacy still sounds like a lot of fun and games. And of course it's better that way.

My collection: 7" single no. 5340
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2013
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Hip hurra - det' min fødselsdag' / 'Ta' med mig'

Born to sing - Colm "C.T." Wilkinson

I first saw part of this song in a documentary about the Eurovision Song Contest some 20 years ago: a large, slightly sweaty man turning purple as he was belting out the last few seconds of this song. It makes the high notes of Johnny Logan look like kids stuff: here was the equivalent of Joe Cocker being strangled while having surgery at his prostrate while singing 'With a little help from my friends'.

The single was pretty hard to get, though. I wasn't prepared to pay too much for it so the few copies I ever saw I always passed on. Until this weekend! And indeed, on record these last few seconds still sound very impressive.

My collection: 7" single no. 5339
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2013
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Born to sing' / 'Simple things in life'

Krøller eller ej - Debbie Cameron & Tommy Seebach

For about ten years, I've seen a record dealer from Denmark in Utrecht every six months, with a decent Eurovision collection. The only reason that I never bought anything from the man - although I was tempted from time to time - was the fact that his prices were too high. Starting at 4 euros, an interesting title would easily cost you 10 euros or more.

Much to my surprise, this weekend he was selling off all of his singles for just 2 euros. I guess he is stopping his business. Good news for me though; I got my hands on four singles that were missing from my collection, and this one is perhaps the most interesting of the four. Tommy Seebach is a Eurovision icon and 'Krøller eller ej' was one of his Eurovision successes. An overly hysterical Eighties production, but very amusing nonetheless.

My collection: 7" single no. 5338
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2013
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Krøller eller ej' / 'Jeg en gard mig bygge vil'

Bra vibrationer - Kikki

'Bra vibrationer' was Sweden's entry for the 1985 Eurovision Song Contest. Even without this information, you would recognise this song as a Swedish Eurovision track, because it sounds suspiciously like a Seventies Abba track. Like many Swedish entries for Eurovision after 1974, I would say.

I already owned the English version, but it's great to have the original version on single now as well.

My collection: 7" single no. 5337
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2013
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Bra vibrationer' / 'Plingeling'

The world stood up - Marty Wilde

Marty Wilde's 'Abergavenny' is a well-known hit from 1968 in most European countries. It comes from the album 'Diversions', also released in 1968 and very much in need of a CD release. But little did I know that another single was taken from that album.

I was at a record fair this Saturday and while walking past some dealers I suddenly spotted a stack of singles at the side of one stall. On top was this one: 'The world stood up' by Marty Wilde. Well, obviously I had to have this one and I was pleased that it didn't cost a fortune. Backing vocals on this track were performed by Marty's wife Joyce.

My collection: 7" single no. 5336
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 13, 2013
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'The world stood up' / 'In the night'

Sunday, 24 March 2013

La mer - Charles Trenet

This is probably the oldest song I've ever written about on this blog, although obviously some songs were written earlier but recorded after the 1940's. This recording stems from the Fourties and was written by the singer while travelling in a train along the French Mediterranean coast. He supposedly wrote the song in ten minutes on toilet paper supplied by the SNCF. He recorded the song in 1946, and it subsequently became a chanson classic.

I never actually thought I would buy this particular single but when I found it for almost nothing I couldn't resist. It does not say when this EP was released, but I suppose it is actually a release from the 1950's or 1960's. We played 'La mer' two years ago on the occasion of my father's cremation and so it has some resonance. It's good to own this now.

My collection: 7" single no. 5335
Found: Kringloop Den Haag, March 2013
Cost: 0,25 euro
Tracks: 'La mer', 'La romance de Paris' / 'L'ame des poetes', 'La jolie Sardane'.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Magic dance - David Bowie

Now that everybody's in awe of the new album by David Bowie, I thought it would be fun to showcase on of his less critically acclaimed moments. So I dug out this 12" single of 'Magic dance', released in the USA in 1986. Bowie recorded this song, as well as a handful of others, for the soundtrack of the Jim Henson movie 'Labyrinth', in which he also played the role of the Goblin king, wearing a strange wig and performing magic tricks. Even on the sleeve of this record he appears to be doing a silly walk.

The remixes of the track are typical mid-Eighties fare: lots of drums and sampled sounds. Some people would argue that Bowie wasn't at his creative peak in the Eighties, personally I do prefer his work during this decade over his acclaimed early Sixties rock. But each to their own...

My collection: 12" single no. 643
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Magic dance (dance mix)' / 'Magic dance (dub)', 'Within you'

Les lacs du Connemara - Michel Sardou

'Les lacs du Connemara' was released by Michel Sardou in 1982. It became a hit single in several European countries, and also in the Netherlands, where the single peaked at number 9. It was his first and only success in this country.

The song is about the Irish region Connemara. The lyric mentions Oliver Cromwell, Tipperary, Galway and Irish family names like Sean, Maureen, O´Connell and Flaherty. The music is performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

My collection: 7" single 5334
Cost: nothing
Tracks: 'Les lacs du Connemara' / 'Je viens du Sud'

Friday, 1 March 2013

If you could read my mind - Aurora

Sung by Marcella Detroit (of Shakespear's Sister fame), 'If you could read my mind' was a pretty nice cover version of a song originally performed by Gordon Lightfoot (and also covered by Viola Wills in 1980). Aurora released only one album in 2001, from which several singles were released. Three singles were a hit, but this, the fourth single drawn from the album, failed to chart.

Upon hearing these remixes I wasn't too impressed. The Roksolid dub in particular has nothing to do with the original track, and that's a shame. But still, it's good to have this disc, as it represents a full collection of remixes of a pretty much forgotten gem.

My collection: 12" single no. 642
Found: Discogs.com, received March 1, 2013
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'If you could read my mind (Coloursound club mix)' / 'If you could read my mind (If you could funk my head mix)', 'If you could read my mind (Roksolid dub)'

You only tell me you love me when you're drunk - Pet Shop Boys

I don't have many Pet Shop Boys 12" singles, even though I really like their music. Most of their remixes have been released on cd - I think - so whenever I see a 12" single by them I cross off my list: 'Do I have all the tracks?'. If not, I go to the next question: 'Is it cheap'? If not, I have no trouble leaving it be.

So this double 12" set ended up in my collection because it contained one remix I didn't have yet and because it was dirt cheap. When I finally received it today I concluded that it was a good buy: the outer sleeve looks a bit boring (see the picture) but the two inner sleeve are actually quite attractive, featuring a photograph on one side each (picturing one member of the duo each) and the same dark brown colour on the other side. Well designed. But then, all of the Pet Shop Boys sleeves have been well designed.

My collection: 12" single no. 641
Found: Discogs.com, received March 1, 2013
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'You only tell me you love me when you're drunk (Brother Brown's newt mix)' / 'You only tell me you love me when you're drunk (Attaboy still love you when we're sober mix)' // 'You only tell me you love me when you're drunk (The T-Total mix)' / 'You only tell me you love me when you're drunk (Brother Brown's newt dub)'

Sweet love - Fierce

'Sweet love' was a cover version of the 1986 Anita Baker track by the female trio Fierce, consisting of Chantal Alleyne, Aisha Peters and Sabrina Weathers. The group sang R&B tracks and had four hits in the UK, including this one. The original version was released on their only album, 'Right here right now' (1999) and produced by Jeremy Wheatley and Magnus Fiennes, while the single version, entitled 'Sweet love 2K' was produced by Stargate.

This double 12" release features remixes by Rhythm Masters and Trouser Enthusiasts. And there lies the answer to the question 'why did I buy this?'. The UK collective Trouser Enthusiasts have made some excellent remixes and this is one of them. It's very hard to get hold of them all but this 12" was pretty cheap when I found it online.

My collection: 12" single no. 640
Found: Discogs.com, received March 1, 2013
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Sweet love (Rhythm Masters vocal mix)' / 'Sweet love (Trouser Enthusiasts dub)' // 'Sweet love (Trouser Enthusiasts mix)' / 'Sweet love (Rhythm Masters dub)'

Monday, 18 February 2013

Spread a little happiness - Sting

When Police frontman Sting starred in the movie Brimstone and Treacle, an adaption of a play of the same name, he wrote and co-wrote the majority of the songs on the soundtrack. Most people tend to forget that 'Spread a little happiness', taken from this soundtrack, is actually Sting's debut solo single. It reached number 16 in the UK singles chart.

I did like the track but never got around to buying the single at the time because of budget constraints. Later on, the single would only turn up for ridiculous prices at record fairs and the like. So I was glad to get my hands on a copy for next to nothing this month.

My collection: 7" single no. 5333
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, February 5, 2013
Cost: 0,25 euro
Tracks: 'Spread a little happiness' / 'Only you'

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Reactive - Sixteen Deluxe

The American band Sixteen Deluxe are a "psychedelic noise-pop band", according to their own biography, from Austin, Texas. Formed in 1994, they played for seven years together before breaking up in July 2000 after Carrie Clark left the band. Apparently they reformed ten years later - the website sixteendeluxemusic.com has been abandoned almost as soon as it was started but still gives that information from 2010.

This 7" single became part of my collection after I found out a cover of Kim Wilde's 'Kids in America' was featured on the B-side. There are many cover versions of Kim's debut hit, but this is a pretty hard to find one. It isn't actually too bad, if you're expecting the dozenth punk-inspired cover version.

My collection: 7" single no. 5300
Found: Discogs.com, received February 2, 2013
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Reactive' / 'Kids in America'

Monday, 19 November 2012

Flower - Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue is in the music business for 25 years now. Hard to believe that the Neighbours actress who brought us 'The loco-motion' and 'I should be so lucky' finally became a serious pop artist, with some very beautiful ("Put yourself in my place", "Finer feelings") and well-produced ("Can't get you out of my head", "On a night like this") pop songs in her repertoire.

An artist like Kylie is assumed to only perform well under highly produced and perhaps autotuned circumstances, but her latest album 'The Abbey Road sessions' contains some great versions of those wellknown pop songs - and it certainly sounds like her voice is as authentic as the orchestra that backs her up. The song 'Flower' is a new one and this one was released as a single. This picture disc 7" single proves both that Kylie can perform well and that Photoshop is a popular tool to create immaculate photographs with.

My collection: 7" single no. 5299
Found: Recordstore.co.uk, received November 17, 2012
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Flower' / 'Flower (instrumental)'

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Skyfall - Adele

Who can still hum the melody of 'Another way to die', the previous Bond theme? Thought not. The steady decline of James Bond movie theme songs that had started at the end of the last century seems to have been halted when the powers that be decided that this year's Bond song would be performed by a British artist again. And that's the first time since 1985 when Duran Duran recorded 'A view to a kill'. 'Skyfall' is "Bond by numbers", some people commented. With a large orchestra to back her up, it certainly feels like a retro track.

Obviously I was wondering if a 7" single would be released, but even before I started looking out for it, my friend Puck contacted me because he'd seen the single during a shopping trip. I was very happy to get this little present, which will probably prompt me to start buying more "Bond singles". I missed out on a few during the last 50 years...  

My collection: 7" single no. 5298
Found: Den Haag, November 8, 2012
Cost: Nothing (a present)
Tracks: 'Skyfall' / 'Skyfall (instrumental)'
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