(exciting mp3 and video links herein!)
For the past 3 weeks, I've been urging listeners to my radio program to watch a certain video on Youtube, so I figure it's High Time I posted a link to the thing: it's Vicky Leandros singing a very dramatic ballad called "Free Again". But more than that, it's Vicky Leandros as the figurehead on some Stygian seacraft, singing "Free Again", while the naked hippies and the damned writhe in some sort of ecstacy behind her! Yes it is!! Watch it right now.
I just heard about a score of you go "who's Vicky Leandros?" Well, <<-- that's her of course - and if you click on that link, you'll find 2 absolutely lovely photo galleries. Before we go any further, listen to this mindblower:
"Theo, wir fahr'n nach Lodz" (mp3) Translation: "Theo, I am bored on this farm - please, let's go to the big exciting city of Lodz, Poland! You rise old murmeltier, before I the patience lose."
This was Top 10 material on the German charts in 1973, instantly announcing itself with the most exciting a capella intro since, I dunno, "Black Dog"? Then you've got that dragging chain percussion a la "Giant Man", and an irresistable Bo Diddley piano thing (later used so nicely on Robert Wyatt's "Heaps of Sheeps" - a segue I cannot resist.)
Vicky Leandros (not her real name) is a Greek singer (born Vassiliki Papathanasiou) who's a megastar in Europe (especially Germany) and is almost completely unknown in the US. Even here at WFMU, she gets mostly short shrift - 9 plays since 2002, and 6 of those by me.
Vicky first came to prominence through the grey old Eurovision Song Contest, an institution best known for foisting ABBA and Canadian subject/Swiss entrant Celine Dion upon the world. This year's contest, coincidentally hosted by Greece, takes place next week (5/18 and 5/20) and is actually the battlefield of Finland's greatest national controversy -- their contestants LORDI. Click here to read Listener Jim's post on these rockers of a stripe I call "Buffycore".
Ah, but back to Vicky: she first entered the contest (representing Luxembourg) in 1967 when she was just 15 - she didn't win. Five years later, she entered again (also Luxembourg) - and won, with the song "Apres Toi". Click the link to hear Bob Weyersberg play it on WFMU. And click here to see Vicky give her prize-winning performance in 1972! And there's more Vickyness on youtube - here's her onstage rendition of "Free Again". OK, there's now no more Vickyness on youtube.
Since 1965, Vicky has released approximately 4 gazillion records, including a split LP with Pet Clark I'm dying to hear (Vicky sings the Bee Gees!) Visit her site for a finely detailed discography, with album and single covers. But more importantly, go here to tell me you've got some Vicky Leandros recordings you'd like to send us! Really, we don't come by this stuff so easily.