Showing posts with label Seventies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seventies. Show all posts

Friday, 10 November 2017

Silly love songs - Wings

Recorded on January 16, 1976, 'Silly love songs' was a song written as a rebuttal to music critics who criticized Paul McCartney for writing lightweight love songs. According to McCartney, "The song was, in a way, to answer people who just accuse me of being soppy. The nice payoff now is that a lot of the people I meet who are at the age where they've just got a couple of kids and have grown up a bit, settling down, they'll say to me, "I thought you were really soppy for years, but I get it now! I see what you were doing!""

The single was released in April and reached number 2 in the UK and number 1 in the USA. The label of this single mentions 'Wings at the speed of sound', which is of course the album from which it was taken.

My collection: 7" single no. 5872
Found: Record exchange, Greenwich, London, October 27, 2017
Cost: 25p
Tracks: 'Silly love songs' / 'Cook of the house'


The number one song in heaven - Sparks

The Mael brothers have been making records for decades now and their band Sparks seems to get a new lease of life every few years or so. Their recent album 'Hippopotamus' has put them in the spotlights once again.

Back in 1979, they released this single, a disco track co-written and produced by legendary producer Giorgio Moroder. In the UK the single peaked at number 14, whereas in the Netherlands it never came near the charts. In addition to the standard black vinyl, both the 7" and 12" versions of the single were issued in a variety of coloured vinyl releases (red, blue, and green). Unfortunately, this single is the 'standard' black vinyl edition. But what can you expect, at this price.

My collection: 7" single no. 5873
Found: Record exchange, Greenwich, London, October 27, 2017
Cost: 25p
Tracks: 'The number one song in heaven' / 'The number one song in heaven (long version)'

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Helden - David Bowie

When it was announced that the German magazine Rolling Stone would have a cover 7" single of David Bowie's 'Helden' in October, I despaired a little. It sounded like a great item to have, but it would probably be impossible to get a hold of it for a reasonable price, because of the collectability of such an item.

As it turned out, it wasn't so hard to get this single after all. The magazine was offered for sale on Ebay and it was simple enough to order a copy. The single brings together an '89 remix of 'Helden' and a live version taken from the album 'Stages'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5869
Found: Ebay, received October 19, 2017
Cost: 6 euro
Tracks: 'Helden ('89 remix)' / 'Heroes (live version)'

Right on - Zappo

You will recognise the track 'Right on', the A-side of this single, as the B-side of Yellow Bird's 'Attack Attack'. No, it's not a cover version: it's the exact same recording. So who is this Zappo person? Well, it's a nickname of Marty Wilde. On different pressings of this single he appears on the sleeve in a strange superhero suit - but since those singles are quite expensive I opted for this French pressing instead.

Most editions have 'Rock and roll crazy' (which is the B-side on this single) as the A-side. Like 'Right on', that song is written by Marty Wilde and Peter Shelley.

My collection: 7" single no. 5792
Found: Ebay, received February 10, 2017
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Right on' / 'Rock and roll crazy'

Attack attack - Yellow Bird

The band Yellow Bird only ever released one single. 'Attack Attack' was written and produced by Peter Shelley and Marty Wilde. The couple worked together intensively as songwriters and producers during the Seventies, while Marty was no longer successful as a pop star in his own right. In 1974, when this single was released, he was also trying to launch his son Ricky's career, but it would be Kim, his daughter, who would find success in the next decade.

Yellow Bird was a five man band, as you can see on the sleeve on this single, but I don't know who they are. The B-side is an instrumental track that you will also find on another single, soon on this blog...

My collection: 7" single no. 5790
Found: Ebay, February 10, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Attack attack' / 'Right on'

Friday, 13 October 2017

Heroes - David Bowie

Parlophone started the '40 year anniversary' picture disc single releases a few years ago, when David Bowie was still alive. It's strange to think that this campaign will last well into the 2020s at least - and hopefully they will continue until 'No plan' is 40 years old (although I'm not holding my breath).

I skipped all the releases until now, but 'Heroes' was an attractive package. Not only did it come in a rather well designed A-side, but the B-side features a previously unreleased version of 'Heroes': as performed in the Marc Show on September 7, 1977. The recording is in mono, alas, but it's still worth a spin.

My collection: 7" single no. 5868
Found: Amazon.co.uk, received October 7, 2017
Cost: 10 pounds (which is outrageous, I know!)
Tracks: 'Heroes  [edit]' / 'Heroes (Marc Show version)'

Friday, 29 September 2017

Questo amore - Ricchi e Poveri

'Questo amore' ('This love') was the Italian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1978, performed by Ricchi e Poveri, at the time a quartet consisting of Franco Gatti, Angela Brambati, Angelo Sotgiu and Marina Occhiena. At the close of voting, the song received 53 points, placing 12th in a field of 20 competitors.

I bought this single in one of the strangest record shops I've had the pleasure to visit in Vienna this week. All of the singles cost more than 3 euros (most of them more than 5 euros) and the owners of the shop seemed more interested in their dog than they were in selling. I waited some time before I could pay, then left quickly. I'm not so fond of dogs.

My collection: 7" single no. 5864
Found: Sing Sing Records, Vienna, September 27, 2017
Cost: 3,5 euro
Tracks: 'Questo amore' / 'Anima'

Sold gold easy action - T Rex


'Solid Gold Easy Action' was released as a single in 1972 and reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart. While the song's musical style lies rooted in the Rock and roll of the 1950s, its lyrics are surrealistic and a typical example of Bolan's nonsense poetry. This song, like many of Bolan's hit singles, uses words such as "satisfaction" and "action". Combined with the rhythm and fast guitar strumming pattern on the song, Bolan creates an image of teenage sexual frustration.

Kerrang! magazine founder Geoff Barton, wrote in an article for Classic Rock magazine that the first two lines of the song, "Life is the same and it always will be / Easy as picking foxes from a tree", appeared to predict Marc Bolan's own death in 1977. The license plate of the car Bolan was in during the fatal collision with a tree was FOX 661L. This is one of many supposed 'prophesies' surrounding Marc Bolan's death.

My collection: 7" single no. 5863
Found: Teuchtler, Vienna, 25 September 2017
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Solid gold easy action' / 'Born to boogie'

Turks Fruit - Rogier van Otterloo

It is kindof strange that as a Dutchman you need to go to Austria to find a single that was made by Dutch people and released mainly (but I guess not exclusively) for the Dutch version of Record Store Day. But here we are.

'Turks Fruit' is still the most popular movie ever made in the Netherlands, and not only for its scenes of gratuitous sex (although that helped, obviously). The music was also integral to the success of the movie. This single, pressed on clear red vinyl, features the two main themes of the movie. Central to the theme on the B-side is the harmonica played by Toots Thielemans, who passed away earlier this year. The music was originally released in 1973, whereas this single was released in 2016.

My collection: 7" single no. 5860
Found: Record Bag, Vienna
Cost: 12,90 euro
Tracks: 'Turks Fruit' / 'Dat Mistige Rooie Beest'

Bad Boy - Freddie Starr

Marty Wilde's 'Bad Boy' has been covered a good many times, and some versions are more rare than others. I couldn't find Freddie Starr's version online, so there was nothing I could do except buy the single. These days you can buy singles online so easily, it only depends what you're prepared to pay for them. I try to be as selective as I can.

Freddie Starr, born 9 January 1943, was an English comedian who was previously the lead singer of the Merseybeat pop group the Midnighters. He released several solo albums during the 1970's and 1980's. 'Bad boy' was released in 1975, but it wasn't a hit. After the death of sex offender Jimmy Saville, Starr became one of the suspects but the Crown Prosecution Office decided not to bring charges on the grounds of 'insufficient evidence'. He lost a subsequent court case against his accuser, causing him to flee to an apartment in Spain.

My collection: 7" single no. 5857
Found: Discogs.com, received 21 September 2017.
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Bad boy' / 'Only sixteen'

Listen to the song

Thursday, 20 July 2017

That's the way (I like it) - KC & the Sunshine Band

Those hit songs of the Seventies, they end up in your collection no matter how long you resist them. 'That's the way (I like it)' was one of the biggest anthems of the Seventies. The KC & the Sunshine Band classic was a number 1 hit in the USA, Canada and the Netherlands. In the UK it only reached number 4. Still, the song remains imprinted in the memories of millions of people because of its repeated airplay during the past four decades.

So how did this single finally get into my collection, 42 years after its release? In January, my wife visited a shop and, knowing that I still collect 7" singles, she came home with this single. I could never resist a freebie...

My collection: 7" single no. 5787
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, January 6, 2017
Cost: free
Tracks: 'That's the way (I like it)' / 'Ain't nothin' wrong'

Monday, 17 July 2017

Love will keep us together - Captain & Tennille

Two years ago, Kim Wilde released a cover version of Captain & Tennille's 'Love will keep us together' on a compilation album of Eighties artists covering Seventies tracks. Out of all the tracks on that compilation, this was the only song I didn't know - which surprised me because I always think I have a rather complete knowledge of pop music from the mid-Seventies onwards. Released in 1975, 'Love will keep us together' didn't become a hit in the Netherlands, which could explain this gap in my memory.

I figured I would buy this single when I came across it cheaply, and last Friday, I did. Just to add to my collection of 'songs covered by Kim Wilde' - one of my many subcollections.

My collection: 7" single no. 5852
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, July 14, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Love will keep us together' / 'Gentle stranger'

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Hey, hey - Gershon Kingsley and the Moog

Gershon Kingsley of course gave the world Popcorn, he did release some more music. This single is an example. Also made on the famous Moog synthesizer, 'Hey, hey' is a nice but forgettable piece of instrumental music.

The B-side is a poppy Moog version of Beethoven's 'Fur Elise', although for some reason Beethoven does not get composer credits (Kingsley does) and the track is called 'For Alisse Beethoven'. Interestingly, a different single with a different sleeve also exists: with the A-side on the B-side and vice versa. It wasn't always easy to decide which track would do best. (In this case, neither did chart.)

My collection: 7" single no. 5849
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, July 14, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hey, hey' / 'For Alisse Beethoven'

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Ragtime piano Joe - Peter Straker

One of the many tracks on the The best of the Top 40 of the year double album, which basically started my obsession with collecting music, was Peter Straker's 'Ragtime piano Joe'. Through the years I have bought almost all the tracks on single, but for some reason I never did buy this one. Even now I thought I already had it, strangely enough.

Peter Straker was born on November 7, 1943. The Jamaican singer and actor became best known for his appearances in the London production of the musical 'Hair', and in the 1979 series of Doctor Who. 'Ragtime piano Joe' was produced by Roy Thomas Baker and Peter's close friend Freddie Mercury. The single reached number 11 in the Dutch Top 40 but, weirdly enough, did not chart in the UK. The B-side of this single is also worth listening to, for its moving sentimentality.

My collection: 7" single no. 5951
Found: Velvet Vinyl outlet, Leiden, July 14, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Ragtime piano Joe' / 'The saddest clown'

Liverpool hello - Capricorn

The band Capricorn consisted of Sue Avory (lead vocals), Unwin Brown (drums), Colin Travers (guitar) and Steve Pryor (bass). They were much more popular in Japan than they were in the UK. Their first single was 'Hello Liverpool', a song written by Marty Wilde and Ronnie Scott. It features the song 'How did you find me', written by the same duo, on the B-side. In the UK, the single appeared in a record company sleeve, but the Japanese version was much prettier, featuring a picture sleeve. I was lucky enough to find a copy for a reasonable price some time ago.

The single was released in 1970 and reached number 1 in the Japanese singles chart. Two years later the band won the World Popular Song Festival in Japan, representing the UK with the song 'Feeling'. A couple of years later the band split up.

My collection: 7" single no. 5688
Found: Discogs.com, received August 2015
Cost: $4
Tracks: 'Liverpool hello' / 'How did you find me'

20 fantastic bands - Dazzling All Night Rock Show

Try as you might, you can't find any information anywhere about a band called 'Dazzling All Night Rock Show'. There is every likelihood that it was simply used as a nom de plume by Marty Wilde and Peter Shelley who released '20 fantastic bands' as a single on November 23, 1973.

Glamrock was the name of the game, you can easily hear the influences on this song. It isn't that hard to imagine that bands like The Sweet would record a similar kind of song. But they didn't, and this version didn't become a hit.

My collection: 7" single no. 5798
Found: Discogs.com, received March 2017
Cost: 2 pounds

Tracks: '20 fantastic bands' / '20 fantastic bands (continued)'

Raindrops - Joey Dell

In 1975, Joey Dell appeared on the pop scene with a single that was produced by Frere Manston - a pseudonym of Marty Wilde. Dell had previously smelled at the music scene in 1962 with a single called 'Let's find out tonight'. This single was a comeback of sorts, although it didn't become a hit.

'Raindrops', the A-side, was written by Manston and Simmons, and takes cues from Buddy Holly in the vocals department. It's a charming little song of a lover who despairs at the disappearance of his partner. The B-side, 'A boy that's growing up' is written by Joey Dell himself, but also produced by Marty Wilde.

My collection: 7" single no. 5788
Found: Discogs.com, received January 24, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Raindrops' / 'A boy that's growing up'

Thursday, 13 July 2017

I love you - Marty Wilde

Marty Wilde released quite a few singles during the Seventies, but unfortunately none of them were hits. My quest for all of these singles continues, and it's remarkable how some of them are really expensive whereas others are relatively cheap.

'I love you' was released on September 20, 1974. Written by Marty himself, it's a country-influenced track that seems very subdued compared to the man's earlier work. There's also a stark contrast with the B-side, 'She's a mover', written by Peter Shelley and Marty Wilde, which is more of a glam-rock type of song.

My collection: 7" single no. 5843
Found: Discogs.com, received July 1, 2017
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'I love you' / 'She's a mover'

Listen to the track

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Teen wave - Ricky Wilde

Through the years I've managed to acquire all the songs released by Ricky Wilde during the Seventies. All the songs, but not all the various pressings from around the world. And, so it appears now, not all versions.

Thanks to the indispensable Discogs-website I managed to find an American promotional copy of Ricky Wilde's 1974 release 'Teen wave'. It features two versions of the song: in mono and in stereo. A lot of people are almost hysterical about the differences between mono and stereo versions, especially for acts like The Beatles, so for a Wilde afficionado, this can be considered a sort of holy grail. And yes, there are some differences between the two versions, as you can hear below.

My collection: 7" single no. 5844
Found: Discogs.com, received July 12, 2017
Cost: $3
Tracks: 'Teen wave (mono)' / 'Teen wave (stereo)'

Listen to the mono version | Listen to the stereo version

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Love me baby - Sheila B. Devotion

Sheila (born Annie Chancel in Créteil, France on August 16, 1945) scored numerous hits in her homeland during the 1960s and the 1970s. Among her chart toppers were 'L'École est finie' (1963), 'Vous les copains' (the French cover version of Manfred Mann's 'Do wah diddy diddy' in 1964), 'Petite fille de Français moyens' (1968) and 'Les rois mages' (a cover version of 'Tweedle dee tweedle dum', originally performed by Middle of the Road in 1971). Her success helped her producer Claude Carrere to launch his label Carrere Records.

In 1977, Sheila completely changed her public image when Sheila & B Devotion was formed. Because Carrere did not want to shock Sheila's public and the French media, the debut single of the group ('Love me baby') was released anonymously in May 1977 in France. The first pressings of the record mentioned the obscure name of S.B Devotion. The song was a radio and club hit. The identity of the group was rapidly revealed and the quartet was officially named Sheila B. Devotion. The single became a mainstream top 10 hit all over Europe.

My collection: 7" single no. 5787
Found: Kringloop, Den Haag, January 6, 2017
Cost: 0
Tracks: 'Love me baby' / 'Love me baby (instrumental)'

Listen to the song
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