Friday, September 30, 2011

Shadow Dancing - Anna aikaa

The fourth Disco Week song is "Anna aikaa" (Give me time) released by Markku Aro in 1978 on an eponymous album.  The Finnish lyrics were again written by Chrisse Johansson.  The song was released as a single but the more popular side was "Rakkautta vain" (cover of "Love Is In The Air") on the flip.  The original song was called "Shadow Dancing" and it was smash hit for Andy Gibb in 1978. The song was written by Andy himself, together with his famous brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb. You can see Andy perform the song live in an interesting clip (in TV Show together with Abba and Olivia Newton-John), here.

96 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rock Your Baby - Rokkibeibi

The third Disco Week song is the first landmark of the Golden Disco Era of 70's. The group Cascade (see earlier entry)  recorded their version of it as "Rokkibeibi" (Rock Baby) in 1974. It was released as their debut single, but lost in popularity to another Finnish version by Rolf Bergström & Pyhimykset. I present here this rarely heard Cascade's cover. Both versions used Finnish lyrics by Chrisse Johansson. The original disco classic was "Rock Your Baby" performed by US soul and disco singer George McCrae. It was written and produced by Harry Wayne Casey (KC) and Richard Finch of KC & The Sunshine Band. The song reached number one in USA and UK, and in various other countries. It has since sold over 10 million copies worldwide. You can see George perform the song, here.

97 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Can See Right Thru You - Naisen haluan

The third disco tune of the week is one by duo Jakke & Jokke. The duo consisted of brothers Seppälä; Jarmo and Jorma. They released several recordings in 70's and 80's as a duo and with their backing band Seikkailijat. Jokke Seppälä also ventured solo career. This "Naisen haluan" (I want a woman) was released as a single in 1979. It failed to hit the charts. The original song "I Can See Right Thru You" was performed by a Britsih rock group called Supercharge. The band was founded in 1974 in Liverpool, and had success in the latter part of the 70's especially in Australia. Their pruducer was the famous Robert "Mutt" Lange", who also wrote today's finnpicked song. 

98 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jealousy - Rakastaa

The second Finnpicks Disco Week entry is a tune called "Rakastaa" (To love). It was recorded by a singer named Anne in 1980. I unfortunately don't know anything about Anne. This might have been her only single. The most of her output was on budget compilation albums. The Finnish lyrics were provided by old stalwart Vexi Salmi. The original song "Jealousy" was performed by Amii Stewart (b. Amy Paulette Stewart). She had her breakthrough with discofied versions of "Knock On Wood" and "Light My Fire" in 1979 and this one was one of her follow-up singles, taken from her second album "Paradise bird".
99 Finnpicks to go.
Here's the pair:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Africa - Afrikka

We start now the second Finnpicks Disco Week. Well, it's been almost three years since the first one! The first entry is a song called "Afrikka" (Africa) performed by Lea Laven. It was released in 1983 on her album "Lahjan sain", but even if it clearly had hit potential, not as a single. The Finnish lyrics were written by Kaisu Liuhala, who wrote lyrics for numerous songs (for example "Fantasiaa", the Finnish Eurovision song in 1983) before concentrating in production. The original song "Africa" (a.k.a "Africa (Voodoo Master)") was performed by Rose Laurens (b. Rose Podwojny), a French singer-songwriter. This song was a 1982 smash hit in many European countries. You can see her perform the song, here.

P.S. This is the Finnpicks entry number 900. I have decided to close down this blog, when I reach the even number of 1000. I think one thousand Finnish covers is enough even for a die-hard fan. So, here starts the countdown: 100 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dance of Love - Kuin noidat me tanssitaan

Tapani Kansa recorded "Kuin noidat me tanssitaan" (We dance like the witches) in 1974. It is a rare piece of music today as it was released only on the B-Side of a single (Tapani's cover of "My Way" was on the A-side). The original song "Dance of Love" was a great single in 1965 for country/rockabilly/soul chameleon Charlie Rich, who also wrote the song.

Here's the pair:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Souvenirs - Matkamuistoja

As I kind of promised yesterday, here's another FInnish cover of Barbara Evans' song. Tuula Siponius recorded "Matkamuistoja" (Souvenirs) in 1960. It was released as a single and on an epnymous EP. Tuula started her singing career very young, performing in the popular children radio programme of 'Uncle Markus' when she was five. She had a couple of hits in the late 50's but never really broke through. As in the original song, also the Finnish lyrics dealt with collecting memorabilia of the celebrities. On those days It was very rare to name the names of real living people in the lyrics of a pop song. The original Barbara Evans song "Souvenirs" was released in 1959 and although it never teached Billboard Hot 100 charts in USA, it became very popular in Europe through several local language versions.

Here's the pair:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Charlie Wasn't There - Villestäin vain selän näin

Pirkko Mannola recorded "Villestäin vain selän näin" (I saw only the backside of my Ville) in 1961. It was on the B-side of a Buck Owens cover. The Finnish lyrics for this happy-go-lucky song were written by Kari Tuomisaari. Althousgh Pirkko was quite popular at the time, this particular single wasn't a hit. The original tune was called "Charlie Wasn't There" and it was a minor US hit for here in Finland lesser known songstress Barbara Evans. Barbara scored one very big hit with "Souvenirs" (which is also covered in Finnish, maybe I could find it for tomorrow's finnpick :-)) This "Charlie" song was written by famous songwriting duo Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss.

Here's the pair:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Twist In My Sobriety - Rakkauden muistomerkki

This piece of music is among my favourite songs of the 80's. Meiju Suvas recorded "Rakkauden muistomerkki" (Monument of love) in 1989. It was released on her album "Sydän tietää" and also as a single, being a minor hit for her. The Finnish lyrics were written by Turkka Mali. The original song "Twist In My Sobriety" was a worldwide hit fot Tanita Tikaram. Tanita was a British pop/folk singer who startedperforming in nightclubs while she was still a teenager, and made her debut album "Ancient Heart" in 1988 when she was oly 19 years old. This "Twist" was the second single release - the first one was "Good Tradition" - from that album. Tanita got her exotic name and looks from a Malaysian mother and a Fijian father.

Here's the pair:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Candy Girl - Aivan ehdoton

On the flipside of the previously finnpicked Topmost 1967 single (Hän sinut jättää/Two Kinds Of Lovers, see here) was this "Aivan ehdoton" (Truly uncomparable). The song features comparatively rare Finnish falsetto singing. The Finnish lyrics were provided by Jyrki Lindström. The original song "Candy Girl" was a big hit for Four Seasons in 1963.  It was written by Larry Santos and produced by Bob Crewe, and it was the first original Four Seasons single not composed by either Bob Gaudio or Bob Crewe.  "Candy Girl" reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

Here's the pair:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Non Voglio Mica La Luna - Vie minut pakoon

This entry is dedicated to one of the Italian readers of the blog, who earlier this year send me a list of important Italian songs, whose Finnish covers so far had been omitted. This song was on the top of the list (I have to get back to that list in the future, too). Pirjo Lehti recorded "Vie minut pakoon" (Take me running away) in 1985, for her album "Se on rakkautta oikeaa". For some reason Pirjo never achieved the success that she perhaps deserved. The Finnish lyrics were crafted by Raul Reiman under the pseudonym of Pyry Lunden. The original song was called "Non Voglio Mica La Luna" (I don't want the moon) and it was performed in 1984 by Italian star Fiordaliso (b. Marina Fiordaliso ). To my mind it is one of the best Italian pop songs released in last 30 years. You can see her perform the song in television studio in 1986, here.
Here's the pair:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Caterina Ballerina - Heinäkuussa vuosi sitten

This is one of the lesser known songs from Markku Aro. He recorded "Heinäkuussa vuosi sitten" (In July last year) in 1977. It was an album track and unfortunately did not draw any attention. The Finnish lyrics were done by Juha Vainio and the arrangement by Veikko Samuli - so, quality stuff ...   The original song "Caterina Ballerina" was on the B-side of Joe Dolan's minor 1977 hit (number 43 in UK charts) "I Need You". It was written by Roberto Danova - well, who else.

Here's the pair:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rockaria! - Rock-aaria

Now it's time for Frederik Friday again! Frederik did a surprise move in 1977 and recorded two ELO covers for his album "Olen Dracula", of which we have already presented one (see here). Now it's turn to lend your ears to the other one. Another surprise with "Rock-aaria" is, that the Finnish lyrics were written by Irina Milan. And I guess she is also singing in the 'aria' part of the song. The original "Rockaria!" was released on the band's successful 1976 album "A New World Record" and was later released as a single. On the recording, it featured the operatic voice of Mary Thomas during the introduction, but during live performances, the 'aria' was provided by the band's bassist Kelly Groucutt.

Here's the pair:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Can't Stop Myself From Loving You - En liepeisiis jää roikkumaan

This is a requested song and a good one at that. ELF (Eric Lars Four) recorded the song "En liepeisiis jää roikkumaan" (I will not be hanging in your apron strings) in 1976. It was released as a single (on B-side), but didn't get much notice. The original song was written by the famous Australian songwrting duo Harry Vanda and George Young, who also became famous as the members of the group Easybeats. In 1974 it was recorded by an Aussie named Johnny Cave, who used noble stage name William Shakespeare. It was Shakespeare's first hit in Australia, reaching number 2 in the charts.

Here's the pair:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Take My Heart - En kadu mitään

It's quite rare for an artist to cover both sides of a certain single on his own single. Well, Markku Aro did it in 1970. This song "En kadu mitään" (I regret nothing) was on the B-side of another Engelbert Humperdinck cover ("Winter World of Love"). The Engelbert's original - and the B-side to "Winter World" was called "Take My Heart". It was written by his manager, Gordon Mills.

Here's the pair:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Young Wings Can Fly - Tähti kaukainen

Let's hear another Agents gem in a row. The song "Tähti kaukainen" (Distant star) is on the same 1995 album - Agents Forever - as the previous finnpick. It is among the lesser known Agents songs, but definetely worth to listen. It will grow on you ... The original was called "Young Wings Can Fly (Higher Than You Know)" and it was minor hit for 60's US vocal group Ruby & The Romantics.  They're best known for their first recording (1963) "Our Day Will Come", which sold over one million copies in the USA. The "Young Wings" was their 4th single and written by the same songwriting team (Mort Garson and Bob Hilliard) as the first one. However, it only reached number 47 in the Billboard charts..

Here's the pair:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Geronimo - Ilta

Agents (see earlier entry) is one of Finland's longest-living pop froups. On their 1995 debut album (Agents Forever) of their fourth incarnation (with lead singer Jorma Kääriäinen) was this song "Ilta" (Evening). It's one more fine example of those Finnish vocal covers of original instrumentals. The original was called "Geronimo" and was a 1963 UK hit for the fore-fathers of pop guitar instrumentals - The Shadows. You can see the band perform it live, here.  Geronimo was a prominent leader of the Apache who fought against Mexico and the United States during the so-called Apache Wars.
Here's the pair:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sunshine. Lollipops and Rainbows - Peltipurkki

Stig Hagström used the pseudonym Harri Haka and recorded five unsuccessful singles in 1966-1968. Perhaps he got fed up with the success avoiding him, and quit his recording career so early. The talent he had, for sure. This "Peltipurkki" he recorded in 1967. The original song "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows" was performed by US songstress Lesley Gore. It was released on Gore's 1963 album "Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts". When released as as a single it peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was composed by future star, then 19 years old Marvin Hamlisch and produced by Quincy Jones. BTW, this song must be one of the shortest in hit history, just over a minute and a half long.

Here's the pair:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Besame Mucho (Senora) - Besame mucho

The group Gulliver (see earlier entry) recorded "Besame mucho" in 1976 and it was released as a single. It was minor hit and was released also on their 1977 album "Paraisilla ollaan". The Finnish lyrics of this happy-go-lucky tune were put together by Veikko "Vexi" Salmi. The original song was called "Besame Mucho (Senora)", and it was a 1976 continental hit for Italian group Easy Connection. Internationallly they can be called One Hit Wonders, becouse I couldn't find any more hits worth to mention. But, what the heck, once is enough, when you do it big!

Here's the pair:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dr. Rock and Roll - On rohtoo rock'n roll

Eric Lars Four (or just ELF) was an underrated pop/rock group from Kajaani, Finland. At first they acted as the backing group for such famous female artists as Laila Kinnunen, Carola and Katri Helena. In the latter part of the 70's they also recorded two albums and a couple of singles. The first single of ELF was this "On rohtoo rock'n roll" (Rock'n roll is a drug), released in 1976. The original song was written and performed by US singer/songwriter Gary St. Clair. The song was the opening track on his 1971 self-titled album. This album might have been the one and only Gary ever released, becouse I have not found any other releases, or, in fact, ANY information on Gary St. Clair. But at least he could really rock and roll ...
Here's the pair:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Las Campanas del Olvido - Vuoriston kellot

After a long time, we meet Carola again. Upon entering in the 70's she changed record company and in 1971 on the B-side of the first single was this "Vuoriston kellot" (The bells of the mountain range). The A-side song "Herrojen kanssa pellon laidassa" became a hit, but the B-side has also become one of Carola's classics. The Finnish lyrics were this time written by Tuula Valkama. The original song was an old Colombian folk song "Las Campanas del Olvido" (The bells of oblivion), that has of course been versioned several times. I have chosen the legendary Colombian duo Garzon y Collazos. Dario Garzon and Eduardo Collazos began their collaboration in the end of thirties in the town of Ibague, the capital of the Tolima province. Their golden age was in the latter part of the 40's and in the 50's. Garzon wrote their songs, but their most precious legacy was performing the traditional Colombian folklore music, in the genres like 'bambuco', 'guabina' and 'pasillo'. Today's finnpick is an example of 'bambuco' music.

Here's the pair:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wonderful Life - Kaunis on maailma taas

Arto Nuotio began his recording career in the start of 70's under pseudonym Aquarius. He recorded quite inferior (to put it mildly) version of "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" and was in the hiatus for ten years. In the 80's he came back with a more adult-orientated repertoire. Arto recorded "Kaunis on maailma taas" (The world is beautiful once more) in 1991 for his album "Saari rakkauden". The song was also released as a single B-side, but the single failed to hit the charts. The original was recorded by a Liverpudlian artist called Black (real name Colin Vearncombe). It was written by his friend and musical partner David Dix. It may become as a suprise, but this was Black's SECOND Top Ten UK hit - the first one being "Sweetest Smile". Everyone remembers Black for "Wonderful Life", as it became such a huge worldwide hit. You can see the music video of the song, here.

Here's the pair:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Caroline - Kyyneleet

This is one of Kirka's absolute classics. The song "Kyyneleet" (Tears) was released in 1981 on eponymous album. It has ever since been one of the most popular songs in his repertoire. The touching Finnish lyrics were provided by Raul Reiman. The original was called "Caroline" and it was written by famous Dutch producer, songwriter, DJ and musician Eddy Ouwens. He was the man behind the Dutch Eurovision winner "Ding-a-Dong". In 1977, following the death of Elvis Presley, he recorded and released the worldwide hit single "I Remember Elvis Presley" uber pseudonym Danny Mirror. Well, what about today's finnpicked song, "Caroline". It has been very hard to find the original recording. But (thanks to fellow blogger Magomusiikki for research) I can now present an almost original version. It was done by Dutch schlager singer Arne Jansen. It was released on his album "Zomerzon En Zuidenwind" and also as a single. As far as I know this took place in 1985 - 4 years after Kirka's "Kyyneleet". So it's not THE original, but I'm sure it's quite like it. BTW, Arne and Kirka had more in common than this song; they were born just months apart and they died just months apart. You can see Arne perform the song, here.
Here's the pair:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Black Water - Lauantaisin

Reijo Karvonen recorded "Lauantaisin" (On Saturdays) in 1975 and it was released as a single but this funky tune flopped chartwise. The original was called "Black Water". It was performed by US rock/soul/funk band Doobie Brothers and it was written by band memher Patrick Simmons. The song was released on their 1974 album "What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits" and fared well when released as a single, being the band's first number 1 single, You can see them perform it live, here.

Here's the pair:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Green Green Trees - Meidät toisillemme luotiin

Arto Sotavalta recorded "Meidät toisillemme luotiin" (We were created for each other) in 1972 It was released only as a single, and failed to draw any attention. Arto also wrote the Finnish lyrics for this nice song. The original, called "Green Green Trees", was written by the quality songwriting team of Albert Hammond & Mike Hazlewood. It was first recorded already in 1968 and released on the first album of UK pop group Cupid's Inspiration. This group can be counted as a 'One Hit Wonder', becoouse their only (and big) hit was "Yesterday Has Gone" in 1968. Probably Arto, however, got his inspiration (;-)) from the version released by Leapy Lee (famous of "Little Arrows" that Sotavalta covered in 1968) in 1970. You can hear it, here.

Here's the pair:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Baby - Baby

Perhaps the four most-used words in song titles are 'i', 'love', 'you' and 'baby'. Today's finnpick is an example of the last one. Danny recorded his "Baby" in 1976 for his album "Elämän maku". The Finnish lyrics (yes, most of the lyrics are in Finnish ;-)) were this time provided by Chrisse Johansson. The original "Baby" was written (under pseudonym J. Garko) and performed by 60's and 70's Italian singer and songwriter Alberto Anelli. I don't know anything about him, but it's my guess that as a singer he used the pseudonym "El Tigre" (The Tiger). And this "Baby" was a Top 20 hit in Italy for him under that name.

Here's the pair: