Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Heavy fuel - Dire Straits

The Dire Straits released 'Heavy fuel' as the second single from their 1991 album 'On every street'. In it, Mark Knopfler ironically extols the virtues of such conventionally frowned-upon vices as cigarettes, hamburgers, Scotch, lust, money, and violence. The phrase 'You gotta run on heavy fuel' is from the novel 'Money' by Martin Amis, on which Knopfler based his lyric.

The single reached number 55 in the UK singles chart and peaked at number 25 in the Dutch singles chart. I didn't like the song back when it was released, but two decades on, it's actually very enjoyable. And so I got a copy a while ago.

My collection: 7" single no. 5383
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Heavy fuel' / 'Planet of New Orleans'

I morgon är en annan dag - Christer Björkman

Released in 1992, this single is a historic one of sorts, since it's the last Eurovision entry from Sweden to be released on the 7" vinyl format. In the early Nineties, vinyl was on its way out, because record companies placed all their bets on compact discs instead. Well, we know what happened next: most record companies are out of business now.

'I morgon är en annan dag' is a beautiful ballad, which is not something you hear from Sweden when they win. 'Waterloo', 'Diggi loo diggi ley', 'Fangad av en stormvind', 'Take me to your heaven' and even Euphoria were uptempo, so it's rather surprising the Swedes sometimes come up with a ballad. When they do with beauties like this, they earn the respect of those viewers like me, who think that the real treats in Eurovision are not found among the winners, but with the runners-up.

My collection: 7" single no. 5593
Found: KG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'I morgon är en annan dag' / 'Demain il y a un autre jour'

Fade to grey - Phase One

Released in 1992, this single is a cover of Visage's Eighties hit 'Fade to grey'. The version comes with all the things you'd expect from an early Nineties dance track: monotonous rhythm from a box, dull synths and iffy vocals.

The vocals are apparently delivered by Katrina Baird, an English vocalist and dancer who is based in Rome. The song was recorded and mixed at MKS Studio in Italy according to the sleeve. The single, however, was made in Belgium. Some optimistic soul on Discogs.com is asking 75 euros for the CD-single, which was also released at the time. Good luck...

My collection: 7" single no. 5621
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Fade to grey (radio mix)' / 'Fade to grey (instrumental mix)'

Non ho l'eta - Ernie Englund

Ernie Englund was born as Ernest Englund in Chicago, Illinois (USA) on March 26, 1928. In 1944 he came to Sweden, where he started a career in music a decade later. He was a successful composer and trumpet player, releasing several albums and singles between 1954 and 1970.

I found this single recently, featuring an instrumental cover of Gigliola Cinquetti's Eurovision winner 'Non ho l'eta'. Presumably, the single was taken from the 1969 album 'Blue trumpet', which is listed on Discogs.com and features more instrumental covers like 'House of the rising sun' and 'I (who have nothing)'. 'Let me be your dream', he asks on the B-side of this single, but I wonder if anyone would want that, looking at the cover of this single. It doesn't matter anyway: Ernie passed away on December 21, 2001 in Hamra on Gotland (Sweden).

My collection: 7" single no. 5478
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Non ho l'eta' / 'Let me be your dream'

Monday, 18 August 2014

The photo song - Holger Czukay

Back in 1984, my days were filled with music videos. Coming home from school, the television would invariably entertain me with them until dinner time. I don't know why I was so obsessive about it - or maybe I do: I wanted to catch a glimpse of my favourite artists. More often than not, I didn't, of course: the hits of the day were shown ad nauseum, and sometimes something quirky would appear.

Such as the video of Holger Czukay's 'Photo song'. Which I didn't like at all. It was weird. It seemed like a lunatic had been set free from the asylum. It took me many years to see the charm of this song - but I did. I still think the music video is crazy, but now that I own the single, I can truly say I have changed my mind about the song.

My collection: 7" single no. 5382
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'The photo song' / 'Das massenmedium'

 

Le coeur grenadine - Laurent Voulzy

Taken from the album of the same name, Laurent Voulzy released 'Le coeur grenadine' in 1979. The single was a hit in France, although I haven't been able to establish just how big a hit the song was. In 2010, Laurent established a range of girls' clothing of the same name.

Voulzy entered my record collection when he released the single 'Les nuits sans Kim Wilde', but the compilation album 'Carib Islander' featured many more great pop songs. This single wasn't included, but it has the same breezy charm.

My collection: 7" single no. 5620
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Le coeur grenadine' / 'Grimaud'

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Straight or curly hair - Debbie Cameron & Tommy Seebach

The Danish entry for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest was the inimitable Krøller eller ej by Debbie Cameron and Tommy Seebach. I wrote about that single 18 monts ago, so I thought it would be nice to post this English edition today. I got it via mail order just over two weeks ago. I didn't know it existed, but now that I have it, it is a real find.

Tommy Seebach has had quite a life, although unfortunately he probably didn't die a happy man, judging from his biography. The Eurovision songs he's made during his career (he entered the contest on three occasions and tried to get it a few times more) were a bit camp but always enjoyable. And this English version just adds to the wonder. Listen to those strange lyrics...

My collection: 7" single no. 5589
Found: KG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Straight or curly hair' / 'Tiger'

The beat goes on - Nathalie

Belgian singer Nathalie had a hit with the Peter Godwin-produced 'My love won't let you down', but the subsequent single outings haven't been quite as successful. Nathalie Gabay released three more singles before calling it quits .These days she appears to work in the fashion industry.

'The beat goes on' was Nathalie's follow-up to 'My love won't let you down', and produced by Phil Gosez, it sounds very different from its predecessor. The song itself is a cover of the 1967 hit by Sonny & Cher. The sleeve? Well, it's pure Eighties bliss, isn't it?

My collection: 7" single no. 5623
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'The beat goes on' / 'You know my name'

As tears go by - Marianne Faithfull

If you've followed this blog from the beginning, you will have seen this single before. It was taken down by Blogger because of a DMCA complaint, probably caused by the fact that in those days, you could download the tracks. Now that I stream the music, those complaints don't seem to come by anymore.

'As tears go by', a song written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, was originally released by Marianne Faithfull in 1964. The Rolling Stones recorded their own version a year later, and both versions were hits both in the UK and abroad. Faithfull re-recorded the song in 1987, saying: "Forty is the age to sing it, not seventeen". The accompanying album 'Strange weather' featured 12 cover versions of songs from the 20th century.

My collection: 7" single no. 783
Found: All that music, Leiden, March 24, 1989
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'As tears go by' / 'Trouble in mind (the return)'

Kingston town - UB40

'Kingston town' was originally released in 1970 by Lord Creator, a calypso and soca artist from Jamaica. In 1989, the song was covered by UB40 on their album 'Labour of love II', another album filled with covers in their familiar reggae stylee.

The UB40 version reached number 1 in France and the Netherlands, and was a top 10 hit in many other European countries. I never really liked the song until very recently, and so I decided to snap up a copy after all.

My collection: 7" single no. 5480
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Kingston town' / 'Lickwood'

Pump pump - Fredi & Friends

One of the reasons why the Eurovision Song Contest is derided by some people, is that some of the acts on stage have a certain dodgy quality. It's hard to explain why, but sometimes these dodgy act are what makes the contest so much fun.

One has to wonder, for example, whether Fredi & Friends, coming from Finland in 1976, seriously thought they had a chance with 'Pump pump'. The song was slightly catchy, but the group looked like they'd only rehearsed it a couple of times before losing their minds completely during the live broadcast. The enthusiasm of the female singer was a big contrast with the inertia displayed by frontman Fredi. Still, 'Pump pump' ended up on 11th place in a field of 18 contestants, so it wasn't too bad after all. And very funny, too.

My collection: 7" single no. 5586
Found: KG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Pump pump' / 'Listen to the rolling sea'

Thursday, 14 August 2014

All make believe - Ilanit

In 1973, Israel participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time, creating the first occasion on which a country from outside geographical Europe competed. This is explained by the fact that the Contest is open to members of the European Broadcasting Union, an organisation that extends beyond Europe - in fact, there are members from all continents.

'All make believe' is the English version of the song 'Ey sham', which was performed (in Hebrew) by Ilanit. She reached fouth position with the song. Ilanit participated in the 1977 edition as well, and would also have participated in 1984, but her entry was withdrawn when the broadcast day coincided with an Israeli memorial day.

My collection: 7" single no. 5612
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'All make believe' / 'Still the green grass grows'

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

I can't wait - Nu Shooz

Nu Shooz is an American Freestyle-R&B-Dance group fronted by husband-and-wife team of John Smith and Valerie Day, based in Portland, Oregon. The Shooz released four albums in the U.S. during the 1980s, and it was its third album, Poolside, that brought the group's sound to a wider audience.

The single "I Can't Wait", taken from that album, climbed to number 2 on the R&B charts and number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1986. In Europe, it was a top 10 hit in many countries, and included in many DJ megamixes which were so popular at the time.

My collection: 7" single no. 5481
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'I can't wait' / 'Make your mind up'

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Spirits having flown - Bee Gees

For some reason I never managed to secure a copy of the Bee Gees' 'Spirits having flown' until now. I did buy a copy some years ago, but that one turned out to have a different single inside the sleeve. If I'd noticed it earlier, the dealer wouldn't have made any money of me, but in this case, I was too slow.

This time I had more luck. This Portuguese copy of the single features a different sleeve (although it has to be said that it's only different from the Dutch version, as the UK version didn't have a picture sleeve at all) and had the right disc inside.
Great! This is actually one of the trio's better tracks, in my humble opinion.

My collection: 7" single 5372
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Spirits (having flown)' / 'Wind of change'

Det börjar verka kärlek, banne mej - Claes-Göran Hederström

One would not expect a title like "It's beginning to look like love, damn it" to enter the Eurovision Song Contest back in the Sixties, but that's exactly what the title of this Swedish entry means.

Claes-Göran Hederström represented his country a year after his television debut and this became his most recognised song, partly thanks to its unconventional title and partly because of its humorous lyrics. The fact that this song ended up fifth in a field of 17 contestants also helped, of course.

My collection: 7" single no. 5583
Found: KEG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Det börjar verka kärlek, banne mej' / 'Natten är så lång'

Sámiid Aednan - Sverre Kjelsberg & Mattis Haetta

Every once in a while I get to buy a single I've been searching for - I mean, actively searching for - for many years. Earlier this week I finally had this beauty in my mailbox. It's the, frankly, rather bizarre Norwegian entry for the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest. Entitled 'Sámiid Aednan', the song was inspired by the autonomy movement among the Sami people of northern Norway. The line "framførr tinget der dem satt, hørtes joiken dag og natt" (in front of the parliament where they sat, the yoik was heard day and night), refers to a hunger strike in front of the Norwegian parliament building.

It is quite remarkable that such a politically-laden song made it into the contest, but even more remarkable is the song itself: after a rather traditional start, the song suddenly breaks off at 1'25 with Mattis Hætta contributing his yoik - a Sami form of vocal music without words. The song finished 16th in a field of 19 contestants.

My collection: 7" single no. 5601
Found: Discogs.com, received August 6, 2014
Cost: 6 euro
Tracks: 'Sámiid Aednan' / 'Detsikavisa'

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Non ho l'eta'... [1990 version] - Gigliola Cinquetti

Re-recording songs is seldom a good idea. Too many artists have re-recorded their hits from the beginning of their career, and it usually signalled a lack of creativity or it was motivated by legal complications involving greedy record companies.

Gigliola Cinquetti decided to re-record 'Non ho l'eta' in 1990. I have found no information why she did it, but one would guess it was prompted by Italy's Eurovision win that year, when Toto Cotugno performed 'Insieme: 1992' in Zagreb and won the Contest. She went on to present the 1991 edition together with Toto. This version is unfortunately not as charming as the original track from 1964.

My collection: 7" single no. 5477
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Non ho l'eta'... [1990 version]' (Gigliola Cinquetti) / 'Gli occhi miei' (Dino)

I love the nightlife - Alicia Bridges

No-one pronounces the word 'action' quite like Alicia Bridges, who scored a big hit in 1978 with 'I love the nightlife'. The song was a favourite in discotheques and was covered by artists like Laura Branigan, Bronski Beat and Taylor Dayne.

It also appeared in several Simpsons episodes and the movies 'Priscilla, queen of the desert' in 1994.

My collection: 7" single no. 5475
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'I love the nightlife' / 'Self applause'

Games without frontiers - Peter Gabriel

Although I do have a single with Peter Gabriel's 'Games without frontiers' on it (see it here) I really wanted to have the original single as well. So here it is, in all its weird glory.

For me, this single is also a celebration of the fact that in six weeks I will get to see the backing singer on this track, Kate Bush, live. Will Peter Gabriel appear live on stage with her? There is no telling, but it would be quite a thrill if they were to perform this track - or that other immortal duet 'Don't give up' live together. We'll wait and see...

My collection: 7" single no. 5470
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Games without frontiers' / 'The start I don't remember'

Friday, 11 July 2014

Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel

There was a bit of excitement recently when a compilation album of Eighties 12" remixes - you know the ones - suddenly included a rare remix. It was the dance mix by John Potoker of Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer', released only once previously on this limited edition 12" single. The regular 12" single simply contained the album version of the track, so this remix was a bit of a rarity.

Now that the track has finally been released on cd, it was time to dig out my own crackly vinyl copy, so you can listen to 'the real thing', so to speak. Music on vinyl is what it's all about, after all...

My collection: 12" single no. 652
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Sledgehammer (dance mix by John Potoker)', 'Don't break this rhythm' // 'Biko (12" extended version)', 'I have the touch ('85 remix)'

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Love like blood - Killing Joke

Sometimes there are these surprises when you're going through a stack of records. And finding this 12" single of Killing Joke's 'Love like blood' is a good example. I found this and for a moment I couldn't believe this disc actually contained a 'version' of the song. It isn't that strange in itself, since the single was released in the Eighties, but somehow I never thought there would be an extended version of this excellent track. Don't know why.

As it turns out, this extended version is excellent. A worthy addition to my collection.

My collection: 12" single no. 651
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Love like blood (version)' / 'Love like blood'

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'

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