Showing posts with label 2010s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2010s. Show all posts

Thursday, 13 July 2017

New fuzz / I will wait for you - The Hazzah

I'm not one to turn down gifts, which in the case of 7" singles can be tricky. A dear colleague of mine came to me with this single, and although I didn't know the band it was worth checking out. The Hazzah are based in the Netherlands and have already been signed by a record label.

This single was released by the band as a limited edition and features two tracks: the rather loud 'New fuzz' and the more relaxed - and kinda retro - 'I will wait for you'. The latter is my favourite, which is why I decided to present that one here, even if it's the B-side. It will be interesting to see what the guys come up with. With this signed copy in my collection of course I hope they will be huge!

If you like what you hear, check out the band's website and buy the single for yourself!

My collection: 7" single no. 5843
Found: a gift!
Tracks: 'New fuzz' / 'I will wait for you'

Listen to the track

Where's the revolution - Depeche Mode

The record busines has been very effective in eliminating itself in recent years. After the introduction of compact disc - which was a good move - they wiped out vinyl - which was a bad move - then wiped out the cd - bad move - and reintroduced vinyl - good move - but only for certain bands and usually not on the attractive 7" format.

This 'exclusive vinyl' is another baffling move. Given away with the German magazine Musik Express it was not on general sale - even though Depeche Mode have a rather impressive fanbase outside of Germany as well. Obviously those 7" singles now pop up on Ebay and Discogs for inflated prices. The only reason I got this copy is because the sleeve is slightly dented, which resulted in the price going down a bit. Sometimes I really wonder if record companies even want to make money anymore.

'Where's the revolution' is the lead track of Depeche Mode's most recent album 'Spirit', which was announced in the margin of a big press conference for a tour - another weird move. Thankfully the band managed to create a great album again after the rather disappointing 'Delta Machine' from five years ago.

My collection: 7" single no. 5844
Found: Discogs.com, received July 5, 2017
Cost: 6 euro
Tracks: 'Where's the revolution' / 'Should be higher (live in Berlin)'

Listen to the track

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Occidentali's karma - Francesco Gabbani

Well, this year's Eurovision Song Contest happened, with a landslide victory for Portugal - and rightfully so. It was the first time in a very long time that I agreed 100% with the song winning. Musically the song vaguely resembles the 1963 winner Dansevise, with its timeless melody and, yes it has to be said, lyrics almost no-one can understand.All the same, this was the only song this year that was actually moving and beautiful.

It doesn't seem likely that we'll get a vinyl single of 'Amar pelos dois', but in the mean time another former (!) favourite for the Eurovision trophy has made it to 7" vinyl, and that's Italy's Francesco Gabbani. Lyrically, 'Occidentali's karma' is quite interesting, stating that despite all our technology, Westerners are still naked apes dancing in the rain. The fact that the performance underlined this by presenting the audience with a person in a gorilla suit once more outlined the 'gimmicky' nature of the Eurovision Song Contest. And so I'm happy that the song didn't win. This 7" single, pressed on blue translucent vinyl, is a keeper though.

My collection: 7" single no. 5828
Found: Amazon.it, received May 13, 2017
Cost: 8 euro
Tracks: 'Occidentali's Karma' / 'Occidentali's Karma (instrumental)'

Listen to the song

Monday, 27 February 2017

Fun - Blondie

One band that continues to release albums on a regular basis is Blondie. Their latest release 'Pollinator' is due soon, and this single, 'Fun', was out recently to signal that release. It's nothing very innovative, but still an entertaining pop song that respects the bands legacy and adds a little to their already impressive body of work.

I've always seen Blondie as a singles band, especially when the albums I bought from them ('No exit', 'Panic of girls' and 'Ghosts of download') were a bit disappointing in the end. Still, the new album is released as a box set of singles and I will definitely be buying that one. Now that's fun.

My collection: 7" single no. 5889
Found: Amazon, received February 23, 2017
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Fun' / 'My monster'

Listen to the song

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

Friday, 24 June 2016

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

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, 14 November 2015

Writing's on the wall - Sam Smith

With the latest installment of James Bond movies, 'Spectre' in the cinemas right now, these are exciting times for James Bond fans. Less so for the lovers of Bond themes: 'Writing's on the wall' was co-written and performed by Sam Smith, and we can only know him from his style of singing, which resembles the sound of a man who's in constant pain. Inexplicably, this song became the first James Bond theme to reach number one in the UK singles chart, although these days you can easily get to number one in the singles chart if you get more than a hundred downloads.

If after all this you think I hate this song, that's not necessarily true. It's nice enough but it is a bit too restrained for a James Bond theme, and although it easily surpasses the all time low of Another way to die, this song won't exactly be remembered in a decade from now. Unlike, of course, Adele's Skyfall.

My collection: 7" single no. 5803
Found: Amazon.co.uk, received November 11, 2015
Cost: £6
Tracks: 'Writing's on the wall' / 'Writing's on the wall (instrumental)'

Listen to the song

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Heimatpop EP - Heimatglück

The German punk rock band Heimatglück was founded in 1996 in Hamburg by Coco and Jana after their previous band Paradontax broke up. They recruited Felix, formerly from the band Tohu-wa-bohu, and started recording songs and performing live. The band still exists in the original lineup.

Their most interesting release - for me anyway - is their 2001 EP Heimatpop. It features five cover versions of Eighties tracks by Kim Wilde, Nena, Madonna, Slime (another German punk band) and Fehlfarben. The song 'Wasserglass' is the most interesting of the lot: a version of Kim Wilde's 'Water on glass'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5788
Found: Discogs.com, received May 2015
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Hamster', 'Wasserglass', 'Ich brenne ab' / 'Paul ist tot', 'Disco'

Listen to 'Wasserglass'

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Aina mun pittää - Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät

'Aina mun pittää' ('I always have to') is a punk song by a Finnish band of adults with developmental disabilities. They participated in this year's Eurovision Song Contest, representing their country. Some people felt it turned the show into even more of a 'freak show', after dinosaurs, transvestites, transsexuals, men with beards wearing dresses and lots of people wearing strange stage clothes, but in fact it was a bit of emancipation for the band. I felt they did a great performance, and their song was quite powerful.

Best of all, the song was released on 7" vinyl. As far as I know, it's the first Eurovision 7" single since Sébastien Teller's Divine in 2008.

My collection: 7" single no. 5786
Found: Discogs.com, received April 28, 2015
Cost: 6 euro
Tracks: 'Aina mun pittää' / 'Diaknoosi vammainen', 'Sofian lehto'

Listen to the song

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Waterloo - Abba

Abba have released ten albums during their career - give or take a few - and literally hundreds of compilation albums. No excuse is too weird to release yet another picking of their classic tracks. Forget the love songs compilations, jubilee albums, greatest hits, best album tracks and even the box sets though: here's the real deal: another re-release of their classic Eurovision single 'Waterloo'.

This time, it's a picture disc released exactly 40 years after they won the Eurovision Song Contest with THAT song. I was hesitant to buy it because, well, I already have the song a few times - but this really is a pretty record. It's just so damn irritating that fans of Abba have to buy the same songs over and over and over again. Fortunately, I'm not an Abba fan in that sense of the word.

My collection: 7" single no. 5781
Found: Amazon.co.uk, received April 24, 2015
Cost: £ 5
Tracks: 'Waterloo (Swedish version)' / 'Waterloo (English version)'

Listen to the song

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Sue (Or In a season of crime) - David Bowie

I started this year with an entry about David Bowie, so I thought it would be appropriate to end the year with Bowie as well. He surprised everyone - again - with his latest offering, 'Sue (Or In a season of crime)'. The single was released on 10" vinyl only, so no cd-singles, 7" or 12" at all. The track also appeared on his latest compilation, 'Nothing has changed'. But does the world really need yet another Bowie compilation album? I guess record companies still like to cash in with old stuff.

'Sue' is a weird offering, as it sounds a lot like jazz and it can seem a bit tedious, being such a long track. But repeated listening is rewarding. Bowie keeps changing, even if nothing much has changed.

My collection: 10" single [unnumbered]
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 23, 2014
Cost: 8 euro
Tracks: 'Sue (Or In a season of crime)' / ''Tis a pity she was a whore', 'Sue (Or In a season of crime) (edit)'

Friday, 14 November 2014

Oh, the divorces! - Tracey Thorn

Described as "a record about the person I am now and the people around me... about real life after forty", Tracey Thorn (ex-Everything But The Girl) released 'Love and its opposite' in 2010. 'Oh, the divorces!' was released as the first single from that album, as a free digital download on February 17, 2010.

Fortunately, that wasn't all there was to it: 'Oh, the divorces!' - which by the way is a beautiful song - was also released on a 7" single, pressed on clear vinyl no less. The B-side, 'Taxi cab', was not included on the album and is exclusive to this release.

My collection: 7" single no. 5646
Found: Music Exchange, Greenwich, London, September 11, 2014
Cost: 4 pounds
Tracks: 'Oh, the divorces!' / 'Taxi cab'

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Sweetest smile - Black

Black's 'Sweetest Smile' was originally released in 1987 as the second single from his most successful album 'Wonderful life', just before the title track became a worldwide hit and an Eighties classic. Slightly more beautiful and sophisticated, the song never became as famous as 'Wonderful life' but it is worth a spin or two if you like good music.

During last month's Record Store Day, a special 10" record was sold featuring a 2011 re-recording of the track, which sound a lot like the original version but unlike its 1987 counterpart the rights belong to Colin Vearncombe himself and not to the Universal record company mammoth. What really makes this disc special is the inclusion of three other tracks from his post-2000 output. Listen to this tracks and you'll probably want to have this disc - or the cd's which these tracks were taken from - yourself. Head on over to www.colinvearncombe.com for more information.

I wasn't able to get this record on Record Store Day, but fortunately this disc was sold online after the day, so you can imagine I am a happy bunny now.

My collection: 10" single [unnumbered]
Cost: 9 pounds
Found: Vinyl180, UK, received May 20, 2014
Tracks: 'Sweetest smile [2011 re-recording]', 'Where the river bends' / 'In a heartbeat', 'Grievous angel'

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Valentine's day - David Bowie

Another single from David Bowie's most recent album 'The next day', 'Valentine's day' was released as a picture disc in a partly transparent sleeve with the lyric of the song printed on it. This single actually comes with a B-side, although 'Plan' is just a short instrumental piece.

What's on the picture disc? I was wondering about that for a while, but then I realised: the album sleeve of 'The next day' uses the artwork of Bowie's album 'Heroes', and the picture disc here shows the right and left hand from that album artwork. Another clever design.

My collection: 7" single no. 5357
Found: Head, Bristol, December 18, 2013
Tracks: 'Valentine's day' / 'Plan'

The next day - David Bowie

The surprise comeback of David Bowie at the beginning of 2013 was something that took hold of the 'serious' music press all through the year. Bowie didn't do many interviews, there were some music videos but that was about it. Oh, and of course: the Japanese edition of the album had four bonus tracks whereas the European one had only three. Having ordered the Japanese edition from Europe, the end of the year came with the announcement of a "special edition" with all the tracks included and more. Nice going...

Anyway, the title track was released as a single on a white square disc. The transparent sleeve featured the title and credits, so the disc was indeed completely white. Clever design. Just a shame that the disc features the same track on both sides.

My collection: 7" single no. 5356
Found: Head, Bristol, December 18, 2013
Tracks: 'The next day' / 'The next day'

Change - Tears for Fears

The single Change was originally released as a single from Tears for Fears' debut album 'The hurting', and apparently there were different versions of the sleeve. When 'The hurting' was released as a boxed 3cd-1dvd deluxe edition, this new 7" single was offered by Universal as a limited edition bonus, featuring a reprint of a rare sleeve. Indeed, I've never seen this sleeve before, so it is probably pretty rare.

The tracks on this single are identical to the original release: 'Change' from the album and the intriguing B-side, 'The conflict'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5355
Found: Universal mail order, November 2013
Cost: nought, but the box set wasn't cheap of course.
Tracks: 'Change' / 'The conflict'

Friday, 24 May 2013

When you really loved someone - Agnetha Fältskog

The biggest disappointment of this year's Eurovision Song Contest was that Abba didn't appear on stage when the song 'The winner takes it all' was performed live on stage by someone else. But that disappointment was balanced somewhat by the surprise announcement earlier this year that Agnetha was to release a new album. This single, 'When you really loved someone' was meant to be a teaser.

Now in the old days, a 7" single would consist of an A-side and a B-side. But in this case, the artist nor the record company could be bothered to supply the latter, so when you play the B-side of this disc, all you hear is silence. But that's the only gripe: the song itself is nice, and the picture disc looks very beautiful.

My collection: 7" single no. 5342
Found: CDON.com, received May 22, 2013
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'When you really loved someone'

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Running up that hill (2012 remix) - Kate Bush

I guess it's reassuring that after a surge of productivity in 2011, Kate Bush has returned to her old non-prolific self. However, she did manage to produce the biggest, and only, highlight of last year's Olympic Games in London by making a 2012 version of her 1985 hit, 'Running up that hill'. (Billed as a remix here, it actually features new vocals by Kate herself.) However disappointing it was that she didn't appear in person, I guess it was a wise decision because so many B- and C-list celebrities did turn up.

Another disappointment was the lack of physical releases of this new track. Sure, there are promotional CD-singles about but they are insanely expensive. I was glad that this 10" vinyl was released for Record Store Day last month, even if it meant having to wait for an online retailer to sell them because there are no record stores anymore in my hometown. Fortunately, 7inchsingles.nl came to the rescue. Hurray!

My collection: 10" single [unnumbered]
Found: 7inchsingles.nl, received May 1, 2013
Cost: enough
Tracks: 'Running up that hill (2012 remix)' / 'Walk straight down the middle'

Monday, 19 November 2012

Flower - Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue is in the music business for 25 years now. Hard to believe that the Neighbours actress who brought us 'The loco-motion' and 'I should be so lucky' finally became a serious pop artist, with some very beautiful ("Put yourself in my place", "Finer feelings") and well-produced ("Can't get you out of my head", "On a night like this") pop songs in her repertoire.

An artist like Kylie is assumed to only perform well under highly produced and perhaps autotuned circumstances, but her latest album 'The Abbey Road sessions' contains some great versions of those wellknown pop songs - and it certainly sounds like her voice is as authentic as the orchestra that backs her up. The song 'Flower' is a new one and this one was released as a single. This picture disc 7" single proves both that Kylie can perform well and that Photoshop is a popular tool to create immaculate photographs with.

My collection: 7" single no. 5299
Found: Recordstore.co.uk, received November 17, 2012
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Flower' / 'Flower (instrumental)'

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