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Saturday, December 31, 2016

On the Beat B,B & Q Band

Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens band were one of the many incarnations of italo disco master Jacque Fred Petrus.  

It was huge on the New York City disco radio in 1981.  The only hit using this moniker.  It's a classic.


Though originally from Guadalope.  Jacques Fred made his mark as a D.J. in Milan and collaborating with another italo disco genius Marco Malavisi.  His work with the Peter Jacques Band, Change and Revanche were some of the best early italo disco classics coming towards the end of the disco era.

ENDGAMES from SCOTLAND

ENDGAMES were formed in 1980 in Glasgow, Scotland and put out a few synth pop records.  Several of these have become quite collectible and sound great even today.  In my zip I'm going to give you a couple of my favorites both from 1983, Love Cares and Ecstasy.  I can't stop listening to Ecstasy.  It has just about all the elements I love in a dance song.


Waiting for Another Chance from their 1983 l.p. Building Beauty was a big hit in Germany breaking the Top 30 while Miracle in my Heart the b side of the delicious Ecstasy was later sampled by Heavy D.



If you haven't heard them I suggest you get their two album Building Beauty and Natural.  You should find plenty to enjoy.
First, Last for Everything from 1982 is probably their biggest classic and a real seminal electronic dance song that went on to be a WBMX classic spun by greats like Frankie Knuckles.

What I would give to be there tonight!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Our Darkness and Heaven by Anne Clark gets under your skin

Anne Clark came up out of the new wave scene.  She had a very particular way of singing.  You could almost call it talking.  In fact she was a poetess who transitioned into music.  From 1982 up until even recently she has quite an extensive amount of releases.

I have refreshed this blog post from a few years back because I've added some mixes and a few live performances of my favorite Anne Clark songs inclined Our Darkness and Sleeper in Metropolis.  The older links below still work too.

Anne Live and More



The razormaid mix of Our Darkness is astonishing.  It was a huge WBMX alterna dance smash.  A truly influential record with the synth pop sound on steroids.  A personal favorite of mine.  It has long been one of the most played tunes in my home.  HEAVEN RAZORMAID REMIX
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Monday, December 12, 2016

Plastic Love Mariya Takeuchi


In case you thought I was a one trick pony he's a lovely piece of Japanese modern soul funk.



If this wasn't a morning music classic it sure should have been,  Mariya Takeuchi's Plastic Love.

GET YOUR PLASTIC LOVE HERE
MORE MIXES

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bow Wow Wow's Annabella Lwin



In honor of John Robie's birthday today I'd like to feature one of his prime glories.  Annabella Lwin's War Boys from 1986 off her Fever album.


Annabella has a claim to fame only a few elite artists have.  She was discovered by the music svengali Malcolm McLaren.  Furthermore she was an immigrant from Burma transplanted to the U.K. and had her initial fame at the ripe young age of 13!  As the lead singer of Bow Wow Wow she made an amazing splash and was part of one of the most loved post punk bands in history.

A lot of money was later spent on launching her solo career in 1986 but it didn't quite happen.  Though as a member of Bow Wow Wow from 1980 to 1983 she had a string of hits two of which made it to the U.K. Top 10.
War Boys had all the magic in it's corner.  It was produced and mixed by John Robie featured keyboards by Man Parrish and additional work by Paul A. Rodriguez one of the hottest names in mid 80's dance.  It's got that hot electro feel that was synonymous with many of the classic tracks of the era, such as releases by New Order.  But it flopped, but to me it certainly was not forgotten.  Believe it not or not after this 1986 album release she lost her record contract and didn't surface again until a new album Super Boom!! which came out in 2012.



Thursday, December 8, 2016

ATLANTIC STARR CIRCLES

My two favorite Atlantic Starr songs are the mushy ballad Always and Circles. Circles is one of those songs that for me define pure perfection. When I hear it I feel rushes and ripples of pleasure. I would not change one thing about it from the beginning to the end. I love the vocals. The lyrics turn me and I can relate to them and it's very danceable even though originally there was no hyped extended remix of it.  The album version is great just the way it was made.




1982 holds a special place in my heart because it signifies the year that I got out from under my parent's clutches. I became a club monster in no time!

CIRCLE


Circles, goin round in circles

Circles, goin round in circles



You're taking too much time

To make up your mind

Either you love me or you don't

And all the other girls

In your crazy mixed up world

You said you'd drop them

But you know you won't

sometimes I think about forgetting you

But it's so, so hard to make that choice

Cuz boy with you

I go to to seventh heaven

Just by the sound of your voice



Circles, goin' round in circles

Circles, goin' round in circles



Out a my head

That's where I'm going

Tryin so hard to deal with you

It's not so easy try'n to bare these changes

That you're puttin' me thru

In my head there's a ball of confusion

And I can't figure out just what to do

I guess my life will keep on going round and round

Until I get away from you


This is a blog post from six years.  I've simply refreshed the link.  Thanks to my readers for keeping this blog alive.



Monday, November 28, 2016

Colonel Abrams was a House King

I don't usually write a blog immediately after a dance icon dies.  But in this case I'm gonna jump on the bandwagon.  Colonel Abrams 80's house masterpieces bring back so many memories.  I danced the night away to so many of them that I couldn't just not dedicate a blog to him.


Colonel was there on the ground floor.  When his first dance single came out in 1984 no one was even using the term House music.


Through the mid 80's he amassed a long string of hits.  Some of these even crossed onto the U.S. R&B charts and the U.K. pop charts.  For instance Trapped made it all the way to #3 in the U.K. in 1985.  But four of them hit #1 on the U.S. dance charts including the aforementioned Trapped, I'm not Gonna let and How Soon we Forget.



Colonel was huge at all the clubs I frequented in those years.  By the late 80's the hits dried up.  He continued to record but without much impact.  His last album was released in 1996.  





Saturday, November 26, 2016

Nu Shooz

Nu Shooz originally formed in 1979 and featured 12 members.  But nothing much happened for them the first few years.  In 1985 as a husband and wife duo "I Can't Wait" came out and they broke righteously.  But in a roundabout way, ironically the Peter Slaghuis mix from the Netherlands is what broke the record.  In fact it was HUGE at The Paradise Garage, and played as an import.  Apparently Larry Levan would toy with it mixing it for as long as a full half hour.

It eventually made it all the way to #2 on the R&B charts and #3 on the pop charts, while making it to #1 in Canada and on the U.S. dance chart.  Furthermore it was fully embraced by the Freestyle community who embraced the song as their own, though this lily white couple from Portland, Oregon were certainly not Latino.
 The follow-up single "Point of No Return" was equally as pleasing but it didn't have the impact of "I Can't Wait" so they are sort of considered one hit wonders.  They were even nominated for a Grammy as best new artist.
In 1988 their last hit was "Should I say Yes" which went Top 20 R&B but the track "Are you Lookin' for Somebody Nu" became another hit on the dance chart.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Gary Low

Italo Spanish vocalist Gary Low whose real name was Luis Paris Belmont was born on June 7, 1954 he burst onto the italo disco scene with the hit You are a Danger for il Discotto records Italy in 1982.


But I  became a fan when I Want You was a smash, hitting #1 in both Italy and Spain and Top 10 in the U.K..  I was particularly drawn to his image he seemed so "out."


But we all know there was a lot of playing with sexual identity looks in the 80's.  So was he or wasn't he?  Who knows and does it even really matter?


All I know is that I bought my twelve inch maxi single of I Want You at the Corte Ingles in Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona and I played the hell out of it.  And one of  his follow-up hits La Colegiala actually a Peruvian cumbia was an even bigger hit and great fun too.


small Gary zip
By the mid 80's the hits disappeared though there were still a few releases up until the early 90's even.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Spacer Woman by CHARLIE is the perfect italo disco song

I’m a Spacer Woman Don’t you worry 'bout me? I don’t want to hurt you, I just want to love you! We can start it over Come on be my lover You will be my danger (?) Let me be your stranger! I want to know I need your love I can’t go on I must be sure I come from Space I want to know If I can do My love is true

Charlie is composed of Gino De Stefani and Maurice Cavalieri.  Charlie


There is very little I can say about Spacer Woman other then it is one of the absolute best of one of my favorite genre's. It also just happens to be from the 1983 the absolute best year for Italo Disco music. enjoy the rip cause it's very rare


When Germanys ZYX picked up the record in 1984 they changed the title to Space Woman or it's a misprint.
There was also a 2005 bootleg release. So be careful collector's. Don't risk paying alot unless you're absolutely sure.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tom Hooker Speaks about Den Harrow


Here's part of an interview he did with another blog.

Tom, I have one information, which came from one famous Italian female singer. I don’t know is it true or just a rumor but I heard that Den Harrow actually doesn’t exist as singer. Den Harrow is you! Please can you tell me what is the truth? 
Saying that Den Harrow doesn't exist as a singer is incorrect. He was very popular amongst the very young girls. From 12 to 15. Den Harrow became a brand name like Coca Cola. This is was the music business. There was a small problem. He couldn't sing. So the solution was to never let him sing, or to put his voice so low in the mix that it was non existant. He started as an image. He would work on his costumes and clothes and someone else would sing on the records. The truth is, vision is a more developed sense in humans than hearing. People tend to buy and listen what they like to see. I have never officially told this to anyone but this is the exact truth in chronological order:
To Meet Me and a Taste Of Love was Chuck Rolando's voice. He had a contract with Durium and had to stop. Then came Silvio Pozzuoli from Dream. He sang Mad Desire the single's version. Although a very talented singer, his English wasn't very good. I remember in Mad Desire. He sang "Ear I Ham" instead of "Here I am". Freddy bought my contract from Merak at the time and bought the whole Den Harrow project with his money, and I sang Future Brain. I don't think Den (his real name is Stefano Zandri) ever came to the studio. Future Brain was a huge hit in 1985. We had to do the album. I re-sang Mad Desire for the album. It wasn't any better than Silvio's but we wanted some continuity. It couldn't go from fluent English to an Italian accent. Too many people in Germany and Scandinavia can speak English. Then came Bad Boy and all the rest of the hits.
After two Albums of good hits, and making money, I wanted Don't Break My Heart to be a Tom Hooker song because I felt close to it. I also felt, Freddy was not pushing me because of the money machine of Den Harrow in Germany and France. We got another singer from England who had a much higher voice than mine. I can't remember his name. I still co-wrote the songs. The Album was Lies. I think, this was the end of Den Harrow's run. It was not at all what it used to be. Maybe it was the songs, maybe it was the different voice. Who really knows...
After Den Harrow left Baby Records, the records sales were small numbers. I think he sang on Ocean. He continues to make records that don't really sell to do his live shows because it's easy money. Basically, he still has a name. It's human, he wants a nice car and all that stuff. It's a shame he can't really sing, because he makes a good star. Everybody wants to make money. When I had the success of Looking For Love, my old record company called Full Time, released an unauthorised album with demos and tried to pass it as the new Tom Hooker album. This album was called Only One. This really ruined my career at that time. The distributors who bought it after the success of Looking For Love were taken aback with this crappy album that came out way before Bad Reputation. It sold crap but was easy money and ruined it for the real one, of course. But hey, you see it as music Zeljko. As a professional, I saw it as a business.


DEN HARROW italo disco's pretty boy



Refreshed with more music.
Does it really matter that Den Harrow didn't really sing the songs he is attributed to have sung?  His image and his dancing were also a part of the magic weren't they?  I'm not gonna defend him.  This marketing tool has been used in Italy often and in other countries too.  So in a way it's not really his fault is it?   Fat Den Zip
There is no doubting that he had a long string of hits from 1983 right up to the end of the 80's.  In fact there was enough interest in him that in Germany he even had some releases into the 90's and he received the Bravo Golden Otto award in 1987.  This signified that he was Germany's favorite male vocalist, even ahead of Michael Jackson!
The first release To Meet Me in 1983 was one of many greatly produced Turatti and Chieregato tracks that propelled Italo Disco so much in the 80's.
In the 2000's he was once again in the public eye in Italy.  As a contestant on Isola dei Famosi, a strange mixture of Survivor and Celebrity Big Brother.  He often cried on air and definitely had a hard time on the island.
The zip contains most of the hits and even a few of the lesser hits.
GET SOME DEN
They are a perfect mirror of the italo disco genre because he had songs representing all of the types of  the genre.  Some better then others but in any case still a great peek into the sound.

DEN HARROW FACEBOOK PAGE

THINK ABOUT JOINING FILE FACTORY FOR QUICK DOWNLOADS


Saturday, October 15, 2016

The La Bionda Brothers



Sicilian brothers Carmelo and Michelangelo La Bionda are known as the inventors of Italian Disco.  They began recording in 1973 but debuted even earlier as songwriters.  Their 1978 hit One for You, One for Me (a #9 pop hit in Italy) even managed to become a big pop hit in the U.K. among other countries.  That in addition to Deserts of Mars and Sandstorm are my favorite La Bionda tunes.


They went on to produce for other artists too.  Their seminal La Bionda album featured the influential disco hit Sandstorm.  It was covered by Darude in the 90's in a house version.  They also recorded as D.D. Sound and had other major disco hits including Cafe'.


In the 80's they worked on some soundtracks and with the Italian group Ricchi e Poveri.  Their collaboration with the dance duo Righeira in 1983 brought them their most famous hit Vamos a La Playa.  The La Bionda Zip  The Bandido album



I think that one of the main reasons I love La Bionda is that they seem to have a real sense of humor.  You could call it tongue in cheek disco.



Some of my favorite D.D. Sound (Disco Delivery Sound) songs are 1,2,3,4 Gimme Some More! Cafe and Hootchie Coochie. Their first album came out in 1977 and were quite active for two years.  The amazing single Disco Bass was a #6 hit in Italy in 1977 and 1,2,3,4 got to #6 in 1978.  4 DD Sound Albums





In 1985 they opened the music studio Logic in Milan and have had many huge stars such as Depeche Mode, Robert Palmer and Rihanna have recorded there.