Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Bobby O A Man Like Me
A man like Bobby Orlando is the king of 80's dance music. Bobby "O" that is, the alias he used. Bobby worked with so many artists including Roni Griffith, Claudja Barry, The Flirts, Divine, The Pet Shop Boys, and others that were really just aliases for him and some vocalists he brought in for one-off's or even two-off's (is that a word) like Barbie & the Kens, Waterfront Home, O Romeo, Eric, Teen Rock and more.
I hate to make sweeping generalizations but in this case I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Bobby O is the most prolific dance artist that ever was. I think I personally had about 50 singles of his.
Bobby O also became synonymous with one specific sound, High Energy, which was sort of ghettoized as gay music. Many of his songs were embraced at The Saint and on Fire Island. Ironically Bobby Orlando was a bit homophobic as legend goes.
Certainly his biggest mark was made with the original version of Pet Shop Boys West End Girls. They apparently idolized Bobby O and specifically wanted to work with him. But they quickly got too big for him and were signed away. I think it may have been an ugly parting and Bobby got paid off kindly in the deal.
Bobby O never really had that pop crossover success that so many dance artists are able to have now. But his classic She Has a Way did crack the dance Top 10 in the states and remains one of the songs most associated with his legacy.