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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Melody and Stop Fantasy by Plustwo

1983 the best year for Italo Disco had so many gems.  Many of which like Plustwo remain relatively obscure.  They had only two single releases but this is the more collectible of the two.


Antonella Bianchi, Giorgio Costantini, Marina Bianchi and Renzo Julian are Plustwo and this charming double A side release of Melody and Stop Fantasy has every quality you would ever need for classic Italo Disco.

plus two



Saturday, December 2, 2017

Time to Move Carmen

Just in case you thought you had my number, I'm going to throw something different out at you.


Time to Move by Carmen is a delicious piece of electro freestyle groove.  Think Debbie Deb crossed with Newcleus.  TIME TO MOVE


This number from 1985 is pretty obscure.  I'd imagine it got some plays at The Funhouse.  Certainly not anywhere I was going that year.


Carmen went on to have a number of other releases on other labels.  I don't really know those but this one tickled me just right. I'd like to hear the one she did with C-Bank in 1990.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Comet by Diux

Giancarlo Pasquini and Alessandra Mirka Gatti are Diux.  A one off Italo Disco project from 1986.

Comet

A super highly coveted rare record from one of the last years in the production of italo disco on a regular basis.


A space theme, campy vocals both male and female.  A real sing-songy type ditty.


If you can find this vinyl it will send you back a pretty penny.  A real collectible from the seminal Time records label out of Brescia but sound engineered in the gorgeous city of Verona.


Main artists On Time  are Atrium, Danny Keith, Riky Maltese, Aleph, Alan Barry, Virgin, Gipsy & Queen, De Niro, and Sophie. The label also gathered some Italo 'old glories' as Fred Ventura, Albert One, Jock Hattle, Styl√≥o (who all started under the Turatti-Chieregato production), and others like Rudy & Co., Max Coveri, Rose, Topo and Roby, and Silver Pozzoli. 
discogs.com

Sunday, November 26, 2017

FACES and FEEL THE FIRE and especially EYES by CLIO

 Moved up to the front again because I'm pineapples crazy.

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.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Bagarre

Sorry about the break folks.  Classes started and I was back to teaching.  Hopefully it was worth the wait cause I have some real delicious rare italo disco goodies to throw your way.


Bagarre are a curious act.  I'd have to say what they are serving is actually more new wave then italo disco.  Considering their first releases came out in 1982 that's understandable.


The first single was LemonSweet.  An interesting point to make about Bagarre is that they actually have a proper English vocalist.  No funny Italian pronunciation here.  The groove is irrefutable though.  These tracks were made for the club, as oft-kilter as they are.


LemonSweet even came out on two different Italian 12".  Not sure what the story was on that but sort of interesting for the time.


The second single No Toys actually has a 9 minute plus remix which I haven't got but I do feature the album version here.
Bagarre


The third single came out in 1984 and the second l.p. in 1985 but I'm not featuring those today.  

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Leigh Bowery as Minty (an inspiration to Goldy Loxxx and all the other club kids around the world)



Leigh Bowery first made a big splash when he was promoting Taboo with his partner Trojan in London in the early 80's.  It was an incredibly trendy event, and people were encouraged to be as wild as possible.  Pop stars Marilyn and Boy George were a great part of that scene.  But who could be wilder then Leigh?  In fact so wild that Boy George an old friend of his from those days actually portrayed him in the West End and on Broadway in the play Taboo.



Though I ended up becoming friends with Leigh, we the club kids of New York always worshipped and admired him.  No matter what he always one-upped us in looks and in behavior.  Michael Alig, the New York club kid King often had his roommate and nifty with a sewing machine friend Ernie Glam, copy the looks giving them a little twist.



I'll never forget the time, though I don't remember whether it was in New York or London.  That Leigh took me in his arms and said "Goldy Loxxx you are fabulous!" to which I answered "No Leigh you are fabulous!" to which he repeated again "No Goldy Loxxx you are fabulous!" and I laughed and we had a dance.  Like no other club personality before or after Leigh just demanded to be noted, and if it wasn't just for the outfit it would end there.  But it was always so much more.  His personality, his dance moves, everything was on huge scale!  We all wanted his approval.


 The shot above is from Shampoo at Limelight a party I used to host on Saturdays in 1991.  When we brought him over for the party Peter Gatien, the owner of The Limelight was actually afraid of what he would do and we ended up paying him not to do anything.  I guess he was sure he was going to attempt to re-enact the show where he did an enema before and then comes out and on stage actually projectile shoots the liquid at the front row!  Gross yes, but once again he made sure everybody was talking about him.


These shots of us together were taken at The Limelight and at a house party I threw for Kenny Kenny at Waterside Plaza.  As you can see Mr. Pearl a great friend of Leigh's is in the picture with us too.  Pearl is a famous corset designer who has worked with many of the biggest names in fashion.



But Leigh always wanted more.  I think he wanted to be a household name.  Even though he was immortalized in paintings by the incredibly talented Lucien Freud (which now are worth millions), and he is probably the most photographed club kid of all time, it wasn't enough.

So one of his last successful endeavours was an attempt at pop stardom in his group Minty.  Their debut single, Useless Man though banned from U.K. radio was a really solid House effort.  The lyrics of course were over the top.



He certainly got a lot of press from it.  He also was well known for his incredible club performance which was even taken to New York's Wigstock and featured in the film, where he gave birth to his wife Nicola.  Yes he was married.  She was his assistant and a great friend so I guess he figured what the hell.

But what didn't he do?  He went on tour as part of Michael Clarke's dance company and he even sold some of his fashions here and there.  But he didn't really want to.  He didn't really want people to wear his clothes.  That would have made them less fabulous, and you know what, he was right.









MINTY'S FIRST SINGLE USELESS MAN
MINTY OPEN WIDE

On New Years Eve 1994 Leigh succumbed to complications from A.I.D.S. and we were all shocked and sad.  He was so active practically right up to the last minute and had been really hush-hush about not being well.  I mean the record came out in 1994 and he did shows in support of it just weeks before.

I'll never forget the impact Leigh had on me and my life will forever be enriched for just having known him.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

I hear Talk and I'm lovin' it Bucks Fizz morning music classic

Refreshed links from a 2013 blog.  All the Bucks Fizz you could possibly want.

Bucks Fizz was formed in the U.K. to win the Eurovision contest. That's exactly what they did in the 1981 contest in Dublin with Making Your Mind Up which went on to become a huge pop hit everywhere but the United States. Apparently their gimmick was they were two blond couples, not too Abba!  Their campy performance at the contest included a section midway through where the guys ripped off the girls skirts.


They went on to have three #1 singles in the U.K. and to sell over 15 million records.  Their single Land of Make Believe was so huge it actually pushed Human League's Don't You Want Me out of the #1 position in the U.K.   It's widely considered to be their best release.






They had a few other hits, but the one which really sent me over the rainbow was I Hear Talk from their fourth l.p. It was huge in clubs like The Saint and out on Fire Island which is where I first heard it. In fact on the 12" sleeve it looks like they are sitting in the area just behind the beach and forest between Cherry Grove and The Pines. But it's highly unlikely that they are.

Since again I Hear Talk made no murmurs on the pop charts in the states it's not like I could have heard it on Top 40 radio. Nor was it one of their bigger international singles.  But in December 1984 when it was released soon enough it made it's way around.  But who judges validity by pop success?



Unfortunately the group got into an accident in their tour bus coming back from a show in Newcastle and so they were not available to give promotion for the release.  So it only peaked at #34 in the U.K. and #29 in Ireland even though it was a perfect pop record and could have gone much farther.


What a brilliant idea anyway a song about gossip. Whoever Pete Sinfield or Andy Filed is my hats off to to them for writing a camp classic.


I hear talk is deeply cheerful and chirpy so if you don't feel like being happy don't bother to download.  But if you're like me then this song sends you reeling with joy!

It’s never been easy living with you
Dish of the season fishing for truth
But we got it rolling right on the track
Here’s to the future with no turning back
We’re taking half and half in mystery
We’re making love to love so easily
And still I can’t believe what’s going round
I don’t believe you’d ever let me down

I hear talk, I hear the writings on the wall

Too many private eyes and party lines
Secret signs friends who seem to know it all
I hear talk, I hear talk

Talk

I look in your eyes and what do I see
Everything I needed looking at me
Beyond all suspicion dreams on the side
Hold that position ticket to ride
So when it’s all wrapped up 
Like it’s meant to be
The only trap that’s left is jealousy
And still I can’t believe what’s going round
I don’t believe you’d ever let me down

I hear talk, I hear the writings on the wall

Too many private eyes and party lines
Secret signs friends who seem to know it all
I hear talk, I hear talk

Chinese whispers circulate

There’s a news man leaning on the garden gate
If you don’t wanna headline better use your head
‘Cause I heard someone say something you said

I hear talk, I hear the writings on the wall

Too many private eyes and party lines
Secret signs friends who seem to know it all
I hear talk, I hear talk

Talk talk talk




New Beginning, which was not one of their hit singles, is really quite fantastic too but I was just not up to writing an entire Bucks Fizz discography but here's the Mamba Seyra extended version. Check out the choral work. It's rather over the top.  This use of world music vocals was also essential to the Hazel Dean classic They Say it's Gonna Rain.




When We Were Young

Crying softly on to a clean white pillow
Watch the clock as it slowly crawls around
Rolls around
Is she sleeping? no
Is she dreaming?
Time, it passes without that familiar touch
Familiar touch

Love has gone, tears are here, nothing left
Life has changed, remember when we were young

Were young
When we were young
When we were young
When we were young

She pours a coffee and looks in the mirror
Suddenly she's glad he can't see her face
Can't see her face
Youth, it passes while age is collected
Disappears from behind the wires without trace
Without trace

Love has gone, tears are here, nothing left
Life has changed, remember when we were young

Were young
When we were young
When we were young
When we were young

Love has gone, tears are here
Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing
Life has changed, remember when we were young

Were young
When we were young
When we were young
When we were young...

Another of their big pop hits, this one from 1983.




In 2010 a jazzy reworking of I hear Talk was released.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Obscure italian Disco from 1978...Punky Monkey Sound

A 1978 disco maxi single release called Punky Monkey Sound is my latest obscure treasure for your listening pleasure.


It appears that Augusto Martinelli is well known in Italy.  I've lived here 20 years and I've never heard of him but at least the top picture seems to be from a t.v. show.



The guy doing the vocals Big Pierre is from Asti, you know of Asti Spumante fame.  He on the other hand is an obscure figure.

Punky Monkey Sound

I burned this record myself from my own collection.  About 10 years ago I had a neighbor who had a set-up capable of burning vinyl.  Last I remember they were taking him away on a stretcher.  He was an eccentric one indeed!


Monday, September 25, 2017

STOP and LIVIN' IT UP not your ordinary italo disco tunes...HOLY GRAIL

As I've been writing this blog for almost 10 years now occasionally I go back and re-fresh old links that don't work anymore.  Below are new ones for one of the best double sided Italo classics of all time.9
B.W.H. was an alias for Stefano Zito and Carlo Favili.

Stop and Livin' it Up by B.W.H. were released on House of Music Italy in 1983 and are truly the top of the genre.  Makes me wanna dance!  Another rare thing about this special record is that it is a double A side.  If you've already downloaded this from me before, you're gonna want this new zip trust me.



Sunday, September 17, 2017

STEFANO PULGA was one of the masterminds behind Gaucho's Dance Forever

refreshed links

This song makes me think of the Caribbean or at least people on a limbo line.  It's got an infectious happy time feeling that borders on hokey.  
But since italo disco puts a smile on my face this one never fails to please.
Gaucho Zip
The b side version of Dance Forever called the DJ version is a bit more of a serious groove.  If Side A is too hokey for you then Side B should satisfy.
Gaucho is yet another Italo Disco project featuring Bruno BergonziLuciano Ninzatti, and Stefano Pulga who have quite a prolific output in the genre.  I think Stefano Pulga's Love Taker had more then a few spins at The Saint.  
  

Dario Dell'Aere, Fockewulf 190, Italo Disco Rarities, EAGLES IN THE NIGHT, FRED VENTURA SINGLES


refreshed links


eagles in the night
AN EAGLES ZIP
EAGLES IN THE NIGHT
HEARTBEAT FRED VENTURA
LEAVE ME ALONE FRED VENTURA
THE YEARS GO BY FRED VENTURA
IMAGINE FRED VENTURA 1987 TIME RECORDS
Body Heat
Fockewulf 190 using the voice of Fred Ventura came out with Eagles in the Night by Dario Dell'Aere in 1985 on Market Records Italy. It is now one of the most coveted Italo Disco 12" in existence and in my opinion one of the very best. It is the epitome of Italo Disco kitsch. The male vocals are completely off and he seems to yell "oh wacky co-co" and then after when she sings "oh I will become an eagle that flies only in the night" and he comes back "Uh ho Uh ho." It is simply classic nonsensical Italo at it's best. Why would someone want to become an eagle that flies only in the night anyway?

I was trying to put my finger on what makes the sound of the music so unusual and then it dawned on me it sounds as if in the background they are playing a children's xylophone. Yet the synth work is top notch.

Frank Tavaglione with the ultra rare 12" Tumidanda is also Fockewulf 190. Aliases in Italo Disco seem more common then they would be in a spy movie! Body Heat was their release from 1984 on Market Records. Ironically they wrote on the sleeve of the 12" that Dario Dell'Aere did the vocals but it was actually Fred Ventura (Federico Di Bonaventura).


The 12" cover art work by Tiziana Dell'Aere for Eagles in the Night is quite interesting too and probably ups the value as quite a few collectors I've come in contact with are quite partial to picture sleeves. Especially those who collect Italo Disco.


My love for Italo Disco came quite late in life. Because at the time going out in Rome in the 80's that's the music I heard in clubs and most nights it didn't seem quite so remarkable to me. But now considering how coveted and rare many of these tracks have become and then reading about how many of them had a strong influence on early house music and were staples on the legendary WBMX of Chicago, I realize that I really was quite fond of them after all. It's just that here in Italy in many cases they were simply Top 40 radio fodder so they seemed quite common.


But in the past decade I've become a rabid collector of Italo mp3's.  I guess because I've already accumulated so many of the disco and morning music ones that I wanted to get. Also due to the fact that for several years Italo disco labels like il discotto, Memory, Time, Market, Baby and others were quite prolific it would be almost impossible to know the majority of the releases. Many fell by the wayside during that period and many others were licensed by ZYX records in Germany and those got promoted heavily even though in many cases they were not the best ones.