Gruppo Sportivo

Gruppo Sportivo

I wish I had it all, but I don’t.  Great band from The Hague!  Many fans, Hans!  Today’s list is mostly newer stuff – of which I do not have “everything” – post-Ariola.  I believe Jaws label has something to do with Golden Earring.  Not sure about the Van label.

7″                 SUCKER OF THE CENTURY / HADN’T MUCH TO SAY (PS)             JAWS NL                   JAWS 5518.7

1989 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD5              SUCKER OF THE CENTURY                                                                   JAWS NL                   CDS 5518.3

1990 3 TRK CD Single CD5


CD                SUCKER OF THE CENTURY                                                                   JAWS NL                   JAWS 557.2

1990 7 TRK EP


CD5              BLUE MOON                                                                                                JAWS NL                   JAWS 5521.3

1990 3 TRK CD Single CD5


CD5              SHE WAS PRETTY                                                                                     VAN NL                      997006.3

1991 2 TRK CD Single CD5


7″                 REPEATLEMANIA / NORMA-LEE (PS)                                                    VAN NL                      997011.7

1992 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD5              REPEATLEMANIA                                                                                       VAN NL                      997011.3

1992 3 TRK CD Single CD5


CDx2           YOUNG & OUT                                                                                            VAN NL                      997011.2

1992 29 TRKS CD-only release?


CD                SING SING                                                                                                   VAN NL                      74321-18410.2

1994 17 TRKS Live


CD5              BEEP BEEP LOVE (Live)                                                                           VAN NL                      74321-18652.2

1994 3 TRK CD Single CD5


CD5              MISSION A PARIS (Live)                                                                            VAN NL                      74321-21300.2

1994 5 TRK CD EP CD5


CD5              I DON’T THINK SO                                                                                      PSEUDONYM NL    CDSP-1072-DD

2000 2 TRK CD Single CD5 / CD Extra


CD                TOPLESS 16                                                                                                PIAS NL                     481.0043.028

2004 16 TRKS

August 1980 Cassette

1980.08 K7

On 8/1/59 The Chipmunks “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” charts at No. 11 in England.  The Associates “The Affectionate Punch” released in England on 8/1/80.  On 8/4/73 the Suzi Quatro 45 “48 Crash” charts at No. 3 in England.


BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS – probably “Jamming” from a 45

ATHLETICO SPIZZ 80 – Still probably from the “Do A Runner” LP

HERMETO PASCOAL – Not sure which one this would’ve been, maybe “Zebumba Bum A”?

MAGAZINE – Probably one of the post-“Upside Down” 45’s, or something from the 3rd album?

MARTHA & THE MUFFINS – There were a lot of singles from their debut album, which one is this?

THE BOYS NEXT DOOR – Maybe a final entry from “Hee Haw”?

JACQUES PLAFOND – Something from his wonderful “Hark!” LP on CBS NL

GRUPPO SPORTIVO – A Post-Buddy Odor Stop 45 perhaps?

JOHN OTWAY – Maybe a single from “Where Did I Go Right?”

ARIEL KALMA – Perhaps something from “Osmose”, but faded out quickly?


THE BIRTHDAY PARTY – Possibly their debut record as The Birthday Party, “Happy Birthday”

DALEK I – Possibly a single or something from the “Kum Pass” LP

JOHN FOXX – A latter day single from “Metamatic”?

LUNA – Likely the Italian band, with members of Osanna

MARIANNE FAITHFULL – Something from “Broken English”, I bet

PHILIPPE DORAY – This one had a grey cover, and is French

THE CURE – Likely a post-“17 Seconds” single; I never went for the 3rd album

FISCHER Z – Something from “Word Salad” or a 45 from it?

PHILIP GLASS – Was this the Tomato Records era yet?

BENOIT WIDEMANN – Again, a French guy, a member of Magma etc.

MOTORHEAD – An “Ace of Spades” single, perhaps?

XTC – Maybe from the Japanese “Live & More” 12”?

SUN RA – Probably had seen him live and was still hopping around to “Moonship Journey”

I’m sorry that my monthly cassette project didn’t really pan out, with full titles for everything.  Sometimes I can figure it out, other times – a bit of a mystery.

Here endeth this particular lesson!


Fall, 1979


Fall, 1979

I flew to England by myself in the fall of 1979.  I was going to meet up with Cameron Hand in Paris, at a pre-determined date – in a couple of days.  The hotel that I had the name / address of didn’t have any rooms available – no, I didn’t have a reservation!  They took pity on me, however – and found me a place to stay (that was even cheaper than the hotel) in Lime Grove, Shepherd’s Bush.  I was so 21-years-old!

I remember lying in that bed & breakfast listening to a cassette that Don Bolles had given me, an aircheck of an imaginary radio station, “KDIL”.  Older record collector friends had given me the names / addresses of record stores to try to go to.  I had been in touch with Steve Stapleton of Nurse With Wound.  Our band was on his list of favorite bands / records (currently on Wikipedia as “NWW List”).

I walked up and down Oxford St.  I took the Tube.  I shopped in the Virgin Megastore, near Tottenham Court Road.  The HMV @ Bond St.  58 Dean St.  Cheapo Cheapo.  Rock On…and then I discovered “The Record & Tape Exchange” in Notting Hill Gate.  I ate a Wimpy Burger, walked Carnaby St. (nothing happening here, mate).  I remember finding all the bookstores – Foyle’s, Compendium!  I saw films:  “The Kids Are Alright”, “The Life of Brian” – both on Oxford St.

I took the boat from Dover to Calais, got the train to Paris and met up with Cameron at Gare du Nord – how, I will never know.  Cameron & I had first class Eurail passes, which got us as far north as Helsinki, and as far south as…Irun, Spain!  I don’t know where else I went on that first trip that would’ve been any further south!

We wandered around “The Latin Quarter” – Crocodisc, on Rue des Ecoles!  FNAC Montparnasse!  We called Gilles Yepremian, the manager of Urban sax / Lard Free – he spoke English.  Silly us, we both forgot about the 1 hour difference between England and France – so we were continually either an hour early or late to out ‘events’ – we saw Polanski’s “Repulsion” in a theatre, but walked in on it , much to the consternation of the avid cinema viewers.  When we were to meet Gilles, we went to his place, but nobody was home – we waited for an hour, and just about as we were going to shuffle off into the Pelforth afternoon – Gilles appeared, reminding us of the time difference.  We met Roland Bocquet.  Gilles knew The Doors.  Gilbert Artman had never seen any American fans before, so that was cool.

I also got to meet Aldo Tagliapietra (of Le Orme) in Venice, Italy – Aldo spoke very good English.  Also met Holger Czukay in Koln, Germany – he was in the phone book.  It was all about music and music people, on that trip.

I remember buying a canvas LP / 45 bag at Virgin Records in England – I filled it with mostly 45’s – it got quite heavy.  Amsterdam!  Febo!  Concerto!  With or without?  Huh?  Chocomel!  Hey, everyone here speaks English fairly well!  Rock In Waterland, Trekweg 8, The Hague!  Stockholm!  Clock Burger!  Helsinki!  Tunnelenlevy!  I met someone from New Zealand in Helsinki…which gets us up to Wellington, NZ 1980.

1980 – (Ron is 22)


1980 – (Ron is 22)

WarningLong Post!

In the summer of 1980, I turned 22 years old.  I was working full-time, and I was busy with my band.  I believe I went to Europe in July, 1980 – and I was headed to New Zealand for the first time, shortly thereafter.  It was quite a time.  You were there, too – what are you favorites from 1980?  Starting from a list of over 1,100 titles, mine were:

I was buying singles by A Certain Ratio – some from England, some from Belgium.  Speaking of Belgium, the 2nd Aksak Maboul album turned up, I liked the first one better.  I still bought ‘space rock’ – “Belle Alliance” by Ash Ra from Germany.  I remember getting an album & Single from Wild Willy Barrett (“Krazy Kong Album”).  I remember liking the dub album by Basement 5 better than their proper album.  I still fancied Lucio Battisti, the Italian singer-songwriter (“Una Giornata Uggiosa”).  I liked the debut album by The Beat, known in the US as The English Beat – and I liked their singles, especially “Mirror In The Bathroom”.  The debut album from The Birthday Party came along, and their single “Happy Birthday” really drove me nuts – a great record.  I loved the debut Buggles album – and I got loads of variant singles when I got to Europe that summer.  We were all still listening to Kate Bush, but I confess that the “Breathing” single broke the spell for me.  I was mightily amused by the album “Wasp” by Shaun Cassidy.  I was right into John Cooper Clarke.  I was starting to hear stuff from New Zealand a lot – it was being sent to me via Air Mail (like the “AK 79” sampler LP with The Swingers).  I was very amused with the Cristina single, a cover version of “Is That All There Is?” – I found my copy in London.  I really liked NZ band The Crocodiles – the 45 “Teenarama” made a big impression on me.  I really liked The Cure, and I liked their 2nd album “17 Seconds” even better than their debut album.  I liked the album and singles from Dalek I Love You.  The soundtrack from the film “McVicar” by Roger Daltrey was actually a pretty good album by The Who.  I loved “The Black Album” by The Damned – and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a European-only 45 of ”White Rabbit”.  I loved Department S from the word go – finding “Is Vic There” in 2 different versions on 45.  I liked Dave Dobbyn better than his band Th’ Dudes – especially his “Lipstick Power” 45.  The golden age of Ian Dury & The Blockheads may have been over, but I still liked his “I Want To Be Straight” single.  John Foxx “Metamatic” cannot be over-estimated – I had seen him on stage with Ultravox in 1978 (“Touch & Go”).  Freeez “Southern Freeez” was and is one of my favorite albums.  I was aware of Fred Frith “Gravity”, but I like it better now than I did then.  Gang Of Four “Outside The Trains Don’t Run On Time” was a really important British single for me.  I think I got The Gordons “Future Shock” in the mail – wow!  Gruppo Sportivo “Copy Copy” didn’t have the same magic as the previous 3 x Sportivo albums – but I still liked it.  I got to work with Human Hands in 1980, but I wasn’t involved in their “Sensible Guy” single.  Flowers “Icehouse” was on display in Chelsea Records in Manners St. in Wellington – that’s all it took.  The Igloos cover a Syd Barrett song (“Octopus”).  Japan “Gentlemen Take Polaroids” had Ryuichi Sakamoto from Y.M.O. on it – I had been with Japan since the “Quiet Life” album.  I was sent the debut Kewi A Go Go Party album in the mail (“Life Is Like A Penguin”) by Eric from Boudisque.  I liked the NZ band The Knobz “Culture” 45 on the Bunk label.  Knox cover a Syd Barrett song (“Gigolo Aunt”).  Krisma “Cathode Mama” LP from Italy was amusing.   Lavvi Ebbel 45 “Out Of The Blue” from Belgium really made me happy (again, thanks to Eric).  I found the debut Lio album by myself, in a FNAC store in Paris – which one?  Montparnasse?)  Eric @ Boudisque again – the debut 10” from Fay Lovsky, then known as Fay Lovesick (“Sound On Sound”).  Lots of Madness records in 1980 – I liked the “Work Rest & Play” EP probably the best.  Magazine were one of my favorite bands – lots of singles released in 1980 – “Sweetheart Contract” probably my favorite – I had seen them live in ’79 and would see their San Francisco “Urgh” show in 1980.  Martha & The Muffins – Canadian band, British records – “Trance & Dance” had some great stuff; good live band, too.  I had cotton’d on to Mi-Sex in ’79 – but I also liked their 2nd LP “Space Race”, another good live band.  The Mockers seemed to attract a lot of attention in Wellington NZ, having a B-Side called “Murder in Manners St.” – which I had bought on Manners St.  I was buying records by The Monochrome Set, but my fandom would take almost 20 years to germinate.  One of the best 45’s I was ever sent from Holland was The Monomen “Come In Handies” b/w “S.O.B.S.” in a plastic sleeve (Thanks, Eric!) – I even got to see them live in Amsterdam!  The Mothmen “Pay Attention” LP, I just love “Not Moving” from that debut album.  New Musik “From A To B” was great, best single from them at that time was “This World Of Water”.  Harry Nilsson “Flash Harry’ – what a weird album!  Eric sent me the 3rd album from The Nits “New Flat” – and I had a new favorite band – I absolutely loved the 45 “Holiday On Ice” (a German 45 for a Dutch band).  1980 was all about 45’s for Gary Numan “I Die, You die” and “We Are Glass” – his best work.  Orchestral Manoeuvres’ debut album is pretty good, I like the “Red Frame, White Light” single better (& the “Messages” 10”).  John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett had a lot of 45’s – “DK 50/80” made the biggest impression.  Interesting live act, Mr. John Otway.  The Andy Partridge “Take Away” solo LP is a bit confounding – I think I like his work with XTC better.  The Passions “Michael & Miranda” LP is really good; I also go for their subsequent singles.  Jacques Plafond “Hark!” LP is sent to me by Eric from Holland, and we are all amused.  Plastics “Top Secret Man” is amusing, seems as lot like Devo; I like it better now than I did then.  2nd LP by P-Model “Landsale” is real good, I guess I liked the 1st album (“In A Model Room”) better.  “Now” by Pop Mechanix is one of the best singles I was sent from New Zealand – where’s the LP? (Uh, there was never a Pop Mx LP).  Psychedelic Furs – they seem to be a good band, loved the “Sister Europe” and “Mr. Jones” singles.  Pylon “Gyrate”!  Random Hold “The View From Here” LP is amazing – we will have to wait a few years to hear “Avalanche”.  Revillos “Rev Up!” LP has to wait until I see the videos for “Where’s The Boy For Me” and “Scuba Scuba”.  The Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue” LP continues in the trend of “Some Girls”, so they’re still listenable.  Ryuichi Sakamoto “B-2 Unit” album reminds me of the Andy Partridge LP – only it was a lot more expensive.  The Selecter album “Too Much Pressure” is fine – I never got to see them live (at least, I don’t think I saw them live).  Simple Minds “Empires & Dance” resonates, but I will like their next LP even better.  Soft Boys cover a Syd Barrett song (“Vegetable Man”).  The Sound “Heyday” single is great.  Spandau Ballet’s debut single “To Cut A Long Story Short” is my favorite record by them.  The Specials “More Specials”…er, M.O.R. Specials?  Uh, I liked Side One really well.  Spizz! Athletico Spizz 80 “Do A Runner” – great, great LP – still not on CD in 2010?  Spliff “The Spliff Radio Show” – my favorite English-language German record of 1980.  Really liked “Passion” by Rod Stewart (and the album “Foolish Behavior”).  Continued my Stranglers fandom – two great singles in 1980 “Bear Cage” & “Who Wants The World”.  Surf Punks (saw ‘em live at The Roxy) and was amused by the “My Beach” LP on Epic.  This Heat “Health & Efficiency” 12” – I like this better than either of their albums!  Pete Townshend “Empty Glass” – an album that you could sit down with the lyrics sheet!  Toy Love LP & singles were great in ’80 (eventually got to meet Chris Knox in NZ).  Waitresses “I Know What Boys Like” single!  Even Tom Waits’ “Heart-attack & Vine” LP!  Steve Winwood “Arc Of A Diver” (with Vivian Stanshall lyrics!).  Robert Wyatt had a bunch of singles in 1980 – but no LP?  “At Last I Am Free” was my favorite of those.  XTC “Black Sea”!  I didn’t go for Yello in 1980 – that had to wait approx. 20 years.  Y.M.O. “X Infinity Multiplies” 10” was and is amazing!  Snakeman Show!  I suppose one could get to Yes “Drama” via The Buggles…Frank Zappa “I Don’t Want To Get Drafted” single!  Hector Zazou “La Perversita” LP on Invisible from France – still not on CD in 2010?

Sure there was more than this going on in 1980 – but these are what stuck out for me.

Ultimate Collection #4


Gruppo Sportivo (Ultimate Collection #4)

For the 4th title in My Ultimate Collection, the 3rd album by Gruppo Sportivo, “The Buddy Odor Stop – Buddy Odor Is A Gas” (1979) is an obvious choice.  I acquainted myself with Gruppo Sportivo at the time of their debut album, merely because I could see Robert-Jan Stips’ name on the cover (as producer).  I had been a huge Supersister fan for most of the 70’s.

If I choose the original LP of The Buddy Odor Stop, it’s a glorious original Dutch pressing, with custom labels, a heavy inner-sleeve and a sticker included.  If it’s the CD re-issue, it includes an additional album, the original Dutch version of their debut, “10 Mistakes” (1977) – so I will be going with the CD issue (but I will also probably keep one of the several versions of the Buddy Odor Stop LP that I already own) – “10 Mistakes” is great, too – but this entry is just for “Buddy Odor Is A Gas”.

If you’re familiar with Gruppo Sportivo, you already know about their fun and clever English-language pop music from The Hague in The Netherlands.  GS main-man Hans Vandenburg came from the Leo Unger group.  Yes, I went to the trouble to seek out “Run To The Sunshine” (1974) by Leo Unger, just to see what Hans Vandenburg looked like, pre-Sportivo!

I started visiting Holland in 1979.  Even on that first visit, I made the journey to Aad Link’s office in The Hague, “Rock In Waterland” (Trekweg 8!).  I visited Holland many times between 1979 and 1992, and Aad was always very nice to me, finding me stuff from the groups he worked with: Supersister, Gruppo Sportivo, The Nits…I was once given a bunch of Gruppo Sportivo posters – which I promptly lost while riding the trains around northern Europe!

So, the pop songs on “The Buddy Odor Stop “ are perfect; perfect Sportivo, perfect pop songs.  I love every one of them; there’s no telling just how deeply engrained this album is in my psychological make-up.  It’s beautiful stuff.  It always made me sad that this album didn’t seem to be very well received at the time of it’s release – no US issue, no big tour…the original group fell apart and Hans re-grouped in 1980 for “Copy Copy” (goodbye Josee and Meike!).

But in my universe, this is one of the best albums of the 1970’s and certainly my favorite album of 1979 – and easily my favorite album from Hans Vandenburg / Gruppo Sportivo.  If I could take this album with me when I leave, it will have been all worth it.  Someone on Earth created the near-perfect pop album – in English, in Holland, in 1979.  Go figure!

I think it is safe to say that My Ultimate Collection cannot be ranked accurately.  I think at some point any title in the “Top 10” has been my favorite record of all time…but I keep listening, and something else gets my attention.  But I most certainly return from time-to-time to pretty much everything that’s near the top of my list.