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At 14, French singer Jocelyne was clearly a saucy young thing. Here she’s pleading for her beau to take a long, erm, hard look at her. She’s no longer a child, she tells him. “Forget about the little girl you thought was nice,” she says. “I will know how to please you.” The brazen hussy. All this is a world away from her debut release, Il a tout pour lui, on which she sang innocently about hanging around with her brother. Jocelyne’s transformation was not only lyrical but also musical. This classy number shows a marked difference in style from much of her earlier work. For us, it remains her finest moment.
Barry St John
Gotta brand new man
Moving from pop to soul, here’s Scottish songstress Barry St John’s Gotta brand new man. This fabulous number was penned by Barry herself with producer Mike Hurst and Guy Fletcher. (If this is in any way representative of her songwriting abilities, she should have written much more of her material, we reckon.) It was issued as the B-side to Come away Melinda, the song that came the closest to giving Barry a hit when it spent one week at number 47 in the UK charts in 1965. What we particularly love about this song is the way it evokes the smoke-filled cellar clubs of the time. No wonder it later became popular on the northern soul scene.
Un grosso errore
As you may have noticed, we’ve introduced pop-up images of record sleeves this month, starting here. We’ll take this across the site over the coming weeks. What this means is that you can appreciate Italian singer Lida Lù in all her barefooted glory. Un grosso errore, issued in 1966, is a cover of US girl group The Royalettes’ little-known It’s a big mistake. Like many of the Italian girls, Lida managed to make the song very much her own, rather than recording it as a note-for-note copy of the original. We love it.
We first featured Germany’s Gisela Collins over four years ago, singing the first-rate Du bist genau wie die Anderen. Our pick this time around is the B-side of that 45. We had planned to bring you the flip of her debut single, but we’ve fallen in love with this song instead. Here, Gisela offers some advice to her little sister about boys. No, not of the birds-and-bees variety, but rather a warning about how boys can break your heart. She’s just received a letter from her fella, you see, in which he’s broken up with her. Gisela favoured this kind of downbeat song, putting her in a category of just two in an otherwise relentlessly chirpy Germany. The other, of course, being the wonderful Marion.
He’s my guy
Much was made at the time of this record’s release of the singer’s links to her namesake, Henry VIII’s sixth wife. The two were distant relatives, according to Decca’s press office. Whether the former queen consort had much of a singing voice isn’t known, but if she did, it would seem that it may have skipped a generation when it got to Catherine Jnr. But it’s precisely the naivety of those shaky vocals that make the record what it is. This stompy number was issued as the B-side to Catherine’s one and only single, 1965’s You belong to me. (We’ve now heard from Catherine herself – it turns out the stage name and background story were just fabrications from Decca’s press office. Her real name’s actually Vicky.)
Tú no eres ye-yé
Blanca Aurora is another singer whose recording career began and ended with one release. Very little is known about Blanca. We couldn’t even put our hands on our hearts and say with 100% certainty that she’s Spanish, though common consensus is that she is (as opposed to South American, we mean). What we do know is that her sole EP hit the record shops in 1968 – and this is the real highlight of the release. A tremendously catchy number, it should have sold well, but didn’t.