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Alessandra Casaccia: Un volo nella notte
Un volo nella notte was Italian singer Alessandra Casaccia’s third 45 of 1968. This catchy track came from the pen of established star Umberto Bindi and proved Alessandra’s most popular to date. Shortly afterwards, she found herself leapfrogging into the big girls’ league, performing on the prestigious San Remo stage. None of this ever quite translated into sales for the singer, but hey, we think you’ll enjoy this all the same.
Sandie Shaw: Hide all emotion
Sandie Shaw was the coolest of the Brit girl singers. Here she is singing what we consider to be one of her finest tracks, Hide all emotion. It was issued as the B-side to Think sometimes about me and had been written by none other than Marty Wilde. The former rocker would go on to pen songs for the likes of Lulu, The Breakaways and, in the 1980s, his daughter, Kim. This isn’t the only thing that Sandie Shaw and Kim Wilde have in common. Neither is the most gifted singer ever, yet, equally, both have enough attitude and great material to have been able to leave a lasting mark on British pop music.
Anne Michael: On me conseille vivement
We don’t have much biographical information on Anny Michael. We can’t rule out the possibility that she may be Greek singer Anny Michaelis in another guise, but we wouldn’t bet on it. On me conseille vivement was issued on a one-off EP for the Riviera label in 1967, entitled L’oiseau ou la rose. The lyrics came courtesy of Gérard Croce, who is better known as an actor. He also tried his hand as a singer, though his early 1970s singles Je t’hippopotaime and Des femmes et du bon vin now have serious music lovers holding their hands over the ears.
Gelu: Dame felicidad
Granada-born Gelu was Spain’s biggest-selling female singer of the early 1960s. She scored big with her first release, 1960’s Después de seis tequilas, and from that point, she could do little wrong. Our pick is another of her hits, Dame felicidad, a take on Dickie Valentine’s Free me. Whether it’s fair to put her up for a vote against some of the lesser-known artists here remains to be seen.
Simone: Gelegenheit macht Diebe
And here’s one such lesser-known artist – though we have to say, we love this track to bits. It was released as the B-side to her 1967 single Er sieht aus wie ein Mann. Simone wasn’t her real name, but record company Telefunken thought her haircut made her look quite Gallic, so that was reason enough to rename her. Over the course of her career, she was also known as Gitta Walther, Gitta MacKay and Jackie Robinson. On this track, she confronts her fella. Though he denies it, she knows he’s off kissing other girls when she’s not around – and she’s not happy about it.
Mellow Candle: Feeling high
We’re gone all folk for our final choice of the month. Mellow Candle were friends Alison Williams, Clodagh Simonds and Maria White, who began singing together at Dublin’s Holy Child School. When they sent out some demos to DJs, one landed in the hands of music manager Simon Napier-Bell, who had just set up his SNB record company. Their Feeling high was issued as a single in 1968, having been recorded in London and featuring The Breakaways – of course – on backing vocals. Though the Irish trio lucked out at Bell’s short-lived label, they went on to record into the 1970s at Decca subsidiary Deram.
Our pick of the pops
Un volo nella notte
Hide all emotion
On me conseille vivement
Gelegenheit macht Diebe
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