Danny recorded "Pojalleni" (To my son) in 1976 for his album "Elämän maku". The lyrics were this time crafted by Chrisse Johansson. It was released as a single and on the flip side was fittingly a song called "Isä" (Father). The original song was sung and co-written by French superstar Claude Francois (finnpicked before, see here). Claude's song was called "Parce que je t'aime mon enfant " (Because I love my child ), and it was a hit for him in France, but the song became world famous when Elvis Presley recorded it in 1974 as "My Boy".
Johnny recorded "Kaikki ruoka maittaa" (All the food tastes good) in 1965, and it was released on the B-side of his single (on the A-side was a Cliff Richard cover) . The original song was debut single called "Bread And Butter" for a Nashville pop vocal trio The Newbeats, which teamed singer Larry Henley and brothers Dean and Mark Mathis. The distinctive feature of the band was Henley's falsetto voice, and that helped "Bread And Butter" climb number two on the US pop charts in 1964. You can see the trio perform the song, here.
Topi Sorsakoski and Reijo Taipale (see earlier entry) did an excellent album "Kulkukoirat" in 1992. On that album was this song "Nuotiopiiri" (Ring of fire). Topi took care of the vocals, and the lyrics were done by Juice Leskinen. It's a version quite different from the original (or any subsequent version), which was a June Carter/Merle Kilgore composition called "(Love's) Ring Of Fire". June Carter went on tour with Johnny Cash in 1962; and also on that tour was singer-songwriter Merle Kilgore. On the tour and afterwards they worked on writing songs. June's sister Anita Carter was recording an album at the time and told June that she needed another another song for the album. This song was given to her and it was promptly recorded in November 1962. Johnny Cash heard Anita's record and he told Anita "I'll give you about five or six more months, and if you don't hit with it, I'm gonna record it the way I feel it." In fact, he recorded it in March 1963 (with Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters singing harmony, and with the the famous Mexican horns added in) and it became an international hit for him. We present here the original "(Love's) Ring Of Fire". In this rare footage you can see Johnny perform the song live in 1963.
Here's the 'smooch song' that was very popular in the 70's, but rarely heard anywhere nowadays. Anita Hirvonen recorded a version of it in 1976 with the title "Tule luoksein". For some reason it didn't gain much attention. Neither did the versions by Jukka Kuoppmäki and Danny in the previous year. The original was called "Do You Love Me" and it was written and performed by Algerian artist Sharif Dean. His real name was Sharafeddinne Kharroubi, and he was born in Casablanca, but soon moved to Paris and later to Brussels where he studied in university and started his singing career. This song was his second single and it became the first Belgian record to top the Dutch charts. The female vocals in the song are done by Belgian session singer Eveline D'Haese. You can see the song performed, here.
Monika Aspelund has been pop singer longer than I remembered. She recorded her first single already in 1960, when she was only 14 years old. It was the first Finnish version of "Tie Me Down Kangaroo Sport" (Let's see if we can present it here someday). This "Kanssas onneen taas mä astelen" (With you I'm walking to happiness again) was her 4th single and released in 1961. Monika's heydays were in the 70's, when she recorded some well received singles and albums. She also performed in many international venues. In Eurovision Song Contest 1977 (London) Finland's "Lapponia" sung by Monika placed 10th. The original song "Walking Back To Happiness" was big hit It was (number one in the UK for three weeks) for British teenage star Helen Shapiro . She was only 15 when recording the song. Before she was 16, Shapiro had been voted Britain's 'Top Female Singer'. You can see Helen perform the "Happiness" -song, here.
Marjo-Riitta (see earlier entry) tried hard to be a pop star in the 70's. Even if she got the voice and ambition, she never really made it. Marjo-Riitta recorded and performed at first with the group Savannah and later she joined in the vocal group Cascade. Neither of these projects turned out to be success. But the legacy of her recordings include some fine moments. One of those is this song "Rakkaus laajuudessaan" (Love in it's scale) that she recorded (with the group Savannah) in 1974. It was on her first album and was not released as a single. It's a pity, becouse it could have been a hit. The original song came from France. Famous French singer Sylvie Vartan had a hit with "L'amour au diapason" (Love in it's entire scale) in 1973. Sylvie (born in Bulgaria!) was one of the first rock girls in France, being the most productive and active artist among the so called yé-yé girls of the 60's. She has had succesful career also after the 60's and this epitome of the 'ye-ye girl' is now performing jazz ballads. You can see her performing "L'amour au diapason" in a TV Show, here.
Erkki Liikanen is one of the archetypes of Finnish pop music. He's been around since 60's and his first single was the cover of "Speedy Gonzales" in 1962. But his success peaked in the 70's, after he appeared in the popular TV comedy show "Merirosvoradio". This song "Hello Buddy" was recorded in 1974. It was released on the B-side of Erkki's first hit single 'Meiä Veera' (a Buck Owens cover), and the lyrics are written by Erkki himself. The original "Hello Buddy" was one of the numerous hits written by UK songwriter Alan Blaikley. The song was originally performed by one of the 60's pop legends The Tremeloes and it was co-written by the band member Leonard "Chip" Hawkes. This was the last top 40 hit for the band and peaked at number 32 in UK in 1971. You can see them perform it, here.
p.s. The first Finnish version, with different lyrics, was recorded in 1973 by the group Kalmar Union. I will present it here, if I happen to get hold of it.
Marion recorded "Harlemin laulu" (The song of Harlem) for her album"Lauluja sinusta" in 1974. The song shows Marion's ability as a singer, And as a gospel singer in particular. The original song "Harlem Song" was performed by the vocal group Sweepers. The song was eleased as a single in France in 1973 and it became a top 20 hit for them in France and some other western European countries. The group was a one-hit-wondeer, becouse the didn't succed in delivering another charted single. An very little is known about the group, in generally.
Vicky Rosti released "Kun nuori on" (When you're young) on the B-side of her hit 1975 single "Tuolta saapuu Charlie Brown" (finnpicked here). This song was unfortunately over-shadowed by the success of the A-side. It demonstrated the gentler side of Vicky and the excellent lyrics are by Juha Vainio. The original song was written an d sung by a young American singer-songwriter Janis Ian (b, Janis Eddy Fink), who had a hit with it in 1975. She wasn't 17 at the time (she was born in 1951), but she had become famous in the 60's at the age of thirteen when she wrote and sang her first hit single, "Society's Child". It told about an interracial romance forbidden by girl's mother and teachers. The song's lyrical content was taboo for some radio stations, and they banned it from their playlists. Pretty heavy for a 13-year old, eh ....
This song was one of my top favourites in 60's. Kai Lind (see earlier entry) recorded "Ykkönen" (One) in 1963 and it was released as a single. However, the succes didn't match the one with the original. That was an Swedish import called "Number One" and was performed by Jerry Williams (real name Erik Fernström). At the beginning of 60's Jerry was the lead singer in the group The Violents (known in Finland for their "Twistin' Patricia -hit), but soon launched his very succesful solo career. He performed quite energetic stage act, and earned a nick name "Mr. Dynamite". Although his rockn'roll days are way over, Jerry obviously can't slow down, becouse in 2000 he released an album with the name "Can't Slow Down", and it sold gold within a month.
"Tuo onneton" (That unhappy one) was covered originally by Danny and also Seija Simola cut an early version, but we present here the version by Tapio Heinonen (see earlier entry), released in 1974. It was on his album "Lämmöllä", which translates to 'With warmth". And Tapio really delivers this song with warmth. The original song was from the legendary Nat King Cole album "After Midnight", recorded in 1956. And Nat performs it of course with the same kind of warmth is his voice as Tapio's.
Petri Pettersson (see earlier entry) recorded "Hei beibi" (Hey baby) in 1974, with lyrics by Pertti "Pertsa" Reponen. It was released as a single, but it din't create much action chartwise. On the B-side of the single was an interesting cover of Kinks' "You Really Got Me". The original "Hei beibi" was called "Ooh Baby" and it was a UK Top 20 hit in 1973 for Irishman Gilbert O'Sullivan (finnpicked earlier, see here). At this point, it was evident that Gilberts's mass appeal was already fading. You can see him performing this song, here.
For some reason, there aren't many Finnish covers of soul, or 'black music' in general. Well, some classics, though, have been covered. Like this one. Ami Aspelund (see earlier entry) released "Koska sun taas nähdä saan" (When will I see you again) on her "Yön jälkeen" album in 1976. All the tracks on this album were covers, but the songs were not the run-of-the-mill pop, but required a little bit more in the delivery department. The lyrics for this song were done by Leo Länsi (one of Veikko "Vexi" Salmi's pseudonyms). The original was the famous Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff -penned and pruduced song "When Will I See You Again", made to an international smash hit by the vocal group The Three Degrees. Both the song and the group were the best examples of the so called 'Philly Soul'. In the UK the song spend two weeks at number one on British pop chart in 1974, and it was said to be Prince Charles' favourite piece of music. You can see The Three Degrees perform the song, here.
"Sydän rakastaa" is fine track from Anita Hirvonen's eponymous album released in 1977. This album was released in CD -form in the 90's and it's possible that the version we present here is re-recorded for that album. Anyhow, it's an enchanting love song and Anita's performance is one of her best. The touching lyrics are by Chrisse Johansson. The original song was called "Amor con amor se paga" (Love's paid with love) and it was written and recorded by Ricardo Ceratto. Born in Santa Fe, Argentina, Ricardo was succesful artist nationally in the beginning of the 70's, but became known internationally when he moved to Mexico and developed an intense artistic activity, recording and composing tunes that were hits in Spanish language world. Later he turned to recording Christian music. We present here also the version that Anita possibly covered, namely the one by Jose Velez, recorded in 1976. Jose won the Sopot Music Festival in 1977 and represented his home country Spain in Eurovision Song Contest in 1978.
Updated on 10.10.2010: Replaced Anita's 1990 version with her 1977 waltz version.
This is a haunting song. You want listen to it again and again. Meiju Suvas recorded "Oma maailma" (Own world) in 1993. It was on the flip side of "Ystäväsi aina" (finnpicked earlier, see here) on a single released in 1994. The original song "Summer Fly" was written and sung by Cheryl Wheeler, an American singer-songwriter of contemporary folk music. "Summer Fly" was on his first record, an EP named "Newport Songs" released in 1983, but she recorded it again for her "Half a Book" album released in 1991. The lyrics tell about how your summer would fly by when you were young. Wheeler tours extensively, and her live concerts include comic routines and serious discussions in addition to the songs themselves.
Kirka had two singing kid sisters, Marija a.k.a Muska (see ealier entry), and Anna, who, together with brother Kirka, recorded "Sinut haluan vain" (You're the only one I want) in 1978. It was a quite a big hit at the time. The lyrics were made by Pertsa Reponen and the arrangements by Veikko Samuli. And the result was quality work all the way. The original song was worldwide hit for Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. It was included in the soundtrack of the movie "Grease" in 1978. The song and the movie of course contributed on each other's success. You can see the Olivia and John perform it in the movie, here. On the more lighter side (if that's possible ;-)), here's a hilarious Finnish version of the song, from a popular TV show.
Rexi (see ealier entry) recorded "Naiseksi muutut niin" (You'll change into a woman) for her album "Puhtaat purjeet" in 1977. The song was released only as an album track, and almost nobody remembers it anymore. At least for me it was a surprise to find out that this song was covered in Finnish, and not only once but twice; Tapani Kansa made his own 'Copacabana-version' of it (with his own lyrics) in 1978 with the title "Pian on nainen hän" (She'll soon be a woman) The original song was written and performed by Neil Diamond. His recording reached number 10 on the US pop singles chart in 1967. The song found second life when it appeared on the 1994 Pulp Fiction soundtrack, performed by rock band Urge Overkill. You can see the actual movie scene, here. And Neil performs the song live, here.
Satu Pentikäinen (see ealier entry) l recorded "Soi soi" (Playing playing) for her album "Satu" in 1980. It was also released as a single, on the B-side of "Pienen tytön täytyy", which was a minor hit. But this B-side is a very good disco pop tune, too. And compares well with the original, which was called "Don't Stop The Music" and of US origin. American actres, TV comedienne and singer Vicki Lawrence (b. Vicki Ann Axelrad) recorded it in 1979 on her disco album "Newborn Woman". It was released also as a single, no-charter in USA, but fared better on Europe disco scene. Vicki is remembered as one-hit-wonder for his sole worldwide smash hit "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" (1973) which was composed by her husband Bobby Russell.
Here's another request long overdue. The country rock group Vanha Isäntä (Old pa) recorded "60 -luvun kauan soiva blues"(The long playing blues of the 60's) in 1979. Vanha Isäntä was formed in 1973 and won the Finnish Trophy for the Best Pop Group in that same year. The group folded in start of 80's but it's members are still active musicians. The lyrics (by Heikki "Hector" Harma) of the song were telling the history of the youth of the western world and Finland in particular in the years 1946-1969. The original song "Post World War II Blues" (lyrics) targeted the same period, but from a British, and the singers own, point of view. The song was written and performed by Scottish singer-songwriter Al Stewart (b. Alastair Ian Stewart), mostly known for his mega hit "Year Of The Cat". Stewart surfaced as part of the British folk revival in the 60's and 70's. He developed his own unique style of combining folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of the great characters and events from history, of which this song is a fine example. It was released on his album "Past, Present and Future" in 1973.
Lets' hear another one from Frederik, and at the same time respond to a request long overdue. Frederik recorded "Torren yö" (The night in Torre(molinos)) in 1979 for his album "Tsingis khan". It was not released as a single but it's still fine piece of music, Frederik-style. The lyrics are this time by Raul Reiman. The original comes from an unexpected singer, Johnny Logan. The Irish man Johnny was (and is) known hor his strong ballads, but obviously he recorded other kind of material, too. This "I Want To Go To Brazil" was written by often finnpicked composer Roberto Danova. The song was included in the 1979 album "Johnny Logan" and represents Johnny's foray into disco sound.
Frederik had a big hit with "Nyt tai ei koskaan" (Now or never) in 1969. It has become one of his most popular and most requested songs. The delivery and the lyrics are a good example of Frederiks first attempts in his macho style. The original was a lesser known 1968 Italian song "Innamorato Come Un Ragazzo" (In love like a boy) sung by Vasso Ovale. (b, Basilio Ovale). It was written by his father Achilles Ovale. Vasso had a couple of hits in Italy in the 60's, but he never really broke through, neither in Italy nor internationally.
Kontra (see earlier entry) recorded "Mun pippeli" (My weenie) on their album "Kontran toinen puoli" in 1978. The lyrics - as always on Kontra's records - were done by Mauri "Moog" Konttinen. The original has usually been credited to Chuck Berry, who had a big hit with the song in the 70's. His version was recorded live during the Lanchester Arts Festival in Coventry, England, on 3 February 1972. It went to number one in UK, despite the lyrics with strong sexual innuendo caused many radio stations to refuse to play it. Yes, Chuck got the hit, but the real original was done by New Orleans musician, band leader, composer and arranger Dave Bartholomew already in 1952, with the title "Little Girl Sing Ding-a-Ling". BTW, Berry had in 1968 recorded his first version of this song called "My Tambourine". We present here the rarely heard Bartholomew's original version. But you can see and hear Berry perform it live in TV studio, here.
Kai Hyttinen has made a couple of successful songs about birds. "Varpunen" (Sparrow) was one of those and recorded in 1980. It has become a little classic and one of the most requested songs in Kai's repertoire. The touching lyrics were made by Veikko "Vexi" Salmi. The original song "Gorrión" (Sparrow) was written and performed by Miguel Gallardo, who had a hit with it in 1978. Miguel was a Spanish singer and composer, born in in Granada, Andalucia. He was one of the most successful Spanish singers in the seventies and early eighties, making waves especially in Latin America.
This could be the theme song for Finnpicks. Lasse Mårtenson (see earlier entry) recorded "Näin tehdään muistoja" (That's the way to make memories) 1967. It was not such a big success at the time, but it has become some sort of 'Mårtenson classic'. The lyrics were made by Lasse himself, using pseudonym 'L. Vaajakorpi'. There was also a popular TV Show of the same name, starring Lasse Mårtenson. The original song was a 1967 hit for 50's singer legend Frankie Laine. Frankie has been finnpicked before; look here and here. About this theme song thing - well, actually the theme of Finnpicks should be 'Remaking Memories' ;-).
The vocal duo Jouko ja Kosti recorded "Muisto vain jää" (Left with just a memory) on their first single in 1968 (the B-side finnpicked earlier, see here) It turned out to be a number one hit for them and launched a successful, yet short career. The song was originally recorded by US jazz singer Arthur Prysock in 1965. This version got some airplay but didn't chart. In the following year the tune was picked up by Jamaican musicians Mighty Sparrow and Byron Lee and made it hit in Jamaica and later also in UK, where it surfaced with first ska wave. In 1968 Tom Jones recored it for his album "Delilah", and I guess that's how it found it's way to Finland. There's an insteresting story of the song's origin, here. The song is often errornously credited to Slinger Francisco (Mighty Sparrow’s real name), and apparently he hasn't always been very particular in correcting this information ;-) We present here the Arthut Prysock version (although it's not the original, but re-recorded in the 80's) and the SECOND version by Mighty Sparrow and Byron Lee.
Timo Jämsen (see earlier entry) recorded "Olet ihme häikäisevin" (You're the wonder most shining) in 1962 with the vocal group Four Cats. It wasn't, however, nearly as successful as Timo's earlier recordings. Perhaps the audience expected a bit more rocking sound. The lyrics were by Sauvo "Saukki" Puhtila. This song was also versioned (with different lyrics) by duo Pinja & Ville in 1999. The original was written by Jerry Fuller and performed by Ricky Nelson. Jerry was a promising singer himself, but after striking gold as a songwriter with "Traveling Man" for Ricky, he concentrated more on the songwriting and producing. He went on to write no less than 23 of Ricky's recordings, including this "A Wonder Like You", a Top Ten hit. Jerry and his friends, Glen Campbell and Dave Burgess sang back-up on many of Ricky's recordings.