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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.

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.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

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

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.

Valerie Allington only had a couple

Italo Disco gem Stop by Valerie Allington got picked up by U.S. label Emergency and became a solid dance hit.  Her follow-up 2 years later in 1984 was less known.  I've put both in the zip (including the fabulous Ben Liebrand remix).  I might add that the spelling is often listed as Valery for her name.  Probably just the Italians trying to make her seem more exotic or something.


New York's Movin'

Well when this came out in 1981 New York sure was movin'.  And movin' to the beat of fierce disco and new wave.  Is New York movin' in 2014?  A lot of people I used to know are movin' out.

But I will always thank New York for being such a part of my formative years.  So much fun.  Back in the day I guess I thought it would never end.  ENJOY THIS SCARCE COLLECTIBLE

How about a little spacey French disco from 1977? Universal Energy

I love space disco almost as much as Italo Disco.

Disco Energy by Universal Energy was released in 1977 on French EMI.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hugh Bullen's italo disco classic Alisand

Hugh Bullen is a Trinadadian Bassist who worked often as a session man in Milan.  Most notably in the huge hit album for Lucio Battisti from 1976 Il Volo.  ALISAND ZIP
4 disco/italo disco releases were also put out between 1979 and 1988.  Alisand on Many Records from 1985 is considered an italo disco classic.

Friday, November 14, 2014

MA QUALE IDEA by Pompeii's own Pino D'Angio

Surely one of Italy's first rap records all set to the beat of Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now from 1980.  Pino D'angio was born in Pompeii and his real name is Giuseppe Chierchia.  QUALE ZIP

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Love and Music is one of those more subtle Italo disco classics.  It doesn't smash you over the head on the first couple listens but later it gets under your skin.  And with a genius like Tony Carrasco behind it what would you expect?

Tony was behind lots of my favorite italo disco records especially Klein and M.B.O. of which he was a member and Plastic Mode and Moonbase and many others.  These acts were basically aliases for Tony.   Say Hi to Tony on his Facebook page TONY'S FACEBOOK.  I know I do.  I've been waiting for him to come to Rome to spin so we can meet up.

Now back to Love N' Music, it's so well loved that there was even a remix done in 2004 which was released on a Swiss label.  Still of course with the vocals by Celeste Johnson a model from Chicago who was first featured on this track and the later went on to release some singles as a solo artist.  A few of which are sung in Italian.  I like the way she glides between Italian and English on love n' music especially because Italian in Italo Disco is actually quite rare.  What's more this girl can sing.  The fun here is that she of course sings Italian with an American accent sort of a spin on the typical Italo Disco trait of English sung with an Italian accent.  A RIS ZIP  I should know after 17 years in Italy that a lot of Italians love the sound of Americans speaking Italian.  Though sometimes you can't tell if they are laughing with you or at you!

I might add that Love N' Music was featured on I Love Disco Diamonds Volume 22.  If you don't know the Disco Diamonds series I urge you to look into them.  They are without a doubt the very best collections of Italo Disco ever compiled on CD.  They are quite collectible but nowhere near the amount of $ it would cost you to get a lot of these gems on vinyl that they spotlight.


Mariella Mio Larabell's first Italo Disco hit I Can't Stop was released in 1985 and was the first of a string of dance floor pleasers.

Say Hi to this pretty lady on her Facebook page LARABELL FACEBOOK


Though released quite late in the Italo Disco era it is considered a classic of the genre.  As much as I enjoy it it doesn't really feature any of the typical aspects of Italo I love so much.  It's just not that campy to me, just simply a solid dance record.

Larabell has actually continued to record and even had a release in 2013 on ZYX called Passion.  Still  in of course the Italo genre.  You can hear it on you tube because I don't own it.  I'd be surprised if anyone did!

Saturday, November 8, 2014


British singer Tracy Spencer had a few Italo Disco hits in the 80's.  First in the duo Marx and Spencer along with David Marx and later as a solo artist.

Interestingly the first two maxi singles by Marx & Spencer were remakes.  The first in 1983 Stay which has been covered by everyone and their cousin followed by the Genesis gem Follow You, Follow Me the following year.   A STAY ZIP

Stay with it's perfect mix of cheese and italo disco brilliance became a favorite by the DeeJay's at WBMX in Chicago and was played in mix shows throughout the 80's.

Tracy went on to have a couple massive pop hits in Italy including the fun Run to Me in 1985.  RUN TO ME ZIP

Keep an eye on this space I might update it with the Follow You, Follow Me maxi single.  And here it  is CAMPY GENESIS OMG it doesn't disappoint.  Talk about cheesy it sounds like a 3 year old is playing the keyboards, and Tracy's vocals not only sound like a chipmunk but it seems like she's faking a bad accent to accompany David Marx who clearly is using an alias.  So bad it's good.  It just happens to be my favorite Genesis song to boot.