Sunday, 30 September 2012

Godfathers of Hi-NRG Part 2 - BOBBY ORLANDO


Bobby Orlando is considered to be the king of the Hi-NRG style by fans. Whilst many of his productions are a little on the crude side, his prolific output of 12" singles during the early to mid 80s kept dance floors alive with his ultra-energtic music, scoring international hits with songs recorded by Divine and the girl group The Flirts. Many of the releases are sung by a small group of session singers, who appear in various guises and groups.

He released his productions on a number of his self owned independent labels, such as Eurobeat, Memo, Telephon, "O" Records and Bobcat, but they were pressed in very limited numbers, making them highly sought after by collectors, and therefore expensive on the second hand market. A few compilations have been released on CD. As his production output was quite extensive I have only listed my favorite Bobby "O" tracks, rather than attempt a comprehensive discography.

Most of the original US 12"s came without picture sleeves, in plain card sleeves or record company sleeves. The picture sleeves posted in this blog have come from the Continental European versions.

MONDO MAN, Roni Griffith (Vanguard, 1980)
DESIRE, Roni Griffith (Vanguard, 1981)
(THE BEST PART OF) BREAKING UP, Roni Griffith (Vanguard, 1982)
PASSION/CALLING ALL BOYS, The Flirts (”O” Records, 1982)
NATIVE LOVE (STEP BY STEP), Divine (”O” Records, 1982)
I’M SO HOT FOR YOU, Bobby ‘O’ (”O” Records, 1982)
SHE HAS A WAY, Bobby ‘O’ (”O” Records, 1982)
SHOOT YOUR SHOT, Divine (”O” Records, 1982)
FANTASY, Hotline (”O” Records, 1982)
WORK ME OVER, Claudja Barry (TSR, 1982)
PLEASURE, Malibu (”O” Records, 1983)
THESE MEMORIES, Oh Romeo (Bobcat, 1983)
SHAKE IT UP, Divine (Break Records, 1983)
GOIN’ CRUISIN’, Malibu (Bobcat, 1983)
ALL THE LOVE IN MY HEART, Tony Caso (”O” Records,1983)
TAKE A CHANCE (ON ME), Waterfront Home (Bobcat, 1983)
D.J. GIRL, Miss Kimberly (Bobcat, 1983)
BRING ON THE MEN, Wow (Memo, 1983)
LOVE REACTION, Divine (Break, 1983)
I CRY FOR YOU, Bobby ‘O’ (BMC, 1983)
GIVIN’ UP, Bobby ‘O’ (’BMC, 1983)
DANGER, The Flirts (Unidisc, 1983)
I PRETEND, Bobby ‘O’ (BMC LP ‘Free In An Unfree World’, 1983)
BORN TO LOVE, Claudja Barry (Personal, 1984)
ECSTACY, Hotline (”O” Records, 1984)
WORKING GIRL, Girly (”O” Records, 1984)
WHO’S YOUR BOYFREIND?, Eric (Memo, 1984)
I WANT A MAN, Bonnie Forman (Memo, 1984)
FASHION, The New York Models (Memo, 1984)
GUILTY, Hotline (Memo, 1984)
LOVE ON VIDEO, The New York Models (Memo, 1984)
ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH, Oh Romeo (Oh My!, 1984)
I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU, Bonnie Forman (Memo, 1984)
ONE MORE CHANCE/WEST END GIRLS, Pet Shop Boys (Bobcat, 1984)
HELPLESS (YOU TOOK MY LOVE), The Flirts (Telephon, 1984)
BURNIN’, Patty Phillipe (Memo, 1984)
FINGERS, Lea (Oh My!, 1985)
WHISPER TO A SCREAM, Bobby ‘O’ & His Banana Republic Featuring Claudja Barry
(Menovision, 1985)
ONE MORE SHOT, Oh Romeo (Memo, 1985)
DANCIN’ IN HEAVEN, Tony Caso (Memo, 1985)
KEEP OUR LOVE ALIVE, Lifestyle (Memo, 1986)
VOULEZ VOUS, The Flirts (Ariola, 1985)
SAVING MYSELF (FOR THE ONE I LOVE), Oh Romeo (”O” Records, 1985)
NEW TOY, The Flirts (CBS Associated, 1985)
LONELY TOO LONG, Banana Republic (Eurobeat, 1986)
MAKE UP YOUR MIND, Teen Rock (Menovision, 1986)
LOVE ATTACK, Tony Caso (Eurobeat, 1986)
BREATHLESS, Gina Desire (Eurobeat, 1986)
LOVE ADDICT, Girls Have Fun (Eurobeat, 1987)
LUST OT LOVE, Malibu (Eurobeat, 1987)
AGGRESSION, Charlene Davis (Memo, 1987)
FRUSTRATION, Lilly & The Pink (Memo, 1987)
LIVING OUT A FANTASY, Oh Romeo (Memo, 1987)
READY OR NOT, Hotline (Eurobeat, 1987)
SUSPICIOUS MINDS, Bobby ‘O’ (Bobcat, 1988)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Godfathers of Hi-NRG Pt1 - Patrick Cowley


One of the greatest influences behind 1980s Hi-NRG/Italodisco and Eurodisco sound was Patrick Cowley. Most of the producers and artists of this 80s sound all acknowledge the debit of gratitude they have to the music of Patrick Cowley. As much has been written about Cowley, his career and early death at the age of 32, there is no need to repeat his biography here.

Due to his early death in 1982, Cowley left us with only three albums, which clearly show how he was developing the ideas of 70s Eurodisco producers such as Giorgio Moroder, Cerrone and Gino Soccio, through further experimentation of electronic music with the use of early synthesizers. Cowley worked with a number of artists in San Francisco who would later become synonymous with the 80s Hi-NRG sound, namely Sylvester, Paul Parker, JoLo and Marty Blecman and Ken Kessie of Megatone Records.

Below I have listed the some of the famous Cowley material, roughly in order of release. Many of Patrick Cowley's singles and EPs have been re-issued by a number of record labels over the years with various different track listings, so it's difficult to give an exact historical discography of his releases

A recent discovery of mine has been "Tech-No-Logical World"  with its great synth lines and vocals by Paul Parker. A close listen to the lyrics reveal a fantastic commentary on the current state of the world in 2012 even though it was written 30 years ago. I fully recommend several listens to appreciate the insights in this track. 

MEGATRON MAN (Fusion Records, 1981) 
MENERGY (Megatone, 1981) 
MIND WARP (Megatone, 1982) 

MEGATRON MAN (Megatone, 1981) 
MENERGY (Megatone, 1981) 
MINDWARP  (Megatone, 1982) 
THEY CAME AT NIGHT (Rams Horn, 1983) 
INVASION (Megatone Re-issue, 1989) 

DO YOU WANNA FUNK (With Sylvester)(Megatone, 1982) 
LIFT OFF (With Paul Parker & Jolo) (Megatone, 1982) 
TECH-NO-LOGICAL WORLD (With Paul Parker) (Megatone, 1982) 
DIEHARD LOVER - Loverde (Moby Dick Records, 1982) 
RIGHT ON TARGET -  Paul Parker (Megatone, 1982) 
SHOT IN THE NIGHT - Paul Parker (Megatone, 1982) 
TOO MUCH TO DREAM (LP) - Paul Parker (Megatone, 1983) 
LOVE’S ON THE LINE -  Paul Parker (Injection, 1983) 
LUCKY TONIGHT - Sarah Dash (Megatone, 1983) 
MENERGY - Sylvester (ERC Records, 1984) 

FEEL LOVE - Donna Summer (Casablanca, 1982) 
I GOT THE FEELING - Two Tons of Fun (Disconet 1983) 
HILLS OF KATMANDU - Tantra (JDC Re-Issue, 1986)