Saturday, 6 September 2014

In the flesh - Blondie

The second single from Blondie's self-titled debut album, 'In the flesh' was written by Deborah Harry and Chris Stein. It was released in 1976 in the USA by Private Stock records, the last single for Blondie on that label. It appeared in Australia on Chrysalis a year later.

This single is a different kettle of fish: it was released by Chrysalis in the Netherlands in 1981, to fill up the silence caused by the lack of new material between the release of  'AutoAmerican' (1980) and 'The Hunter' (1982).

My collection: 7" single no. 5373
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'In the flesh' / 'One way or another'

Banana banana - King Kurt

Music doesn't always have to be serious. The psychobilly rock band King Kurt specialised in wild and funny singles, such as the hilarious cover version of Mack the knife which I described previously.

In August 1984, they followed up that single with 'Banana banana', a 2'38 minute piece of fun that reached number 54 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5430
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag

Cost: 3,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Banana banana' / 'Bo Diddley goes east'

Friday, 5 September 2014

This time - INXS

Only in the UK you would have double single packages, sometimes at the price of a single 7", featuring extra tracks that made the purchase of a certain future hit that much more attractive. This 'two record set' of INXS's 'This time' is a great attractive, as it features two extended versions of previous singles plus a glossy gatefold sleeve. What's not to like?

'This time' was taken from INXS's fifth studio album 'Listen like thieves' (1985). The album was a charttopper in Australia and did fairly well in Canada and the USA, as well as peaking at number 46 in the UK albums chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5452
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'This time' / 'Original sin (extended version)' //  'Burn for you (extended remix)' / 'Dancing on the jetty'

Paul McCartney's theme from The Honorary Consul - John Williams

'The Honorary Consul' was originally a book written by Graham Greene, published in 1973. The book was subsequently made into a film, directed by John Mackenzie in 1983, featuring Richard Gere and Michael Caine.

The soundtrack of the movie featured a theme which was composed by Paul McCartney and performed by John Williams. It's true, when you listen to the recording of this single you'll notice that it's had better days, but this single is pretty hard to find these days. So I guess I'm lucky to have found it at all.

My collection: 7" single no. 5408
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Paul McCartney's theme from The Honorary Consul' / 'Clara's theme' (Quimantu)

Summer (The first time) - Bobby Goldsboro

Bobby Goldsboro was born in Marianna, Florida. In 1941, Goldsboro's family moved 35 miles north from Marianna to Dothan, Alabama. He graduated from Dothan High School in 1959 and later enrolled at Auburn University. Goldsboro left college after his second year to pursue a musical career. He played guitar for Roy Orbison from 1962 to 1964, then started a solo career.

'Summer (The first time)', a reminiscence about a 17-year-old boy's first sexual experience with a 31-year-old woman, was a Top 20 hit in the U.S. and reached number 9 in the UK singles chart. Using a repeating piano riff, 12-string guitar, and an orchestral string arrangement, the song was suggestive enough to spark some controversy at the time.

My collection: 7" single no. 5397
Found: Beanos, London
Cost: 1,5 pounds
Tracks: 'Summer (The first time)' / 'Childhood - 1949'

The colour field - The colour field

The Colourfield were a British band formed in 1984 in Manchester when former Specials and Fun Boy Three frontman Terry Hall joined up with ex-Swinging Cats members Toby Lyons and Karl Shale. Despite the fact that all three of them hailed from Coventry, they made their homebase in Manchester.

In January 1984 The Colourfield released their debut single, 'The colour field', which just missed making the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 43.

My collection: 7" single no. 5379
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'The colour field' / 'Sorry'

I'm your money - Heaven 17

'I'm your money' was released in 1981 as the second single by Heaven 17, the synthpop trio formed by Martyn Ware, Ian Craig Marsh and Glenn Gregory. After the success of their debut single '(We don't need this) Fascist Groove Thang', the chart result of this single came as a disappointment, as it didn't chart at all.

In recent years, Heaven 17 have started performing live, something they never did during the Eighties. In an interview in 2010 for the website Electricity Club, Martyn Ware said: "We weren't writing songs with the anticipation of playing them live so I'm Your Money is very... say for instance we waved a magic wand and it was exactly the backing track that we did... we can't do because we don't have the original tapes. But if it was exactly the same backing track as we did in the 1981, I think it would really jar on the ear! It's incredibly repetitive and monotonous but on record, it sounds great. "

My collection: 7" single no. 5401
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'I'm your money' / 'Are everything'

Julia says - Wet Wet Wet

'Julia says' was released as the second single from Wet Wet Wet's sixth studio album, 'Picture this'. It was released on March 13, 1995 and peaked at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart. Marti Pellow recorded his own version of the song for inclusion on his 2002 album 'Marti Pellow Sings the Hits of Wet Wet Wet & Smile'.

This 7" single was released as a limited edition on purple vinyl. The song is nice but it is quite unfortunate that the band decided to 'rock out' near the end, which kindof sours the mood.

My collection: 7" single no. 5414
Found: Record fair, 1995
Cost: 12 guilders
Tracks: 'Julia says' / 'It's now or never'

Such a shame - Talk Talk

EMI have always been excellent at recycling their music. Countless compilation albums and re-releases of old hits is what this big record company based a lot of its success on - in the past of course, because EMI isn't that successful anymore these days.

Case in point: this re-release of Talk Talk's 'Such a shame', released in 1990, was made in Germany and was different from the UK version. That one had a live version of 'Dum dum girl' on the B-side, whereas this one simply has the studio version. Confusing matters even more, the CD-single equivalents of these single had completely different track listings, the European one winning because it had the live version of 'Tomorrow started' as well as the rare track 'Another word' on it.

My collection: 7" single no. 5412
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Such a shame' / 'Dum dum girl'

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Un train qui part - Marie

'Un train qui part' ('A departing train') was a song performed by French singer Marie, representing Monaco during the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. The song is about people striking out on their own. Marie sings about a girl from rural France who is boarding a train to Paris in the hope that she will find work there, despite not knowing exactly what she will do. The departing train, she sings, 'is a bit like a home...For one who has never known home'.

The song was performed sixth on the night. At the close of voting, it had received 85 points, placing it eighth in a field of 17 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 5595
Found: Marktplaats.nl, August 2, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Un train qui part' / 'Le géant'

You ain't seen nothin' yet - Bachman Turner Overdrive

'You ain't seen nothin' yet' was written by Randy Bachman. The chords of the chorus riff are very similar to the ones used by The Who in their song 'Baba O'Riley', and also, the stuttering vocal is reminiscent of 'My generation'. Randy insists that the song was performed as a joke for his brother, Gary, who had a stutter, with no intention of sounding like 'My generation'. They only intended to record it once with the stutter and send the only recording to Gary.

The first single from the Not Fragile album was 'Roll on down the highway', appearing here on the B-side. It performed well, reaching number 4 on the Canadian charts, but eventually stalled at number 14 on the US charts. 'You ain't seen nothin' yet', meanwhile, was becoming a hit as an album cut. Radio stations all over the USA were giving it a great deal of airplay. So much so that Bachman was embarrassed because he thought it was a stupid song, just something that he wrote as a joke. Fach would regularly call him with airplay reports, asking for permission to release the track a single. Bachman says, 'And I refused for three weeks... I was producer, so I had final say on what went out. I woke up one day and asked myself, 'Why am I stopping this?' Some of my favorite records are really dumb things like 'Louie, Louie'... so I said to Charlie, 'O.K., release it. I bet it does nothing.' The song went on to become a charttopper and a rock classic.

My collection: 7" single no. 5368
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'You ain't seen nothin' yet' / 'Roll on down the highway'

Talking in your sleep - Romantics

'Talking in your sleep' is a chart-topping hit song by Detroit rock band The Romantics. It appeared on the Romantics' 1983 album 'In heat' and was the Romantics' biggest chart hit, garnering substantial radio airplay and a million in U.S. 45 RPM single sales. The song reached number 3 - where it held for three weeks - on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1984.

The song's music video, widely aired at the time on MTV and elsewhere, featured the band performing while surrounded by standing, but seemingly sleeping women who were dressed in lingerie, pajamas, and other sleepwear. The song was unsuccessful in the UK, but went on to reach number 15 in the UK singles chart when it was covered by Bucks Fizz.

My collection: 7" single no. 5464
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Talking in your sleep' / 'Rock you up'

If you don't know me by now - Simply Red

If You Don't Know Me by Now" is a song written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and recorded by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. The song was originally written for Labelle (a trio led by Patti LaBelle) but they never recorded it.

The song was later covered by the English band Simply Red, also becoming their best-known hit after reaching number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in July 1989. It peaked at number two in the UK Singles Chart. The B-side was recorded live in Manchester on February 22, 1989.

My collection: 7" single no. 5447
Found: unknown
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'If you don't know me by now' / 'Move on out (live)'

Like a surgeon - "Weird Al" Yankovic

Although "Weird Al" Yankovic refuses to use parody ideas from other people, Madonna is partly responsible for 'Like a surgeon'. Madonna asked one of her friends how long it would take until Yankovic satirized her song 'Like a virgin' as 'Like a surgeon'. This friend was a mutual friend of Al's manager, Jay Levey. When word got back to Yankovic, he decided it was a good idea and wrote the song. This is the only known time that Yankovic has gotten a parody idea directly from the original artist.

The music video, which takes place in a hospital, can be considered an extension of the parody. Several features of the 'Like a virgin' music video — famously set in Venice - are mimicked: shots of Yankovic singing on a moving gurney are substituted for footage of Madonna on a canal boat, and both videos feature a lion at the beginning.

My collection: 7" single no. 5416
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Like a surgeon' / 'Slime creatures from outer space'

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Love her madly - The Doors

'Love her madly' is a song by The Doors that was released as a single in March 1971. Composed by guitarist Robby Krieger, it served as the lead single from L.A. Woman, their final album with frontman Jim Morrison. Session musician and TCB Band member Jerry Scheff played bass guitar on the song. The single became one of the highest-charting hits for The Doors. It peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and reached number 4 in the Dutch top 40.

The B-side of the single is one of only three non-album B-sides by The Doors. 'Don't go no further' was subsequently released on the album 'Weird scenes inside the gold mine', a compilation album from 1972.

My collection: 7" single no. 5391
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Love her madly' / 'Don't go no further'

Hyperactive - Thomas Dolby

"Hyperactive!" is a single by British musician Thomas Dolby, taken from his second album 'The flat earth', released in 1984. Additional vocals were provided by Louise Ulfstedt. According to Thomas Dolby, he initially composed the song for Michael Jackson, whom he met in 1982. He decided to record it by himself since he never got any feedback from Jackson after sending him a demo tape.

It was the first single to be taken from the album and peaked at number 17 on the UK singles chart, but only reached number 62 on the US Billboard Hot 100. A remix was also done of the song, which became quite popular in clubs and on dance charts.

My collection: 7" single no. 5384
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Hyperactive' / 'White city'

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Nee voor mij - Daniela Simons

It doesn't happen very often that a Eurovision artist chooses to re-record their song in Dutch. Nicole did it with her 'Ein Bisschen Frieden', and there's a Dutch version of Carola's 'Främling', but aside from a few lesser known releases, that's about it.

Daniela Simons, who represented Switzerland in 1986 with the song 'Pas pour moi', did it with 'Nee voor mij' ('No for me'). Hilariously, she pronounces the word 'man' ('man') as 'maan' ('moon'). Still, she speaks Dutch better than I do French, so I won't make too much a fuss about it. However, the single didn't chart in the Netherlands and I have no info about any other artist attempting to release a Dutch cover of their Eurovision entry after 1986.

My collection: 7" single no. 5625
Found: Marktplaats.nl, received August 28, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Nee voor mij' / 'Pas pour moi (instrumental)'

Japanese boy - Aneka

Scottish folk singer Mary Sandeman recorded the song 'Japanese boy' in 1981. Realising that the name didn't fit the song, they decided to come up with a name to put to the single. Leafing through the telephone directory, they came upon the name of Aneka. This was then released as a single and Sandeman came up with a Japanese image under which to perform the song. To their surprise, the song became a major hit when it eventually reached No. 1 in August 1981. The song went on to become a hit all over Europe and beyond, although according to Sandeman, it failed to chart in Japan itself because 'they thought it sounded too Chinese.'

The success of the single proved to be a problem however, as Sandeman was left with a dilemma of what to do as a follow-up, now that her image was so firmly associated with one song. She modified her image and kept the Aneka name, but future single releases failed to chart highly in the UK, although she did score two follow-up hits in many countries in Europe. 'Japanese boy' sold almost half a million copies in the UK, making it one of the best-selling singles of 1981, and the second-best seller by a solo female artist (behind Kim Wilde's 'Kids in America').

My collection: 7" single no. 5366
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Japanese boy' / 'Ae fond kiss'

Monday, 1 September 2014

Runner in the night - Ryder

The cheap production, the loud synths... this single has Eighties written all over it, but not the good part of that decade. Released in 1986, Ryder's 'Runner in the night' was the UK entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. The purpose-made pop group led by Maynard Williams were criticised in the media for being a particularly weak and unsuitable entry.

As a result, the song failed to reach the UK top 75 singles chart - the first to do so since 1964. Still, they managed to get 72 points during the Contest, ending up at number 7 in a field of 20 competitors. It was the year Sandra Kim won, after all...

My collection: 7" single no. 5630
Found: Fun Records, Berlin, received August 29, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Runner in the night' / 'Runner in the night (Ballad)'

What goes around comes around - Lenny Kravitz

In 1991, Kravitz produced the self-titled album 'Vanessa Paradis' for French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis. He played most of the instruments and co-wrote most of the songs on the album. He also released his second album, 'Mama Said', which was his first album to reach the Top 40. The songs on the album were about his ex-wife, actress Lisa Bonet and dedicated to her, documenting his depression over their breakup.

'What Goes Around Comes Around' was released as the album's seventh and final single. It failed to chart in all territories, just like the previous single, 'Stop draggin' around'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5435
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'What goes around comes around' / 'When the morning turns to night'

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Love don't prove I'm right - The Babys


Internal conflicts led to rhythm guitarist and keyboard player Michael Corby being removed from the band by Chrysalis on August 28, 1978. The three remaining members of the Babys - John Waite, Wally Stocker, and Tony Brock - completed the album 'Head first' for a January 1979 release.

'Love don't prove I'm right' was a single taken from that album, the one that spawned their signature hit 'Every time I think of you'. The title track was also released as a single, but didn't fare as well and this one, released exclusively in the Netherlands - as far as I could find out - did even worse, as it failed to chart everywhere.

My collection: 7" single no. 5367
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Love don't prove I'm right' / 'I was one'

Judy min vän - Tommy Körberg

'Judy, min vän' ('Judy, my friend') was the Swedish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1969, performed by Tommy Körberg. The song was composed by Englishman Roger Wallis, living in Sweden since the early Sixties, originally with English lyrics and entitled 'Dear Mrs. Jones'. Lyricist Britt Lindeborg subsequently translated and re-wrote the Swedish lyrics specifically for the Swedish pre-selections, and then changed the title to 'Judy, min vän'.

Both versions of the song were released as singles in Sweden. 'Judy, min vän' was performed ninth on the night. By the close of voting, it had received 8 points, placing it in shared 9th place in a field of 16 competitors. After four countries won the Contest in 1969, Sweden - as all the other Scandinavian countries - withdrew from the 1970 contest, in protest of the voting system.

My collection: 7" single no. 5584
Found: KEG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Judy min vän' / 'Din tid är förbi'

Do you wanna funk - Patrick Cowley and Sylvester

Although my English wasn't as good as it is these days, even when this single was released I had a sneaking suspicion that the title was supposed to have a 'c' where the last 'n' was included. Somehow it seemed appropriate, because all I knew about clubbing at the time was that it seemed to involve drinking and... well... that other thing.

The dance song was recorded by American recording artist Sylvester. It was produced by Patrick Cowley, who incidentally died the same year. 'Do you wanna funk' was mostly successful in Europe, especially Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway (where it became a top 10 hit) and even in the United Kingdom where it made the top 40. It also made the Top 30 in Australia.

My collection: 7" single no. 5380
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Do you wanna funk' / 'Do you wanna funk (instrumental)'

Strawberry Fields forever - Beatles

Although I would love to own the box set of Beatles singles with the green sleeves, it is quite impossible to get for a reasonable price. These re-releases from the Eighties, however, pop up for a more reasonable price every now and again. And so I settled with this re-release of 'Penny Lane' and 'Strawberry fields forever', simply because they're two of the best tracks recorded by the fab four IMHO.

This single came with a piece of paper informing the buyer that the albums 'Rubber soul', 'Help' and 'Revolver' were soon to be released on compact disc. It wouldn't be the last time these albums were released on the format: since then, there have been remasters, box sets and what not. Still, no-one seems to have caught on to the idea that Beatles tracks are not the most attractive in their current state. A stereo remix wouldn't be too bad an idea in an age where music is usually listened to with in-ears.

My collection: 7" single no. 5369
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Strawberry Fields forever' / 'Penny Lane'

Running with the night - Lionel Richie

The dodgy lyrics of the man's later work may make you forget just how good his songs were at the height of his popularity. A song like 'Dancing on the ceiling' can't hold a candle to a great pop track like this one, 'Running with the night'.

It was the second single from his multi-platinum album 'Can't slow down'. The electric guitar solo was played by Steve Lukather, best known as a member of the rock band Toto. Lukather sat down in the studio and the engineer played the basic tracks of the song, for him to hear for the first time, so he could plan his part. As the music played, he jammed along on his instrument. At the conclusion of tune, he said to the engineer, "okay, I'm ready for a take." The producer replied, "That was a take." Singer Richard Marx added backing vocals on the track as a session singer; he had also lent his vocals to Richie's 'All Night Long (All Night)' and 'You Are'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5474
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Running with the night' / 'Serves you right'

Magnificent obsession - Fehlfarben

Fehlfarben is a German post-punk band from Düsseldorf, Germany. The band name is from a German printing term referring to erroneous colors in prints: singer Peter Hein was in this line of work at Xerox while in the band. Its founding members were Peter Hein (vocals), Thomas Schwebel (guitar), Michael Kemner (bass), Frank Fenstermacher (saxophone), Markus Oehlen and Uwe Bauer (drums).

'Magnificent obsession' was released as a single in 1983, but didn't register in any charts I know. Still, the single was picked up by radio stations, which is how I found out about it at the time. I also forgot about the song for a long time, until I finally got this single a few years ago.

My collection: 7" single no. 5394
Found: unknown
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Magnificent obsession' / 'Das Buschgespenst'

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Spetters - Kayak

Although the name Kayak isn't mentioned on the front of this sleeve, the soundtrack for the Dutch movie 'Spetters' was indeed played by Kayak. They are credited on the back of the sleeve, as is composed Ton Scherpenzeel.

Anyone who has seen the movie 'Spetters' will know that the story centres around a group of young people, with sex, jealousy and motorcross playing a big part - and there's also a recurring appearance of various variations on the theme of homosexuality. It was the controversy surrounding Spetters that caused Verhoeven to leave for Hollywood, where he went on to because a hugely successful director.

The music on this single tends to be overlooked - it wasn't even a hit in the Netherlands even though the movie attracted more than a million viewers in the cinema - but listen to it here and you will find this is actually great even without the movie.

My collection: 7" single no. 5428
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Theme from 'Spetters'' / 'Lost blue of Chartres'

Born free - Vic Reeves

Vic Reeves presented a television show on New Year's Eve 1990, which went on during the turn of the year. Just after midnight, one of his guest stars was Kim Wilde - which will go a long way into explaining why I bought this single.

'Oh! Mr. Songwriter' was a song performed by Kim during the show, and as this single shows, it would have been nice if she'd sung it on this recording as well. Vic Reeves, while a good comedian, doesn't have the best singing voice. Still, this release, featuring a cover of 'Born free', was received very well in 1991 and even reached the top 10 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5479
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Born free' / 'Oh! Mr. Songwriter...'

Contenders - Heaven 17

In a review of Heaven 17's 1986 single 'Contenders', Simon Reynolds for Melody Maker wrote: "This one practically hurls itself off the ropes at you, solid funk brawn but light on its feet, bobbing and weaving, jabbing and pummeling and always on the attack, but, somehow, failing to deliver that hook to floor you completely. The killer blow never comes."

I'm not a fan of music reviews, but this particular one hits the nail on the head: it is a nice enough song but it isn't particularly memorable. Which is surprising, because Heaven 17, up to that point, were able to serve up memorable pop songs each and every time. After their successful first three albums, the fourth album 'Pleasure one' failed to deliver a top 40 smash, and started a run of many non-charting albums.

My collection: 7" single no. 5404
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Contenders' / 'Excerpts from 'Diary of a contender''

Laat me nu gaan - Linda Lepomme

In 1985, actress and singer Linda Lepomme represented Belgium during that year's Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Laat me nu gaan' ('Let me go now'). She received only 7 points and ended up in last place.

A few months later, Lepomme started working at the musicals division of the Royal Ballet of Flanders, where she was artistic director between 1987 and 2005, until subsidies to musicals were no longer supplied by the government.

My collection: 7" single no. 5605
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Laat me nu gaan' / 'Laat me nu gaan (orchestral version)'

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

I'm going slightly mad - Queen

This song seems very appropriate for a night like tonight. Over in London, Kate Bush is premiering her first live show in 35 years. Yes, 'it finally happened'. Meanwhile 'I'm going slightly mad' at the thought that I will have to wait two weeks to see the show myself. Two UK newspaper are running a live blog with details of the show, and the press are sure to go mad with reports tomorrow.

But, back to Queen. They released 'I'm going slightly mad' as the second single from their album 'Innuendo' - the last Queen album to be released while frontman Freddie Mercury was alive. The video showed a pale, thin Mercury who was just months away from his passing. The band went on to release a greatest hits album, a pathetic single without Mercury and of course the lengthy 'Made in heaven' album, using vocals hastily recorded in Mercury's last year alive. There are rumours that a new album using old vocals is being made as we speak. Personally, I prefer music from artists who are still alive... and playing live. Even if the world had to wait 35 years for it.

My collection: 7" single no. 5442
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'I'm going slightly mad' / 'The hitman'

Living in a world (turned upside down) - Private Lives

I didn't know until I bought this 12" single that Private Lives released a remixed version of their single 'Living in a world (turned upside down)' within a year of its original release. The new version was produced by Stewart Levine, an American producer who's worked with an impressive line-up of soul-oriented names: The Crusaders, Minnie Riperton, Lionel Richie, Simply Red, B.B. King, Patti Labelle, Oleta Adams, Womack and Womack and many others.

Not that this new version is better than the original: sure, it sounds smooth but the spontaneity of the the original version is gone. Still, you can't go very wrong with great song material like this.

My collection: 7" single no. 5440
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Living in a world (turned upside down)' / 'Breakup'

Monday, 25 August 2014

Six months in a leaky boat - Split Enz

Easily one of the most imaginative titles of the Eighties, 'Six months in a leaky boat' was thought to be a dig at the British invasion on the Falkland Islands. As a result, the song was 'discouraged from airplay' in the UK, also because the phrase 'a leaky boat' was not thought to be appropriate during a naval action in the war.

The song is actually a reference to the time it took pioneers to sail to Australia and New Zealand, as well as a metaphor that refers to lead singer Tim Finn's nervous breakdown. The single reached number 2 in the Australian singles chart, number 7 in New Zealand and Canada and - despite the lack of airplay - number 83 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5409
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Six months in a leaky boat' / 'Make sense of it'

Loving feeling - Beloved

The Beloved were having some success as an indie band, when they slimmed down to a duo consisting of Jon Marsh and Steven Waddington. Having experimented with dance sounds already, the two decided to embrace it more and managed to sign a contract with Warner. Their first single for the major label was 'Loving feeling', released in a limited edition poster bag.

The single didn't become a chart hit, but their next single would be 'The sun rising', which did become more popular. In a way, this single is the start of it all, and foreshadowing the things that were ahead.

My collection: 7" single no. 5371
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Loving feeling' / 'Acid love'

Puppet on a string - Big Fair Organ

I couldn't find a release date for this particular single, but my guess it's a release from the Sixties - not too long after Sandie Shaw won the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest with 'Puppet on a string'.

This Big Fair Organ was used for more instrumental covers, as the album 'Dance party', released around the same time, proves: Engelbert Humperdinck's 'Release me', Louis Neefs' 'Ik heb zorgen' and even the 'Green green grass of home' were all given the organ treatment. Both the single and the album were made in Belgium, which would imply that the organ comes from that country as well.

My collection: 7" single no. 5624
Found: Marktplaats.nl, received August 16, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Puppet on a string' / 'Edelweis'

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Tonight - Boomtown Rats

The Boomtown Rats recorded their sixth album 'In the long grass' in 1983, but it was initially rejected by the band's record company. When it was finally released in May 1984, it failed to chart at all. In the US, where the album was also released, it reached number 188 in the Billboard albums chart.

'Tonight' was the first single from the album, released in February 1984. It appeared in the UK singles chart for one week, at number 73. The B-side was a non-album track, which finally appeared on a 2005 CD release of the album.

My collection: 7" single no. 5374
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Tonight' / 'Precious times'

Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va - Romuald

Romuald Figuier was born in Saint-Pol-de-Léon (France) on May 5, 1941. He represented Monaco at the Eurovision Song Contest twice: in 1964 and 1974. In 1969, he appeared on stage too, that time representing Luxembourg. This single was released in 1974, and contains his last Eurovision song, 'Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va'. The song is sung from the perspective of a man whose lover has just ended their relationship. Romuald sings that there is always one half of a relationship who "stays" - that is, the person who does not do the breaking up - and the other half who "goes" - by doing the breaking up. He compares the fates of both people, and sings that while he is not angry with his former lover, he wants her to realise the situation for what it is.

At the close of voting, the song was placed fourth in a field of 17 competitors. Of course, we all know who won the competition that year, don't we?

My collection: 7" single no. 5610
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, August 10, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va' / 'Sur la pointe des pieds, sur la pointe du coeur'

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Say hello - Breathe

Breathe blasted into the UK singles charts with their second single 'Hands to heaven' and they were hailed as the year's biggest new promise back in 1989. However, after releasing six singles from their debut album 'All that jazz', only four made it into the charts in the UK, and when they came up with a second album 'Peace of mind' in 1990, nobody seemed to be interested.

'Say hello' was the lead single from that second album, and although it was released in this attractive limited edition package featuring a fold out sleeve and three photographs, not many people took the trouble of actually taking the single home. The result was a measly number 87 in the UK singles chart, After the second and third singles did even worse, the band called it quits.

My collection: 7" single no. 5375
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Say hello' / 'All that jazz'

Kloden drejer - Gry

'Kloden drejer' is a Danish song. The title means 'The planet's spinning'. It was performed on the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest by Gry Johansen. In the end, the song was placed 17th in a field of 20 contestants.

I already had a version of this song when I bought We're like starlight, which is an English version of the song. As you can see, the lyric of that song is as wildly different from this one as the sleeve of that single is from this one.

My collection: 7" single no. 5590
Found: KG Records (Sweden), received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Kloden drejer' / 'Den sidste dans'

Tantalise - Jimmy the Hoover

Jimmy The Hoover were a British pop band, who formed in 1982 and comprised Simon Barker (keyboards), Derek Dunbar (vocals), Carla Duplantier (drums), Flinto Chandia (bass) (later replaced by Cris Cole) and Mark Rutherford (guitar). Their manager Malcolm McLaren chose their name and gave them a support slot on a Bow Wow Wow tour.

In 1983 they signed to CBS subsidiary Innervision, and the same year they had their only hit, 'Tantalise'. It would be their only hit, reaching number 18 in the UK singles chart in July 1983. The track was produced by Steve Levine, who also produced Culture Club's multi-million selling 'Colour by Numbers' album that same year. A follow-up single "Kill Me Kwik", produced by Anne Dudley of Art of Noise fame, received positive reviews in the music press but failed to chart. The group were subsequently dropped by Innervision. In 1985, another single, "Bandana Street (Use It)", would appear on a new label, MCA Records, but with no further success.

The sleeve of this single is a nightmare for obsessive compulsives: the label has to be placed in a certain way so that it connects with the hole in the sleeve.

My collection: 7" single no. 5453
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Tantalise' / 'Sing sing'

Diggi loo diggi ley - The Herrey's

Sometimes owning a big collection that's still getting bigger leads to interesting statistical facts. Back in 1984, I bought the single Diggi loo diggi ley by the Herrey's. They'd just won the Eurovision Song Contest and I went to my local record store to buy this winner - even though I wasn't convinced this was the best song of the night.

Fast forward 30 years and here we are: I ordered another copy of 'Diggi loo diggi ley', this time from a shop in Sweden, still not convinced this was the best song of the night but excited to have a recording of the original Swedish version of the song. Because that's what this single is: it's the original Swedish release, featuring not only 'Diggi loo diggi ley' in Swedish, but also a different B-side - in English!

My collection: 7" single no. 5591
Found: KG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Diggi loo diggi ley' / 'Mirror, mirror upon the wall'

Close to me (remix) - The Cure

The Cure were at their most popular by the end of the Eighties, but what happened after their album 'Disintegration' almost seemed like a deliberate self-destruct mechanism: they released an iffy live album ('Entreat'), then a remix album, and no new music until 1992 - and even that album was quite a departure from the doom and gloom they'd demonstrated until then.

From the remix album came this single, 'Close to me (remix)', in 1990. Let's just say that this remix came from Paul Oakenfold's less inspired periods. On the other hand, the remix of 'Just like heaven' on the B-side is a deconstructed piece of bliss, created by Bryan 'Chuck' New. Who?...

My collection: 7" single no. 5381
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Close to me (Closest mix)' / 'Just like heaven (Dizzy mix)'

Friday, 22 August 2014

Divine - Sebastien Tellier

On March 7, 2008, it was announced by Bruno Berberes, head of EBU delegation in France, that Tellier would represent France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008. It was held in Belgrade on May 24, 2008. Tellier sang the song 'Divine'. This was the first time in the history of the contest that the nominated French entry was to be performed largely in English, which caused some controversy, leading to Tellier pledging to increase the amount of French in the song prior to the competition itself.

There was no shortage of record releases for this entry: 'Divine' was released on 7", 12" and CD-singles - very unusual for any release in 2008, especially coming from France. This 7" single was pretty expensive back in 2008, but now I managed to snap up a copy for much less. And it's clear vinyl, too!

My collection: 7" single no. 5603
Found: eBay, received August 9, 2014
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Divine vision' / 'Divine (Kasper Winding remix)'

One way ticket - Eruption

After recording this song for this blog a few days ago, it stuck in my head all day yesterday and today. It proves just how memorable those Frank Farian disco productions were during the second half of the Seventies, and why many of them ended up being such big hits. You just couldn't get them out of your head.

Originally, the song was recorded by Neil Sedaka in 1959. The disco update from 1979 was released by Eruption for their second album 'Leave a light'. It became a number 1 in Austria and Switzerland, and reached top 10 throughout Europe.

My collection: 7" single no. 5476
Found: Kringloop Hebbes, Den Haag, July 25, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'One way ticket' / 'Left me in the rain'

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Pet'r oil - Ajda Pekkan

There aren't many 7" singles of Turkish entries of the Eurovision Song Contest, and the ones I have are always made in other countries. This single of the 1980 entry, for instance, comes from France. The B-side also contains a French-language version of the song, probably to make it more interesting for the local record-buying audience.

Ayse Ajda Pekkan was born on February 12, 1946 and has become one of the most successful female Turkish artists of all time, selling over 42 million records worldwide during a career that spans five decades. She started in 1962 and is still making records now. Her appearance in Eurovision in 1980 was perhaps not her finest moment: it caused a temporary break from music, a move to the USA, and when she moved back to Turkey she released two failed albums before becoming successful again in the mid-Eighties. 'Pet'r oil' was placed 15th in a field of 19 contestants.

My collection: 7" single no. 5588
Found: KG Records, Sweden, received August 1, 2014
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Pet'r oil' / 'Le roi du petrole'

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