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Saturday, December 20, 2014

N.O.I.A. an Italo disco band

They first debuted in 1983 with Stranger in a Strange Land.  The perfect time for the boom of italo disco and new wave.

The Rule to Survive came out soon later and their appeal to the genre ever increased.  The next years True Love got more attention in 1984 then they simply continued to record and release singles even adjusting their sound a bit but that initial magic was gone.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Special Place In my Heart

This is not the biggest or most dramatic Sylvester song, but it is the one that holds the most special place in my heart.  When this record was huge in the clubs I was incredibly enamored with going out.  I was the quintessential up and coming disco bunny.  And when I would hit the floor I'd be out there for hours with my friends.  Badlands, The Lost & Found, Tracks, The Frat House, if you were there you know where I'm talking about!

Luckily Sylvester came around a lot to promote his stuff during the Megatone years so I had the pleasure of seeing him live somewhere near 10 times.  He was basically the biggest club music celebrity there was in that period.  And though the pop charts were no longer kind to him in the 80's he did make quite a good career for himself until that fateful day that A.I.D.S. took him away from us.

Lots of great appearances have been preserved on you tube.  Another great one of course is when he was on the Joan Rivers show.  Especially since it was one of his last and when he had finally gotten a release on a major label again, and even a Larry Levan remix.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Generally I try to go at least partially obscure with my posts.  But this time I'm going right for the hit.  In 1983 you could not get away from Happy Children anywhere in Europe.  1983 was the year of the italo disco explosion but few of the singles broke the way this record did.

It bring back joyous memories and it's one of those records I never ever get sick of.  GET YOUR HIGH QUALITY MP3 of HAPPY CHILDREN

P. Lion had one semi hit after Happy Children with Dream, but it did not come anywhere close to the success of his debut single.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Italo Disco with a positive message BELIEVE IN YOURSELF the creatures

Easy money is not for you boy
Not to take it, if you don't need
Easy money is not for you boy
Not to take it, if you can
You don't have to dream
Whenever somebody promises
You've to make yourself rest
Only believe in yourself and never mind
Never somebody says to you
You are the best in the world
Only believe in yourself
Boy don't be so shy
Better give it, you gotta run
Because you can be the first
But only believe in yourself and do it now
I mean that I wanna say to you
Changing you like I want
But only believe in yourself
You gotta believe in yourself, no no. (oho my baby)
Easy money is not for you boy
Not to take it, if you don't need (no, you don't need)
Easy money is not for you boy,
Not to take it, if you can
You don't have to dream
Whenever somebody promises
You've to make yourself rest
Only believe in yourself and never mind
Never somebody says to you
You are the best in the world
Only believe in yourself
You gotta believe in yourself
Now shake your boogie, boogie around
Believe, believe
Believe in yourself
Easy money is not for you boy
Not to take it, if you don't need (you don't need)
Easy money is not for you boy (boy boy)
Not to take it, if you can (if you can)
Boy don't be so shy
Better give it, you gotta run
Because you can be the first
But only believe in yourself
But only believe in yourself
But only believe in yourself
But only believe in yourself
Believe in yourself, Believe (Oho)
Shake your boogie, boogie
Shake your boogie, boogie (yeah)
But only believe in yourself ….

  Mario Flores
Another wonderful italo disco tune from my favorite year 1983. Believe in Yourself not only has an infectious beat but a great message. Mario Flores and Maurizio Sangineto (Sangy) are the guys behind this concept. Sandy also produced Amanda Lear, The Armed Gang and Passengers among others. He was also a member of Firefly (I've blogged about them in the past and the downloads still work).  

The Creatures actually had 7 album releases between 1982 and 1991 but Believe in Yourself was their break-out hit.


It's been about five years since I've refreshed the links on this one.  ENJOY LOTS OF FIREFLY

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' is a 12" in my Ebay store. Click on the title of this blog to be taken to my auction for it.

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.

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.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

O.K. Run is an alias for Sandy Marton as M-Basic

Years before the big international pop hit People from Ibiza Sandy Marton had hooked up with seminal italo disco producer Claudio Cecchetto and they came up with O.K. Run.  It's now considered an early classic of the genre.  Cecchetto was responsible for many of the best italo records of the 80's.

Sandy Marton became one of the most recognizable Italian pop stars of the 80's though few of his songs broke in the states.  His long blond hair was reminiscent of Green Gartside from Scritti Politti.  Maybe there was only room for one pop star with long blonde hair.


Which reminds me Italians use the expression O.K. and for them it means great.  I've found the need to explain to them that in English O.K. is nothing special.  Sometimes it is just above the minimum.  So I would never use O.K. as a compliment.

How shy is rose? I cry for you, you are my desire, only men, and other italo disco gems featuring her yearnings

I'm reposting this blog from a few years ago so I can refresh the links for you.  Show your appreciation click on my ads!
Rose's debut single was I CRY FOR YOU.  Not exactly shy she seemed to be yearning for it.  This italo disco fabulosity came out in 1987 and was quickly picked up by labels around the world.  Including the low quality pressings on the U.S. label JDC which I used to have but sold on EBAY ages ago.  Apparently Japan was the market that went for Rose the most.  This single sold 2.5 million copies there!  SHY HITS GLENN RIVERA EDIT OF I CRY FOR YOU
It was produced by Antonio D'Addezio who had his hand on quite a few italo disco projects during the italo heyday.  His alias was Toney D and he was a Swiss D.J. who even had his own record store in the early 80's.  Here's his My Space TONEY D

The follow-up single made it clear to us that she's not a lesbian, hell not even Bi it was called ONLY MEN.   Another release starting out in Italy and soon licensed throughout the world.  We can see the British release here on Record Shack.  It sounds sort of like a Pet Shop Boys It's a Sin rip-off.
Her last italo disco hit was You Are my Desire from 1989.  Here I've posted a zip with many mixes.  YOU ARE MY ZIP

Her sound continued in it's carefree italo disco frivolity.  A sound that my readers know gives me joy and continues to be a guilty pleasure in 2014.

This last photo is from the cd release which came out in 1994 and is a real collectible if you can even find it.  It was released on Canada's Unidisc.  HERE'S THE RARE CD

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Jungle Man by Veronique is a cover of African Man by Kongo Band

Afrikan Man by Kongo Band was released in 1985 and distributed by the ever present Discomagic.  Apparently it was so well-loved that 2 years later a Swiss label put out Jungle man by Veronique.


If you watch the documentary I posted yesterday you'll see that the sheer amount of italo disco records released in a short period would make it just about impossible for even a huge fan to know all the songs.  But don't despair apparently a lot of them are shite!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Spaghetti Dance

I.C. Love Affair Gaz Nevada Gaznevada Italo Disco pinnacle

Italian Synth-Pop legends of the early 80's from Bologna.  The Gaz Nevada Line-up was: Billy Blade (sax, keyboards, vocals), Andrew Nevada (vocals, electronics), Chainsaw Sally (bass), E. Robert Squibb(guitar) and Bat Matic (drums).  Actually their first l.p. in 1979 was full-stop new wave as was their second in 1980.  They are both collectible and pretty hard to find.  I've never even heard them.  It was actually with their third l.p. that they went minimal synth/italo disco and started to make some money.  


Released in late '82 and making it's impact in 1983 I.C. Love Affair was the 5th Gaznevada single and it remains the most well known.  It's perfect.  It has every element you could ever want from an italo disco track.  There have been tons of edits done of it too.  I've included a recent one in the zip.

Why do they keep repeating 77?  Is it some kind of code for spies?  Also to note I've seen the name of the band spelled as one word and at times as two.  Consistency was never one of the more important aspects of Italo Disco.

The follow-up single Private Agent Man was also quite enjoyable but not as downright infectious as I.C. Love Affair.  Original member Ciro Pagano formed the techno dance band Datura.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ish is responsible for Fascinated and so many other dance jewels

Company B's break-out debut single Fascinated was originally released in 1986 on an obscure Miami label called The Summer.  It broke big and seemed to capture an era of the freestyle girl group.  By 1987 it had climbed to #21 on the U.S. pop chart and #1 on the dance chart and Company B and their campy blonde wigs were recognized by everyone.

Foxy's Ish Ledesma produced the track and even included his sister in the original line-up.  Original line-up:  Charlotte McKinnonLori Ledesma and Susan Johnson.  
Charlotte McKinnon was replaced by Lezlee Livrano before their debut album was released. 

Though quite a commercial sound apparently even Larry Levan of The Paradise Garage adored this record.  It has been said that at times he'd mix in and out of it for over an hour!


My fascinated zip includes the really cool ultimix before it's time mash-up of Fascinated with L'il Louis French Kiss which was done in the mid 90's.  It also includes Disconet, Remix, Dubs and more.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

FACES and FEEL THE FIRE and especially EYES by CLIO

 Maria Chiara Perugini is Clio.  Guess where she's from?

Clio was a tasty italo disco double A side released in 1985 on Crash records.  Superior production, great synths and pleasant vocals.   GET YOURSELF SOME CLIO

Her debut single Eyes from the year before is even better.  It directly bites my pretty much all time favorite italo disco song Come on Closer by Pineapples AND if that wasn't enough she seems to have a chorus in a made up language.  I CAN SEE YOUR EYES

If that wasn't enough here we have a zip of Clone's re-release of Eyes along with a French Version and a newer edit....only one word necessary...HAWT!!! CLONE THOSE EYES

I guess I didn't realize there were samples in 1984.  Here's my Pineapples zip listen for yourself.  I LOVE PINEAPPLES For more info. on this gem just go to search above as I've blogged Come on Closer before.

A Definitive Paradise Garage Classic

The former keyboardist for the British group Hi Tension, David Joseph is responsible for one of the definitive Paradise Garage classics.  So much so that it even defined a category Garage House.  I'd venture to say that it's 1983 release date made it more "boogie" than anything else.  Boogie was the term Brits were using in the early 80's for disco.

Though his debut single, Joseph wasn't really able to repeat the impact.  We're just lucky that it exists and that Larry Levan mixed it.  YOU CAN'T HIDE THIS ZIP

My zip includes some tasty edits.  As usual I request, if you like my blog, please click on the ads.