• 29 Years of Success for This Time I Know It’s for Real
    Lo and behold, but it actually turned 29 this year. ‘This Time I Know It’s for Real’ was the first single off Another Place and Time back in February 1989. It preceded the album, which spawned no less than five singles. It’s definitely one of my favorites, not least because of the catchy video directed by Dieter Trattman. Donna Summer hadn’t released an album in two years, since All Systems Go (1987).

    Donna Summer – This Time I Know It’s For Real (1989)

    The disco vocalist did contribute to the hit, sharing writing credits with Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman. And what a return to the charts! Summer hadn’t had such a huge hit in the UK since the ‘70s as it peaked at No.3.  ‘This Time’ was followed by ‘I Don’t Wanna Get Hurt,’ another catchy hit that don’t credit Summer as a songwriter. While it was hit on both sides of the sea, different labels promoted it and the single don’t carry the same B-sides. ‘Whatever Your Heart Desires’ was the European b-side, while ‘If It Makes You Good’ was included on the US version. Both tracks were included on the album. In 2004, a cover version with Kelly Llorenna peaked at No.14 in the UK. The English Eurodance singer debuted as a singer for N-Trance. Her biggest hit was providing vocals for the group’s hit ‘Set You Free’ in 1995. As a solo singer, Llorenna issued a lot of covers.

    Kelly Llorenna – This Time I Know It’s For Real (2004)

    In 2006, Young Divas made a rendition of the track. This Australian girl group recorded the track in order to support a nationwide tour that summer. Produced by George Papapetros and Max Kourilov, the cover made it to No.2 on the ARIA singles chart. Despite the huge success, it wasn’t translated into global success. One such reason could very well be that they were formed out of Australian Idol, and that usually means local success only.

    Young Divas – This Time I Know It’s For Real (1989)

  • The Different Shades of Be My Lover
    Released in March 1995, ‘Be My Lover’ was the follow-up to La Bouche’s ‘Sweet Dreams.’ It was the second single for the group. Regarded as a classic, it was one of the giant hits of the time that defined eurodance. Topping the charts in Italy, Sweden and Germany, it also managed to break the Billboard Hot 100’s top ten. In addition, it was a No.1 dance hit there.

    La Bouche – Be My Lover

    As with many eurodance acts, La Bouche had Germany as its home base (despite its French-sounding name where ‘la bouche’ means the mouth). Lane McCray came from North Carolina, while singer Melanie Thornton came from South Carolina. They both met in Saarbrücken, which borders France. Just like Haddaway, Captain Hollywood and Sydney Youngblood, McCray did military service in Germany. Thornton was an entertainer and vocalist on various dance-pop recordings. Frank Farian, the producer most famous for Milli Vanilli, discovered the couple as part of the band Groovin’ Affairs. Collaborating on ‘Be My Lover,’ the duo founded La Bouche. The track has been a pop cultural favorite appearing in movies such as Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997), A Night at the Roxbury (1998) as well as the Brazilian soap opera A Próxima Vitima. In 2000, Melanie Thornton left for a solo career thus being replaced by the singer Natascha Wright. Numerous covers have been made. In 2003, Hysterie covered it while Inna sampled the track for her album Party Never Ends in 2013. Most recently, Sam Feldt incorporate the track on a new version with Alex Schulz.

    Sam Feldt x Alex Schulz – Be My Lover

  • How Bananarama Revived the Dutch Venus in the ‘80s
    Wow! They really got it! ‘Venus’ was the track that became the start of the collaboration with Stock Aitken Waterman. Original members Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward rocked the charts with the successful Shocking Blue cover back in May 1986.

    Bananarama – Venus

    Formed in The Hague back in 1967, Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock act. While they did have numerous hits such as ‘Love Buzz’ and ‘Inkpot,’ the Billboard Hot 100 ‘Venus’ was the biggest achievement. The group went on to sell more than 13.5 million records by 1973, when it decided to disband in 1974. The group was founded in 1967 by Robbie van Leeuwen. it’s interesting to note that ‘Venus’ “only” peaked at No.3 in the Netherlands upon its release in 1969.

    Shocking Blue – Venus

    Yet, there were other covers of Shocking Blue songs. Nirvana released ‘Love Buzz’ as a debut single in 1988. And the same track was covered by The Prodigy in 2004 for the album Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned under the name ‘Phoenix.’

    The Bananarama Road to Success

    Bananarama achieved a giant success in 1986 with its cover.

    Read == > Do You Remember Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer”?

    ‘Venus’ was actually part of Bananarama’s repertoire for several years before they finally decided to record it. While originally planning to record a disco version with producers Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, they resisted the idea. Instead the idea came Stock Aitken Waterman’s way, becoming the first collaboration with the group. Following the single ‘Do Not Disturb,’ ‘Venus’ was the second single off the album True Confessions. Two additional singles – ‘More Than Physical’ and ‘A Trick of the Night’ – was also released as singles. The album peaked at No.15 on the Billboard 200, while reaching No.46 on the UK albums chart. Finally released, the success was immediate. ‘Venus’ reached No.1 in the US, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Switzerland, Mexico and South Africa. It peaked at No.8 in their home country UK. This was the start of a fruititious collaboration, as Bananarama continued to work on the Wow! album with Stock Aitken Waterman. in 1989, a limited release of ‘Megarama ‘89’ was released, where a remix of the track appeared. A re-recorded version appeared on the 2001 set Exotica and it was also remixed by Marc Almond on Drama (2005).

    Bananarama – Venus (Marc Almond Hi NRG Showgirl Mix)

  • Loreen’s Sweet Success on iTunes
    Loreen’s ‘Statements’ may have missed out on a spot in the Melodifestivalen final. But iTunes download fans rush to the store. The track sits at No.3, far ahead of Anton Hagman’s ‘Kiss You Goodbye’ at No.19. The current iTunes chart in Sweden is packed with Melodifestivalen hits. Ed Sheeran tops with ‘Shape of You.’ Then we have Wiktoria (2), Loreen (3), Nano (4), Robin Bengtsson (5) and Mariette (6).  Jon Henrik Fjällgren’s jojk song sits at No.8 That means six out of ten songs comes from the competition. Adding the rest of the chart, most entries can be found.

    Winners Not Benefitted on iTunes

    The winners from Saturday’s duels does not seem to have sparked downloads. I would have expected Boris René (16), FO&O (17) and Anton Hagman (19) to see experience a surge in sales. Lisa Ajax ‘I Don’t Give A’ only manages to come in at No.40. https://welchemusic.com/2017/03/melodifestivalen-duels-fire/ While downloads and streaming are very different, so does the Spotify chart. For example, Benjamin Ingrosso is No.10 on streaming (while No.29 on downloads). As before, Wiktoria is the biggest hit on Spotify (4). On Spotify, Loreen is now well ahead of Anton Hagman. She’s actually at No.17 while ‘Kiss You Goodbye’ falls to No.30. https://welchemusic.com/2017/03/loreen-reaches-no-29-swedish-top-40/ Much can be said about the competition, we’ll know the results on March 11th. Make sure to follow WelcheMusic.com for more updates.  
  • Happy Birthday, Soul Deep
    This week in 1987, Roxette entered the Swedish Top 40 at No.18 with ‘Soul Deep.’ The single had ‘Peals of Passion’ as the B-side. It only spent three weeks on the chart, remaining at No.18.

    Roxette – Soul Deep

    The song was included on the album Pearls of Passion which was released in November 1986. A remix of the song was later included on the remix album Dance Passion. The album peaked at No.19 in April 1987.

    Third Single off Pearls of Passion

    It was the third single off Pearls of Passion. It followed ‘Neverending Love’ and ‘Goodbye to You.’ The single was released in Canada and select European countries. It only charted in Sweden, unfortunately. Originally it was called ‘Dansar nerför ditt stup I rekordfart,’ i.e. in Swedish. https://welchemusic.com/2015/03/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-roxettes-it-must-have-been-love/ In 1991, the track was remixed for inclusion on the Joyride album. The ‘Pearls of Passion’ track was not only a B-side on ‘Soul Deep.’ It returned as a flip side to ‘Queen of Rain’ (1992). Jackie Day’s 1967 hit ‘Before It’s Too Late’ is used as a reference to the song.

    Roxette Today

    Last year, Roxette releasedthe tenth album. Good Karma was released on June 3rd via Parlophone. It was the first set to be released under a new contract with Warner Music. The first single was ‘It Just Happens.’ The duo was set to tour from June last year, but due to Marie Fredriksson’s illness it was canceled.

    Roxette – It Just Happens

    Follow WelcheMusic.com for further updates on Roxette.