Tu te trompes
US pop princess Lesley Gore had a go at recording her feminist anthem You don’t own me in French (as Je ne sais plus), German (Goodbye Tony) and Italian (Va tu sei libero). Here, though, Belgium’s Valerie Pascale provides an alternative French-language version (while fellow countrywoman Liliane recorded the Flemish version). It was one of just three 45s Valerie issued in her homeland. Her ballsy delivery works well with the defiant lyrics. However, on her later English-language 45, Without your love, she takes – how shall we put this? – a more relaxed approach to holding a tune, which, ahem, proved less aurally satisfying.
If we’d had a spare £565 (!) floating around, we might have bid for a copy of Tammy St John’s Concerning love on eBay last month. The 45 was her ultra rare 1969 one-off release on the Tangerine label. Instead, we’ll have to content ourselves with Dark shadows and empty hallways. But that’s no hardship – in fact, it’s one of our favourite Brit girl records. Essex girl Tammy tried a number of different vocal styles during her all-too-brief career – from the raucous to the bratty, but it’s this emotionally charged performance from 1965 that gets us every time.
German sisters Sandra and Sharon were certainly doin’ it for themselves. The pair released a few 45s, including Flower Power Superman and Nimm ein Girl mit nach Haus. Our pick is the B-side of their 1969 single Komm mir doch ein Stück entgegen, issued on the Cornet label. Sandra – using the surname McKimble – showed the greater talent, writing many of the pair’s songs (including our pick) and, ultimately, enjoying the longer career. She went on to release a couple of albums under the alias Sandra Haas and her Kleiner Mann has since turned up on cool German funk comps.
By coincidence, Italian singer Isabella Iannetti also had a go at recording Lesley Gore’s You don’t own me. This isn’t it, though – it’s her follow up single. Issued in the autumn of 1964, Quanti ragazzi had been written by established star Adriano Celentano and members of his Clan. It is, arguably, one of Isabella’s finest recordings, and certainly one of her catchiest. It didn’t prove a success – but the following summer, her Disco per l’estate contest entry, Sono tanto innamorata, gave the singer her biggest hit of her career. Initially pitched as the new Rita Pavone, she later became something of a poor man’s Caterina Caselli, which is a shame – we think she’s great.
French singer Anna St Clair is probably best known these days for L’amour à travers et à tort, a track from her debut EP, Les corbeaux. But that’s no reflection on the quality of the rest of her material. She was born Nicole Rudent in 1948 but became Anna St Clair when she joined the Fontana label in 1967. Her second release hit the shops in July 1968, Ne vois-tu pas que c’est toi que j’aime, and our choice is its B-side. She went on to release the highly regarded L’amour par quatre chemins, as well as covers of Tom Jones’s If I promise (Sage comme une image) and Simon and Garfunkel’s El condor pasa (Sur les chemins des Andes).
Regular visitors to this site may recognise this tune, if not the lyrics. We recently published a page on US singer Nancy Holloway’s French career, and she had recorded this song as Prends tes clés. Here, though, our favourite Iberian cantante has taken it and made it her own. María Isabel Llaudes Santiago was born on 4 December 1943 in Jaén in Andalusia. She joined the Hispavox label in 1963 and was launched to a pop-hungry public as Karina. Within a year she found fame with her version of France Gall’s Eurovision-winning Poupée de cire, poupée de son and went on to become the undisputed darling of Spain’s ye-yé scene.
Tu te trompes
Dark shadows and empty hallways
Sandra and Sharon
Er gehört mir
Which is your favourite?
Our pick of the pops