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A Life In Vinyl: 1977

August 14th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Life In Vinyl 1977

Here’s a new series in which I follow my life as a music-consumer, from the time I became a serious buyer.

1977 was the year I turned 11. It was a pivotal year in my life, perhaps more than any other. My family was torn apart by my father’s sudden death, I discovered love, I began to take learning English seriously, and I became a serious fan of pop music. My love for the cute girl from a different suburb was short-lived, my family remained broken, but music was my big passion, alongside football.

Reviewing the music I listened to in 1977 and after that, I made some rapid leaps: in October 1977 I bought a record by teen idol Leif Garrett and in December still two by Swedish popster Harpo; by April 1978 I bought singles by Kate Bush and Jethro Tull, then by The Stranglers and Sham 69.

I didn’t have most of what is featured on the present mix on record, but these songs recreate the year for me. When I hear “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” I hear my mother’s grief. When I hear Kenny Roger’s “Lucille”, I can smell the leather of my new black shoes I received that autumn. “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” prompted me to become serious about learning English when I looked up a four-syllable word (“esitayshon”). Raffaella Carra’s “A Far L’Amore Comincia Tu” became the first song for which I developed an active hatred; I feel slightly more generous towards it now.

Since the mix is timed to fit on a CD, I had to omit some songs which would tell a fuller story of my year in music. So you are deprived of Rosetta Stone’s cover of “Sunshine Of Your Love”, songs by The Rubettes, Tina Rainford and La Belle Epoque, Lonzo’s German version of “No Milk Today”, and Hoffmann & Hoffmann’s German cover of the Bellamy Brother’s “Crossfire” (and, indeed, the original). You might consider yourself lucky.covers-77-a I might well have duplicated some artists, especially Harpo, who had three other songs I had on record (“Rock ‘n’ Roll Clown”, “Television” and “With A Girl Like You”), Baccara (“Sorry, I’m A Lady”), Boney M (“Sunny” and “Ma Baker”) and the Bay City Rollers (“Yesterday’s Hero”, “It’s A Game” and “Don’t Stop The Music”) . The BCR track that is included is a great pop song, incidentally.

The opening track by Marianne Rosenberg is now a cult hit, especially popular with Germany’s drag queens. It”s a slice of wonderful Schlager-disco, with a lyrical concept which simulates that of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”.

Since this mix reflects the listening pleasures and experiences of an 11-year-old, I don’t necessarily endorse any of the featured tracks, but I’d describe the ABBA song as my favourite by that great group.covers-77-bAs always, CD-R length, covers, PW in comments.

1. Marianne Rosenberg – Marleen
2. Smokie – Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone
3. Manhattan Transfer – Chanson d’Amour
4. Bonnie Tyler – Lost In France
5. Julie Covington – Don’t Cry For Me Argentina
6. Lynsey de Paul & Mike Moran – Rock Bottom
7. Oliver Onions – Orzowei
8. Space – Magic Fly
9. David Soul – Silver Lady
10. Amanda Lear – Queen Of Chinatown
11. Harpo – In The Zum-Zum-Zummernight
12. Baccara – Yes Sir, I Can Boogie
13. Boney M. – Belfast
14. Bay City Rollers – You Made Me Believe In Magic
15. Leif Garrett – Surfin’ USA
16. Umberto Tozzi – Ti Amo
17. Kenny Rogers – Lucille
18. Carole King – Hard Rock Cafe
19. Glen Campbell – Southern Nights
20. Raffaella Carra  – A far l’amore comincia tu (Liebelei)
21. Abba – The Name Of The Game
22. Santa Esmeralda – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood


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  1. halfhearteddude
    August 14th, 2014 at 07:22 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. August 14th, 2014 at 08:11 | #2

    Great post and a fantastic mix as well. I’m just a few years older but I’ve been grew up with this songs as well. I did a similiar series on my blog throughout the last year and I was surprised what memories showed up when I looked back to years long gone by. Anyway – I’m looking forward to see the next years in this series.


  3. August 14th, 2014 at 10:04 | #3

    oh my… this brings back some memories (I was nine at that time, and living in Switzerland, I also remember the German and Italian stuff). And like you, I couldn’t stand that Raffaella Cara thing (still don’t like it very much). Around that time, my serious crush on ABBA began to unfold, and until this day, I regard “I Wonder” as one of my top-5-songs by the great Swedes. Look forward to read about your next discoveries!


  4. dogbreath
    August 14th, 2014 at 13:43 | #4

    A lot of these tunes happily fit into the “guilty pleasure” box – and none the worse for that. Thanks for the opportunity to disco dance down nostalgia street once more! Future volumes eagerly awaited….

  5. JohnnyDiego
    August 14th, 2014 at 14:10 | #5

    In 1977 I was 29/30 years old, I was the singer in a western swing band in and around Boston, Mass playing original music that we called Country Chic . My daughter was born that September, and I wouldn’t have listened to this music if you paid me!
    The local Boston scene in the late 70s was filled with new, rough, and original music. There were a dozen local college radio stations playing this music and it was a new kind of music. A New Wave. The record shops were selling local music on cardboard discs that were called flexi discs. The clubs were overflowing every night and holding battle of the bands each weekend. The Cars, The Modern Lovers, Robin Lane and the Chartbusters were beginning to make a dent nationally. I was caught up in all of that and was, of course, a musical snob.
    In 1981 I moved my family to Vermont and mellowed a lot. With the advent of the internet a whole new musical world opened up for me and my musical tastes broadened. Music that I used to sneer at now becomes an enjoyable addition to my eclectic musical routine. Your “Not Feeling Guilty” mixes have been welcomed by me as a break from music that needs to be studied to be understood. I’ve come to realize that these artists are musicians, their producers are producers, and the public actually bought their records, something that was unheard of in my musical circle back in 1977.
    Looking at this song list I’m torn beyond my old sensibilities. It is difficult to download this mix, but as I’ve said in the past: I trust you, Dude. I most likely wouldn’t have these types of songs in my collection without your mixes. Over the years you have opened a new and enjoyable genre for me. Thanks.

  6. Kevin Killion
    August 14th, 2014 at 15:35 | #6

    Almost all of these versions of these songs as recorded by these artists are unfamiliar to me, which says somethig about what was popular here in the U.S. versus there. Yoir notes make me curious to hear the cover version of “Sunshine Of Your Love” and the German version of “No Milk Today”!

  7. GarthJeff
    August 14th, 2014 at 19:19 | #7

    Me too, you’ve baited us Dude;)

    I’d like to hear Hoffmann & Hoffmann’s German cover version of the Bellamy Brothers “Crossfire”.

    The single (English version) was a massive hit here in South Africa and Australia. Here the Bellamy Brothers are in 1977 singing “Crossfire”, (At – “Disco” – German TV music show.)


  8. halfhearteddude
    August 14th, 2014 at 23:05 | #8

    Here’s Hoffmann & Hoffmann, also from “Disco” (the guy on the left committed suicide, I believe):

    Rosetta Stone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5na4N48HXw

    Okko, Lonzo, Berry, Chris & Timpe – “Frühstück im Bett” (“No Milk Today”. It played on the radio every bloody morning.): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpTQJe6x1GE

  9. halfhearteddude
    August 14th, 2014 at 23:14 | #9

    Johnny Diego: I think I must emphasise that I take no responsibility for the quality of the music on this mix — it’s the music I heard a a 11-year-old, after all. It’s a documentary mix.

    It might be fun to hear the mix as a time capsule, but I’d fully endorse only the tracks by ABBA (my favourite of theirs, as it goes), Space, Santa Esmeralda, Glen Campbell, possibly Carole King and — this’ll be a surprise, but it’s a great pop song — the Bay City Rollers. “Lucille” is a pretty good song, too.

    I do love the Baccara song, but I wouldn’t defend its honour if others don’t. Some of the others tracks are so wrapped up in nostalgia that their demerits don’t bother me, but I’d possibly hate them if I heard them for the first time. And some tracks are just bad (“Rock Bottom” is quite an apt title).

  10. Sky
    August 15th, 2014 at 23:54 | #10

    C’mon, “Marleen” is a monster pop song, as well as Rosenberg’s “Fremder Mann” or her 1976 disco smash “Wir koennen es beide (wenn wir nur wollen)”. Lookin’ forward to the next entry in the series.

  11. halfhearteddude
    August 16th, 2014 at 08:35 | #11

    “Marleen” is indeed glorious, though “Ich bin wie Du” is perhaps even better. What was with her accent though? It sounded vaguely foreign (though I hink she’s from Berlin, and people there do talk funny).

  12. JohnnyDiego
    August 16th, 2014 at 13:26 | #12

    You think people in Berlin talk funny? You should listen to me sometime. Born in Bremerhaven to a German mother and an American father; lived in Sulzbach am Main with my Oma; came to the U.S. at age two, and learned to speak German in high school. When I first went back to Germany in the early 70s my aunt Maria had to translate my American/German into Sulbach/German for my older relatives. As my aunt said, we communicated “mit hand und fuss.” Lederhosen? Had a pair of them too.

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