Saturday, 28 February 2009

Walk into the wind - Vegas

'Walk into the wind' was the third single taken from the album 'Vegas' by the duo of the same name. Terry Hall and David A. Stewart (of Eurythmics fame) worked together on this album, which failed to make any chart impact. The singles fared comparatively better, although 'Walk into the wind', the last single of the three, only made it to number 65 in the UK singles chart.

I discovered Vegas thanks to the album, which I bought on impulse. Subsequently I bought all of their 7" and cd-singles.

My collection: 7" single no. 2692
Found: Beanos, East Croydon, London, July 3, 1996
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Walk into the wind' / 'Wise guy'

The party's over - Sandra Reemer

After Teach-In won the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest with 'Ding-a-dong', the 1976 edition was organised in Den Haag, the Netherlands. Sandra Reemer was chosen to perform that year's song, which was written in English for the first time. 'The party's over' proved to be a reasonable success, finishing on ninth place in the Contest.

It was not the first time for Sandra: in 1972 she'd already sung 'Als het om de liefde gaat' together with Dries Holten as 'Sandra & Andres'. In 1979 she would return to the Contest, singing 'Colorado'.
My collection: 7" single no. 3279
Found: February 9, 2001
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'The party's over' / 'Mrs. Lonely'

Saskatchewan - Red Box

Besides the 7" single 'Saskatchewan' there was also a 12" single. The buyer got his money's worth, because he didn't just get an extended remix, but also an alternative 7" mix.

I got this 12" single from a friend, who wanted to get rid of it and had heard about my newfound obsession for Red Box releases. I didn't have much at that time (just the LP 'Heart of the sun' and a single or two), so I was very surprised when I heard the strange versions of 'Saskatchewan' on this disc. It was one of the nicest gifts I'd had in a while.

My collection: 12" single no. 224
Found: Beverwijk, 1992 (present)
Cost: nothing
Tracks: 'Saskatchewan (Crew's testing mix)' / 'Speeches', 'Saskatchewan (Alternative 7" mix)'

Radioactivity - Kraftwerk

The original single of 'Radioactivity' was released in 1976. In 1991, Kraftwerk released the album 'The mix', which contained remixed versions of some of their most popular tracks. The album included a remix of 'Radioactivity'. For the single, 'Radioactivity' was remixed by François Kevorkian and William Orbit.

The single peaked at number 43 in the UK singles chart. The album 'The mix', Kraftwerk's first since 1986's 'Electric cafe', did even better: it peaked at number 15 in the UK albums chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 2332
Found: Parkpop, Den Haag, June 25, 1995
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Radioactivity (François Kevorkian 7" remix)' / 'Radioactivity (William Orbit 7" mix)'

Radio Africa - Latin Quarter

Latin Quarter formed in the early Eighties. The line-up changed through the years, but in their 1986 heyday it was Steve Skaith, Richard Wright, Michael Jones, Greg Harewood, Yona Dunsford, Carole Douet, Martin Lascelles and Dave Charles.

Their biggest hit was 'Radio Africa' (1985), which was shown regularly on music television channels like Sky Channel and Music Box during that time. It peaked at number 19 in the UK singles chart in February 1986. It reached the Dutch Top 40 a couple of months earlier, peaking at number 37 in October 1985.

My collection: 7" single no. 2530
Found: Beanos, East Croydon, London, November 1, 1995
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Radio Africa' / 'Voices inside'

Time after time - Cyndi Lauper

After all the craziness of 'Girls just wanna have fun', Cyndi Lauper's next single 'Time after time' made be breathe a sigh of relief. Indeed, the woman was capable of making a beautiful song as well. She was rewarded with a number 1 in America, while the single peaked at number 3 in the UK and number 5 in the Netherlands.

Lauper co-wrote 'Time after time' with Rob Hyman of The Hooters. She indicated much of the lyrics were written about occurrences in the studio and her life at the time. The line 'the second hand unwinds' referred to producer Rick Chertoff's watch which was winding backwards.

Lauper re-recorded the song in 2005 as an acoustic version, together with Sarah McLachlan. It was included on Lauper's album 'The body acoustic'.

My collection: 7" single no. 1017
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 17, 1989
Cost: 60p
Tracks: 'Time after time' / 'I'll kiss you'
Download: Album 'She's so unusual', including both tracks (password:

I eat cannibals - Toto Coelo

Toto Coelo had a very short career in pop business, this single being their only hit. Released in August 1982, 'I eat cannibals' peaked at number 8 in the UK singles chart. The single was followed by 'Dracula's Tango (Sucker For Your Love)', which only made it to number 53.

An album was issued containing both singles, together with a selection of unreleased tracks in 1983 titled 'Man o' War'. This album flopped. Following this, Anita Mahadervan and Sheen Doran left the group. In 1985 the remaining three members released two singles under the Toto Coelo name. Neither of those singles ('Girl's night out' and 'Gimme some lovin") was a success.

My collection: 7" single no. 3169
Found: Record Exchange, London, January 18, 2000
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'I eat cannibals (part 1)' / 'I eat cannibals (part 2)'
Download: here

Wonderwall - Mike Flowers pops

Mike Roberts founded the Mike Flowers Pops, a British easy listening band, known for lounge music covers of both older and contemporary pop music. They first came to prominence in 1995 when they released a cover version of Oasis's hit song 'Wonderwall'. DJ Chris Evans heard the song and made it 'single of the week' on his Radio 1 Breakfast show, telling listeners that this was the original version of the song. The single was released while the Oasis original was still in the charts. It peaked at number two in the UK Singles chart.

Oasis had previously refused to let other novelty acts parody the song, but were said to have enjoyed Flowers' tape so much that they allowed the group to cut it.

My collection: 7" single no. 2658
Found: HMV, London, June 29, 1996
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Wonderwall' / 'Son of God', 'Theme from Memory Man'
Download: here

Generation sex - The Divine Comedy

After the 7" single for 'Becoming more like Alfie', subsequent singles 'The frog princess' and 'Everybody knows (except you)' weren't released on 7" vinyl. So maybe it was all over? Well, no, because the first single from The Divine Comedy's 1998 album 'Fin de siècle' was released on the format again. What's more: it contained an exclusive track, not released on other formats.

'Generation sex' was the opening track of said album and features narration by presenter and columnist Katie Puckrik. It reached number 19 in the UK singles chart.
My collection: 7" single no. 3041
Found: Mail order, UK, received November 14, 1998
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Generation sex' / 'Postcard to Rosie'

Mixed-up world - Timex social club

Gregory Thomas, Marcus Thompson, Kevin Moore, Michael Marshall, Craig Samuel, Darrien Cleage and Alex Hill formed the Timex social club in 1982. They released their debut album 'Rumours' in 1986. Their first single, 'Vicious rumours' peaked at number 13 in the UK, number 8 in America and number 3 in the Netherlands.

The follow-up single, 'Mixed-up world' only charted in the Netherlands, peaking at number 11. Soon afterward, their producer Jay King replaced them with a new band that he formed, an R&B group called Club Nouveau. After five years of being together, the Timex Social Club broke up.

My collection: 7" single no. 519
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, 1987
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Mixed-up world' / 'Only you'
Download: here

The hostage - Donna Summer

Donna Summer was born as LaDonna Adrian Gaines on December 31, 1948. Prior to her introduction to the music industry, she was a gospel singer. Aged eighteen, Gaines left home and school to audition for a role in the cast of the Broadway musical 'Hair'. She didn't get the part, but was offered the European Tour when the show moved to Germany. She settled in Munich and also performed with the Viennese Folk Opera and the pop band Munich Machine. She released two singles, 'Sally go round the roses' (1971) and 'If you walkin' alone' (1972), before she met and married Austrian actor Helmut Sommer.

She took on the stage name Donna Summer and signed a contract with the Dutch record company Groovy. Her debut album 'Lady of the night' spawned two singles: the title track and 'The hostage'. This single became a number 1 hit in Belgium and reached number 2 in the Netherlands. The song was performed on an absurdist television show in the Netherlands (see it here), which must have helped its popularity somewhat.
My collection: 7" single no. 2623
Found: Den Haag, March 2, 1996
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'The hostage' / 'Let's work together now'

Fine line - Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney released the album 'Chaos and creation in the backyard' in 2005. At the time, he was happily married with Heather Mills (that didn't last long...). Shortly before the release of the album, the first single 'Fine line' was released. It reached number 20 in the UK singles chart. The B-side of the 7" single was an otherwise unreleased track, 'Growing up falling down'.

I bought this single as a present for someone, but when I listened to it at home I decided that I wanted to keep it myself. Somehow it was never administrated as my own, so now, three years later, it has become my most recent acquisition - at least in my singles catalogue.

My collection: 7" single no. 3583
Found: HMV, London, November 8, 2005
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Fine line' / 'Growing up falling down'

Extracts from the forthcoming album - Strawberry Switchblade

This promotional clear flexi disc, housed in a four page booklet, was released in the autumn of 1984 to promote the forthcoming self-titled debut album by Strawberry Switchblade. The back of the booklet contains this promotional text:

Strawberry Switchblade, as the name may suggest, are a walking contradition. Small, frail, yet visually striking, the apparent prettiness of their songs belies the harsh reality of the lyrics. Like Macbeth's weird sisters the two seem to have sprung from the dark mists of Celtic faery. Their quiet, haunting ballads are sung in the best harmony voices since the Mamas and the Papas.
Inside you will find a flexi-disc that features extracts from the girl's debut album 'Strawberry Switchblade' with an introduction by Janice Long. Listen to it and you will realise that this is an album you must own.

My collection: 7" single no. 3000
Found: Geest, Den Haag, June 20, 1998
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Extracts from the forthcoming album 'Strawberry Switchblade'

Friday, 27 February 2009

Mind adventures - Des'ree

The title track from Des'ree's debut album 'Mind adventures' was released as her second single in March 1992. It wasn't as big a hit as 'Feel so high', peaking just at number 43 in the UK singles chart. It didn't even chart at all in the Netherlands.

By that time, I'd heard the whole album and despite a few throwaway tracks, I thought the choise of singles was pretty good. No wonder, then, that I ended up buying all the singles drawn from the album. The 7" vinyl contains an alternative 7" mix that wasn't ever released on cd as far as I know.

My collection: 7" single no. 1620
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, April 18, 1992
Cost: 3,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Mind adventures' / 'Mind adventures (Alternative 7" mix)'

Take it back - Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd released their last studio album 'The Division Bell' in 1994. The first single drawn from that album was 'Take it back'. While most apparently a love song, it can also be interpreted to be about Mother Nature, and how man abuses the earth. This latter interpretation gains some credibility from the video, which seems to have been made with the issue very much in mind. David Gilmour remained typically vague about the subject: 'It's got really nothing to do with my personal life, believe it or not. But I'm not going to tell you what it is about. You're gonna have to work that out for yourself. I had an idea for a song about a specific subject that came from a book I was reading, but I'm not going to tell you what the subject is or what the book is.'

Backing vocals on this track were performed by three famous ladies: Sam Brown, Durga McBroom (from Blue Pearl) and Carol Kenyon (who performed vocals for a.o. Heaven 17, Mike Oldfield and Paul Hardcastle). The single was released as a limited edition on see-through red vinyl.

My collection: 7" single no. 2122
Found: Fame, Amsterdam, July 15, 1994
Cost: 6,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Take it back' / 'Astronomy domine (live)'

Hey Matthew - Karel Fialka

Karel Fialka was born in Bengal, India, to a Czech father and a Scottish mother. In 1980 he started out as a poet and musician. In 1980 he had a minor hit with 'The eyes have it', which reached number 54 in the UK singles chart. In 1987, he released 'Hey Matthew'. In the song's lyric, a father questions his child on what he sees on TV and what he wants to be when he grows up. The single peaked at number 9 in the UK singles chart, but never charted in the Netherlands.

To me, it was unclear what the song wanted to say. It almost suggests that the child is seeing too much horrible things on television, but never really does this. The melody appealed to me, though, so when I saw it in the bargain bin, I snapped up this disc.

My collection: 7" single no. 640
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, July 9, 1988
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Hey Matthew' / 'The things I saw'

Questionnaire - Chas Jankel

'When you answer all these questions / on a postcard if you please' -- it's not the kind of lyric anyone would write these days. Questionnaires have all been abandoned to the web - and otherwise no-one ever takes the time to fill them in with a pen and send them off to the address it came from.

It was an unusual song anyway, Chas Jankel's 'Questionnaire': the sound of a wailing siren on feverish party music - and then a lyric full of questions. I loved the track when it was on the radio in 1981 and so I was happy to get the single in 1993.

My collection: 7" single no. 1910
Found: Plaatboef, Leiden, May 19, 1993
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Questionnaire' / 'Boy'

Hollow horse - Icicle Works

After the release of their self-titled debut album the Icicle Works struggled to match their initial commercial success. As a live band they did secure a loyal fan base in the UK and abroad. In September 1984 the band issued the single 'Hollow Horse', which continued to be a live favourite, but failed to reach the UK singles chart.

I bought this single recently on the assumption that it would be an interesting song, because I knew the band. The song turns out to have the same soaring quality as 'Love is a wonderful colour', but is less memorable. Still, a very nice single.

My collection: 7" single no. 3476
Found: Empire Records, Den Haag, December 11, 2008
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Hollow horse' / 'The atheist'

Burning bush (Testify) - Savage progress

Savage Progress started off when Rik Kenton and Glynnis Thomas met one another in 1982. They recruited Ned Morant, Carol Isaacs and Andrew Edge. In 1984 they released their debut album 'Celebration', which contained the three singles that were released subsequently: 'My soul unwraps tonight', 'Heart begin to beat' and 'Burning bush'.

I got to know 'Burning bush' because of the video, which was played often on television, and as a track on a compilation double LP which I bought in 1985. I bought this single, a limited edition housed in a posterbag, in 2001.

My collection: 7" single no. 3363
Found: Record fair, 2001
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Burning bush (Testify)' / 'Tears of love'

Tell me there's a heaven - Chris Rea

The whole concept of heaven and the afterlife is one of mindboggling stupidity. It supposes that you have to be miserable your whole damn life and then, when you're dead, suddenly everything turns into a warm, fuzzy, mellow state of constant happiness. This is especially ridiculous when you consider all the people dying of hunger, war, murder and environmental disasters.

Chris Rea once wrote this song about it: 'Tell me there's a heaven'. The song was released at a time when death and unhappiness were all around me. I thought the lyric of this song was highly appropriate for the cynicism I felt about the things that were going on, and I still think it's one of the best songs ever written - lyrically as well as musically.

My collection: 7" single no. 2264
Found: Record fair, April 8, 1995
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Tell me there's a heaven' / 'And when she smiles'

I touch myself - Divinyls

The rock band Divinyls formed in Sydney, Australia in 1980. The band had several line-up changes, but at the time of their biggest hit 'I touch myself', the line-up consisted of core members Christina Amphlett and Mark McEntee, plus Charley Drayton, Benmont Tench, Lee Borkman and Jim Hilbun.

'I touch myself', a song about masturbation, hit number 1 in Australia, number 4 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 in the UK.

My collection: 7" single no. 2621
Found: Record fair, February 24, 1996
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'I touch myself' / 'Follow through'

Thursday, 26 February 2009

No regrets - Walker Brothers

'No regrets' was originally written and performed by folk and blues singer Tom Rush in 1968. The Walker Brothers, who'd had a string of hit singles in the late Sixties, recorded it as their comeback single in 1976. It was also the title of the accompanying comeback album. It remains a standard to this day.

It was my big idol Midge Ure who introduced me to the song in 1981. His version of 'No regrets' was a thundering, synth-driven pop song, with all the emotion and despair of the Walker Brothers version, but perhaps more power. I heard the Walker Brothers version in the late Eighties - and it took me some years to find a single of it.

My collection: 7" single no. 1418
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, April 7, 1991
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'No regrets' / 'Remember me'

Mind of a toy - Visage

After the release of the classic 'Fade to grey', Visage followed it up with this beautiful song 'Mind of a toy'. It's classic synthpop stuff, with a very bewildering end. From the first time I heard this music box play out the song, I've always thought it was a touch of genius. It was the third single taken from Visage's self-titled debut album. It peaked at number 13 in the UK, but didn't chart in the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 1608
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, March 28, 1992
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Mind of a toy' / 'We move'

Heart of gold - Johnny hates Jazz

'Heart of gold' was the fourth single taken from Johnny hates Jazz's debut album 'Turn back the clock' (1987). The single featured a new (instrumental) track on the B-side: 'Leave it up to me'. To appeal to the collectors market, it was released in a numbered limited edition 7" box set. It included three badges, a postcard and a small poster featuring the lyric of 'Heart of gold' and a photograph of the band.

All this helped to make the single peak at number 19 in the UK singles chart, which meant that it fared slightly worse than its predecessors, but it was still a good hit. It would also be their last one: follow-up single 'Don't say it's love' didn't make the top 40, subsequent singles didn't even chart anymore.
My collection: 7" single no. 2362
Found: London, July 1, 1995
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Heart of gold' / 'Leave it up to me'

Euro-vision - Telex

When Belgian synthpop group Telex entered the 1980 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, they did so before a stunned audience. They were asked by their manager to enter, and when they did, they performed the song 'Euro-Vision' with just their synthesizers and a perfectly executed song with banal lyrics about the Contest itself.

The audience seemed unsure how to react to the performance. At the end of it, frontman Marc Moulin took a photograph of the bewildered audience. There was mostly stunned silence, with scattered polite applause. The band then walked off amidst sounds of muttering. Apparently the band hoped to come last: 'We had hoped to finish last, but Portugal decided otherwise. We got ten points from them and finished on the 19th spot', said Marc Moulin afterwards.

My collection: 7" single no. 1238
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, 1990
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Euro-Vision (French version)' / 'Euro-Vision (English version)'

Change your mind - Bill Sharpe and Gary Numan

Bill Sharpe was keyboard-player with the band Shakatak when he decided to record a solo album. 'Famous people' was released in 1985 and featured collaborations with Tessa Niles and Gary Numan.

'Change your mind' was my favourite track of 1985. The attraction of the single was helped a lot by a great video and the 12" single which featured a great extended remix of the track. But the regular version was already a cracker. My only regret is that I never bought the UK pressing with a glossy sleeve instead of the German one with the toilet paper sleeve.

My collection: 7" single no. 264
Found: LP top 100, Den Haag, 1985
Cost: 5,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Change your mind' / 'Remix, remake, remodel'

He's a whore / The model - Big Black

Big Black was an American noise rock band, founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1982. They weren't after mainstream success and didn't find it. Their aggressive music with pounding drums and screeching guitars was very influential, especially for industrial rock.

This single features two cover versions. 'He's a whore' was originally recorded by Cheap Trick, whereas 'The model' was originally recorded by Kraftwerk. The sleeve of this single imitates both single covers, with the three members of the band imitating Cheap Trick on one side and Kraftwerk on the other (the latter is pictured here). Both songs can be found on their second and final album 'Songs about fucking'.

My collection: 7" single no. 3033
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 23, 1998
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'He's a whore' / 'The model'

Joey - Concrete blonde

Singer/songwriter Johnette Napolitano formed the band Dream 6 with James Mankey in Los Angeles in 1982. In 1986, they signed with IRS records and changed their name to Concrete blonde. They were joined by drummer Harry Rushakoff on their debut album. Roxy Music drummer Paul Thompson replaced Rushakoff for their second album 'Bloodletting', which spawned the hit single 'Joey'.

'Joey' peaked at number 14 in the Dutch Top 40, but didn't chart in the UK. As is obvious from the sleeve of my single, the song was used in the German television series Tatort, in the episode 'Zabou' which was televised on July 22, 1990 in Germany.

My collection: 7" single no. 1360
Found: Den Haag, December 5, 1990 (present)
Cost: nothing
Tracks: 'Joey' / 'I want you'

'Ullo John! Gotta new motor? - Alexei Sayle

So I found the 7" single of ''Ullo John! Gotta new motor?' in 1995. I actually ordered it in 1985 from a mailorder company in England, but it was sold out. I stated the 12" single as an alternative (remember, these were the days when you actually had to send your order via snail mail and hope for your order to arrive two weeks later), and so I got that one. I was a bit disappointed, because even if the 12" single contains 'part 3' and 'part 4' of the track, it does go on a bit.

According to Wikipedia, the 12" version of the single achieved notoriety due to its extensive use of profanity. After listening, I'm sure you'll agree that they are referring mostly to part 4, which contains an impressive array of foul language.

My collection: 12" single no. 14
Found: Oldies Unlimited, UK, 1985
Cost: 4 pounds
Tracks: ''Ullo John! Gotta new motor? (part 3)' / ''Ullo John! Gotta new motor? (part 4)'

It's OK, it's alright - Fine Young Cannibals

After a very successful run of singles taken from their 1989 album 'The raw and the cooked', Fine Young Cannibals released a remix album entitled 'The raw and the remix' in 1990. From that album, the single 'It's OK, it's alright' was drawn. The A-side featured the original version of the song, recorded in 1988, the B-side contained a remix of 'Johnny come home' which was on the remix album.

The single didn't reach the chart anywhere and as such has become some kind of rarity. I know I was very surprised when I saw this single when I bought it, because I'd never seen it before - or since.

My collection: 7" single no. 2782
Found: Record Exchange, London, November 1, 1996
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'It's OK, it's alright' / 'Johnny come home (Johnny takes a trip mix)'

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Show me heaven - Maria McKee

Maria Louise McKee was born on August 17, 1964 in Los Angeles, California. She was a founding member of the band Lone Justice in 1982. When she was 19, she wrote 'A good heart', which became a hit for Feargal Sharkey in 1985. Her debut solo album appeared in 1989. A year later, she recorded 'Show me heaven' for the soundtrack of the movie 'Days of Thunder'.

Originally written by Joshua Rifkin and Eric Rankin, when McKee was first offered the song, she refused to record it unless she was allowed to change the lyrics. The single turned out to be a massive success for her, peaking at number 1 in the UK and the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 1310
Found: HMV, London, October 15, 1990
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Show me heaven' (Maria McKee) / 'Car building' (Hans Zimmer)

No self control - Peter Gabriel

If you think Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush worked together for the first time in 1986 when they recorded 'Don't give up', you wouldn't be alone in thinking that. But in reality, they got together as early as 1979, when Kate Bush recorded a television special for UK television. They sang 'Another day' together, and Gabriel performed 'Here comes the flood' solo in this special.

In 1980, Peter Gabriel recorded his third solo album. Kate Bush provided backing vocals on the tracks 'Games without frontiers' and 'No self control'. It might be a coincidence, but both tracks were released as a single in 1980. Being a Kate Bush fan, I had to have these singles, so I was very glad when I found a reasonably good copy of 'No self control' in 1995.

My collection: 7" single no. 2341
Found: Record Exchange, London, June 26, 1995
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'No self control' / 'Lead a normal life'
Download: Album 'Peter Gabriel [3]', including both tracks

Mother mother - Tracy Bonham

Tracy Bonham was born on March 16, 1969 in Eugene, Oregon. She is a classically trained violinist and pianist. In 1997 she received two Grammy nominations for her 'best alternative album' 'The burdens of being upright' and best female rock vocal performance for 'Mother mother'.

'Mother mother' is an aggressive-sounding song. In America, it was number one in the rock chart for a month. In the Netherlands it peaked at number 32 in the Dutch Top 40, whereas it was a top 10 hit in Norway and Australia.

My collection: 7" single no. 2772
Found: HMV, London, October 30, 1996
Cost: 2,5 pounds
Tracks: 'Mother mother' / '50 ft. Queenie (live)'

Sausolito summernight - Diesel

The Dutch rock band Diesel was formed in 1979 by producer Pim Koopman and Rob Vunderink. They recruited Mark Boon and Frank Papendrecht and started playing together, at first just for other acts which were produced by Koopman at the time. They had some hits in the Netherlands, but the single 'Sausolito summernight' brought them international success: it reached number 35 in the Dutch Top 40, but ironically did much better abroad, peaking at number 25 in the USA and at number 1 in Canada.

The song actually refers to Sausalito instead of Sausolito, but only few releases state the right spelling.

My collection: 7" single no. 1383
Found: All that music, Leiden, February 22, 1991
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Sausolito summernight' / 'Bite back'

So cold the night - Communards

The Communards had their biggest hit in 1986 with a cover version of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' 1975 soul classic 'Don't leave me this way' - although the Communards' version was inspired by the dance version recorded in 1976 by Thelma Houston. A year later they reached number 8 in the UK singles chart with 'So cold the night', which peaked at number 11 in the Netherlands.

A limited edition two record set of 'So cold the night' included the single 'Don't leave me this way' as the second disc. On all four tracks, Jimmy Somerville screams like a demented choirboy - but always with great effect.

My collection: 7" single no. 2755
Found: House of rhythm, London, October 29, 1996
Cost: 80p
Tracks: 'So cold the night' / 'When the walls come tumbling down' // 'Don't leave me this way' / 'Sanctified'

Road to nowhere - Talking Heads

Talking Heads had a worldwide hit with 'Road to nowhere' in 1985, at a time where music videos became increasingly important for chart success. The video to promote this single was a clever piece of work, with lots of shots in different environments. The video was shown on TV so often and the song played on the radio even more, that I got totally bored with the song.

Still, ten years later, it was a pleasant surprise when my friend Puck showed up with a copy of this single and gave it to me. It was a nice present, filling a gap in my collection of Talking Heads singles.

My collection: 7" single no. 2159
Found: Den Haag (present)
Cost: nothing
Tracks: 'Road to nowhere' / 'Television man'

Heaven - Psychedelic Furs

The Psychedelic Furs formed in England in 1977. The band initially consisted of Richard Butler, Tim Butler, Duncan Kilburn, Paul Wilson and Roger Morris. Morris and Kilburn left the band five years later, when the other members went to live in New York City. The album 'Forever now' (1984) spawned the UK hit single 'Heaven', which peaked at number 29 in the UK singles chart.

The song 'Heaven' didn't appeal much to me at all when I got to know it via this video in 1984. I thought the singer was behaving bizarrely by circling round in the rain like that. The fact that I finally bought the single was a strange case of belated insight: I got a bit melancholic about the past and suddenly realised that this song was worth owning after all. As it turned out, I got hold of a Portuguese pressing.
My collection: 7" single no. 1811
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, January 9, 1993
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'Heaven' / 'Heartbeat (remix)'

Straight lines - New Musik

'Straight lines' was actually New Musik's debut single, released in October 1979. It led to their first TV performance on the BBC's programme 'Top of the pops' (see it here), despite the fact that the single only made number 53 in the UK Singles chart. The song appeared on New Musik's debut album 'From A to B', released in 1980.

I bought the single in 1995, when I'd come to the point that I wanted to have all of the band's singles. It took me years to find them all.

My collection: 7" single no. 2531
Found: Beanos, East Croydon, London, November 1, 1995
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Straight lines' / 'On islands'
Download: Album 'From A to B', including both tracks (part 1, part 2)

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

I've got news for you - Feargal Sharkey

Feargal Sharkey was born on August 13, 1958 in Derry, Northern Ireland. In 1976 he was co-founder of the pop group the Undertones. Then in 1983 he went solo. Sharkey's debut single was a collaboration with Madness member Cathal Smyth titled 'Listen to your father', which reached number 23 in the UK in late 1984.

'I've got news for you' was taken from Sharkey's last solo album 'Songs from the Mardi Gras' (1991). I bought the cd-single in the early Nineties in a shop in the centre of Den Haag, which was selling discs for 1 guilder a piece. The cd-single contained an older single by Sharkey, 'Loving you', which I wanted to have on cd. So by chance I heard this song, which subsequently I bought on 7" vinyl.

My collection: 7" single no. 2252
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, March 4, 1995
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'I've got news for you' / 'I can't begin to stop'

Feel so high - Des'ree

Long before Des'ree started releasing songs with choruses like 'Life / oh life / oh life / oh life', she actually started out her music career with beautiful soul tunes like this one. 'Feel so high' was her debut single in 1991.

Born as Desiree Weeks in London on November 30, 1968, her interest in pursuing a musical career came after travelling to Barbados with her family for three years at the age of fourteen. 'Feel so high' was released twice in the UK, and eventually reached number 13 there. In the Netherlands, the single peaked at number 23.

My collection: 7" single no. 1588
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, February 22, 1992
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Feel so high' / 'Save this promised land'

Für alle - Wind

The German band Wind represented Germany during the 1985 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Für alle' ('For everyone'). They did so with good success: they finished second behind that year's winners: Bobbysocks for Norway.

The group was started briefly before the Eurovision Song Contest in 1985 by the composer Hanne Haller. The other members of the band at that time were Alexander "Ala" Heiler, Christine von Kutschenbach, Rainer Höglmeier, Willie Jakob, Sami Kalifa and Petra Scheeser. The band would return to the Contest twice: in 1987 and in 1992.

My collection: 7" single no. 3221
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, October 12, 2000
Cost: 4 guilders
Tracks: 'Für alle' / 'Feuer und Eis'

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