Sunday, 29 May 2011

For you only - Alison Moyet

'For you only' was the last single to be taken from Alison Moyet's debut solo album 'Alf'. It was a new version of the track, but for reasons unknown, it wasn't released in the UK, but only in some European countries.

This 12" single features an extended version of that new version. It is a nice extended version because it is not a total remix, something that would happen more often in the late Eighties.

My collection: 12" single no. 559
Found: Record fair, 200X
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'For you only (Extended new version)' / 'Twisting the knife'

Strong as steel - Five Star

The ballad 'Strong as steel' was the second single from Five Star's 1987 album 'Between the lines', their third album. It reached number 16 in the UK singles chart.

This 12" single featured the full album version of 'Strong as steel' (as opposed to the 7" single, which featured an edit) and a remix of the 1986 hit single 'Can't wait another minute'. Apparently there was another 12" single featuring a megamix of Five Star hits instead.

My collection: 12" single no. 455
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 22, 2008
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Strong as steel' / 'The man', 'Can't wait another minute (M&M Groove Remix)'

Heart and soul - T'pau

Ron Rogers and Carol Decker from T'pau have just released Story behind the tracks, a remarkable collection of demos and unreleased tracks from 1987 and before, when T'pau celebrated their first success with the single 'Heart and soul'.

I actually have two 12" singles of this hit single: a UK pressing and a German one. There is a difference between the two: while the UK version contains two remixes of the title track, the German has a live version of 'Taking time out'. I bought both some time after their release.

My collection: 12" single no. 102
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 1990
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Heart and soul (US Dance mix)' / 'Heart and soul (remix)', 'On the wing'

My collection: 12" single no. 558
Found: Record fair, 1999
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'Heart and soul (remix)' / 'On the wing', 'Taking time out (live mix)'

When am I going to make a living - Sade

I don't have a lot of test pressings and white label records, but this one must be pretty sought after by Sade fans. I found it in one of the Music & Video Exchanges in London in a corner of a basement in Camden. I would never have bought it if the sleeve, which was white, had been written on. That way, it was easier to recognise this record - a snip at just 50p.

Not that this particular 12" single had a lot to offer: two tracks from Sade's debut album 'Diamond life' and the B-side 'Should I love you', which I already had at the time. But still, it's a white label record. Collectors items like these are quite hard to find.

My collection: 12" single no. 106
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 1990
Cost: 50p
Tracks: 'When am I going to make a living' / 'Why can't we live together', 'Should I love you'

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The pleasure principle - Janet Jackson

The four remixes on this disc were all created by Shep Pettibone. This makes for a rather unvaried compilation, as all four remixes draw from the same ideas: a few samples from 'Let's wait awhile' and 'When I think of you', lots of drum tracks, and of course the vocal track from Janet herself, which is most prominent in the 'acapella' version (which basically is just the vocal track with all the other tracks muted).

There were many of such 12" singles around in the second half of the Eighties. Some of these mixes finally ended up on the remix album 'Control: the remixes', but not all of them. Which makes this 12" single interesting for Janet Jackson collectors after all.

My collection: 12" single no. 557
Found: La La Land, Den Haag, May 14, 2011
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'The pleasure principle (Long vocal)', 'The pleasure principle (acapella)' / 'The pleasure principle (12" dub)', 'The pleasure principle (7" vocal)'

Elettrochoc - Matia Bazar

I was never sure it existed, but 25 years after buying the 7" single of Matia Bazar's 'Elettrochoc', I have found a copy of the 12" single. It's a track that lends itself well to an extended version because it's so addictive.

This disc not only contains an extended version of the vocal version, but also of the instrumental version. To top off the whole thing, a previous single, 'Vacanze Romane' is also featured on this disc. It's a wonderful single, a true find.

My collection: 12" single no. 556
Found: La La Land, Den Haag, May 14, 2011
Cost: 1,5 euro
Tracks: 'Elettrochoc [extended]' / 'Vacanze Romane', 'Elettrochoc ([extended] instrumental)'

Don't leave me this way - Communards

As far as gay anthems go, this cover version of Thelma Houston's 'Don't leave me this way' by the Communards must be one of the biggest ones. Performed by Richard Coles, highpitched singer Jimmy Somerville and guest vocalist Sarah Jane Morris, this hi-NRG version topped the charts in several countries.

Several remixes were released, but the 'Gotham City Mix' was without a doubt the longest one. Side A of this 12" single features a remix of 11 minutes and 25 seconds, and side B runs for 11 minutes and 30 seconds. This mix also incorporates the single's B-side, 'Sanctified'.

My collection: 12" single no. 555
Found: La La Land, Den Haag, May 14, 2011
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Don't leave me this way (Gotham City mix)' / 'Don't leave me this way / Sanctified / Don't leave me this way (Gotham City mix)'

Radioactivity - Fatboy Slim

At a time when nuclear facilities are again messing up the environment, it's time to listen to Kraftwerk's timeless 'Radioactivity' again. That song is quite alarming, despite their clean and tidy way of mixing words with music.

This bouncy cover version is something else. It was recorded by Fatboy Slim for the compilation album 'Late night tales' in 2007. The track was released as a limited edition 7" single in October of that year.

My collection: 7" single no. 5109
Found: La La Land, May 14, 2011
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Radioactivity' (Fatboy Slim) / 'Everything is everything' (Bootsy Collins)

Friday, 13 May 2011

Behind the mask / Hollywood tonight - Michael Jackson

In December 2010, the first posthumous album by Michael Jackson was released. The first, because as record companies and the estate of Michael Jackson are always interested in getting more money off the legend, there will be loads more in the coming years. You've got to wonder whether that's good news or not.

This album, anyway, was not too bad. Most of the stuff would never have been released had Michael been alive, but it's good to hear some of the tracks. This vinyl single, released on Record Store Day (April 16, 2011) in some territories, features alternate versions of 'Behind the mask' and 'Hollywood tonight'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5108
Found:, received May 12, 2011
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Behind the mask (edit)' / 'Hollywood tonight (Throwback mix)'

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Classical gas - Mason Williams

Mason Williams was born on August 24, 1938. He is best known for his instrumental piece 'Classical gas', released as a single in 1968, taken from the album 'The Mason Williams Phonograph Record'. Williams was the head writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour at the time of the piece's release and premiered the composition on the show. Williams performed it several times over several episodes.

There is a common misconception that "Classical Gas" was composed and performed by Eric Clapton. Clapton has never recorded a cover of the song. This misconception may possibly be attributed to the fact that Clapton was musical director of, and played much of the guitar music for, the feature film 'The story of us.' The version of the song on the film's soundtrack is actually Williams's own solo-guitar re-recording of it, from his 1970 album Handmade.

My collection: 7" single no. 5104
Found: Vrijmarkt, Den Haag, April 30, 2011
Cost: 0,2 euro
Tracks: 'Classical gas' / 'Long time blues'

New York mining disaster 1941 - Bee Gees

'New York mining disaster 1941' recounts the story of a miner trapped in a cave-in. He is sharing a photo of his wife with a colleague ('Mr. Jones') while they hopelessly wait to be rescued. In the second and third verses, the lyrical lines get slower and slower, as to indicate that life is about to expire for the miners. According to the liner notes for the Bee Gees box-set 'Tales from the Brothers Gibb' (1990), this song was inspired by the 1966 Aberfan mining disaster in Wales.

Maurice Gibb recalled in an interview with Mojo magazine: 'The opening chord doesn't sound like a conventional A minor. Barry was using the open D tuning he'd been taught when he was nine, and I was playing it in conventional tuning. It gives an unusual blend. People went crazy trying to figure out why they couldn't copy it.'

My collection: 7" single no. 5102
Found: Vrijmarkt, Den Haag, April 30, 2011
Cost: 0,2 euro
Tracks: 'New York mining disaster 1941' / 'I can't see nobody'

If you ever come to Amsterdam - Pussycat

Released in November 1977, 'If you ever come to Amsterdam' was the follow-up to Pussycat's successful single 'I'll be your woman' which reached number 11 in the Dutch Top 40. By comparison, this single did worse, as it stalled at number 20. Both singles stayed in the chart for seven weeks.

Like all of the band's hits, the song was written by the band's guitarist Werner Theunissen.

My collection: 7" single no. 5101
Found: Vrijmarkt, Den Haag, April 30, 2011
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'If you ever come to Amsterdam' / 'You must have been a beautiful baby'

Tired of toein' the line - Rocky Burnette

Rocky Burnette (born Jonathan Burnette, 12 June 1953) is an American rock and roll singer/musician and the son of rock and roll pioneer, Johnny Burnette. He is best known for his 1980 hit single 'Tired of toein' the line'. The song's lyrics detail an imminent breakup.

The single reached number 8in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 1 in Australia. In the Dutch Top 40, the single reached number 12.

My collection: 7" single no. 5099
Found: Vrijmarkt, Den Haag, April 30, 2011
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Tired of toein' the line' / 'Clowns from outer space'

Only yesterday - The Carpenters

"Only Yesterday" is a song recorded by The Carpenters in 1975. It was released on March 14, 1975, and was the Carpenters' last top 10 single in the United States. Composed by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis, it peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The music video features some footage of Karen and Richard at work in the studio. After Karen sang the line, "the promise of morning light", it faded from the studio to a fountain in Huntington Library Gardens in San Marino, California. It then featured some footage of a Japanese bridge.

My collection: 7" single no. 5098
Found: Vrijmarkt, Den Haag, April 30, 2011
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Only yesterday' / 'Happy'

All night long - Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie was very hot in 1983. He released the album 'Can't slow down' and before he knew it, he had a row of hits on his hands. The first of them was 'All night long', a festive, danceable tune that went to number 1 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, Australia and the Netherlands. In the UK, it reached number 2.

The video was played on television ad nauseam, and I grew rather tired of this track. Fast forward 27 years and I finally bought the single... Because after all, the tune is not bad.

My collection: 7" single no. 5097
Found: Vrijmarkt, Den Haag, April 30, 2011
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'All night long' / 'Wandering stranger'

Sunday, 1 May 2011

First of May - Bee Gees

'First of May' was released as the only single from the Bee Gees' 1969 album 'Odessa'. The song was partially responsible for the departure of Robin Gibb from the group. He wanted his song 'Lamplight' to be the album's first single, while Barry preferred 'First of May'. When Robert Stigwood, their manager, sided with Barry, Robin quit the band.

The single reached number 2 in the Dutch Top 40 and number 6 in the UK singles chart. In the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, it reached number 37. Robin Gibb eventually returned to the Bee Gees, after Barry and Maurice released one album as a duo.

My collection: 7" single no. 5100
Found: Vrijmarkt, Den Haag, April 30, 2011
Cost: 0,2 euro
Tracks: 'First of May' / 'Lamplight'

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