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Listening to this, it’s obvious we’re in the mood for American girl groups this month – see our yé-yé tribute to the US girls. But hang on, what are saying? This isn’t American at all. It’s Coventry schoolgirls The Orchids in their sole outing as The Exceptions. The change of name heralded a change of look too – out went the school uniforms, in came some fab Carnaby Street Mod styling. This song lay hidden on the B-side of the group’s 1965 single What more do you want. It was written by group member Georgina Oliver and could, arguably, have launched a career for her as a songwriter. However, Decca lost interest in the group and that was the end of that.
Bilder und Briefe
“She’s got you, and what’s left for me? Just pictures and letters, just paper,” sobs our heroine, Patty Pay. Her fella’s been writing to her, professing his love. But one phone call from a friend puts her straight – “He loves only me, he’s staying with me. I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do about it,” the so-called friend gloats. This teary-eyed soap opera is, without question, the finest of Dutch doll Patricia Paay’s German recordings. And if it is on your want list, we have good news. This month sees the release of the terrific Beat Fräuleins CD, a compilation of German girl pop from 1964-68. Read our review or just go ahead and treat yourself to a copy from Amazon.de or Amazon.co.uk.
So che tu non cedi
Regular RSG contributor Matthew Meek enearthed this Italian gem. And what a find it is. Mariarosa is Maria Rosa Benzi, who hailed from near Ricaldone in the Piedmont region of north-west Italy. She was taken under the wing of her brother-in-law, actor and singer Henry Wright, and signed to the small Derby label. There, she would issue four singles between 1964 and 1967. Our pick comes from her final 45, Stop, li dove stai, her take on Sandie Shaw’s Stop before you start. So che tu non cedi is a cover of Mitch Ryder’s Sock it to me – baby. However, within a year of its release, Mariarosa was married and pregnant, and her recording career was but a distant memory.
Est-ce qu’une fille peut dire je t’aime
After that, we thought you might need a bit of a sit down. So here’s Patricia with the beautiful Est-ce qu’une fille peut dire je t’aime. The song was written by Michel Berger, who discovered the singer and penned much of her material. Patricia Paulin came from Juvisy-sur-Orge in the suburbs of Paris and was just 16 when she landed a contract with Columbia. She excelled at these rather downbeat numbers, so it’s perhaps surprising that she was put forward for the selection to find a French entry for the 1967 Eurovision song contest. Though she lucked out with Quand on est malheureux, the song became her debut release and was issued in both France and Spain. Our choice is the title track of her follow-up EP, issued later that year.
I’m waiting for the day
This single marked the beginning of Peanut’s collaboration with German producer Mark Wirtz. It is one of her most sought-after releases, and if you’ve not heard it before, you’re in for a treat. Wirtz has thown everything at the production – and it’s not often we can honestly say we’re this fond of anything quite so banjo-tastic. The song itself is a version of a track from The Beach Boys’ Pet sounds LP. Sadly, Peanut’s time with Wirtz would last for just one further single. We’re hoping to publish a profile of the singer in the next month or two, so we’ll save the details until then...
No importa nada
No importa nada is a track from a comeback EP by Spain’s Rosalía. The singer had spent the previous year in Argentina – a move that served her well in South America but which destroyed her career at home. It had all been going swimmingly before her departure, and she’d enjoyed hit after hit. But, as the old adage goes, out of sight, out of mind – and so it proved. The Spanish public moved on and, to a certain extent, so did Rosalía’s record label, Zafiro. For this EP, issued in 1967, hip former Los Brincos members Juan y Junior were roped in to write all four tracks. It didn’t quite achieve its aim of returning Rosalía to the upper reaches of the Spanish charts, but the release remains among her best all the same.