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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Roberto Zanetti is Savage

Tuscan singer Roberto Zanetti is one of the definitive stars of Italo disco.  From his debut single in 1983, Don't Cry Tonight which is actually quite slow and heavily influenced by new wave, to many others including Only You, Radio and Time.  He became one of the most successful artists of the genre.  He geniously mixed sadness with a dance beat and came upon a successful sound which built upon new wave and influenced a lot of Italo Disco that came after it.  Don't Cry Tonight went on to sell 50,000 maxi singles and 200,000 45's in Italy alone.  It then got licensed to many different countries in many of which it became a hit and sold well there too.

In an interview for the book Italo Disco Story Roberto states that the Pet Shop Boys were heavily inspired by Don't Cry Tonight and I've read elsewhere that they idolized Bobby O (an italian american producer) and in fact collaborated with him on their first releases until their contract was bought out and Bobby was kicked to the curb.

Savage Greatest Hits
Savage zip 2

He also used aliases such as Robyx, Rubix, Scatt, Joey Moon, Creavibe and the genius Stargo with the italo disco classic Capsicum.  Capsicum

He even worked with Zucchero in the seventies and then again in 1983 in the group Taxi who had a single release called To Miami.

One of my favorites is I'm Loosing You from 1988.  It too has a bit of the melancholy of Don't Cry Tonight though tinged with a real HiNrg/Euro Dance feel that was prevalent in the mid to late 80's.  I also love the fact that the title is not spelled correctly.

Roberto mostly worked with Disco Magic which was just about my favorite italo disco label.  He also produced other hits like Run to Me by Lena, which I've blogged before and Magic Carillion by Rose and Tango's Computerized Love.  Computerised Love

Roberto was also able to reinvent himself becoming hugely successful producer of Euro Dance.  Writing for and credited with propelling the careers of such artists as Double You (huge euro dance cover of K.C. and the Sunshine Band Please Don't Go), Ice MC and Alexia.  Lots of long standing number 1 hits in the lot.  He formed the company DWA and had another roll in the biz.  This time his work was also able to really make a difference in his home country.  Believe it or not a lot of italo disco music was snubbed in Italy during it's heyday.  Italians have for a long time had this type of inferiority complex that always makes them look toward international things, particularly pop music.  There are times when the entire  top spots in the charts are by international artists.

He even worked with his old friend Zucchero again being responsible for huge hits like Baila Morena, Bacco Perbacco and Ahum.

Now not much music is being produced in Italy at all.  Apart from a few huge stars like Eros Ramazotti and Laura Pausini and a few others.  The Italian music industry is in a sorry state and very far from it's huge successes of the 80's which brought Italo Disco throughout the world and resulted in sales in the millions.

Your Heart Keeps Burning Blind Date

Blind Date was a Synth Pop/Euro Disco group from Germany.  They put out an album and three maxi singles.  The second of which was the catch Your Heart Keeps Burning in 1985 was a favorite at The Saint and on Fire Island.

A 1992 remix got the record play again.  It also kind of made it sound less outdated.  Though still on a true Euro tip.  They did not house it up.

It's a light and airy ditty.  It fits into the mood of my blog.  I hope you enjoy it too.

Blind Date

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Run to Me by Lena

This lovely ditty was produced by Roberto Zanetti alias Savage.  Lena's Run to Me from 1987 on Disco Magic Records Italy.  A one off project that came at the tail end of the Italo Disco era.

It's got it all.  Funny pronunciation, strange lyrics and that infectious danceable beat.  I've even got a Brazilian remix in the zip.  I think I might like the simple single edit best in this case though.
Hope everyone is having a great summer everyone.

Rose Laurens, more than just AMERICAN LOVE, or take me to the Night Sky

Another older blog post with freshened download links, the third time I add to this one and re-post for your pleasure.
zip o Rose
Rose Podwojny (name of art Laurens) had her first single release in 1977 with

Je T'Aime...Dis Moi Je T'Aime.   

She broke out in 1982 with the single Africa which became a Top 5 hit in a few European nations.  Africa hit #1 in Austria for two consecutive weeks.  In France it went platinum with sales totaling over 1,000,000 copies.

For a bit of chart trivia the song that was #1 in Austria before Africa was Moonlight Shadow by Mike Oldfield and the song that topped the chart after was Sunshine Reggae by Laid Back.

I just sold my copy on Ebay recently.  


It's entertaining, but the Rose I love are her morning music hits Night Sky and American Love.

Rose is not really Italo Disco sort of Euro Dance goes Morning Music.  But her impact on the Fire Island/Saint scene is notable.

I only wish I had been able to see her in one of her many appearances at The Saint.

A little bit of Rose trivia, did you know she sang the original french version of I dreamed a dream?  The song from the Broadway show Les Mis that later made Susan Boyle a household name.  It even made Anne Hathaway win an Oscar.

Rose Laurens has provided me with many hours of listening pleasure but I'd have to admit that most American don't even know who she is.  Not that this should matter.  Maybe this blog will bring her to the ears of a few appreciative new listeners.

Though this remake by Astaire doesn't hold a candle to the original I thought I'd throw it in anyway.

I will say that in general Astaire was a solid Hi Nrg group, I particularly liked the song Love Trap.



Don't Stop by Motion is the perfect hi NRG record.  Another gem from 1983 it could only be a little better if it were an italo disco record.  But it's not so it holds back a little.  It doesn't give us all the drama that a space disco italo disco would give us.  But it sure makes a good case for a Hi Nrg record.


Johnny Dorazio and Tony Bentivegna of Motion were also behind Nightlife Unlimited.  In their first line-up in 1979 as a Canadian disco group.  They were also in a couple other groups.

Somebody by Video (George Aaron)

George Aaron (Giorgio Alighieri) first appeared on the italo disco scene at the age of 20.  He went on to sell over 10 million records worldwide.  His debut single was called She's a Devil.  He recorded not only under his pseudonym but also as Video and Victor Ark.

He was a perfect example of how italo disco male stars had to be handsome.  It was a package they were promoting.  In the end even though songs were sung in English not even good pronunciation was important.  This fact made the genre often snubbed in the States.  It was also often snubbed in Italy itself as Italians are highly drawn to all things international.  A look at their hit parade and usually most of the names are foreign.  George explains  in an interview in the book Italo Disco Story by Francesco Catoldo Verrina that 62% of the world architectural and artistic treasures are found in Italy.  But even treasures like Pompei were left to fall apart and many museums are closed on Sundays.  Italians don't know how to give true values and respect to their treasures.  Why should they care about their music?

George's record company tried to get him to participate in the San Remo festival but he refused.  In any case he preferred to record in English anyway and to compete at San Remo you must sing in Italian.

George Aaron under the moniker Cruz
Evanescent Version (Just for You) George Zip

Interestingly the Alighieri family of Parma is ob nobility and was a relative of the Emperor Carlo who ruled italy in 1521.  Luckily his family was supportive of his desire to sing.  Though he had a degree in Psychology.

He was first a member of the group Monopolio in 1981.  They are trendy around the Veneto region of Vicenza.  Giorgio also provided vocals for some of the songs by Firefly.  I refreshed the links in a blog about Firefly just a few weeks ago.  Firefly

Somebody (Hey Girl) by Video originally was released in 1983 on Fly Music Records Italy.

Unlike most Italo Disco records the next year it was licensed to Sleeping Bag and became a real Fun House classic.

Morales and Munzibai did a remix.  And suddenly Dyan Buckelew's name also went on the label.

George Aaron tours to this day and has even released new material in the italo disco vein in the past few years.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

CCCan't You See Vicious Pink SYNTH POP FANTASTIC

Vicious Pink Phenomena later known as Vicious Pink were the epitome of Synth Pop New Wave.  When their debut single came out in 1984 the scene was ripe for their sound and CCCan't You See was a alternative dance club smash.  I especially love the French version which I provide for you in the deluxe zip.

Since CCCan't You See has been the most played song on my iTunes list on my iMAC for ages I figured I should honor it in some way.  It was a WBMX classic so you know they loved this record in Chicago.

The follow-up Fetish was pretty good too but just not quite as infectious.

Vicious Pink was formed in Leeds in 1981.  They broke up in 1986.  Originally they sang back-up for Soft Cell.  That's when they were called Vicious Pink Phenomena.  
 They were sure cool looking!  Josie Warden was able to sing equally well in French or in English though this didn't help the band to chart in France.

LIKE THEM ON FACEBOOK if you wanna be old school they have a MY SPACE TOO.

Pretty Poison from variation new wave to variation freestyle an Eighties success story

I just added more to this blog post.
Philadelphia based Pretty Poison broke with Catch Me I'm Falling.  But they actually had a string of single releases and ep.'s before that.  NIGHTIME  NIGHTIME DUB  CATCH ME

There's download stuff sprinkles all throughout this post.
a pretty zip

I love Jade Starling's vocals, their look was very big hair 80's. Here's her MySpace

I'm enclosing a zip which features several versions of Nightime including the totally electrifying dub and the Shep Pettibone Mix and their huge #8 hit from 1987 Catch Me.  And another zip which contains a funky version of Nightime entitled In the Heat of the Night.   The original 12" release made it up to #14 dance in 1984.  Catch Me took it up to #1 and then the re-release with new mixes of Nightime peaked at #13 in 1988.  I didn't really follow their other releases though When I Look into Your Eyes squeaked out a Top 10 dance spot in 1988 too. 

Here are the lyrics to Nightime:

Come, feel the steady rhythm of the nightlife
And hear excitement in the air.
Baby, when the night comes down, 
You know where I can be found, 
Dancing in a midnight fantasy.

In the Nightime
Blame it on the Nightime.
In the Nightime
Baby, that's the right time.

I feel a strange desire in the moonlight
Dreams of another dance in my eyes.
Baby, when the stars shine bright, 
Dance with me all through the night.
Be my lover til the light of day.

In the Nightime, 
Blame it on the Nightime.
In the Nightime yeah, 
Baby, that's the right time.
Right time for me.

Nightime is the right time
Nightlife is for me.
Dancing til the break of day, 
No place I'd rather be.

Nightime is the right time; 
Nightlife is for me.
Dancing til the break of day, 
No place I'd rather be.

In the Nightime, blame it on the Nightime.
In the Nightime, baby, that's the right time.
In the Nightime, blame it on the Nightime.
In the Nightime, yeah, baby, that's the right time.
Right time for me.

Nightime is the right time
Nightlife is for me
Nightime is the right time
Nightlife is for me
Nightlife is for me.
All in all it's a sound I can really appreciate.  Not quite freestyle, not quite electro and not really house either.  It's a unique record and is clearly influenced by many sounds at the same time.  When it was originally released on Svengali in 1983 it went pretty much unnoticed and under the radar.  It took the more commercial sounding Catch Me to give Nightime it's second life.  Here I've enclosed their entire Laced e.p. from 1983.  It's sort of new wave and not quite as straightforward dance as their later releases.  If  you click on the title of this blog you will be directed to my ebay listing for this collectible e.p.  LACED EP

A1Seal It With A Kis3:57
A2Let Freedom Ring6:15
B2Tempest Nightmare5:15

Their first single from 1981 is very rare and very new wave.  It's called Gimme Gimme (your autograph).  It was on the label Poison Pops and was only released as a 7" single.

I'm adding their goth single from 1982 No Tears and it's b side.
And finally their goth single Expiration from 1983.  A real Kennel club Philadelphia classic.

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 out.  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.  Then it went pop.

It eventually made it all the way to #2 on the U.S. R and B charts and #3 on the pop charts, while making it to #1 in Canada and on the U.S. dance chart.  While in the U.K.  I can't Wait peaked at #2.  Furthermore it was fully embraced by the Latin 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 chart impact of "I Can't Wait" so they are sort of considered one hit wonders.  Though 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 and B though the track "Are you Lookin' for Somebody Nu" became another hit on the dance chart.

Monday, August 21, 2017


Valter Fausto Bassani released three italo disco records under the moniker Klapto.  He also used other aliases with Meccano being the most well known.

 Klapto zip

The first and probably the most infectious was Mister Game in 1983.

Queen of the Night was their follow-up in 1984.