I want to go back there again
How this track hasn’t made its way onto any Brit girl or Northern soul compilations is beyond us. We reckon it’s one of the best British girl pop numbers of the period – and certainly one of the most credible Motown covers we can think of off the top of our heads. The original was a non-hit for
blue-eyed Motown girl Chris Clark, but we prefer Warrington lass Truly Smith’s take on the number. It wasn’t her only Motown cover, but you can find out more about that next month when we publish a full page on Truly – with loads of sound clips, including rare material that didn’t gain a UK release.
Io di notte
You know you’re in for a treat when you see the words ‘Charles Blackwell’ on a record’s label. And so it was for us when we stumbled across this magnificent 45 by Italian doll Roberta Mazzoni. The song was her entry to the 1966 Cantagiro song festival and had been co-written by Al Bano, who also issued a version. Born in Bologna in 1942, Roberta spent three years with the Jolly label from 1964. Our pick wasn’t her first Cantagiro entry – nor her most commercially successful – but it was definitely her best. (You can watch Roberta perform on it on YouTube.)
No sé por qué
Born María Félix de los Ángeles Santamaría Espinosa, Spanish singer Massiel is best known for winning the 1968 Eurovision song contest with La, la, la (knocking pre-contest favourite Cliff Richard’s Congratulations into second place). She had gained notoriety two years earlier with the protest song Di que no. Our choice, also issued in 1966, was written by the Madrid-born singer with José Luis de Pablo, and it sounds as though the pair might have been inspired by Britain’s Sandie Shaw when they sat down to pen this number.
Si tu gagnes au flipper
For many, French singer Chantal Goya is best known for her 1970s children’s songs. Yes, we know: a crying a shame, given the quality of yé-yé stuff from a decade earlier. One of our faves is this track – we could put the intro alone on repeat for hours. It was one of six songs sung by Chantal on the soundtrack to Jean-Luc Godard’s Masculin féminin, a classic of French nouvelle vague cinema, released in 1966, in which she took the lead role of Madeleine. The six songs were culled from her first four releases, and an EP was released to coincide with the film’s release.
Er ist wieder da
Now, who doesn’t love German girl Marion’s Er ist wieder da? It was a huge hit in 1965 and even Paul McCartney told the young singer how much he liked her work. That it should have been covered just a few years later by Katja Ebstein is perhaps more of a surprise. This version was included on the singer’s 1969 LP, Katja, along with her takes on The Beatles’ A hard day’s night and Petula Clark’s Don’t give up. The album bombed but Katja needn’t have worried – within months she became a household name in Germany, thanks to the now classic Wunder gibt es immer wieder.
Over en over
Here Dutch doll Janneke Peper gives The Dave Clark Five’s Over and over a musical, erm, makeover. She issued her first single for the Imperial label in 1964, at the age of 14, before switching to Decca, where she issued this track in 1966. That same year she took part in the Knokke Cup in Belgium, appearing alongside Truly Smith, amongst others. She also issued a couple of 45s in German, including Rosarotes Liebesbriefe, a version of her Dutch release Lilablauwe liefdesbriefjes. However, by the end of 1967 her recording career was over. Sniff.