An Obsession for Candy!

The headline was an attempt to be funny, as this post is about those songs! Forgive me if I failed.

I am not the kind of person who spends every spare second searching the internet or record stores for second hand albums, I don’t stress about that. However, if I come across a record fair, I really do enjoy the hunt for ‘new’ treasures – and sometimes luck is on my side! Like a couple weekends ago at the barn sale, I was in luck but I also think I overlooked a few albums just because there were too many! I got a bit ‘blind,’ and forgot to check my “Wanted”-list…

Let me turn back time just a tad, to the before-mentioned barn sale. We’d spent two days there, finding albums and had a decent pile each. Right before Hubby and I decided to call it a day, I was flipping through a box and got excited  when my brain recognized what my eyes had detected: Animotion! Their song “Obsession” is listed in Mad World, and here it was in front of me!
Some history behind the song that I thought was interesting:  It was originally written and released in 1981 by Michael Des Barres, a particularly fascinating guy who’s got a long career within the film and music industry. His acting career spans from “To Sir With Love” on the big screen, via MacGyver to NCIS and CSI on TV. Michael also has a big music career having played in bands like Silverhead, Chequered Past and Detectives. For the tour in 1985 he replaced Robert Palmer as the singer in The Power Station, a side project of John and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran. Today, Michael works as a radio host on “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” at SiriusXM, Channel 21.

Let’s return to “Obsession.”
In 1983 when the song was used in a film called “A Night In Heaven,” some A&R guy heard it and decided to recut it with a band from L.A. called Animotion. They were right in the middle of recording their self titled debut album, but “Obsession” sounded different from the rest of their material. After some minor changes, Animotion added the song to their album, giving them the only hit on the record when it was released in 1984. “Obsession” reached #6 in the US charts and #5 in the UK. Two more albums was released in the ’80s, but only one other song made it to Top 10 –  “Room to Move” made it to #9 in the US in 1989.  Today, “Obsession” is most likely the only song people still connect with Animotion.

And there it was, in a box at a barn sale. And as I just almost missed it, I could happily tick it off my list!


I did find other artists I was searching for too, that weekend, but not the correct album with the desired song included in Mad World. But guess what…? Hubby did! In another room he found two Bow Wow Wow records, and one of them happened to be “I Want Candy” which was on my list! He looked at me, saying with a cheeky smile that he picked those to keep himself. We’ll see about that, I thought…

More interesting facts from Mad World: Bow Wow Wow was a British group put together by Malcolm McLaren. Yes, same guy who was behind The Sex Pistols. Malcolm was quite cunning as he had The Ants, Adam Ant’s band, kick Adam out by making them believe they could do so much better without him (How Adam managed without The Ants is a different story…). The search for a new singer began. Working her Saturday job at a dry cleaner up in North West London, they found Annabella Lwin singing to the songs on the radio. With her background as half Burmese, half English she seemed to be perfect, as they were going for an exotic sound. And she could sing! Bow Wow Wow was born.

Their debut album Your Cassette Pet was released in 1980, I want Candy, which actually was a compilation, was released in 1982. After the release of their third studio album in 1983; When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going (yes I know, the same title as Billy Ocean’s song a few years later), Annebella was kicked out of the band, accordingly due to somebody’s wish to get a male singer instead and be less pop. However, continuing as a reformed band without Annabella, they never achieved the same fame/success again.
Did anyone say being in the music industry was easy…?

Now let’s back up to Hubby and his findings. After we got back home, going through everything we bought, he mentioned being willing to make an exchange. The Kate Bush album I literarly snatched out of his hands, for both the Bow Wow Wow albums he’d found. Ehm…. I agreed, because Kate Bush’s Hounds Of Love wasn’t all that important to me at this point, and I thought it would be easier getting my hands on another copy later than finding I Want Candy. 
Yet another song could be ticked off my list, yay!

The next blog post will be about Oslo’s largest outdoor fleamarket, Ekebergmarkedet, that took place on the weekend of 15th and 16th September. We planned to go, as there’s always someone selling records there, and you never know what treasures you’ll find. I mean, all that’s missing from my “Wanted”-list are 15 songs….


Mad World

With a title taken from Tears For Fears debut album, Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s  is a book released in 2014 – a must-have for all ’80s nerds!


The authors are Jonathan Bernstein and Lori Majewski, whom I learned was the co-founder and editor in chief of Teen People. She also served as executive editor of Entertainment Weekly and Us Weekly. Today she is a host at SiriusXM Radio, and she’s a Duranie! 
As the book title says, these are the stories behind 36 songs that played a role in defining the New Wave genre.
Many of the songs I already knew pretty well, some of them were less familiar although I knew the bands, and yet other songs were all new to me.
I really enjoyed reading the book and learned a lot, such as who wrote the different songs, and how the idea for a song came about! For some artists, the song happened by coincidence, in other cases the record company didn’t even want to release it as a single, and Simple Minds didn’t even like Don’t You Forget About Me when it was handed to them.

As soon as I discovered this book, I knew I needed it! Just look at that cover, it practically begs to be read! The fact that Duran Duran’s hit “Girls On Film” was given an entire chapter, and that Nick Rhodes wrote the foreword might have had something to do with me wanting the book. Most of all, for me, the ’80s was also the decade with the coolest music! Finally, I saw Mad World as an opportunity to update my reputation for being a walking encyclopedia of random information…

I greedily started reading.
The introduction gives a straight forward explanation to the term New Wave. According to the book: “In the UK, home to the majority of the artists featured in this book, new wave was initially code adopted by journalists and disc jockeys eager to be perceived as cool but too nervous to actually use the word “punk” with all its threatening implications.
In America, new wave was an umbrella the size of a circus tent. It covered synth pop, ska, goth, alternative rock, bubblegum, Eurodance, industrial, new romantic, blue-eyed UK soul, and electronic dance music.”


The 36 songs have each been given a chapter that starts with an introduction of the band/artist, followed by a time frame on their background, where they came from, how long they’d played together, and their development up until then. You can also learn what the authors remember from when the song came out and what kind of emotional connection they had to the song. Lori and Jonathan went on to interview everyone involved in the process of making each hit included in the book. At the end of each chapter, there’s a paragraph called “That was then but this is now” which updates you on the whereabouts of the artist/band today.


Mad World was just as awesome and informative as I’d hoped! In addition to learning plenty, I got really curious about the artists and the songs I wasn’t familiar with. It also dawned on me that I had some of the songs from Mad World in my record collection already, but not all… So, what then? Well, I decided to hunt for the rest using Lori’s book as a guide! I will continue to write more posts about the different songs already in my collection, and as I add “new” ones.

“And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world”


Vinyl heaven!

Earlier this summer, Hubby came across a Facebook event advertising: “Barn sale – Vinyls”. The post said that 15000 albums were to be sold at £1 each, plus 3000 albums individually priced. All kinds of genres, except classical music.

This was something we couldn’t miss out on!
As a huge fan of the ’80s, I’m always on the hunt for great vinyl, and there are still artists I’ve yet to start collecting.

Last Saturday was bright and sunny, with some delightful late summer warmth. The barn was a 45 minute drive further north from us, situated on an actual farm – very much in the countryside! In front of their garage, the family had placed a table on which they sold a very typical Norwegian treat: coffee and homemade waffles! Any kind of event, anywhere in Norway, sells coffee and waffles. Either raspberry or strawberry jam or brown goats cheese makes it perfect. And sour cream too!  Yummy!

In the garage, we found the individually priced albums and we decided to start there. The albums were sorted alphabetically, and there were also a couple boxes of Scandinavian music. I ended up with 10 albums from the garage, Hubby ended up with seven albums.


As the property was no longer a working farm, the barn was not being used for its original purpose. The former stable had been turned into a “pub,” and the room was cold for such a warm Saturday afternoon.

Not that the temperature mattered, because I was so excited by the sight in front of me: along every wall, boxes full of vinyl records were placed onto chair after chair, and on two long rows of tables in the middle of the room!
This was vinyl heaven. And just £1 each…

I didn’t really know where to start, there were so many boxes! Anxious to find treasures before anyone else, I secured an open spot at the end of a table, and began my hunt. With nothing alphabetized, I knew I needed to go through every box carefully. Hubby seemed to be wandering the room, going through a box here and a box there, pressure off.
Later, he told me he was paying just as close attention to his hunt as I was.
As I came to the end of the first row of tables, I found myself watching the clock – I needed more time!
“We have to come back tomorrow!” I told Hubby…




The result after Saturday’s hunt was pretty good: 10 records individually priced and 27 at £1 each!




Some of Saturday’s findings.

Sunday came.
The weather was just as beautiful as the previous day, which was perfect for a long hike with Issi. But as I wanted to continue my hunt for vinyl, Hubby was kind enough to drive me back to the barn before he went off with Issi. That was around 12:30 pm.

The “pub” room felt even colder than my first visit, but that was probably because I was hung over from the school reunion the evening before (the only reason that could make me leave a vinyl sale early!).
There couldn’t have been more than four other people in the room when I entered, so this time it was easier to decide where to start the hunt. I started with the first box along the wall, and it didn’t take more than a few minutes to find An Alien Ate My Buick by Thomas Dolby – an unexpected pleasant surprise since I was really looking for The Golden Age Of Wireless!  At only £1 each, I happily set aside more than I would otherwise.
I kept finding interesting stuff and built up a pile on a sofa. After I moved over to the next wall, some guys showed up who all seemed to be friends. I had fun listening in on what they talked about over the boxes. One of them told the others he’d been at a wedding the night before and this morning he drove for two hours to get to the vinyl sale, which he probably shouldn’t have – he clearly was in a worse condition than me!
Every time I heard one of the guys go “ooooh!” or “aaaah!” I hoped they hadn’t found anything I wanted, but it turned out they were looking for disco, not mainstream ’80s music. A good thing then, that I didn’t mention the two Chic records I’d found for myself…

Hubby returned around 3:30 pm and I still wasn’t done. According to the event post on FB, I had a half hour left before the sale closed. To make things even worse, there was yet another room with records! So when the seller came to inform us all that he’d stick around for another couple hours, I breathed a sigh of relief. I did my best to step up the game, and the remaining boxes in the “pub” were easy to go through as most of them contained a lot of Scandinavian music, country, musicals and German oompa-music from the ’60s and ’70s. Not exactly my favourites.

The last room was much, much smaller so there were fewer boxes and Hubby had already been through some of them. We both found interesting stuff, but I was getting so tired that I nearly missed Animotion by Animotion!! One of the albums I had on my wanted list!
Hubby was feeling worn out too, especially since he’d been hiking for three hours previously, so we decided enough was enough. As a lot of the remaining boxes contained many of the same records, I figured the chances for finding something spectacular would be small.


My piles. The ones on the table in the background are Hubby’s


Of course I already got these! But these have different catalogue numbers.

Finally it was time to pay up – I had to walk back and forth twice to carry all the records I’d put aside! Also, I wanted to look through them one last time to make sure I hadn’t picked any record more than once. The ones that I chose to put back were either because the covers were poor, or because I already had the same records at home with the same catalogue number. Yes, catalogue numbers do matter, especially when it comes to Duran Duran!

Sunday’s result: 74 records. 37 on Saturday. A total of 111 records!

So what comes next? Now I have to register everything. But more important is the question of where to put them…



Music has always played a huge part in my life, ever since I was a toddler. Very often, my Dad would be jamming on his guitar or a keyboard, and my Mom was listening to her albums. I grew up with Cliff Richard, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davies Jr., Ella, Louie…


I had my own albums already from a very young age, which I enjoyed listening to. Children’s albums like Hakkebakkeskogen, Slurp og Klukk-Klukk, Dunderklumpen… Especially Hakkebakkeskogen and Slurp og Klukk-Klukk got played a lot.

If no instruments or albums were being played, the radio was on instead. My Dad even made me a tiny radio that stood on the shelf above my bed. Back then the only ones allowed to broadcast in Norway, was NRK (equals BBC), and they played mostly Norwegian music. But with a good antenna, which most people did have, we could also listen to Swedish radio and they played lots of pop music, both Swedish and English/American. Norway however, were very into translating all foreign music to Norwegian! With basically what felt like a handful of artists singing them all…


Already at a very young age, I was fascinated by the English language. Tried to speak what I believed to be English, sing in ‘English’ (“Did that sound like English??”). The first time I went to London, with my Mom and Granma, I was four years old. On that trip, I learned the song ‘London Bridge Is Falling Down’, feeling very proud. Also at home, my parents used to speak English with eachother when I wasn’t supposed to know what they talked about. No wonder I’ve ended up the way I am, huh?

Around the time I was eight years old, I started playing the piano. A woman who recently had moved into the neighborhood offered to teach children, and I remember several other kids from school doing this too. Granma decided to get me a, not too advanced, Yamaha keyboard so I could practice at home. My career was however shortlived, as the piano teacher moved out after a year or so, and there were no other offers around. Remember, I grew up in the middle of nowhere, and it was out of the question being driven here and there by any parents.


Discovering the wonderful world of pop music happened somewhere between 1982/83. Especially the midwinter break in March 1983 made an impact. Me and my parents were back in London for a vacation and English pop music was ruling! Til this day, everytime I hear Culture Club’s Karma Chamelion or Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams, I’m back in London, 1983. There were also a couple of other songs that had caught my attention by then, but it took a while longer before I learned they were called Save A Prayer and The Chauffeur, and that the band was called Duran Duran…


A Trip Down Memory Lane?

The weather forecast said it would be suiteable for hiking, this first day in our summer holiday, so that’s what we planned for.
Oslo is both a capital, and a county, and the backyard is a huge forest! I wanted to go to Nordmarka (The North Forest) as we’d been a lot East so far. Hubby looked at the map and suggested a parking lot and loosely where to go from there.
I very much agreed! Beacuse then, maybe, we could go to a lake called Helgeren and a cabin I visited with some neighbours back in 1988! Hubby just rolled his eyes.
“You and your trips down memory lane, you never seem to recognize the places anyway!” Well… That cabin visit took place during winter, we were pulled on cross country skis by Huskies on a Friday evening, it was dark. And I was 14 years old. I doubted I would recognize anything else but the cabin… 😉 My memory thought the cabin was placed between the forest trail and the lake, but after consulting the newly bought map, and the original map from ’88 glued in my Garfield School Diary (yes, I still got’em all), I realized the cabin was situated above the forest trail and the lake was farther away. How’s that for a good memory?



Anyway, we did as planned. Parked the car at Hakadal train station and started on the forest trail. The most exciting thing that day actually happened after only 5 minutes. We’d just passed the gate at the beginning of the trail when we noticed a young cow in the middle of the trail. Somehow it had made its way out of the fenced field where the rest of the herd was. Wondered how that had happened, it was a live wire…
Issi was thrilled to see this big animal, she wanted to play! I had to hold her back, hoping the harness would hold, while Hubby tried to “shoo” the cow out on the side so we could pass. The rest of the herd had curiously gathered themselves by the fence. Like they were thinking “Moo, what’s going on..?”



So we continued…After a couple of kilometers the road splits first once, then once more. The trail going left leads back to my childhood village, but we were taking the trail going right, the Trehørningen trail (“Three Corners”). It leads of course to Trehørningen. Both a farm and a lake. But first we passed between two other lakes, the Elvannet (not possible to translate) and Langvann (Long Lake). The trail goes alongside Langvann, and midways you can see the farm Trehørningen to the right.





Leaving Langvann behind us, we soon came to another trail split, the Gørja trail/the Sølvviks trail. Gørja is a lake, and Sølvvik translates Silver bay. We entered the Sølvviks trail, and soon realized we had it all to our selves. Everyone riding a bicyckle continues on the Gørja trail, as it leads to a very popular destination called Kikut (“Lookout”). And the Sølvviks trail was truely “The Road Less Travelled”.



Right… After yet another couple of kilometers I started on the lookout for the cabin. But from the trail it was impossible to see anything else but trees, obviously it was situated to high up and into the forest. Hubby finally found a path seemingly heading in the cabins direction, so we followed it and almost out of the blue, the cabin appeared!
I did recognize the cabin, but not the surroundings. A lot of trees had obviously been cut down over the years. I also recignized the hillside below the cabin, because at my last visit, I kept falling on my skis there over and over again, having a total fit of laughter! Only when you’re fourteen… 😉


On this summers day however, we sat down on a bench in front of the cabin, having a bite of snack and a drink of water. We were quite tired after walking 11 kilometers from the train station. We didn’t stay more than 15 minutes before moving on. It was time to be heading back to the car.


And so we walked on and on and on…. Back at the lakes Langvann and Elvannet we had a slight disagreement on where to take a break, so we actually ended up on separate sides of the river running between the lakes. Disagreements put aside, more snack and water had, and on we walked.




We found a couple of fistsful of cloudberries out on a marsh and put them on one of our drinking bottles. Cloudberries and cream is delicious! 🙂
Down that last hill towards the gate, it felt good knowing the car was not far away. This time there was no sign of any cows on the loose, so hopefully it was back with the herd behind the live wire.
Back home I had to brush Issi thoroughly before we both could rest. She’d had lots of fun jumping and splashing around on the muddy marsh.


This is where we walked. I’ve marked the trail only TO the cabin. As we had to walk the same route back to the car, the distance can be doubled to 22 kilometers.