When I was a little boy in the 1970s, album covers decorated with scantily clad women irritated me. We had a few of these in the house, issued by Europa, at the time Germany´s biggest budget label. I guess my mother must have bought them in a supermarket, because my father, a seaman, was away most of the time. It wasn´t adult material that was featured on these Europa LPs, just the typical hits of the day, albeit played by unknown artists. Incidentally the label also issued most of my children´s records. The budget experience must have rubbed off on me, because I´m still occupied with the cheapos today.
I can´t remember where I bought this Mexican album, but it was many years ago, and not in Mexico. It seems to showcase the Discos Orquidea label and two Discoteca Bristol record stores in Acapulco. All of the songs are Mexican Cumbias, and most of them hits, that are still readily available on Itunes or Amazon. In fact, most of the groups are still active today.
Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Frohe Weihnachten!
LOS MITLATROPICOS, Cumbia De Los Pajaritos, 1980
The combination of the words Debbie ( Harry) and Neon (the buzzword of the early 80´s) is screaming: New Wave. I bought this 45, because I liked the title, because it was produced in Berlin and because I already own another pretty cool Debbie Neon record. Last year I posted her version of Talking Heads´ Psycho Killer. Unfortunately there is very little information on the Internet about Debbie Neon´s brief but interesting career in the early 80´s.
The first thing that appears are the three singles she recorded for CBS: Psycho Killer/Neon Lights (1979), American Nightmare/Energy (1980) and The Boys Are Out Tonight/Spotlight (1981). Debbie Neon also appeared on the 1979 CBS compilation LP Waves Of Rock, along with Nina Hagen and the Stripes (Nena´s first band). But although the company held onto her for three years, she never got to record a full LP.
From 1980 to 1984 Debbie Neon (real name Petra Jokisch) appeared in four films: Asphaltnacht (1980), Sei zärtlich, Pinguin (1982), Kamikaze 1989 (1982) and Didi, der Doppelgänger (1984), the first three being prime examples of supercool (to freezing cold) early 80´s movies. Her greatest moment was probably when she starred along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder in Kamikaze 1989. It was Fassbinders last film before his death in June 1982.
Debbie Neon also modelled for various publications, the highlight being her appearance on the cover of the German Playboy in February 1984.
The music is pretty average disco and there is a strong Kate Bush/Nina Hagen influence in Debbie Neon´s singing. Not exactly the stuff , cult records are made of, but I really like these songs. Especially the song Energy. It´s what I need this time of the year, more energy. Total energy.
Just because I know you love it so much, here´s more disco. I have never been to university, but I guees if your´re a student, it´s perfect. Disco, die neue Wissenschaft (disco, the new science) is about a disco university where all the subjects are disco-related. Universität, actually the a-side, is about college life.
A great German novelty record.
“No cult records” was what I promised last time but Rosy Rosy is as close as it gets to a German cult artist. However, this record has never been re-released as far as I know, so I guess I´m still true to my guidelines.
Rosemarie Heinikel , born 1949, is a German actress, singer and author. Calling herself Rosy Rosy she became an icon of German subculture. Like Uschi Obermeier, she lived in a commune, befriended Donovan and Frank Zappa, did some early coffee-table book porn (Softgirls, 1970) and wrote her first autobiography Rosy Rosy in 1971. She sang with krautrockers Guru Guru and in 1968 recorded her first single with “The Inner Space”, produced by Irmin Schmidt, one of the founders of Can.
I haven´t read any of her autobiographies, this is just translated from her German Wikipedia, but her credentials are as cool as you could get in Germany at the time. The cult group “The Inner Space” shortly developed into Can. Their complete output has been re-released last year on CD and 180gr vinyl by Wah Wah Records.
In 1981 she wrote the lyrics and the music to these two introspective songs, produced by Achim Reichel of Rattles fame. A little bit on the Nico side of singing she reflects sarcastically about her role as a sex-symbol.
And what a hottie she was and I bet still is…
I´m A Skunk sounds like Oingo Boingo, kinda between new wave and punk. Like a lot of punk novelty records this was more punk than a lot of real punk records were. It´s still more stupid, more silly and more strange than most punk records today. The sleeve also is a strange affair, it doesn´t give away what kind of music might be on the record. It´s probably also one of the reasons why it flopped and why I couldn´t find out anything about the record on the internet. The German Hansa label still is a treasure trove of forgotten music because they put out so many weird one-off records.
And they knew it…
Just to add some “good” music, I had this record digitized and scanned a couple of weeks ago and wanted to post it together with the other 80´s records. Since then the Short Sharp Kick In The Teeth blog beat me to it and posted these songs before I did. I swear, before that there was no trace of the record on the internet. At least this German release has a diffrent sleeve so I´m going to post it anyway. The British EP has one additional song and a much nicer glossy gatefold sleeve.
Eric Blake were from Essex and as the info says their lead singer Julie Harding was 17 years old at the time. Other group members were Alan Baker, Ian McKenzie and Mick Fanning. 80´s Girl is a nice catchy powerpop song whereas Born To Be Special is poppy ska.
When I started this blog three years ago my ambition was to explore new territory and to only “publish” material that has never entered the digital world. As much as I like the cool music of fabulous record labels like Bear Family, Charly and Ace, it would be pointless to try to find obscure stuff in their field. They and many other re-issue labels went out of their way to re-discover lost music in the 70´s and 80´s. Posting (“re-releasing”) music that they re-discovered 30 years ago didn´t pose a challenge, so my focus was on material that is still too bad or strange to ever be considered for re-release by a proper record label. Music that seems to have no commercial value today: private pressings, advertisement records or just plain weird stuff. Mostly no rockabilly, rock´n´roll, garage or soul music. No cult stuff.
Over time I have gotten less strict about my posting policies because I felt that maybe people would like to listen to more “good” music and also posted single songs (albeit digitized from my original 45´s) that had previously been re-released. Basically I turned into a DJ again, something I wanted to get away from when I started this blog.
I also got softer, because nobody else seems to care about any kind of “music blogging ethics” anyway. Blogs are the new Napster and I´m in the same boat if I like it or not. Posting material that I do not hold a copyright of, no matter how obscure it might be, is just as illegal as posting a brand new CD.
Still so far I have only gotten supportive feedback from people involved with some of the records I posted. Some even said, that they´re glad I did, because they never had a digital version of their music. A lot of artist don´t hold the copyrights to their own music anyway and are simply glad that somebody cares enough to put it out there. Unless they were cult artists or played a cult style a re-release of their music is very unlikely. I don´t really care about the legal issues, but to make it a little more exciting for me again and to get a better conscience about blogging, I will return to my initial restrictive guidelines. So expect a lot of bad records to be coming in the future…
This private pressing of the Perfid´s from Zürich, Switzerland is one such record that has never been re-released. It most probably would have, if it was in a cult style like punk or metal, but it is neither and both. Not metal enough to be metal and not punk enough to be punk. That said, it´s not a bad record at all, in fact I like it a lot. The cool thing is that they sing in a Swiss dialect that I can only understand partially, like the intro to their theme song that states that they started the group in January 1981. Besides that, I don´t know anything about this group simply because there is nothing to be found about them on the internet. Check for yourself: if you´ll search for them, you´ll find this post.
I bought this last week for 50 cents in a thrift store. Gerald Mann is still working in Berlin today as is Jerry Roschak and the troupe of the Berlin cabaret Klimperkasten.This record hasn´t been re-released in almost 30 years and I don´t think it ever will.
I really like the song Vorbei (past). It´s from one of the many Klimperkasten cabaret plays and has the singers reminiscing about past times. It gets interesting when they get to the memories of their idealistic political ideas of the 60´s.