…Which is “Where are the songs/artists/groups that follow?” in the best Czech that I can write at the moment – being now determined to make at least the titles for ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ and ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Blog posts in Czech, or some other appropriate language – apart from the usual ‘Happy Birthday!’ Blog post titles, marking Valinka’s recording anniversaries in her native language of Hungarian. I will get to doing other things in Hungarian in all good time!
The title is as it is because it has long been a creeping realisation that many of the excellent tunes that Valinka brought to the record-purchasing public of Czechoslovakia via her cover versions of originals from outside the former Eastern Bloc simply passed the record-purchasing public of the UK by. The following very revealing set of shots from ‘The Guinness Book Of Hits Of The 70’s’ (based on the Top 75) demonstrate that the aforementioned creeping realisation is more than just a fanciful impression. It stares one incontrovertibly in the face in black and white – or rather, black and sky blue! – that it is cold, hard truth.
We start with ABBA’s ‘So Long’, covered by Valinka as ‘Jeho laskominy’. Where is it in this (long!) list of ABBA records that entered the Top 75?
The following would go some way towards explaining why I had to go searching to establish the fact that Valinka’s towering Soul offering, ‘Důkaz mi dej’ – that totally blew me away when I first heard it – had been based on an original by The Archies: ‘Who’s Your Baby’. They were a bit more than just ‘Sugar Sugar’! It’s interesting to note, incidentally, one of the composers of the original in which Valinka’s ‘Oči nelžou’ (see below) had its origins, Miki Antony – as, so it would appear, his name should in fact read – entering the UK Top 75 for a one-and-only time in a notable year for Valinka, with his own ‘If It Wasn’t For The Reason That I Love You’; just five days before the recordings of ‘Pojď jen dál’ and ‘Sbohem, školní bráno’ (see below).
It is probably a now well-known fact amongst ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ followers that Valinka’s ‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’ is a huge favourite of mine and that this was a cover of Lancelot Link and The Evolution Revolution’s ‘Sha-La Love You’. This group should be somewhere in between Laurie Lingo and The Dipsticks and Liquid Gold. But they are simply not there.
Melanie’s ‘Stop! I Don’t Wanna Hear It Anymore’ was Valinka’s ‘Sbohem, školní bráno’. Here is yet another instance of a glaring omission.
Over on the other side of the record to my personal favourite was Valinka’s cover of Giorgio Moroder’s ‘Looky, Looky’ – her biggest hit, ‘Léta letí’. We here in the UK did not even get a sniff of the tune behind one of the hits of Czechoslovakia’s 1970s.
Perhaps a favourite of Valinka’s later years in the recording studio is the glorious ‘Tikot všech hodin’. There had been no ‘Looky, Looky’ for Giorgio Moroder in the UK Top 75. His muse, Donna Summer, experienced exactly the same fate with her original on which ‘Tikot všech hodin’ was based – ‘Wasted’: a ‘Wasted’ opportunity here in the UK?
Finally, the original behind my first YouTube upload – Valinka’s ‘Oči nelžou’ – was Crackers’ ‘When Jo Jo Runs’. The group contained both Ben Findon and Miki Antony and was, so it would appear, a ‘short-lived’ Anglo-German group. During that short life it is clear that they were no ‘One-Hit Wonder’…make that a ‘No-Hit Wonder’, since they should fit in just before Les Crane on this page.
They might have been called ‘Crackers’, but they certainly didn’t ‘crack’ the charts!”
I think I’d rather be ‘Bananas’ than ‘Crackers’! 😉