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)

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