Wednesday, January 31, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Jamaica - Ken Boothe

In the Eurocovers post 'Jamaica, can I have your votes please? pt. 1 (november 14, look in archives) I already mentioned that Puppet On A String was a bit of a classic in Jamaica.
The song was recorded by various reggae greats in the 60's, 70's and even in the 21st century. A few of them will feature in The Year Of The Puppet and the first one is by Ken Boothe, who actually díd record the song in the 60's, 70's and the 21st century.

Ken Boothe was born in Kingston Jamaica (1948). His first single is from 1963 but it was his first LP 'Mr Rocksteady' that brought him fame and the first of many nicknames.

The single Puppet On A String from 1967 was included on this breakthrough album. On his own website it says " ….the title many regard as one of Boothe's best exponents of song, ‘Puppet On A String’. " It was a huge seller in Jamaica in 1967 So it's a bit strange that it's missing from most Ken Boothe Best Of compilations.

When Boothe reworked the 1972 Bread hit Everything I own in his rocksteady style it gave him his biggest worldwide hit including a U.K. # 1 in 1974. The song was later covered by Boy George, who covered the Boothe version rather than David Gates' Bread original.

In 1978 Boothe released an LP 'Showcase' featuring a new recording of Puppet On A String extended with 'part 2 version', in total 6 minutes of laid back reggae.
In the early 21st century Boothe made a move to gospel music but in 2004 his concert at Cabaret Sauvage, Paris featured all his classic hits. This live show was released on CD.

In 2005 he created some new lyrics for Japanese DJ Infinity 16, mainly babbling along to his mix CD 'Real Warriors'

In his career Boothe has received several important awards for his music including the Bob Marley lifetime achievement award and the Order of distinction from the Jamaican gouvernment.

Ken Boothe - Puppet On A String discography
1967 single (Studio One SO 2012) b side is Look Away Ska by Roland Alphonso
The single was released in Jamaica and the UK with the same label number
1967 2nd edition single has 'Version on a string' on the b-side (Instrumental)
1968 LP 'Mr Rocksteady' (Studio One SO 3101)1978 LP 'Showcase' (Sonic Sounds SSR 001)all tracks of 'Showcase' and more on CD Sings Hits From Studio One And More (1998)
2004 CD 'Live in Paris 2004' (DikSud/(A) la folie - Fifty Five/Sony-BMG)
2005 CD 'Infinity 16 - Real warriors (Infinity 16 - INFCD-002S.002C, Japan)

1967 original version
1967 version on a string
1978 version + part 2 version
2004 live version
2005 DJ Infinity 16 version

More Jamaican Puppets to follow…

LOOKING FOR…I've found details on 12 Jamaican male artists who have recorded the song but none by a female singer. There's one possible though: I'm looking for confirmation on a recording by Joyce Bond, who has a puppet on her 1968 LP 'Soul and Ska' (Sue records Jamaica / Island records UK).
Can anyone confirm this is the Eurovision puppet, and if so, does anyone have the song?

These reggae artists have recorded Puppet On A String, the Eurovision song. I don't have them all, but I have confirmation that it is the Martin/Coulter song.
Ken Boothe
Eric Donaldson
Fab 5
John Holt
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires
Enos McCloud (McLeod)
Max Romeo
Tyrone Taylor
Tony Tuff
Paul Sincliar
Rob Walker
Lynn Taitt and the jets (Instrumental)
El Natty combo (Argentina, instrumental)

These I'm not sure, their Puppet could well be another song. Any help is welcome
Joyce Bond
Dandy (Livingstone)
Dwight Pinkney
Delroy Wilson

Sunday, January 28, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Sanjalice (Yugoslavia)

Sanjalice are a 60's girl band from Yugoslavia and they were the perfect YeYe girls for the balkans.

Ljiljana Mandic, Slobodanka Miscevic, Ljiljana Jeftic and Snezana Veselinovic played their own instruments and had a relatively short career, but I don't know if there is a relation between these two facts.
They recorded mostly coverversions of Italian and English language hits including Those were the days (Mary Hopkin), Happy together (Turtles) and the fabulous 1965 San Remo song Io che non vivo senza te (You don't have to say you love me, the Dusty Springfield classic).
Their Puppet On A String is sung in Serbo-Croat (that's what it was called in the Yugoslavia era).

Compared to most other Sanjalice songs Lutka na koncu is a bit lame and it has a really annoying whistle but it's another treasure in the Puppet collectors chest.
It's high time for a CD with all their work, but so far only some tracks have appeared on 60's compilations. And they left some lovely picture sleeves.
Lutka na koncu a.k.a. Marioneta can be found on their 4th EP.

Sanjalice EP

Yugoslavia-Diskos Edk-3076

Tracklist :
Marioneta (Puppet on a string)
Znam da ces se vratiti (Io so gia che tornerai)
Haj lili, haj-lo (Hi lili, hi-lo)
Srecni zajedno (Happy together)

Lutka na koncu (Marioneta)

VII: The Year Of The Puppet celebrates 40 years of Puppet On A String with versions from all over the world. The following Eurocovers posts have versions from France, Singapore (Mandarin-Chinese), Jamaica. Yugoslavia, Estonia, U.K. (Comedy), Iceland, Lithuania, USA (Musical), Spain, Brasil, UK punk, Norway (gloom) Norway, Turkey, Portugal, Basque country Organland, Tirol, Denmark, CzechoSlovakia (Czech), Hungary, Russia, Yugoslavia (Slovenia), Chile/Argentina/Mexico, Sweden, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Finland, Scotland, Poland, Czechoslowakia (Slovak), Trinidad*, More Jamaica & more Singapore

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Eurovision VII: Rebeca's mom Franciska

Mision Eurovision, the Spanish' endless search for a Eurovision song for Helsinki already delivered some fabulous TV moments. Fans' favorite Rebeca struggled to get through to the final but thankfully Auntie 'Help, I can't stop talking' Massiel helped her a bit. But the classic TV moment of the year was of course Rebeca's mom crying and holding on to her leopard print handbag.

Rebeca's mama is Franciska, 60's singer in her own right, and she released this EP with a Spanish version of the 1966 entry from Luxembourg Ce soir je t'attendais by Michèle Torr.In the meantime here's Michèle Torrs own spanish version.
Franciska EP - Polydor 314-FEP
Michèle Torr EP - Canta en Español - Mercury 152 063

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Funny Ha Ha

British humour, you either don't find it funny, or you don't get it.
This is a 1967 single by The Cocktail Cabinet and I haven't found any info on the artists, so here's a picture of a Cocktail Cabinet.

The single Puppet On A String on Page One records is some sort of a rarity and it even features as a collectable record in the Records Collectors Price guide at 15 pounds. (Although my copy is from 1995, I'm sure the record is worth 100's today)

The collectability of the record is because the b-side 'Breathalizer' is some sort of cult spaced out rare groove favorite and it's one of the rarer singles on the sought after Page One label. (The label that brought us the Troggs and Vanity Fare, whose Puppet will be featured later).
Breathalizer found it's way several compilations but Puppet On A String never did.

The Cocktail Cabinet
Puppet on a string b/w Breathalizer (Page One POF 046)

And as a bonus there's Reeves and Mortimer with their side splitting moment with Puppet on a string. It's from Shooting Stars, the TV show that was mainly bearable because it had Ulrika Johnson.
(listen at Youtube)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

VII: Portugal - José Cid

I have some fond memories of José Cid and his frantic piano number he did in the 1980 songcontest.
Um grande, grande amor finished 7th which was Portugals best result to that date.

This year he's back in the Portuguese selection as a songwriter and producer for Zé P. (song: A ilha).

Back in 1998 he wrote the entry for Alma Lusa, Se eu te pudesse abraçar, which ended up 13th.
José Cids own version of that song can be found on the 1998 CD Terra Mãe (Temas originais da telenovela). A various artists cd with songs from the RTP1 soap Terra mãe.

Here's a nude picture of José Cid for your entertainment which of course I can't publish on a decent blog like this.

Se eu te pudesse abraçar - José Cid

José Cid homepage

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Puffin On A String

With the Icelandic selection taking off on Saturday (see post below) , it's time to link back to the days when Iceland were too busy fighting geysers and eating puffins to be a Eurovision Nation.
Yes it's back to 1967 again with The Year Of The Puppet.

The Icelandic version of Puppet On A String was recorded by Helena Eyjólfsdóttir and is titled Þú kyssir mig.
In the alternate universe where Iceland entered Eurovision in the 60's, Helena is the dream songstress to have brought the trophy to Reykjavik. Her early work includes coverversions of jazz standards as well as international pop classics.

Not uncommon in Iceland, Helena released her first record when she was 11 years old. Most of her work was recorded in her teens. She sang in several groups and with jazzbands like the Atlantic quartett, Gunnar Ormslev, Björn R. Einarsson and Svavar Gests.
She still performs occasionally but is withdrawing slowly from the music business.

Þú kyssir mig is available on CD 'Hvítu Mávar', a compilation of Eyjólfsdóttirs early work which also includes her version of Boom bang a bang (Og þú).

She also recorded an Icelandic version of Beg, steal or borrow probably with a band or duo. (Details and recording wanted)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

VII: Icelandic Söngvakeppni Stars UPDATED

You can find everything about this years Icelandic selection at the usual sites, but only here you can find out who deserves to go to the final because they know a Eurovision song.
The album with all songs from this years Icelandic Preselection Söngvakeppni 2007 is available from BeaRecords

UPDATE - To accomodate Eurocovers The RUV has made some changes in the line up of the pre-selections so I can offer you another Eurovision song by a Söngvakeppni Star.
Friðrik Ómar Hjörleifsson was is the selection last year with the bouncy scandi pop tune Það sem verður and now he's back in the 2nd heat with Þú ert sem eldur.
His 2006 CD Annan dag includes 'Ef pú piggur pad' which you will recognize as Rock 'n' Roll kids, the Irish winner from 1994.

at you can hear excerpts of the album and read all about him in Icelandic.

Hera Björk, named after a Greek and an Icelandic goddess, watched the 2006 contest to look for some album material and came up with Álfadans (Alvedansen) to include on her latest and quite good album Hera Björk. She's in the second round on Januari 27 with Mig dreymdi.
Hera Björk at The Oslo Collection (2010)

Bríet Sunna Valdemarsdóttir is from Icelandic Idols 2006 : Idol Stjörnuleit 3 and there she gave the Icelandic people My Number One, The Paparizou winner from Greece. The song is from CD Idol Stjörnuleit 3 - 12 manna úrslit
She's in the first round with Blomaborn. (Januari 20) has all info on Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2007 another site that doesn't update Idols Iceland site, in Icelandic

Monday, January 15, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Violeta Riaubiškytė

Violeta Riaubiškytė - Lėlė (Lithuanian)

The only Lithuanian version of Puppet on a string I have been able to find is a recently recorded track by the gorgeous Violeta Riaubiškytė.

Riaubiškytė is best known from her efforts in the Lithuanian preselections of 1999 (As dovanoju), 2004 (Song about you and me) and 2005 (With you).
On her latest album 'Su meile', you can find a fresh and energetic version of the Sandie Shaw classic titled Lėlė.
On the insert the songs claims to be a version of 'Marionette' written by M. Bill & J. Čekatauskaitė. Almost right, but Bill Martin & Phil Coulter deserve a little more credit.

Lélé first appeared on a VA CD 'Karusele' (Radijas Lietuvas)
'Su meile' (Monaco records M002-2) is available from and also includes Lithuanian covers of Call me (Spagna), Sin miedo a perder (David De Maria) and Can't stop loving you (Van Halen)

(photo left: Violeta Riaubiškytė shows us some pronounciation tips)

The Year Of The Puppet celebrates the 40 year anniversary of Sandie Shaw's Eurovision victory with Puppet On A String. Introduction to the series in this Eurocovers post.
Other versions already featured are from FranceSingapore (Mandarin-Chinese)JamaicaYugoslaviaEstonia,U.K. (Comedy)IcelandLithuaniaUSA (Musical)SpainBrasilUK punkNorway (gloom) NorwayTurkey,PortugalBasque country OrganlandTirolDenmarkCzechoSlovakia (Czech)HungaryRussiaYugoslavia (Slovenia)Chile/Argentina/MexicoSwedenNetherlandsHong KongFinlandScotlandPoland 

Sunday, January 14, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Shout!

Shout! The Mod Musical.

What is the soundtrack of your life? Forget Mamma Mia (I mean: Meryl Streep...??) here's SHOUT!.

Shout!, named after the Lulu classic, is the off Broadway musical in the form of a magazine for the modern woman. Modern in the 60's that is. All the great girl power songs from the 60's are there: To Sir with love, You don't have to say you love me, Goldfinger, Son of a preacherman, Shout!. It's a vibrant fashion show to the tunes of lovely Lulu, devine Dusty, pretty Petula and of course our sweet Sandie.

The musical originally started out in 2001 but a new version opened in New York at the Julia Miles Theatre in july 2006, and closed last december after 176 performances.
Starting Februari the musical will tour the U.S.. Find out the tourdates at the Shout! homepage

The cast recording of the musical is available on CD and includes Puppet on a string performed by Denise Summerford in her role as 'the Red Girl'. The album is available from most regular webshops.
The musical also features Boom bang a bang, but it's not on the CD.

Shout! The Mod Musical, original Cast Recording (2006 US Rhino Records 479121) (not very up to date though)

Friday, January 12, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Gloria Lasso

Here's the first version of Puppet on a string. After English, Spanish is the language the song is recorded in most, by Spanish artists but also by stars from South America. The first Spanish version in the Year Of The Puppet is by Gloria Lasso

Gloria Lasso was born Rosa Maria Coscolin Figueras in Barcelona in 1922.
She moved to France where her career took off and the press liked to portrait her as Dalida's rival, mainly because of her exotic accent. A battle which, in the end, Dalida won.
Lasso moved to Mexico and focussed on a career in South America. Her career was was at a high in the 60's when she performed for French president de Gaulle, Queen Elisabeth of Great Britain and U.S. president John F. Kennedy (source: Notimex)
Her most famous song was Etranger au paradis (Extraño en el paraíso in Spanish), Stranger in paradise written by Tony Bennett, which is said to be the first million selling record in France.

A 1985 come back didn't really bring new fame but she remained a popular performer in Mexico until her death in november 2005. (2 weeks after her last concert there)

Gloria Lasso covered several early Eurovision songs including:
Italy 1959 - Ciao Ciao Bambina (Spanish)
Luxembourg 1961 - Nous les amoureux (French)
France 1962 - Un premier amour (French)
Spain 1962 - Llamame (Spanish)
U.K. 1967 - Marionetas en la cuerda (Spanish)

Marionetas en la cuerda and Ciao Ciao Bambina can be found on the CD Sus 24 Grandes Exitos on the Mediterraneo label (2004)

I don't know on which LP, EP or single Marionetas was originally released on. If you do, please let me know.

More Spanish versions of Puppet on a string to come….
Scroll down for more info on VII: The Year Of The Puppet

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

VII - The Year Of The Puppet

This year it's 40 years ago that Sandie Shaw barefooted her way to the Eurovision stage and scored the first victory for the Royaume Uni with Puppet On A String written by Bill Martin & Phil Coulter . Sandie Shaw also celebrates a big birthday (Februari 26) this year so it's time for a party.

Like Sandie, I have been bored by the song for many years, but, again like Sandie, I changed my mind. POAS is one of the most recognizable winners of the contest and Sandie revived her career with a big international hit.

According to the 10.000 coverversions project * Puppet on a string is the Eurovision song covered in most languages and dialects (30). Over 200 versions are listed and I hope to bring you the best of those in the coming weeks. From Estonia to Jamaica and from Singapore to Iceland, and then there's the odd Barrel Organ & Acoustic folk instrumental too.
There will be artists info, music, lists, politics, record sleeves and other trivia and it will include 60's Beat versions to 80's punk and interpretations from 2006 and even 2007.

From the 30 languages listed I miss a few. If anyone can help me with any of these I'd be very to happy to feature them in this project.
Hebrew - Haleytzan - Tzipi Shavit (or any other)
Italian - La danza della note by Anna Carucci (or any other)
Bayrisch (German) - Barfuss laafen - Die 2 Peterlesboum aus Nürnberg
I'm also missing any version in Japanese, Thai or Korean.

* The 10.000 covers features details on 10.000 versions of Eurovision songs.
email me if you want to know more or participate.

The Year Of The Puppet celebrates the 40 year anniversary of Sandie Shaw's Eurovision victory with Puppet On A String.
Other versions  featured are from France, Singapore (Mandarin-Chinese), Jamaica. Yugoslavia, Estonia, U.K. (Comedy), Iceland, Lithuania, USA (Musical), Spain, Brasil, UK punk, Norway (gloom) Norway, Turkey, Portugal, Basque country Organland, Tirol, Denmark, CzechoSlovakia (Czech), Hungary, Russia, Yugoslavia (Slovenia), Chile/Argentina/Mexico, Sweden, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Finland, Scotland, Poland, Czechoslowakia (Slovak), Trinidad*, More Jamaica and more Singapore

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I would Die For You Lithuania

Mino - Be meilės mirt galiu
Lithuania are relative newcomers to the Eurovision stage and I haven't been able to find any old coverversions of Eurovision songs made in Lithuania.

But they are catching up with several versions recorded in recents years.
(Check out the Christmas Presents post for one of them)

So it's good to find a new CD which features three covers at once.
The CD in case is by Mino (Mindaugas Mickevičius), who is another Lithuanian talent show star (”Kelias į žvaigždes”.)

The album was released last november and is titled Be Meilės Mirt galiu. I don't know what it means, but the title track is a cover version of Die For You, the Greek 2001 entry by Helena Paparizou before she got rid of the bloke.
The album opens with Gitaras, which is Volare (Nel blu dipinto di blu), made famous by Domenico Modugno and about a 1000 others. In fact it is more a Gipsy Kings coverversion and on the edge of slightly annoying.

Third and best Eurocover is Noriu Turet Tave (track 3) a duet with the ever fantastic Alanas Chošnau. It's Shame On You the Danish 2004 entry by the guy in that bad red suit Thomas Thordarsson.

Other songs on the album sometimes sound familiar too, but I haven't got a clue what they are although some sound Italian and others sound like 'Die for you' part 2, so they could be any Philippe Kirkorov cover.
I haven't been able to locate a webshop that sells the album yet, so you must find that out for yourself.

Mino's fanclub is here (In Lithuanian) here you can read that he is 65 kg, 1.76 m tall and that he drives a Mazda 626.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

VII: Døsty Cåwshit a.k.a. Dusty Cowshit

They're in the preselection in Norway this year, Dusty Cowshit.
Their song Chicken Rodeo will be performed on januari 27 in the second heat.

Dusty Cowshit are a 10 man band who set every Norwegian barn alight with their party version of Country music.
There's only six places on the Eurovision stage, so if they're chosen to go to Helsinki Odd Evil Custer, Remi Remington, Uncle Tom Tom, Ole Hickock, Kaare Kid, Morten Kane, Petter Gun, Jo Man, Knut Kruttlapp and Stig Sundance will decide in a fistfight who will go and who will stay (or just wait and see who's sober enough)
They're not new to the Eurovision tune, as their drunken country versions (a.k.a. good old cowboy polka feeling) of the classic scandinavian entries below prove.

The Norwegian entries are from the CD 'Østenfor soon, western for råde', and they were also released on a cdsingle with Nocturne as the main track. It was a number 13 hit (5 wks in top 20) in Norway in 1996 which was the first and only time the song charted, as the original version by Secret Garden from 1995 wasn't released as a single in Norway.

Samiid Aednan - Främling - La det Swinge - Nocturne

Monday, January 01, 2007

AB/BA - AC/DC style

First of all, a great big happy VII to all Eurocovers readers, let's make it a good one!

Now to more urgent matters.


2006 was a good year for Eurovision metal. The mighty mighty Lordi won the Eurovision songcontest, and Berlin AC/DC tribute band RIFF RAFF released a CD full of abba covers.
Waterloo isn't an unexpected choice for a rock/metal band to cover, it has been done before for example by Black Ingvars (Sweden), Cloth (New Zealand), Gabba (in Ramones style), Los Enemigos (Spain) and Nation (Sweden) but it's 'interesting' to hear what AC/DC's version of I have a dream and Chiquitita would sound like.
Voicewise the bands singer Steve sticks close to the original, not ABBA, but AC/DC, and after a song or 5 it makes you wonder, why didn't AC/DC have any songs as good as this? (Just kidding guys) In all, great fun for all to be had, now all sing along: Mamma Mia, here you go to Hell....

The album is titled AB/BA - Rock'n'Roll Mutation vol. 1. (the / being a little electric flash sign thingy)

Money, Money, Money
I Have A Dream
Super Trooper
Mamma Mia
Take A Chance On Me
Knowing Me, Knowing You
Winner Takes It All
Dancing Queen

Riff Raff have their own homepage and also a My Space with music.
The CD is available from international selling Rock shop