"Continental pop" - 16 non-English gems from the old continent



In The Trashcan Records       GARBAGE43
"Whether it's in German, in Dutch, in Spanish or Italian, there's something special about songs sung not in English. Be it cha cha cha, surf, calypso, beat or soul, each one of these songs has got something extraordinary, that special continental twitch... More of this on vol 28"

RCA 45.322 1. gesundheit - xavier cugat

Maybe the best B-side Cugat ever recorded, certainly the healthiest! No, it’s not a German song, it’s an instrumental containing a few words namely Gesundheit, Amigo and Chachacha. And for the rest it’s the kind of latin music maestro Xavier has been producing his entire career: brilliant cha cha cha. Oh, it ends with the words “God bless you, my darling”. The A-side’s called  “Billy’s cha cha”.
9. urlo rock - bruno & his brunos

This flip of “Funiculi funicula” is simply great instrumental rock ‘n’ roll from Italy. I’ve got no idea which year this was recorded, but my guess is around 1960. Who was Bruno? And his Brunos? Does anyone know?
Pop Music PO45S238
Microwatt MC211 2. eri mia - aldo pagani

It’s a flexi 45 with one track only. Wow, what a great speedy cha cha cha tune this is AND it’s sung in Italian. Who was Aldo Pagani? I don’t know.
10. cocoanut woman - aldo pagani

Mr. Belafonte, listen to this: this is the way it should have been played: wild, lewd, sexy. And this Pagani release is also on a flexi 45. Two minutes of cheesy cha-cha-cha from Italy, but sung in some kind of English.
Microwatt MC206
Durium EPA3245 3. pezzettini di bikini - marino marini e il suo quartetto

Your guess was right : this is the '60 Italian version of “Itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polkadot bikini”.  I’m a big fan of Marini who should have gotten more credit outside of Italy. And it’s much better than the Brian Hyland original hit version.
11. l'uomo doro - caterina caselli

(b-side = Perdono) Translated into French by Ely Tchenko (see vol24
).  Great Italian beat pop from '66 by a lady who also recorded a fantastic version of “Baby please don’t go” as “Sono qui con voi” on the compilation “Ultra chicks vol 6”. On another volume of that essential ye-ye series she’s also featured with “Sole spento”.
Compagna Generale Del Disco N9612
Barclay 600001 4. la cucaracha surf - mariela

Another version of “La cucaracha”, and again a great cha cha cha tune, this time in Spanish (of course) but also in French. The flipside is so wonderful that I had to include it on this volume as well.
12. bamba surf - mariela

Both sides were written by Leo Misir. But it should be ‘arranged by’ because this is a cover as well. Splendid uptempo Spanish version.
Barclay 600001
Philips 318 375 PF 5. mustapha - corry brokken

A certain Van Hemert is responsible for the Dutch translation of this Bob Azzam classic. I like this even more than the original version because it sounds more exotic when sung by a girl.
13. puppe mit dem goldnen haar - peggy march

Sitar, strings and a sweet girl singing about “Dolls with golden hair”. In Germany Little Peggy was a big star, but outside of Germany nobody seems to remember her. “Die Maschen der Männer” is the flip (or “The Masks of men”) On vol 28
I’ve put another track “Spar dir deine Dollar”.
Decca D29055
Jaguar 45JG70036 6. finirà - i satellite di ricky gianco

An Italian translation of  the Yardbirds’ classic “For your love”. The a-side is “Questa sera”, a translation of “Genie with the light brown lamp”.  The Italian word for Jaguar is Il Giaguaro and this is the name of one the best Italian ‘zines and record label, run by Roman deejay Alessandro Casella. I’ve never asked him whether he was influenced by that record label.
14. chow chow cha cha - ricardo sanchez

I couldn’t find any information about Ricardo Sanchez nor this release from around 1960. It’s an EP with 2 other Sanchez compositions and 1 cover version of Norman Maine’s “Allo Brigitte”.
Parade LDP5022
Durium epA3014 7. zingarella – marino marini e il suo quartetto

This must’ve been recorded around 1957 and for me this song sounded so familiar that maybe I’ve heard it one day in an Italian movie or maybe in an Italian ristorante. Wanna hear some more Marino Marini tunes? Just listen to vol 28, vol 50 and vol 54
15. der mann im mond - gus backus

From the '61 Constantin movie “Im Schwarzen Rössl” and supposedly a hit in Germany. It’s so incredibly bad that it’s super kitsch and thus perfect for this series. Just listen to the space rocket’s launch at the end of the song.
Polydor 885856-7
Durium CNA9328 8. la notte è troppo longo - wess & the airedales

It’s the '71 Italian version of “Blame it on the Pony Express” and it means “The night is too long” (I think). Okay, this poppy soul tune may not be the very best release by Wess (his best was “Crazy” and also one 45 that I have reserved for you on vol 57
. The B-side’s called “Peccato!”
16. astor-cha-cha – the combo latino

Promo release from a '58 Dutch campaign by the Bibeb company to promote Astor products. Actually for almost four minutes you can listen to theatre actress Kitty Janssen. She’s on the sleeve of this flexi promo 7”. Then, after a few echoing “Astor Astor Astor”, The Combo Latino is playing the “Astor-cha-cha” which lasts for another three minutes. And that means the end of volume 43.
Margarete Astor