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Sabrina: C’est pour toi
The death last month of Cilla Black at just 72 years of age came as a shock for us all. We thought we’d give the British star a nod this month with the first of our picks of the pops, Sabrina’s C’est pour toi. The song is, of course, a take on the Lennon and McCartney-penned It’s for you, Cilla’s fourth single. The Liverpudlian lass had her doubts about the record – it was very different from her previous two 45s, both of which had topped the UK charts. Nevertheless, it made Britain top ten in the autumn of 1964. France’s Sabrina proved less lucky with her rather pared-back version.
Jane Hillery: You’ve got that hold on me
And now for something completely different… This single was the sole release of Birmingham girl Jane Hillery. Issued in May 1966, it cut little ice with record buyers at the time. It was written by Peter Lee Sterling and Phillip Peters, the songwriting duo behind Kathy Kirby’s Eurovision entry from a year earlier, I belong. Jane had to wait more than a decade before anyone paid her song much attention – that’s when it became a popular spin on Britain’s northern soul scene. We have to say, we love it.
Dominique: Und wieder steht der Sonntag vor der Tür
All too often, German singers of the 1960s were forced to perform unremittingly upbeat material with trite lyrics. Munich-born Dominique, then, came as rather a breath of fresh air. Her record label, Polydor, cast her as a German counterpart to protest singers such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. She possessed an emphatic singing voice that was well suited to the ‘angry young woman’ part she was cast in. Mind you, she rather let the side down when she revealed that she little interest in politics. Our pick was issued as the B-side to her 1967 single Ich hab’ in der Liebe kein Glück.
Silvana Velasco: Si encuentras a mi amor
If you’ve ever spent more than about 45 seconds on this website, you’ll have worked out that we are partial to the yé-yé girl sound. Here, then, is 17-year-old Silvana Velasco with the terrific Si encuentras a mi amor. It was released on Spain’s Zafiro label in 1964. Many more releases – on many more record labels – would follow over the decade and into the 1970s. For us, however, this remains one of her finest cuts.
Dana Gillespie: Tears in my eyes
Sorry, but we have to disagree with Dana Gillespie about this track and others on her Foolish seasons LP. The singer has dismissed much of the album’s content as lightweight fluff. Admittedly, it is neither as folky nor bluesy as her later material, but we reckon it’s quality all the same. Issued in 1968, the LP stands up today as a great example of late 1960s British psych-pop, in our humble opinion.
Anna Marchetti: Chi lo sa
Anna Marchetti’s catalogue is a mixed bag. On the one hand, you have big, heartfelt ballads – the kind that Italians are so good at – and on the other, you have tango fused with beat. Compare her Ma perchè lo fai from 1966 and Il mondo cambierà, issued a year later, to hear what we mean. As it happens, though, our choice this month falls in neither camp. Chi lo sa was her entry to the 1966 Zurich festival and is considered to this day one of her strongest 45s.