Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blog Tip: Favorites In Original - 杜德偉- 抱緊我

A blog I love to visit frequently is Favorites In Original.
Here you can find coverversions in Cantonese paired with their originals including picture sleeves.
It features originals from all over the world and if you browse around you'll find a few Eurocovers and some non-Eurovision songs by Eurovision stars like Patricia Kaas, Anna Oxa, Julio Iglesias, Celine Dion, Carola, Kirka, Nicole and Celine Dion.
One that I didn't know yet is by Alex To. 抱緊我 is a Cantonese (Chinese) coverversion of Johnny Logan's Hold Me Now, the 1987 Eurovision winner for Ireland.
Alex To already recorded it for his 1987 debut album Alex To (杜德偉). Great to find another Eurocovers treasure 22 years after its release. (the post is here) --


Eurovision 2009 - The Moscow Collection
The Latest News At The Moscow Collection Blog:
U.K. promo Spain promo
Lithuania: Sasha Song, Russian version online
Montenegro - Andrea's remixes
Macedonia - Next Time, English, Serbian versions.
Finland - Lose Control - Remix info, cdsingle Out Now
Romania: The Balkan Girls - CDsingle out now!
Armenia: Ինգա Անուշ Արշակյաններ, audio, video, dance!
Germany: Tracks cdsingle, Digital release, Spanish version
Switzerland: Lovebugs The Highest Heights, cdsingle out now!
France - Patricia Kaas - Kabaret CD, new version, Live CD Out Now!.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dana Valery - This Is My Prayer

Another international singer already lined up for a Eurocovers feature since the beginning of this blog is Dana Valery. But information on her career and recordings is very patchy I had to put the article aside several times. I thought it especially interesting because of her equally talented brother (Sergio Franchi 1926-1990) who also has a few Eurocovers to his name, so something of a Brothers & Sisters feature would have been fitting.
Dana Valery's career is all over the place and I don't know many artists who have recorded for so many record labels. Her work isn't documented anywhere and as far as I know there has never been a CD re-issue of any of her albums, let alone a compilation. I don't intend to cover all aspects of her career but the things that stood out are here. If you have any additions or suggestions please leave a comment.

Dana Valery Catalano is born in Italy but at eight she moves to South Africa with her family.
It's here that she has her first solo hits, including her first Eurovision coverversions.
But before the breakthrough she spends a short while (and one LP: Dan, Diana and the Diamonds, CBS 1962) with Rhodesian band the Diamonds.

It's hard to put her early South African releases in chronological order but it's the 1964 single This Is My Prayer that is a huge hit and becomes a top 10 best selling single of the year in South Africa. This Is My Prayer (CBS SSC 479 South Africa) is a coverversion of Gigliola Cinquetti's Eurovision winner Non Ho L'Eta (Italy 1964).
The b-side to the single is Would I Love You Again, and that's another Eurocover: t'En Va Pas, the Swiss 1963 entry by Esther Ofarim (2nd place).
The single is also released in the UK but it fails to chart. (Decca F11881)
Both songs can also be found on the LP Dana (CBS ALD 6747, South Africa)
After the success with This Is My Prayer Dana Valery releases an LP Dana Valery All'Italiana (CBS ALD 6694), but I don't know if there are any Eurovision songs on that, I haven't found a tracklist.
There are some more singles and albums released in South Africa up to 1965 but after that she moves to the U.S. to record what I think is her best work.

She releases several singles on the Columbia label like You, Having You Around and especially the utterly fantastic You Don't know Where Your Interest Lies from 1967. The latter is a Simon & Garfunkel song written by Paul Simon who also provides the talking bits on the track. (originally it's the b-side to Having You Around)
The song fails to chart but has become a Northern Soul classic over the years, and rightfully so. It has appeared on many compilations and the single was re-issued on several labels.
The original issue on Columbia is a hard to find collectable and will set you back a a three figure sum in $. (Can any modern Knobtwiddler like Sonny J. please pick this track up?!?).

In the late 60's and early 70's she is a guest on all major U.S. TV shows (Ed Sullivan, Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson, David Frost, Liberace). Put Your Hand In The Hand (1971) is a popular song for her and it gets a single release in many countries.

In 1975 she releases the third Eurovision coverversion on the LP Dana Valery produced by Mountain guitarist Leslie West. The album includes Dana's (quite fab) take on Cliff Richards Power To All Our Friends, the U.K. entry of 1973.

Disco doesn't pass Dana by either and she releases several records combining light disco with ballads and covers of pop hits. Her disco version of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (1976 # 95 on the US billboard) is dire, but the era gives Dana Valery her 'biggest' US top 100 hit the soulful ballad Don't Want to be Lonely (#87 in 1980)

In 1978 she releases a single in German, Du Bist Das Licht in Meiner Welt, but it doesn't spark a career in the German speaking countries

After a long and sudden run of personal tragedies in the early 1991 she stops working for a year but then is asked to host an American games show. It's at this show Dana Valery decides it's time for a career change.
She ventures into healing through Reiki and hypnotherapy. You can read how that came about and more on her current website.

Sergio Franchi
In her U.S. career Dana Valery performed with her brother on several occasions (The Ed Sullivan show amongst them)
Dana's brother is Sergio Franchi, an operatic singer who later crosses over to lighter music like say, Eurocovers. In his career he records the Italian entries of 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1966. Sergio Franchi's death in 1990 is one of the personal tragedies that had an big impact Dana Valery's life. I hope to do a feature on Sergio Franchi in a future Eurocovers post.



SOVEEL HERINNER MY - document
Over the years I have been collecting all details on South African Eurocovers and put it into a document. I've updated the file with the latest new stuff, but also with some recently unearthed stuff. If you want to read it, you can download it here. (Updated 2010)
Two requests:
1 - If you have any additions or corrections, please let me know
2- Can anyone help me find the Marnie 1973 single Die Oue Musikant (on Polydor S.A.). It's so high on my wantslist it almost falls of. I found it on a webshop last year but they had just sold it.

MySpace YourSpace OuttaSpace: Moto Boy
Moto Boy performed the 2008 Swedish entry Hero in the interval of the Swedish melodifestivalen final this year. Live he got some help from the original singer Charlotte Perrelli, but at his MySpace you can hear his atmospheric interpretation of Hero in a studio version.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Eurocovers releases roundup: South Africa

I'm currently working on an updated version of the South Africa coverversions list, as it has been a few years since I last published that (actually pre-Eurocovers blog). It'll take some time, but I hope it's here in a few weeks. (it's here now)
For now: you'll have to do with an update on the Eurocovers that have been released in South Africa fairly recently.

Steven Sterling III
Steven Sterling has released his 3rd album Steven Sterling 3. (Sterling Musiek STERCD002)
There's one new Eurocover of interest there and it's the opening track Mama Afrika. This is a great Afrikaans version of Mama Corsica, the French entry of 1993 by Patrick Fiori.
The album also includes a re-recording of Lief Vir Alles Hier (Für Alle, Germany 1985), which Sterling recorded for his Debut CD.
Third song of Eurocovers interest is Glimlag (Smile), a coverversion of Under Your Spell (Sweden 2006 pre-selection - Evan)
The album is for sale at Kalahari*.
Lief Vir Alles Hier (In love with everything here) is technically an André Schwartz cover, who was the one who made the song hugely popular in South Africa.

Casanova Shaun Tait
Shaun Tait's second album Ek Se Kom Ons Doen Dit (I say let's do this) is out now and features the first South African coverversion for Andorra. He recorded Casanova (2008 - Gisela). The album also features two popular pre-selection songs.
Gee Jou Hart Vir My (Give your heart to me) is Lay Your Love On Me (BWO, Melodifestivalen 2008) and Viva La Musica was Man Meadow's song for the Polish 2008 selection.
Title track Ek Se Kom Ons Doen Dit is a cover of Charlotte Perrelli's Bullet, her follow up single to Eurovision hit Hero (CD Out now on Sony SA) (Kalahari)
On his debut CD Shaun Tait recorded Sing 'n liedjie (Sing a song) as a duet with Patricia Lewis, Queen Of South African Eurovision Covers. It's Shame On You (Denmark 2004 - Thomas Thordarsson)

Let's Rage At The Club Kung FuCharl Smit's last CD Lekker Jol (Great party, Ramkat RAMCD001) features two tracks of Estonian origin.

Kom Ons Raas (Let's rage) is a coverversion of Estonian entry Let's Get Loud by Suntribe. Even better (imho) is the title track, Lekker Jol. It's Club Kung Fu, a pre-selection song from 2003 that was originally by Estonian superstars Vanilla Ninja. That song was the audience favorite, but their vote only counted for like 10% or so. The professional jury hated it, but Vanilla Ninja did quite well for themselves, especially in Germany. They were invited to represent Switserland in 2005 and with Cool Vibes they ended 9th.
Charl Smit's version of the song is about traffic. Smit is currently working on his new CD which will have some more Eurocovers surprises.
The album is available at Kalahari*. The track Lekker Jol was also released on the VA compilation Kuier In Afrikaans (Ramkat RAMCD004)

Another version of Club Kung Fu was recorded by Nicholis Louw: Welkom By My Party can be found on his CD Hier Naby Jou (Close to you).



I noticed a download site where you can preview the tracks (Rhythm Online)*. They sell legal mp3's internationally and are currently working on an easy payment system (it's too complicated now for my liking)
http://www.nicholislouw.co.za/

Juanita ForeverJuanita Du Plessis celebrates her career with a double CD of her best hits and new tracks. Opening track of CD1 is 'n Ewigheid, (An eternity) a new coverversion of Carola's 2006 entry Invincible (Sweden). It's already the 2nd Afrikaans version of this track, after the boys of Hi-5 recorded it on their CD Versoeking.

Juanita's 2cd 10 jaar Platinum Treffers is also available at Kalahari*. You can listen to all songs at her homepage (here) http://www.juanita.co.za/

Juanita's 1997 album Young Hearts included a coverversion of Gina G.'s Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit (U.K. 1996) in a hits medley

Moet My Nie Vergeet Nie
Rian Ungerer's CD Moet My Nie Vergeet Nie (Don't forget me) features the track Agter Moes Laat (Had to leave behind), which is a coverversion of Vukovi Umiru Sami (Croatia 2005 - Boris Novkovic)
Girl band Shine 4 have split up, but they have released a best CD with some new tracks. One of these is Je t'Adore (Belgium 2006, Kate Ryan) which is sung in Afrikaans.
Leandie Lombaard. I mentioned her CD here. Now she has her own website where you can listen to excerpts of the songs.
Some other recent releases are tenor Jannie Moolmans CD Ek Kom Huistoe (I'm coming home) which includes Vandag (Today) (Le Grand Soir, Belgium 2005), Jaycee Crauses CD Ek Weet with Steeds Verlief (Everything, Greece 2006) and Waar Is Jy (Tornero, Romania 2006) and the previously mentioned albums by Jennifer Zamudio and Patricia Lewis.

Special Thanks to Roy and to Juan.
*Please note: I haven't tried any of the shops mentioned recently and I advise you contact them first about postage, payment and delivery information if you're interested in buying any of the CDs.
If you want to hear Mama Corsica in Lithuanian check this Eurocovers post.
All South-Africa related posts at Eurocovers are here. The Document is here.
The Amsterdam Eurovision 2009 Concert.
If Moscow is too far, the crisis hit your bank balance or you were planning a long overdue trip to Amsterdam anyway this is the 2009 event for you:
On April 18, Marcanti Amsterdam will host a concert with many Eurovision Stars of the 2009 contest. Already a very impressive list of artists have confirmed: The entrants of Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Iceland, Lithuania, Cyprus, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Slovenia, Poland, Moldova and Armenia will attend, more artsist to be confirmed. The show is hosted by Marga Bult and Maggie MacNeal. TICKETS, Video promo. More Info

Saturday, March 14, 2009

50.000.000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong ?

Probably it completely escaped you in your part of the world, but down in the lowlands the 2009 Belgian Eurovision entry, Copycat by Patrick Ouchène, is big news.

Now Georgia may think they're having problems with Putin on their case, Ouchène is really in trouble as he has offended Elvis and the wrath of the Elvis Army is a force to be reconed with.

Elvis fans have inundated all the Eurovision blogs and websites with their grief and the fanclub Elvis Matters has called upon the EBU (Big Giant Head of Eurovision) for the song to be banned because they are offended, hurt and deeply disturbed by the lyrics of the song.

Ouchène sings about this guy who is copying him, wearing the same clothes, eating the same sandwich etcetera. In fact Copycat is a tale about a cat. The cat being an Elvi-fied version of Le Chat, a popular cartoon figure by Philippe Geluck.

I thought is was funny, and even sweet. It's probably the F-word* that causes the biggest problem

Elvis Presley himself had to cope with similar outraged masses and the long arm of the law in his time. The good law abiding Christian society was deeply offended by his hip gyrating Hound Dog humping performances. And now it's the Elvis fans' turn to have their crusade.
I think it's a good publicity stunt for Elvis and the fans should be pleased that the King is put in the spotlight by someone else than the recordcompanies who are only re-re-releasing the 17th limited edition picture disc of Are You Lonesome Tonight because the fans will buy it anyway. But that's just my opinion.

Copycat Le Blog has all info, lyrics and the video of this years Belgian entry.
Copycat at the Moscow Collection
* - Fat

Eurocovers
Elvis Presley never recorded a cover of a Eurovision song although he came close in 1965 when he recorded, Please Don't Stop Loving Me (YouTube) which plagiarised the Italian 1964 winner Non Ho L'eta (by Gigliola Cinquetti).

Rock 'n' Roll Kids
Copycat is a Rock'n' Roll song, a rarity in Eurovision world. Except for some very light twisty jive variations in the 80's (Yugoslavia's 83 and 87 songs for example) the only real Rock 'n' Roll song was one of the German entries of 1956: So Geht Das Jede Nacht by Freddy (Quinn).
A two minute hip shaker about a girl who dates a different guy every night (for dancing only of course, it's 1956).
Freddy didn't win, and the choice for the syrupy Refrain by Lys Assia shaped Eurovision for many years to come.
How the world would have been different if Freddy would have set the Eurovision standard back then.
Freddy recorded So Geht Das Jede Nacht in German
(Youtube) and in Japanese (!).

I know of 10 coverversions of Eurovisions first Rock 'n'Roll song but none of them really catches the spirit of the Freddy original. Ralf Bendix gives the song a jazzy swing mood and is probably the best effort. (although I haven't heard them all).

Freddy himself also steered away from Rock'n' Roll, becoming one of the greatest melancholy German Schlager singers of all time, with romantic songs about sailors and heartbreak.
I don't know of any coverversions other than German or Instrumental.


So Geht Das Jede Nacht coverversions
Götz Alsmann
- details wantedRalf Bendix
- on 7" (Electrola EG 8616)

Charly
- on EP (Harmona 3D 36329)
Crazy Legs
- on CD Wir Sind Wider Wer (Bear family)
Dirk Darmstaedter u. Bernd Begemann
- on CD Tapete Unterwegs (5 track VA cd)
Wolf Gabbe u. Jonny's Boogie Band
- on VA EP SchlagerParade 2 (Opera Europäischer Phonoklub 4123)
Freddy Grün
- on 78rpm (Bertelsmann Schallplattenring 78 8632)
Die Tornados
- on CD Kaviar Statt Reis (Bear family)
Hans Arno Simon
- in medley (Piano) - details wanted
The 3 Jacksons (Accordion) part of medley
- on 10" LP Jacksons Parade No. 7 (Philips 13055 R)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

MySpace, Lenny Kuhr and more

MySpace YourSpace OuttaSpace
MySpace is brilliant. Sometimes a bit slow maybe, but brilliant.
I already mentioned a load of Volare covers featured on MySpace. But there's more, so I'll check out the ones I find of interest by the great known and even greater unknown on a probably not so regular basis and share some of my my findings here at Eurocovers.

The handsome fellow on the right is Aaron Caruso.
On his MySpace he sings some Italian classics in various styles, but the relaxed laid back style on Dio Come Ti Amo (Italy 1966 Domenico Modugno) fits him like his pants do.
The song can also be found on his 2003 debut CD Passione. I really love the flugelhorn in the intro too.

You can find out more about Aaron at his own website and buy his music (digital and cds) at CDBaby
Another sweet one that caught my ear is by Trio Los Hispanicos. (link restored 2011) Their MySpace features a coverversion of the Italian 1971 entry l'Amore È Un Attimo by Massimo Ranieri. It's in Spanish, titled Perdon Cariño Mio (track 4) and it only had 12 plays (most by me)!, can you believe that?
Trio Hispanicos are from Alamo, Texas and their Eurocover is a perfect melancholic Tex Mex ballad. Go check 'em out.
40 years De Troubadour tribute site.
Your Eurocovers celebrated the four 1969 winners in the 4 x 40 - Madrid 1969 series but now a new website has been launched with all you need to know (and more) about the Dutch co-winner De Troubadour.

It's created by the Official Lenny Kuhr fansite and they have done a marvellous job.
The work of love features many insights on Lenny Kuhr's adventures, the history of the song, discography, coverversions (yep) and many great pictures.

I love the Curiosa / Curiosities page with pictures from ads, postcards and even Lenny Kuhr cigar bands. And also the page about De Generaal / The General, the Lenny Kuhr tribute to Legendary Football Coach Rinus Michels is great.
And there's more, but you better check it out for yourselves.

The site is in Dutch, but with the Google Translator it works reasonably well in English and other languages.
Lenny Kuhr - De Troubadour tribute site (new link) and on this YouTube channel there are many Lenny Kuhr clips and performances.


Eurovision 2009 - The Moscow Collection
The Latest News At The Moscow Collection Blog:
Sweden: Melodifestivalen Charts, history and some other trivia
Netherlands: Website launched, listen to the new version, new cds.
France - Patricia Kaas - Kabaret CD info, tour info, new version
Georgia: Disco Inferno: EBU Rejects song, Georgia Out?.
Belgium: Copycat is here! Elvis fans not happy.
Ukraine: Svetlana Loboda to Moscow, Official Video
Romania: Elena Gheorghe Website launches
Cyprus - Radio version of Firefly available
Serbia, Slovakia, Russia, Estonia decided
Albania: Carry Me In Your Dreams

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Road To Moscow 5: Valeriya and Alexej Vorobyov

Moscow is the host city for Eurovision 2009 and Russia have of course already secured their place in the final by winning the Belgrade contest with Dima Bilans Believe. The home entry will be selected on March 7, but several contestants suffer from the Slight Misunderstandings In The Interpretation Of The Rules syndrome (a.k.a. trying to get away it).
Eurovision rule: Song has to be new, not performed or released by anyone before October 1st, 2008.

Валерия
Valeriya (Alla Yurievna Perfilova ) is one of the contestants in the Russian National Final who can remain in the race although the borrowed Tschaikowski bits in her entry will certainly be frowned upon if Valeriya wins the national final.

Her entry Back To Love is already scheduled for a U.K. single release on the 21st of March and she will tour the U.K. with Simply Red in March and April. She sold over a 100 million albums according to her own website.
In her career Valeriya won many interesting awards like Most Beautiful Russian Singer, The Order For Survival Of Russia and Radio Favorite Of The Year.

Valeriya recorded 10 albums since the early 90's and the most recent one is Nepodkontrolno Неподконтрольно - Out Of Control which was released in both Russian and English versions. The U.K. album includes the singles Wild and The Party's Over (no, not a cover of the Dutch 1976 entry).
It also has a cover of the BeeGees Stayin' Alive on which Barry Gibb helps along a bit.
Being a judge on the Russian X-Factor added even more to her fame, and I think Valeriya would someday be a good choice for Russia. Shame the new song isn't as good as the stuff on Out Of Control.
Eurocover:  Полёт (Addicted to you, Finland 2002) is from 2006 CD Nezhnost Moya (Нежность моя). The song was already featured in the Finweeks (2007).
Валерия Russian website and the official Valeriya UK website, both have tourdates.
Read about Valeriya's ventures into U.K. domination in this article from the Independent (June 2008)

UPDATE: Valeriya was Robbed! An Anastasia that previously ran out of Ukraine after she didn't make it to the final there won the Russian final. She was added to the Russian selection two days before the final, by invitation. To phrase those great 20th century philosophers Boney M. : Oh, those Russians.....

Алексей Воробьёв
Another contender in Russia, Alexej Vorobyov, was already featured in the Eurocovers post Yo Soy Aquel - Montecristo goes Russia. He recorded a Russian version of the Spanish 1966 entry Yo Soy Aquel (by Raphael) for the soundtrack CD of the Montecristo TV series.
At Vorobyov's website there's a list of downloadable songs (click АУДИО) and the last one in the list is Yo Soy Aquel.
But it seems his site isn't online all the time so here you go ♫ Алексей Воробьёв - Ты и я
His song in the Russian selection is Heart Hunting.

← Eurocovers a jinx?, Vorobyov back to his day job?

Eurocovers A Jinx?
I'm very sorry to say that most of the artists featured in Eurocovers: The Road To Moscow have ended crying in their drinks, so I'm holding my breath for Valeriya and Alexej.
Hera Björk ended 2nd in the Danish final, well done but no ticket to Moscow. We hope to see you back in 2010, any country will do. Tapani Kansa made it to the final in Finland but not to the 3 song Superfinal. Čuki from Slovenia ended shared 6th in the home competition. Wenche Myhre (Norway) was axed in the semi and so were Thorleifs (Sweden). Nucha (Portugal) ended 9th (out of 12).
Đorđe Marjanović, along with Oscar and the Beauty Queens, is still in the race, the Serbian selection is this weekend. Go Mr. Marjanović! (even though his role in Superstar is quite modest)

We love you all anyway!!
The Road To Moscow 1 - Hera Björk (Denmark/Iceland), Tapani Kansa (Finland), Nucha (Portugal)
The Road To Moscow 2 - Čuki from Slovenia
The Road To Moscow 3 - Wenche Myhre (Norway), Đorđe Marjanović (Serbia)
The Road To Moscow 4 - Thorleifs from Sweden

Cleaning out my closet
I'm having some stuff for sale at E-Bay.
Mostly Eurovision cdsingles including a few mildly rare ones .
Go on, take a look here and make me rich.
Thank you.
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The Moscow Weeks
Of course, with Eurovision in Moscow, I'm preparing some Eurocovers items about Russian covers, covers of Russian songs and other interesting bits. The Москва Weeks will be featured in May. If you have any suggestions or requests, let me know.
Until then you can kill some time with the Russian versions in these Eurocovers posts If I Had Your Lovski (Anastasia Stotskaya), Year Of The Puppet with Emil Gorovets , Ding A Dong with Assorti, Non Ho L'Eta with Tamara Miansarova and Poupée De Cire... by Muslim Magomaev.

And, as you may already have noticed, there's this:
Eurovision 2009 - The Moscow Collection
For those interested in the releases and the latest news of/on the impending Eurovision Song Contest I have created a new blog: The Moscow Collection.Here you can find all the latest release info and all details on versions, remixes, promos etcetera. Official links, where to hear the new songs and where you can buy the latest CDs, it's all there.The new blog replaces the yearly word documents (like the Belgrade Collection and so on). Go check it out now!.