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Adriángela: Nunca hay bastante
Spain’s Adriángela kicks off the first Pick of the pops of 2016, our ninth year. Between 1965 and 1968, she was one of the Zafiro label’s ye-yé darlings. Born María José Guillén Torres in Valencia in 1942, she joined Iberofón in 1961 but really found her feet later at Zafiro. Though she lacked the sex appeal – and success – of rival singers such as Karina or Rosalía, she managed to cut an impressive 12 singles and four EPs for the label. Our pick is from her third EP, issued in 1965.
Jan Panter: Stand by and cry
Brit girl Jan Panter is best known for her 1966 single Scratch my back. The song had been written by German producer Mark Wirtz, of Excerpt from ‘A teenage opera’ fame. Here, though, is a side from Jan’s previous single, the ultra-rare Let it be now, issued on CBS a year earlier. Our pick is the charming flip, a Lori Burton/Pam Sawyer composition called Stand by and cry. We have kept an eye out for this 45 for – literally – years and were very pleased with ourselves to land a copy recently.
Vera Palm: Weil mein Daddy dich gut leiden kann
Released on the Vogue label in 1968, this song has all the ingredients of a classic 1960s ‘death disc’. However, this German masterpiece lacks just one thing: a tragic ending. Instead, singer Vera Palm is enjoying riding around in her father’s car – which he has kindly lent her because he likes her boyfriend. “Please don’t stop,” trills Vera. “I thank Daddy – from him came the idea of the red sports coupé.” Whether or not you buy the idea that Vati might have lent his daughter’s boyfriend his car, the track remains, for us, the highlight of the singer’s career.
Suzy Cope: Juvenile delinquent
As we’re based in Brighton, we have to big up the city’s own Suzy Cope. In fairness, she doesn’t need us to do it for her: her work speaks for itself. Our pick is Juvenile delinquent, the B-side of her debut disc, which was issued in 1961 when she was 16. She was already an experienced performer by then, having appeared at Brighton’s famous Dome at the age of just four. She was also quite the songwriter too, penning much of her own material. However, after just four singles, her recording career appears to have fizzled out. Perhaps we’ll find her performing in a local bar one evening…
The career of Italy’s Fiammetta is now in its sixth decade. Despite touring with The Rolling Stones, Adriano Celentano and Massimo Ranieri, the young singer enjoyed only modest success in the 1960s. However, she went on to develop an all-round appeal, becoming a popular TV and radio show host in later decades. Our pick, Serenità, was issued as the B-side to her 1969 entry to the Un disco per l’estate contest, the rather cheesy Ma che domenica. She should have entered this side.
Céline: Si tu veux vraiment oublier
Johnny Hallyday was – and is – France’s king of rock ‘n’ roll. He hit big in 1960 and married top girl singer Sylvie Vartan five year later in what was considered the wedding of the year. The couple remained together, off and on, for 15 years. He sang plenty of adapations of international hits but also proved an adapt songwriter. He wrote the lyrics to Un très beau pays for young Parisian singer Céline. It was issued on the same EP as our pick, Si tu veux vraiment oublier. His notoriety did her sales no good and she was dropped by the Vogue label. It would be another four years until she hit the big time, under the name Séverine.