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Marta Baizán: Ven con nosotros
If you like this song, we have good news: next month we’ll publish a full profile of Spain’s Marta Baizán, featuring a complete biography and more great sound clips. This track is taken from the EP that marked a new chapter in the singer’s career. The lead track was a version of The Happenings’ US hit See you in September, Te veré en septiembre. The EP also allowed Marta to show off her own song-writing abilities. ‘Fraid you’ll have to wait till next month for more about that…
Sandie Shaw: Right to cry
Following up Puppet on a string – her Eurovision song contest winner and the biggest hit of her career – proved a tough task for Brit girl Sandie Shaw. Her problem was two-fold: poor management and a lack of decent material. On the one hand, Eve Taylor, her manager, wanted to take the singer down the showbiz route, à la Bassey, and on the other, her chief songwriter, Chris Andrews, had lost his mojo. Fortunately, Sandie managed to slip in the occasional gem from other writers, such as our pick, Right to cry, by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It is one of the highlights of both The Sandie Shaw supplement LP and of Sandie’s late-1960s career. It was originally intended for issue as a single but instead it was left to languish on the LP.
Brenda Lee: Kansas-City
Brenda Lee’s career got off to a cracking start in Europe, and the Atlanta-born singer even spent several months living in France while she performed at Paris’ Olympia. When it was suggested that, like Connie Francis, she should cut some records in other languages, she didn’t hesitate. One of the best of these is Kansas-City, a 1964 translation of an earlier US release. Bobby Schmidt of Polydor’s German arm flew to Nashville with a tape of the song and several others and sang it to Brenda. She transcribed it phonetically and then learned the words over the following three days. The result was issued as the B-side to Wiedersehn ist wunderschön, another top 30 hit for Little Miss Dynamite.
Anna Marchetti: Ma come posso non pensarti più
Italy’s Anna Marchetti almost made it big. However, an eclectic catalogue of material meant that fans found it nearly impossible to predict what to expect next. In our choice this month, the singer takes on The Iveys’ little-known Maybe tomorrow – and enjoyed much greater success with the song than the British group. Translated as Ma come posso non pensarti più, the record gave Anna her final top 40 hit, peaking at number 27 in late 1968. At times, the singer could sound a touch sharp, so the secret of this record’s sales may lay with the fact that on it, Anna delivered a more restrained vocal than usual. There’s little doubt that it is one of her best recordings.
Jackie Trent: If you love me
Edith Piaf died 50 years ago this month. We felt we should mark the occasion in some way. Obviously, a recording by la Môme Piaf herself wouldn’t quite be right for this site. Dieu merci, then, for Stoke’s own Jackie Trent. Here, the strident-voiced singer takes on Piaf’s Hymne à l’amour. Complete with a Phil Spector styling, the song surprised record buyers when it was released in early 1964. Retitled If you love me, Jackie’s 45 continues to delight fans today. The B-side, Only one such as you, penned by Chris Andrews, is highly regarded too. Surprisingly, however, the record bombed.
Tienou: Pop art
We went and saw the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition at Paris’ Pompidou Centre recently (get us, eh?) and we couldn’t help but get this track lodged in our brains. Lichtenstein, of course, is fêted as a star of pop art. Tienou, however, remains little more than a footnote in French pop history. She joined Polydor in 1964, where she would cut a couple of EPs, Tu n’peux pas t’empêcher de rire and Jamais là. She co-wrote all but one of the eight tracks on the two releases. She also cut the one-off disc Oh! Dis moi as part of girl group Les Princesses. In 1968, she signed to the small Musidisc label for the release of Ceux qui s’aiment. Our pick is the B-side of that single. Enjoy!