Various Artists

1000 Nadelstiche, Vol. 10: Amerikaner & Briten Singen Deutsch (UK Girls)

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As the mouthful-of-marbles title spells out, this is a mighty special-interest compilation: British girl singers (all from 1964-1968) recording in the German language. It sounds as if most of these are German versions of songs they'd already done in English, though it's likely at least some of them were recorded only for the German market; as the liner notes are entirely in German, it's not easy for English speakers to tell for sure. Dusty Springfield and Lulu are the only true big names represented on this 24-track compilation, though there are plenty of other artists who will be widely recognized due to their one or two big hits (Millie Small, a pre-fame Kiki Dee, Julie Rogers, the Caravelles). There are also a few artists who had one or two big U.K. hits without breaking the American market at all -- Twinkle, Susan Maughan, Jackie Trent -- and a bunch of singers who never had much success anywhere (like Sue & Sunny, Janie Marden, Cherry Roland, and the McKinley Sisters). As for the contents, the CD is of much greater value for filling in the libraries of hardcore collectors with mighty hard to get rarities than it is for the music itself. These singers, and songs, are much more effective in English than in German, though there's some novelty value to be had from hearing Springfield's "I Only Want to Be With You" and Small's "My Boy Lollipop" auf Deutsch. Too, it's clear that in some if not most cases the singers are just laying German vocals atop the same backing tracks used on the more widely circulated English-language versions, though frankly many of these songs weren't popular in any territory. Of most interest to British Invasion devotees, perhaps, is the presence of two rather bland 1966 Lulu songs ("Wenn Du Da Bist" and "So Fing Es An") that make their first appearance on CD here. Millie Small is quite well represented, with four tracks, including not only a German "My Boy Lollipop" but also a German translation of her smaller hit "Sweet William." Otherwise, none of the songs sound like they would be too great even in their English counterparts, though most of them have the characteristics common to women-sung British Invasion music, mixing American girl group influences with a more British-European sort of orchestral production and pop melodies -- Cherry Roland certainly sounds like she's trying her best to emulate the most bombastic mid-'60s Dusty Springfield tracks on "Was Ist Gold, Was Ist Geld," for instance.