Monday, 26 September 2016

Pas gentille - Jef Barbara

The song 'Pas gentille' was first recorded by Françoise Hardy in 1964. Based on Marty Wilde's 'Bad boy', she translated the lyrics herself and it became a rather beautiful French chanson. In 2012, this song was covered by Jef Barbara.

Born in Montreal, Jef Barbara is a pop star who seems to wander around the gender spectrum rather loosely: sometimes man, sometimes woman but always himself (or herself, depending on your views). The 2012 single with 'Pas gentille' (only available as a 7" vinyl single) showcases a beautiful voice in a subtle musical arrangement.

My collection: 7" single no. 5860
Found: Discogs.com, received July 26, 2016
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Pas gentille' / 'I have a friend'

Listen to the song

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Skorápky orechu - Marie Rottrová

Every once in a while I buy a single not for the A-side, but for the B-side. This is a good example. Marie Rottrová's 1983 single 'Skorápky Orechu' is a bit of a rarity for Kim Wilde fans, since the B-side features the only known cover version of Kim's song 'Action city'. Entitled 'Já tvé sny znám', you won't easily find it, but fortunately the sleeve does actually mention 'Action city' between brackets (as you can see below).

Marie Rottrová was born in Ostrava-Hrušov (Czech Republic) on November 13, 1941. She was born and raised in a musical family, with her mother a singer and her father an organist. She initially started working as a bank clerk but after participating in a talent show in Ostrava she was discovered and became a member of groups like Františka Trnka, Octect, Samuel, Majestic and the Flamingos. Her first LP with the Flamingos was recorded in 1970. This self-titled debut album in the Czech language was re-recorded a year later in English as 'This is our soul'. Several solo albums followed.Rottrová still performs and records these days, although she never became as prolific as she was during the 1970's and the first half of the 1980's.

My collection: 7" single no. 5859
Found: Discogs.com, received July 1, 2016
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Skorápky orechu' / 'Já tvé sny znám'

Listen to the song

Jezebel - Marty Wilde

The last time I saw Marty Wilde live - which, I'm ashamed to say, is almost ten years ago now! - it was his song 'Jezebel' that made the biggest impression on me. It sounded every bit as vibrant as it did on this original recording from 1962. The man and his voice were every bit as powerful as they were when he was just in his twenties.

At the time of the release of this single, Marty had already become a songwriter in his own right, but this song 'Jezebel' was written by Wayne Shanklin and originally recorded by Frankie Laine. Wilde added his own composition on the B-side. This single became his last top 20 hit in the UK, peaking at number 19.

My collection: 7" single no. 5855
Found: Discogs.com, received June 24, 2016
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Jezebel' / 'Don't run away'

Listen to the song

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Jezamine - Misty

If you hear the name Misty, you might think of a middle-aged sultry female singer, but in fact it was a duo consisting of Mark Eden and Mickey Fudge. They recorded a couple of singles which were released in 1977. Their first release was 'Jezamine', a cover of the track originally recorded by the Casuals, and written by Marty Wilde. They followed it up with 'Magic spell', which was an original track written by Fudge.

Their version of 'Jezamine' was typical Seventies disco fodder, although you could also recognize it as a proto-Level 42 track.

My collection: 7" single no. 5867
Found: Discogs.com, received September 7, 2016
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Jezamine' / 'That's no way'

Listen to the song

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Eurovision songs - Groot Draaiorgel Mortier

This is probably the most mysterious single I've ever bought. It didn't come with a sleeve, so all I have is the disc and the info on the label. It is credited to Groot Draaiorgel Mortier, and since the single is made in Belgium I have to assume it's a Belgian barrel organ.

The songs played by this barrel organ all come from the 1960 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest: 'Niet voor mij', 'Wat een geluk', 'Looking high' and 'Tom Pillibi'. There is no information about Groot Draaiorgel Mortier on the web, so this single looks likely to remain a mystery.

Listen to one side
Listen to the other side

My collection: 7" single no. 5819
Found: Kringloop Den Haag, January 16, 2016
Cost: 0,25 euro
Tracks: 'Niet voor mij', 'Wat een geluk' / 'Looking high', 'Tom Pillibi'

Io senza te - Peter Sue & Marc

I already bought Io senza te by Peter Sue & Marc at the end of 2009 as part of a big stack of Eurovision singles. The B-side of that single featured the English version of the song. When I was in Vienna last month, I suddenly spotted the German version of that song, with the German version of the song on the B-side.

Nothing wrong with a little language variation here and there, and so I bought this single as well, especially since it was so cheap (if you ignore travel fares and hotel costs, that is). It just goes to show that you never know what you find when you go shopping for records in other countries!

Listen to the song

My collection: 7" single no. 5857
Found: Moses Records, Vienna, June 3, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Io senza te' / 'Ich ohne dich'

December - All about Eve

Ordering online can be a treat sometimes, especially when you're able to combine things and get a few interesting singles together. I was a little surprised when this one arrived in a picture sleeve. It is a promotional 7" single for All about Eve's 'December', featuring the single edit on one side and an even shorter radio edit on the other side.

This track is of course best in its unedited version, but to own an exclusive radio edit is a nice addition to my already impressive All about Eve collection.

Listen to the song

My collection: 7" single no. 5857
Found: Discogs.com, received July 1, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'December (radio edit)' / 'December [single edit]'


Hon går rakt fram - Leyla

Having a complete Kim Wilde collection also includes many cover versions. Through the years I have been able to identify over 250 cover versions of Kim Wilde songs, and more than half of those are cover versions of 'Kids in America'. So it really is a nice surprise when it turns out that not everyone has turned to Kim's debut hit for inspiration.

The Swedish band Cotton Club debuted in 1984 with a self-titled album full of cover versions from hits between 1981 and 1984. One of them was Kim Wilde's 'Love blonde'. All the songs were translated into Swedish, and so 'Love blonde' became 'Hon går rakt fram'. When the track was released as a single, the record company decided to release it as a solo single from the band's lead singer, Leyla Yilbar Norgren.

Listen to the song

My collection: 7" single no. 5865
Found: Discogs.com, received July 27, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Hon går rakt fram' / 'En enda rad'

Sunday, 3 July 2016

The world would never turn again - Keith Potger

Keith Potger was a member of the Seekers, as the sleeve of his first solo single proclaims. The band had some success during the Sixties, until they disbanded in 1968.

'The world would never turn again' was released the next year, and although Potger would become a songwriter and producer, this first single was written by someone else. The B-side, interestingly, was provided by Frere Manston, which of course is a pseudonym of Marty Wilde. And there it is... the main reason for me to pick up this single. 

My collection: 7" single no. 5854
Found: Marktplaats, received June 22, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'The world would never turn again' / 'Santa Maria'

Friday, 24 June 2016

Do the Bartman - The Simpsons

I wasn't really planning on spending a lot of money on a single called 'Do the Bartman', despite the fact that I have an impressive amount of Michael Jackson singles in my collection. It is an amusing little song but songs by cartoon characters don't do very much for me. I finally found the single last month at a price that can't be beat.

There has been a lot of confusion about Michael Jackson's involvement in this song, mainly because he was under contract with Epic Records at the time of this single's release. However, the song's writer Bryan Loren has conceded that Jackson's contributions included back up vocals, providing the title "Do the Bartman" and that Jackson insisted his own name to be mentioned in the lyrics (read the story here).

My collection: 7" single no. 5852
Found: Kringloop, Leiden, May 14, 2016
Cost: 0,1 euro
Tracks: 'Do the Bartman (7" House mix/edit)' / 'Do the Bartman (LP edit)'

Listen to the song

Bodies / Kids in America - Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy was founded by Singer Dane Etteridge, who began writing and demoing a handful of songs with the intention of starting a new band. He teamed up with Simon Goldring (drums), Joseph Heaselgrave (guitar), Greg Bishop (bass) and Tom Beck (organ/keys). Their debut single 'Home' was released in 2014.

With just a few tracks released and a handful of live shows under their belt, they were invited to record two tracks for the RAK Singles Club. The original track 'Bodies' was coupled with a cover version of Kim Wilde's 'Kids in America'. As you know I collect everything to do with Kim, so this single was quickly included in my collection.

My collection: 7" single no. 5851
Found: RAK Singles Club, received May 14, 2016
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Bodies' / 'Kids in America'

Listen to the song

You don't die from love - Stephanie

Princess Stephanie from Monaco appeared on this blog before with singles from her debut album, released in 1986. It was a rather successful album in some parts of Europe, so she went about recording a follow-up. Unfortunately, that took such a long time that the music scene had totally changed in the mean time.

That self-titled second album was finally released in 1991, with the lead single 'Winds of chance' failing to reach the charts. This single, 'You don't die from love' was the second and last single to be released by Stephanie. She did appear on Michael Jackson as the mystery voice on 'In the closet', but after that, her music career was over and done.

My collection: 7" single no. 5848
Found: Discogs.com, received May 2, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'You don't die from love' / 'Good dreams'

Listen to the song

Song of love - Thomas Forstner

On the day of the dramatic outcome of the British referendum about the EU and proof that democracy does not always work well, I thought it would be nice to write about something else the Brits are really good at: Eurovision. In fact, they are so good at it that they haven't reached the top 10 in that competition for over a decade now (except in 2009, when they made number 5 just for once).

Even Austria has done much better in recent years, winning in 2014 and reaching the top 10 once as well. And in 1989, they did pretty well too: Thomas Forstner's 'Nur ein Lied' made it to number 5. Such was the success that he even recorded an English version of that song. 'Song of love' was released as a separate single, but this didn't become a hit outside of Austria.

Listen to the song



My collection: 7" single no. 5846
Found: Discogs.com, received May 2, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Song of love' / 'Song of love (instrumental)'

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Layla - Habibi

Habibi represented Israel during the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Layla'. The band consisted of: Shlomit Aharon, Kikki Rothstein, Yuval Dor and Ami Mendelman. They had originally been offered the song 'Hallelujah' in 1978, but they turned it down. That song was performed by Milk and Honey, and famously won the contest in 1979.

'Layla' fared less well, with just 56 points placing seventh in a field of twenty competitors. They released one more album in 1982 (which included their Eurovision song) before disbanding.

My collection: 7" single no. 5845
Found: Discogs.com, received May 2, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Layla (English version)' / 'Layla (Hebrew version)'

Listen to the song

Radio's on - Promises

I remember the song 'Radio's on' by Promises best for a home-made remix of Queen's 'Radio gaga' which was played on Dutch radio in 1984. The intro consisted of several radio-inspired song snippets, seemingly played while someone was dialing the radio.

The song was never a hit, unlike Baby it's you, which I bought in 1989. Yep, 27 years apart - that surely must be some kind of record, right?

My collection: 7" single no. 5843
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 17, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Radio's on' / 'Toby jug'

Listen to the song

Tonight - The Look

Just like I am the beat, The Look's 'Tonight' is a song I know well from my childhood. Finding the single has proved a little more difficult, because I haven't seen it through the years between then and now. And it's quite amusing to note that I bought the other single in 1995 and this one just 21 years later...

I don't really know why I remember the song that well, since it wasn't a hit - neither in the UK nor in the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 5842
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 17, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Tonight' / 'Three steps away'

Listen to the song

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Genghis Khan - Dschinghis Khan

Such was the success of the song 'Dschinghis Khan' at the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest, that the German band decided to also record an English version of their song. 'Genghis Khan' was released in Germany - as this German pressing proves - but there were also singles made in the UK, Italy, France, Spain and, yes, even Australia and Brazil.

Whether the track was a hit in any of these territories, I don't know. I am however glad to have found a copy of this single, because the English lyrics betray even more clearly what the song is about.

My collection: 7" single no. 5856
Found: Moses Records, Vienna, June 3, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Genghis Khan' / 'Desert land'

Listen to the song

Love goes up and down - Errol Brown

Although 2016 has confronted us with morality in a big way - with David Bowie, Prince and several other big names in music departing - last year was no small matter either. In February Visage's face Steve Strange passed away, and in May we lost Errol Brown, the frontman of Hot Chocolate.

It's easy to forget that beside his 18 years with that band, he also released a handful of solo releases in the late Eighties. 'Love goes up and down' was his fourth solo effort, which only got to number 89 in the UK singles chart. If you listen to the song here, you'll hopefully agree that the song was very much underrated.

My collection: 7" single no. 5853
Found: Moses Records, Vienna
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Love goes up and down' / 'Thank you'

Listen to the song

Young ones everywhere - Stephanie

Princess Stephanie from Monaco made a name for herself as a singer with the 1986 hit 'Ouragan' / 'Irresistible', and on the back of that success released an album of reasonably good pop songs. But royalty is almost obliged to do something for charity as well, and so one of the tracks from the album ended up being connected to Unicef in 1987.

'Young ones everywhere' was the appropriate title of the single, and it announced in large letters 'Stepahnie for Unicef'. It is not known whether this single raised a lot of money for Unicef, but since it wasn't a Europe-wide hit, the worst is to be feared.

My collection: 7" single no. 5847
Found: Discogs.com, received May 2, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Young ones everywhere' / 'Young ones everywhere (instrumental)', 'Besoin'

Listen to the song

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Gone too soon - Michael Jackson

If you look at the list of singles by Michael Jackson on this blog, it's hard to believe that I haven't got them all already. But somehow I managed to miss this one. I only discovered it recently and fortunately I was able to get a copy of this single while I was buying a few others online.

As you can hear, the vinyl isn't exactly clean but as with most Michael Jackson tracks, I've already got it on CD anyway. Which probably makes you wonder why I need to have this on vinyl anyway. Well, you either have a collection or you don't. That's a logic in itself, I guess.

My collection: 7" single no. 5850
Found: Discogs.com, received May 10, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Gone too soon' / 'Gone too soon (instrumental)'

Listen to the song

Friday, 13 May 2016

Telefone - Sheena Easton

Sheena Easton recorded 'Telefone (Long distance love affair)' in 1983 for her album 'Best kept secret'. It was released as the album's lead single.  The song reached a disappointing number 84 in the UK singles chart. Amazingly, it was more successful in the US, where it became her fourth top 10 hit, peaking at number 9 late October 1983.

A year later, Easton added 'Telefono' to her Spanish album 'Todo me recuerda a ti', recorded for the Latin markets.

My collection: 7" single no. 5844
Found: Discogs.com, received May 2, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Telefone' / 'Wish you were here tonight'

Listen to the song

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Bandido (Deep mix) - Azucar Moreno

Since this week is Eurovision Song Contest week, it shouldn't be a surprise that I have a few Eurovision singles for you, even if I depend on new acquisitions to fill this blog these days. I was particularly lucky to score this one, since I suspect it's rather rare: it's a one-sided promotional 7" single single from Spain, the country that competed in 1990 with the song 'Bandido' by Azucar Moreno.

This single contains a special remix of that song, a remix that I thought was only available on a cd-single - also promotional - which I bought a few years ago. It's great to own this track on vinyl since it is actually a nice remix.

My collection: 7" single no. 5849
Found: Discogs.com, received May 10, 2016
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Bandido (Deep Mix)'

Listen to the song

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Miami Vice theme - Jan Hammer

The Miami Vice theme was created and performed by Jan Hammer as the theme to the television series Miami Vice. It was first presented as part of the television broadcast of the show in September 1984 and released as a single in 1985, peaking at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100. This picture disc 7" single presents three different edits of the theme, and only omits the 12" version that was released on the 12" single (and which clocks in on 6'54 minutes).

This picture disc presents lead role actors Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. The series ran for five seasons between 1984 and 1989. 

My collection: 7" single no. 5841
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 17, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Miami Vice theme (TV version)' 1'00, 'Miami Vice theme (12 inch edit)' 4'30 / 'Miami Vice theme' 2'26

Listen to the song

En lille melodi - Anne Cathrine & drengene

A simple song was the English version of this single. Quite why the band was suddenly called Bandjo is unclear to me, because 'En lille melodi', the original Danish version, is credited to Anne Cathrine & drengene. (What does drengene mean? 'Boys'. Yes, Anne Cathrine and her boys...)

I bought this single from the kind people of Vinyl Tap at the latest record fair in Utrecht. British dealers selling a Danish single. The world really has gone mad.

My collection: 7" single no. 5840
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 17, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'En lille melodi' / 'Alle har brug for kaerlighed'

Listen to the song

Just what I needed - The Cars

'Just What I Needed', like many other tracks on The Cars' debut album, originated as a demo tape recorded by the band in 1977. It was released as a single, after the band signed to Elektra records, in 1978. It was the lead single of the band's self-titled debut album. The song peaked at number 27 in the US and number 17 in the UK.

Kim Wilde recorded a cover version of this track on her 2011 album 'Snapshots', which should explain why I was hunting for this single in the first place. Having found a picture disc, I'm rather satisfied.

My collection: 7" single no. 5839
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 28, 2016
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Just what I needed' / 'I'm in touch with your world'

Listen to the song

Dallas - Jerrold Immel

Two months ago, I got me a copy of Bobby Patrick Band's interpretation of the 'Dallas' theme, but that was of course not the original version. I didn't even know if it was ever released on vinyl, but it turns out that it was. And as a child of the Eighties, of course I had to have the track.

The track features on the B-side of this single, but the A-side is best left forgotten. Written by Michel Salva and Jean Renard, it's a French retelling of the TV series' story line. For some reason, CBS Records was interested in releasing this in France, but the inclusion of the original Jerrold Immel-conducted 'Dallas theme' on the B-side warrants the 50 eurocents I shelled out for this piece.

My collection: 7" single no. 5838
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 17, 2016
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Dallas (Générique du feuilleton TV)' / 'Dallas theme'

Listen to the song

Superstition - Stevie Wonder

Some songs are classics that everyone should own. This blog is littered with them, of course, but there are some tracks that defy criticism. Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition' is one such tracks.

Released on October 24, 1972, it was the lead single for Wonder's 'Talking book' album and topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the USA, peaking at number 10 and 11 in the Netherlands and the UK respectively. I've owned this song on CD for years already, but it's nice to finally add a 7" single to my collection.

My collection: 7" single no. 5837
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 17, 2016
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Superstition' / 'You've got it bad girl'

Listen to the song



Love is fire - Doris Dragovic

The Yugoslavian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986 was performed by Doris Dragovic. She sang the dramatic love ballad 'Zeljo Moja' ('My desire'), translated as 'Love is fire' for the international market. The song finished eleventh in the contest, in a field of 20 competitors.

Doris actually returned to the contest 13 years later, with the dynamic song 'Marija Magdalena', which fared a lot better: on that occasion she finished in fourth place.

My collection: 7" single no. 5836
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 17, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Love is fire' / 'Zeljo moja'

Listen to the song

Ich will, wenn ich wüsste, dass ich darf - Florian Haidt

Nik Kershaw had a big hit in 1984 with I won't let the sun go down. Such was the success of this single, that other artists were inspired to record their own version. At least, I stumbled upon a cover version from the same year, and a German translation at that.

A certain Florian Haidt released 'Ich will, wenn ich wüsste, dass ich darf' ('I would if I knew that I could') in Germany. The single was pressed on purple marbled vinyl, which added to the attraction - at least, for me. It's a chance to hear a rather unusual version of this classic Eighties song.

My collection: 7" single no. 5835
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 17, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Ich will, wenn ich wüsste, dass ich darf' / 'Express (Instrumental)'

Listen to the song

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Ding-a-dong - Teach In

Some singles are rather rare, and as a result, record dealers at record fairs are usually tempted to ask a high price for them. Then there are records that are not so rare, but associated to a certain event - let's say, the Eurovision Song Contest - and that's also a reason ask a minimum of 10 euros for the disc. And this one is a good example.

I found this copy in a mass of singles from a German dealer, all priced at a measly 1 euro each. Obviously, I bought it right away. Then, 10 minutes later and a few metres away, I saw another copy of this single, in a row of singles especially labeled 'Eurovision'. The price: 10 euros. And no, it didn't look any better than this one. You can imagine that I had a happy moment then and there.

My collection: 7" single no. 5832
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 16, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Ding-a-dong' / 'Hey hello'

Listen to the song


Monday, 11 April 2016

Avrei voluto - Anna Oxa & Fausto Leali

Back in 1989, I bought a compilation CD featuring all the songs from that year's Eurovision Song Contest. For obvious reasons, that CD never appeared on this blog, however many songs did make it, since I bought so many of them on 7" singles. I like all of the songs from that year, although some songs were later to be accepted than others.

Anna Oxa & Fausto Leali's 'Avrei voluto' was one of them. The raspy voice of Fausto in the first seconds was reason enough for me to skip to the next track. It's a bit of a complicated song, 'Avrei voluto', and the fact that Anna Oxa does an impressive 'We are the world'-era Cyndi Lauper impression doesn't help matters much. An attack on the ears, but still, I've grown to like this song anyway.

My collection: 7" single no. 5824
Found: Discogs.com, received February 5, 2016
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Avrei voluto' / 'Avrei voluto (Strumentale)'

Listen to the song

Monday, 29 February 2016

Ever so lonely - Monsoon

Monsoon's 1982 single Ever so lonely is wellknown, as it got a Europe-wide release after relative success in the UK. The single displayed here is a rare gem, however. It is an independent release from 1981 and features four tracks. The A-side features 'Ever so lonely' and 'Sunset over the Ganges' as one continuous track (where on the 1982 single they are split into two separate tracks).

This version of 'Ever so lonely' also features slightly different lyrics and less instrumentation. Released on the Indipop label, this single may have been one of the reasons for a major label to sign the group. It was quite a shock to find this single - which I'd never seen before.

My collection: 7" single no. 5831
Found: Dig Vinyl, Liverpool, February 19, 2016
Cost: £1
Tracks: 'Ever so lonely', 'Sunset over the Ganges' / 'The mirror of your mind', 'Shout (Till you're heard)'

Listen to the A-side

Dallas - Bobby Patrick Band

The American series Dallas is an integral part of the Eighties experience, and as a child of the Eighties I was just as addicted to the show as anyone who grew up at the time. As a collector of music, I also got my hands on singles by Larry Hagman, Audrey Landers, Patrick Duffy, Charlene Tilton and Victoria Principal in recent years.

But the theme of the series somehow never came into my possession. Until now, that is. At least, a version of it, because this is not the version that was used on television, unfortunately. The B-side features the theme of another famous series: The Waltons. Both tracks are performed by the so-called Bobby Patrick Band. When I bought this single, the woman in the shop seemed to be surprised she even had it in stock.

My collection: 7" single no. 5830
Found: Dig Vinyl, Liverpool, February 19, 2016
Cost: £1
Tracks: 'Dallas' / 'The Waltons'

Listen to the track

Soul on my boots - King

While I have been collecting singles for almost 40 years now, and I have been obsessed with Eighties music ever since the Eighties, there is still sometimes a single release that somehow managed to elude me all through these decades. This single is a perfect example.

King's debut single 'Love & pride' was a big hit, and so was its follow-up 'Won't you hold my hand now'. I did know, of course, that both singles had to be re-released to become such hits: the original releases in April 1984 and October 1984 respectively weren't so successful, but back then record companies didn't give up so easily, and so in early 1985 'Love & pride' became a number 2 hit in the UK, and in March 1985 'Won't you hold my hand now' was remixed and peaked at number 24.

What I didn't know, was that there was another single between those two, released in August 1984 (and failing to chart as well). I'd never even seen this single until now. And here it is: 'Soul on my boots'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5820
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, January 23, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Soul on my boots' / 'Ain't no doubt'

Listen to the song

Jag är en astronaut - Anne Mette Torp

Child star Anne Mette Torp from Hønefoss (Norway) had a great year in 1973, when she shot to fame with a cover version of Ricky Wilde's 'I am an astronaut'. The song was translated into Norwegian by Elvind Torp (presumably her father) as 'Jeg er en astronaut'. She also recorded a Swedish version, 'Jag är en astronaut', translated by Rolf Lönberg, which appears on this single.

In 1974, she released her debut (and only) LP 'Abra Ka Dabra', which did not include this song, but rather original songs, but also meant for children. After her singing career she took up ballet, and now runs the Ringerike Ballet School in Hønefoss.

My collection: 7" single no. 5823
Found: Discogs.com, received February 5, 2016
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Jag är en astronaut' / 'Jag skulle önska'

Listen to the song

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Hey presto - Black

I first got to know the UK band Black in 1984, when the music video for 'Hey presto' appeared on television. I'm not sure whether it was this video (which I never saw again since 1984!) or repeated radio play which hooked me, but I was most certainly hooked. I never got to buy the single, because it was only released in the UK - or so I thought until recently.

Back in 1992, I met a fellow fan who owned a rare copy of 'Hey presto', made in the UK, which didn't contain the 'regular' studio version, but rather a demo version. It couldn't be distinguished from other UK pressings, so this was a really strange appearance. A year later, when we spoke to Colin Vearncombe, he explained that a run of copies was made for export to Australia, and WEA retrieved the demo version from the archives by mistake. I never found a copy of this rare run of pressings myself.

This month, after the tragic passing of Colin Vearncombe, I started looking for holes in my collection. It's one way to cope with the loss, I guess. I noticed that there was a German pressing of 'Hey presto', and there was one copy for sale. I decided to order it. The single arrived in my mailbox earlier today. Upon playing this disc, I discovered that this version, too, contained the demo versions of the A and B-side tracks. And just like on the UK pressings, there is no indication that this disc contains the demo versions instead of the regular studio versions. But you can safely assume that all German pressings are the same, since 'Hey presto' probably only had one run of pressings in Germany. Such a pleasant surprise!

My collection: 7" single no. 5827
Found: Discogs.com, received February 17, 2016
Cost: $5
Tracks: 'Hey presto [demo version]' / 'Stephen [demo version]]

Listen to the song

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Everything's coming up roses - Black

The death of Colin Vearncombe, singer and sole member of the band Black, on January 26 this year, was a big blow. I have collected all of his music and saw the man live more times than my memory has allowed me to remember. The process of mourning continues for a long time I guess, but in the mean time I coped with the acquisition of a few Black items that I didn't own until now. (Which, as you can see on this page, shouldn't be too much, especially when you consider I never got round to posting my 12" singles.)

The most interesting item so far has to be this promotional 7" from the USA, with a remix version of 'Everything's coming up roses' on both sides. I already had the promotional cd-single from over there for 15 years, but as followers of this blog know: if it's released on vinyl, I gotta have it.

My collection: 7" single no. 5825
Found: Discogs.com, received February 9, 2016
Cost: $2
Tracks: 'Everything's coming up roses (remix)' / 'Everything's coming up roses (remix)'

Listen to the song

In the name of love '88 - Thompson Twins


In the name of love was originally a song by the Thompson Twins released in 1982. After that, the group made it big with hits such as Doctor doctor, You take me up and Hold me now. While lead singer Tom Bailey apparently suffered a nervous breakdown, they continued to release music such as the less successful 1987 album 'Close to the bone' and a couple of compilation albums in 1988.

'The best of Thompson Twins: Greatest Mixes' featured a 1988 remix by Shep Pettibone, which was also released as a single. It peaked at number 46 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5821
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, January 23, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'In the name of love '88' / 'In the name of love (original)'

Listen to the song

You are everything - Marvin Gaye & Diana Ross

It's not a bad idea, sometimes, to let your biggest stars record a duet together. That's what must have gone through the executive minds at Motown Records in the early Seventies, when Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross got together to record 'You are everything'. This song was written by the Stylistics in 1971, but when this golden duo recorded their version, it became a massive hit around the world - although it was never released as a single in the USA, oddly enough.

It reached number 5 in the UK singles chart and number 13 in the Netherlands. You can still hear this song regularly on the radio.

My collection: 7" single no. 5818
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, January 16, 2016
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'You are everything' / 'Include me in your life'

Listen to the song

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Young guns (go for it) - Wham!

When Wham! released 'Young guns (go for it)' in October 1982, it broke new ground for the duo George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. The single became a number 1 hit in Sweden, and reached number 3 in the UK. It was only their second single, and they were already on the way to superstardom.

While the single was entertaining, the extended mixes were intriguing. There were actually two remixes of this song. A 5'10 minute remix has become by far the most widespread, having had a release even on CD ('Best remixes' in Japan and 'The 12" album' in Europe). The 7 minute remix featured on this 12" single is much harder to find: it was only ever released on a 12" single in the USA and this one, made in Holland. And yes, you can find it on CD, if you are able to find the 1996 compilation album 'Club Epic' or the 2013 'Dance Classics Pop Edition vol. 10', released in the Netherlands. Why Sony Music have never made a definitive Wham! box set, I'll never know.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Kringloop Rijswijk, January 31, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Young guns (Go for it!)' [club remix] / 'Going for it'

Listen to the song

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Say say say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson

Why not start the new year with two music legends? I received this 12" single just before the turn of the year, after a month of waiting. Released for Black Friday (November 27), this disc was pressed on clear vinyl and originally only slated for release in the United States. Fortunately, Europe followed suit and eventually I was able to order this via Amazon.

I would actually have preferred a CD release, because 12" singles are rather big and take up a lot of space, but it has to be said that this is a beautiful record. The 2015 remix of 'Say Say Say' adds some nice touches, such as reversed vocals on the verses and some added instrumentation throughout - without destroying  the feel of the original track.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Amazon France, received December 29, 2015
Cost: 8 euro
Tracks: 'Say say say (2015 remix)' / 'Say say say (Jellybean Instrumental remix)'

Listen to the 2015 remix & listen to the instrumental remix

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Kaupungin lapset - Make Lentonen

There are many versions of Kim Wilde's 'Kids in America', but there are also a lot of versions of 'Kaupungin lapset', the Finnish translation of that very song. The earliest version was already recorded in the same year as the original song (1981) by Mona Carita - and many other Finnish artists have had a stab at this translated version since.

Make Lentonen recorded his version in 1993. This single is hard to find; for a long time a version without the picture sleeve has been available on Discogs.com, but finding the version with its original cover proved to be more difficult. It took me a long time, but I've finally found a copy - also on that website. Once it was offered, I snapped it up within a couple of hours.

My collection: 7" single no. 5817
Found: Discogs.com, received December 19, 2015
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Kaupungin lapset' / 'Puistokatu krs. 6'

Listen to the song

Think sometimes about me - Sandie Shaw

'Think sometimes about me' was released in November 1966, just months before the singer would become a Eurovision icon with 'Puppet on a string'. This single would end up on the album named after that Eurovision hit.

What's interesting (for me anyway) is not so much the A side of this single, but the B side: 'Hide all emotion' was written by Marty Wilde. Hence, I had to have this single.

My collection: 7" single no. 5816
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, December 19, 2015
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Think sometimes about me' / 'Hide all emotion'

Listen to the song

Monsieur - Park Cafe

Park Cafe formed in 1986 with members Rom Heck, Maggie Park and Gast Waltzing in Luxembourg. They released their self-titled debut album a year later. In 1989, they represented Luxembourg during the Eurovision Song Contest with this song, 'Monsieur'. As you can hear, it was a bouncy pop song that would have done well in the charts with proper promotion. As it was, they only reached 20th place in a field of 22 competitors. That said, that year's winner was Riva's infamous 'Rock me', proof that the real winning songs sometimes end up down below.

The band released the album 'Monsieur' that same year, and eventually folded in 1993. This single is a real rarity and only appears online from time to time for rather excessive prices.

My collection: 7" single no. 5815
Found: Discogs.com, received November 26, 2015
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Monsieur' / 'Living in toonland'

Listen to the song

La la la - Heidi Brühl

Heidi Rosemarie Brühl was born on January 30, 1942. She was a German singer and actress who came to prominence as a young teenager and had a prolific career in film and television. She was also a successful recording artist, and is known for her participation in the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest for Germany with the song 'Marcel'.

In 1968, she recorded this cover version of Spain's winning song 'La la la' - in German. She died of breast cancer on June 8, 1991, aged just 49.

My collection: 7" single no. 5813
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'La la la' / 'Und mein Zug fährt immer weiter...'

Listen to the song

Red rose - Alphaville

'Red rose' was the fifth and final single from Alphaville's 1986 album, 'Afternoons in Utopia'. It was released in April 1987.

Although the single didn't chart anywhere in Europe, it did reach number 24 on the US Hot Dance Chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5813
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'Red rose' / 'Concrete Soundtracks For Imaginary Films 1: Big Yellow Sun'

Listen to the song

Falling - D. Twins

Five years ago you met the D. Twins on this blog, with a 12" single of 'Falling', which was a cover version of Julee Cruise's theme song for 'Twin Peaks'. It turns out that besides cd-singles and this 12" single there was also actually a 7" single! And since I collect 7" singles (avidly), I had to buy this copy the first time I saw it - which was this time five weeks ago. Fortunately it came cheap, too.

My friend Puck and I have had a lot of fun about this version because of the silliness of certain versions, but I guess you had to be there to fully appreciate the fun of it. So for now, just enjoy these cover versions for yourself if you can.

My collection: 7" single no. 5812
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, December 26, 2015
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'Falling (Peaks version)' / 'Falling (Twin Club mix)'

Listen to the Peaks version / Listen to the Twin Club mix

The way you are - Agnetha Fältskog & Ola Håkansson

Agnetha Fältskog and Ola Håkansson of the Swedish band Secret Service recorded 'The way you are' in 1986. The song was used to promote Falun, Sweden as a candidate for hosting the 1992 Olympic Winter Games. Falun was not selected to host the Games, but the song became a big hit in Sweden. 
The song on the B-side, "Fly like the eagle", was also a duet by Fältskog and Håkansson.

Both songs were featured in the documentary 'It's Time for Sweden'. The single reached No. 1 in Sweden, but was not successful in the rest of the world.

My collection: 7" single no. 5811
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'The way you are' / 'Fly like the eagle'

Listen to the song

Alles und noch viel mehr - Manuela

Another example of Manuela's practice of recording German versions of Eurovision songs is this single: 'Alles und noch viel mehr', a version of Dana's winning song for Ireland in the 1970 Contest. The single reached number 26 in the German singles chart.

Manuela, born as Doris Inge Wegener, died on February 13, 2001. Ten years later, a road was named after her: the Manuelaweg in Berlin-Kladow.

My collection: 7" single no. 5810
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 0.8 euro
Tracks: 'Alles und noch viel mehr' / 'Sei wieder gut'

Listen to the song

Der schwarze Mann auf dem Dach - Manuela

The popularity of the Eurovision Song Contest was perhaps even bigger in the Seventies than it is now. The winning songs were often big hits everywhere in Europe and even songs that didn't win made an impact.

German singer Manuela made a career out of recording German-language versions of Eurovision songs. This single is an example: 'Der schwarze Mann auf dem Dach' is the German version of Clodagh Rodgers' 'Jack in the box', the 1971 Eurovision entry from the United Kingdom.

My collection: 7" single no. 5809
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2015
Cost: 0,8 euro
Tracks: 'Der schwarze Mann auf dem Dach' / 'Dich vergessen kann ich nie'

Listen to the song
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