This blog has gained many new readers since I first posted my Spiked Candy Canes mixes in 2005, so I thought I'd share them again for anyone who missed out the first time around. Hopefully they'll give you an idea of the abundance of lesser-known but fun, interesting, weird or sometimes beautiful Christmas songs that are out there, and maybe introduce you to some artists you haven't heard before. If you're looking for more info and links to purchase anything that's still in print, have a look through the December 2005 and the December 2006 archives.
I'm feeling spoiled this year thanks to all the quality Christmas music I've found online that the artists have generously made available for free download. Below is my list of finds. Got any more to add?
A little while ago, I came across the excellent Jugobeat site, filled with bios, pics and discographies of artists from the little-known 60s beat scene of former Yugoslavia, and became fixated with finding music by the only solo female act listed, Daniela. The site is run by Vanya, of No Brains Zine & Records, who was kind enough to rip some Daniela vinyl for me. Vanya was also responsible for a small run of 2 volumes of a great comp called Jugobeat Explosion a few years ago.
Daniela's real name was Danica Milatovic. She was born in Munich, Germany on December 13th, 1949, and her parents had come from Yugoslavia some years before. In 1960 she recorded her first 45. Between 1965 and 1973 there were 12 more 45s and two LPs with German songs. Her biggest hit was "Im Jahre 2002" ("In the Year 2002").
I haven't heard her most well-known song, but my guess is it's a cover of 'In The Year 2525'. Amusingly, various foreign language covers all set the date of doom in different years, depending what best fits the tongue it's sung in: 2005, 2003, 2023. [*Edit- I guessed wrong:
here's a link I found to a stream of the track: 'Im Jahre 2002 ' (watch out for pop-up ads). Youtube.]
I'm posting all 20 tracks I have by her, which include recordings sung in English, Serbo-Croatian, German and French. The best is her garagey stuff, but I think these are all worth hearing. For those whose connections don't let them get large files, the tracks Garage Hangover posted
are still up. You'll find a couple of her German songs and one Yugoslavian EP, featuring her appealing garage cover of 'These Boots Are Made For Walkin''.
No songs today, but just a post to let you know about two new(-ish) blogs I'm loving.
Zoi Zoi's supergroovy Mimi La Twisteuse has launched her blog, Babette's Feast, featuring a great stash of 60s sounds from France and Québéc, as well as 60s garage girls, obscure French-language covers from various eras and assorted other gems. She certainly injects some welcome originality, expertise and personality into the yé-yé-related blogosphere.
Second up is Jens' Verlorene Mädchen blog, entirely devoted to German 60s girl recordings. If you've ever attempted to venture unguided into German 60s pop, you'll know it's tricky territory, and very hard to find much that isn't unlistenable schlager pap. I consider most schlager to be the musical equivalent of a prolonged, forced smile. Graham Welch's Dolls In Deutschland article at Cha Cha Charming is an extraordinary help in sorting the wheat from the pap. But even so, I've found German girl pop pickings to be quite slim. Some of it is, on its own merit, great; some of it is good, but even much of the better stuff is still quite average to bad, especially next to the fountain of goodness that is French 60s pop. Often in my German pop explorations, I soon realise I am being lenient because it sounds comparatively good after being exposed to the worst German pop has to offer.
Born in Landau, Bavaria, Glas started appearing in films as early as 1965. Her breakthrough role was that of Barbara in the unconventional Zur Sache, Schätzchen (Go for It, Baby) 1968, which captured the spirit of the times in that it presented youthful protest against the German Establishment and hinted at the loosening of morals in the wake of the Sexual Revolution. — Wikipedia
As seems to be the case with many successful European actresses of the time, Uschi also ventured into the recording studio. And, as also seems to be typical, she didn't find the same popularity there. Her Giorgio Moroder-produced cover of Edison Lighthouse's 'Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)' as 'Wenn dein Herz brennt' ('When Your Heart Burns' (?) ) was her biggest hit - but still only achieved modest success, according to this page on Uschi at the Schlager Stars website.
Here's a scan of her from a 60s German mag and the blurb that accompanies it:
I've started uploading some of my France Gall video collection to YouTube. Check
my video page regularly, as I'm adding more each day. I'll put some up on this blog eventually, so please don't ask me to send out any of the videos individually (unless you have something pretty darn good to trade).
Up in the 'Poupées De Son' corner, I've added a Yousendit link for the video of her reprise performance at Eurovision 1965. This is a different clip to the one I've seen pop up on blogs before, which is her first performance of the evening. It also has some footage of France and Serge accepting their prize, with English commentary.
Please let me know what you think of some of these!
More France Gall videos here.
out of print
- February 19 2017
- February 2 2017
- December 24 2016
- December 23 2016
- November 25 2016
- November 19 2016
- November 11 2016
- October 29 2016
- October 7 2016
- September 1 2016
- August 29 2016
- July 30 2016
- July 19 2016
- July 14 2016
- Thu, Feb 02 2017
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