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Busca una excusa
Spain’s Nuri wasn’t the only singer to tackle Busca una excusa, but hers is, for us, the definitive version. The song was included on her Eres mi bombón EP, which was issued on Alma, a subsidiary of the Vergara label, in 1964. Sadly, it bombed. We’re not shallow (well, maybe a little), but the trouble, we suspect, was that Nuri simply didn’t look like a pop star. If you compare her to, say, Silvana Velasco, who also cut the song, Nuri’s tomboy-ish looks are the stuff of which few teen dreams are made. As such, her picture wasn’t likely to adorn the walls of many boys’ bedrooms and girls probably wouldn’t have been clamouring for her make-up tips. Perhaps that explains why the EP remains her sole release for Alma. Similarly, her time at the Concentric label was limited to just the one EP, 1965’s Ell.
Only last night
Great Yarmouth’s Linda Saxone is probably best known for her Love is a many splendoured thing, thanks to its inclusion on the sixth of the wonderful Here come the girls CD series (available from Amazon). However, the disc failed to win over record-buying Britons when it was issued on the Pye label in 1964. Linda then switched to Polydor where she issued first I’ve got to say no and then our choice, Only last night, both in 1965. Written by Les Reed and Barry Mason, and with musical direction from Reed, this gem should have reversed Linda’s fortunes. It didn’t – but the song was strong enough for Lesley Gore also to cut a version for her Lesley Gore sings all about love LP.
Le biciclette bianche
Caterina Caselli hit the big time after taking part in the San Remo song festival in 1966. Though her Nessuno mi può giudicare didn’t win the contest, the song shot to number one in the Italian charts and remained on the top spot for nine weeks. No wonder then that she was eager to return to San Remo again the following year. Unfortunately, the choice of Il cammino di ogni speranza proved disappointing, and the song was eliminated before the final. However, if you flip over the 45, you’ll find this stonking number, Le biciclette bianche, an ode to a Dutch bike-sharing scheme. For us, this is by far the better track.
Ich will immer nur dich
Dutch doll Suzie is having trouble with her man: he thinks she’s doing the dirty on him. Last night she danced the shake with Charlie, for instance, and guys are coming on to her left, right and centre, apparently. But, as she explains, her beau has nothing to worry about. She manages to convince him – and us – that he’s the only one she wants. Issued in 1965, the record struck a chord with German record buyers and Suzie was duly rewarded with a top-ten hit. Indeed, she was at the height of her career at this point – enjoying success at home and abroard and partying alongside many of the top acts of day, including The Beatles and Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas.
Ma jeune vie
Now, this is a treat. Sit back (or get up and dance, if you like) and enjoy this track with us. Released in the summer of 1966, Ma jeune vie is one of French singer Katty Line’s finest moments, in our humble opinion. The song was the only original composition on her EP Les garçons. Indeed, in true yé-yé girl style, international hits provided much of her source material. She’d started out providing backing vocals for Les Dauphins before cutting her debut solo EP, N’hésite pas quand l’amour t’appelle, a version of The Supremes’ Back in my arms again (see our Supremes tribute special). We’ll stop there as we’ll be publishing a full profile of Katty Line next month. Join us again then...
You won’t see me leaving
Barbara Ruskin saw herself more as a songwriter than a singer, which explains why, in addition to her own recording career, she happily supplied material for other singers. Unknown singer Cinnamon was one of the lucky beneficiaries. Very little is known about the singer herself, except that she was signed to the independent Beacon label and cut this slice of highly danceable blue-eyed soul in 1968.