Showing posts with label Eighties. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eighties. Show all posts

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Reach out - Time Bandits

When a 12" single announces that a special re-mix is provided by Ben Liebrand, you know you're in for a treat. During the Eighties, Ben Liebrand made a name for himself by making remixes of chart hits on a weekly basis for a Dutch radio programme. Also, at the end of the year he would make a 60 minute remix containing much of the best and biggest hits of the year.

'Reach out' was released by the Time Bandits in 1984, when they had their biggest success with previous singles 'Listen to the man with the golden voice' and 'I'm only shooting love'. 'Reach out' doesn't quite have the same impact but this remix does make the song that much more attractive.


My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, July 14, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Reach out (special re-mix by Ben Liebrand)' / 'Ushi girl'

More than the sun - Black

Despite keeping rather up to date on what happened in the UK in the Eighties, partially thanks to a local radio station I listened to on a daily basis and the satellite TV channel Music Box, I didn't know about this single when it came out. I had seen and heard its predecessor 'Hey presto' numerous times so I knew about the band Black already, but I would only find out about Black again in 1987, when 'Sweetest smile' hit the TV screen.

The tracks on this 12" single came to me via a compilation album released by WEA in 1987 after 'Wonderful life' was such a success. After buying that album, the hunt for this 12" single was on, but it would take me some years to get hold of it. Best track on this one? Without a doubt, 'Butterfly man'. A mysterious piece of music that wouldn't be out of place in the current (third) season of Twin Peaks.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'More than the sun', 'Butterfly man' / 'I could kill you', 'Widemouth', 'Stephen'

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Duel - Propaganda

It took Propaganda a year to release a follow-up to Dr Mabuse. Or rather, their record company because after the phenomenal success of Frankie goes to Hollywood they seemed a little fazed.But when 'Duel' was finally released, it was a big success, especially in the Netherlands where the single peaked at number 5. In the UK, the single only reached number 21.

The 12" single featured extended versions of both the A- and B-side. 'Jewel', on the B-side, was simply a different, more industrial-sounding version of 'Duel'. As always, the record company ZTT made the sleeve of the 12" single look very different from the 7" version, creating a very interesting item for fans and collectors.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: unknown
Cost: 7,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Duel (Bittersweet)' / 'Jewel (Cut rough)'

Elizabeth's eyes - Nik Kershaw

Released in 1989, Nik Kershaw's fourth album 'The Works' wasn't the commercial success it might (or should) have been. Only two singles were taken from the album, of which 'Elizabeth's eyes' was the second. This 12" single features an extended version of the track as well as a dub version.

According to Nik: "The single is a song written from the point of view a guy called Willie Darden, who was America's longest serving death row prisoner. He was on death row for fifteen years and during the last twelve years of his life he corresponded with a lady in Essex called Elisabeth Allen who's a school teacher. The two never met and they sort of developed a relationship over the years, which is very strange 'cause they never actually existed, a lot of it existed in the mind of Darden. I was trying to imagine how he felt - I've read some of the letters which are absolutely unbelievable - they're poetry, they're love letters, they're incredible things." The song's final line of the third verse reads "Tuesday at seven I will find my heaven, and I'll see you there", which is accurate to the time and death of Darden in reality, on Tuesday, 15 March 1988 at 7am.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Elisabeth's eyes (extended version)' / 'My friend John', 'Elisabeth's eyes (club dub)'

Hon går rakt fram - Leyla

'Hon går rakt fram', backed with 'En enda rad' are actually Swedish-language covers of Kim Wilde's 'Love blonde' and Yazoo's 'Nobody's diary' respectively. They were originally released on an album by the band Cotton Club in 1984. The album featured more cover versions, such as Thompson Twins' 'Hold me now' and Eurythmics' 'Sweet dreams' - all in Swedish.

For some reason, when this single was released, the band name was dropped and the single was credited to Leyla, which is Leyla Yilbar-Norgren, who was the lead singer on these two tracks. She released two more singles but then faded into anonymity.

My collection: 7" single no. 5770
Found: Discogs.com, received July 27, 2016
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Hon går rakt fram' / 'En enda rad'

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Wonderful life - Black

I can't claim to have had a deep personal relationship with Colin Vearncombe, the man behind Black, but still his death in January 2016 hit me harder than any other musician's death ever did. And speaking of death: his 'Wonderful life' will probably end up being played when my funeral comes up. And you never know when that is.

'Wonderful life' was originally released in 1986 on the Ugly Man label. It was on the strength of this release and its indie chart success that Black ended up being signed on A&M Records. This song was their third single release on A&M and that version ended up being a worldwide hit. When you listen to the version of this 12" single, from 1986, you can hear subtle differences. The B-side contains the track 'Birthday night' which was never re-recorded, and an early version of 'Everything's coming up roses', which ended up being re-recorded and released as Black's first single for A&M. I was not even that keen on buying the 12" single when I did some 25 years ago - after all, I already had the double 7" single version - but now I'm very glad to own it.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: early 1990's
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Wonderful life' / 'Birthday night', 'Everything's coming up roses'

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The sun rising - Beloved

Another band that has always fascinated me are the Beloved. They released some very interesting songs in the Eighties and Nineties, and there were plenty of remixes around too. I decided to pick up missing 12" singles last year - and there were a few.

This 12" single of 'The sun rising' is a good example. I already owned the 7" single and the CD-single, but this 12" features a few remixes that were not issued on CD. As with most of the Beloved's remixes, they're worth hearing too because they always sound fresh.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Discogs.com, received 2016
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'The sun rising (Il sole sorge)', 'The sun rising (Intensità)' / 'The sun rising (Danny's 'Love is...' remix)', 'The sun rising (Son of the rising house)'

Radio Heart - featuring Gary Numan

Having described my 7" single of 'Radio Heart' in 2009, it's not bad to add the 12" single today. I've owned it for years already, but somehow it didn't make it onto this blog yet. Maybe it's because the extended version of 'Radio Heart' is a little unremarkable: it simply adds some instrumental parts of the song in the middle, making it a 6 minute version instead of the 4'20 single version.

Gary Numan is, of course, still going strong, but Radio Heart only existed for one album and three singles.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered] 
Found: unknown
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Radio Heart (extended mix)' / 'Radio Heart (instrumental)'

Monday, 17 July 2017

I can't stay away from you - Viola Wills

Released in 1981, 'I can't stay away from you' was an ill-fated single for Viola Wills. Best known for her disco hits 'Gonna get along without you now' and 'If you could read my mind', this song was simply too middle of the road for the disco generation, which had probably moved on anyway.

I actually bought this single for the B-side: a cover version of one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded: Chicago's 'If you leave me now'. Unfortunately, this disco version also disappoints. Still, sometimes curiousity has to win and it's a nice enough single to add to my collection. Although Viola continued to record albums and singles until well into the Nineties, she did not have another hit.

My collection: 7" single no. 5854
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, July 14, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'I can't stay away from you'/ 'If you leave me now'

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Dr. Mabuse - Propaganda

As you may have gathered from today's entires, I am cleaning up my 12" singles collection. Or rather, I'm going through them to see whether there's any stuff I haven't yet digitised. I was pleased to see that there's not a whole lot of work left to do, although there have been some surprising omissions. For instance, I haven't posted any of my Propaganda 12" singles!

I only have three of them, but they're the classics: taken from their debut album, both the songs and their respective 12" singles have been exciting. To begin with, there's 'Dr. Mabuse': a song that was transformed into a 10 minute epic, backed with an impressive cover version of Lou Reed's 'Femme fatale'. Time to rectify the situation. 'Duel' and 'Machinery' are due to follow soon, of course!

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: unknown
Price: unknown
Tracks: 'Das Testament des Mabuse' / 'Femme fatale (The woman with the orchid)', '(The ninth life of) Dr. Mabuse'

Let me go - Wendy Wu

On the back cover of this 12" single it is announced: 'produced by Tony Mansfield'. For those in the know, this is a recommendation. For Tony Mansfield was also the backbone of New Musik, he produced A-ha's debut, as well as producing acts like Captain Sensible and Naked Eyes.

Wendy Wu's career was more short-lived: she released just three singles, of which 'Let me go' was the last one. However, on those singles she worked with Graham Gouldman, Gary Barnacle and Tony Mansfield respectively. After these singles flopped she went on to work with Visage's Steve Strange in the band Strange Cruise.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Plaatboef, Den Haag, 201X
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Let me go (long version)' / 'Love tonight'

Invincible - Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar had her biggest success with 'Love is a battlefield', but after that single a few more slightly successful titles followed. One of them was 'Invincible', a song taken from the soundtrack of 'The legend of Billie Jean'.

I owned the single since it came out, but I never bought the 12" single at the time. I bought it a couple of years ago and then it again disappeared anonymously in my collection. It's a shame, because this is a really decent extended version of that track.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Kringloop Den Haag, 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Invincible (extended version)' / 'Invincible (instrumental)', 'Heartbreaker'

Come summer - Fra Lippo Lippi

The sleeve of Fra Lippo Lippi's 'Come summer' is one of the most beautiful sleeve designs ever. Made by StyleForEveryMood in Stockholm, it looks deceptively simple: just a beautiful image with the lyric of the song printed over it. Sometimes you wonder how people come up with something like this.

The song, of course, is no less beautiful. Taken from the band's album 'Songs', it followed 'Shouldn't have to be like that' but didn't achieve the same amount of international success. It's strange, because it is the better of the two songs. Even three decades ago, people didn't recognise a hit when it was slammed in their face.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Den Haag, 1993
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Come summer (extended, remixed)' / 'Come summer', 'Even tall trees bend (original version)'

Live it up - Time Bandits

This copy of the 12" single of Time Bandits' debut single 'Live it up' was not in a very good shape when I bought it. My needle kept sliding off the record after playing a few seconds, barricades by clouds of dust. Fortunately, it was nothing that a good cleaning session couldn't fix.

There were actually two 12" singles of 'Live it up' back in 1981: a version with a remix of over 7 minutes, and this one, which just contains the album version of the track. The single version was shorter by a minute or so, so this could still be considered an 'extended' version, but I guess some fans felt disappointed back then after hearing this one...

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, July 14, 2017
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Live it up' / 'Juvenile acquaintance'

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Ode to Billy Joe - Torch Song

I mentioned Torch Song once before on this blog, back in November 2008, describing my 12" single of  'Don't look now'. Since then I have found out that a 7" single does exist, because I recently ordered one. But then I went to Velvet Vinyl Outlet yesterday and suddenly found this single: 'Ode to Billy Joe'.

The song was taken from the band's debut album 'Wish thing' as well, and while it isn't the best track off that album, the B-side of this single contains a rather pleasant surprise. 'The Zebra Room' - a non-album track' - can be considered a sort of 'dub mix' of 'Don't look now'. And since that is one of my favourite tracks of the Eighties, this single turned out to be one of my best buys of the day.

My collection: 7" single no. 5848
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, July 14, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Ode to Billy Joe' / 'The Zebra Room'

Friday, 14 July 2017

Listen to the man with the golden voice - Time Bandits


During my last visit to Velvet Vinyl Outlet in Leiden I saw a row of 12" singles by the Time Bandits, a Dutch band that was pretty popular in the Eighties. I have some singles by this band, too. I didn't buy them at the time, because my budget wasn't big enough, although they definitely were interesting: none of these 12" remixes have ever been released on cd. (Some actually have been, but that was only a handful.)

After a recent donation I was very tempted to go back and get them - and so I did. Today's visit to the shop was successful within the first few minutes, because I had a stack of 'em before I even moved to the 7" singles department. You can expect a few Time Bandits remixes on this blog in the near future. The first of them is 'Listen to the man with the golden voice', a top 10 hit for the band in 1983.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, July 14, 2017
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Listen to the man with the golden voice (extended remixed version)' / 'Words'

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Jukebox July: Fox The Fox & Time Bandits **UPDATE**

After Jukebox June went by unnoticed, I suddenly received a donation for a re-upload of songs by Fox the Fox and Time Bandits. But which ones? Those who've read this blog will know that I have quite a few songs by these bands, so here goes.

Fox the Fox:
Man on the run, Precious little diamond, Precious little diamond (Shep Pettibone remix)

Time Bandits:
1 2 3, Cool world, Cues part 2, Dancing on a string, Dancing on a string (instrumental), Don't let your love go bad, Endless road, Endless road (Special remixed dance version), Fiction, Ginny, How does it feel (my own favourite of this bunch), I won't steal away, I'm only shooting love, I'm only shooting love (US single version), I'm only shooting love (dub version), I'm only shooting love (extended version), I'm specialized in you, I'm specialized in you (extended), In town, Listen to the man with the golden voice, Lookin' out, Only a fool, Only lovers will survive, Pasadena dream world, Reach out, Sister paradise, Star, Star (special remix), Star (instrumental remix), Ushi girl, We'll be dancing, Wildfire, Words, You're not at home.

If you're interested in the stories behind these 7" and 12" singles, read the old entries about Fox The Fox and Time Bandits! You can also look forward to some new entries about Time Bandits later this year, so watch this space....

If you'd like to request a re-upload for yourself, please donate a dollar for each song you'd like to hear.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

That was then but this is now - ABC

After the success they enjoyed with their debut album 'The lexicon of love', ABC decided to do things totally different on their second album, 'Beauty stab' (1983). The single 'That was then but this is now', released in advance of that album, was an indication of their changed sound: lots of guitars, loud drums and no love song, but a politically-charged stab at Thatcher's Britain. The single was reasonably successful, reaching number 18 in the UK and number 13 in Ireland.

This is one of those singles I thought I already had, for many years. And then recently I discovered it wasn't there. It wasn't hard to find a copy online. And so I ordered it along with a handful of other great UK singles.

My collection: 7" single no. 5835
Found: Discogs.com, received May 16, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'That was then but this is now' / 'Vertigo'

Listen to the song

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The future - Prince

Let it never be said that I stick to my own opinions all of the time. While I'm not too impressed by Prince's soundtrack for the Batman movie in 1989, I recently heard this single 'The future' and thought it was a nice track. Much of this is caused by the excellent remix by Mark Moore and William Orbit.

Moore and Orbit substituted a muted, pulsating beat in place of the original elements of Prince's song. Moore and Orbit also removed Prince's original bassline, synthline, and snippets of sampled dialogue. The single did not chart in the UK and the USA, but managed to peak at number 9 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 5834
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 13, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'The future (remix edit)' / 'Electric chair'

Listen to the song

Fake - Alexander O'Neal

'Can I get some nasty bass?', asks Alexander O'Neal at the beginning of this track, an obvious reference to Janet Jackson's Nasty, a big hit for producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis a year earlier. Released in 1987, 'Fake' was Alexander O'Neal's first big hit worldwide, followed by Criticize. Both singles were taken from his album 'Hearsay', which was his most successful album, the only one to chart in many countries around the world.

His career continues to the present day. He is not only successful as a singer, but also appeared in various television programmes, most remarkably in The Weakest Link and Celebrity Big Brother in the UK.

My collection: 7" single no. 5834
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 16, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Fake' / 'A broken heart can mend'

Listen to the song
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