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Tracy: Ich will dich nie wieder seh’n
Not much is known about German singer Tracy – except that she shouldn’t be confused with the British singer of the same name. What we do know is that issued this great 45 on the MCA label in 1970. Written by Manfred Oberdörffer, it’s highly catchy, but it failed to connect with record buyers and sank. It was her second release – the first, Komm, komm, zu mir, had been a cover of Mary Hopkin’s Eurovision entry, Knock, knock, who’s there. On the sleeve of Tracy’s disc, rather cheekily, it says, “Greetings to Mary Hopkin from Tracy.” However, the German singer lost out to a rival translation by Edina Pop. With two flops to her name, her recording career came to an abrupt end.
Christine Quaite: Long after tonight is all over
This song may be familiar to visitors to this site, but probably not in a version by Leeds-born Christine Quaite. Soul singer Jimmy Radcliffe cut the original Burt Bacharach and Hal David composition, and Dusty Springfield recorded a take on it for her Ev’rything’s coming up Dusty LP. Christine went as far as issuing it as a single in January 1966. It was something of a departure from the perky pop of her earlier releases, however. She remains best known for her take on US singer Janie Grant’s Tell me Mama – even outselling the original on away turf.
Lita Torelló: Alguien ye-yé
Barcelona’s Lita Torelló became one of Spain’s first – and most popular – ye-yé stars. Desafinado, issued in 1962, and Saint Tropez twist, from 1964, were among her biggest hits. The arrival of the British beat sound proved a challenge for Lita – but she responded with a new hairdo, shorter skirts and a switch to including British covers in her repertoire. Our pick is one of the highpoints of this period, 1965’s Alguien ye-yé. It makes us want to get up and dance every time we hear it.
Françoise Hardy: I sentimenti
French singer Françoise Hardy is the biggest international star among our choices this month. This song – the Italian version of her own Et même – was even a chart hit in the UK in its original French, which is something of a rare feat. For the recording, she’d teamed up with the now legendary producer Charles Blackwell, the man behind many great girl songs. The singer also fared well in Italy, where she was taken to the national bosom. She inspired a few soundalike singers in the country too, the most successful of whom was Catherine Spaak.
Polly Perkins: You too can be a Beatle
By sporting men’s suits and smoking cigars, Polly Perkins left the public in little doubt as to which end she sat on Alfred Kinsey’s scale of sexual orientation. You have to remember that this was pretty controversial stuff back then. Although lesbianism had never been outlawed in Britain (because Queen Victoria couldn’t conceive of two women being sexually attracted to each other), male homosexuality was still illegal at the time this record was released in 1964. Mind you, Polly liked to include a little ambiguity in the mix – hence an ode to Liverpool’s fab four.
Pussy Cat: Dans ce monde de fou
French singer-songwriter Pussy Cat was part of girl group Les Petites Souris before recording a string of solo releases in the mid-1960s. She recorded many covers of international hits during her solo career – the best of which include Stop! (the Moody Blues’ song of the same name), Mais pourquoi (Dee Dee Warwick’s You’re no good) and Te voilà (the Zombies’ She’s not there). However, our choice, taken from her fourth solo release, issued in 1968, proves that she could write as a catchy a tune as any she had covered.