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Our pick of the pops, April 2012

Hear Rachel Sor ye yé

Rachel

Sor ye yé

Hear Tiffany Am I dreaming

Tiffany

Am I dreaming

Hear Dori Ghezzi L'amore ha ucciso

Dori Ghezzi

L'amore ha ucciso

Hear Beauty Milton Es liegt an dir

Beauty Milton

Es liegt an dir

Hear Dusty Springfield It was easier to hurt him

Dusty Springfield

It was easier to hurt him

Hear Virginie Vous n'avez rien compris

Virginie

Vous n'avez rien compris

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Our pick of the pops

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Beauty Milton: Olympiade auch für Küsse a’gogo  and Es liegt an dir Dusty Springfield: Ev'rything's coming up Dusty Virginie: Reviens vite (includes Vous n'avez rien compris) Tiffany: Am I dreaming Rachel: Sor ye yé Dori Ghezzi: Vivere per vivere

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Rachel

Sor ye yé

Spanish singer Rachel made her first foray into music in 1967 when she took part in the Mallorca song festival. However, pitted against the likes of Karina and Los Stop, the chubby teen didn’t stand much of a chance. Presumably, bosses at Columbia had hoped she might repeat the success of 12-year-old Alicia Granados at the Benidorm festival the previous year. But it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, the label thought Rachel was worth investing a bit more effort in – and the result was this, the terrific Sor ye yé. But after just one further EP, Estoy arrepentida, the singer disappeared. She made a return to music in the early 1970s, joining the Hispavox label for a string of singles.  

 

Tiffany

Am I dreaming

This is Tiffany’s debut solo single, the cracking Jackie de Shannon-penned Am I dreaming, which was issued in July 1965. But who was Tiffany? Well, she started out as Irene Green, singing lead vocals with an early incarnation of The Liverbirds. After quitting the group in search of solo success, she continued to play the Merseyside clubs but ended up joining another band, The Four Dimensions, as lead singer. By that time she was known professionally as Tiffany and the group changed its name to Tiffany’s Dimensions to mark her arrival. However, ultimately, the singer signed a solo contract with the Parlophone label, leaving The Dimensions to join EMI. (By the way, next month we’ll publish a profile of all-girl band The Liverbirds, so check back if you’re interested.)

 

Dori Ghezzi

L’amore ha ucciso

Bosses at the Durium label thought Italy’s Rose festival would prove a suitably high profile launch pad for Dori Ghezzi. She was one of three acts to perform a version of Francis Lai’s Vivre pour vivre, retitled Vivere per vivere, and the song finished second overall. However, record buyers reacted with indifference when the 21-year-old released the song as a single in October 1967. Our pick is the B-side of that release, L’amore ha ucciso. Dori was to enjoy greater success a couple of years later with the top-five hit Casatchock. From 1972, the singer teamed up with American label mate Wess and the pair enjoyed success throughout the decade. Un corpo e un’anima proved their biggest hit, topping the Italian charts in 1975.

 

Beauty Milton

Es liegt an dir

We’re suckers for a great cover version. And that’s precisely what Beauty Milton has given us here. The original, of course, is Song without end, which was written and recorded by Brit girl Barbara Ruskin. Beauty’s take appeared on the B-side of her fabulously titled 45 Olympiade auch für Küsse a’gogo, which was issued on the small Saga Opp label in 1968. The American singer cut a few records in her adopted German homeland, including Adios Carioca and Bayern ist nicht Texas. Though we’re not familiar with either of those, we’re willing to bet – based on their titles alone – that they don’t merit a listen. Shame.

 

Dusty Springfield

It was easier to hurt him

Is it fair to pit the late great Dusty against some of the other lesser-known singers in this month’s Pick of the pops? Well, no, possibly not, but hey, we can’t just overlook one of the best singers Britain has ever produced out of sheer kindness. Mind you, Dusty – ever her own harshest critic – later complained about this song, commenting that the backing vocals drowned her out. Yes, but who was on backing vocals? That’s right, Dusty herself, plus regular accompanists Madeline Bell and Doris Troy. The song had been recorded first by little known US soul singer Garnet Mimms as It was easier to hurt her. A month after Dusty issued her version of the song on the Ev’rything’s coming up Dusty LP, Wayne Fontana released a take on it and scored a UK top 40 hit for his efforts.

 

Virginie

Vous n’avez rien compris

This song is one of the highlights of Virginie’s one-off release for Polydor. Issued in 1966, the EP led with Reviens vite, a version of Jimmy Breedlove’s Back where you belong. The disc also included a great take on the Ray Davies-penned I go to sleep, retitled Tu crois toujours. Both that track and our choice have since turned up on the terrific Pop à Paris compilation series. This song is an original composition from the pens of Jean-Pierre Allane, Daniel Hortis and Gérard Poncet. Quite why the EP didn’t launch a long and successful career for Virginie is anybody’s guess.

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