Thursday, March 31, 2011

Don Carlo dansar - Auringonmaa

Yes, it's 'Both Sides Now' -time again. On the B-side of yesterday's Anneli Pasanen finnpick was another cover of Swedish dance band hit. It was called "Auringonmaa" and the lyrics were again witten by Chrisse Johansson. The original song was a 1976 Swedish hit for the group Schytts. They were the original performers of the earlier finnpick "Jossain" (see here). As yesterday's finnpick, this This "Don Carlo dansar" (Don Carlo dances) was also composed by Torgny Söderberg.

Here's the pair:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Min dröm om frihet - Rakastan jokaista päivää

Anneli Pasanen's most popular song was perhaps "Rakastan jokaista päivää" (I love each and every day) released in 1976. Words for this most optimistic song were written by Chrisse Johansson. The original song cane from our neighbouring country Sweden and was a big hit for the forefather of all Swedish dance bands - Vikingarna (The Vikings). The band was formed already in 1958 and disbanded in 2004, but announced their comeback now in March 2011, however, with only two original members remaining. They are the best-selling "dansband" in Scandinavian music history, and had at the time of their disbanding sold more than 11 million records. This song "Min dröm om frihet" (My dream of freedom) was composed by Torgny Söderberg, who also wrote Herreys 1984 Euorovision winner "Diggi-loo, Diggi-ley".

Here's the pair:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sweet City Woman - Kaunis kaupunkilainen

Purema was a Finnish country rock group, active in the 70's and 80's, releasing altogether 4 albums. The debut album "Eks tiä" was released in 1976, and the title track was a minor hit for them. The album included also this "Kaunis kaupunkilainen" (Pretty city woman). The Finnish lyrics were made by group's guitarist Matti Tuominen, who also wrote the majority of band's recorded output. The original song "Sweet City Woman" was massive hit for a canadian rock band The Stampeders in 1971. It climbed the charts to the Number One position across Canada, and after rush-released in the US, reached the Number Eight spot in Billboard Top 100 Chart. The song was written by the group's guitarist Rich Dodson. The hallmark of the song is the use of banjo as the lead instrument.

Here's the pair:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Suspicious Minds - Epäilet Vain

Eero Raittinen recorded "Epäilet Vain" (You just suspect) in 1970. It was not a hit and it's one of the forgotten singles of Eero. The Finnish lyrics were crafted by his Brother Jussi Raittinen. The original song "Suspicious Minds" was written and first recorded by American singer and songwriter Mark James. After the failure of his own recording, the song was handed to Elvis Presley and it became one of his most notable hits and a number one in 1969. It turned out to be the last number-one single for him in the United States. Rolling Stone later ranked the song number 91 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Here's the triplet:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cracklin' Rosie - Aikansa kutakin

Kisu recorded "Aikansa kutakin" (There's a time for everything) in 1971 for his album "Sinulle". It was not released as a single, although the original song was quite popular in Finland. The Finnish lyrics for this one were made by Chrisse Johansson. The original was from the composing pen of Neil Diamond and he also had a big hit with the song. "Cracklin' Rosie" was Diamond's first American number 1 hit. The single version released in 1970 was in mono, while the album version (from "Tap Root Manuscript") was in stereo. We present here the album version. You can see Neil perform the song, here.

Here's the pair:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Passion Flower - Kaipuun kukka

Tuula Ikäheimo recorded "Kaipuun kukka" (Flower of yearning) in 1959 meeting with quite big success with it. Tuula had a short recoding career in 1958-1961 comprising only of 9 songs This "Kaipuun kukka" was the most popular. The original melody was based on Beethoven's famous "Für Elise". The schlager version "Passion Flower" was first made popular in 1957 by an American vocal group called The Fraternity Brothers. On this recording they were featuring Gil Fields (real name Gilbert Garfield), who was a member of another vocal group The Cheers and who also was co-writer of the song. It was a big hit in Europe in German version "Rote Rosen werden blüh'n" (Red roses will bloom) performed by Caterina Valente. This version was undoubtedly also the inspiration for Tuula's Finnish version. But let's hear Caterina perform the song in somewhat rarer French language interpretation.

Here's the triplet:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Dig Rock'n Roll Music - Jos sais kerran reissullansa

The First had a couple of hits in the 60's. The biggest of those was "Meni hermot" (finnpicked earlier, see here) but this 1967 release of "Jos sais kerran reissullansa" (If I could once get lucky) was also popular. The original song was a a hit for folk group Peter, Paul and Mary in 1967, peaking at number 9 on the Billboard Top 100. The song was co-written by Paul (Stookey). It includes several lyrical and musical references to contemporary artists, including The Mamas & the Papas, Donovan, and The Beatles. The final verse suggests that socially conscious messages CAN be included in rock and roll songs, buLinkkit they must be hidden "between the lines" in order to make them suitable for commercial radio airplay. You can see P,P&M's free-spirited live performance of the song here.

Here's the pair:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kissing In The Back Row Of The Movies - Filmi päästä päähän suukotellaan

This is one of Fredi's lesser known covers. He recorded "Filmi päästä päähän suukotellaan" (Kissing the movie from end to end) in 1974. It was included in his album "Avaa sydämesi mulle". The Finnsih lyrics were wtitten by Vexi Salmi. The original song was called "Kissing In The Back Row Of The Movies" and it was a big European hit for the legendary vocal group The Drifters. The song was written by Roger Greenaway, but this time his songwriting partner was not Roger Cook, but another famous songwriter/producer Tony Macaulay. You can see the Drifters' immaculate performance of the song, here.

Here's the pair:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

California Here I Come - Sinustakin apua ois

Yes, it's "both Sides Now" again. Today we present the flipside to yesterday's finnpick "On miten on". Chrisse Johansson wrote the (somewhat obscure) Finnish lyrics for this "Sinustakin apua ois" (You could be of some help). Lea Laven's interpretation is quite good, but went unnoticed at the time. The original Shocking Blue song was called "California Here I Come" and it was on the excellent second SB album "At Home" released in 1969. It was the their first album recorded with lead vocalist Mariska Veres.

Here's the pair:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Shocking You - On miten on

Lea Laven has recorded more Shocking Blue covers than any other Finnish artist, maybe more than ANY artist. Its' such an irony that she have never had a charted hit with those covers. Lea's voice had same kind of output and tone than Mariska Veres had, so that may explain the multitude of her Shocking Blue finnpicks. In 1972 Lea released a single with Shicking Blue song on both sides. Today we present "On miten on" (It is what it is). And it's among the best of Lea's covers. The original was called "Shocking You" and it was a hit for SB in 1971. You can see the band perform the song, here.

Here's the pair:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Toot Toot - Tuut Tuut

Anita Hirvonen recorded "Tuut Tuut" in 1986 for his album "Anna aikaa rakkaudelle". It was also released as a single but - for some reason - Anita didn't score with it. The original song "My Toot Toot" was written and first recorded by an American R&B, zydeco, and soul musician Sidney Simien aka Rockin' Sidney. He began recording in the late 1950s, but his big moment came in 1984 when "My Toot Toot" made him internationally known. Sidney released it on his third album "My Zydeco Shoes Got the Zydeco Blues". "My Toot Toot" became a national and international million-selling hit and it was the first zydeco record to get major airplay on pop, rock and country radio stations. You can see Sidney perform the song, here. American R&B and soul singer Denise LaSalle made a version (that must have inpired Anita), and made the UK Singles Chart reaching number 6. You can hear her version, here.

Here's the pair:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tout,tout doucement - Tule jo kotiin

We conclude this mini-series of "leaving" songs with a "coming back" song and with another one by Tapani Kansa. He recorded "Tule jo kotiin" (Come back home) in 1983 for his album "Tässä ja nyt". The lyrics were provided by Vexi Salmi. The album broke several years hiatus of recording, but after this album it took several years before Tapani recorded pop music again. The original song "Tout, tout doucement" (All softly) was written by Frenchman Jean Jacques Goldman under pseudonym 'Sweet memories'. The song was a minor hit in France for songstress named Jane Surrey. I know nothing about Jane, but I guess she was an English woman, becouse this song was recorded in London.

Here's the pair:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Can't I Cry - Hän mennyt on

We haven't finnpicked with Tapani Kansa lately. Now is the time. He recorded "Hän mennyt on" (She has gone) in 1968. It was included on his debut album, and released also as a single. But it was only a minor hit - perhaps this was too much of a power ballad for Finnish taste. The lyrics were done by Pertsa Reponen,. The original song was called "Why Can't I Cry" and the version that Tapani covered must have been the one on Tom Jones' 1968 album "Delilah" (Kansa covered also the title song). Tom's rendition might have been the original one, but let's also take account on the woman's view by listening to Petula Clark's interpretation from the same year 1968.

Here's the triplet:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

He'll Have To Go - Hän poistukoon

For some reason, Seppo Pirhonen did not really make it. He recorded altogether 22 songs in two years in 1960-1961, but none of those hit the upper regions of charts. In 1962 he turned 20 and after serving in army, he quit recording. The extraordinary feature in Seppo's recordings was that the orchestral backing originated from Sweden. He recorded same songs as Swedish schlager singer Gunnar Wiklund and they used the same backing tracks. This goes also for this finnpick "Hän poistukoon" (He should go) in 1960; Wiklund recorded the Swedish version as "Han måste gå". The original version "He'll Have To Go" was a big country-pop hit for Jim Reeves in 1959. Jim made his breakthrough one night in 1952, when Hank Williams failed to make an appearance on the show, and Reeves sang in his place. Reeves was at the height of his career when his private plane crashed outside of Nashville in 1964.

Here's the pair:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

She's My Girl - Hän jääköön

New Joys took a challenge in recording "Hän jääköön" (She ought to stay) in 1968 on the B-side of the earlier finnpicked "Tamburiininsoittaja" (see here). The song was not easy to perform, but New Joys fared comfortably well. The Finnish lyrics were done by our frequent finnpicker Arto Sotavalta. The original song was called "She's My Girl" and it was a hit single for The Turtles in 1967. It was written by US songwriter duo Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon, who was also responsible for their greatest hit "Happy Together" (which was also covered by New Joys!). The song showcases the singing abilities of the lead singer Howard Kaylan. You can see the band perform "She's My Girl", here.

Here's the pair:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Do Wah Diddy Diddy - Do Wah Diddy Diddy

Just prior to breaking through with "Tango Pelargonia" in 1964 Kari Kuuva (see earlier entry) recorded this "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" with the group Islanders (Danny's backing group) using the obvious name Kari & The Islanders. The song was on the B-side of their cover of Searchers' "Don't Throw Your Love Away". The Finnish lyrics were written by Kari himself. In 1977 Seppo Närhi did another cover with different lyrics using the title "Meikäläinen makaa niinku petaaki" (I lie in my bed as I have made it). The original "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" was written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich and originally recorded in 1963 by the American vocal group The Exciters. They are best remembered for their Top 10 hit "Tell Him" (US number 4)in 1962. (finnpicked here) The "Diddy" song was monster hit for Manfred Mann when they covered it in 1964. You can see them perform it, here.

Here's the triplet:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Morning Sky - Aurinkoon

Katri Helena recorded "Aurinkoon" (To the sun) in 1976. It was released on the B-side of her smash hit "Syysunelmia". The Finnish lyrics were from the pen of Chrisse Johansson.. The original song was of Dutch origin. George Baker Selection had a international hit with "Morning Sky" in 1975. The song was written - as all the groups hits - by George Baker aka. Johannes "Hans" Bouwens. You can see the group perform the song, here.

Here's the pair:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Oh No No - Toisenlainen nainen

Kirka recorded "Toisenlainen nainen" (Other kind of woman) in 1981. It was on his album "Kirka" and also released as a single but did not turned out to be a hit. Kirka's second period of mega success was still some years away. The lyrics were provided by Raul Reiman. The original song "Oh No No" was co-written and performed by a German singer and producer Bernd Vonficht. He was of course better known by his stage name Bernie Paul. This "Oh No No" was mumber 2 hit in Germany and Top Ten hit in various other Middle-European countries.

Here's the pair:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Aj, aj, aj - Ai, ai, ai

Express was a popular beat pop group in the 70's. It was formed in 1967 and won the Finnish Pop Band championship in 1970. The group had a big hit with self-penned "Anna" in 1972 and this "Ai,ai, ai" was their second hit. The band is still active and gigging. The original song here originated from Sweden. "Aj,aj, aj" was a big hit for dance band Schytts. This band we have also finnpicked before, see here.

Here's the pair:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Funny Honeymoon - Ei musta hullu tullutkaan

Juhamatti (real name Jussi Mäkelä) (see earlier entry) recorded "Ei musta hullu tullutkaan" (I didn't go crazy after all) in 1978 for his album "Fanny Fanny". The Finnish lyrics were written by Pertsa Reponen. The song remained only an album track. The original song was called "Another Funny Honeymoon" and was written and performed by British singer and songwriter Dave Dundas. It became his second, lesser hit, after the biggie "Jeans On" (finnpicked, see here) in 1977. The record was produced by our old friend Roger Greenaway. You can see Dave perform the song, here.

Here's the pair:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Down by The Water - Kuin ennen vanhaan

Anneli Pasanen (see earlier entry) recorded "Kuin ennen vanhaan" (Like in the old days) in 1979 for her album "Rakkaus jää". Although the song may have had some hit potential, it was not released as a single. The Finnish lyrics were written by Chrisse Johansson. The original song "Down By The Water" came from Germany. It was co-written by Mats Björklund, who although being a Swede, was a member of the Munich Machine. It was a Disco project based in Munich, Germany, lead by Giorgio Moroder. Munich Machine was the German answer to Motown's Funk Brothers, a group of session musicians that played on the large majority of disco records that came out of Munich in the latter half of the 70s. They wrote music for and backed many of disco's most popular artists at the time, like Claudja Barry (finnpicked before, see here). who had a Euro-hit with this song in 1978.

Here's the pair:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Baby It's You - Janoinen suu

Afer a long break we meet again The Clifters . The group recorded "Janoinen suu" (Thirsty mouth) in 1990 for their album "Humala on jumala". It was also released as a single, on the B-side of their Foudations' "Baby Now That I've Found You" cover called "Kreivi". The lyrics were, as always on their cover tunes, provided by Jaana Rinne.. The original song "Baby It's You" was composed by Burt Bacharach and producer Luther Dixon (credited as Barney Williams) and lyrics were penned by Mack David (the older brother of another famous lyricist Hal David). The legendary girl group The Shirelles had a hit with the song, reaching number 8 on the Billboard charts in February of 1962. "Baby It's You" was later recorded by The Beatles on their debut LP Please Please Me.

Here's the pair:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Jimmy Dean - Piirtelet mun sydämeen

Cat Cat -duo represented Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1994 in Dublin. Apart from the ESC -entry "Bye Bye Baby" the Kätkä sisters didn't really have other big hits. This post-Eurovision single "Piirtelet mun sydämeen" (You make drawings in my heart) released in 1995 as a CD single, might have been a hit (but for some reason, it wasn't). The lyrics were provided by another Finnish pop star Tauski (real name Tauno Peltonen). The original song was of Swedish origin and was a smash success for all-girl group Troll in 1989. Troll included 7 (!) girls - all childhood friends - from the city of Falun. This "Jimmy Dean" (with reference to James Dean) was their only big Scandinavian hit and after two albums and a couple of more singles they folded up. You can see them perform the song in this video clip.

Here's the pair:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten - Sä syliis saat mun puristaa

Raya (b. Raija Alenius ) recorded two singles as a solo artist. On the A-side of the first one was this "Sä syliis saat mun puristaa" (You can hold me in your arms). It triggered some interest, but was not successful chartwise in 1969. Two years later Raya was the star in one of the Finnish "Hair" musical productions. And after that she gigged frequently with the rock group from the same production, Apostolit. The original of today's Finnpick was "I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten", a big hit for Dusty Springfield in 1968. It reached number 4 in the UK Charts. You can see Dusty perform the song, here.

Here's the pair:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What Is Life - Mikä saa ihmisen elämään

Oliver (real name Veikko Laiho) ventured in pop singer career during the first his years of the 70's, and made a couple of singles. None of them were hits, so I guess Oliver called it quits. However, he has recorded several songs in other music genres, e.g. schlager and Christmas music. This "Mikä saa ihmisen elämään" (What makes a man to live) was released as a single in 1971 and the Finnish lyrics were witten by Chrisse Johansson. The original song "What Is Life" was on George Harrison's 1970 album "All Things Must Pass" and was the second single culled from the album, the first one being "My Sweet Lord" (finnpicked here). The album was recorded just after the break-up of Beatles and was co-produced by Phil Spector. As "My Sweet Lord", also "What Is Life" was actually written for Billy Preston, but Harrison decided not to ask Preston to record the song, seeing the song as too much of a "catchy pop tune".

Here's the pair:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Arms Full Of Empty - Meiä Veera

This song is the A-side to the ealier Finnpick "Hello Buddy" (see here). This "Meiä Veera" (Our Veera) was a blockbuster hit for Erkki Liikanen in 1974. (see earlier entry). It was the one song that really started his succesful career as a singer, comedian and entertainer. You can see Erkki perform the song in a popular Finnish TV comedy show "Merirosvoradio" (Pirate Radio Station), here. This is one of those songs that is familiar to most Finns but few have heard the original version. The original song was number 32 US country hit in 1973 for Buck Owens and Susan Raye and called "Arms Full of Empty". Both Buck and Susan were established country artists on their own, but collaborated in two albums and a couple of singles in the beginning of 70's. (And Susan even married Owens' drummer ;-))

Here's the pair: