Monday, October 31, 2011

Iptissam - Kuunnellaan

Sebastian was the stage name for Rainer Laamanen. Sebastian recorded two singles in 1970, but after that he kept low profile. But since the year 1994 he has been the lead vocalist in popular Finnish dance & schlager band Tulipunaruusut.  On the second of his 1970 singles was this "Kuunnellaan" (Let's listen), that should've been a hit. But was overlooked at the time and forgotten since. The (probably) original version was done by Italian singer and actress Milva (b. Maria Ilva Biolcati) as "Iptissam (Love's Song Adelina)" in 1970. Milva has been finnpicked before, see here. The song was co-written by the French producer and songwriter Jean Kluger, whose productions/compositions have been frequently presented here in Finnpicks.

72 Finnpicks to go.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Comme Un Garcon - Arvaathan ken

Ann Christine strated recording in 1962 and in 1968 she released already her 16th single. On the B-side was this "Arvaathan ken" (Guess who). The song was arranged, and the backing orchestra conducted, by Aarne Raninen. The original song was called "Comme Un Garcon" (Like a boy) and it was a hit in 1967 for famous French singer Sylvie Vartan. The lyrics of the song tell how the she acts like a boy, but when she is with her boyfriend she acts a like a little girl. You can see Sylvie perform it, here.

73 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Remember When I Loved Her - Sai kaiken muuttumaan

Agents' specialty is to pick up lesser known songs and make exquisite new - and I dare to say better than original - versions of those. This "Sai kaiken muuttumaan" (She made everything change) is a fine example. The band recorded it for their 2003 "Agents is ... Tonight" album. The Finnish lyrics were done as early as 1966 - when the first Finnish version was released - by Juha Vainio. The original song was called "I Remember When I Loved Her" and it was Rod Argent -written song from the Zombies "Begin Here" debut album.

74 Finnpicks to go.

p.s. Right now I'm traveling, so I'm not able to update this blog daily.

Here's the pair:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Your Baby Ain't Your Baby Anymore - Menneet ovat menneitä

Lea Laven recorded "Menneet ovat menneitä" (Bygones are bygones) in 1974 for her album "Niin". The Finnish lyrics were - as nearly always on Lea's records at the time - written by Chrisse Johansson.  The original song was called "Your Baby Ain't Your Baby Anymore" and it was a Top 20 Uk hit in for Paul Da Vinci (b. Paul Prewer), who also co-wrote it. Paul is best known as the incredible voice on the Rubettes' number one selling single "Sugar Baby Love". He didn't join in the band and tried solo career. This was his debut solo single. You can see him perform the song, here.

75 Finnpicks to go.

p.s. Right now I'm traveling, so I'm not able to update this blog daily.

Here's the pair:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mexican Girl - Kyyneleet nuo

Some months ago we had a couple of weeks run of Chinnichap covers. Here's one leftover.  Vesa Enne recorded "Kyyneleet nuo" (Those tears) in 1979. It was released only on a budget compilation album of contemporary hits. Who knows, perhaps it could have succeeded as a single. Vesa was an early starter. When he was 12 years old (in 1959) he won a talent contest as a rockn'roll singer and made two appearences as a film actor in the same year. However, he did his musical career mainly in pop/country groups, and as a backing singer, not as a solo artist. The original version of today's finnpick was done by Smokie as "Mexican Girl" in 1978. And it was - as already hinted - written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. You can see the band perform the song, here.

76 Finnpicks to go.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Good Grief Christina - On siitä aikaa

One of the completely forgotten Koivistolaiset (see earlier entry) songs is this "On siitä aikaa" (It's been a long time). They recorded it in 1973 but it went nowhere chartwise. The Finnish lyrics were provided by Vexi Salmi. The original song was called "Good Grief Christina" and it was a Top 20 Uk hit in 1973 for Chicory Tip.  The song was written - as was their number one hit "Son Of My Father" - by Giorgio Moroder.
77 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ship In The Sky - Lentsikkalaulu

The famous Finnish lyricist Pertti "Pertsa" Reponen started his musical career as a member of folk group Hootenanny Trio. He also recorded one single under his own name (although the whole Hoonteananny Trio was performing) in 1966, on the crest wave of so called 'protest' songs. On the A-side was this "Lentsikkalaulu" (Airplane song), and it was a modest hit for Pertti. The Finnish lyrics were, of course, done by Pertsa himself. The original song was written and performed by American folk legend Woody Guthrie. It was called "Ship In The Sky" (a.k.a "My Daddy Flies A Ship In The Sky") and it has become classic as it is, but also a popular nursery rhyme. In reference to lyrics, it's interesting to note that at the time both USA and Finland used prisoners as a work force at airfield construction sites.

78 Finnpicks to go.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hello-A - Oi rakkain

Kai Hyttinen recorded "Oi rakkain" (Oh dearest one) in 1972. On single it was the A-side to "Eikö Muonio vastaa", finnpicked earlier (see here).  It was a hit, but not of Kai's greatest. The Finnish lyrics were done by Kai's old buddy, Vexi Salmi. The original "Hello-A" was a smash hit in 1972 for Dutch duo Mouth & MacNeal, i.e. Willem Duyn and Maggie MacNeal (b. Sjoukje van't Spijker). The song reached the top of the charts in many European countries. It was written by their producer Hans van Hemert who also wrote their first hit "How Do You Do" and their Euorvision entry "I See A Star". You can see M & M perform "Hello-A" in an early promotional film, here.

79 Finnpicks to go.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

String Along - Iltaseuraa

Johnny's debut single in 1963 as a solo artist and first big hit was "Hymyhuulet" (finnpicked here), and on it's flipside was this rarely heard "Iltaseuraa" (Company for the evening). The arrangements were done by Jaskko Salo and the Finnish lyrics by Saukki. The original "String Along" was originally a Top 40 US hit for Fabian (b. Fabian Forte) in 1960. But it gained greater success in 1963 when versioned by Rick Nelson. It peaked number 25 in Billboard Hot 100 Chart and it was surely the inspiration for Johnny's recording. You can see Rick perform it, here.

80 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Think Summer - Sun ja mun on lämmin

When the cold weather is upon us again, I guess it's time to think warm thoughts. And this finnpick is just about that. In 1970 Marion Rung recorded "Sun ja mun on lämmin" (You and I are feeling warm) together with Aarno Raninen (arranger and orchestra leader, but also a singer). The song was released on the B-side of Marion's "Makeelta maistaa" -single, and also on the album of the same name. The Finnish lyrics were written by Sauvo "Saukki" Puhtila. The original song was called "Think Summer" and it was a minor US hit in 1969 for duo Ed Ames and Marilyn Maye. The song peaked at number 17 in the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart. These both singers had individually some modest hits but this was their only common success story. The song was written by Paul Evans, whose best-known composition is "Roses are Red".

81 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Black Eyed Boys - Rautainen klaani

Leo Luoto recorded nearly 60 songs, but never really broke through. Which is kind of of odd considering the quality of his singing, and the material wasn't so bad either. This is one of the better ones, "Rautainen klaani" (Clan of iron), that was released as a single in 1975. The original song was called "The Black Eyed Boys" and it was a 1974 UK hit for Paper Lace. The band chose their name from lace products created from a special grade of high quality paper manufactured in Nottingham, their hometown. The song was written by fathers of many hits, Peter Callander Robin and Mitch Murray. You can see Paper Lace perform it in Top of The Pops, here.
82 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Heartbeat It's A Lovebeat - Sydän hakkaa

Anna Babitzin had a short solo recording career in the 70's. In 1975 she released a single with this "Sydän hakkaa" (The heart is pounding) on the B-side of a another (home-grown) teen beat pop song. Both sides failed to make any greater success. The Finnish lyrics for today's finnpick were provided by Pertsa Reponen. The original "Heart" -song was called "Heartbeat It's A Lovebeat", and it was a US hit for the Canadian group DeFranco Family. The DeFrancos were really all siblings, and they had a couple of chart hits, this one being the biggest one - reaching number 3 in the Billboard Chart in 1973. The lead cvocalist Tony DeFranco was only 14 at the time. You can see the group perform the song live, here.

83 Finnpicks to go.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dance With A Dolly/Buffalo Gals - Molla-Maijan tanssi

Laila Kinnunen recorded "Molla-Maijan tanssi" (Dance of the Molla-Maija doll) in 1961. For some reason it was released twice - each with different B-side. However, it turned out to be non-hit. But manifested Laila's versatility as a singer. The Finnish lyrics were provided by Sauvo "Saukki" Puhtila and the arrangement by Jaakko Salo.  The original was an American traditional song that was first published already in 1844 with the title "Lubly Fan". It was popular in minstrel shows throughout the United States and the title of the song was changed according to the location it was adapted. The most known have to be the version called "Buffalo Gals", recorded later by Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen (see it here) and others. Under the title "Dance With A Dolly (With A Hole In Her Stocking)" it was first recorded by Terry Shand and His Orchestra in 1939. It became hit during World War II, when performed by Vera Lynn. You can hear that version here.  It was also included in the 1945 movie "Her Lucky Night", where The Andrews Sisters made a brilliant performance of it (see here).   But I've chosen this version by American actress, comedian and singer Damita Jo (b. Damita Jo DeBlanc) to pe presented here in Finnpicks. Simply becouse I like it very much :-). Damita Jo had a also minor hit with it in Scandinavia in 1961-62. 

84 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

All We Need Is Love - Voitko rakastaa

One of the forgotten and overlooked Katri Helena songs is this "Voitko rakastaa" (Can you love) that was released as a single in 1978. On the flipside was Katri-Helena's cover of the Monegasque entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1978. This "Voitko rakastaa" really deserved to be a hit (but wasn't). The Finnish lyrics were done by Pertsa Repoonen. The original song "All We Need Is Love" was written by our old friends Roberto Danova and Peter Yellowstone. And it was performed by British disco songstress Kelly Marie (of the  1977 "Feels Like I'm In Love" fame). We have finnpicked Kelly Marie before, see here.  For some reason this "All We Need Is Love" was released only in France and Germany, not in UK. You can see Kelly Marie  perform this song live, here.

85 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lonely City - Yksinäinen kaupunki

On the B-side of Eino Grön's (see earlier entry) big hit "Suudelmin suljetut kirjeet" (cover of "Sealed With A Kiss") in 1962 was this song called "Yksinäinen kaupunki" (Lonely city). The Finnish lyrics were crafted by Reino Helismaa using pseudonym "Orvokki Itä" (which in turn was anagram of Toivo Kärki, Helismaa's musical partner). The original song was performed by British king of teen music, John Leyton.  He is best remembered for his debut single, the epic "Johnny Remember Me". It and his 5th single, this "Lonely City" were written by the same man, Geoff Goddard. "Lonely City" reached number 14 in the UK charts in 1962.  

86 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Il Tempo Se Ne Va - On aika mennyt menojaan

In 1980 Kai Hyttinen recorded an eponymous album, on which he covered songs from all over the world. This "On aika mennyt menojaan" (The time has gone by for good) originated from Italy. The original "Il Tempo Se Ne Va" (The time goes by) was performed by Adriano Celentano, who scored hit with it all over Europe. The song was co-written by Toto Cutugno. You can see Adriano perform it live, here.

87 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

One Two Three - Matkaan vaan

Mona Carita got to be known as sexy disco chick singing cute and silly disco songs. But she did also other kind of music. Like this country-flavoured road song "Matkaan vaan" (To the road), It was released as the final track on her album "Nykyaikainen" in 1981. The Finnish lyrics were written by Raul Reiman. The original song was called "One Two Three" and it was a Euro-hit for the Dutch girl duo Maywood. The duo consisted of sisters Alie and Doetie de Vries, who used stage names Alice May and Caren Wood respectively. They were relatively unknown in Finland, but immensly popolar in Russia. Today's finnpicked song was written by Alice May. Maywood represented Netherlands in the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest with "Ik wil alles met je delen" (no success, but they beat Finland ;-)).

88 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Get Down - O'le

We haven't finnpicked Fredi for a long time. So, lets ... During the first decade of his career Fredi did a lot of covers, but later almost exclusively his own material. In 1973 he recorded "O'le", which was an odd choice for a title ... The finnish lyrics were provided by Vexi Salmi and the song was released on Fredi's 1973 album "Rakkauden sinfonia". The original song was called "Get Down" and it was written and performed by Gilbert O'Sullivan, whose songs seemed to suit well for Fredi,as he covered several of those. This "Get Down" was a number one UK hit for Gilbert in 1973. You can see him perform the song live, here.

89 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Man Of Mystery - Salaperäinen

Not so long time ago we presented a Finnish vocal cover of the Shadows' instrumental hit. Well, here's another one - done by the same culprits. Agents recorded "Salaperäinen" (Mysterious) in 1996 for their "Agents is back" -album. The Finnish lyrics were done by the lead singer Jorma Kääriäinen.  The original song "Man Of Mystery" was written by British light music composer Michael Carr. The tune was the theme music for the early 1960s low-budget film series "Edgar Wallace Mysteries", based loosely on the Edgar Wallace stories. "Man of Mystery" was number 5 UK hit for The Shadows in 1960. Carr also wrote the groups number one hit "Kon-Tiki" in 1961.

90 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Paradise - Paratiisi

My "guilty pleasure" ten years ago was listening to a song called "Paradise" performed by teen songstress Kaci. At the time I didn't know that the song was actually published some 20 years earlier and even covered in Finnish. Well, now I know. Armi Aavikko recorded "Paratiisi" (Paradise) in 1983. For some reason it was released only on a compilation album. It would certainly deserved to be released as a single. The Finnish lyrics were crafted by Kaisu Liuhala, whom we met a couple of finnpicks ago. The original song was the theme song for the 1982 teen movie "Paradise", sung by Phoebe Cates who also starred in the leading role. "Paradise" was her debut movie and was famous for several soft nude scenes.

91 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Broken Blossoms - En saata ymmärtää

This is one of Katri Helena's lesser known songs, but at the same time one of her most beautiful.  "En saata ymmärtää" (I can't understand) was recorded in 1969 and was released on the B-side of her hit single "Maailman pihamaat". Perhaps surprisingly, the Finnish lyrics were made by Katri Helena herself.  The original song "Broken Blossoms" was recorded by Dusty Springfield and it appeared on her 1967 album "Where Am I Going". The song was a traditional song with anti-war theme adapted by Dusty's brother Tom Springfield.

92 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Love Was On Your Mind - Sen voi vain aavistaa

Eddy was fronting the beat group Eddy & The Lightnings in 1964-66. In 1966 he left for solo career and this "Sen voi vain aavistaa" (You can only have a premonition of it) was his debut single in 1966. It was mildly popular, but Eddy's bigger hits came a couple years later. The original song "Love Was On Your Mind" came from Sweden and was a 1966 national hit for the group Ola & The Janglers. The song was written by the bands guitarist Claes af Geijerstam.

93 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Brasilia Carnaval - Brasilian karnevaalit

We started this Finnpicks Disco Week from Africa and we end it in Brazil. Both locations have contributed a lot to development of disco music. Danny recorded "Brasilian karnevaalit" (The Brazilan carnaval) in 1976. It was released on his album "Elämän maku". The original song "Brasilia Carnaval" was a hit for disco group Chocolat's, whom we have met before, see here. Chocolat's (a.k.a Chocolate Boys) was a a latin-flavoured disco/soul/funk group originating from Belgium, I guess.

94 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

You Gotta Move - Kas kas, niin niin

Paula Koivuniemi recorded "Kas kas, niin niin" (Well, well so, so) in 1978. It was released on her album "Sinulle vain" and it was also released as a single, but didn't get the success it deserved. The original song "You Gotta Move" was an Europeen disco hit for Etta Cameron (b. Ettamae Louvita Coakley). Etta was born in Bahamas, but made her carerr in Denmark and Germany. The German Goldfinger songwriter and producer Ralph Siegel wrote today's finnpicked song.

95 Finnpicks to go.

Here's the pair: