Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Push The Button - Noisy Israeli's (UPD)

Israel will be represented by the band Teapacks this year and I for one am happy it's a change from the usual sugary peace and harmony stuff from recent years.
Teapacks give their 12 points to Trinidad & Tobago, compare peace with a salami and Push Buttons the Sugababes never even heard of. I'm sure the new Israeli entry Push The Button will cause some disturbance amongst the people of Israel and the Eurovision army. Teapacks MySpace

UPDATE: Well controversy indeed, the calls for disqualifying Teapacks because of the political content of the song are already heard and it seems Eurovision has a hard time keeping up with the modern era (except commercially). Here's some news from the BBC and ESCtoday.

To the covers:
Unfortunately I can't present any Eurovision cover by Teapacks, so here's some other Israel songs that have had a makeover in a less conventional style. To be played at full volume but not for the faint hearted.

First up there's a version of the Ping Pong Song Same'ach. Ping Pong opened the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest with this memorable song, jumping around, not hitting a single note and doing some serious political flag-waving. The song was later voted the most embarrasing Israel entry and I'm not sure if the Ping Pong people are allowed back in temple yet.
Beer-7 (Beer-Sheva) took the song a made a ska-punk version which is on their 2003 album 'Skandal'. at Beer-7 MySpace you can download all tracks from the Scandal album for free.

YIDcore must be the winners of the Eurovision Songs In A Punk Style Contest. The noisy bunch make the Israeli party classics bearable by giving them a punk rock makeover.
Of course the classic Hallelujah couldn't be spared but even better is their version of Olé Olé, the lesser known Izhar Cohen song that was wasn't half as brilliant as A-Ba-Ni-Bi. Also here is their party mix of Hora (1982), Hi (1983) and Hava naguila. It's been released in several versions, one of them on the Adam Slander EP which includes a song about one of my pet hates Adam Sandler: 'Why Won't Adam Sandler Let us Do His Song?'
To top it all, YIDcore are from Australia. YIDcore home page

If you need a downer after all the jumping around I recommend A Ba Ni Bi by K.O.B. It's a bit emo-lite and certainly way too long, but it'll get you back in your depression guaranteed.
Their new album is called A Glorious Ending At A Push Of A Button, coincidence?
K.O.B. have their own MySpace and are not to be confused with the French band of the same name.

Same'ach - Beer-7 - CD Scandal (2003 RA records)
Hallelujah - YIDcore - CD YIDcore (2001 Swell Records)
Hora/Hi medley - YIDcore - CD The Great Chicken Soup Caper EP (2002 Swell records)
Olé Olé - YIDcore - CD Scrambles (2003 independent release)
A Ba Ni Bi - K.O.B. - CD Time is sweating (2003)

related post: For a groovy Thai movie version of A Ba Ni Bi check out this Eurocovers post. and this one for some more.

Monday, February 26, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Organ Donation - Puppet's got a brand new string

Happy Birthday Sandie Shaw!
Today is the big birthday for Sandie Shaw and next to the Eurocovers Year Of The Puppet series it's also celebrated at her own website with a new version of Puppet On A String, especially recorded for the occasion. She recorded it with Howard Jones, remember him? Made some amazing stuff in the 80's and is still going strong.

Sandie's present: 'Puppet's Got A Brand New String' is available for download for 60 days.
On her site you can also find extensive discographies, biography and regular messages from Sandie herself. Plus the stuff that shapes Sandies world today.

The number 1 shop for Eurovision CDs and vinyls is BeaRecords, check out their Sandie Shaw page here.

To light up Sandie's birthday I rented some ole barrel organ to serenade her under her balcony.

Organ DonationWhen I browse my organs, Puppet On A String is the song that found it's way to the streets, fairs & dancehalls more times than any other Eurovision song.
The ump-pah ump-pah bits translate easily to the cardboard perforated books setting the pipes & cymbals of the ornate antique automatons in motion.

Many of the great classic organs have had their music recorded on LP's EP's, singles and even CDs. My collection (Thanks to Rick for many of them) features Dutch barrel organs, Belgian Decap (Dancehall) organs and there's also the odd British fair organ recording available.

Recordings of Dutch street organs (Draaiorgels) like 'De Turk' , 'De Veronica' and 'De Arabier' can be found on many vinyls from the 60's and 70's.

In Belgium Decap - Herentals built organs to entertain the party people in dance halls and party centres from the 1920's on. These organs, similar to the French Gaudin ones, also have their recordings saved for prosterity on many records.

I can go on pretending now to know anything on this subject but I'm a total ignoramus: So let's get to the business.

You can rent 'De Veronica' and other organs for your parties and events here.
Circle of Draaiorgel friends has a site in Dutch English & German with all the links you need.

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
France, Singapore, Jamaica. Yugoslavia, Estonia, U.K. (Comedy), Iceland, Lithuania, USA (Musical), Spain, Brasil, UK punk, Norway (gloom) Norway, Turkey, Portugal Basque country

Here is a (sketchy) list of Sandie's Organs, additions & corrections are welcome at the usual address
Decap 121 Key (Dance Organ) -----LP The Thursford Assortment (1978)-----(Thursford Museum TE05 2KR100)
??? Fair Organ (UK) ----- 7" Great hits for fair organ -----(Decca DFE 8679)
The Carl Frei (Dutch street organ) -----LP The Golden Age of Mechanical Music Vol 9. Piston Polka -----(Saydisc, 1970)
Gavioli Mammoth 89 Key Fairground Organ -----LP Fairground Fantasia In stereo (1970) -----(Hallmark HMA231)
Gaudin 89 Key -----LP All The Fun Of The Fair Vol 1 (1970) -----(Gaudin Fair JOYS 168)
Hooghuys Organ CH 660 -----MC (EMB 05588)
Draaiorgel De Kempenaer Decap 123 Key 1927 -----LP Draaiorgel de Kempenaar (1969) -----(Gemini Records GMX 5015)
Limonaire 1900 (Dance organ) -----CD Orgue Limonaire 1900 (2003)----- (ILD 642222)
Limonaire 'Pandora' 35 Key -----LP Airs by the Limonaire (1976) -----(CRS1001)
De Marenghi 63 Key -----LP Feest Met De Marenghi"" (1970) ----- (CBS S 52793)
Mortier Organ Grymonprez in medley -----LP Mortier Organ No3 (1969) ----- (Palette PPB S-611)
Mortier Dance Organ 82 Key -----LP Flötte Melodien Aus Knocke's (1980)----- (CM LP 2063)
Decap 'Napoleon' -----LP Decap Orgel Napoleon (1998)----- (Discount Music DCCD 98004)
Taj Mahal Mortier Dance hall organ -----CD Mortier "Taj Mahal" Dance Organ
Mortier 'The Trumpeter' 84 Key -----LP The Trumpeter-----(SSLX 346)
Draaiorgel De Turk (Dutch street organ) -----LP ?
Draaiorgel De Veronica -----LP Greetings From Holland (1987) -----(TCD 10042 Dureco Telstar)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Txoriburuak sokan

Today it's 40 years ago that Sandie Shaw presented her Eurovision contenders to the British audience in A Song For Europe in Rolf Harris' TV show.
5 songs were in the competition and it was a good old postcard affair, so the results came later.

Eurocovers takes every anniversary to celebrate with another version of Puppet On A String, so here's a rare one you may love (I know I do).

Txoriburuak sokan - Irune ta Andoni Argoitia

Irune & Andoni Argoitia (a.k.a. Argoitia Anai-arrebak) are a brother and sister duo from the Basque town of Ondarroa.
Theirs was a a relatively short career, mainly playing their versions of popular songs at festivals.
They released a handful of singles & EP's and the song they are remembered for most is Maitasun Itzak, a Basque version of Catalan legend Joan Manuel Serrat's Paraules d'amor.

'Txoriburuak sokan', Puppet On A String sung in Basque, is an low key affair, limiting the instruments to acoustic guitars and bass.

It's from a rare 6-track EP but the song can also be found on the 1993 CD Kantu nostalgikoak 2 (on the Elkar label) collecting all the recordings of the Argoitias and a few other artists. This CD version however misses the intro of the song, so I'm very pleased to present the full version here, recorded from the EP.

Irune ta Andoni Argoitia - Txoriburuak sokan (EP Cinsa CIN-140)
Txoriburuak sokan (Puppet on a string)
Gaurko Gazteak
Ames, Ames
Epperraren Kanta
Maitasun Itzak (written by Joan Manuel Serrat)

Super thanks to Armando for the song and picture.

More 'local' versions coming up soon: Catalonia, Scotland, Tirol and Flanders.
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.

Friday, February 23, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Florbela Queiros - Boneca Articulada

Florbela Queiros is a Portuguese actress who starred in several movies of the Nouvelle Vague variety. Now you can say a lot about Puppet On A String, but not that it's Nouvelle Vague, so I don't think the song is from any of her movies.

This song is from an EP titled Folclore Americano (Tecla TE 1013)

UPDATED with picture sleeve and release details 01-07-07

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Suna Artun Poyraz from Turkey

The Turkish version of Puppet On A String, Ben Senin Kuklan Değilim, is another one I couldn't find much info on. The song is by Suna Artun Poyraz and can be found on a single (Ezgi Plákk 45-12?) and a Turkish various artists LP 'Yıldızlar geçidi' (Ezgi Plákk).
I don't know who Suna Artun Poyraz is, the only thing I know is that she recorded several coverversions of 60's songs and that she released some singles as Suna Artun (without Poyraz).
If anyone knows some more or has a picture, please let me know.

A recommended site for fans of (any) coverversions is which has an extensive lists of versions in Turkish with titles and artists of the originals and the covered versions.

More Turkish Eurocovers in the near future.

Monday, February 19, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Sprellemann by Bente Aaseth

In the week leading up to two important Sandie Shaw anniversaries I'll be presenting some coverversions of Puppet On A String I don't have much details on.
Not even a picture for this one.

Sprellemann is the only Norwegian version I know of and it was on my wanted list until Jan from Norway came along. Thanks Jan!

Bente Aaseth was in the 1967 national selection for Eurovision: the 'Norsk Melodi Grand Prix 1967', with the song Shake (also performed by Laila Granum). The song finished 2nd.
Another thing I know is that Sprellemann was released on a 7" as a b-side to Jeg tror på sommeren.

You can find an introduction to the Year Of The Puppet series in this Eurocovers post
More Norwegian stuff by Døsty Cåwshit a.k.a. Dusty Cowshit is here

UPD 12-04 Blog Freche Früchtchen has an nice item on 'Shake' the Norwegian preselection song mentioned above.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy New Year !!

Happy New Year from Eurocovers to our Chinese Visitors .
May the year of the Pig bring you health and posperity.

What better way to celebrate than with a Eurocover.
A great Chinese Eurovision cover is by Hong Kong superstar 关淑怡 - Shirley Kwan , who covers the French 1991 song, Le dernier qui a parlé, in Cantonese.

After her debut hit 難得有情人 Shirley Kwan became famous for her mixture of Cantonese Pop with western music. Next to many originals she covered music by Roxette, the Beegees, Sandra and even Ralph Siegel.
Kwan released about a dozen original albums sung in Cantonese. In the mid 90's she also recorded several in Mandarin (but not the Eurocover) and a few in Japanese in 1989 and 1990.
After a relative period of silence she is back on top in 4704 with the live CD/DVD Being Shirley On Stage.

梵音 - 关淑怡
Shirley Kwan released three versions of Amina's song that almost/also won the Eurovision Song Contest in Rome in 1991.
Studio version from 1991
- CD Love is forever and CD 32 Top Selections
Live version from 1995
- CD Shirley Shirley Kwan live in concert
Live version from 2006
- CD/DVD Being Shirley On Stage

Here's the word document with all the Chinese Eurocovers I know of. (UPDATED version 16-05-07) is a great place for all things Shirley (in english)

4705 will also continue as VII: the Year Of The Puppet.You will find a Chinese (Mandarin) version of Sandie Shaw's Puppet On A String in this post.

p.s. Parts of this article were featured last year at the Eurovision Collectors Guide Group. (Yahoo)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

VII: Eurovision - Czech this out - Helena Vondráčková.

Excusez the puns, but I've been brooding on them ever since I heard the Czech Republic would make their debut at this years Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki.
You can find the Czech list of national finalists at the usual places. (see links)
One of the participants is legendary Czech superstar Helena Vondráčková. It's rumoured she's been selected as a tv-crowd puller, but that doesn't matter, Eurocovers just loves the local legends.

Presenter of the Eurosong preselection show will be Jiří Korn and hey presto, a Eurocover is born.
Jiri and Helena recorded a Czech version of the Great British 1976 classic Save your kisses for me back in 1977 titled Já půdju tam a ty tam.

Another Eurocover by Helena was Jak mám spát, Après toi by Vicky Leandros (Luxembourgs 1972 winner).

Jak mám spát
- (7" - Supraphon 043 1399)
Já půdju tam a ty tam. w. Jiří Korn
- (7" - Supraphon 143 2059)

Helena Vondráčková has recorded about a million songs from 1964 to present day and at her excellent multilingual home page you can find very detailed discographies and songlists.

Soon: The Czech version of Puppet On A String in the Year Of The Puppet
Update: Helena Vondráčková will be participating with the song Samba which is already available on her new album Zastav se (... a poslouchej) - (Universal 170 851-2)
Another Update: Samba has been removed from the participants list and will be replaced by another song by Helena Vondráčková.
Last Update: After presenting another song Ha Ha Ha Helena Vondrackova withdrew from the competition beacuse she couldn't agree on juries not playing a part in the decision for the first Czech Eurovision entry.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Puppet On A Rope

Puppet On A String? Bondage more like.
Here's a punky 80's version of the Puppet by Big Hair. I don't know anything interesting about this outfit so here's the picture sleeve.

Big Hair's Puppet has appeared on several compilations, but always with a bit missing. Here's the full version from the vinyl single. (Fresh records Fresh 19)

Another obscure punk single comes from Norway and is by Jeg Falt. The only thing I know is that it can be found on the compilation CD Null Problem - NordNorsk Pønkrock.

Those gloomy Nordic winters can be very long so this must be the unhappiest version of the song ever recorded. There's no recognisable melody, but it sticks to the original lyrics. (Any details on original release are welcome)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Brasil

Brazil may be famous for the rainforests, caipirinha's and futeball magic, but most of all Brazil is the country with the most Eurovision cover versions to its name, without ever setting foot on the Eurovision stage.
Although they lost interest after the 70's, the amount of coverversions from the land of the Carnival far outnumbers any other. The selection is limited though, it mainly includes the songs from Italy, the U.K. and Udo Jürgens.
Domenico Modugno's entries 'Nel blu dipinti di blu' (Volare) and 'Dio come ti amo' seem the most popular of all, but also the late 60's British songs have been Brazilified by the Brazilian greats and less greats.
Puppet on a String is no exception and I know of five versions made in the land of Pelé.

Don't expect any exotic samba rhythms, the Brazilians surely knew Pop back in the 60's.

My favorite version is the one by Ed Carlos, at the time a child star, who's youthfull voice gives the song the innocent identity it never was supposed to have.
Katia Cilene, another Jovem Guarda star sticks closer to Sandie's original in both sound and looks.
Vocal group Os 3 Morais, three siblings of the Espírito Santo family, recorded the song for their first LP as Os 3 Morais. This also includes a version of Tell The Boys, the song that finished 2nd in Sandie Shaw's Song For Europe selection and that was Sandie's own favorite.

Discography of Brazilian Puppets:
All songs are titled Estou Feliz and are sung in Portuguese.
Ed Carlos - 7" (Fermata FB 33320)
- also on LP Ed Carlos (Fermata FB 209, pictured)
UPDATE Ed Carlos rerecorded the song in 1977 for an LP and EP (CBS) with his voice dropped a few octaves.
Katia Cilene - EP (CBS 33500)
Suzy Darlen - EP 'Oh Johnny' (Odeon 7 BD 1134)
João Luiz - EP (Polydor 555 008)
Os 3 Morais - LP 'Os 3 Morais' (Premier PRLP 1087)

I haven't heard the versions by Suzy Darlen or João Luiz and there may be more too.
Discographies of Brazilian young 60's artists -

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Eurovision Collectors Guide

Some of you will probably know this already, but here's a plug of my core activity: the Eurovision Collectors Guide.

2019 update
For the new edition, please visit our Facebook or check out this Eurocovers post

back to the old post....
The Eurovision Collectors Guide is a small booklet featuring all information on Eurovision records that were released from 1956 up to 2005.
Last year March the most recent version was issued, spanning 50 years of Eurovision recording history.
The booklet has been a usefull source of information on records and recordings for Eurovision collectors, professionals and fans for 18 years.

50 years of Eurovision records
This 9th edition is, like always, a handy A5 booklet, 80 pages full of information for the Eurovision record collector.
It's in Black & White, has listings by country and some picture sleeves for your entertainment, but most of all it is a book so stuffed with information for the Eurovision collectors and fans it almost bursts out of its staples.

- All points and places of all entries 1956 - 2005.
- Titles, original artists and all recorded versions (languages, remixes etc.)
- Record company label info + 7", 12", EP, 78rpm, cds, LP & CD details
- Entries that didn't make to the Eurovision stage
- Chart details in the homecountries of many entries

New in the 9th edition:
- Symbols for demo versions & instrumental/karaoke versions
- A special Missing Versions section
- Multiple entries EP's and singles

Many newly discovered versions and re-recordings and have been added since the successful edition from 2002. Plus of course all new entries from 2003, 2004 and 2005, including all the new countries and all semi-finalists.

The 9th edition '50 years of Eurovision records' is still avaliable at 10,- euro + postage, if you want more info feel free to ask  Sold Out!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Petit Pantin De Paris

With the French presenting their rather amazing selection for the Helsinki Eurovision (I so loooove Jean Luc Picard band) time for a couple of French versions of Puppet On A String.

Les Parisiennes are a quartet of danseuses brought together by Jazz Musician / Producer Claude Bolling.

Don't be fooled by the 'I'm a Patsy double at an Absolutely Fabulous Flashback scene' look, Raymonde Bronstein (Beretta), Anne Lefébure, Hélène Longuet et Anne-Marie Royer were very able to sing and their song and dance show enjoyed some popularity in France and Canada during the 60's . They mostly recorded songs by Franck Gérald & Claude Bolling but tackled a few coverversions too.

Les Parisiennes recorded two Eurovision coverversions in French
U.K. 1967 - Un tout petit pantin (EP: Philips 437.305)
U.K. 1969 - Boom bang a bang (EP: Philips 437.457)

Un tout petit pantin can be found or the best of CD 'Il fait trop beau pour travailler' (Mercury 2004) which also includes their song that became famous because of it's title, which is longer than the song itself: C'est tout de même malheureux … qu'on ne puisse pas se promener tranquillement dans les rues après neuf heures du soir.
There are several French versions of Sandie Shaws winner, including one by Sandie Shaw herself. Another I really love is the one by Marianne Mille (pictured right). Don't know anything about her, but the song is below anyway.

Here's a list of P'tit Pantins I know, any additional detail, version or song is welcome at the usual address, I'm especially looking for the Canadian versions.

Sandie Shaw - Un tout petit pantin
- 7" Pye 45 PV 15261, France

Arlette - EP
Mr Blot - ?
Marianne Mille - Comme un tout petit pantin
Les Parisiennes - EP Philips 437.305
Sophie Renaud (Canada) - EP
Tonia (Belgian ESC singer) - 7" also has a cover of France 67
Karolyn Vallée (Canada) - 7" Match 6104

The Year Of The Puppet is a journey through space and time with Sandie Shaw and her classic Eurovision winner as our only guideline. So far versions of the song from France, Singapore, Jamaica. Yugoslavia, Estonia, U.K. (Comedy), Iceland, Lithuania, USA (Musical) and Spain have been featured and listened to. Still to come, More Singapore, Brasil, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Catalonia, Basque Country, Russia, more Jamaica, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Portugal, Tirol, Japan, Turkey, Czech republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and any other destination that we visit on our travels.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

VII: Melodifestivalen - Anne-Lie Rydé

Swedish songstress Anne-Lie Rydé teams up with a Eurovision veteran for this years Melodifestivalen in the Göteborg heat this weekend.
Rydé participated in the Swedish selection of 2004 with Säg att du har ångrat dig and with Så nära in 2005 and now she's trying again with Svante Thuresson, who's 1966 duet with Lill Lindfors Nygammal vals resulted in a 2nd place, back then the best result for Sweden ever.
The song is called Första gången and considering the Swedish public just (or only?) love the big names, a place in the final awaits.
Go! Anne-Lie! Go! Svante!

For Eurovision covers fans there's two Anne- Lie CDs of interest.
First up there's the 1992 LP/CD Stulna Kyssar which features a jazzy interpretation of the 1963 winner Dansevise (In a Swedish Danish mix) and a lovely version of the 1963 entry from Sweden En gång I Stockholm*, originally by Monica Zetterlund. The album also includes a version of Zetterlunds När min vän (1962)

The 1994 CD Primadonna has two winners: Poupée de cire, poupée de son (Luxemburg 1965) and Merci Cherie (Austria 1966) and especially the first one is a slice of fantastic energetic super pop.

Stulna Kyssar - EMI 4750252 - 1992
Primadonna - EMI 4751012 - 1994

Denmark 1963 - Drömdans / Dansevise - LP/CD Stulna Kyssar
Sweden 1963 - En gång i Stockholm - LP/CD Stulna Kyssar
Luxembourg 1965 - Det kan väl inte jag rå för (Poupee de cire) - CD Primadonna
Austria 1966 - Merci Cherie (in Swedish) - CD Primadonna

Denmark 1963 - Sweden 1963 - Luxembourg 1965 - Austria 1966

* For Grethe & Jörgen Ingmanns version of this personal favorite go here

Monday, February 05, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Lara's emotional man - Singapore

Lara (Tan) is from Singapore and her version of Puppet on a string (Duo qian lang) is on this gorgeous EP.
Lara's Chinese name is Ling Ling, and it's common practice that the singers use a Chinese name and add an English nickname.
The title of the song translates as 'Romantic (or emotional) man', completely different from the next Chinese version that will be featured here soon (see below).
The song is sung in Mandarin, one of the main Chinese national languages.

The Trailers were a popular sixties bands in Singapore in their own right and they covered classics like You only live twice and Lara's Theme (!).

Lara and other Asian singers recorded many coverversions by singers like Nancy Sinatra and Marianne Faithfull. A recommended LP/CD is the compilation 'Girls in the Garage vol. 9' on the Romulan label (I kid you not Startrek fans).
It features Asian versions of Fever, My boy Lollipop, As tears go by and also the a-side tracks of the featured Lara EP. As far as I know 'Puppet on a string' has not yet been issued on CD.

櫻櫻 - 多棈郎 (CEP 3006)Tracklist EP:
- Run for your life
- Visions
- Puppet on a string
- Sugar Town (A Lee hazlewood classic)

Thanks to Peter for the translations

recommended links:
- Lara's discograpy in pictures
- Chinese versions of Eurovision songs = A word doc. about Chinese Eurovision covers I know of.  It has record info and some picture sleeves.
- The difference between Mandarin and Cantonese

多棈郎 (the song is here)
There are three Mandarin versions I know of. Lara's, another by Betty Chung which I will feature later and one by Sakura Teng and the Quests which I am still looking for..

Lara's Lyrics: