Pages

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Eurodisco Classics

More Eurodisco Classics 

Although Italy and Germany were at the forefront of 80s Eurodisco in terms of the sheer output of records produced, the sound was also being made in other Continental  European countries. 


The Eurodisco sound was, and still is, very popular in Holland and Belgium. Belgian producer Alfons (Fonny) De Wulf, and Dutch producer, Michiel Van Der Kuy, created a hybrid Eurodisco sound, which mixed spacedisco synth pop with Continental Eurodisco and Hi-NRG. The famous tracks, like Fonny De Wulf's production of Samantha Gilles "Let Me Feel It", and Michiel Van Der Kuy's studio projects such as Sisley Ferré, Attack, Paparazzi and Special Touch, with vocals by the leading Dutch session singer Jody Pijper, have come to be regarded as amongst the best examples of Eurodisco and 80s Hi-NRG. I must of course make mention of the breathtakingly original remixes made by the Dutch remixer Peter Slaghuis, sadly killed at too early an age. Peter Slaghuis remixes still sound fresh and exiting today, and I know of few people who can't get enough of his semnal re-working of Maria Vidal's "Bodyrock".


In Sweden, there was of course the pop heritage left by Abba. Ola Håkansson and Tim Norrell created a German style discofox sound with their productions of Lili & Sussie, The Herreys and Secret Service, whilst Paul Rein brought a more Hi-NRG slanted sound to his pop productions.


I don't have much knowledge of the more obscure Eurodisco produced by these countries, but here is a selection I would recommend. I have listed them by country of origin.

BELGIUM 
(YOU’VE GOT TO) MOVE IT ON, Rofo (Infinity, 1983) 
I WANT YOU, Rofo (Infinity,1984) 
LET ME FEEL IT, Samantha Gilles (Infinity, 1984) 
ONE SHOT LOVER, Venus (ARS, 1984) 
LOVE WAVES, Patty Heart (ARS, 1986) 
IN THE DARK, Angie Dylan (ARS, 1987) 
DON'T LET GO, Tasha (ARS, 1987) 
LOVE AND DEVOTION, Michael Bow (ARS, 1987) 
I NEED YOUR LOVE, Paparazzi Featuring Jody Pijper (Infinity, 1987) 
NOW IS THE TIME, Paparazzi Featuring Jody Pijper (Infinity, 1987) 
ONE SHOT SO HOT, Michael Bow (ARS, 1987) 
ONE MORE TIME, Bianca (Infinity, 1987) 
LOVE GUN, Special Touch Featuring Jody Pijper (Infinity, 1987) 
CHECK IT OUT, Special Touch Featuring Rachel Hart (Infinity, 1987) 
YOU ARE THE ONE, 1000 Ohm (ARS, 1987) 
MIDNIGHT LOVER, Bianca (Infinity, 1988) 
LOVE ON THE REBOUND, Angie Dylan (ARS, 1988) 

THE NETHERLANDS 
GET UP ACTION, Digital Emotion (Break, 1983) 
GET READY, X Ray Connection (Break, 1983) 
GO GO YELLOW SCREEN, Digital Emotion (Break, 1984) 
AFTER THE RAINBOW, Joanne Daniëls (Break, 1984) 
MONEY MANIAC, Femme Fatale (Injection, 1984) 
CRAZY FOR YOUR LOVE, Attack  (Hotsound, 1985) 
ENDLESS ROAD, Time Bandits (CBS, 1985) 
BLACK KISSES (NEVER MAKE YOU BLUE), Curtie & The Boom Box (RCA, 1985) 
TALKIN’ BOUT RAMBO, L’ Vira (Break, 1985) 
HISTORY, Mai Tai (Injection,1985) 
YOU’RE WRONG, Gotcha (Hotsound, 1986) 
HUMANOID INVASION, Laserdance (Hotsound, 1986) 
GIVE ME YOUR LOVE, Sisley Ferré (Hotsound, 1986) 
CAN’T STOP, Attack (Hotsound, 1986) 
POWERRUN, Laserdance (Hotsound, 1986) 
SPECIAL LOVE, Attack Featuring Sisley Ferré (Hotsound, 1987) 
SAY YOU’LL BE MINE, Kim Taylor, (Hotsound, 1987) 
FOR YOU, Sisley Ferré (Hotsound, 1987) 
MAKE UP YOUR MIND, Attack (Hotsound, 1988) 
DANCE WITH ME, Claudia T (Made Up, 1988) 
WATCH OUT, Jackie Touché (Made Up, 1988) 
LET ME FREE, Gina (Made Up, 1988) 
IT’S YOU, Sheila Stewart (Made Up, 1988)

FRANCE 
WHERE ARE YOU NOW, Cerrone (Malligator,1983) 
STRESS, David Christie (Savoir Faire, 1984) 
AROUND MY DREAM, Kazino (Carrere, 1985) 
ONE SHOT LOVER, Sylvie Vartan (RCA, 1985) 
AMERICAN LOVE, Rose Laurens (WEA, 1985) 
SHERRY MI-SAI, Monte Kristo (In The Mix, 1986) 
LA NUIT, Rose Laurens (WEA, 1986) 
A LA VIE, A L’AMOUR, Jakie Quartz (CBS, 1987) 
VOYAGE VOYAGE, Desireless (CBS, 1987) 
EMOTION (LE JOUR SE LEVE), Jackie Quartz (CBS, 1987) 

NORWAY 
IN BLUE/D.J. , Data (Proto, 1985) 
THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON TV (REMIX), A-ha (Warner Bros, 1985) 

PORTUGAL
UNDER COVER LOVER, Theresa Maiuko (Transmedia, 1986)

SPAIN 
THE NIGHT (LA NOCHE), Azul Y Negro (Mercury, 1982) 
YOU AIN'T GOT A CHANCE, Charley Danone (Blanco Y Negro, 1984) 
PLAYBOY, David Lyme (Max-Music, 1986)
I WANYOU, Marce (Blanco Y Negro, 1987)
MATA-HARI, Mata Hari (Blanco Y Negro, 1988)

SWEDEN 
LAY ALL YOUR LOVE ON ME, Abba (Polar, 1981) 
HOLD BACK YOUR LOVE, Paul Rein (Alpha, 1985) 
WHEN THE NIGHT CLOSES IN, Secret Service (Sonet, 1985) 
NIGHT IN THE CITY, Annie Anner (Salut, 1985) 
PEOPLE SAY IT’S IN THE AIR, The Herreys (Chateau, 1985) 
NIGHTCITY, Secret Service (Sonet, 1986) 
CANDY LOVE, Lili & Sussie (Sonet, 1986) 
DANCININ THE MOONLIGHT, Body Heat (Lollipop, 1986)
COMMUNICATE, Paul Rein (Fago/Injection, 1987) 

SWITZERLAND 
VICIOUS GAMES, Yello (Elektra, 1985) 
THE CALLING, Ken Heaven (Savage, 1986) 
I CRY FOR YOU, Shy Rose (Fantasy International, 1987)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

100 80's German Eurodisco & Discofox

Alongside Italian Italodisco, Germany was one of the most prolific producers of a synthpop crossover style of Eurodisco dance music in the 1980s. The sound that emerged from Germany took Eurodisco in several directions.

Dieter Bohlen's productions are perhaps the most internationally recognised, through his success with groups and singers like Modern Talking, C. C. Catch, and Blue System. His sound was lighter, more Europop and very accessible to an International audience. Bohlen's productions popularised the Discofox sound throughout Continental Europe and beyond. The Discofox sound was also very evident in the tracks released on Coconut Records by the likes of Bad Boys Blue.

Likewise, Michael Cretu achieved international success, especially with the recordings of his one time wife Sandra Lauer, who recorded simply as Sandra. Cretu produced a number of other artists including Peter Schilling and Hubert Kah.

Fancy, or Tess, produced a stable of artists and musicians, such as Linda Jo Rizzo and Grant Miller, who made some of the most admired Italo/Eurodisco cuts of the time. Indeed Fancy's own early recordings were produced by Amada Lear's 1970's producer, Anthony Monn. Fancy's later recordings were quite heavily influenced by The Pet Shop Boys sound of the mid to late 80s, many becoming regarded as Hi-NRG classics.

A number of producers and labels made higher BPM Hi-NRG/Spacedsico recordings, bearing a similarity to those of Holland's Michiel Van Der Kuy. The tracks by Mike Mareen, Latin Lover and Fancy fall into this category. Some German artists, in particular The Twins, Micro Chip League and Boytronic, owe much more to synthpop originating with Kraftwerk, and later popularised by British synth pop artists of the early 80s.

Some German producers, notably Jack White and Harold Faltermeyer, exported their Eurodisco production skills to America, where they gained commercial success with a number of American recording artists. I'll visit this topic in a later post.

It is hard to give a simple overview of German Eurodisco from this period, but here are 100 tracks to illustrate some of the breadth of these German artists and their recordings.


NOT THE LOVING KIND, The Twins (Hansa, 1983) 
FACE TO FACE - HEART TO HEART, The Twins (Hansa, 1983) 
SLICE ME NICE/COME INSIDE, Fancy (Metronome, 1984) 
CHINESE EYES, Fancy (Metronome, 1984) 
YOU’RE MY HEART YOU’RE MY SOUL, Modern Talking (Hansa, 1984) 
HOT SUN ON VIDEO, Venus (Coconut, 1985) 
DANCIN’ IN THE DARK, Mike Mareen (Night ‘N Day, 1985) 
PARTY BOY, Sean Heyden (Polydor, 1985) 
ROMANTIC VIDEO, New Romance (Polydor, 1985) 
CHECK IT OUT/IN SHOCK, Fancy (Metronome, 1985) 
GODDESS OF LOVE, Soif De La Vie (Uff Zick, 1985) 
LIGHT A LIGHT, Peppermint (Fellow Music, 1985) 
FOR YOUR LOVE, Airplay (Coconut, 1985) 
I CAN LOSE MY HEART TONIGHT, C. C. Catch (Hansa, 1985) 
FANTASY, Lian Ross (ZYX, 1985) 
RIDE MY BIKE, Nóvé (Italoheat, 1985) 
YOU CAN WIN IF YOU WANT, Modern Talking (Hansa, 1985) 
TOUCH IN THE NIGHT, Silent Circle (Blow Up, 1985) 
SUMMERTIME HOT NIGHTS FEVER, Electric Theatre (Metronome, 1985) 
I NEED A MAN, Secret Star (Transparent, 1985) 
TIME TO SAY GOODBYE, Arabesque (ZYX, 1985) 
FLY ME HIGH, Linda Jo Rizzo (EMI, 1985) 
NIGHTFLIGHT, Jack’s Project (Ariola, 1985) 
COLDER THAN ICE/RED FOR LOVE, Grant Miller (ZYX, 1985) 
MADONNA’S EYES, Jayne Collins (Hansa, 1985) 
MY DELIGHT, Solid Strangers (ZYX, 1985) 
MALICE AND VICE, Mozzart (Metronome, 1985) 
ANOTHER BOY IN TOWN, Two Girls (Transparent, 1985) 
SECRET EYES, L’Affair (ZYX, 1985) 
SCRATCH MY NAME, Creative Connection (Chic, 1985) 
CASANOVA ACTION, Latin Lover (Soundshop, 1985) 
TAKE ME AND YOU’LL WIN (WUNDERBAR), Kay Franzes (Polydor, 1985) 
BOLERO (HOLD ME IN YOUR ARMS AGAIN), Fancy (Metronome, 1985) 
TOUCH BY TOUCH, Joy (OK Musica, 1985) 
HERE I AM, MIke Mareen (Night ‘N Day, 1985) 
HEAVEN IN YOUR EYES, Mike Weyman (DA, 1986) 
KING OF HEARTS, Martinique (ZYX, 1986) 
DIAL MY NUMBER, The Back Bag (Transparent, 1986) 
PARADISE, Dance Department (ZYX, 1986) 
BROTHER LOUIE, Modern Talking (Hansa, 1986) 
IMAGINATION, Ringo (ZYX, 1986) 
THIS LOVE, Two Nations (ZYX, 1986) 
YOU’RE MY FIRST, YOU’RE MY LAST, Linda Jo Rizzo (ZYX, 1986) 
JUMP IN, One Of Them (Polydor, 1986) 
YOU SET MY HEART ON FIRE, Elvin (Bellaphon, 1986) 
FREEDOM (DIE ANTWORT), Jeannie (ZYX, 1986) 
IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, Sandra (Virgin, 1986) 
(YOU’RE) MY LOVE, (YOU’RE) MY LIFE, Patty Ryan (ZYX, 1986) 
DON’T LOSE YOUR HEART TONIGHT, Joy Peters (ZYX, 1986) 
IT’S UP TO YOU, Lian Ross (Arrow, 1986)
LADY OF ICE, Fancy (Metronome, 1986)
SHY SHY SUGARMAN, Jack’s Project (Ariola, 1986) 
I’M ALIVE TONIGHT, Grant Miller (ZYX, 1986) 
LOVE SPY, Mike Mareen (Night ‘N Day, 1986) 
KILLER MACHINE, Laser Cowboys (Italoheat, 1986) 
DO YOU REALLY NEED ME, Si Si Caps (Night ‘N Day, 1986) 
VISION (OF THE NIGHT),  Solid Strangers (ZYX, 1986) 
I’M ON FIRE, Salico (Italoheat 1986) 
HOW ARE YOU, DJ’s Project (Night ‘N Day, 1986) 
MAGIC NIGHTS/ONCE IN THE NIGHT, Zara Thustra (Weytron, 1986) 
LASER LIGHT, Latin Lover (Italoheat, 1986) 
AGENT OF LIBERTY, Mike Mareen (Night ‘N Day, 1986) 
HEARTFLASH (TONIGHT), Linda Jo Rizzo (ZYX, 1987) 
GIVE ME THE NIGHT, Facts & Fiction (ZYX, 1985) 
ELECTRICA SALSA, Off (ZYX, 1987) 
DR LOVE, Latin Lover (Italoheat, 1987) 
NERVOUS, Triple G (ZYX, 1987) 
LOVE PLAYS TRICKS, Charlie Glass (ZYX, 1987) 
WINGS OF LOVE/CALIFORNIA TRAIN, Grant Miller (ZYX, 1987) 
PLASTIC AGE, Interface (ZYX, 1987) 
PERFUME OF LOVE, Scala (ZYX, 1987) 
VISION OF LOVE, DJ’s Project (ZYX, 1987) 
LATIN FIRE, Fancy (Metronome, 1987) 
IN 100 YEARS, Modern Talking (Hansa, 1987) 
UNDER COVER LOVER, T. Ark (ZYX, 1987) 
SLAVE TO LOVE, Sammy Allen (Night ‘N Day, 1987) 
COME BACK AND STAY, Bad Boys Blue (Coconut, 1987) 
I AM ALIVE, Saphir (EMI, 1987) 
ROADRUNNER, U.K. (Night ‘N Day, 1987) 
REACH OUT, Lian Ross (Chic, 1987) 
BOYS BOYS BOYS, Call It Heaven (DA, 1987) 
FLAMES OF LOVE/BODYGUARD, Fancy (Metronome, 1987) 
PERFECT LOVE, Linda Jo Rizzo (ZYX, 1987) 
FANTASTIC LIFE, Martinique (Power, 1987) 
STOP WATCH KILLER, Boys Next Door (Metronome, 1988) 
DIRTY JOB, Sweet Connection (Blow Up, 1988) 
ONLY ONE NIGHT/DON’T LEAVE TONIGHT, The Hurricanes (ZYX, 1988) 
DON’T LET ME DOWN, Boytronic (Metronome, 1988) 
NEED YOU PASSION, Sweet Connection (Blow Up, 1988) 
LADY ECSTACY, MIke Mareen (Night ‘N Day, 1988) 
HEAVEN CAN WAIT, Sandra (Virgin, 1988) 
FANTASY BOY, New Baccara (Belaphon, 1988) 
UNDER MY SKIN, Blue System (Hansa, 1988) 
BREAKAWAY, Grant Miller (ZYX, 1988) 
(CARMEN) DANGER IN HER EYES, Deborah Sasson & MCL (8ighty 8ight, 1988) 
THE DIFFERENT STORY (A WORLD OF LUST AND CRIME), Peter Schilling (WEA, 1988) 
SOLDIER, Thomas Anders (Teldec, 1989) 
SO MANY PEOPLE,  Hubert Kah (Blow Up, 1989) 
HEART TO HEART, Sweet Connection (Polydor, 1989) 
PASSION AND PAIN, Deborah Sasson (Westside, 1989)



Sunday, 28 August 2011

Italodisco Top 100

My last post was 100 recommended Hi-NRG tracks form the 80's.  Closely linked with Hi-NRG is Italodisco. 


Italodisco was a marketing term invented by the owner of the German ZYX record label, Bernhard Mikulski in around 1982 - 1983, to promote the synth-pop/disco sound being produced in Italy at that time. Whilst the term "Italodisco" has come to represent the majority of this style of music being produced throughout Continental Europe in the early to mid 80s, I have chosen 100 purely Italian songs for this over view of the genre.


This list is in no particular order of merit, and whilst there are a lot of my favorite songs in it, I have tried to concentrate on the overall popularity of the songs. Therefore the top 5, which are not necessarily the best of the genre, were the biggest Italodisco chart hits in Britain. There was usually only one or two Italodisco chart hits in the UK at the end of each summer when people returned from their Mediterranean holiday, having danced to the songs in the sun!


Many of the artists listed below were not 'real' artists. Many of them were studio projects, using session singers whilst being fronted by a model for public appearances. Valerie Dore and Den Harrow being two famous cases in point.


Since posting my top 100 Italodisco suggestions a few days ago, the postman has delivered some new tracks through my door. I am really enjoying them, so I have taken out a few of the weaker tracks from the top 100. 


I have put the cover artwork of my new finds onto the blog, along with some of my longtime favorites.


DOLCE VITA, Ryan Paris (Discomagic, 1983) 
TARZAN BOY, Baltimora (EMI Italiana, 1984) 
CALL ME, Spagna (CBS, 1987) 
I LOVE MY RADIO (MIDNIGHT RADIO), Taffy (Ibiza, 1985) 
BOYS (SUMMERTIME LOVE), Sabrina (Ibiza, 1987) 
THE NIGHT, Valerie Dore (Merak, 1984) 
I NEED LOVE, Kano (Fulltime, 1983) 
FEEL THE DRIVE, Doctor’s Cat (Il Discotto, 1983) 
SELF CONTROL, RAF (Carrere, 1984) 
BOOM BOOM (LET’S GO BACK TO MY ROOM), Paul Lekakis (Esquire, 1986) 
MAGIC CARILLON, Rose (Discomagic, 1984) 
AROUND MY DREAM, Silver Pozzoli (Many, 1985) 
ONLY MUSIC SURVIVES, Alba (Merak, 1985) 
CHANCE TO DESIRE, Radiorama (Discomagic, 1985) 
DIVINE, Mike Hammer (Time, 1988) 
FUTURE BRAIN, Den Harrow (Baby, 1985) 
HEY HEY GUY, Ken Laszlo (Memory, 1984) 
HAPPY STATION, Fun Fun (X-Energy, 1983) 
FLY TO ME, Aleph (Time, 1985) 
I FEEL YOU (TI SENTO), Matia Bazar (Ariston, 1986) 
RUN TO ME, Tracy Spencer (Ibiza, 1985) 
HIGHER, Vivien Vee (Banana, 1983) 
PEOPLE FROM IBIZA, Sandy Marton (Ibiza, 1984) 
HYPNOTIC TANGO, My Mine (Progress, 1983) 
LOVER TO LOVER, Joe Yellow (Baby, 1983) 
LOVE TAKER, Stefano Pulga (System, 1983) 
TWO FOR LOVE, Miko Mission (Blow Up, 1985) 
RIGHT BY THE MOON, K. Barré (Many, 1984) 
PRETTY FACE, Stylóo (Hole, 1983) 
TONIGHT, Ken Laszlo (Memory, 1985) 
VOICES IN THE DARK, Mike Cannon (Memory, 1983) 
TELL ME THE REASON, Alan Barry (Discomagic, 1988) 
CHARLESTON, Den Harrow (Baby, 1986) 
GIPSY QUEEN, Gipsy And Queen (Time, 1986) 
COLOUR MY LOVE, Fun Fun (X-Energy, 1984) 
ICE COLD LOVE, Madigan (On The Road, 1986) 
FACES, Clio (Crash, 1985)
POLARIS, Cyber People (Memory, 1984) 
SECRETS, Albert One, (Time, 1986) 
U.S.S.R., Eddy Huntington (Esquire, 1986) 
THE VISITORS, Koto (Memory, 1985) 
FIRE ON THE MOON, Aleph (Time, 1986) 
DANGER FOR LOVE, Deborah Haslam (Lombardoni, 1985)
TAKE A CHANCE, Mr. Flagio (Squish, 1983) 
ANOTHER LIFE, Kano (Fulltime, 1983) 
GET CLOSER, Valerie Dore (Merak, 1984) 
I WANNA BE YOUR LOVE, Rose (Time, 1988) 
AMERICA (MEDLEY WITH MACHINERY), Cruisin’ Gang (Cruisin’, 1985) 
UNDER THE ICE, Topo & Roby (Il Disc, 1984)
DOWN DOWN ROMEO, Meccano (Keep On, 1985) 
RISE UP (FOR MY LOVE), Yvonne Kay (X-Energy, 1985)
HEARTBEAT (ONE, TWO, THREE), Vivien Vee (X-Energy, 1987) 
STEP BY STEP, Silver Pozzoli (Many, 1985) 
DRAGONS LEGEND, Koto (Memory, 1988) 
GIMME THE LOVE, Kinky Go (BMS, 1986) 
BAILA BOLERO, Fun Fun (X-Energy, 1987) 
COME ON, Alan Barry (Time, 1986) 
SHOOTING STAR (SIX TIMES), Roy (Memory, 1987) 
IN YOUR EYES, Roxana (Cruisin’, 1985) 
BIG BROTHER, Aleph (Time, 1988) 
ACTIVATE MY HEART, Meccano (Keep On, 1986) 
THE LAST WALL, Alan Ross (Memory, 1986) 
REAL MEN, Tom Hooker (Merak, 1984) 
FEEDBACK/OVERPOWER, Den Harrow (Baby, 1986) 
SPEND A LITTLE TIME, Hemyl (Merak, 1985) 
SHANGHAI, Lee Marrow (Discomagic, 1985) 
ONCE MORE, Taffy (Ibiza, 1985)
BURNING, Simon (Keep On, 1987) 
IMAGINE (YOU’LL NEVER CHANGE YOUR MIND), Fred Ventura (Time, 1987) 
DON’T CRY, Ken Laszlo (Memory, 1986) 
LITTLE RUSSIAN, Mr. Zivago (BMS, 1987) 
ROCK ME TONIGHT, Chip Chip (BMS, 1987) 
GIVE ME YOUR LOVE, Fun Fun (X-Energy, 1985) 
WHEEL OF LOVE, Laurie (Memory, 1987) 
FREEDOM, The Winners (Crash, 1986) 
HOLD THE LINE, Chester (Time, 1987) 
BROWN SUGAR, Gipsy And Queen (Time, 1987) 
FLASH IN THE NIGHT, Public Passion (Chapulin, 1986) 
MONEY RUNNER, Scotch (American Disco, 1986) 
I’M IN DANGER, Aleph (Time, 1987) 
BLACK JACK, Tom Cat (Macho, 1988) 
SWISS BOY, Lou Sern (Esquire, 1986) 
EXOTIC AND EROTIC, Sandy Marton (Ibiza, 1985) 
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, Colby (Technology, 1987) 
DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSOR, Cyber People (Memory, 1988) 
FAIRY TALE, Rose (Lombardoni, 1985) 
I NEED YOUR LOVE, Midnight Passion (Cruisin’, 1985) 
KEEP ON ROCKIN’, Hemyl (Missing, 1986) 
MAYDAY, Eddy Huntington (Esquire, 1988)
MY MAN, Cruisin’ Gang (Cruisin’, 1983)  
BLACK OUT, Aleph (Time, 1988) 
I’M A WINNER, Kinky Go (BMS, 1986) 
LOVE, Gipsy And Queen (Time, 1988) 
LIGHT UP MY HEART, Angie St Phillip (Simple,1985)
LOVE IS THE REASON, Time With Ram Band (Ram Productions, 1985) 
EVERYONE’S A WINNER, Monkey Business (X-Energy, 1987) 
DON’T STOP, Ross (Flea, 1987)  
LOOKING FOR LOVE, Tom Hooker (Baby, 1986) 
WAITING FOR A TRAIN, Moonbase (Il Discotto, 1983)