Masthead

Our pick of the pops, January 2011

Vote for your favourite or comment on these tracks using the forms at the foot of the page.

 

Paola Neri

T’amo più di lei

What’s not to love about this gem from Italy’s Paola Neri? The singer has enjoyed a long career in the music business – though mostly as a promoter and, later, as the casting director for stage musicals. It seems a shame that her own recording career never really took off, as songs such as this one and the bluesy Non voglio più riverderti show that she had both a good voice and access to some great material. Oh well, no one ever said life was fair...

 

Shirley

Vergessen

Born in Zandvoort in 1946, Shirley (Zweerus) became a kind of Dutch answer to Connie Froboess with the release of her first single in 1958. She went on to cut some great songs, including this wonderful German take on The Shangri-Las’ Remember (walkin’ in the sand). The translation keeps most of the sense – and the drama – of the original. Shirley is held in high regard for her blues/soul single Big boss man. Issued in 1968, it prompted a move to the US, though she returned to the Netherlands – and the Dutch charts – in the mid-1970s.

 

Anna St Clair

Les corbeaux

French singer Anna St Clair is probably best known amongst fans of Gallic girl pop for her L’amour à travers et à tort. Tracking down the rest of her work isn’t always easy. Our thanks, then, go to RSG visitor Fane, who has shared his collection of Anna St Clair EPs and 45s with us. So, if you like the sound of this slice of psychedelia, check back next month when we’ll publish a full biography for the singer with lots more top tracks for you to enjoy.

 

Marisel

Mi baby

This Marisel is not to be confused with film star/singer Marisol. Young Marisel was signed to the small Ediciones Vazquez label in 1968, where she issued this terrific track. Señor Vazquez – or Ernesto, as he was known to his friends – provided the orchestral backing to all of her recordings from the period. The EP this song comes from led with the bolero-styled Caracola, but it’s this and No lo comprendo which are worth seeking out. The latter is described – although it’s somewhat hard to imagine – as a surf/Liverpool fusion. We’ll bring you that treat some other time.

 

Tammy St John

Concerning love

A copy of this 45 sold for £565 on eBay recently, which probably gives you an indication of how highly thought of – and rare – it is. The disc was something of a comeback for Essex girl Tammy. The erstwhile Judith Coster had started out in 1964, signing to Pye Records at the age of just 14. She went on to release four singles over the next two years, including the magnificent Dark shadows and empty hallways. In 1969 she joined the smaller Tangerine label, where she cut this track. Sadly, it didn’t sell and she slipped back into obscurity.

 

Lill Lindfors

Du är den ende

You’ll undoubtedly have seen Sweden’s Lill Lindfors if you’ve ever watched any of those Eurovision-through-the-years programmes. The Helsinki-born singer hosted the 1985 final, during which her outfit, famously, got torn off, but – oh, the hilarity – it proved to be a stunt. She simply unpegged what was left of her original dress to create another. It wasn’t her only brush with the contest. In 1966, she’d performed Nygammen vals with Östen Warnerbring, earning Sweden its highest placing to date. Our pick, though, is this wonderful solo single, issued the same year, which reached number four in the Swedish charts.

Hear Paola Neri T’amo più di lei

 

T’amo più di lei

Hear Shirley Vergessen

 

Vergessen

Shirley

Hear Anna St Clair Les corbeaux

 

Les corbeaux

Hear Marisel Mi baby

 

Mi baby

Marisel

Hear Tammy St John Concerning love

 

 

Concerning love

Hear Lill Lindfors Du är den ende

 

Du är den ende

Lill Lindfors

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Our pick of the pops

Marisel Mi baby 1 Shirley Vergessen Lill Lindfors Du aer en ende 0 Bar small

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Tammy St John - Concerning love Anna St Clair - Les corbeaux Paola Neri: T’amo più di lei