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

Friday, 10 November 2017

Light my fire - The Doors

It's hard to believe that the debut single of the Doors was released 50 years ago. The band has been around for such a short time - not counting their post-Jim Morrison output - but have impressed every generation since.

This single was made this year to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary, using the Japanese single's original artwork. It is a curious release because Japanese singles didn't come in cardboard sleeves, but this remade single does. Nevertheless, this is a nice little item and I'm pretty satisfied to have picked this up during a visit to London, saving a little on the online price and a lot on postage (although obviously you could argue that a return flight to London is much more expensive. But anyway.)

My collection: 7" single no. 5874
Found: Fopp, London, October 27, 2017
Cost: 8 pounds
Tracks: 'Light my fire' / 'The crystal ship'

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)'

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)'

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Is there something I should know? - Duran Duran

The trick of Record Store Day for record companies is to get people to buy stuff they already have another time. Many different strategies are followed: exclusive tracks, posters, different formats, and of course... coloured vinyl.

In the case of 'Is there something I should know' by Duran Duran, which I already owned as a single, the coloured vinyl route was used in 2013. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of this song, EMI released this single on thick blue vinyl. I doubted for a little while but in the end I couldn't resist this one.

My collection: 7" single no. 5859
Found: Record Bag, Vienna, September 25, 2017
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'Is there something I should know' / 'Faith in this colour'

Friday, 29 September 2017

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'

Take on me - A-ha

Ah... Record Store Day. The annual feast during which record companies release expensive products that are snapped up by people who actually have record stores in their neighbourhood - if the products they want are actually stocked by those stores.

The picture disc of 'Take on me' by A-ha eluded me until now, because Den Haag no longer has decent record shops anymore. I actually saw a copy in a store once but they asked 40 euros for it. 40 euros! I mean, seriously? Online these things cost less than half that - but the added postage makes it more expensive again. Which is why I was happy to find this copy during my trip to Vienna earlier this week. Sure, I still paid too much for it, but a chance like this never comes up again, I am sure. The single is special because of the picture disc, and the B-side, which is a live version from Dermot O'Leary's Saturday Sessions on BBC Radio 2 on 25 July 2009.

My collection: 7" single no. 5858
Found: Record Bag, Vienna
Cost: 19,90 euro
Tracks: 'Take on me' / 'Take on me (live)'

Listen to the song

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'

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