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Jul 07 2018

Singles from my elementary school days

Wegwijzer School report (apoplife.nl)

De Wegwijzer: my last school report from my elementary school. On to puberty!

Introduction

40 Years ago today, I left my elementary school De Wegwijzer. Child no more. Off to the ‘big’ school. This was to have a major impact on the way I was listening to and enjoying music. I already had some LP’s, but not too many. Once I entered junior high school, I was earning money during the weekends and was able to buy records regularly. Singles were over by then. But not so at elementary school. I barely had money, so buying singles was my only option (as LP’s were too expensive). For my birthday and Sinterklaas Day I asked for LP’s.

In this article I look back at the singles I did buy and got as presents from my earliest years until the end of elementary school.

Single

12-inch / LP (apoplife.nl)

12-inch / LP

7-inch / Single (apoplife.nl)

7-inch / Single

When I was young, the single was a very important medium. I got my first real single on the evening of Sinterklaas Day (December 5th), 1973: Roger Daltrey’s It’s A Hard Life.

A single was/is a vinyl record, 7-inches in size (as apposed to the LP size, which was 12-inch). It contained one song on each side. the A-side was the song that was registered in the charts.

In general, the B-side was a song off the latest album. Sometimes, the B-side turned out to be more popular than the A-side. On some occasions the single was quickly re-released as a double A-side and the ‘problem’ was resolved.

Sometimes other versions of well-known songs were placed on the B-side (a live version, for instance). On very rare occasions a song was placed on the B-side, which was not on an LP.

Importance

Just turned 9 years old, on holiday, with pick-up (apoplife.nl)

Just turned 9 years old, on holiday, with pick-up

Singles were used as an advertising campaign for the upcoming LP, but also to test the audience’s response to new songs.

The rules were different with new artists. Oftentimes a first single was released to test the waters. The Netherlands were testing ground for the European mainland. If it clicked there, the single got a Europe-wide release.

Receiving versus buying

I can’t recall whether or not I got an allowance. I probably did, but I’m not sure. It would not have been much (read: enough), though.

I did buy LP’s, which were expensive. Sometimes as much as ƒ 15,00 (€ 6,81)! At the time, that was like a small fortune to me.

Singles were significantly cheaper then (I seem to remember buying them at the price of around ƒ 3,95 (€ 1,79).

Of course, the main events in the year were my birthday and Sinterklaas Day. Those were the days I could ask for presents. I probably got all my LP’s that way.

Stories

A number of singles have been the subject of stories I published earlier. Those will be referred to.

But now: have fun with my ‘trip down memory lane’!

N.B.: Located beneath the song’s title, a month/year combination is noted. This refers to the month in which the single entered the Dutch Top 40 for the first time. This is not, by definition, the month the single was released.

 

Pippi Langkous - Hai! Pippi Langkous (45cat.com)

Pippi Langkous – Hai! Pippi Langkous

May 1972

The theme song to the television series Pippi Langkous (Pippi Longstocking), based on the stories of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.

Pippi was an anarchist, strong as a bear, afraid of nothing and always ready to go on an adventure. I thought it was great!

 

Roger Daltrey - It's A Hard Life (45cat.com)

Roger Daltrey – It’s A Hard Life

October 1973

Sinterklaas Day 1973: my first ‘real’ single. I don’t remember asking for it, but The Who was a big thing at our home. My father listened to it a lot.

This song is from Roger Daltrey’s first solo album Daltrey, a classic within our family.

 

Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting (45cat.com)

Carl Douglas – Kung Fu Fighting

October 1974

Fantastic disco-classic: Everybody was kung fu fighting HUHH!. I loved it. I once entered a dancing competition with this song. I won! To be fair, it was at my birthday party, but still…

 

Moments & Whatnauts - Girls (45cat.com)

Moments & Whatnauts – Girls

March 1975

This is a single I bought using my own money. Not in Heerhugowaard or Alkmaar, but probably in Haarlem or Velsen. I remember vividly being at the record store with my mother and handing over the money.

I still think it’s a beautiful song with a great melody.

 

Afric Simone - Ramaya (45cat.com)

Afric Simone – Ramaya

July 1975

Summertime hit by the singer from Mozambique.

 

K.C. & The Sunshine Band - That's The Way (I Like It) (45cat.com)

K.C. & The Sunshine Band – That’s The Way (I Like It)

October 1975

First major hit by this disco, funk and r&b group from Miami, Florida. The great leader, writer and arranger was Wayne Casey (K.C. in the band name).

K.C. & The Sunshine Band’s music has a typical swing, making the band highly recognizable. That applies to this song as well.

 

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (45cat.com)

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

December 1975

Queen was my first real music love. This song has been (over)played to death and is well-known it has almost turned into kitsch.

At the time it was a revelation. It introduced me to an addiction to everything Queen, for years on end.

See also: Queen: my very first music love.

 

Diana Ross - Theme From Mahogany (45cat.com)

Diana Ross – Theme From Mahogany

January 1976

Great song by Diana Ross. She sings beautifully, without the attire that spoil so many of her songs.

 

The Jimmy Castor Bunch - King Kong (45cat.com)

The Jimmy Castor Bunch – King Kong

February 1976

King Kong enticed imagination. A highly funky song!

 

ABBA - Dancing Queen (single) (ultratop.be)

ABBA – Dancing Queen

August 1976

One of the greatest songs of all time.

See also: The evening of Sinterklaas Day 1976 & ABBA’s Dancing Queen and The best ABBA singles.

 

 

Tavares - Don't Take Away The Music (45cat.com)

Tavares – Don’t Take Away The Music

December 1976

Classmates had already bought Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel, so I bought this one. But, Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel was the better song.

 

Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way (45cat.com)

Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way

March 1977

Birthday gift 1977. Best song off hit album Rumours. Stevie Nicks…

See also: Birthday 1977 & Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way.

 

ABBA - Knowing Me, Knowing You (45cat.com)

ABBA – Knowing Me, Knowing You

March 1977

My second ABBA single. Also a birthday gift in 1977.

See also: The best ABBA singles.

 

Gérard Lenorman - Voici Les Clés (45cat.com)

Gérard Lenorman – Voici Les Clés

March 1977

French songs were the go-to thing for a while in the Dutch charts. Nice song.

 

Gibson Brothers - Non Stop Dance (45cat.com)

Gibson Brothers – Non Stop Dance

April 1977

Happy disco song.

 

Fats Domino - Blueberry Hill (45cat.com)

Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill

1960

Rara avis. The single itself is from 1960, but i got it on May 27th, 1977. Read about the how and why in the story School-journey, plaster and Fats Domino.

 

Boney M - Ma Baker (45cat.com)

Boney M – Ma Baker

May 1977

Week after week after week after week I went to Diskoland in Heerhugowaard, The Netherlands. The song, meaning the single, was in such high demand the record company was not able to match up.

By the time I finally got it, I had grown rather tired of the song…

 

Glady Knight & The Pips - Baby Don't Change Your Mind (45cat.com)

Gladys Knight & The Pips – Baby Don’t Change Your Mind

August 1977

Beautiful soul song by Mrs Knight. She played the song at her first Dutch show in 25 years, during her performance at North Sea Jazz, day 2 (Dutch only).

 

Santana - She's Not There (45cat.com)

Santana – She’s Not There

August 1977

Great version of an old song. Glorious guitar work by Carlos Santana.

 

Golden Earring - Just Like Vince Taylor (45cat.com)

Golden Earring – Just Like Vince Taylor

October 1977

Dutch pride. The song is about Vince Taylor, who is/was greatly admired by singer Barry Hay.

Vince Taylor inspired Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. His use of leather suits inspired Elvis Presley and Gene Vincent, among others. He had an affair with Brigitte Bardot and was regarded as the most handsome rocksinger of his time.

In May 1965, Taylor smashed everything on stage to bits and pieces. This was an inspiration for The Who.

 

 

Eruption - I Can't Stand The Rain (45cat.com)

Eruption – I Can’t Stand The Rain

January 1978

Birthday present from my grandfather and grandmother from my mother’s side. If I recall correctly, they came to visit the day after my birthday. I suspect my parents bought the single.

 

Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights (45cat.com)

Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights

March 1978

And then there was Kate Bush. What an apparition. Beautiful, gracious and singing like an angel in some sort of meadow.

At the time I didn’t realize she wrote her own songs, played many instruments and was extremely young. I thought the song was enchanting!

 

Mother's Finest - Piece Of The Rock (45cat.com)

Mother’s Finest – Piece Of The Rock

June 1978

Great rock song. I played it to death. I loved the sound. Very good, to this day!

Top 40

TopPop logo (waarkeekjijvroegernaar.nl)

While in elementary school, the Top 40 played an important part. The list was broadcast every week at the Dutch television show Toppop. I followed it religiously. I kept journals (by hand) and wrote along with the show, writing myself silly just to keep up.

For those who like it: click the link below to see the Dutch Top 40 for 07/08/1978. This list was the result of sales figures during the last week I was at elementary school.

Afterthought

In August of 1978 I started at my junior high school. Singles became less important. LP’s became the norm. I bought them as often as possible. Money shortage was a constant issue. By then, I wanted other things as well: going out, my own drumkit, a camera, my first stereo set, holidays, etc.

However, the bulk of my money went to music. As the single lost much of its importance, another medium rose to fame: the 12-inch. Upon the arrival of the cd-era the classic single was laid to rest. For some time the cd-single was an item, but it wasn’t like the classic single anymore.

In closing

I hope this ‘trip down memory lane’ was entertaining. To me, it most certainly was. What were the main singles during your own childhood? Let me know!

 

Compliments/remarks? I´d love to hear them!