Masthead

Our pick of the pops, May 2009

Leontien Snel

Ik wil niet meer

So often in life, it’s not what you know but who you know. That was certainly the case for Leontien Snel. Born in Eindhoven and raised in Brabant, she ended up in Amsterdam, where she cut this disc. She got her break partly thanks to a friend’s mother who wrote many of Conny van den Bos’s songs. She was teamed with writer and producer Peter Koelewijn – the man behind the career of Bonny St Claire – for this track. The song was the A-side of the 22-year-old’s only release, and the flip was her version of France Gall’s Baby pop.

 

Eileen

Ni jamais

American singer Eileen landed a contract with the AZ label in France in the mid-1960s and issued a string of EPs and singles. Very few of her early releases are likely to be of much interest to visitors to this site – their folk styling makes them less yé-yé, more no-no. But this track is one of two penned by Lee Hazlewood from her Mon frère le poisson EP that – unknown to her at the time – would lead to a career transformation. That change began across the border in Germany before spreading to France and Italy. We’ll be publishing a full biography on Eileen next month, when we’ll fill you in on how it came about.

 

Beverley Jones

Hear you talking

Coventry girl Beverley Jones is probably best known for her take on Darlene Love’s Wait ‘til my Bobby gets home. On our pick, though, she teamed up with the Prestons to issue this forthright advice to her fella, who was still carrying a torch for his ex. “I’m gonna cut you dead if I hear you talking about her,” she tells him. Released in 1964, the track was the B-side of a version of Heatwave and is now widely available on the new girls-and-guitars compilation Destroy that boy. The disc flopped at the time, not least because Bev had joined the Mad Classix and was too busy touring Germany to promote it.

 

Manuela & Drafi

Take it easy

Unlike just about the whole of 1960s Germany, it seems, we’ve never been overly smitten with Manuela. There’s no denying she was the queen of German pop at the time, but we’ve always found her a touch too cheesy for our tastes. In 1966, though, she joined Drafi Deutscher for a one-off release, Die goldene Zeit, from which this track is taken. The move confused record buyers and gave her one of her lowest chart placings. The result? She returned to more familiar territory with her next release and regained her crown as the nation’s Schlager sweetheart.

 

Wilma De Angelis

Io so già che tornerai

On the cover of this single Wilma De Angelis can be seen waiting – somewhat keenly, it appears – for the train to Credibility Central. The Italian singer enjoyed her first success in the mid-1950s, but her career ran out of steam a decade later and she was dropped by the Philips label. This 1966 release was her first for Starlet and marked a distinct departure from her earlier material. The record company billed this, her entry to the Zurich song festival, as “tutto beat”. Despite the guitar frenzy in the middle of the song, we think they might have been overstating things a little, but we reckon it’s fab all the same.

 

Isabelle Aubret

La source

To mark this month’s 54th Eurovision song contest, here’s Isabelle Aubret’s second entry to the pan-European pop fest (see her perform it on YouTube). She had won the contest in 1962 with Un premier amour, and returned six years later with La source. The song’s sweet melody belies the dark subject matter of the lyrics. They tell the tale of a young woman who goes for a walk in the woods, where she is attacked – and we are left to infer, raped – by three men. It proved a little much for jurors, who opted instead to award first place to Spanish singer Massiel’s highly catchy but, ahem, less lyrically challenging La la la.

0 Bar small Hear Leontien Snel Ik wil niet meer Hear Eileen Ni jamais Hear Beverley Jones Hear you talking Hear Manuela & Drafi Take it easy Hear Wilma De Angelis Io so già che tornerai Hear Isabelle Aubret La source Leontien Snel

Leontien Snel

Ik wil niet meer

Eileen

Ni jamais

Beverley Jones

Beverley Jones

Hear you talking

Manuela & Drafi

Take it easy

Wilma De Angelis Io so gia che tornerai

Wilma De Angelis

Io so già che tornerai

Isabelle Aubret

La source

Our pick of the pops

Manuela und Drafi - Die goldene Zeit Eileen: Mon frère le poisson Isabelle Aubret: La source