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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

FIREFLY FROM A TO Z LEGENDARY ITALIAN BOOGIE, DISCO, ITALO, FUNK AND MORE



It's been about three years since I've refreshed the links on this one.  ENJOY
 LOTS OF FIREFLY
A FIREFLY ZIP
A HUGE FIREFLY ZiP

Like a lot of coveted Italo Disco, Firefly records can be quite valuable nowadays. To many Americans they could be considered one hit wonders with their Emergency licensed dance hit Love (Is Gonna be on Your Side) which hit #3 on the Billboard Disco Chart. Their only showing on the U.S. dance chart. Incidentally the song is known by another name on their debut l.p. where it is called Love and Friendship. An earlier release Do it Dancin' was a 12" in my Ebay store.




A1 Love And Friendship (6:09)
A2 Three Days Of Sweetness (4:20)
A3 Forget It (5:53)
B1 You Make Me Happy (5:08)
B2 It's Time To Say Goodbye (3:45)
B3 Why (5:05)
B4 Dreaming Again (5:00)



But they actually were quite fruitful, recording several full l.p.'s in the 80's, mostly for Mr. Disc Organization records Italy. Here is their second l.p. My Desire which came out just after Love (Is Gonna be on Your Side). It's one helluva tight production. They coined the term Boogie sometime after the disco era ended making the word disco a bad word. "Boogie" groups like this flourished. They held onto the disco sound while refining it and toning it down. I've also heard this sound referred to as Modern Soul.



I hear more S.O.S. Band and Level 42 here then Charlie, Spacer Woman or 'lectric workers Robot is Systematic so I find it more influenced by soul then Italo Disco, at least not the spacey kind. My favorite cut has to be You Can Lead Me. Get a load of the spicy piano, and those vocals by Crystal Davis who has sung back-up for Candi Staton, Venus Dodson and the incomparable Patrick Adams masterpiece Dazzle. Roland Leonard handled most of the lead vocals on the rest of the l.p. and again on the 3rd Firefly l.p. only to fade away into obscurity after.



"you can lead, lead me by the hand, don't you know your love has brought me high"
"you can lead, lead me by the hand, now's the time to share your love with...."

"I won't discuss your past, life goes on too fast and we just have no time"



The title cut My Desire and Our Trade is Life are also brilliant, and were released as a double A side 12". I'm into the sentiments here, and throughout this album. There's a lot of yearning and sex without ever going grope or filth.

A1 Our Trade Is Life
A2 Come Back
A3 You Can Lead Me
A4 My Desire (Studio)
B1 Don't Stop
B2 My Desire
B3 Danielle
B4 Let Me Come In Your Life



The brainchild of Italian duo Maurizio Sangineto (The Creatures and Passengers) and Maurice Cavalieri (who under an alias was the aforementioned Charlie of "Spacer Woman," fame. Maurice was also Ago and Rainbow Team.
My Desire's music was recorded right where I live, in Rome, Italy at Studio TM while the vocals were recorded at Right Track Studios in New York City and it was mastered by the legendary Herb Powers. A name that is on countless labels of records I treasure.





Spacer Woman is one of my ULTIMATE Italo Disco favorites.
A spacer zip
The 3rd album is a lot more Synth Funk, Gino Soccio/Lime influenced. The first track Kiss Power is much better then the rest but like the first two it's a solid production.




A1 Kiss Power (5:10)
A2 Love Is Coming (5:15)
A3 With You (5:05)
A4 Give It To Me (5:00)
B1 Don't Be A Fool (5:12)
B2 I Just Want To Be Your Lover (5:11)
B3 Keep On (4:45)
B4 I Do Love You (4:47)



In 1992 a best of CD was released which leans heavily towards the material on My Desire. It has 8 tracks and then 5 more mixed together.







GRACE JONES SIGNATURE SONG WAS NOT ORIGINALLY HERS

Here's another told post I'm brining back.

The vocalist for La Vie En Rose was meant to be Teresa Wiater.  Produced, arranged and remixed by the mighty Tom Moulton in 1977 it has become one of the definitive disco re-make classics.  His muse Grace Jones knowing a good thing when she hears one convinced Tom to give it to her.  The rest made history as it crossed over to pop all over Europe and other parts of the world.

Teresa unfortunately fell into the depths of obscurity.  Although she managed to have one minor disco hit in 1979 with Once and For All.  Grace on the other hand.....
Teresa Wiater's version (if I figure out which external HD I put this on to I may add this to the post at a later date, for now you can hear the version posted on  you tube)
So which version is better?

And for those of you curious about the Edith Piaf original from 1945.


For fun in the zip I threw in the Nancy Martinez version.  She's a chanteuse from Montreal who had a few cute dance hits in the 80's under several different monikers.  LA VIE EN ZIP



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Phyllis Nelson the 2 hit wonder

Phyllis Nelson is definitely one of those coulda been artists.  Coulda but didn't except when gold struck twice.



In 1980 her debut single Don't Stop the Train was a hit at the seminal gay disco The Saint. Peaking at #20 on the U.S. dance chart  But it didn't get any pop traction.


Then out of nowhere in early 1985 her ballad Move Closer tore up the charts in Europe hitting #1 in the U.K. Though a wonderful record it saw no play in the states.


I love her gap tooth, Madonna and I have them too.
PHYLLIS ZIP


The France based singer then rocked it in the states.  Her single I Like You became one of the definitive classics of the Hi NRG disco sound.  Taking it all the way to #1 on the U.S. dance charts and getting some R&B traction too.  What a tune!  This 20 year old used to lose his mind to this record.  Shep Pettibone provided a fantastic mix and boy can I remember the joy I used to have dancing to this record.  What a positive message too.  


And then once again she faded into obscurity.  In 1988 at the age of 47 she succumbed to breast cancer in L.A. where she had been living.

Phyllis I liked you.

Amanda Lear embodies DISCO

reprinted from the excellent website Dangerous Minds

AN AMANDA ZIP
AMANDA LEAR: 70S DISCO DIVA, FASHION MODEL, TV STAR AND SALVADOR DALI’S TRANSSEXUAL MUSE

Model, painter, disco diva, TV personality and the absolute fiercest of the pioneering transsexuals (along with Candy Darling), Amanda Lear was born Alain Maurice Louis René Tap in Saigon, 1939. Or it could have been Paris. Or Hong Kong. The year might have been 1941, 1945 or as she now claims 1950. There is much competing information about her parents, none of it conclusive. In general, not much is known for sure about the early life of Amanda Lear and she would very much like to keep it that way. She claims to have been educated in Switzerland and she eventually made her way to Paris in 1959, taking the stage name “Peki d’Oslo,” performing as a stripper at the notorious drag bar, Le Carrousel.

Amanda Lear’s mid-60s model card.

The story goes that the gangly, yet exotic Eurasian beauty Peki had a nose job and sex change in Casablanca paid for by none other than the Surrealist master Salvador Dali, who frequented Le Carrousel, in 1963. Amanda, as she is now known, then makes her way to London to become a part of the swinging Chelsea set where she is rumored to have had a relationship with Rolling Stone Brian Jones. She models for Yves St. Laurent and Paco Rabanne and is a constant muse for the Divine Dali, but her career is held back by rumors that she was born a man or was a hermaphrodite. 

‘For Your Pleasure’ cover

Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry saw Lear on the runway during an Ossie Clark fashion show and invited her to be the model for Roxy’s For Your Pleasure album cover, walking a black panther on a leash. They were briefly engaged and that image has become iconic. Lear also had a yearlong affair with David Bowie who serenaded her with “Sorrow” in his “1980 Floor Show” (broadcast on The Midnight Special in 1974). Bowie helped Lear launch her musical career and by the late 1970s she had become a bestselling disco singer and television personality in Europe with hits like “Follow Me,” “Queen of Chinatown” and “I Am a Photograph.” 

The David Bailey photograph of Lear that appeared in the infamous 1971 Dali-edited issue of French Vogue

Amanda Lear’s autobiography, My Life With Dali came out in 1985 and it begins when she would have been approximately 24 or 25 years of age. Almost no mention whatsoever is made of her life before arriving in London in 1965. When Dali biographer Ian Gibson confronted her on camera about the gender of her birth in his The Fame and Shame of Salvador Dali TV documentary, Lear angrily—and not at all convincingly—stonewalled him. She has always vehemently denied that she was a transsexual despite it being a well-established fact. She even posed nude for Playboy and several other men’s magazines and often sunbathed naked on beaches to dispel the rumors. All this really proved was that she had a kickin’ bod, but if you ask me, I think it’s sad that she choses to keep up this pretense. She should be rightfully celebrated for her biggest accomplishment in life—ironically, being true to herself—but apparently Amanda Lear just doesn’t see it that way.

Amanda Lear vehemently denies having had a sex change on German television 1977.

Today Amanda Lear still looks amazing—she’s practically ageless no matter what her real biological… age might be—and continues to perform all over Europe. She’s sold somewhere in the vicinity of fifteen million albums and 25 million singles. She also has a thriving career as a painter and an original painting of hers can sell for $10,000 or more. She’s done stage acting and was the voice of Edna ‘E’ Mode in the Italian-dubbed version of The Incredibles. Lear was a judge on the Italian version of Dancing with the Stars.


“The Stud” from 1979’s ‘Sweet Revenge’ album
FROM OUR PARTNERS AT VICE

Modeling in the 60s with Patti Boyd Harrison and Karianne Muller (later a Roxy Music cover girl herself) in ‘Der Kommissar’:

Her big hit “Follow Me” on German TV’s ‘Musikladen’:

Another performance of “Follow Me,” this time on Dutch TV’s ‘TopPop’ program:

“I am a Photograph” live in 1982:

“I am a Photograph” music video:

“Queen of Chinatown”:

“Alphabet”:

“Blood and Honey”:


Amanda Lear in her first TV commercial appearance, circa 1967, for Révillon’s Detchema fragrance. The music is by cult figure French soundtrack composer, François de Roubaix: