JACQUES FRED PETRUS                                  

Jacques Fred Petrus (February 22th 1948 - June 8th 1987) was of French origin though he lived the greater part of his life in Italy where he established an international career in the music industry. Fred Petrus was a native of Guadeloupe (French West Indies), an archipelago located in the eastern Carribbean Sea. In Sainte-Anne on Grande-Terre Island he spent his childhood surrounded by four brothers and one sister. During his teens he was a fanatical collector of R&B and soul records, a musical passion that would determine the course of his life and professional path. After he finished technical school, Petrus worked as a diesel-engine mechanic on a cargo ship for a few years until he decided to exploit his musical interest. He moved to Paris in 1967 where he pursued his dream of becoming a top deejay.

One of his first significant gigs was at the legendary Club Saint-Hilaire ran by François-Patrice, a chic venue situated in Rue de Rennes. The club was frequented by the rich and famous of that time like Aristoteles Onassis, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner and many French stars and starlets. His next stop in the Paris nightlife was the White Chapel club at Place Mabillon. During summertime in 1969 and 1970 he performed as a deejay in Spain in discotheques like Club Pilote or Tiffany’s in Marbella, alternating with Paris according to the season. In 1971 Fred was hired by a discotheque in Messina, Sicily (Italy) where he acquired contacts that led to new opportunities in Rome during wintertime. In Rome Fred Petrus handled the turntables at the Staco Matto jet set club. Later he would also play at the Good Mood in Milan. The prosperous city of Milan with its sophisticated fashion appeal and exuberant nightlife was the ideal place for Petrus to settle down and spread his wings. To earn extra money he worked as a shop assistant in a Fiorucci fashion store in Milan.

Fred Petrus achieved an established reputation as a DJ and eventually began to import music from the U.S. as he quickly understood how to respond to the needs of his Milanese fellow DJ’s. He also realised he couldn’t keep on doing the job of a DJ for the rest of his life. The entrepreneur in Jacques Fred Petrus awoke!
In the early days Petrus used to order a couple of boxes of vinyl every week because the demand as well as his funds were limited. He mainly sold records to his deejay friends and to a few discotheques like the Nepentha and the Charly Max in Milan and Rome's Bella Blu, Jackie O and Number One. His “commerce” gradually increased as also the club-goers got interested in buying exclusive dance records.
At one of the high society venues where Petrus was deejaying he found a wealthy maecenas who helped him start up his first record shop Goody Music in 1973. The import store in Milan was an Italian division of the American music retailer Sam Goody. Besides Carù in Milan and Ronchini in Parma, Goody Music was the only U.S. importer in Italy. His business thrived because just Petrus specialised in soul and disco import. The disco market was a very specific and dynamic branch that required a constant awareness of the trends and the demands. In a short time he owned the monopoly and supplied records to radio stations and discotheques all over Italy.
Early 1975, his company was doing so well that he needed assistance. Petrus asked his cousin Claude Petrus to join him in Milan. Unfortunately the mutual understanding between the two quickly deteriorated as Claude couldn't cope with Petrus' sometimes very violent nature. After a couple of months Claude Petrus decided to shut the door of the Goody Music store behind him for good and flew back home. Hence Fred called up his three brothers consecutively. But he seemed impossible to collaborate with and one by one they also quit. Only the last brother Alex Petrus succeeded in working together with "Little Macho". They got along well and apparently shared the same business instinct and the same music feeling. Alex would remain one of the few confidants in Fred's life until his tragic death in 1987. 

When private radio stations were legalized in 1975, Goody Music sponsored a radio program on the first private station: Radio Milano International, which is called 101 Network today. Soon every private station was hosting a disco show and disco music became really huge by 1976. It appears that Petrus was even one of the first radio DJ's of Radio Milano International but he was fired after a dispute with the head of the radio station.

The success of Goody Music allowed him to set up a chain of import music stores in Italy. It seems that Petrus also created the record label Master Music around that time. Former Little Macho Music staff member Steve Bogen recalls: "I met Freddie in the '70s when he had the Goody Music record store in Italy. I was the buyer for a major one stop in N.Y.C. and he would regularly fly to the US and come in to see me at Record Haven. I would sit with him, play him the newest hottest disco songs, he would buy them and I would then ship the LP's to him in Italy. I started working directly with Fred Petrus in like 1981, sometime before I was running the record label RPM Assoc., an indie promotion company specializing in American rock ‘n’ roll bands that was pretty well known."


Fred Petrus deejaying in Spain at Club Pilote in 1969

GOODY MUSIC PRODUCTION & LITTLE MACHO MUSIC

About 1978 the shrewd entrepreneur lifted his company to a higher level. Petrus attracted talented musicians from the region of Emilia-Romagna (Bologna, Ferrara, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Rimini, Ravenna,…) and began producing music himself with partner Mauro Malavasi. They already met a few years earlier. The story goes that Petrus had a crucial meeting with Mauro Malavasi at the Music Conservatory of Bologna (Conservatorio di Musica Giovan Battista Martini di Bologna) (see photo) in 1975 when Mauro was actually still studying music. They quickly realized that they were on the same wavelength. As a result it seems that Jacques Fred Petrus even decided to help his young friend graduate at the conservatory through some financial backing.

The two associates extended Goody Music into a production company and record label with the aim of becoming the Italian Gamble and Huff. They saw in each other the opportunity to realise their ambitions to become major players in the dance and disco scenes of Europe and America. Their vision was to create a sound that was melodic and decidedly smooth in delivery that would appeal to both markets.
It was a well-considered move that Petrus had been preparing for quite some time. He wasn’t interested in cheap success, limited to Italy only. Petrus provided his producer Malavasi with the very best means to reach this goal, regardless of the expense. He hired the best studio engineers in Italy and brought American top studio singers on board. The mixing and (vocal) recordings occured in the best disco music studios in the world: Sigma Sound studios, Power Station studios and Media Sound studios in New York City. The mastering of the recordings was done at Sterling Sound studios, “THE” mastering studio in New York.
Following in the footsteps of the legendary French disco producers Henri Belolo & Jacques Morali (Village People, Patrick Juvet, Ritchie Family, Break Machine) and French music impresario Christian Michel Carbaza (M'Bamina, Machel Montano, Tabou Combo, Geraldine Hunt, Candela), Petrus went to New York in the late seventies to start making music business connections, arranging record deals and signing his acts.
As an A&R executive Christian Carbaza had a lot of contacts in the entertainment industry worldwide. He became famous as a successfull promoter of Trinidad & Tobago's Soca music and Caribbean fashion modeling. Carbaza very likely introduced Petrus to the NY disco music scene and the music industry personalities behind it. Both Fred Petrus and Christian Carbaza originated from the Caribbeans, had been living in Paris and Italy and were making the same kind of electro synth disco with live instrument overdubs during that era. Michael Murphy (one half of The System), who worked at Petrus' Little Macho Music office during the early 80's, remembers that he first met Jacques Fred Petrus with Carbaza at a hotel lobby in NYC -now the Sofitel Hotel- in 1979 when Fred Petrus was enjoying an international disco hit with Peter Jacques Band. It's also very possible that Petrus benefited from Carbaza's connections in the fashion world to enlist international models for his disco projects.

Legendary entertainment executive Christian Carbaza with Nadine Kanhai of Elite Model


The very first artist that Petrus published on his Goody Music label was the French Elvin Shaad. His mini album Live For Love was released in 1978. Petrus and Shaad were the executive producers of the project. The LP was produced by Elvin Shaad and Florida and recorded at the Florida Studio in Paris where parts of the first Macho record would be recorded as well. The mixing and remixing was carried out in London and New York. Hot NYC deejay Tom Savarese mixed the record at Sigma Sound. 
The next production on Goody Music Records was the crucial Macho project, recorded in Italy with his in-house musician staff and remixed by Tom Savarese in New York.



Davide Romani (bass) and Amos Amaranti (guitar) during Macho-gig in 1979


The Goody Music Production firm was based in Milan, Via Friuli 51 and later moved to Via Pietro Mascagni 15. The instant success of the Macho record provided direct inspiration for a new business name, Fred's great brand of quality music: Little Macho Music. Little Macho Music became Fred Petrus' production label and international publishing company from 1979 onwards. Soon the activities of Little Macho Music outclassed the domestic Goody Music Production enterprise as Jacques Fred Petrus relocated his main business activities to the
headquarters in New York City. The small office of Little Macho Music was situated on 1775 Broadway, NYC. Former staff member Steve Bogen recalls: "Yes, that was the building (see photo), 1775 Broadway. We had office space there on the 7th Floor, we rented the space from Bert Padell. Bert was our accounting firm, Padell, Nadell, Fine & Wineburg. Padell moved out of that building a number of years ago. There were lots of music biz types that rented space. For example Michael Lang, one of the guys that did Woodstock had an office on the floor. We had two offices, a small one I used, and Freddie had a large corner office. We also had a desk I sometimes used just outside the door to Fred's office, nice Italian office furniture, but then again that was Freddie. There were three of us in the office, Fred's friend Claude Ismael, Mic Murphy and me. However, Claude and Freddy had a falling out...but then he did that with most of us who worked for him!"

Since Petrus managed to fix very profitable deals with major American record companies (Atlantic, Capitol-EMI, Warner Bros.), that guaranteed worldwide distribution of his music, he felt no longer the need to maintain his own Italian record labels Goody Music and the sublabels Avangarde and Nocedicoco. Accordingly all activities of Goody Music Records ceased in 1981 and the name of Goody Music Production was dropped as well. In 1982 Petrus briefly introduced Memory Records that published some of his artists in Italy like Zinc, Change and Silence but the small imprint disappeared a year later.

During six years executive producer Petrus and fellow producer Malavasi would represent the perfect symbiosis between project manager and sound architect until the power duo split up in 1983 due to severe economical troubles and an unbearable professional relationship between the two partners.


Billboard Magazine August 1978


Jacques Fred Petrus, the bright Guadeloupean entrepreneur, was the archetype of the successful executive record producer. He mainly concentrated on the business aspects of the company such as masterminding and financing the numerous discoprojects and shopping around for gainful record deals. Petrus who was usually called Fred Petrus or just Freddie by his friends was a reserved but driven character whose passionate, ambitious nature was sometimes in conflict with associates. He has been described as a generous individual with a propensity to be ruthless to those who crossed him. Or as drummer Terry Silverlight recalled: "You wouldn't want to mess with him. If you didn't know him, he could be very intimidating at first meeting."
Cousin Claude Petrus recollected: "After my bad experience in 1975 at his record commerce in Milan I tried to avoid him. But I must admit that Fred was very charismatic. He also had great capacities for foreign languages. He spoke Italian, French, English and Spanish, even if the vocabulary and the pronunciation were sometimes horrible. But then again, this could have been one of his powerful charming and seducing instruments...businesswise as well."
He absolutely was a cosmopolitan with style too, who enjoyed cruising the streets of NYC with his expensive BMW 733i and who liked wearing classy clothing. Producer and musician Randy Muller shared: "I never met Fred, although I recall us crossing paths in a New York studio. He was leaving and I was just coming in to start a session with Brass Construction. I remember him being very well-dressed on that occasion. He came across as a very meticulous man, meaning that in a good way. He wore a silk scarf. His cologne was top-shelf as well."
Jacques Fred Petrus was not a musician but he had an excellent musical taste. He definitely had an input into the musical direction and the overall vibe. His deejay experience connected him with the pulse of the disco scene. He had a sixth sense for recruiting promising American vocalists, first-rate Italian musicians and top notch American and British songwriters/lyricists.

Jacques Fred Petrus, passport photo approx. 1983

He relied heavily on hired studio help to create his music. In Italy Petrus and Malavasi enlisted the musicians Fabbri Giorgino, George Aghedo (see photo black artist below), Gabriele Melotti (see photo drummer),
Celso Valli, Marco Tansini (see B/W photo guitarist below), Paolo Gianolio (see photo guitarist below), Rudy Trevisi (see photo saxophonist), Luca Orioli and foremostly Davide Romani (see photo above) for their composing and arranging skills. Petrus understood the importance and the talent of those young eclectic musicians. Therefore he decided to engage them exclusively, paying them a monthly salary. Together they formed the Goody Music Orchestra and became key contributors to the sound of Goody Music Production.
Many of the early Goody Music productions were accompanied by The Goody Music String Ensemble led by William Righi (first string). Other appreciated session men who played on the Macho, Peter Jacques Band, Revanche and Rudy records were the trombonists Sandro Comini and Marco Pellacani. 

Petrus would record all the tracks at first in Italian studios in Bologna, Modena and Milan and then bring the completed tapes to the U.S. along with Mauro Malavasi and later also Davide Romani who would live around the corner from the Little Macho Music office in a rented flat. In New York they looked for the right singers. Petrus and Malavasi frequented the hot clubs in New York City like Brody, The Cellar, Leviticus and Sweetwater where showbands performed, in search of local singing talent. Next they booked a recording studio and added the vocal parts to the music. The mixing, post production and mastering took place at the best possible NYC facilities.


Avangarde Records: A Goody Music Rock & Wave Line

Nocedicoco Records: A Goody Music Reggae Line


In the early days Goody Music Production also released music from groups and singers that were not produced by the Goody Music Production staff. Such acts were: Theo Vaness, Caprice, NH3 Band, Geraldine Hunt, Pacific Blue, Akka B, Bob Eaven, San Juan, The Royal Rasses, Sheila Hylton, Blood Sisters, Ras Midas, Elvin Shaad, Jo Lemaire & Flouze, Prince Lincoln Thompson & Royal Rasses, Stormy Six, Silvio and Random. 

Most of this Goody Music output was exclusively licensed from international labels for distribution on the Italian market. Only the projects of Random (involvement of Fonoprint Productions), Silvio (involvement of French producer Florida), Elvin Shaad (involvement of Florida) and Caprice (produced in France by Candelario Sanchez) were actually financed by executive producer Petrus. In 1980 he introduced two parent labels of Goody Music Records to better market some of these (licensed) records. The Avangarde label dealt with Rock and Wave acts like The Jumpers. The Nocedicoco label dealt with reggae productions like Ras Midas.



Davide Romani

Note that Jacques Fred Petrus in most cases wasn’t the factual producer of the music, even though he credited himself in that way on just about every record that was realised by his staff at Little Macho Music. Petrus primarily took control of the business end of the music. He wasn’t the artistic leader or creative catalyst in the studio. Nor was he a competent arranger and composer like Malavasi and Romani were. Even though he did interfere with the creative process in a directing and supervising way. He would often be present in the studio during recording sessions and provided artistic input such as picking the right artists, songs and deciding about the final cut of each album project. Petrus was blessed with a great vision for disco music and he wanted things to be carried out according to his ideas.
On the other hand the role of the very talented bassist Davide Romani was much more instrumental than assumed. But Romani not quite received the recognition for his undeniable production capacities. Also musician Rudy Trevisi played a bigger part than generally known.

By 1982 Petrus' realm started crumbling off due to an economical malaise within his company and shifting trends in the music industry. He had become quite a controversial if not corrupt business figure. It is known that in this period Jacques Fred Petrus didn’t treat his contracted personnel very fairly. He had a terrible reputation for not paying on time or just not paying at all the artists, songwriters, lyricists or engineers who worked for him. People began showing up at the Little Macho Music office demanding money and threatening. Or as recording engineer Michael H. Brauer stated: "I was a fan of Fred for many years. It was only when he screwed over my friends and then myself that I felt he was an abuser and a bad person. My career got off the ground because of my work with Change, so I'm certainly grateful to him for that break."
Petrus had signed very lucrative contracts with many major record labels and this had made him a very rich man. He was a typical record executive from the Disco period. A tough guy. People respected him, but many actually feared him. He owned many things that the opulent love, including a jetset night club. But all this wealth made him lose the contact with reality, and in a short time his manias of greatness brought him to sink slowly and always deeper in economic problems. Petrus was only thinking about accumulating money for himself without recognizing the merit of his musicians. This situation resulted in an enivitable creative crisis of his production team that consequently began to dissolve. In 1984 Petrus' association with his Italian partners was over. A frustrated Paolo Gianolio already left the Little Macho Music production team in 1982. The other Italian co-workers Malavasi, Romani and Trevisi who also got tired of their relationship with Petrus and the economic turmoil, left Little Macho Music as soon as the running projects were rounded off in early 1983. Jacques Fred Petrus carried on alone with variable success until 1985. But for his ex-companion Malavasi this was just the end of the first chapter of an impressive musical career.

Billboard Magazine January 1979

MAURO MALAVASI

Mauro Malavasi (photo) was born in Mirandola, near Modena, in 1958. Already at the age of six he attended the music school of Mirandola and joined the local drum band where he played the tambourine. At the age of twelve the talented Malavasi learned to play the trumpet and followed courses at the  Conservatory Giovan Battista Martini in Bologna where Alberto Mantovani, who also hailed from Mirandola, was president. Subsequently he simultaneously studied orchestra direction, choir direction, composition, electronic music and successfully graduated at the Conservatory of Bologna in all these disciplines. Malavasi mastered several instruments like the trumpet, flugelhorn and the piano.
With a bunch of friends Malavasi used to play in a jazz band. Bologna has always been very active in the field of jazz music and annually welcomes the important Bologna Jazz Festival since 1938. Mauro Malavasi was one of the musicians on the jazz album Now by clarinettist Henghel Gualdi, released in 1976. 
In 1982 he married Elisabetta Paselli, a piano teacher whom he met at the music conservatory when she was 24. 
Malavasi was the musical genius who created the sensational disco sound together with the staff musicians at Goody Music Production/Little Macho Music. He was the actual producer and musical director. The credits on the albumsleeves of Macho, Peter Jacques Band, Change and the many other creations, reveal that Mauro Malavasi was the ubiquitous musical force within Little Macho Music. He was omnipresent as an allround keyboardist and synthesizer wizard during recording sessions. Not to mention the musician’s essential role as a composer, arranger and conductor.
Mauro's classical background seemed no obstacle for a career as a disco producer. His incredible gift for classical orchestration brought about a brilliant concept for dance music. From a production standpoint, he was very attuned to the dance music sounds coming out of the U.S., particularly impressed with the Chic sound, the Salsoul sound and the Philly Sound, which were sophisticated, richly orchestrated, greatly structured and funky as hell.

Mauro Malavasi’s career as a (disco) composer took off right after graduating. Along with Deborah Kooperman, an American musician living in Bologna, he wrote the disco song "Sweet Soul" for Judy Kaine, released in 1977. Still in 1977 he teamed up with Marzio Vincenzi (a.k.a. Marzio Vincenti) to form the group Marsius. Their first disco album Save The Tiger was recorded in Italy and mixed in Munich (Germany) which was the center of Eurodisco music in those days. The album was released in Italy on Harmony Records in 1977 and had Mauro Malavasi on songwriting and arrangements. "Chiricahua"/"Save The Tiger" and "Suite For Lovers" were the two singles off that album. Several tracks were co-written by Deborah Kooperman. During that same year he also realized the single “You Keep Me Hanging On” for another Marsius project called Marsius & The Fantastic Soul Invention. These first trials were anything but commercial successes.

It all changed after Malavasi and “mentor” Petrus joined forces and started up the Goody Music Production company which led to the release of the Macho record in 1978 featuring Malavasi’s friend Marzio Vincenzi on lead vocals. Mauro Malavasi was only 20 years old then. The legendary U.S. disco label Prelude obtained the rights of Macho's I'm A Man LP and immediately it hit the American disco charts. This first victory became the starting shot of a tremendous musical adventure that would bring wealth, glory and successes…



Mauro Malavasi & Celso Valli at Fonoprint Studios, Bologna

THE BIRTH OF ITALIAN R&B-DISCO 

During the late seventies Petrus & Malavasi instigated a string of electrifying disco acts like Macho, Peter Jacques Band, Revanche, Midnight Gang and Rudy. The music Petrus and Malavasi initially fabricated was based on the kind of disco that was in vogue at that time: energetic Eurodisco typified by an explicit synthsound, pulsating rhythms, funky elements and catchy melodies. Petrus & Malavasi were the primary proponents of the 'Italian Sound' within the Eurodisco movement.

Eurodisco's inventors were the Munich-based duo Giorgio Moroder (see photo) and Pete Bellotte whose groundbreaking electrobeat-driven disco textures, high-energy impact and cold, synthetic arrangements revolutionized dance music in the second half of the seventies (Donna Summer, Munich Machine, Giorgio Moroder, Roberta Kelly, Sparks, Trax).
Representatives of the French Eurodisco sound were producers Jacques Morali & Henri Belolo (The Village People, The Ritchie Family, Patrick Juvet) and Jean-Marc Cerrone (Don Ray, Kongas, Cerrone).
Eurodisco had established itself as a force to be reckoned with. Built around a thudding four-four beat, futuristic synthesizers, and a penchant for grandiose conceptual themes, the genre had its own aesthetic, and it also looked like it sold more records than any other strand of disco.





MACHO

Petrus' and Malavasi's first collective project was the Macho mini album I'm A Man (#6 Billboard’s Disco/Dance Chart), released in 1978 on Prelude records and several European labels including Ariola, Flarenash and Goody Music records.

Petrus decided to make a dynamic disco remake of the Steve Winwood song "I'm A Man", originally released in 1967 by Winwood’s band The Spencer Davis Group. He instructed Mauro Malavasi to recreate an atmosphere which had to be similar to that of Kongas' Africanism album produced by Cerrone in 1977. The mood of the song was definitely reminiscent of Konga's song "Gimme Some Lovin'" which also happened to be a song of the Spencer Davis Group!
Malavasi wrote all the arrangements and searched for every single sound that gave it a truly international appeal. The use of powerful guitar and synthesizer added to the strenghth of the cut's driving Cerrone-like percussion break.
"I'm A Man" was an epic disco performance, definitely club oriented and it had a great groove to it. Really the most impressive aspect was the music itself. It went through many changes and interludes much like Giorgio Moroder's epic disco numbers for Donna Summer, it always ended up winding back to something familiar making it seem really well assembled. It was based in the electronic disco with a minor in funk style. This iconic disco song perfectly captured the exuberance of the late seventies.
Malavasi was lucky because he could cooperate with very young and skilled session musicians living in Emilia-Romagna such as bass player Davide Romani, guitarist Paolo Gianolio, keyboardist Luca Orioli, drummer Gabriele 'Lele' Melotti, saxophonist Rudy Trevisi, percussionist George Aghedo and trombonists Sandro Comini and Marco Pellacani. Romani's aggressive bass playing was an essential contribution, creating one of the characteristics of the powerful title track that rocketed the LP to the top of the disco charts.

The featured lead vocalist was Marzio Vincenzi (see photo), a friend of Malavasi who used to be a ballroom singer on the Italian Riviera (Rimini) where lots of discotheques were located. Together they had formed the band Marsius, named after Marzio, and released their one and only disco influenced album Save The Tiger in 1977, without any notable success. Marzio only sang on the first Macho album, and went on to record the disco-rock album Smoke On The Volcano as Marzio in 1980, and furthermore the Italo-disco single “Living” in 1982. According to sources, Marzio Vincenzi died in 1998.

The Macho LP was recorded at the Fonoprint Studios in Bologna and at the Florida Studio (owned by the French producer Florida) in Paris. Once the job was finished in Italy, Petrus flew to the U.S. to record the choirs. Arthur Simms was a credited background singer. At the Sigma Sound Studios in New York the record was mixed by the famous deejay and remix expert Tom Savarese (see photo) who carried out an endless mix of the single "I'm A Man" lasting 17 minutes and 45 seconds! The mini album I'm A Man included two more tracks: "Hear Me Calling" and "Because There's Music In The Air", both composed by Mauro Malavasi. These songs were perhaps a little less good than the title track, but still had a cool breakdown and they absolutely fit in the album. The songwriter Alan Taylor, who would collaborate on most early Petrus projects, provided the lyrics.
The rights of the Macho record were bought by the disco label Prelude and instantly the record entered the American disco charts. Just three weeks after its release Macho had reached the sixth position on the U.S. disco charts!

In an unprecedented action at the time, deejay Tom Savarese filed a $1 million damage suit against Prelude Records and its president Marvin Schlachter for failing to list his name among the credits for the Macho album. Savarese allegedly mixed the three tunes on the album under an agreement with producer Jacques Fred Petrus. Prelude subsequently picked up U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to the record. In seeking to enjoin Prelude and Schlachter from selling, distributing "or otherwise exploiting" the record, Savarese and his manager, Marilyn Green-Fisher, argued that defendants failed to live up to an agreement to credit Savarese with the words "Mix by Savarese" on the album cover and the disk label of the product in contention. Tom Savarese claimed that the omission of his credits was willful and deliberate and had caused him "irreparable harm". In addition to $ 500.000 in actual damages, and another $ 500.000 in punitive damages, he also asked the court to enjoin the label from further selling, distributing or advertising for sale any copies of I'm A Man by Macho until reparation had been made.


Peter Jacques Band 1979

PETER JACQUES BAND

Jacques Fred Petrus was aware that the collaboration with Mauro Malavasi was turning out to be winning and he immediately decided to undertake a second studio project: the Peter Jacques Band. The name was a clear "play" on Jacques Fred Petrus' name.

Peter Jacques Band's 4 track-album Fire Night Dance (#6 Billboard’s Disco/Dance Chart) was published in 1979 hot on the heels of Macho. Leroy Burgess, a member of the Black Ivory group, was engaged as a studio lead vocalist. Other credited session singers were Arthur Simms, Joe Scott, Sammy Gaha, Ann Calvert, Gloria Turner, Claudia Polley, Hilda Harris, Lavelle Duggan and Maerethia Stewart. It was typically of the disco era that the “live act” was just a variable lip-sync group of nameless American, Italian and Guadeloupean models and dancers who performed on TV shows and in video clips. The act was a "band" in name only as all the music was handled by studio musicians with several different line-ups contracted for touring.

Petrus found most of these artists in the entertainment and fashion world of Rome and Paris. They were often Americans living in Europe. One of the girls that Petrus hired was the beautiful Joëlle Ursull. She was elected Miss Guadeloupe in 1979 and worked as a model and television actress in Paris. Later she became one of the three founding members of the successful group Zouk Machine. Other unknown performers with the Peter Jacques Band were Sergio, Jon, David, Haron, Katherine, Michelle, Marcelaine, Francesca and Giuliana.

Fire Night Dance included the smash hit "Walking On Music", "Devil's Run" and "Fire Night Dance". Also memorable was Mauro Malavasi’s spacy disco journey on the fantastic track "Fly With The Wind" that melted a cool electronic base and warm choirs with classical airs.
Again the Prelude label obtained the publishing rights for the U.S.. In Europe the record was released on the Ariola and the Goody Music labels. The original album artwork of Fire Night Dance showed a fluttering naked “butterfly woman” with silver boots on, portraying the ultimate disco angel fantasy. This kinky but artistic cover was banned in the U.S. and got replaced by a cheesy discoclub photo.




REVANCHE

In 1979 the productions went on and the third studio act that Petrus & Malavasi presented was Revanche. Italian disco, packaged for an American audience with a Village People-styled cover but still pretty great in the end. Despite its Italian origins, the use of lots of horns and conga rhythms took this away from the cookie cutter Eurodisco mold and gave it character. The mix was smoother than most, and there was a tendency toward soul throughout.
Revanche is a French word that means revenge in English. French seemed quite hip during the hey-days of disco. Disco act Chic introduced French albumtitles and songtitles. It gave the music an air of sophisticated elegance, something Petrus must have liked when he picked this name for a new concept. Besides, Petrus originated from French overseas territory himself.

The gay disco themed LP Music Man (#13 Billboard’s Disco/Dance Chart) was released on Atlantic records and Goody Music records and was a set of four lengthy Hi-NRG cuts. The sort of long-building numbers that the European scene really helped put forward in the late ’70s. The song "Revanche" recalled Macho's style. The three other cuts on the record somewhat cloned the popular disco styles of that era: “1979 It’s Dancing Time” sounded Chic-like, the hit single “You Get High In N.Y.C.” reminded of The Village People and "Music Man" was similar to the arrangement of "Hold Your Horses" by First Choice. It was Petrus’ policy to create music that matched with the taste of the moment. Thanks to his long-time involvement with disco music as a specialised retailer and a seasoned DJ, he exactly knew what the dance audience was looking for and he made it.

Once again all the songs were composed, arranged and conducted by Malavasi, assisted by Rudy Trevisi. For the vocals parts some prestigious session singers from New York were engaged. Among them were Jocelyn Shaw (a.k.a. Jocelyn Brown), Christine Wiltshire and Yvonne Lewis. The other singers were Bobby Douglas, Steve Daniels, Skipp Ingram and Robin Corley who were all members of the Motown funkband Platinum Hook (see photo). Platinum Hook was one of the house bands at the NYC club The Cellar, home of Kinky Foxx (Johnny Kemp, Kevin Robinson, Timmy Allen, Chieli Minucci, Mike Campbell) and The Jack Sass Band (Mic Murphy, LaLa). But again these singers weren’t the artists and dancers you could watch perform on TV shows in Europe. 
The Revanche record was an archetypal disco achievement but commercially didn’t hit like Peter Jacques Band, and consequently the story of the faceless studio project reached an early end.

RUDY

The fourth Petrus project was the album Just Take My Body by Rudy, a one-off project by Italian sax player Rudy Trevisi (see photo) that was published on the Polydor label in 1979. Paolo Gianolio, Luca Orioli (see photo below right) and especially Rudy Trevisi arranged and conducted the music.

While Malavasi concentrated on the main productions, Petrus tried to exploit at the most the talent of the other musicians around him, inventing new concepts like Gianni Riso, Midnight Gang or Rudy.
The long-player comprised five songs, among which the highlights “Thank You Baby”, "Just Take My Body" and "White Room". The latter was a disco remake of the rock classic “White Room” by '60s group Cream. A dominating brass section was backed with perky guitar and a hard handclapping backbeat on this rock flavoured LP. The vigorous single “Thank You Baby”, composed by Trevisi, showed a glimmer of the new Italian R&B/disco-blueprint, with arrangements pointing towards the glorious Change productions.
This album was chiefly a showcase for Rudy Trevisi’s skills as composer, arranger, conductor and musician within the Goody Music Production entity. Trevisi (born in Mirandola near Modena, like Mauro Malavasi) had worked extensively as a musician on the ’70s projects of Peter Jacques Band, Revanche and Macho and would remain a key musician at Little Macho Music during the early ’80s as well.
Platinum Hook provided the vocals, strengthened by the studio singers Krystal Davis, Yvonne Lewis and Christine Wiltshire.

Even if the record wasn't bad, it didn't stand out in the steady stream of disco releases and couldn't compete with the success of some of the bigger productions of the Goody Music stable.


Mauro Malavasi, Gino Woody Bianchi, Davide Romani


OTHER EARLY PROJECTS

Lesser known records on the home-label Goody Music Records and financed by Jacques Fred Petrus were Midnight Gang's infectious disco stomper “Love Is Magic” and “Midnight Game”. Both singles off the album Love Is Magic, composed and arranged by Marco Tansini and Gianni Grecchi in 1979 under guidance of Mauro Malavasi. The arrangements and the songs were modeled in the tradition of the Goody Music sound of Peter Jacques Band but less effective and refined. The music was recorded in Milan and the mixing occured at the Power Station studios in New York City. This record was distributed in Italy and even in Venezuela, without great sales.

The album Russia by Caprice was released in 1980 on Goody Music records as an Italian import. Candelario Sanchez composed and arranged the 6 tracks including "Russia" and "Stay Tonight". The compositions have the last touch of Euro-disco from this period. It was a time where arrangements with actual players was becoming a bit extinct in Disco music. This may have been due to the popularity dwelling down and the funds for recording were limited to musicians and left many keyboards as the last option. Russia was recorded in France and mixed at Power Station in NYC. But this Paris-based project didn't hit either.

The Malavasi/Petrus-produced single “D.I.S.C.O.” by A.N.T.I. Rock was an Italian remake of Ottawan’s Eurodisco hit “D.I.S.C.O.” written by the French-Belgian producer team Daniel Vangarde and Jean Kluger (Claude François, Dalida, The Gibson Brothers, La Compagnie Créole, Sheila). The song was released in 1980 and has become very rare.

Other obscure and collectable Goody Music releases in 1980 were Carlo Lena with the Italo-Disco song "Italia" (arranged by Celso Valli and Luca Orioli), The Jumpers with their single “Coke And Roll/Rock And Roll Boogie” (composed/arranged by Marco Tansini) and Gianni Riso’s nicely arranged funky single “Disco Shy” (composed by Riso, Tansini and Malavasi) that sounded like 'Delegation meets Pino D’Angio'.




MACHO II: A TOUCH OF ROCK MUSIC

In 1980 Goody Music Production released the rock-flavoured Macho II concept, featuring the renowned NY session singer Gordon Grody (see photo) on lead vocals. The album Roll was mainly a Celso Valli vehicle with very little Malavasi input, recorded at the Fonoprint Studios (Bologna) and the Stone Castle Studios (Carimate, Milan).
Celso Valli was a young composer and arranger whose success began with such records as "Hills Of Katmandu" by Tantra and "San Salvador" by Azoto. Petrus, sure of his international success, was trying to put all the young Italian talents together.

In 1980 the new hybrid music style 'Rosco', a mix of rock and disco, was in fashion for a short while and the 2nd Macho album aimed for that specific market. The songs, which differed from the usual slick and polished disco of Goody Music Production, weaved an agressive hard-edged rock sound with synths and dance beats. Especially the muscular “Roll” (#78 Billboard’s Disco/Dance Chart) was a smoker and “Montreal” and “You Got Me Running” were enjoyable too but did perhaps not appeal to those who were keen on Malavasi’s smoother Italian R&B-disco. Roll had little success and this was also due to the failure of Rosco music.




FROM EURODISCO TO U.S.A. DISCO

Malavasi's somewhat futuristic and ultra-melodic disco clearly had similarities with the music of the disco producers Gino Soccio, Cerrone and Giorgio Moroder who all favoured stacks of synthesizers. Most of the small disco albums that Petrus & Malavasi released in those days contained merely four extended tracks, a typical disco phenomenon. The Macho monstergroove “I’m A Man” covered a complete album A-side, surpassing 17 minutes of dancefloor delight! The accessible Hi-NRG dance music easily reached the international disco crowd. In fact it was tailor-made for the booming discotheques with their almost extraterrestrial atmosphere: flashing dancefloors, glittering mirror balls, colourful light sequencers and hypnotising laserbeams.

Petrus & Malavasi’s early work possibly never achieved the classic status of for example Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor or Sylvester. Nevertheless it yielded some huge disco hits with “I’m A Man” by Macho and “Walking On Music” by Peter Jacques Band. Eurodisco however, remained a critically ignored and disrespected musical tradition that was rather associated with kitschness than soundness. But this perhaps ephemeral stage of transition in the career of Petrus & Malavasi was a crucial laboratory for the development of their promising Italian R&B/disco-funk...

While Celso Valli was carrying out the 2nd Macho project, Malavasi was in the U.S. working on the 2nd Peter Jacques Band album (photos below: Peter Jacques Band 1980) and at the same time preparing a new concept called Change. By 1980 Petrus & Malavasi decided to "change" direction. They had cleverly taken notice of the dying disco market,
and their new dance productions focussed much more on the R&B/dance-soul market than the disco clichés. Their goal was to blend the funky, soulful, R&B-derived elements of American disco-funk with the harder-edged Eurodisco stylings.
Disco music was in a continuous evolution. Acts as Michael Jackson, Delegation, The Brothers Johnson, Cheryl Lynn, Diana Ross, The Whispers, Earth Wind & Fire and productions such as those by Narada Michael Walden, Quincy Jones, James Mtume & Reggie Lucas, Leon F. Sylvers III, Eumir Deodato or Randy Muller had shifted the sound genre to soulful boogie and disco-funk. The basslines were still at the core of the music. But the addition of loads of jazzy, funk and R&B elements created the original sound of 80's groove that has kept fresh over the years.



Peter Jacques Band 1980

The second Peter Jacques Band project introduced Malavasi's new style on the Chic-sound influenced Welcome Back set in 1980 (#57 Billboard’s Disco/Dance Chart), a style similar to the R&B-disco production of Change. The featured tracks “Mighty Fine”, “The Louder” and “Is It It” displayed a warmer, soulful, less robotic discosound than their previous selections. Only the single "Counting On Love (One, Two, Three)" reminded of the frantic sequencer-driven disco beat of the earlier productions.

Welcome Back and the single “Is It It” were released in the spring of 1980 and launched an all-new band line-up. The four-man act comprised Sandi Bass, Dianne Washington, Von Gretchen Shepard (see photo right) and lead singer Jacob Wheeler (photo below) and was cynically modelled on Boney M and even beat their extravagant collection of Lurex, satin and glitter outfits. The groupmembers all shared common interests in acting and dancing and all worked as fashion models in Europe. Von Gretchen Shepard was even elected Miss Black America in 1975. Chicago native Jacob Wheeler was the catalyst who put the act together for Fred Petrus while working in the fashion and entertainment industry of Paris and Rome. The record occasionally featured vocals by Luther Vandross who also wrote some of the lyrics.

While Petrus' simultaneous album with Change went straight to the top of the Billboard Dance Chart, Welcome Back went quite unnoticed and even failed to gain a release in the U.S. (the album was published in Canada on the Goody Music label), and Petrus dropped the band. Jacob Wheeler continued singing for various Italian artists like Tony Esposito and Enzo Avitabile during the eighties and he even cut a few disco/dance singles on the French Carrere label under his own artist name.



Peter Jacques Band 1980

Peter Jacques Band songs and samples appear on:

* The Dells: "Is It It" (song: Is It It) from Whatever Turns You On, Chi-Sound/20th Century Fox, 1981.
* Def Jef: "Just A Poet (It Feels Mighty Fine)" (sample: Mighty Fine), 12", Delicious Vinyl, 1988.
* Soul Power vs. PJB: "I Was Made For Lovin' You" (sample: Mighty Fine), 12", One Trybal, 2000.
* Soul Power vs. PJB: "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)" (sample: The Louder), 12", One Trybal, 2000. (unreleased)



Change touring band line-up 1981
Top: Rick Gallwey, Larry McRae, Vince Henry, John Adams, Mike Campbell, Lino Reyes, Jeff Bova
Bottom: Debbie Cooper, James ‘Crab’ Robinson, Carole Sylvan, Mary Seymour


The breakthrough came with the creation of studio group Change led by self-taught bassist Davide Romani and the classically trained guitar player Paolo Gianolio (see photo). Gianolio studied music at the "Scuola Jazz Di Parma" from 1974 to 1977.
In December 1979 producer Mauro Malavasi finished the rhythm tracks for the first Change album in Italy and then flew to the U.S. with Fred Petrus to find the right American soulful voices to sing over his funky R&B/disco tracks, and to work out the vocal mix afterwards at the Media Sound and Power Station studios. In N.Y. Petrus & Malavasi met up with the experienced session and background singers Luther Vandross and Jocelyn Brown...

The innovative, classy disco-soul on Change’s 1980 smash debut album The Glow Of Love stirred U.S. and European dance floors and heralded the second generation of disco acts. In fact, you couldn’t swing at any club without hearing at some point “A Lover’s Holiday” or the Luther Vandross-powered “Searching” and “The Glow Of Love”.
There was undeniably a substantial musical resemblance with that other legendary discogroup Chic. Nonetheless, Change had an energy of its own and wasn’t a carbon copy of Chic any more than jazz great Chet Baker was a clone of Miles Davis. The Eurodisco influence and a fair portion of Italian disco flair was what put them apart from the funky American R&B-disco groups like Sister Sledge, Kool & The Gang, Stephanie Mills, The Jacksons, Atlantic Starr, Shalamar or Skyy.


disco star Cerrone and French disco promotion force Gerard Gely


Impeccable smooth harmonies, dynamic basslines, subtle piano chords, lush strings, irresistible hooks, explicit synths, multiple breaks and an overall funky sound characterized the Petrus & Malavasi productions. All the pieces fit! It was infectious joyous dance music of the highest quality leading people to the dancefloor. Petrus and Malavasi created a new, Italian sound that was a fusion of American Disco-Funk and synthesizer-driven Euro Disco.
Italo-Funk sounds very much like American Disco music. However, Italian tracks were easily identifiable by their catchy melodies. Emphasis on melody was a conscious choice made by Petrus and Malavasi, and became the most significant trait of the Italian sound. In 1981 Fred Petrus made an interesting point explaining his philosophy: "The X-factor in Italian music is having too much melody". Petrus and his team mastered all the elements that made a dance production exceed the average disco output by far.

For the promotional push of his records Petrus was in constant touch with the French music scene and Gerard Gely was among his closest friends. Every time a Goody Music record was released he would ask the record company involved to entrust Gely with the disco promotion. Because he knew his organization would do a good job. As Petrus was anyway in constant contact with him, he got a continuous feedback on any promotion move and on consumer reaction and disc jockey acceptance. Fred Petrus saw Gerard Gely as “highly effective and someone who has a complete understanding of disco clubs”. Besides being specialist in the disco scene, Gely had a remarkably constant link with the leading DJ’s in Paris. Gerard Gely could always be found at the Parisian high society clubs L'Elysée Matignon and Castel's.

Due to the success, Fred Petrus set up offices in New York, “Disco Capital of the World”, where he had a small team of confidants running the business: accountant and business manager Bert Padell (see photo), French buddy Claude Ismael (see photo), Michael Murphy (see photo), Steve Bogen (see photo) and attorney Stephen L. Kopitko. They all have become influential names in the entertainment industry. In 1993 Claude Ismael happened to be executive producer of Ava Cherry’s “Gimme, Gimme” single that was produced by Mauro Malavasi.

1981 was the most important year for Petrus & Malavasi. They had invented a very appreciated sound that distinguished their productions from all the other ones. An Italian producer and his Italian musician crew had actually succeeded in imposing themselves with their music in the U.S. which was quite an exploit! In 1981 they were in the studio for a long time preparing Change's 2nd album Miracles and the new project Brooklyn Bronx & Queens Band which are among their best achievements.
The producers also decided to involve American session musicians, and later on American composers as well, to give more strength to the projects. In NYC Jacques Fred Petrus had an American musician crew cutting demos with engineer Matthew Noble at an 8-track studio at Northcott Productions . Petrus enrolled talented but relatively unknown American black session singers and musicians to work on his various transatlantic projects. Most of the musicians were members of local bands performing gigs in the New York State club circuit: Chieli Minucci, Kevin Robinson, Timmy Allen, Paris ‘PeeWee’ Ford, Wayne Garfield, Vincent Henry, Deborah Cooper, Bernard Davis, William ‘Doc’ Powell, Mike Campbell, Steve Skinner, Tanyayette Willoughby, Jeff Bova, etcetera. They all knew each other and belonged to a tight clique of NYC musicians often playing together which made it rather easy for Fred Petrus to recruit his artists. Eventually they became the B.B.&Q. BandChangeHigh Fashion and Zinc.

In 1982 the Italians even worked permanently in the U.S., recording great material together with the finest studio artists of NYC. New productions for Change, a collaboration with the Ritchie Family and other creations like Zinc and High Fashion further established the fashionable, proven sound. Since disco was virtually dead by 1982, their music developed naturally into urban contemporary club-R&B and techno-funk, staying original and thrilling yet.



band 'Der Kinky Foxx' incl. Timmy Allen, Johnny Kemp Jr. and Kevin Robinson

CHANGE 

After Chic’s Risqué and Donna Summer’s Bad Girls in 1979, there appeared to be nothing left for disco but absorption into the pop mainstream. In 1980 dance music was in a state of upheaval. Disco was experiencing a serious backlash. Elements of rock, jazz and reggae were added to the music, giving it credibility and sophistication but at the same time taking away much of the music’s identity, to the point where the term disco almost became absolete. Everyone from Blondie to Queen had made a disco record. These puerile attempts at dance music not only appalled popular music purists, but they also made the ultrahip dance community feel invaded by mainstream attempts to capitalize on their sound. Mainstay disco artists were abandoning the genre. Chic was leaning toward R&B while Donna Summer’s music became more rock-oriented in the ’80s. Clubland was searching for a new musical tempo. They wanted a sound they could call their own again.

And the answer came in Change, a group who seamlessly picked up the disco mirror ball where Chic dropped it - right in the middle of the neon-lit dancefloor. The achievements of masters such as Maurice White, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards, Rod Temperton and Giorgio Moroder could be heard, but at the same time Change recaptured a distinctive identity for dance music.
Change remains the most successful project of Petrus & Malavasi and was mainly the brainchild of in-house musician Davide Romani (see photo). Romani’s role was crucial in the Change story. Together with  Malavasi and Paolo Gianolio (see photo) he propulsed Change straight into the disco annals by means of smart dance productions and outstanding disco compositions. Sleeve credits never mentioned the name of Romani as producer but his importance as producer of Petrus-projects throughout the early eighties is beyond any doubt. The group was originally a European/American studio outfit assembled with Italian musicians and hand-picked New York session vocalists. Change delivered five strong albums in line (and a moderate sixth release) on the Atlantic subsidiary RFC, spawning many international hits and dance classics.

Like many other artists who were influenced by Chic, Change was “classy disco”. A band clad in fashionable designer clothing, lots of strings, a slappy bass, high musicianship, strong melodies and smooth vocals were always evident on their records. The music Change made remained true to the origins of dance music, namely R&B. Their fusion of soulful rhythm & blues and the harder-edged Eurodisco was exactly what the people on the dance floor wanted…



'Change on tour' at Charts record store (Phoenix, AZ) in Summer 1981
Lino Reyes, James "Crab" Robinson, Timmy Allen, Jeff Bova, Rick Gallwey, Carole Sylvan, Mary Seymour, Jeff Young, John Adams and Debbie Cooper

The Glow Of Love
The first album The Glow Of Love, released in April 1980, featured the distinguished vocals of a pre-stardom Luther Vandross (see photo) and Jocelyn Shaw, a.k.a. Jocelyn Brown (see photo). Coca-Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken advertising jingles brought Luther Vandross to the attention of Fred Petrus who was looking for a soulful crooner to match his R&B/disco music! Luther Vandross recalled: "The Italians heard me in the context of being a commercial jingle and background singer and said, 'Oh, can we get you to sing lead vocal on a song?' And I said, 'As long as two things are understood.' See, I was making a lot of money as a jingle and backing vocalist. So to take me out of that, you had to be talking some mighty, mighty stuff! I told them if I didn't like my performance, I was to be able to stand there and erase it myself. And Fred and Mauro said fine. And I said also that my name is printed as lead vocalist. Well radio, particularly black radio, took to Change and started calling my name...'That was Luther Vandross with Change...Gosh, does this guy need to make an album!'" 

Vandross had previously recorded under a variety of guises, cutting two albums for the Cotillion label under the name Luther and recording as a featured vocalist with session groups ranging from the likes of Quincy Jones, The Good Vibrations, Charme, The Charlie Calello Orchestra, Roundtree, Mascara, Soirée, Michael Zager Band, The New York City Band and Gregg Diamond Bionic Boogie. He also was a background singer and vocal arranger on songs by Chic, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Odyssey, Sister Sledge, Chaka Khan, Kleeer, Donna Summer, Bette Midler, David Bowie, Roberta Flack, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand and Melba Moore. Vandross also wrote “A Brand New Day (Everybody Rejoice)" for the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz and he appeared as a choir member in the movie in 1978 in which his song was sung by The Wiz Stars featuring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.
Luther Vandross could have toured with Change, but decided instead to tour with Roberta Flack who had just recorded his song "You Stopped Lovin' Me" from the movie soundtrack album Bustin' Loose.

During the disco era Jocelyn Brown was hot on the New York session circuit and her talent was easily tracked down by scout Fred Petrus. She sang with Dazzle, B. Baker Chocolate Co., Kleeer, Machine, Disco Tex & the Sex-O-Lettes, Joe Thomas, Dan Hartman, Candido, Gregg Diamond Bionic Boogie, Manu Dibango, The Charlie Calello Orchestra, Michael Zager Band, George Benson (wrongly credited as Jocelyn Allen in the Give Me The Night album!), Musique and Inner Life. She also was a featured vocalist on Revanche's Music Man, an earlier product of the Little Macho Music company.
Guitarist Paolo Gianolio and bass-player and keyboardist Davide Romani formed the original European nucleus of Change. Their debut album was received very well and got several Grammy Award nominations. The instrumental tracks were recorded at Bologna's Fonoprint Studios in Italy. The vocals were recorded and mixed at Power Station Studios and Media Sound in New York City.

The Glow Of Love opened with Change's best-known song and massive dance hit “A Lover’s Holiday” (#1 Billboard’s Disco/Dance Chart; #5 Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart). The playful opener became an instant dancefloor classic and benefits of Jocelyn Brown's vocal capacities and disco experience. The song appeared in the 2009 comedy movie Couples Retreat. Luther Vandross was featured on the quiet storm favourite "The Glow Of Love" (#49 Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart) which offers a startling introduction to the singer's dazzling style. Luther's effortless vocals front an unforgettable mix of catchy plucked guitar, key stabs and breezy synths. Vandross can also be heard on the seductively pulsing electro groove of "Searching" (#23 Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart). Vandross had yet to secure a solo career in 1980, although many of the people who heard his performances on those two gems agreed that a solo career was inevitable. Davide Romani had to convince Malavasi to include "Searching" on the Change album. Therefore the song "Starlette" was removed from the final album cut and retained for a next project which would be called the B.B.&Q. Band. Other highlights were the passionate cult disco hit “Angel In My Pocket”, the sassy "It's A Girl's Affair" and the fascinating galactic instrumental “The End” which was inspired by the electronic vibes and futuristic Space Disco of Cerrone, Automat, Giorgio Moroder, Space and Gino Soccio.
The Glow Of Love spent 9 weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Disco Album Chart and shot to the top in just six weeks, enough to make it the #1 Disco album of the year and a million seller in the US. The record reached #29 on the US Billboard Albums Chart and #10 on the US Billboard Black Albums Chart. "The Glow of Love" is one of the most popular, covered and sampled dance songs with over 40 licensed uses to date, according to The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) in the US. In fact, "The Glow of Love" is the #3 all-time greatest dance/club hit recording, according to Billboard's 100th Anniversary issue. Wayne Garfield, who wrote the lyrics for "The Glow Of Love" recalled Luther's recording session testimony of “The Glow Of Love” as, "Wayne, this is the most beautiful song I've ever sung in my life....".

In Los Angeles, June 2002, Mauro Malavasi and Davide Romani received several prestigious ASCAP Awards: an ASCAP Pop Music Award, an ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Award and an ASCAP Grammy Award. All this for their composition “The Glow Of Love” which has been prominently sampled on Janet Jackson's No. 1 pop hit “All For You”. (ASCAP is the abbreviation of American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.)

Paolo Gianolio

The cover artwork of The Glow Of Love displayed an abstract geometric design of black and orange shapes on a white background, created by artist Greg Porto. Porto would draw many covers for Change projects including six albums (U.K.-only cover artwork of Turn On The Radio included) and a Greatest Hits compilation. (Greg Porto also designed the cover of Gino Soccio’s first disco album Outline, released in 1979.)
Among the background voices on The Glow Of Love were Mic Murphy (co-founder of The System) and LaForrest Cope, better known as LaLa (who became a Kashif-protégé later on). LaLa and Murphy (see photo) both played in the local NYC band Jack Sass. Murphy had been approached in 1979 by Jacques Fred Petrus who proposed Murphy and his band a touring contract to front the Peter Jacques Band project. But the deal didn’t go through as the money they would earn appeared to be ridiculously low. Still Petrus invited Murphy and LaLa to come sing and play in the studio for an album project which ended up being the first Change record The Glow Of Love.
Petrus & Malavasi also enlisted Wayne Garfield (Roy Ayers, Candi Staton) and Tanyayette Willoughby (Twennynine) (who were also part of the NYC clique of singers, musicians and songwriters) to write "NY Soul"-style lyrics. The British singer/songwriter Paul Slade wrote the lyrics for "Searching".
The record became a smash hit in the U.S. and Petrus continued to call and ask Murphy’s advise about local musicians, and if Murphy could fix him meetings. Fred Petrus didn't want to pay the prices studio artists like Luther Vandross and Jocelyn Brown were asking and wanted to mix and match the talents of Mauro Malavasi, Davide Romani and Paolo Gianolio with some of NYC finest upcoming musicians and vocalists. He was aware that Murphy knew almost all the local players. On top of that Mic Murphy had management skills since he worked as a road manager for the group Kleeer. Eventually Petrus asked Murphy if he would help run his NY office together with Claude Ismael. New Yorker Steve Bogen would join later.
Petrus and Malavasi had achieved their dream - a hit in America. But what next?


Change 1981 - promo line-up
Top: John Adams, Rick Gallwey, Diva Grey, James "Crab" Robinson, Debbie Cooper, Doc Powell 
Bottom: Lino Reyes, Carole Sylvan, Mary Seymour, Jeff Young, Larry McRae

Miracles
The formula worked once, so Petrus & Malavasi retraced their footsteps and issued the strong follow-up set Miracles in April 1981. This time, after the recording sessions in Italy and New York were completed, Fred Petrus assembled a touring band of American musicians, proving that the talent of Change didn't end in the studio. In the Summer of 1981 a 10-piece Change group joined Rick James on his Street Songs tour in the US. 

Fronting the band were two experienced vocalists whose backgrounds read like entries of a musical Who's Who: James 'Crab' Robinson and Diva Gray (see photo below). Male leads were handled by James 'Crab' Robinson. Following Vandross' departure, Petrus & Malavasi sought out a similar-sounding vocalist.
James 'Crab' Robinson was a reputed singer in the NYC session scene with a distinctive church-testifying tenor, suitable for the Change concept. Robinson happened to be the cousin of Paris 'Peewee' Ford, the frontman/bassist on the initial B.B.&Q. Band release. His previous credits included work with Norman Connors and Lonnie Liston Smith.
James' history in music dates back to a stint as roadie with Norman Connors. One night when the male vocalist travelling with Norman failed to show up, James took his place - with no rehearsal! From then on, he stayed with Norman for a couple of years and appeared on his This Is Your Life album (1977). The great-voiced Robinson was the featured lead singer on the soulful ballad “Listen” off that album. After this, James worked with Lonnie Liston Smith as a lead vocalist and occasional guitarist on the albums A Song For The Children (1979) and Love Is The Answer (1980), and subsequently did sessions with Melba Moore, Michael Urbaniak, Jean Carn and Phyllis Hyman amongst others. 

It was through some of the members of the freshly-assembled Change group, bandleader Doc Powell and drummer Lino Reyes (who also worked with Lonnie) that James Robinson found out about the Change sessions at the end of 1980. "They had a lot of people try out", James remembered. "Mauro sat down at the piano and started teaching me the song. When I stepped back and sang, that was it." After impressing Petrus' partner/songwriter-producer Mauro Malavasi and later Fred as well, Robinson was adopted into the fold as the male lead on Miracles and subsequently began touring with the group. James recalled, "After Fred heard me sing, he told me he wanted to be sure that I would be willing to have Change become a reality, not just a studio group. I told him I was ready, so I went ahead." Fred felt that since the first album had done so well, they had something to build on and this proved to be true, from the success of the Miracles album. James said: "I had listened to Luther's work on the Glow Of Love record, never knowing that I would end up singing on the follow-up album, and I really appreciated his style and technique. I had to make sure that when I did my vocals, they wouldn't end up as copies of Luther's, so I was conscious of the need for me to be myself."


The distaff side of Change was represented by the singer and actress Diva Gray (see photo below) whose name had adorned more than a few album covers! She was brought in to replace Jocelyn Brown. The well-traveled New York session singer had lent her warm expressive vocals to several noteworthy disco projects like B. Baker Chocolate Co., The Love Symphony Orchestra, Samba Soul, Lemon, Gregg Diamond, Meco and The New York City Band. Diva's credits also included work with Harry Belafonte, Bette Midler (she can be seen in the movie "Divine Madness") and had sung on sessions by a host of folks including George Benson, Chic, Norma Jean, Sister Sledge, Major Harris, Joe Thomas, Herbie Mann, Jimmy Ponder, Wilbert Longmire, The Brecker Brothers, etc. Diva was originally a member of Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band before the group made records. Her voice could also be heard on many US radio and TV top commercials. In 1979 she already had released her own disco-funk album Hotel Paradise as Diva Gray & Oyster on CBS. But aside from this project, Diva's vocalising on the Change album was one of the first times she could be heard singing up front.
The maturity and professionalism that had made Diva Gray one of the New York top studio vocalists can be heard on Change's album to full advantage. During the ‘80s and ‘90s she continued singing backing vocals for many artists like Talking Heads, George Benson, Steely Dan, Garland Jeffreys, High Fashion, B.B.&Q. Band, David Bowie, Scritti Politti, Debbie Gibson, Grace Jones and Céline Dion.

Other members of the newly-formed loose live aggregation included: Lino Reyes (drums), John F. Adams (keyboards), Jeff Bova (keyboards, synths), Rick Gallwey (percussion), Larry McRae (bass) (see photo below), Timmy Allen (bass) and Jeff Young (synths). Aiding James and Diva on vocals were Mary Seymour Williams and Carole Sylvan, both former members of Musique, and Deborah Cooper who came from The Fatback Band.
Former lead singer Luther Vandross was tied up with his inevitable first solo project but was, interestingly, credited as a background vocalist. In fact Luther Vandross was also originally intended to perform as a lead vocalist on this second album, but declined the offer as Petrus didn't pay enough money. Davide Romani told that he had composed "Hold Tight" with Luther Vandross in mind as the interpreter of the song. Jocelyn Brown was still in the game too, as a backing singer and vocal arranger.

Miracles spent 5 weeks at the #1 position of Billboard’s Disco Album Chart and was ranked as the #3 Disco Album and the # 9 R&B Album of 1981! Again Malavasi and Romani proved their mastery of disco songwriting and production. Quite a performance if you realise that Malavasi only was 23 years old at the time and his young friend Romani just 22.
The music was recorded at Fonoprint Studios located in downtown Bologna, within the walls of an ancient monastery. The superb 13th century building, which has a preservation order on it, was specially refurbished to house the studio without altering its original structure.

Key tracks on Miracles were the chugging and thumping single “Paradise” with the uplifting chorus refrain (#1 Billboard’s Disco/Dance Chart; #7 Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart), the pleasantly unstated groover and 2nd single “Hold Tight” that owes more to boogie than disco (#40 Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart), the irresistible soulful dancer “On Top”, the powerful “Heaven Of My Life” again typified by that gyrating bassline and soaring female lead vocal, the smooth radio-aired “Your Move” and the slick title track “Miracles” which is another mellow ride featuring the Vandross-like vocals of James Robinson.
Romani explained that before beginning the recordings, he realized that the album missed a strong single. So, in one night he wrote the album's opener "Paradise", whose main ingredient was that wiry bassline, which incessantly had to come and go. Americans liked this element very much. Romani wanted to create an original ear-catching feature and thought about opening the track with a slappy bass. Therefore he took a drumstick and played it on the strings of the bass guitar: "Paradise" began this way. "Paradise" was released on the British market in a softer remix. The beautifully sung and orchestrated “Stop For Love” was a smooth soul ballad that showed how versatile the Italian musicians were. Similar romance-themed gems occured more frequently on the third Change set.

Several American musicians were hired to extend the Italian staff during the studio recordings. Noted sidemen were William ‘Doc’ Powell (guitar) (see B/W photo), Terry Silverlight (drums), Onaje Allan Gumbs (keyboards), Victor Paz (trumpet), Earl Gardner (trumpet) and Bob Alexander (trombone). Producer Fred Petrus spotted the musicians performing in the NYC clubs and invited them to record in Italy. William ‘Doc’ Powell was appointed as musical director of Change as well as for another Petrus project called The B.B.&Q. Band. 
Petrus understood that “God was in the details”, so he didn’t neglect the chorus part either and engaged the best backing vocalists available: Gordon Grody, Jocelyn Brown, Crystal Davis, Ullanda McCullough, Luther Vandross, Fonzi Thornton, Benny Diggs and Dennis Collins


Davide Romani

The songwriters Tanyayette Willoughby (see photo) and Paul Slade were contracted to wrap swinging and catchy lyrics around the divine disco compositions. Willoughby had come to the attention of Petrus as a fresh-faced 18 year-old via her college instructor Wayne Garfield, who had written the lyrics of "The Glow Of Love" and "It's A Girl's Affair" for the first album of Change. Yet when Petrus had fallen out with Garfield, Willoughby was granted the privilege of writing five of the seven tracks on Miracles, including its R&B Top 10 slap bass juggernaut "Paradise". She said, "To harass Wayne, Fred Petrus let me contribute to the lion's share of the songs on the album." Despite the runaway success of Change's 1981 sophomore album, singer-songwriter Willoughby could sense that her days with Jacques Fred Petrus and his burgeoning Little Macho Productions empire were coming to a certain end. As a prolific and integral contributor to the Change sound, Tanyayette Willoughby had written two of the tunes on their 1980 gold-certified Grammy-nominated debut The Glow Of Love, including its R&B hit "A Lover's Holiday". But as the tides of praise for Willoughby's songwriting on the Change albums began to roll in, their adversarial working relationship between them began to sour. "I made so much money off the Miracles album that Fred was done with me. He got tired of people saying my name to him", Willoughby told. Her exit forecasted a series of defections from the core architects of Change's riveting sound and signaled a pivotal turning point in the group's modus operandi.




 Change 1982
Jeff Bova, Vince Henry, Debbie Cooper, Mike Campbell, Rick Gallwey, James "Crab" Robinson and Timmy Allen

Sharing Your Love
The Sharing Your Love record was released in April of 1982 with the fanfare of a full-page ad in Billboard magazine flamboyantly announcing its arrival. Billing the set as a "funky, soulful, and simply sensational new sound for the '80s", the ad boasted titles such as "Hard Times (It's Gonna Be Alright)", "Sharing Your Love", "You're My Number 1" and "Everything And More." 

For the record Sharing Your Love in 1982 a real band appeared on the coverphoto of the album. With mounting pressure from Atlantic Records, Petrus was forced to conceive an actual group with visible members to congeal the concept of Change for a discerning record-buying public and an industry increasingly concerned with a marketable image. A permanent American group was put together and based in NYC. All the musicians were looked for and selected by Davide Romani in the New York inns and clubs. Some of them had already joined the touring outfit several months before. The line-up settled as James ‘Crab’ Robinson (lead vocals), Jeff Bova (keyboards), Timmy Allen (bass), Michael Campbell (guitar), Rick Gallwey (percussion) and Vincent Henry (guitar, saxophone). Timmy Allen, Michael Campbell and Vincent Henry played in the local NYC group Der Kinky Foxx

Though Miracles had established vocalist Diva Gray as the primary female lead, it would prove to be a short-lived affair. "In keeping with that whole studio orientation of the band, a lot of the singers were come and go", said Vince Henry. "I didn't get the impression that Diva's intent was to make a career out of being in Change. But Debbie (Deborah) Cooper was there singing lead with the group on tour for a year by the time Sharing Your Love came around." As far as Petrus was concerned, Cooper fit the bill. The very gifted Deborah Cooper, who started as female vocalist for the Fatback Band, replaced Diva Gray as lead singer and remained until the group disbanded.
Another featured female lead was Broadway artist Roz Ryan, who has also recorded with Butch Ingram (“Boy Where Have You Been”, 1983) and Skipworth & Turner. Sharing Your Love is the only Change album that was entirely recorded in a U.S. studio. 

During 1982 all Petrus' Italian musicians resided permanently in the U.S. to facilitate the production process. The recording sessions took place at Media Sound Studios (see photo), located at 311 West 57th Street at the corner of 8th Avenue in Manhattan. Situated directly across the street from publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst's mighty Hearst Tower, the studio was previously home to Manhattan Baptist Church. The ornate archway and the cathedral-like rafters gave clues to its former pious existence. 
Petrus entered the cavernous Media Sound with Malavasi, songwriter/bassist Davide Romani, and his newly minted group in late 1981 following a summer gigging as the opening act for Rick James' wildly successful Street Songs tour. Though the plan for the revamped group was to appear as a solid unit, the sessions that ensued could be described as disjointed at best. "It still wasn't a group where we were sitting around writing with each other", recalled Henry. "Basically, they would just call you in when they needed you to play something. We rarely saw each other at the same time." 

In the absence of Willoughby's golden pen, Petrus decided to roll the dice by soliciting material from a bevy of outside songwriters for the first time. "I think it was just them being overwhelmed because there were more groups in the fold", surmised Vincent Henry. "They had High Fashion, Zinc, Ritchie Family and B.B.&Q. Band by that time. Maybe they didn't have enough energy to be writing for all these groups." Petrus exclusively brought in many New York-based artists to play on the sessions for his increasing Little Macho Music projects. Among the studio musicians involved were A-list names such as Kashif (keyboards), Barry Eastmond (keyboards), Terry Silverlight (drums), Kae Williams Jr. (keyboards), Herb Smith (guitar),Yogi Horton (drums), Hiram Bullock (guitar), Fareed Abdul Haqq (guitar), Ira Siegel (guitar), Randy Brecker (trumpet) and Jon Faddis (trumpet). Also featured on this record was the future U.S. Grammy Award winner Johnny Kemp who sang backgrounds and co-wrote "Take You To Heaven" together with Romani.
A dazzling all-star choir of the best session vocalists handled the backings: Fonzi Thornton, Norma Jean Wright, Jocelyn Brown, Robin Clarke, Gordon Grody, Bobby Douglas, Michelle Cobbs, Leroy Burgess and Phillip Ballou among others.

The set opens with the lead single "The Very Best In You", composed by Malavasi and Herb Smith (see photo) and bridging the R&B/disco gap extremely well. By the time Petrus came knocking, Philly-based guitarist and songwriter Herb Smith's resume was already festooned with contributions to albums by stellar P.I.R. artists Patti LaBelle, Dexter Wansel and The Jones Girls. Robinson's earnest vocals embellish Smith's selfcelebratory tune just right, backed with a pulsing bass line and subtle string arrangement. 
In contrast, "Hard Times (It's Gonna Be Alright)" sports a more sparse arrangement relying heavily on a thumping funk bass. Penned in part by Luther Vandross affiliate Fonzi Thornton, the song serves as encouragement during the riptide of the early '80s in hopes of better financial days. 
Petrus and Malavasi opted to include a first of firsts on Sharing Your Love: a cover tune. Featuring the lead vocals of Roz Ryan (later of the popular NBC sitcom Amen), the inclusion of "Oh What a Night", a remake of a hit by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, downright bewildered some. "I couldn't understand why we were doing it, to be honest", admitted Henry, "That's a song that you can turn on the radio any given day and hear. It's a poppy, cutesy type of tune." 
One of the album's gems comes in the form of "Promise Your Love", a twinkling twilight slow jam gliding on a magic carpet of a gentle string arrangement. Robinson drives his point home, making it without question one of Change's finest moments below 80 bpm. 
Robinson teams up with Deborah Cooper on the pristine ballad "Everything And More". Fortified with an ardent piano accompaniment, the duet showcases the duo's ability to allow each other the space to shine with remarkable results. These tender ballads demonstrate that not everything Change recorded was aimed at the dancefloor. The uptempo tunes clicked in the clubs while the slow songs got urban contemporary airplay.
James "Crab" Robinson's (see photo) first lyrical contribution to the group had the grand honor of being the set's title track. "He wrote 'Sharing Your Love' while we were on tour with Rick James", recalled Henry. "I remember he played it for us on the bus. It's a very intricate song". Set against soaring strings and buttressed with passionate backing vocals, "Sharing Your Love" finds Robinson crooning about the rapture of being enraptured with the object of his affections. "It took me maybe three months to finish the song", said Robinson. "Then I presented it to Freddie for the album and he fell in love with it". Petrus included the tune on the album, but not without a few minor adjustments. "It's like when you write a report and submit it, then people want to make changes", lamented Robinson. "When you change anything in someone's song, it can change the whole flavor. I had problems and struggled doing the vocals, because they changed the bass line. I wasn't in love with the song afterwards. It's a great song, but the bass line took away from the power of it."
Petrus and Malavasi found yet another worthy composition in "Take You To Heaven", co-written by Romani and Henry and Allen's former Kinky Foxx band mate Johnny Kemp (who would later achieve fame with his 1988 hit "Just Got Paid"). A consummate vocal powerhouse, Roz Ryan comes back for more on this funky synth 'n' bass affair.
Preceding his success with The B.B.&Q. Band's hit "Imagination" the following summer, former Breakwater keyboardist Kae Williams, Jr. (see photo) contributed the bouncy dance nugget "Keep On It". An anthem of inspiration encouraging listeners to hold fast to dreams. Robinson and crew ride through this track, that reminds of Patti Austin's song "The Genie", with the greatest of ease. 
Robinson shines on the sparkling "You're My Number 1", composed by the heralded rhythm section of bassist James Calloway, drummer Sonny Davenport and former Black Ivory vocalist Leroy Burgess. Sandwiched between the successes of Logg's "I Know You Will", Universal Robot Band's "Barely Breaking Even", and Fonda Rae's "Over like A Fat Rat", the trio was a welcomed addition to the new Change album. Being that Leroy Burgess had already contributed lead vocals to one of Petrus' earlier musical entities, Peter Jacques Band's 1979 album Fire Night Dance, he came to the table with a working knowledge of Petrus' work ethic and expectations. "He would allow the collaborator the space that they needed to create", said Burgess. "We constructed a song that had the feel of other Change records". With his cohorts Campbell and Davenport, Burgess (see photo) constructed an infectious dance number infused with his patented boogie sound. Because Petrus insisted on using the talents of the group's members when possible, Calloway assisted Allen in his attempts to learn the bass parts for the tune. In addition, Petrus asked Burgess to embellish his song with supplementary string and horn arrangements. "It was a really great session", remembered Henry. "Leroy did a horn arrangement for that song that was awesome! Leroy's a great arranger. Self taught. He just nailed it!". However glorious the arrangements were, they would never see the light of day. "As soon as we finished the session, Mauro was Iike, 'Nah, we 're not going to use that'", said Henry. Burgess has his own thoughts as to the nature of Mauro's decision. "I agonized over the arrangements and came up with something fantastic", he stated. "But when Mauro heard it and realized what it did for the record, it kind of challenged his authority as Fred's primary arranger. It was a matter of sour grapes and a little bit of jealousy, if you ask me." 
The set closes with "You're My Girl", another Romani & Malavasi cut co-written with Fonzi Thornton. Robinson tells the time-tested tale of his special lady, "a glimpse of heaven" that comes into his lonely world. 
The album was considered to be an experimental project and was received to mixed reviews. In this record the sound was more R&B than disco/dance. Davide Romani wanted to stick to the disco/dance style that had brought them success, whereas Mauro Malavasi preferred to develop the project, looking for a different direction. These conflicting points of view penalized the record's hit potential and made it less effective than the previous Change records. Discerning the shift in sound direction, Billboard columnist Brian Chin remarked that the album "tips the group's Euro-American balance decidedly toward the latter, with some heavy New York session help". 

The first single "The Very Best In You" reached #16 on the R&B singles chart; #30 on Billboard’s Disco/Dance chart an also managed to climb to #84 on Billboard's Hot 100. As one of their Top Album Picks in the soul category, Billboard called the "dashing disco single" a "tasty international blend of music and vocals ... to please both the dancer and the listener". The follow-up single "Hard Times (It's Gonna Be Alright)" peaked at #71 on the R&B singles chart. Atlantic released the final single in the form of the title track, backed with "Promise Your Love". Though "Oh What A Night" and "Keep On It" were released as singles in European markets, both the album and the singles failed to make a significant impact. Ultimately, the album peaked 20 places below Miracles at #66 on the US pop chart and five places below it on the R&B albums chart at # 14. Ultimately, the album peaked 20 places below Miracles at #66 on the US pop chart and five places below it on the R&B albums chart at #14.

With Sharing Your Love, Change had effectively debunked allegations of pilfering from label mates Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards' proprietary Chic sound. However, their current offering clearly outlined that there was definitely a wane in the group's popularity. Something was definitely amiss. "By the time we'd done Sharing Your Love, people were moving away from that sound", said Henry. "Music was getting harder. People had moved out of disco into more of an edgy thing. MTV had jumped off and Michael Jackson was thrilling. All these things were going on at the same time we recorded that album. It was a little off the radar. You're in a cloistered environment when you're making a record sometimes." In a period of electrifying Jheri curl soul, Sharing Your Love was a sputtering power outage. "I can't say that that album has a consistent, steady thread that runs through it", Henry posited. "With the songs on The Glow Of Love and Miracles, those pearls have a string through them. Sharing Your Love is more like a charm bracelet."

Though the album evidenced Change sliding further away from its glory days, outside interest in an aspect of Little Macho Music's lucrative business components was a glowing beacon of light in the aftermath of Sharing Your Love. Benny Ashburn (see photo), revered manager of Motown group The Commodores, approached Petrus with intentions to purchase the management portion of Little Macho Music. "All the people that were in the Little Macho groups were happy about it", said Henry. Growing weary of the management end of his business, Petrus was seriously entertaining Ashburn's offer. However, the deal came to a halt upon Ashburn's untimely passing in the summer of 1982. "I think it would have been a different story if Freddie would have made that deal. Benny would have put a different spin on things", said Henry.

Despite this disappointing turn of events, a slight modification in Little Macho Music's practices left something to be celebrated. "During Sharing Your Love, we had more creative input", said James "Crab" Robinson. "Everybody that wrote a song came in and co-produced the song with Mauro Malavasi." That withstanding, Petrus still had a glitch or two in his business acumen that could have used a bit of finetuning. "But the reason he didn't give us production credit was because he didn't really want to pay us for it."

With Change's decline in sales at hand in 1982, Petrus was understandably under tremendous pressure to pick up the pieces and recreate the magic of yesteryear. But his unsavory practices would soon lead to the departure of yet another one of his coveted musical contributors [Romani], making it all the more difficult for Petrus to scale his way back to the top of the charts.


Change 1983
Timmy Allen, Vince Henry, Jeff Bova, Debbie Cooper, James "Crab" Robinson, Rick Brennan, Mike Campbell and Toby Johnson

This Is Your Time
By the fall of 1982, the winds of Change had begun to blow with gale force. Petrus and Malavasi headed back to Modena, Italy, to start the recording process of the 4th Change album.

By that time Romani was no longer a keystone of the production team. It was apparent that the group's name functioned as much as a moniker as it did a metaphor for the game of musical chairs going on within the group. Strained relations had finally taken their toll on the Little Macho Productions nucleus of svengali and entrepreneur Jacques Fred Petrus, songwriter Davide Romani, and producer Mauro Malavasi. After three successful years as a production entity, Romani decided to cut back his contributions drastically and defect from the Italian alliance ultimately, as had done Paolo Gianolio a year earlier. Romani didn't even contribute to the This Is Your Time album. He only turned up at the studio for a few Little Macho Music sessions that ended up on the High Fashion and B.B.&Q. Band albums in 1983. A decision directly linked to the ongoing financial disputes with his boss Fred Petrus.

Malavasi was alone now and had to take all responsibilities of the whole production. But he too didn’t share the same ideas with Petrus and couldn't consolidate Change's initial success. The record This Is Your Time, released in 1983, was certainly not a bad album, the music continued to sound like Change. But the album possibly wasn't as hit-worthy as some of their previous efforts. Yet one that still had the group very much at the top of their game. This Is Your Time was very rich of particular sounds and comprised innovative ideas. Bassbits and beats drove most of the rhythms, but there was still a nice degree of warmth. With Malavasi at the helm, This Is Your Time was an attempt to balance a sonic return to form with the changes in contemporary production styles. The musical landscape of the time was rife with prominent synth sounds and drum machine modules, which Malavasi made a concerted effort to embellish the new Change album with. Clocking in at just under 45 minutes, This Is Your Time is decidedly more dance-friendly than its predecessor.

In late 1982 Petrus & Malavasi decided to retreat back to Italy with the newcomers Rick Brennan and Toby Johnson aboard, and the remaining 1982 Change line-up in tow: bassist Timmy Allen, co-lead vocalist Deborah Cooper, saxophonist/guitarist Vincent Henry, keyboardist Jeff Bova, and guitarist Mike Campbell. Percussionist/lead singer Brennan (see photo) and drummer Johnson who strengthened the band were both from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Timmy Allen was from. 
The timing of Brennan's arrival was impeccable, being that Change was preparing to enter the studio to start work on its fourth album This Is Your Time without a proper male lead vocalist. Initially Rick Brennan was meant to be the new lead vocalist of the B.B.&Q. Band but Petrus changed his plans. Transferred to Change that same year, Brennan supplanted percussionist Rick Galwey and lead vocalist James "Crab" Robinson in one fell swoop. "James wanted to go solo", recalled Brennan. "There were so many male R&B solo projects blowing up at the time, so he wasn't interested in singing on the Change album." While this presented a golden opportunity for Brennan, there was some trepidation on his behalf in terms of filling Robinson's shoes. "I was scared to follow him up", he admits with a laugh. "Luther Vandross, now this guy. What am I going to do? I was definitely third on the totem pole in the history of male singers in that group. Them boys can sing!"

The tracks for the This Is Your Time album were recorded at the picturesque Umbi Studios "Maison Blanche" (see photos) located in Modena, northeastern Italy. "That was a big mansion out in the vineyard", recalled Brennan. Run by a matronly hostess dubbed 'Mama Discos', Umbi Studios was a recording complex implanted into the acreage of a sprawling estate. "She had a fabulous crib. She had the living room converted into a recording studio. When we stayed there, she fed us three meals a day while we recorded the tracks."
After the sessions in Italy were completed, the group headed back to the U.S. to await the mixing and mastering of the final album. However after hearing the finished collection of songs, Petrus had a momentary change of heart. Brennan was called into Petrus' New York office shortly after the sessions wrapped. "He said that my voice was too different from James' and Luther's", Brennan recalled of Petrus' decision. "He wasn't sure that the group's fans would accept it in the same way. I told him it was his record to do with as he pleased". Once again, Brennan found himself at the mercy of a last minute adjustment in plans. Being that Robinson had cemented himself as the new male lead vocalist of Change in Vandross' wake, Petrus rationalized that Robinson's voice, robust and soulful, was a safer bet with the group's core audience. "Fred Iiked what Rick was doing. He was raw", said Robinson. "So I was moving on. Then all of a sudden I get a call from Freddie saying he needed me to come sing on the album", Petrus solicited Robinson's vocal prowess to re-record the leads on five of the album's eight tracks. Petrus and Malavasi also employed backing vocals from the likes of future R&B songstress extraordinaire Lisa Fischer and High Fashion's own Eric McClinton.

The opening number "Got To Get Up" is a pulverizing groove featuring the lead vocals of Rick Brennan. Attempting to capitalize on the fitness craze of the early 1980s, the Timmy Allen-penned "Stay 'N Fit" tore a page from Olivia Newton-John's hit song "Physical". Featuring Brennan on lead vocals, the song urges female fans to utilize a "sexy way to staying fit". While the tune was an obvious attempt to stay in step with popular culture, Brennan was none too happy to record it. "When I heard the song, I thought it was filler material", he laughs. "They kept giving me sucky songs to sing!". Timmy Allen concurred. "These were some of my first songs as a writer", he said. "They weren't my best". Though "Stay 'N Fit" may not have been Allen's most stellar moment, he redeemed himself by collaborating with Mike Campbell and guitarist/songwriter Larry Lafalce (see photo) on the catchy "Tell Me Why". Robinson croons earnestly about the bewilderment of finding his perfect mate after a lifetime of being a self-described ladies' man. Slowing down the pace with composer Celso Valli's beautiful "Angel", Robinson transformed the tender ballad into a vocal tour de force, rivaling the crème de la crème of torch songs that year. Likewise, "You'll Never Realize" echoes the passionate sentiments of a devoted lover unable to put the terms of his endearment to words. Upon first listen, it's c1ear that Robinson, buttressed by swooning backing vocals, has constructed the perfect quiet storm slow jam here. Petrus and Malavasi enlisted the talents of B.B.&Q. Band guitarist Chieli Minucci and lyricist Bobby Matthews for the closing tune "Don't Wait Another Night", reaching #89 on Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart and one of the album's highlights. Showcasing Allen's masterful bass chops, the tune reverberates with a diffusive funk vibe that allows Robinson and Cooper ample room to stretch out vocally. Malavasi engaged the tried and true counter rhythmic synth groove of Change's 1980 cut "Searching" on "Magical Night", featuring the soaring saxophone of Rudy Trevisi . With Cooper on lead vocals, "Magical Night" spins into a wondrous web of romantic phantasmagoria and starry-eyed splendor. The title track "This Is Your Time", composed by Len Boone and writing partner Larry LaFalce, is a driving ode to the ultimate elixir: shaking off the troubles by shaking your derriere at the world at your local nightclub. While lines like "you owe it to yourself/let the music medication bring you back to health" may seem somewhat hokey, the swarming synth line and guitar licks reign in all detracting elements resulting in the makings of a funky good time. The track reminds of The System's edgy synth-funk style.

Atlantic Records had previously asserted their demand for Petrus to fashion Change into the image of a discernible group for the sake of the record buying public, which resulted in the first photo of Change as a group on the cover of 1982's Sharing Your Love. For This Is Your Time however, Petrus eschewed this - choosing to revert back to a cubist design. The album artwork returned to a stark white cover with a geometric figure designed by Greg Porto who also illustrated the covers for Change's first two albums. To appease the label, Petrus opted to include headshots of the group on the back cover instead.
Released in March of 1983, the album made its Billboard debut on the Bubbling Under The Top LPs chart at #202. The title track and lead single "This Is Your Time" reached #39 on Billboard's Disco/Dance Chart and #33 on the Black Singles Chart. Billboard columnist Brian Chin remarked that the single embodied a "much harder attack than their most recent stuff". Atlantic then released "Don't Wait Another Night," which reached #89 on Billboard's Black Singles chart. The label also serviced promo singles of what had been the album's first European single release, "Magical Night", and later, "Got To Get Up" to Club DJ's. The latter was also issued to radio as a proposed third American single. Despite a glowing quote in Billboard from WHUR FM's music director Oscar Fields, citing "Angel" as "powerfully moody with piano riffs that come straight from the church", the song was never issued as a single. Ultimately, the album proved to be the group's lowest charting album to date. This Is Your Time peaked at #34 on the Black Albums chart and eventually entered Billboard's Top 200, peaking at #161.

Reflecting on the album's poor chart performance, Allen surmised that the internal fracturing of Romani, Malavasi, and Petrus affected the output of the group. "It was fun, but it wasn't our best", he recalled. "Change was gone after Malavasi and Romani left." The sonic safety net for Change had indeed come unraveled. Shortly after This Is Your Time was released, Malavasi left the fold due to a rumored financial dispute with Petrus. "Mauro was a great musician", said Brennan. "He was a great keyboard player. I liked the early songs that Mauro wrote, especially the stuff with Luther. The first two albums were great. But I could feel when we were working on This Is Your Time that his heart wasn't in it".

While This Is Your Time was their latest, it was by no means Change's greatest performing album. With Romani and Malavasi's departure at hand, Petrus was now the sole captain at the helm of Change's ship. Their destiny was in his hands. His next move would either spell the revisited success or demise of the group. With mounting record label pressure for hit songs and strong selling albums, there was no question that Petrus would have to make 1984 a year to remember.


Change 1983
Timmy Allen, Vince Henry, Jeff Bova, Debbie Cooper, James "Crab" Robinson, Mike Campbell, Rick Brennan, and Toby Johnson

Change Of Heart
The year was 1983 and Mauro Malavasi had had enough. As a significant contributor to the patented Change sound, the Italian producer had experienced his fill of Change svengali Jacques Fred Petrus' erratic behavior and decided to quit as well. Adding to the fray, mounting financial disputes between Malavasi and Petrus had become virtually irreconcilable. Coming just a year after the departure of key songwriter Davide Romani, it was apparent that the Little Macho Music Productions trinity had definitely been broken.

Complicating matters further, Change's 1983 album This Is Your Time marked the group's lowest chart performance to date, progressing in a trend of a steady decline in sales since their 1980 debut. It seemed that Petrus was in the midst of a full-scale mutiny. Yet aside from the recent final departure of lead vocalist James “Crab” Robinson, who was adamant about nurturing a solo career, Change's line-up had been pretty much stabilized since 1982's Sharing Your Love: bassist Timmy Allen, lead singer/percussionist Rick Brennan, co-lead vocalist Deborah Cooper, guitarist Mike Campbell, keyboardist Jeff Bova, drummer Toby Johnson and guitarist/saxophonist Vincent Henry. That withstanding, Petrus still had to fulfill his obligation to Atlantic by delivering another Change album under the contract. He was faced with the challenge of finding the right producer to steer the ship of Change into prosperous waters. Filling Malavasi's shoes would not be an easy task.

That same year, a spanner was thrown in the works of yet another fruitful musical alliance. Minneapolis-based musicians Jimmy Jam (James Harris III) and Terry Lewis had just embarked on their maiden voyage as a songwriting/production outfit in 1982. The duo had already written and/or produced material for Vanity 6, Klymaxx, Real To Reel, The Time and Gladys Knight & The Pips ("When You're Far Away"). With Cheryl Lynn's # 1 R&B smash "Encore" under their belts as well as the The S.O.S. Band hits "High Hopes" (songwriters), "Just Be Good To Me" and "Tell Me If You Still Care”, it looked as if 1983 was shaping up to be a good year for Jam & Lewis' newly minted Flyte Tyme Productions. Though they were off to a great start, the duo faced the daunting task of balancing this fledgling career with a demanding recording and touring schedule as members of the Prince-conceived band The Time. As folklore has it, Jam & Lewis found themselves stranded in Atlanta by a snowstorm in attempts to leave wrapped recording sessions with The S.O.S. Band. The unexpected snafu caused the pair to miss a scheduled tour date with The Time. The purple wunderkind responded by handing the duo their walking papers, effectively ending their tenure with the band. Jam & Lewis were now officially free agents.

In september 1983, with the future of Change in jeopardy, Petrus took action. Always keen enough to seize an opportune moment, Petrus quickly rendered the services of the recently liberated Jam & Lewis to helm the upcoming Change sessions. When lead vocalist Rick Brennan got the news, he was anything but reticent on his views about the changing of the guard. "Because of what the This Is Your Time album did, I didn't care whether Malavasi and Petrus split or not”, he confessed. "Timmy and I were funkateers. So when you said 'Jam & Lewis' to me, it was time to roll!" Bassist Timmy Allen echoed Brennan's sentiments wholeheartedly. "When I heard that they were producing the next album, I was ecstatic", he exclaimed "Personally, that was more my style of music. I Iiked what Mauro and Davide had done but I loved what Jam & Lewis brought to the table". Along with the Minneapolis maestros, Petrus
rounded up Allen, Brennan, Cooper, Campbell and Henry and shuttled them back to Umbi Studios "Maison Blanche" in Modena. As the sessions for the album commenced, Brennan noticed a familiar face hanging around the studio. "The entire time we were recording Change Of Heart, James Robinson was there working on solo material with Mauro Malavasi”, he says. When Robinson peeked in to check on the progress of the Change sessions, he jested with Brennan and Allen about Jam & Lewis' chops. "He was doubting their musicianship because he'd been watching them using simple three and four fingered chords”, laughed Brennan. But Allen and Brennan remained staunch advocates of the flourishing Minneapolis sound in the face of all criticism. "We weren't worried about how many fingers they used in a chord. All we knew is that Jam & Lewis had a strong vibe in their music. Those boys were bad!" Timmy Allen was very clear about the collaboration with Jam & Lewis. "Fred was essentially a better businessman than a producer. We were under a lot less pressure working with Jam & Lewis and they understood our direction a lot better", he shared.

Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis

Credited as pioneers in the transition from the usage of the LinnDrum drum machine to Roland's TR-808 Rhythm Composer in black music, Jam & Lewis embellished Change's perpetually evolving repertoire with a profoundly urban groove. Coupled with their unmistakable synth bass lines, Jam & Lewis' unprecedented production techniques both informed and appealed to a burgeoning new sensibility in R&B that was undeniably infectious and influential. "The amazing part was getting in the studio with them”, recalled Allen. "When I witnessed them start a song from scratch, put the beat up, the bass, the keyboards, that was the joy of it”. Jam & Lewis also left no time to burn, proving to be just as efficient as they were effective in the creative process. "Jimmy & Terry would go up to their room at Umbi Studios and write songs”, said Brennan. "They'd come downstairs after a while and tell us that the song was ready and get started on the track”.

After a stint recording in ltaly, Change and Jam & Lewis headed to Media Sound Studios in New York to finish up the tracks and begin laying vocals. However, there would soon be an alteration in these seemingly benign plans. "Jimmy & Terry didn't like the studio in NYC because people kept dropping in and disturbing them from working”, said Brennan. "So that's when they told Freddie they were moving to Minneapolis with the band". With the lion's share of the tracks primed and ready to go, Jam & Lewis packed up the reels along with Cooper, Allen, Brennan, Campbell, and Henry and hopped on a plane to Creation Studios in Minneapolis. With engineer Steve Weise behind the boards at the small basement studio, the group went to work on the remainder of the tracks. In addition to having carte blanche to two of the funkiest young producers on the market, Allen scored an additional coup during the sessions that would serve as the springboard for his own career as a serious producer and songwriter. "I remember so vividly Jam & Lewis were planning to do the entire album", remembers Allen. "Fred had given them a bunch of tapes of potential songs for the album. Fred asked them if they liked any of the songs that he'd given them. They held up my tape, but they didn't know it was mine. That's how I got to write half of the album”. In addition to writing four of the album's eight songs, Allen also got the rare opportunity to co-produce three songs alongside Jam & Lewis. "That's how my career really got started as a writer within Change. I was happy and gratified, especially to be co-producing with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. That carried me through my career".

The result of their collective efforts is a remarkably slick opus much greater than the sum of its marvelous parts. Change Of Heart is a perfect blend of the emerging cool and elegant style of Jam & Lewis with the characteristic vocals and harmonies of Change. The serene opening cut "Say You Love Me Again" finds Brennan and Cooper playing the role of distant lovers exchanging impassioned verses over a piano-driven mid-tempo track. "My leads for 'Say You Love Me Again' were done in one take;' recalled Brennan. He revealed that Jam & Lewis encouraged him to channel his R&B influences while in the booth. "When you listen to my vocals, that's me thinking about Michael Henderson. Freddie was so afraid of my voice because I was a funk singer, but Jimmy & Terry understood it”. The title cut "Change Of Heart" showcases Jam & Lewis' adeptness at laying down a funk groove using the Oberheim OB-S synthesizer for their patented bass lines. Sporting a percolating, in-the-pocket TR-808 beat, it's particularly difficult to stay glued to your seat when this jam invades your space. One can easily notice an evident similarity between Change's "Paradise" and their "Change Of Heart", a sort of tribute of Jam & Lewis to the Mauro Malavasi and Davide Romani style. "With 'Change Of Heart’, we knew that was a hit," assured Allen. Cooper is granted the solo spotlight on the sparkling number "Warm”. Replete with guitar licks and savory bass slaps, Cooper's vocals caress the Iyrics of a woman who admonishes and forgives her wayward lover with open arms. Written and co-produced by Allen, "True Love" brings a synth-based approach to swing time reigned in at 1O8 bpm. On the song, Brennan intensely croons his testimony about the bliss of being with his ideal girl. Though the sessions gave reason for much celebration, they were not without their share of interruptions. "Freddie was having a fit because he wasn't in Minneapolis to watch us and see what we were doing”, laughed Brennan. "He was always calling Jam & Lewis, bothering them to death. Trying to figure out what we were doing and what was taking us so long”. With the phone off the hook, the group commenced with the jubilation of their task. And while there was plenty of excitement to go around, Brennan would be put to the test on one session in particular. "When I did 'You Are My Melody', Jimmy and I worked on that lead vocal for like 12 hours”, Brennan explained. "I was cursing him out by the end of the day!" But after Jam brought Brennan into the control room and contrasted his first and last vocal takes, it became clear that his efforts during the laborious session were not in vain. "After that, I understood. He was bad!" The Allen-penned tune "Lovely Lady" finds Brennan channeling his inner Steve Arrington, while Allen's "Got My Eyes On You" seems to give a subtle nod to the Gap Band's trademark drum fills and polyrhythmic romps. The set closes out with Allen's final contribution, the sly 'n' funky single "It Burns Me Up" that reached position #61 on Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart. Cooper takes center stage once again on a groove that primps and preens like the would-be progenitor of "I Betcha", a 1984 tune by another group that would soon benefit again from Jam & Lewis' midas touch: Klymaxx.

With the sessions wrapped in Minneapolis, Change headed back to New York to bask in the glow of their freshly squeezed juicy jams. But it would soon be revealed that not all parties were particularly pleased. "I was told that by the time Freddie heard the finished album, he was pissed”, revealed Brennan. He surmised that Petrus' disdain stemmed from his inability to exert his iron-fisted creative control over the sessions underway in Minneapolis. He wasn’t used to take a back seat. "Freddie didn't have a final say over Jam & Lewis because they told him they were taking us out to Minneapolis. So Freddie was having a fit because he couldn't control them. He couldn't tell them what they could write”.
However, Petrus hastily changed his tune once the album began to take flight on the charts. Released in early-1984, Change Of Heart turned out to be Change and Petrus' saving grace, a glittering showcase of advanced contemporary upbeat soul. Following the formula for 1983's This Is Your Time, Atlantic Records released the title track as the lead single. The unforgettable opener reached #17 on Billboard’s Dance Chart and #7 on Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart. "Change Of Heart", which virtually borrowed Davide Romani's melody of "Paradise", was a brilliant slice of accurate, sophisticated synth-funk and scaled the UK singles chart all the way to #17. The title track was typically Jam & Lewis - the stacatto drum program, the keyboard run at the beginning of the song, the chunky synth-bass, the multiple vocal parts and that ability for crafting a catchy melody and chorus were all present. This was as good as any of the hit cuts they did with Cheryl Lynn and the S.O.S. Band. The album peaked at #102 on Billboard's pop albums chart, 59 places higher than their previous offering. The set reached the top 20 on Billboard's R&B albums chart, spiking at #15 - more than twice as high as the peak of This Is Your Time. Change Of Heart made an even stronger impact in the UK, reaching #34 on UK Album chart with a 17-week stay.


It was clear that Change had successfully regained its stride. To capitalize on the revitalized interest in the band, the label went to work soliciting much needed attention for the group. "As a matter of fact, Sylvia Rhone asked us to come to her office when Change Of Heart blew up”, recalled Brennan. The future industry mogul, then a director of marketing at Atlantic Records, saw the potential to bolster the group's recent breakout success. 
But her first task was to bring their slightly inflated egos back down to earth. "Timmy and I came into Sylvia's office wearing sunglasses. She told us, 'Take your sunglasses off and sit down. You're not Michael Jackson!'" With bruised egos in check, Allen and Brennan took the unique opportunity in stride. "We had never been to Atlantic Records. But if that record wasn't doing anything, they wouldn't have asked us to come to the label that day".

Their astonishing chart performance withstanding, it was virtually no match for an increasingly popular new promotional medium that Change had yet to take advantage of. "Change didn't do videos", lamented Brennan. "When music video channel BET was starting to get hot, you could turn on BET and see Atlantic Starr and other groups. But you could never see Change”. Though Atlantic remitted funds for music video production, Allen suggested that Petrus' questionable accounting practices and lack of concern for the group's visual/performance component factored heavily into the equation. "Whatever he was doing with that money, it wasn't going into the group”, he said. "Fred didn't take the performance side as seriously as the recording side. Change started out as a studio group and the main focus of that group was Malavasi and Romani."
While the US reception was a refreshing change of pace, the UK experience was nothing short of astonishing. "When we performed at the Hammersmith in the UK during that album, you would have thought we were The Jacksons”, gleamed Brennan. "Culture Club was sitting in the fourth row watching our show, and this is when they were huge! Everywhere we went was sold out”. While Atlantic issued "It Burns Me Up" as a follow-up single in the US, the label's UK counterpart issued "You Are My Melody" in the summer of 1984. "Say You Love Me Again" was issued the following February. Though the single didn't perform exceedingly well, the radio support in the UK was intact. Yet the same couldn't be said for the US. "Radio stations in the states didn't even play the song”, said a bewildered Brennan. "But the UK did. Even the pirate stations did!"

By this time, the fanfare for one of the group's most successful albums began to die down. And though the cash registers from the US to the UK had been chiming the sweet song of success for the past year, it appeared that there were some outstanding debts that had yet to be paid. "I told Freddie that since Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis got a hit for us that we should stick with them, but Freddie didn't pay them for the job”, revealed Brennan. "That's why they refused to do the next album”. It seems they even had to sell their flight tickets to the US in order to pay the hotel bill in Italy! Petrus' dubious business acumen had effectively terminated yet another lucrative working relationship. Furthermore, his infamous reputation in the industry was beginning to precede him. Because of this, his once enviable Little Macho Music franchise was bordering on collapse. If there were any viable methods of saving his largely thriving enterprise, he would have to engage them expeditiously. The sands of time were slipping through his hands...

The innovative Change Of Heart album redefined soul and R&B music, creating a high-tech groove for the eighties and beyond. Utilising modern technology and banks of layered synthesizers, married to the soulful vocals of Rick Brennan and Deborah Cooper, the prodigious team of Jam & Lewis produced an entire collection of epic soundscapes and memorable music. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis went on to become the most successful production duo in contemporary music history. The longtime friends have had a hand in over 100 albums that have exceeded gold, platinum and multi-platinum status and they have worked with the best in the business from Mary J. Blige, Alexander O'Neal, Usher, Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Johnny Gill, Thelma Houston, Cherrelle to Prince, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Bryan Adams, Human League, Earth Wind & Fire, Luther Vandross, Barry White, Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson.


Change lead vocalist and percussionist Rick Brennan on stage

Turn On Your Radio
"I left before the record even got finished. I already knew at that time that I was leaving the group". Guitarist/saxophonist Vincent Henry had a premonition of his imminent departure from the Jacques Fred Petrus concept group Change. "Even though my photo is on that record, my actual involvement with it is minimal at best". It was a dark period. Henry and other members were growing increasingly restless and perplexed about the uncertainty of the group's artistic direction and Petrus' convoluted effect on the group dynamic. Coming off a much-needed career high with the success of 1984's Change Of Heart, the group had regained a much-needed sense of confidence. Yet with this recent success in hand, it was important for the group te stage an even more impressive rebound to sustain their place on the charts and in the record bins of the world.

After a three-week UK tour for the album, Petrus took the group back to Italy's Stone Castle Studios to begin recording material for the follow-up album Turn On Your Radio in the fall of 1984. Located 15 miles outside of Milan in the Carimate suburb, Stone Castle Studios - also known as Morning Studios - was ensconced in the edifice of the mid 14th century Carimate Castle. Retrofitted with the latest in audio/visual technology of the period, the studio opened for business in 1977. Situated amongst lush woodland acreage, the repurposed fortress boasted illustrious frescos, 4-star lodging, a cavernous concert hall, and a full gymnasium. The new recording environs were unlike anything the group had ever seen. "It was a real castle with a drawbridge and a moat and everything”, exclaimed lead vocalist Rick Brennan. "If you didn't put down the drawbridge, you couldn't leave!"
It would have seemed a logical move for Petrus to go back to the golden ears of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the pair that steered the group back to success with Change Of Heart. Unfortunately, his penchant for business shenanigans had once again soured another fruitful working relationship. "It was such a disappointment that he didn't pay Jimmy & Terry”, said Brennan. With the departure of Petrus' long time partner producer/songwriter Mauro Malavasi and the damaged relationship with Jam & Lewis, Petrus was once again faced with the task of finding a new captain for Change's ship. "Freddie stepped to Mauro about being involved with Turn On Your Radio, but he refused”, said Brennan. The disappointment of Petrus' decisions hung heavily in the atmosphere. "Freddie didn't say it, but you could tell that he was upset that some of us were anxious to leave”, said guitarist/saxophonist Vincent Henry.

Yet the ultimate disappointment would greet the group in surprise fashion upon walking into Stone Castle Studios. "But when we got to ltaly and I saw Davide, I was surprised”, said Henry. "I didn't really get it. Change Of Heart was very defined and almost reinvented the group. I couldn't understand going backwards. It was confusing to me”. Brennan echoed Henry's sentiments. "When we see Davide Romani in the studio, I'm pissed”, he vented. "I was already pissed that we weren't using Jam & Lewis again. These guys got us a hit, why are we going back to Davide? I'm thinking to myself, this is maddening. I actually argued with Freddie about it. I felt like we were going backwards”. Though Malavasi rejected Petrus' olive branch, Romani reluctantly accepted. "They had al ready been through it with the Sharing Your Love album", told Henry. "Now they were trying to get together and work again. Davide was watching it the whole time like, 'If you try to do me man, I'm not going for it. I've been through this already!'''

In addition to Romani's inclusion on the project, Petrus turned over co-production and writing duties to bassist Timmy Allen. He definitely looked inward for talent instead of outward. The bulk of the album was written by Timmy Allen. Petrus co-wrote two songs which was highly unusual. During the post-Romani/Gianolio era, keyboardist /bassist Timmy Allen occupied a prominent role within Change, composing and co-producing tracks on This Is Your Time, Change Of Heart and Turn On Your Radio. "Fred felt like I was the only one that was close to him at the time”, said Allen of the opportunity. "Nobody really wanted to work with Fred Petrus anymore. People were uninterested and weren't being properly taken care of for their work”. Allen notes that despite Petrus' best efforts, he was well aware that the disintegration of the group was looming closer. "We were all pretty much going our separate ways. Freddie got us all back together to piece this album together. We were in the studio trying to get through these songs to make it sound like something".

Though Allen ended up writing five and co-writing one of the cuts on Turn On Your Radio, the album features a sprinkling of contributions from other familiar faces. English guitarist/songwriter Paul Slade had contributed to the The Glow Of Love, Miracles and This is Your Time albums. Along with Allen and lead vocalist Deborah Cooper, Slade wrote "Oh What A Feeling”. In attempts to retain the groove factor of Jam & Lewis' productions, Allen's production unabashedly mirrored the guitar licks, synth stabs, and drum programming of Jam & Lewis' contribution to Change Of Heart.
This was in direct contrast from the pop synth ditty "Turn On Your Radio”. Written by Italian songwriter Alessandro "Alex" Bagnoli, the song finds Brennan resorting to the airwaves of his local station to "get his message through" to an old flame he has lost contact with. Given free range over his solo creations, Allen's material ranged from commendable to cliché. On "Examination", Allen attempts to use a medical checkup as a tawdry metaphor to gage a lover's intentions. Allen returns to the Jam & Lewis trough with the ballad "You'll Always Be Part Of Me”, inspired by The S.O.S. Band’s “Weekend Girl”. Brennan and Cooper keep the tune afloat, with respectable results. "Love The Way You Love Me" incorporates juicy guitar licks and a reverb-heavy drum track, complementing Brennan's phased vocal swoops and falsetto dips. A lyrical show-and-prove jaunt interspersed with a proverbial rock guitar solo, "If You Want My Love" snags familiar keyboard stabs from the Minneapolis sound treasure chest as Cooper takes the reins with her more robust vocal alter ego. The seductive gem "Mutual Attraction" is one of Allen's finer moments. He gives himself ample room on the track to shine doing exactly what he does best: spankin' the bass. With Cooper in the role of the coy chanteuse, the song serves as one of the exhilarating glimmers of hope on Turn On Your Radio.

But there was one track in specific that would cause an unforeseen level of excitement. In collaboration with song author Paul Slade, Davide Romani (photo above) delivered the album's lead single "Let's Go Together". With a stark synth bass line, the pulsing rhythm rides under an ode to the joys of sharing life's journey with a significant other. Despite the amorous overtones of the song, the tumultuous event that ensued nearly ensured that the track would never see the light of day. After a bitter dispute with Petrus, Romani absconded with the tape reels containing the recently recorded tune. "Freddie tells me he has to find Davide because he stole the tape for 'Let's Go Together,'" said Brennan. "So Davide is running down the highway and Freddie is chasing him trying to get the tape back”. This episode was the death knell of the working relationship between Romani and Petrus. Romani severed ties with Petrus' Little Macho Music production company and its various affiliates and never looked back. "I liked Davide a lot”, mentioned Henry. "He's a very forthright person. Sometimes he's very emotional. I don't know what kind of discrepancies him and Freddie had, but when he saw something wasn't going right he would speak on it”.

During the same period, songwriter/keyboardist Kae Williams, Jr. was laying down the foundation for the next B.B.&Q. Band album entitled Genie at Sound Castle Studios. "Those songs were better than the songs Change was recording for Turn On Your Radio”, told Brennan. After popping in to hear how Williams' sessions were progressing, Brennan decided to seize an opportunity that had eluded him a few years earlier. Originally brought in as the new lead singer for Petrus' B.B.&Q. Band, Brennan contributed his leads to their 1982 Williams-penned hit single "Imagination”. Though he was eventually shuffled into Change as James "Crab" Robinson's replacement that year, he was more impressed with William's compositions and production style. "I sang all the demos for the Genie material and was supposed to sing the lead on that album. But when we get to the castle, Timmy threw a monkey wrench in the plan. He reasoned that I couldn't sing on the B.B.&Q. Band and Change albums at the same time”. Though Brennan felt swindled out of this opportunity, there was no bitterness in his cup. He maintained that Allen's material should have been substituted with Williams', being that B.B.&Q. Band had recently lost its deal with Capitol Records. "B.B.&Q. Band didn't even have a deal at the time, so they could have just used Kae's songs on the Change album instead of signing a deal with Elektra for the US release of the B.B.&Q. Band album."


Change and friends in 1985 after a show at Radio City Music Hall N.Y.C.


Begrudgingly complying with Atlantic Records' wishes, Petrus used photos of the group on the cover of the album. However, they were the same photos used on the back cover of 1983's This Is Your Time. Musically Turn On Your Radio wasn’t Change’s most memorable set and displayed an R&B group that got somewhat lost, struggling with dance-pop. A syndrome unluckily reflected by Greg Porto's uninspired cover artwork. "It was really lame", laughed Brennan. "It was politics. Freddie never really wanted people to know the group as individuals. He just wanted you to know the word 'Change'. In his mind, the members could change anytime he wanted them to".

Released in April of 1985, Turn On Your Radio was met with little fanfare. It failed to impact the Billboard Top 200, languishing at #208 on its peripheral Bubbling Under Top Pop Albums chart. It entered the Top Black Albums chart at #65 and peaked at #64, 49 places below 1984's Change Of Heart. These numbers proved to be the group's poorest album chart performance to date. The album was better received in the UK however, where it returned the group to the Top 40 of both the album and singles charts. The executives at Atlantic Records even feared that the 6th Change record wouldn’t be strong enough for the U.S. market. Accordingly the album was released by Atlantic's UK affiliate first, with a different cover and with the slightly different album title Turn On The Radio. Billboard columnist Brian Chin remarked in his Dance Trax column that the lead single "recaptures a lot of the Euro feel of their celebrated first album, though they've receded into the pack of self-contained U.S. R&B bands". Not exactly a shining compliment for a group striving to maintain a distinct identity and sound aesthetic. "Let's Go Together" entered the Hot Black Singles chart at #83 and peaked at #56, also earning a spot at #33 on the U.S. Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart. In the UK, the single peaked at #37. The British follow-up single "Oh What A Feeling" charted at #56, helped by a remix via 80s dance synth wizard Paul Hardcastle. The second U.S. single "Mutual Attraction”, didn't chart at home but reached a respectable #60 when released as the album's final UK single, remixed by the legendary Nick Martinelli.

"I was a young, up-and-coming producer at the time trying to get through it", says Allen of his material. "I wouldn't say that was my better stuff. I think that was the last album under the contract and it was a matter of Fred just trying to get that album done, turn it into Atlantic, and fulfill the contract. "Between the Change Of Heart summer tour and the fall recording sessions for Turn On Your Radio, Allen, Henry, and Brennan along with drummer Danny Atherton, keyboardist Regis Branson, B.B.&Q. Band guitarist/vocalist Kevin Robinson, and guitarist Fritz Cadet formed a funk cover band calling themselves Flique. Performing regularly at New York's legendary Cellar venue during down time from Little Macho Music endeavors, the band had amassed a citywide reputation and attracted funk connoisseurs far and wide. "We were so bad that when Larry Blackmon heard us doing Cameo stuff he had to sit up and take notice", said Brennan. "He kept saying he was going to steal Timmy Allen and put him in Cameo". Their repute went as far as attracting the attention of another very influential audience member: Solar Records president Dick Griffey. "Between sets, he told us he wanted to sign the band", said Brennan. But in a flash, Petrus swooped down to protect his straying flock. "Somehow, Freddie got word and zoomed down to the Cellar", recalled Henry. "He went straight up to Dick Griffey and told him, 'You cannot sign them. They all belong te me!'" Though he harbors no regrets about the past, Henry ponders how things would have turned out had Flique evolved past their sweaty jam sessions in the Cellar. "If Dick Griffey would have pursued it, he could have squashed that whole thing. It would have been great to see that come to fruition. It is kind of sad, because we'll never know what would have happened with that group”, Brennan concurred. "Dick Griffey was just as crazy as Fred, but I would have loved to do a Flique album."

Change didn't officially part ways after the dismal performance of Turn On Your Radio. In 1986 Petrus was accused by the US government of tax evasion. Consequently all Little Macho Music activities in the States came to a halt. Petrus was forced to leave the States and went back to Guadeloupe. Unfortunately a little while later, during the spring of 1987, a gunman murdered Petrus in his native country. Many attribute his fateful downfall to his abrasive persona and questionable business reputation. The killer was arrested by the French Police a few months later but the true murder motive remains a mystery.
"I was sad", said Henry. "Even with the reputation that he had, on a one-on-one level I was good with Fred”. Allen, who had grown very close to Petrus near the end, has nothing but fond memories of his former boss. "He was a fun-loving guy”, said Allen. "He loved music. But there was another side of Fred that I heard about, but don't really know about. I've seen how stern he can be on the business side. But I never got on that side of him". And while Brennan was not in shock upon hearing the news, he reacted emotionally just the same. "It breaks my heart to know he died like that", mused Brennan. "But he was doing a lot of dirt. He lived on the edge. He didn't listen to anybody. Whenever I travel to Europe, I think about him a lot. I could be looking out the window and I’ll just start thinking of Freddie".
In March 1986 Change played Studio 54's closing party in Manhattan, New York City. After this gig the official Change band never performed again.


Change 1981
Top: John Adams, Rick Gallwey, Diva Grey, James "Crab" Robinson, Debbie Cooper, Doc Powell 
Bottom: Lino Reyes, Carole Sylvan, Mary Seymour, Jeff Young, Larry McRae


IS CHANGE STILL ALIVE?

In 2001 Davide Romani stated that a comeback of Change was not unreal. In the past years he had been working intensively on new material but no new album had been scheduled for release so far. 

Surprisingly, some artists including Rick Brennan appropriated the name of Change (rightfully or not?) and performed live on stage during a 'Tribute To The Funk' concert in Paris (Bercy) in 2003. A year later the brand new Change song “You Miss My Love” and a new version of the Change hit "You Are My Melody" appeared on the compilation CD Tribute To The Disco Funk, released by Sony Music-France/Yanis Records. The Nu R&B-styled “You Miss My Love” was written by Rick Brennan, Sloan Maxine Glenda, Olalekan Olujimi, Fathi Barkati, Faouze Barkati and Snouci Benyekkou. The lead singer on the song is Rick Brennan, former Change lead singer. This French production was handled by Faouze Barkati, Krem Barkati and Wallid Barkati in a rather good attempt to update the music formula of Change. There were however no associations with the Italian founders of Change and that's why there was a lot of confusion about this "unofficial" Change project. The Italian "legitimate" owners of Change were not happy with the situation. They didn't want previous American Change artists to perform as Change without their permission. In the meantime they took legal action in order to put things right. 
The question remains however: who owns the legal rights to the band's name outside of Italy. It's very likely that an American band can perform legitimately under the name of Change since Petrus' NY estate administrator owns the exclusive rights to the music and the group's name in the US. 
Besides "You Miss My Love", the Barkati's also produced a new version of "You Are My Melody", also included in the Tribute To The Disco Funk compilation CD. 

Apparently the "unofficial" Change outfit is still performing in Europe. On Friday 12th November 2010 'Change featuring Rick Brennan' was in concert during The Ultimate Boogie Night show at the IndigO2 theatre (O2 Arena) in London together with Brass Construction and GQ. 
In a rare reaction to some of the stories circulating, Rick Brennan ventilated his objections as follows: "For many years I've been listening to people (sic Davide Romani, Peewee Ford) talk about Fred Petrus who weren't there to the end like me and Timmy Allen were, so they shouldn't be talking like they know everything! They weren't there but me and Timmy were! We both have deep emotions about "Freddie" but I'm not going to let anybody lie about him anymore. I'm going to tell the facts. I have a lot to say about him and those so called truth sayers who talk "bullsh*t" about "my boss"! Anything that has to be discussed, will be talked about between me and Timmy and the lawyer in New York."


band 'Flique' incl. Kevin Robinson, Vince Henry, Rick Brennan & Timmy Allen (1984-1985)


CHANGE YOUR MIND: ROMANI REANIMATES CHANGE

Finally after 25 years a new Change CD album entitled Change Your Mind was released in april 2010 on the Italian label Fonte Records/One Trybal. But the music was already available in late 2009 on iTunes. 

This fifteen track album consists of slow jams and down/mid tempo songs expanded with four former Change hits. The new material has quite a different touch from the original Change signature but with a little of the old vocal pattern that gives a softer and gentler funk. Some of the tracks are remakes of '70s and '80s songs. The romantic cut "Friends" for instance was previously released. Album co-producer Mike Francis composed and arranged this hit song for Amii Stewart back in 1984. Another reprise is Stevie Wonder's funky 70's stomper "Superstition" which received a Hip-Hop treatment for this album (bonus track only available online). 

The music was originally arranged, conducted and produced in 1990 by Davide Romani (see photo) and the late Francesco Puccioni a.k.a. recording artist Mike Francis (1961-2009). Mike Francis was also founding member of the Lounge/Ambient group Mystic Diversions. The smooth sound he developed as a solo artist and with his group Mystic Diversions, especially on keyboards, clearly influenced this Change production. The polished but outstanding production carries a typical early '90s R'n'B sound, more related to the UK style than the US variant. The classic Change music formula has drastically developed in a new direction and can hardly be compared with the grittier, bass-heavy dance floor productions of the '80s when Timmy Allen was still on board. At first the project was called X-Change instead of Change and probably not even meant to be a new Change album until the current release. And this could explain why the concept is not "old style Change" but a compromise between the visions of the two producers. Mike Francis revealed in autumn 1992 that the X-Change album was finished and soon to be released. Leading music industry executive Clive Davis, then CEO of BMG North America, had signed an album deal with Patrick Boothe, Davide Romani and the late Mike Francis. But just the X-Change single "The Way You Want Me" got released on the BMG label in 1993. 
It’s unknown why the album project remained on the shelves all that time. The reason why the album still got published could be related to the passing away of Mike Francis in 2009, aged 47. Davide Romani who was executive producer of this project dedicated the album to the memory of Mike Francis.

The album's got a great balance between focus and flow, really steering clear of any too-commercial clichés, and topped with some strong lead vocals from Patrick Boothe. Davide Romani and Mike Francis provided plenty of keyboards. Romani's funky monster bass has moved to the background in favour of smooth synth arrangements and some fans might regret this. Album highlights are a new version of "Friends” with lead vocals from Mike Francis, the vocally impressive ballad “If Only I Could Change Your Mind”, the nice mid-tempo beater “Way You Want Me” and a compelling update of the Marvin Gaye classic “I Want You”. Other standouts on the album are “Say What You Wanna Say”, “Losing Me Again”, “Happy Ending” and “Things We Do For Love”. The hard-hitting "Pussy Cat" has a raw 80's feel, flirting with Cameo and Paula Abdul. 

The album was recorded at Romani's White Studio in Ferrara and mixed in London at the Sarm Studios, formerly known as Sarm West Studios located in Notting Hill. It's interesting to know that one of the mix engineers was Trevor Horn, owner of the Sarm Studios. Horn has written and produced commercially successful songs and albums for numerous British and international artists like Seal, Propaganda, ABC, Robbie Williams, Yes, Grace Jones, Tina Turner, Pet Shop Boys, Lisa Stansfield, Simple Minds, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Art Of Noise among others.
The musicians involved were Mike Francis (keyboards), Andrea Cucchia (saxophone), Leo Carboni (trumpet), Marco Rinalduzzi (guitar) and the original Change players Davide Romani (bass, keyboards, synthesizer, drum programming), Rudy Trevisi (saxophone) and Paolo Gianolio (guitar). Featured vocalists are lead singer Patrick Boothe (photo below) and background vocalists Dee Lewis, Paul Lewis, Monique, Mike Francis and Patrick Boothe. 
Many songs were co-written by Davide Romani, Mike Francis and Patrick Boothe. UK session singer Patrick Boothe had worked with Mike Francis earlier in Rome as a vocalist on one of his albums and they had become friends since. It was after Francis had chosen a couple of Boothe's songs to sing on his album that he decided they should record an album. On this album they sing together on the tender song "Time For Us". Davide Romani and Mike Francis (photo below) were longtime friends also. Romani co-wrote and/or co-produced several Mike Francis albums during the '80s and '90s and he played in the band of Mike Francis.

The idea of labeling this fine song collection as a new Change album remains very arguable though. The "Soul" of Change hasn't been updated succesfully, hardly a tribute to the glorious past of the band. The main ingredients that made the Change concept so irresistible are missing here and no members of the original American group were involved. But of course the creative effort of Davide Romani is still worthy and in the end he has the right to call his baby "Change".  So, forget all you know about Change and listen to the set with an open mind and you'll discover Romani's and Mike Francis' genuine and charming 90's R'n'B legacy.


Mike Francis a.k.a. Francesco Puccioni (1961-2009)


LIFE AFTER CHANGE

In the wake of Petrus' demise and the eventual fragmentation of Change, the members of the group picked up the pieces and began moving on to new horizons. Using their experience in the group as a springboard, their subsequent individual achievements would serve as a testament to Petrus' legacy as a keen talent scout and a remarkable architect of golden grooves. 

Timmy Allen, Jeff Bova, Vince Henry and Michael Campbell (see photo right below) went on to become very indemand top session musicians.
Timmy Allen had a long tenure as an A&R rep at Jive Records and has written and produced for various soul acts as Stephanie Mills, Lillo Thomas, Joe, Christopher Williams, Mike Davis, Hi-Five, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Alyson Williams, Jeff Redd, Backstreet Boys, Millie Jackson, Omar Chandler, Jonathan Butler and Glenn Jones.

Jeff Bova (see photo right) has worked as musician and producer for a myriad of pop stars: Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Meat Loaf, Michael McDonald, Herbie Hancock, R. Kelly, Chaka Khan, Vanessa Williams, Tina Turner and Robbie Williams, to name a few. 
Vincent Henry has written songs for artists like Roy Ayers, Mike Davis and Johnny Kemp; recorded a solo album for Jive Records, and his multi-instrumental talents have been featured on projects by a diverse group of artists such as Mary J. Blige, Jeffrey Osborne, Mtume, Will Downing, Milira, Usher, Millie Jackson, Whitney Houston, Kashif, Aleem, Nas, Ice-Cube, Tashan, Howard Hewett, Glenn Jones, Tom Waits, Jennifer Hudson and the late Amy Winehouse. 

Former lead singer James Robinson signed to Tabu Records in 1987 for his one solo album Guilty, which was produced by guitarist Fareed Abdul Haqq. The liner notes to the recent Alexander O'Neal expanded debut album reissue (1985) reveal that the songs were originally intended for James Robinson, but for whatever reason he wasn't getting along with producers Jam & Lewis...and the rest is history. Earlier, in 1983 he was a featured vocalist on the track “You Bring Out The Best In Me” off Lenny White’s Attitude album. Robinson also masterly sang lead on "Every Woman Needs It" from Jeff Lorber's album Step By Step. He’s been regularly guesting since on smooth jazz albums as a vocalist. In 1995, Robinson teamed up with Mark Johnson for the track “Daydream” taken from the album Daydream and with another jazz keyboard artist, Bob Baldwin, for his album City Sketches in 2001. He has also been continuously involved with his cousin Paris Ford as a featured vocalist on his songs "Be My Girl" (1982), "Keep Dancin'" (1983), "2 Far" (1989) and "Chocolate Swirl" (2007). More sweet Robinson vocals can be heard on albums by Nicki Richards, Takeshi Itoh, Heather Mullen, Doc Powell and Jaguar Wright. 

Deborah Cooper (see photo) was a part of C+C Music Factory during the ‘90s as both a lead and back up vocalist, resulting with several # 1 hits including "Deeper Love", "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" and "Keep It Comin’ (Dance Till You Can’t Dance No More)”. Cooper is also responsible for the famous C+C Music Factory tag line "Everbody Dance Now!" from the track "Gonna Make You Sweat". She continued to lend her vocals to house music tracks by other record producers, as well as release her own solo tracks (“Real Love”, “Live You All Over”, “Are You Satisfied”, “Do It Properly”, “Whisper”). As a backup and session singer she has worked with Samantha Fox, Heather Mullen, Jessica Simpson, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Jon Secada, Amber, Diana Ross, Craig T. Cooper, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Natalie Cole and Eartha Kitt. For several years Deborah Cooper was a featured singer for Mariah Carey in both recording sessions as well as live appearances internationally. 

The artist who benefited most from the Change exposure was certainly Luther Vandross (see photo) who embarked upon a huge solo career in soul music in 1981, scoring a multi-platinum album with each release. In R&B music he ranked with Prince, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson as one of the most successful singer/songwriters and producers of the eighties. Vandross wrote and/or produced for many black acts like The Temptations, Roberta Flack, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Cheryl Lynn, Dionne Warwick, Gregory Hines, Teddy Pendergrass, Lisa Fisher and Diana Ross. Unfortunately, Luther Vandross died 1st July 2005 at the JFK Medical Centre, New Jersey, USA. He was 54 years old. 

The original Change vocalist Jocelyn Brown (see photo) remained very active in the N.Y. session circuit and sang backgrounds for Luther Vandross, Bernard Edwards, Michael Jackson, Culture Club, Steve Winwood, Patti Austin, Weeks & Co., Curtis Hairston, Grace Jones, Arthur Baker, Alyson Williams and many others. She was also lead singer with Cerrone and the disco groups Inner Life and Salsoul Orchestra. In 1984 she launched her solo career with the instant smash hit “Somebody Else’s Guy”. The Vinyl Dreams label issued the album Somebody Else’s Guy that year that collected Inner Life material with her recent solo work. An album for Warner Bros., One From the Heart, was released in 1987 but didn't perform commercially and got her bumped from the label. More solo singles followed in 1986 and 1987 that charted but didn't fare nearly as well as her earlier success. The big voiced diva continued to work steadily throughout the 90s and early 2000s with groups, artists and producer/DJ’s like Nuyorican Soul, Todd Terry, Incognito, Kamasutra, Melodie MC, Jestofunk, Jamestown, Brown & Brown, David Morales, DJ Bobo, A.K. Soul, Da Mob, Ministers De-La-Funk, Stitch, Paul Weller, Cassius, Motiv 8, Roni Size, Masters At Work and several others. In 1990, Jocelyn Brown became a victim of the sampling craze when the line "I've got the power!" was sampled from her 1986 dance hit “Love's Gonna Get You” by dance group Snap! for their worldwide hit “The Power”. A solo album, Diva, was released in 1996 on the Black Tiger label with contributions of Heatwave and Oliver Cheatham. 

This, coupled with the multitude of industry acknowledgements and accomplishments, is further evidence of the sheer brilliance of a shapeshifting group of supremely talented individuals that Change was. A group that for five short years delivered a splendid body of work that has made a remarkably indelible impression upon the world.


Billboard Magazine, April 1982


Change songs and samples appear on: 

* Faces: “Searching” (covered song: Searching) 12”, Make Them Dance! Records, 1986. 
* Luther Vandross: "The Glow Of Love", "Searching" (original Change versions) from The Best Of Luther Vandross...The Best Of Love, Epic, 1989. 
* Happy Mondays: "Holiday" (sample: A Lover's Holiday) from Pills 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches, Factory, 1990.
* Black Sheep: "Strobelite Honey (Remix)" (sample: The Glow Of Love) 12", Mercury, 1991. 
* Grace Under Pressure: “The Glow Of Love” (covered song: The Glow Of Love) from Grace Under Pressure, ARS, 1993. 
* Randy Crawford: “The Glow Of Love” (covered song: The Glow Of Love) from Naked And True, WEA, 1995. 
* Cold World Hustlers: "Straight Doin' It" (sample: The Glow Of Love) from Iceland, Black Market, 1995.
* Billy Lawrence: "Up And Down" (sample: The Glow Of Love) 12", Elektra, 1997.
* Fatha Dom: "Pimp Life" (sample: The Glow Of Love) from Oaktown's Finest, Paradise, 1997.
* 50 Cent: "The Glow" (sample: The Glow Of Love) 12”, JMJ, 1997. 
* AZ: “Just Because” (sample: The Glow Of Love) from Pieces Of A Man, Noo Trybe/Virgin, 1998. 
* Aretha Franklin: “Here We Go Again” (sample: The Glow Of Love) from A Rose Is Still A Rose, Arista, 1998. 
* R. Kelly: “Spendin’ Money” (sample: A Lover’s Holiday) from R., Jive, 1998. 
* LFO: "Can't Have You" (sample: The Glow Of Love) from LFO, Arista, 1999. 
* Naughty By Nature & Phinesse: "Holiday" (sample: A Lover's Holiday) from Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury, Arista, 1999. 
* Phats & Small: "Turn Around" (sample: The Glow Of Love) 12”, La Belle Noire, 1999. 
* Funky Green Dogs: “Just A Little Luck” (sample: Paradise) from Star, Twisted/MCA, 1999. 
* Le Knight Club: "Hysteria II" (sample: Miracles) 12", Crydamoure, 1999. 
* Alcazar: "Paris In The Rain" (sample: The Glow Of Love) from Casino, BMG, 2000.
* Jazzy M: "Jazzin' The Way You Know (Illicit Mix)" (sample: Let’s Go Together) 12”, Perfecto, 2000. 
* Johnny Corporate: "Groove Me" (sample: Miracles) 12", 4th Floor, 2000. 
* Klubfilter: "Journal Intime" (sample: Don't Wait Another Night) from Some Love, Royal Flush, 2000.
* Nobody's Angel: "Next Stop Heaven" (sample: Paradise) from Nobody's Angel, Hollywood Records, 2000.
* Phunky Data: "You" (sample: Miracles) from 38, Sekence, 2000.
* Snow Monkeys: "Reachin'" (sample: The Glow Of Love) 12", NuLife, 2000.
* Superfunk feat. Ron Carroll: "Lucky Star" (sample: The Glow Of Love), 12", Virgin, 2000. 
* Bobby Summer: "Pretty Queen" (sample: Miracles) 12", Papersleeve, 2001. 
* Janet Jackson: “All For You” (sample: The Glow Of Love) from All For You, Virgin, 2001. 
* Ricky J: "Loot" (sample: The Glow Of Love) from Lose Control, Warner Music Canada, 2001. 
* Madji'k: "Sunshine" (sample: You're My Number 1) from Seekin' Love, VOX, 2001. 
* Luther Vandross: “Can I Take U” (Remix of “Take You Out”) (sample: Hold Tight) 12”, LV, 2001.
* The Altered Beast: "Wonder Wheel" (sample: You're My Number 1) from Coney Island, 20000st, 2000.
* Full Intention: "Soul Power (Main Mix)" (sample: You Are My Melody) 12", Peppermint Jam, 2002.
* Discofunk 002: "Glow Of Love" (sample: The Glow Of Love) 12", Discofunk, 2003. 
* Pete Rock: "Glowing" (sample: Hold Tight) from The Surviving Elements, Rapster, 2005. 
* Hott 22: "Make Up Your Mind" (sample: Miracles) 12", Gossip, 2005. 
* Steve Angello: "Play It Loud" (sample: Change Of Heart) 12", System, 2005. 
* Pierre De La Touche: "Real Love" (sample: Angel In My Pocket) from French Winter Sampler 2005, Disco Galaxy, 2005. 
* Pierre De La Touche: "You Are My Number One" (sample: You're My Number 1) from French Winter Sampler 2005, Disco Galaxy, 2005. 
* Nutritious Wax: "Lovers Holidays" (sample: A Lover's Holiday)  from Tribal House 5, Quadrophon, 2005.
* Hott 22: "Make Up Your Mind" (sample: Miracles) from I Feel Love, Gossip, 2005.
* Soul Corporation: “Let’s Go Together” (sample: Let’s Go Together) 12”, Net’s Work International, 2006. 
* Luther Vandross: "Searching" (original Change version) from The Ultimate Luther Vandross, Sony, 2006. 
* Wayman Tisdale: "The Glow Of Love" (covered song: The Glow Of Love) from Forever, For Always, For Luther Volume II, Rendezvous Entertainment, 2006.
* Zeebra feat. Sphere Of Influence And May J.: "Shinin' Like A Diamond" (sample: The glow Of Love) from World Of Music, Pony Canyon 2007. 
* Roman Salzger: "Alpha Centauri" (sample: Let’s Go Together) unreleased, available as MP3-file, 2008. 
* The Tabledancers: "Party On" (sample: It's A Girl's Affair) 12", Disco Galaxy, 2008. 
* Olav Basoki: "I Feel So" (sample: You're My Number 1), Work, 2009.
* Washed Out: "Get Up" (sample: Got To Get Up) from Life Of Leisure, Mexican Summer, 2009.
* Bit Funk: "9 Iron" (sample: Your Move) from Millenium Disco, Shiny Disco Club, 2010.
* La Zebra: "When In Rome" (sample: Miracles), Mozzarella, 2010.
* Onra: "Moving" (sample: Got To Get Up) from Long Distance, All City, 2010. 
* Breakbot feat. Irfane: "Baby I'm Yours" (sample: You're My Number 1) from Baby I'm Yours, Ed Banger, 2010. 
* Cinnamon Chasers: "So Hard To Say" (sample: Hold Tight)  from So Hard To Say, Modus, 2010.
* Chromeo: "Don't Walk Away" (sample: A Lover's Holiday) from Business Casual, Atlantic, 2010.
* Madlib: "The Induction Of Hypnosis" (sample: Heaven Of My Life) from Medicine Show No. 10: Black Soul, Madlib Invazion, 2010.
* Slum Village feat. Q-Tip: "Hold Tight" (covered song: Hold Tight) from Fantastic Volume 2.10, Ne'Astra Music Group, 2010.
* Vanguard: "Apollo" (sample: You Are My Melody) 12", Shiny Disco Club, 2010. 
* Vatska: "You'll Still Be Mine" (sample: You're My Number 1) from First Date, Phantom, 2010.
* Cajemere & Gene Farris: "Coconuts" (sample: Paradise) from White Label EP, Cajual, 2011.
* La Fine Equipe feat. Hoosky: "Cupcake" (sample: It Burns Me Up) from La Boulangerie 2, Nowadays, 2011.
* Gramophonedzie: "Number One" (sample: Youre My Number 1), Guesthouse Music, 2011.
* Onra: "Change Of Heart" (sample: Change Of Heart) from Edits, All City, 2011.
* Shook: "Hold Tight" (sample: Hold Tight) from The Rise And Fall EP, Epicenter, 2011.
* Patryk Molinari: "No Dilemma" (sample: The Glow Of Love") from Black Jukebox 05, Exploited, 2012.
* Tyler Touché: "Musique de Coeur" (sample: Hold Tight) from Night Dance, Champagne, 2012.



Change 1983 
Toby Johnson, Rick Brennan, Mike Campbell, James "Crab" Robinson, Debbie Cooper, Jeff Bova, Vince Henry and Timmy Allen


B.B.&Q. BAND 

Besides Change other studio concepts emerged from the Little Macho Music factory such as The B.B.&Q. Band. Their debut album The Brooklyn, Bronx & Queens Band continued in the tradition of Change, and not
surprisingly, often sounded like a Change album. Most of the songs were composed, arranged and conducted by Change co-producer Mauro Malavasi and many of the players and background singers also appeared on Change albums. And like Change, the B.B.& Q. Band made dance music that captivated in a forcible, unaffected manner. 

The band was a standard faceless aggregation of Little Macho Music staff musicians and American sessioneers. The informal groupmembers depicted on the first album were the American studio musicians Kevin Nance (keyboards), Dwayne Perdue (drums) (see photo right below), Paris 'PeeWee' Ford (bass) (see photo left below), Abdul Wali Mohammed (guitar) and lead singer Ike Floyd. Guitarist William ‘Doc’ Powell turned bassist Paris Ford on to producer Petrus who was looking for musicians for a new project. In November 1980 the B.B.& Q. Band were put together by Paris Ford on Petrus’ request and got signed to Capitol records a little later. The acronym B.B.&Q. stands for the New York suburbs Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens, which were the areas where the original members of the group came from. The B.B.&Q. Band later “stabilized” into a self-contained group for two subsequent albums. Only Kevin Nance of the original line-up remained. The other musicians gave preference to session work and lucrative touring engagements with well-known R&B artists. After all there wasn’t much happening with the B.B.&Q. Band once they had left the recording studio. Paris Ford for instance took his place as one of the most enduring and groundbreaking session-bassists during the 80s and 90s, playing for lots of R&B stars as Rick James, Glenn Jones, Johnny Gill, Stacy Lattisaw, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Marcus Miller, Norman Connors and Lenny White. 

In 1982 the B.B.& Q. Band studio entity comprised Kevin Nance (keyboards), Kevin Robinson (guitarist), Bernard Davis (drums), Tony Bridges (bass) and Chieli Minucci (guitarist). The album sleeves don't show all of the five members, which indicates that the band was a rather loose formation of switchable sessioneers, typical for most of the projects of Little Macho Music. Actually the B.B.& Q. Band never got to the stage of a real band. They never did any live gigs or promotional tours to support their albums because it seems the group was stopped dead by a glitch in the touring budget. 

In the early to mid eighties frontman Kevin Robinson (see photo) also worked as a session musician and singer with Change, The Spinners, Stephanie Mills, The Strangers, High Fashion, Lillo Thomas and Mtume. Besides he was a musician with funkgroup Network and co-produced their rare electro-funk album I Need You in 1984. He was likewise producer for Freddie Jackson, B.T. Express, Melba Moore, Patti LaBelle, Sarah Dash, Sweet Obession and the Bar-Kays. In 1984, together with Howard King, he produced the Macho III single “Kalimba De Luna” for Jacques Fred Petrus. Robinson is also known as the recording artist Chad on the RCA label (album Fast Music, Love & Promises, 1987). 
Chieli Minucci formed the well-known fusion group Special EFX in 1982 and has since been a major force in the world of smooth jazz. Besides Special EFX, he has four solo albums to his credit and has played, recorded with, or produced a number of artists including Dave Grusin, Lionel Richie, Anastacia, Mark Anthony, Jewel, Roberta Flack, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Noel Pointer, Angela Bofill and Chuck Loeb. He also writes for TV and hopes to get into scoring films.

The Brooklyn Bronx & Queens Band
The B.B.& Q. Band are best remembered for Malavasi’s hypnotic floorfiller “On The Beat” (#3 Billboard’s Disco/Dance Chart; #8 Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart), a joyous dance groove driven by funky rhythm guitars. It was the opening track on the spectacularly good debut release The Brooklyn, Bronx & Queens Band, released in August of 1981. Though critically acclaimed by disco freaks, their first album never exploded in the US.

The unpretentious excitement of “On The Beat” made the song the best dance anthem of 1981 and a Top Ten R&B hit. The magic of this song is that the beat is never heard - it is felt - so that listeners’ feet are kept moving while their ears are free to concentrate on other parts of the song. A punctuated, Chicesque melody leads into a call-and-response pattern in which the lead singer answers the background vocalists, much like the bridge on Temperton’s “Boogie Nights”. And the lyric, like Temperton’s “Give Me The Night”, celebrates the virtues of music and dancing: “Nobody has a care/’Cause there’s music in the air/It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before”. There is no yearning for strobe lights or gold chains here. Instead, when the vocalists sing “Are you ready or not/It’s only up the street/Everybody’s dancing/And everybody’s on the beat”, they seem to be talking about an all-night party going on under the nearest lamppost.
This album also included “Starlette” which carries the common “treasure the ordinary things in life” theme too, but sounds fresh thanks to some dazzling vocal interplay. The song has two choruses with the vocals perky on one and aggressive on the other - and they converge at the end of the song to create overwhelming exhilaration.
Engaging vocals also makes the swift and elegant “Mistakes” hard to resist. The chorus carries an ABA rhyme scheme, but it is so catchy and the singers so inseparable from each note that the second line sounds like it rhymes with the first and third anyway. The melody changes at the end of the song and the chorus turns into a rap, but the song is so cohesively crafted that when the original chorus returns, it never seems to have left.
In contrast to the immediate appeal of the former three songs, the subtleness of the classy mid-tempo “Time For Love” (#72 Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart) takes several listens to become accustomed to. The title is sung and followed by another spare guitar riff, and then not much seems to happen. But like Change’s “Hold Tight”, “Time For Love” weaves its way in listeners’ minds so that by the fifth or sixth listen, the song becomes permanently embedded.
The whole set of The Brooklyn, Bronx & Queens Band is filled with lots of hard-stepping guitar, bass, and keyboard bits that propel the tunes with snappingly catchy rhythms throughout.
The tempo slows on the graceful ballads “Don’t Say Goodbye” and “Lovin’s What We Should Do”, all composed by Petrus' Italian musicians Malavasi, Romani, Tansini and Trevisi. Especially “Don’t Say Goodbye” is not a token ballad thrown in just to give dancers a chance to catch their breath. A foreboding piano permeates the song, and when lead singer Ike Floyd (see photo) sings “And I don’t know what I’m gonna do/Next time I see you”, the listener can feel the fear and confusion. A synthesizer break melts into a pleading saxophone solo, which further succeeds in the almost impossible task of bringing the listener down from the incredible high of “On The Beat”. There’s even a reggae tune, “I’ll Cut You Loose”, which is a change of pace and pleasant surprise.

The compelling and clever lyrics written by Tanyayette Willoughby and Paul Slade raised the music to the highest level of disco songcraft. A host of American top session singers handled backup, among them: Luther Vandross, Gordon Grody, Fonzi Thornton, Bobby Douglas, Diva Gray and Robin Clark. Petrus, Malavasi and company came up with another wonderful album, targeted both for the dancefloor and pop and R&B radio, devoid of mechanized garishness and bursting with vigor, proving once again that music for the feet and music for the mind do not have to be separate entities.

B.B.& Q. Band's immortal dance anthem "On The Beat" generated a second moment of radio and club interest in 1987 when the subtle remix "On The Beat - 87 Bronx Mix" was released on the Streetheat label. An updated version that stayed very close to the original.



B.B.&Q. Band 1981
Kevin Nance, Ike Floyd, Paris 'PeeWee' Ford, Abdul Wali Mohammed and Dwayne Perdue

All Night Long
The group's sophomore set All Night Long, released in September of 1982, was a good follow-up brimming with pop potential on "Imagination", "All Night Long" and "The Things We Do In Love". The record featured guitar-player Kevin Robinson on steady lead vocals. The album mixed up some nice keyboards with a spacey early breakdance sound, sounding great over the group's tight rhythm, and surprisingly soulful vocals. All Night Long was a richly-varied, multi-textured vocal/instrumental showcase but lacked an instant smash hit single to propel the record.

All Night Long (# 32 Billboard's Black Albums Chart) included the elektrofunkish hit “Imagination” (#21 Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart), composed by keyboardist Kae Williams. "Imagination" featured the stellar lead vocals of the latest inductee to the Little Macho Music family: percussionist and vocalist Rick Brennan. Brennan is still confused about this today and has no explanation why Petrus wouldn't let Kevin Robinson sing lead on this track. Slated to become the new voice of B.B.&Q. Band, Brennan was initially informed by Petrus that the original band line-up was being replaced for the upcoming sophomore album sessions. However upon arriving at the studio, Brennan was greeted with a surprise. "When I got to New York and walked in the studio, Kevin Robinson was also there", recalled the Philadelphia native. "Of course it threw Kevin off because he was looking at me like, 'I'm the lead singer, who is this guy??'" After the recording session for "Imagination" with Brennan's "guest vocals", it was ultimately decided that his talents would be best utilized in one of Petrus' other musical incarnations [By the fall of 1982 Rick Brennan would join Change and become the new lead singer of Little Macho's main act]. Yet they were still far from a runaway hit, their following was strictly club, and their sound wasn’t spreading west, but primarily east, to the European dance floors.
Other very enjoyable tunes were “Hanging Out”, "Hard To Get Around", Malavasi's edgy “Children Of The Night”, the gentle “(I Could Never Say) It’s Over” and the punchy, Kevin Robinson-written single “All Night Long (She’s Got The Moves I Like)”.

Malavasi composed half of the album's songs together with Johnny Kemp Jr.. The other half was written by the American musicians Kae Williams, Kevin Robinson and Timmy Allen (bass player with Change). Johnny Kemp, Chieli Minucci (see photo) and Timmy Allen all played with the New York funk outfit Der Kinky Foxx previously.
Davide Romani only contributed as a bass player and this could be the reason why the record somewhat lacked the 'Italian disco chemistry' of the first album which holded songs of a stronger "dancefloor" impact. Just like on the third Change album, the overall sound on All Night Long revealed a change of course. Essential contributions by the American musicians and composers Johnny Kemp Jr., Timmy Allen, Kae Williams and Kevin Robinson steered the B.B.&Q. Band ship deeper into Contemporary R&B waters. Electrofunk-influenced outings like "Desire" and "Imagination" clearly illustrate that evolution. Kevin Robinson said: "Please keep in mind that although we had a great deal of respect for Davide and Mauro as producers and musicians, we were not in awe of them. In fact, the prospective was that they were doing music by Chic, which was popular five years before we came along. We were more influenced by the sounds of Leon Sylvers, Prince, Parliament/Funkadelic, The Time, Rick James, etc.. That would be like studying Rod Stewart instead of Wilson Pickett or Keith Richards instead of B.B. King and Robert Johnson. Elvis instead of Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and James Brown."

Again Petrus spoilt his production with the rich tones of New York's most prestigious background singers. Credited session vocalists were Leroy Burgess, Tawatha Agee, Fonzi Thornton, Gordon Grody, Bobby Douglas, Eric McClinton, Johnny Kemp and Alyson Williams.


Chieli Minucci and Johnny Kemp Jr.

Six Million Times
After two good albums, they coughed up a third in 1983. To Petrus & Malavasi standards Six Million Times was a disappointing shot. This project, co-produced by groupmember Kevin Robinson, obviously lacked decent songmaterial and creative direction. It seemed as if mentor Petrus held back the quality songs for his other projects. But the reality was that Petrus' Italian musicians stopped supplying successfull compositions as the good understanding with their boss was missing.

Petrus faced serious economical problems in 1983 and Six Million Times was produced with a tiny budget during five weeks at the Umbi-Maison Blanche  studios in the countryside of Modena. Most of the album's songs came from the American groupmember Kevin Robinson, who co-wrote several tracks with NYC top musician Howard King (Mtume, D-Train, Stephanie Mills, The Strangers, Candy Bowman, Karin Jones, Network). Fred gave Kevin Robinson a great deal of freedom to experiment with his creativity and bring up new ideas.
The long-player didn't yield any real highlights though. "Keep It Hot" and the totally redundant Beatles tune “She’s A Woman” were the only singles off the album. “Keep It Hot” was composed by Malavasi and reminisced the funky floorfiller "Let It Whip" by the Dazz Band. “Stay” represented yet another enjoyable moment on a weak album otherwise. Cuts like "We've Got To Do It" or “Downtowne” offered an upbeat contemporary R&B sound with lots of bass and synths in the instrumentation, but they couldn’t excite. "Six Million Times" and "She's A Passionate Lover" heavily flirted with the Minneapolis funk of Prince and The Time. The boys of the B.B.&Q. Band were wild about this hybrid sound that combined funk, rock, pop, synthpop and New Wave. Producing an R&B/funk hit seemed not achievable however.

Whereas the initial B.B.& Q. productions benefited of strong disco compositions and irresistible melodies, Six Million Times suffered of average songs dipped in the heavier kind of electro-funk arrangements that marked many of the dancefloor productions of 1983 and after. But unlike their contemporaries Midnight Star, The Time, D-Train, S.O.S. Band, The System or Kashif, the B.B.&Q. Band scored no hits in 1983 and the group was subsequently dropped from the Capitol roster.


B.B.&Q. Band 1982
Kevin Nance, Tony Bridges, Chieli Minucci and Kevin Robinson

Genie
In 1985 Jacques Fred Petrus formed a new B.B.& Q. Band and released the album Genie which sold well in Europe but couldn’t fulfill the expected success in the U.S..

The album was released first in Europe on different labels in different countries (Denmark, Italy, UK, Netherlands and Germany) and appeared on the U.S. market a year later on Elektra Records. The cover artwork of the European pressing and the American pressing differed completely. The name of executive producer Jacques Fred Petrus wasn’t even printed on the US album. By then he had been accused of tax evasion and his fraudulous US music companies collapsed accordingly. Still, the Genie album got published in America on the Elektra/Pretty Pearl imprint. The name of the executive producer printed on the American sleeve was Earl Monroe who happened to be the executive producer of Curtis Hairston, lead singer on Genie. Hairston had already released a bunch of fairly successful R&B singles on Monroe’s Pretty Pearl record label (“I Want You (All Tonight)” 1983, “Summertime” 1983, “We All Are One” 1984 and “I Want Your Lovin’ (Just A Little Bit)” 1985). After Fred Petrus fled the US, abandoning the music biz, Monroe fixed a record deal via his label -which he initially started up as a vehicle for Curtis Hairston- to get Genie released in the U.S. on a major label.

The album was recorded at the MorningStar Studios in Philadelphia (US), hometown of producer Kae Williams Jr, and at the Morning Studios in Milan (Italy). However, the two releases showed different Italian recording studios on the covers. The US version of Genie was apparently recorded at the Castle Studios in Milan and the original European issue at the Morning Studios in Milan. But there's an explanation! The Castle Studios (a.k.a. The Stone Castle Studios) and the Morning Studios were actually one and the same recording facility, situated in Carimate near Milan. This studio was located inside a beautiful castle built in the 14th Century.

Featured tracks were the sweet “Minutes Away”, the upbeat “Riccochet”, the vibrant dancer “On The Shelf” (#72 Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart), “Dreamer” (#35 Billboard TOP 40), “Won’t You Be With Me Tonight”, the Prince/Minneapolis sound-inspired “Don’t Force It” and the impressive “Genie” (#40 Billboard TOP 40). The mellow title track that bubbled and percolated nicely with a seductively soulful feel, especially on the vocals, became their biggest hit since "On The Beat". Genie was a surprisingly consistent album awash in great keyboards (DX7 Rhodes) and snapping electro beats that were nicely placed between the street and the dancefloor. The hi-tech vibe was ostensibly influenced by the Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis productions.

The album was composed, written and co-produced by Kae Williams Jr. (see photo). The musician crew involved were Timmy Allen (bass), Michael Campbell (guitar) and Kae Williams Jr. (keyboards, piano). Kae Williams was formerly keyboardist with the group Breakwater. In 1981 he joined Timmy Allen and other top NY session players to record an album as Hi-Gloss for the Prelude label. A year later Fred Petrus offered Kae Williams session work with Change and B.B.& Q. Band. Williams also composed several songs for these groups. He later moved back to Philadelphia where he worked with artists including Mason, Ian Foster, Phyllis Hyman, George Howard, Miki Howard, Shirley Lites, Peggi Blu, Curiosity, G-Five, Loose Ends, Five Star, Robert Hazard, Pretty Poison, Cashmere, Terri Wells, Joanna Gardner, Bootsy Collins and Sybil Thomas. Producer Kae Williams Jr. deceased on July 11, 2008 due to heart failure at the age of 52.

Genie featured Curtis Hairston (see photo) on lead and background vocals and Ullanda McCullough (see photo) on background vocals, although there were no vocal credits on the sleeves.
Kae Williams would work with Curtis Hairston again in 1986 on his one and only solo album Curtis Hairston which included the popular soul track “The Morning After”, reminiscent of “Genie”. Unfortunately lead singer Curtis Hairston, who severely suffered from diabetes, passed away in January 1996. He was just 34 years old.
Based in New York, Backup singer Ullanda McCullough worked consistently through the ‘70s and early ‘80s as a backing vocalist, particularly with Ashford & Simpson who produced her second solo album Ullanda McCullough for Atlantic in 1981. As Ullanda she already released her first solo album Love Zone in 1979. In 1982 she recorded Watching You Watching Me on the Atlantic label, her last record to date. Elsewhere she recorded backing vocals with Roberta Flack, Teddy Pendergrass, Melba Moore, Lonnie Liston Smith, Cliff Dawson, Charles Earland, Cerrone, Hi-Gloss, Michael Zager Band, Stephanie Mills, Thelma Jones, Chic, Diana Ross, T-Connection,  The Spinners, Chaka Khan and Rainbow Brown among many more.

Occasionally acts have been touring as the B.B.& Q. Band. Rick Brennan, formerly with Change, performed during a 'Tribute To The Funk' concert in Bercy (Paris) in 2003 pretending to be the frontman of the B.B.& Q. Band. The massive audience went wild but unfortunately the whole show was fake!
At the NYC B.B. King Club in August 2008, artists promoted the B.B.& Q. Band along with G.Q. and Change as a genuine 'reunion' tour. Curiously enough the singer had never been involved with the B.B.& Q. Band. And the irony doesn’t stop here, because the only original player from the B.B.& Q. Band onstage was Chieli Minucci, a former B.B.&Q. Band guitarist who actually never performed live with the B.B.& Q. Band. He was a studio cat who just wrote and recorded for Petrus! Kevin Robinson, the original vocalist for B.B.& Q. Band had a falling out with the show organizers 2 days before, so a new “singer” came in and learned everything at the last minute but he couldn’t sing a lick. There was no comparison what so ever with the original lead vocalist Robinson who simultaneously performed B.B.& Q. Band songs at the Sugar Bar in NYC that evening in August 2008.
Surprisingly, in 2009 the original line-up of the B.B.& Q. Band (photos above) consisting of Kevin Nance, Paris Ford, Dwayne Perdue and Ike Floyd reunited for a live gig on the Ron Alexander Show at the Kraine Theater and on the Soul Legends TV Show in NYC. In 2010 they toured as a part of the "Ol' Skool Throw Down" Tour featuring Evelyn "Champagne" King, B.T. Express, Brass Construction, Machine, B.B.&Q. Band, Johnny Kemp and T-Ski Valley. In 2011 they were guest on the Fox 5 'Good Day New York' morning show and played the Newark Symphony Hall in NYC.
On Saturday 2nd of November 2013 the B.B.&.Q. Band performed live in Lyon (France). Line-up  included former members Kevin Robinson, Bernard Davis, Tony Bridges and Kevin Nance. 




B.B.& Q. Band songs and samples appear on:

* Rufige Cru: "Killa Muffin (The Band Dog Mix)" (sample: Dreamer) 12", Reinforced 1992. 
* Jeff Redd: “Dreamer” (song: Dreamer) from Down Low, MCA, 1994. 
* Seduced: “On Da Beat” (sample: On The Beat) 12", ARS Productions, 2004. 
* The Alchemist: “Strength Of Pain (feat. Chinky)” (sample: Lovin's What We Should Do) from 1st Infantry, Koch, 2004. 
* DJ Mehdi: “Tunisia Bambaata” (sample: Imagination) 12", Ed Banger, 2008. 
* Love & Mind: "Nightlounge" (sample: On The Beat) from French House Maid, 4 disco, 2010.

HIGH FASHION

High Fashion was another of Jacques Fred Petrus bands alongside Change and BB&Q Band. It was a Chic-like concept fronted by the young vocalists Meli’sa Morgan, Alyson Williams and the older Eric McClinton, from New York. Michael Murphy, who was co-running Petrus' Little Macho office in NYC from 1980 until 1983, came up with the name High Fashion.

The blend of relative youthfulness with seasoned experience worked very well. Alyson Williams was a sought-after session vocalist who had worked on a long list of projects including The B.B.&Q. Band, Melba Moore and Unlimited Touch. She was the daughter of bandleader/trumpeter Bobby Booker.
Meli'sa Morgan also was a renowned backing singer on the New York soul scene and had recorded with Kleeer, Weeks & Co., Shades Of Love and Leroy Burgess.
Eric McClinton, whose smooth soulful masculine vocals accented High Fashion's sound, first hit the music scene in the mid-sixties as Eric & The Vikings and recorded with his group for various labels until 1973. In the mid-seventies he turned up as a part of the one-time duo Eryke & Arronette. In 1979 he worked together with Mike Theodore - co-producer of High Fashion’s first album - as a singer with the Mike Theodore Orchestra. McClinton also recorded with Jimi Hendrix, Gladys Knight, George Duke and Flora Purim.


High Fashion 1982

Feelin' Lucky
High Fashion's highly acclaimed first album Feelin’ Lucky was released on Capitol records in June of 1982. The High Fashion trio tastefully delivered the musical plan of producers Petrus & Malavasi, with the creative aid of Kashif, Mike Theodore, Dennis Coffey and Fonzi Thornton. The result was a vocal vitality with the music to back it up. Feelin’ Lucky offered sublime dancefloor material steeped in the quality tradition of eighties groove with flair, finesse, panache and soul.

Killer track on Feelin’ Lucky was the irresistible feel-good single “Feelin’ Lucky Lately” (#32 Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart). This awesome synth-laden disco hit, written by Malavasi, Davide Romani and Fonzi Thornton, perfectly illustrates the elegant and sophisticated dance music of the Italians. Kashif composed three songs, among which the infectious, upbeat “Hold On” and “Next To You”. Meli’sa Morgan co-wrote the track “You’re The Winner”. The soulful gems “When The Lover Strikes” and “I Want To Be Your Everything” - another Kashif song - made the album complete.

The brilliant keyboardist and co-producer Kashif developed a complete new synth-based music style that revolutionized R&B music. Around that same time he was already a very in demand musician, songwriter, arranger and producer who could be heard on releases by Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Tavares, Geraldine Hunt, Pleasure, Average White Band, Passion, Howard Johnson and Melba Moore. In 1983 Kashif went on to fame and fortune as a solo artist and remained ubiquitous as a songwriter and producer throughout the '80s and early '90s (George Benson, Kenny G, Meli’sa Morgan, Lillo Thomas, Fonzi Thornton, Nona Hendryx, Stacy Lattisw, Giorge Pettus, Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston, Johnny Kemp, etc.).

Make Up Your Mind
High Fashion released a second album Make Up Your Mind in 1983, featuring the single “Break Up”, the fat groove “Pump On The Pipe”, the gentle and soulful “Just A Little More Love”, "Make Up Your Mind", “You Satisfy My Needs”, "A Little More Time" and “Show Me”, co-written by Mtume’s Tawatha Agee. But none of the album tracks, except "Just A Little More Love" that was written by Timmy Allen and Kevin Robinson, matched the outstanding quality of the previous release. The set had electro-soul arrangements very similar to Change but the songcollection in general was the poor man's version of the latter.
Background singer Marcella Allen was brought in to replace Mel’isa Morgan. This production was backed up by the members of the B.B.&Q. Band.
The sales of Make Up Your Mind were embarrassing and the group was dissolved.


High Fashion 1983

After the High Fashion projects Meli’sa Morgan and Alyson Williams enjoyed personal success as solo artists.
Meli’sa Morgan released her co-written debut Do Me Baby in 1986 on Capitol records. A remake of Prince's "Do Me Baby" yielded a number one R&B hit. Morgan notched two more Top Ten R&B singles: "Do You Still Love Me?" and "If You Can Do It, I Can Too" before moving on to Arista Records in 1987 and hitting with a duet with Kashif ("Love Changes") that reached the number two spot on the R&B charts. After Arista she went with Pendulum Records.
Alyson Williams fronted the act The Affair feat. Alyson after her time with High Fashion, a session group including Gwen Guthrie. The Affair released the single "Please Don't Break My Heart" on Easy Street in 1985. In 1989 she signed with Def Jam and delivered Raw including "Sleep Talk" (#3 Billboard R&B Charts). But her solo career ran out of gas in the late '90s. On the Def Jam label, in addition to solo work, she paired with Chuck Stanley on "Make You Mine Tonight" and Oran "Juice" Jones on "How to Love Again."
Eric McClinton contributed backing vocals to other Little Macho Music projects, including the B.B.& Q. Band's Six Million Times record and Change's This Is Your Time set. After High Fashion split he turned up twice on Atlantic, in the incarnations of Ze-Brass ("Feels So Good") in 1983 and Deep (“A Good Thing Is So Hard To Find”) in 1985. Both projects were produced by Nicky Kalliongis who had worked as an engineer at the Media Sound studios on several Change and B.B.& Q. Band recording sessions.



High Fashion 1982

ZINC 

Zinc was yet another fine studio creation presented by Jacques Fred Petrus and Mauro Malavasi  in September of 1982. This project, fronted by singer Gordon Grody, would be Little Macho Music's last production in 1982 entirely recorded in New York City. Even if the Little Macho Music signature sound was all over the album, the music style was still pretty avant-garde.

The rare Street Level album was published by Jive Records, a label known for its alternative releases and particular products. Jive is a division of Zomba, the highest-ranked independent record company in the world.
Zinc was urban soul funk with touches of pop, kept fairly basic, without too many frills. The emphasis here was on the vocals and perculating beat that made you want to bounce to the dancefloor. Though there were over 20 musicians and vocalists listed on the credits, the spare arrangements gave everybody space.

With the Zinc concept, Petrus attempted to infiltrate the white pop market with a sound sometimes abandoning warm melodic soul and flirting with colder rock music. The musical climate at that time was radically changing. Pop music took the gravity center of radio programming and DJ culture, at the expense of black dance music. Several tracks on the Zinc record demonstrated the impact of new wave music in those days.
The studio group was composed of American and Italian session musicians led by the inevitable Mauro Malavasi. The production abilities of Malavasi and the great musicianship of Davide Romani and Rudy Trevisi once again shone through on this record.

Street Level featured the lead vocals of the white session singer Gordon Grody and Steve Daniels.
Gordon Grody is a renown backing vocalist who has recorded with many soul and pop artists (Jeff Tyzik, Debbie Harry, David Bowie, Steely Dan, Patti Austin, Peabo Bryson, George Benson, Luther Vandross, Talking Heads, Phyllis Hyman, Yoko Ono, Change, High Fashion, The B.B.&Q. Band, etc.). He also provided the lead vocals for several other Petrus projects: Macho’s second Roll album and the two Silence albums. Steve Daniels formerly appeared as a vocalist on the Revanche and Rudy records and also did backgrounds for Change. He was a member of the band Platinum Hook.

Highlights on Zinc’s Street Level were the inspired Kashif song “Street Level”, the chilly “Punkulation” written by Davide Romani and the Chic-influenced "This Is Where The Love Is". Other tasteful selections included the naughty uptempo "I'll Never Stop", the energetic “I’ll Take My Chances” flavoured with licks of rock guitar and polyrhythmic percussion, and “Amazon” with its intriguing instrumental airs and chants.
Despite the suitable Jive label and a lineup of top musicians delivering a very well realized product, the Zinc undertaking was not a commercial peak and showed that the pop market didn't bite. Background singer Bobby Douglas formulated it like this: "Zinc was so ahead of its time that I knew it wasn't going to be well received because it was so much better than the shlock that was playing on the radio at the time."

In 1983 the single “I’m Livin' A Life Of Love” was released on Jive Records but no album followed. Contractual stipulations forced Little Macho Music to publish this Zinc cut for the Jive label. The track was a leftover from previous B.B.&Q. Band recordings, composed by Mauro Malavasi. The song borrowed the arrangement of "Searching" by group Change. 
In 1984 Petrus embraced Italo-disco music and used the Zinc name again for the dance project Zinc featuring Sherwin which resulted in two Marco Tansini-produced singles: "State Of The Nation" and "Hollywood City".


Ritchie Family

RITCHIE FAMILY

The famous disco producers Jacques Morali & Henri Belolo (Ritchie Family, The Village People, Patrick Juvet) submitted their artists to the successful sound of Little Macho Music in 1982. Jacques Fred Petrus produced The Ritchie Family's excellent top 40 R&B album I’ll Do My Best for Morali/Belolo's company Can’t Stop Productions on the RCA label.

This Ritchie Family project surprised because it wasn’t fluffy or too over the top but very funky and substantial which wasn’t in line with their previous output. Mauro Malavasi supervised the project and the Italian-born Philadelphia arranger/producer Giuliano Salerni took care of the artistic production. Salerni had previously composed, arranged and produced the disco projects Ultimate and Hi-Gloss. The Hi-Gloss group comprised incidentally Timmy Allen on bass and Kae Williams on keyboards. Salerni also successfully arranged and mixed for Geraldine Hunt ("Can't Fake The Feeling") and France Joli (album Now!).
The Ritchie Family consisted of the former discodiva trio Vera Brown, Jacqueline Smith-Lee and Theodosia ‘Dodie’ Draher. Vera Brown formerly sang in the group of the Philly soul singer David Simmons and recorded with producer Butch Ingram.

The first single was the brilliant title track “I’ll Do My Best (For You Baby)” (#27 Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart; #17 Billboard’s Disco/Dance Chart). The song was co-written by Malavasi and Salerni and carried the recognizable Malavasi signature sound. "I'll Do My Best (For You Baby)" was the first time The Ritchie Family enjoyed airplay and clubplay simultaneously in several years. The other tracks were "This Love's On Me", the very melodious “One And Only”, the sweet ballad "You Can Always Count On Me", the smooth, laid-back “Walk With Me”, the irresistible floorshaker “Alright On The Night”, "Tonight I Need To Have Your Love" and "You've Got Me Dancin'".
Besides “I’ll Do My Best (For You Baby)”, none of the songs were written by inside components of Little Macho Music. Just four tracks were published by Little Macho Music, three of which were composed by the American guitar player Herb Smith who also co-wrote "The Very Best In You" for Change. Petrus' musicians only carried out the songs, providing them with the characteristic, elegant style of the Little Macho Music productions.



Ritchie Family

SILENCE 

During the early 80s, Italo-disco pioneer Celso Valli was involved in several rock oriented but commercially less successful Petrus projects. When disco was definitely on the wane, Fred Petrus attempted to cash in on dance-pop styles that were invading the music market.

Two years after the second Macho record, Jacques Fred Petrus engaged Valli again to produce the Silence album Goodtime Baby, which was released in 1982. Earlier Celso Valli had composed, arranged and directed Italo bombs as Tantra, Azoto, Passengers, Elite, Nuggets and V.I.S.A. which helped secure his reputation as master producer of the Euro-synthdisco genre.
The music Valli created for Silence was no dancefloor material however, but solid radio pop with straight rock arrangements sometimes. The only track that benefited from Celso Valli’s peculiar synth-touch was the interesting single cut “Midnight Visitors (Silence)”. Just like on the Macho II project the vocals were provided by the NY-top session singer Gordon Grody.

The record was taped at the Fonoprint studios where the whole Little Macho Music musician family contributed: Davide Romani, Paolo Gianolio, Doc Powell, Terry Silverlight, Gabriele Melotti, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Maurizio Biancani and Rudy Trevisi. The N.Y. studio singers Diva Gray, Robin Clark, David L. Byron, Tom Bernfeld and Kurt Yagian provided the background vocals. All vocals were recorded and mixed in New York. For the English lyrics Petrus relied on the authors Paul Slade and Carlotta McKee.

But Petrus had trouble selling the album to labels. It only got a release on the small Petrus-owned Italian label Memory Records. As the vital distribution mechanism failed, the record came and went unnoticed. For the cover artwork Petrus hired artist Greg Porto who designed a sober square geometric concept.






former Power Station Studios NYC - Studio C

RECORDING STUDIOS 

From 1978 until 1981 the material for the studio groups was generally recorded at the Fonoprint Studios in Bologna (Italy) and occasionally at the Stone Castle Studios near Milan (Italy). In 1983 and 1984 several productions were recorded in Modena at the Umbi Studio "Maison Blanche". The 1985 recordings took place in Carimate (Milan) at the Morning Studios (formerly the Stone Castle Studios) and in Modena at the Umbi Studios "Maison Blanche".

In 1982 New York was the place of action for the entire recording process. All the vocals of Petrus' various projects and the 1982 sessions were recorded and mixed in New York at the infamous Sigma Sound, Media Sound, Power Station and Sorcerer Sound Studios. Sigma Sound is well known for the many recordings for Philadelphia International Records, Salsoul Records and Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra. The mastering occurred at Sterling Sound, Atlantic Studios and Masterdisk in NYC. The vocals for Change’s Change Of Heart set were exceptionally recorded at Creation Audio Studio in Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis' home town Minneapolis in 1984.

The main recording engineers involved were Maurizio Biancani and the New York-based mixer Michael H. Brauer. Brauer's credits encompass a wide range of genres, and include The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Ben Folds, John Mayer, Jeff Lorber, The Kooks, Sade, Terence Trent D'Arby, Regina Belle, Bruce Springsteen, Roxette, Pet Shop Boys, Phil Collins, Madness, Evelyn King, Luther Vandross, Level 42, Aerosmith, ...

During the early Eighties American musicians cut demos for Little Macho Music at the facilities of Northcott Productions Ltd. on Broadway in NYC with engineer Matthew Noble.
Matt Noble recalled: "I was the engineer for many of the demos that were cut at Northcott from 1981-1983 with many of the Little Macho Music-associated musicians. The de facto producers for most of the songs were Timmy Allen and Kevin Robinson. It was quite an education for me. They were very influenced by Prince's songwriting and production during that period. We were working with very crude studio tools at the time...a Tascam 8 track half inch recorder with a Tascam 8 channel mixer, a few Shure SM 57 microphones and one piece of outboard gear...a stereo Soundcraftsman 12 band graphic equalizer. This was before the dawn of MIDI but most of the tracks were cut with a click track and drum parts were often done over many times. The studio didn't have any synths or drum machines but someone left an Oberheim OBX synthesizer behind that we used a lot. The level of songwriting and musicianship was extremely high in that group of people working for J.F. Petrus. Mike Campbell was mainly on board for the funky rhythm guitar parts. Bernard Davies played on quite a few of the tracks but there was at least one other drummer that they used. Jeff Bova and Steve Skinner were both on the cutting edge of synths and could also really play. The stand out guitarist was Chieli Minucci...we later cut some demos there that got him his record deal for his group "Special FX". There were some great singers in there as well, such as Lisa Fischer and James 'Crab' Robinson."
Also Kevin Robinson remembered the sessions at Northcott: "We used Northcott in those days to work on song ideas and develop a presentation for Fred, who needed to hear things as close to finished as possible because he wasn't a musician like many of us, who could image a finished product. There were no Italian musicians working with us, that was only during the first Change and B.B.&Q. Band albums. Davide and Mauro would come to NY to participate in the production of some of the albums and at times bring tracks that they had prepared. These were not collaborations, other than Americans writing lyrics for tracks that Mauro or Davide wrote and produced."

Michael H. Brauer

STUDIO MUSICIANS & STUDIO SINGERS

1982 was a very busy and productive year for the Italians who recorded five outstanding albums in New York. The Goody Music Production stable used the services of the cream of America's studio musicians, composers and lyricists.

Steady contributors at that time were Timmy Allen (bass, vocals, songwriting), Michael Campbell (guitar), Kevin Robinson (guitar, vocals, songwriting), Kashif (keyboards, synthesizers, songwriting) (see photo), Steve Robin (keyboards, synthesizers), Jeff Bova (keyboards, synthesizers), Ira Siegel (guitar), Kae Williams (keyboards, synthesizers, songwriting), Alfonso ‘Fonzi’ Thornton (vocal-arranger, songwriter), Terry Silverlight (drums) (see B/W photo), Yogi Horton (drums), Buddy Williams (drums), Bernard Davis (drums), Barry Eastmond (keyboards, synthesizers), Herb Smith (guitar, songwriting) and Hiram Bullock (guitar).

The hired musicians and backing vocalists did their jobs but had no idea on which album their work was going to end up. When they played on tracks it was usually before vocals were done, so many times they didn't know who ultimately the track would be for. They were in total darkness playing their small, but important role within certain directions by Petrus, Malavasi and Romani who always had the last word about the final result. They could be working on three different projects at once without knowing. As the songs took shape the producers began to get a sense of who it might suit best and crafted it to suit who it was being pitched to. Only the Italians saw the whole picture. It was several months later that the artists would hear their contributions when the songs finally hit the stores and dancefloors on different albums. "Not knowing what song was for what project was a pain because you never knew if you would get the credit for your work", singer Bobby Douglas reminded.

The soulful background harmonies for the Petrus & Malavasi productions were performed by a trusty crew of the finest New York session singers including Norma Jean Wright, Jocelyn Brown, Luther Vandross, Diva Gray, Robin Clark, Bobby Douglas (see photo), Gordon Grody, Tawatha Agee, Ullanda McCullough, Michelle Cobbs, Eric McClinton, Alfonso ‘Fonzi’ Thornton, Johnny Kemp and Leroy Burgess. Many of them also happened to be core background vocalists on numerous Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers productions (Chic, Sister Sledge, Diana Ross) and some achieved remarkable solo careers.
Jacques Fred Petrus & Mauro Malavasi can be considered as the Godfathers of the NY sound. Expertly crafted background vocals were one of the essential elements of the unique NY sound.

Norma Jean Wright

COMPOSERS AND LYRICISTS

First-class productions require great songs. Driving force Mauro Malavasi took the lion’s share of the composing credits. The number of disco gems he realised is amazing and encompasses all the projects he instigated together with Petrus.
Goody Music/Little Macho Music staff musician, writer and arranger Davide Romani also provided most valuable contributions as composer (Change, High Fashion, B.B.&Q. Band, Zinc, Peter Jacques Band). Other credited composers were Rudy Trevisi (Rudy, Change, B.B.&Q. Band, Zinc, High Fashion), Paolo Gianolio (Rudy, Change, Zinc), Marco Tansini (Midnight Gang, B.B.&Q. Band, The Jumpers, Silence 2, Tato, Peter Jacques Band, Gianni Riso), Celso Valli (Silence, Silence 2, Macho II, Change), Jacques Fred Petrus (Change, High Fashion, Revanche, Peter Jacques Band), Kashif (High Fashion, Zinc) (picture), Kevin Robinson (B.B.&Q. Band, High Fashion), Herb Smith (Change, Ritchie Family), Kae Williams (B.B.&Q. Band, Change), Len Boone (see photo) & Larry La Falce (Change), Chieli Minucci (High Fashion, Change), Timmy Allen (Change, B.B.&Q. Band, High Fashion) and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis (Change).

Paul A. Slade

The English lyrics were provided by talented British and American song authors such as Alan Taylor and Paul Slade. 
Taylor was an English musician (bass), songwriter, music arranger and producer, born in Halifax (UK) on 28th February 1947 (photo). He was Petrus’ solid lyricist during the 70's (Rudy, Revanche, Macho, Peter Jacques Band). Alan Taylor came to Italy with the beat band The Casuals during the '60s and was involved in countless Italian Seventies pop and disco projects like Tantra, Niky Bibesco And The Studios, Bingo, Cassandra, Barbados Climax, Chatelaine, Passengers, Paciugo, Ping Pong, The Yorkshire, Nuggets, Vasco Rossi, Bulldog, V.I.S.A. and Elizabeth. He often collaborated with Celso Valli who lived in Emilia-Romagna as he did. They worked together on Taylor's solo pop single "Song For Magdalena", released in 1977. 
Petrus' prolific ’80s lyricist was the British musician and singer/songwriter Paul A. Slade (see interview section), born in Guildford, Surrey (UK) on 27th May 1950 (Peter Jacques Band, B.B.&Q. Band, Change, High Fashion, Silence, Silence 2, Macho II). Other credited songwriters were Wayne Garfield (Change) (see photo), Frank Floyd (Peter Jacques Band, Macho, The Jumpers), Timmy Allen (Change, High Fashion), Tanyayette Willoughby (B.B.&Q. Band, Zinc, Change), Alfonso ‘Fonzi’ Thornton (Zinc, Change, High Fashion), Johnny Kemp (B.B.&Q. Band, Change) and Leroy Burgess (Change).


Robin Clark and Fonzi Thornton


THE END OF THE JACQUES FRED PETRUS ERA 

During the period 1978-1981 the Petrus & Malavasi productions charted consistently. But less successful releases in 1982 and especially 1983 showed that the hit pattern became difficult to maintain. Petrus' fortune was built on the exciting tail end of disco music but this era was rapidly melting down into the days of dance pop, a style of music which holded completely different elements from black music.

The warm and melodic sound didn't have its usual appeal in the clubs where synthpop, new wave and colder electronic music were preferred. People danced to the sounds of Thompson Twins, New Order, Captain Sensible, Soft Cell, Duran Duran, A-ha, Billy Idol, Simple Minds and Tom Tom Club.
In Europe Italo-dance productions became very popular on the dancefloor as well: Ryan Paris, Righeira, Gary Low, Gazebo, Ivan, My Mine, Steve Allen, Baltimora, etcetera.
Many disco artists and black musicians lost their focal point and were left at the mercy of the whims of pop music. This shift in the music industry influenced the quality of black popular music drastically and announced the era of pop-dominated dance music. Sale figures dropped and many musicians of Petrus’ Italian staff decided to leave as a result of an increasing economic commotion. Musicians didn't get paid anymore by Petrus who was clearly struggling the recession at his Little Macho Music company. He took the whole earnings away just for him and was less and less generous towards his production team whose enthusiasm waned accordingly. In the end none of his Italian co-workers proposed him any song material. Petrus could no more rely on the creative nerve of his Italian musicians. His well of success dried up! The only songs they carried out came from the American inside components of the various groups like Change, High Fashion or The B.B.&Q. Band, that were not able to write hits. The quality was often scarce and this trend penalized the productions always more.

In the long run it was no surprise that Malavasi didn’t want to go on with Petrus in these circumstances. He quit due to disagreements about the musical direction and above all due to the financial conflict he had with his business partner. Homesickness might also have played a part in the story, since he got married in 1982... Malavasi already decided to leave the U.S. in late 1982, preferring recording at home to New York City. In the course of 1983 Mauro finally left Little Macho Music to center on songwriting and production work for various Italian pop artists. His long-time associate Davide Romani even didn't participate in the fourth Change recording. Too worn-out by the economic debacle and the professional frictions with Petrus, he gave up his job at Little Macho Music and started a very productive career as an independent musician, arranger and producer in Italy.
Strangely enough Davide Romani never broke completely with Jacques Fred Petrus as did his friends Mauro Malavasi, Paolo Gianolio and Rudy Trevisi. Romani co-arranged the Italo-pop single "Sunlight" by M Like Moon for Petrus in 1984. The last Peter Jacques Band project again reunited Romani and Petrus in the studio in 1985. Davide Romani played an integral role as composer, arranger and musician on their album Dancing In The Street. He also delivered the song “Let’s Go Together” for the last Change record, which was actually the same song as "All Right Let's Go" that he did for the Peter Jacques Band.

Businessman Petrus stayed behind and somehow managed to revive his flagging company. In september 1983 he called up Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis to work on the next Change project. He clearly needed a fresh sound and made a smart move by teaming up with the ultra-hot American producer team. They had just scored with The S.O.S. Band’s “Just Be Good To Me” and Cheryl Lynn’s “Encore”. The cooperation resulted in an exciting Change album in 1984, applicably entitled Change Of Heart. Jam & Lewis’s “Midas touch” compensated the loss of Malavasi and Romani.

This success proved difficult to emulate on later Little Macho Music recordings though. Petrus was well aware that pop music had taken the airwaves and he attempted to reach that 'white' market. In 1984 he set up the second Silence project Silence 2 featuring Gordon Grody and dropped the dance-pop album The Beast In Me published on the French Flarenasch and the Italian Five Records and Speed Records labels. The record included amongst others the single “The Beast In Me”, the Change-ballad “Angel”, “Midnite Visitor”, a cover version of Mike Oldfield’s “Moonlight Shadow” and “So Much For Love". Once more Petrus contracted the graphic artist Greg Porto to take care of the cover design. The tracks were recorded in Bologna (Fonoprint Studios) and Modena (Umbi Studios) with again Celso Valli as the main force behind the music. Paolo Gianolio, Davide Romani and Gabriele 'Lele' Melotti collaborated too. It seemed as if the Goody Music Orchestra had resurrected but the truth was that the sessions had been recorded earlier when the team was still united. Celso Valli finished the project later on. The record however made little impression, despite some fine pop tunes and the powerful vocals of the featured American lead singer Gordon Grody.
Also during 1984 Petrus meagerly reintroduced the Macho concept on Flarenasch and Five Records. He hired Kevin Robinson (B.B.& Q. Band) and Howard King to produce a new Italo-disco version of the Malavasi song “Kalimba De Luna” for his Macho III project. The track was carried out at Sound Labs in New York with familiar names like Johnny Kemp, Vincent Henry and Steve Skinner. 

The single release "Sunlight" by M Like Moon was a further obscure Petrus co-production in 1984 reaching minor success. Still in 1984 Marco Tansini produced the Italo-disco singles Midnight Gang “Hollywood City”, Kevin Johnson "Video Night / Child Of Tomorrow" and Sherwin State Of The Nationfor Little Macho Music on Speed Records. “Hollywood City” and "Video Night / Child Of Tomorrow" were co-written by Simona Zanini and Marco Tansini. For an unknown reason Little Macho music published “Hollywood City” under a different name in France, as Zinc feat. Sherwin on Sneak Preview Records. This release was identical to the Italian Midnight Gang single though. Again in France the single State Of The Nation was released on the Sneak Preview label under the slightly different name Zinc feat. Sherwin

The Little Macho Music company shut down after the last Change album due to severe troubles with the US taxman. The decline of Petrus’ empire was irreversible. In 1985 the reanimated Peter Jacques Band and B.B.& Q. Band were housed in a new short-lived production company called Renaissance International. Fred Petrus' new publishing company was baptized Vedette International. In Italy Petrus released all his new productions on the Renaissance International record label. 

Besides Change, B.B.& Q. Band and Peter Jacques Band, the Renaissance International label also released the Italo-disco singles “Crazy Boy” by Tato, "Turn On Your Radio" by Nobel, “So Decide” by Persuader and “Sunlight” by M Like Moon (previously released on the Ariola label in 1984), all (co-)produced by Jacques Fred Petrus. Like many Italo-disco releases they sounded stereotyped and immensely synthesized. But that cheapness and simplicity was the appeal of Italo-disco records since they were a bit like punk records: a raw and exciting energy of the most banal sounds and rhythms.

Petrus appointed the experienced Luigi 'Luis' Figini as artistic director of his new Renaissance International label. Figini was together with Malavasi one of the first Italian producers to have reached success in the U.S. and the man behind the Kano hits "I'm ready” (1979) and "Dance school" (1983) as well as Dr. Togo’s soulgem “Be Free” (1983). It was an attempt to bring back the magic of the good old days but it didn’t work out. The Renaissance company couldn't fulfill its symbolic appellation.


Surprisingly, Peter Jacques Band emerged after a five year hiatus. The album cover showed four new faces, none related to the original members of the Peter Jacques Band in 1980. The vocalists were Ilto Sampaio, Betty Lami, Carin McDonald and Carmen Björnald.

Their Dancing In The Street set was recorded in Milan simultaneously with the sixth album of Change. Dancing In The Street was published first and faired better in sales and clubplay than Change’s Turn On Your Radio. Dancing In The Street was a moderate success presenting Italo-dance tunes like “Drives Me Crazy”, “This Night”, “Going Dancing Down The Street” and “Hightime”. The set also included the soul/R&B cut "All Right Let's Go" sung by Ullanda McCullough.

Ullanda’s vocal class and professionalism were to such an extent that musical director Luis Figini still recalls her performance at the Morning Studio in 1985: “She walked into the studio one day coming from New York, did the song “All Right Let’s Go” a first time to warm up her voice and the second take she did was the final, perfect version as published on the album! The recording session lasted just 20 minutes! After this impressive vocal blow she greeted everyone and went shopping in Milan...” Oddly enough this track, written by Davide Romani and Paul Slade, also appeared on the Change album as the single “Let’s Go Together” but with a different vocalist. Jacques Fred Petrus seemingly didn’t have an abundance of new material at his disposal.

Most of the tracks were composed by Jacques Fred Petrus and Davide Romani. Romani actually was the prominent musician involved. Part of the music was recorded by the members of PJB and another part was recorded by external musicians. Change performed the backing vocals together with lyricist Paul Slade. Song author Slade also happened to be a good singer. He even sang lead on 4 of the published songs, uncredited and unrewarded! Paul Slade was supposed to coach the singers in the studio in Italy but found out only recently that his vocal parts were kept for the final cut of the album! Again a glimpse of Fred Petrus' dark side. PJB member Carmen Björnald about Petrus in June 2011: "If you really want my personal opinion... he was definitly a genious in his way of working but the human part of him... loyalty, honesty and passion was not included in his qualities. I prefer simple people with more space for humanity!"


Petrus’ last projects for Change and Peter Jacques Band did rather poor on the charts in 1985. His mid-80s style of music only vaguely echoed R&B. The fresh, soulful vibe that once blessed his productions had made way for plastic consumer pop blended with a touch of Italo-disco.
Jacques Fred Petrus’ music business regained some of its original musical glow with the release of the 4th B.B.& Q. Band project in 1985. Genie offered a collection of strong and varied R&B songs, beautifully produced and arranged in an urban synth-funk mode. 

But unfortunately this modest revival was of a brief duration as Petrus was forced to put his music biz activities on hold in 1986. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US federal government accused the Little Macho Music company of tax evasion and Petrus had to go on the run. The Renaissance International company and label collapsed subsequently. A little later Fred Petrus was fatally shot dead at home in Guadeloupe. 

Peter Jacques Band sample appears on:

* Turbofunk: “Gotta Move” (sample: Going Dancing Down The Street), 12”, 541/N.E.W.S., 2007.


The legendary Stone Castle Studios aka Morning Studios in Carimate Castle, Milan


THE DEATH OF JACQUES FRED PETRUS 

In 1986 Jacques Fred Petrus faced urgent problems in the US. A moratorium on all Little Macho Music activities in the States came to a screeching halt upon Petrus' indictment on tax evasion by the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service. After fleeing the United States, Petrus returned to his native country Guadeloupe in the French West Indies where he concentrated on running his succesful nightclub. However, this would ultimately be his final destination. The disco producer would never reconnect with the music business again. 

Sadly, he was murdered in Guadeloupe under mysterious circumstances in the Spring of 1987. Fred Petrus was only 39 years old. Fact is that quite a few people in the music industry weren't surprised at this bad ending. More than once Petrus had been portrayed as an unscrupulous businessman. A hardliner, notorious for screwing his artists. He owed a lot of people money. Some hated him so much that they even travelled to Guadeloupe to make sure he was dead. Had Petrus made too many enemies? 
For a long time plenty of wild rumors circulated concerning his assasination, the Mafia-connection being one of them. Petrus reputedly launched his empire with money from the Italian Mafia. And eventually he may have become the victim of a deadly mob hit. Gossip or plausible? It's generally known that the Italian Mafia invested lots of money in the music industry during the golden age of Disco. So it's likely that Fred Petrus was connected to the underworld in some way. He was known for dealing with shady people anyhow.
A reliable source however, revealed that Petrus’ gruesome fate apparently had a more banal but not less tragic origin. According to Claude Petrus, a cousin of Jacques Fred Petrus, he was killed at his residence in the heights of Saint-Felix, Le Gosier on the Island of Guadeloupe by some lunatic. His younger brother Alex did the lugubrious discovery on June 8th 1987. The dead body of Petrus was found lying on the bed, shot in the head several times. 




Jacques Fred Petrus, international passport

The troubles started in the tourist area of the Marina Bas-du-Fort (just 2 miles east of Pointe-à-Pitre) in Le Gosier which is the main seaside resort of Guadeloupe and the heart of the island's night life. Close to the piers of the yacht marina Jacques Fred Petrus owned the popular nightclub L'Elysée Matignon frequented by the jetset of the island. The disco comprised three different rooms: Disco & Soul, Guadeloupean & Caribbean vibes (zouk, soca, calypso, salsa, reggae) and Pop & Country. For an unknown reason Fred Petrus seriously clashed with a Swiss club goer at his disco on a Sunday night in June 1987 and kicked the man out violently. The tourist returned to Fred's club later that night and followed Fred Petrus when he headed back home to Saint-Felix. Subsequently the madman slipped into Fred's villa and coldbloodedly shot the sleeping producer to death. Petrus didn’t get the slightest chance to grab a weapon. The gunman left Guadeloupe the following day but was caught by the French police a few months later and confessed the crime. 

The police excluded the drugs hypothesis. There also seemed to be no Mafia involvement at all. It was just a rumor based on his personality and his Italian background. Surely a tragic end for a remarkable, yet controversial music business figure who will live on in the delightful music he created with producer Malavasi and his collaborators.





Marina Bas-Du-Fort (Le Gosier, Guadeloupe): restaurants, jazz bars, nightclubs and cafés


Quartier Grand-Camp, Abymes: where Petrus had his Little Macho Music office in Guadeloupe and domicile address



Today the Jacques Fred Petrus Estate is owned by Marthe Petrus, the mother of Jacques Fred Petrus who's still living in Saint-Anne on the island of Guadeloupe, aged 92.
The estate is administered by a loyal business connection of the late Fred Petrus, entertainment attorney Stephen L. Kopitko (1780 Broadway, Suite 805, New York, NY 10019 - VibeLaw@aol.com).
Publishing rights can also be licensed from Clock Music S.r.l. in Bologna (Italy) owned by Mauro Malavasi (ClockMusic@tin.it).

The early to the mid eighties was a prolific era for black dance music. A Period that has yet to be surpassed in terms of sheer quality, excitement and innovation. Despite - or perhaps because of - the assembly-line nature of Petrus' catalog, he made some of the best club tracks during that strange period in black music between disco's effective demise and the rise of hip hop, quiet storm and New Jack. High Fashion's "Feelin' Lucky Lately" pulses with spirited, upbeat rhythms; The B.B.&Q. Band's "Genie" may be the best song Loose Ends never made. From Change's "Paradise" to Zinc's "Streetlevel", this is some of the most entertaining boogie-funk of its day.
Petrus & Malavasi surely deserve their spot in the gallery of brilliant producers who contributed to the eminent musical output of that time. They left a rich legacy of incendiary dance material, exceeding disco triviality and unlikely to be forgotten by those who have the groove in the heart.


Mauro Malavasi



THE POST-PETRUS ERA

Meanwhile back in Italy Mauro Malavasi (alias Ginko) embarked on a successful career as songwriter and producer outside the Petrus sphere. Operating from his Clock Studio and Clock Music company in Bologna, he produced, composed and arranged for many, mostly Italian pop acts.

Malavasi and the famous Italian singer Lucio Dalla ran across each other in New York in 1983 and started a long collaboration (albums: Viaggi Organizzati, 1984; Fortunate Pilgrim, 1988; Dalla & Morandi, 1988; Cambio, 1990; Amen, 1992; Canzoni, 1996).
Other popular Italian artists he produced were Luca Carboni, Gianni Morandi, Biagio Antonacci, My Mine (album Stone, 1985 incl. “Cupid Girl”), Gianna Nannini, Steve Allen (“Letter From My Heart”, 1984), Bracco Di Graci, Ossigenata, Tony Esposito ("Kalimba De Luna", "Simba De Ammon", 1984; "Papa Chico", 1985; “Sinuè (Latin Tamborder)”, 1987), Loredana Berté, Aqua, Mango (“Bella D’Estate”, 1987) and Gerardina Trovato.
Furthermore he worked with the Latin pop artist Emmanuel, soulsinger Ava Cherry (“Gimme, Gimme”, 1993; album Spend The Night incl. “You Are”, 1997), Lisa, Hayley Westenra, Hélène Ségara, Josh Groban, Iskra, Elisa, Karine Carusi and even Luciano Pavarotti.

In 1982 Malavasi used the pseudonym Ginko for the first Cube single "Two Heads Are Better Than One". He also wrote My Mine's first single “Hypnotic Tango” in 1983 under the name Ginko. It's possible that he didn't want Jacques Fred Petrus to know that he was writing songs for Italian side projects on his own account. At that time he was supposed to work exclusively for Little Macho Music.

He regularly continued teaming up with his former Little Macho Music companions Davide Romani, Celso Valli, Paolo Gianolio and Rudy Trevisi. One of the projects that Malavasi, Romani and Trevisi collaborated on in 1983 was Ron’s successful Calypso album, including the song “Sogno” (later a hit for Andrea Bocelli). Producer Malavasi even hired the NYC top session musician Terry Silverlight to play the drum parts on that record. 
Mauro Malavasi and Davide Romani again joined forces for the Italo-disco single “Beat The Clock” by Page 2 in 1983. A year earlier Malavasi and Rudy Trevisi launched pop act Cube to create a frame for their international musical ambitions. This synth-pop group included Rudy Trevisi, Serse May and the British singer Paul Griffiths and reached European success with the Italo-disco album Can Can In The Garden, released in 1983 (incl. “Prince Of The Moment”, "Concert Boy", "Two Heads Are Better Than One").
In 1984 Fonoprint recording engineer Maurizio Biancani produced the album La Faccia Delle Donna for pop group Stadio, featuring Romani, Trevisi and Malavasi as contributing session players.

The French songstress and glamour diva Dalida and the legendary disco group Boney M covered his co-written song “Kalimba De Luna” in 1984. Even Jacques Fred Petrus couldn’t resist fabricating an Italo-disco version of this song for his Macho III concept.


An impressive number of Mauro Malavasi-productions

Malavasi has achieved remarkable success as a producer, arranger, conductor and songwriter for the international Italian star Andrea Bocelli (albums: Bocelli, 1995; Romanza, 1997; Sogno, 1999; Per Amore, 2000 and Andrea, 2004) (see photo). This collaboration brought Malavasi back to his original roots of classic music that he studied at the conservatory of Bologna in the mid ’70s.
Malavasi has also composed several film and TV scores: The Rogues, 1988; Mamma Lucia, 1988; The Sparrow’s Fluttering, 1988; The Fortunate Pilgrim, 1988; Pummarò, 1990; Tuscan Skies, 2001 and Providence, 2002.

During his career he has received 10 Grammy Awards, several ASCAP awards and the ‘David di Donatello’ movie award. On July 4th 2008 Mauro Malavasi has been rewarded with the prestigious ‘International Premio Pico della Mirandola’ life achievement award in his home town of Mirandola for his exceptional music career. It’s estimated that his music productions have sold over 100 million of records all over the world. He’s been honoured for his role in Andrea Bocelli’s Romanza album that sold 20 million copies worldwide and also for his unremitting support of youth music education in Italy.


Mauro Malavasi & Davide Romani

Davide Romani, Celso Valli, Marco Tansini, Paolo Gianolio and Rudy Trevisi are still active on the Italian music scene today. The former co-workers have regularly met in studios since, to work on common projects for Italian groups and artists.


Rudy Trevisi (saxophone, flute, clarinet, percussion, keyboards) (see photo left) plays the clarinet in a symphonic orchestra and has collaborated regularly with Mauro Malavasi on Andrea Bocelli projects. He has also done session work for Eros Ramazzotti, Black Box, Cube, N.O.I.A., Ana Belén, Miguel Bosé, Vasco Rossi, Jean Rich, Gaznevada, Steve Rogers Band, Bravo-St, Lonnie Gordon, Elisa, Biagio Antonacci, Miguel Bosé, Luca Carboni and Gerardina Trovato.

At the time of his collaborations with Jacques Fred Petrus, keyboardist and composer Celso Valli (see photo) was already a prolific producer/arranger in his own right and instigated many Italian disco acts in the late seventies and early eighties like Azoto, Five Sinners, Lazer, Tantra, Elite, Passengers, Lucrethia, Adal-Scandy Super Band, Cassandra, Lucrethia & The Azoto 14,008, V.I.S.A., Casanova, Nuggets and Neon. As the American disco market crashed and the Italo-disco sound was becoming more prevalent in Europe, Valli re-surfaced in the mid ‘80s on Raf's classic “Self Control”, Atelier Folie's “Fashion” and also Peter Richard's “Walking In The Neon”. Celso Valli often used the Goody Music musicians for his various projects. Still nowadays he’s a prominent producer in Italy and has worked with Andrea Bocelli, Meccano, Eros Ramazzotti, Vasco Rossi, Future State, Canton, Sandy Marton, Matia Bazar, Enzo Janacci, Lijao, Etnika, Blue Gas, Tipinifini, Taffy, Nicolas, F.R. David, Afrika System, Filippa Giordano, Laura Pausini, Miguel Bosé, Mango, Filippa Giordano, Claudio Baglioni, Ciao Fellini, Giorgia and Gerardina Trovato.

Celso Valli

Marco Tansini (guitar, keyboards, clarinet) is a succesful composer and arranger. He owns three recording studios in Codogno (Milan) and has produced, arranged and/or written for Moonshine, Valerie Dore, Sherwin, Monia, Diana Barton, Ivan Cattaneo, Giak, Splashdance, Kevin Johnson, Ago, Phil Sun, Hemyl, Sesto Senso, Lou Sern, Antonella, Lipstick, Shanatoa and Etta Scollo among others.

Paolo Gianolio

Paolo Gianolio (guitar, bass guitar) has worked as an arranger, songwriter and musician for Vivien Vee (album With Vivien Vee, 1983), Mina, Andrea Bocelli, Ricchi E Poveri, Eros Ramazzotti, Filippa Giordano, Giorgia Morandi, Fiorella Monnoia, Claudio Baglioni, Vasco Rossi, Ciao Fellini, Jean Rich, Fun Fun, Patty Johnson, Angela Paris, Meccano, Kam Joyce, Blue, Morandi, Concato, Vanoni, Miguel Bosé, Anna Oxa, Afrika System, Laura Pausini, Renato Zero, Yas Titi Ya, Barbara York, Tantra, Kasso, Andrea Bocelli and many others.

Davide Romani (bass guitar, keyboards) owns a recording facility (White Recording Studio) in Ferrara and has produced, arranged or played for artists like Amii Stewart, Island And Holiday, Flowchart, Page 2, Charly B., Rita, M Like Moon, Dee-Fecto, Thango, Sabrina, Balansando, Laser, Mike Francis (album Flashes Of Life, 1988), Adriano Celentano, Stadio, Edoardo Bennato, Barbara York, Angela Paris, Afrika System, Patty Johnson, Lucia, Matisse, Rendez-Vous, Fun Fun, Ale, Meccano, Jean Rich, Kam Joyce, Tantra, Blue, Aida, Ricchi E Poveri, Manero, Kono, Jennifer Flou, Blue, Vasco Rossi, Biba, Enrico Boccadoro and Enzo Avitabile.



Mauro Malavasi having a break at Fonoprint Studios


Mauro Malavasi


Mauro Malavasi


Mauro Malavasi



Mauro Malavasi


DISCOGRAPHY - GOODY MUSIC / LITTLE MACHO MUSIC / RENAISSANCE INTERNATIONAL 

- A.N.T.I. Rock: single “D.I.S.C.O.”, Goody Music, 1980.
- B.B.& Q. Band, The: LP/CD The Brooklyn, Bronx & Queens Band, EMI-Capitol, 1981 singles: “On The Beat”, “Starlette”, “Time For Love”, "Mistakes".
- B.B.& Q. Band, The: LP/CD All Night Long, EMI-Capitol, 1982 singles: “Imagination”, “All Night Long (She’s Got The Moves I Like)”.
- B.B.& Q. Band, The: LP/CD Six Million Times, EMI-Capitol, 1983 singles: “Keep It Hot”, “She’s A Woman”.
- B.B.& Q. Band, The: LP/CD Genie, Cooltempo/Zyx/Mega/Break, 1985 / Elektra, 1986 singles: “Genie”, “Dreamer”, “On The Shelf”, “Riccochet”, "Minutes Away", "Main Attraction".
- B.B.& Q. Band, The: LP/CD The Best Of B.B.&Q. Band, Italo Heat, 1988.
- B.B.& Q. Band, The: CD Final Collection, Fonte, 2008.
- B.B.& Q. Band, The: CD Greatest Hits & Essential Tracks, Fonte, 2009.
- Caprice: LP Russia, Goody Music, 1980. ** singles: "Russia", "Stay Tonight".
- Carlo Lena: single “Italia”, Goody Music, 1980.
- Change: LP/CD The Glow Of Love, Goody Music/RFC-Warner Bros., 1980 singles: “A Lover’s Holiday”, “The Glow Of Love”, “Searching”, "Angel In My Pocket".
- Change: LP/CD Miracles, Goody Music/RFC-Atlantic, 1981 singles: “Paradise”, “Hold Tight”, “Miracles”, "Stop For Love", "Heaven Of My Life".
- Change: LP/CD Sharing Your Love, Memory/RFC-Atlantic, 1982 singles: “The Very Best In You”, “Hard Times (It’s Gonna Be Alright)”, “Oh What A Night”, “Keep On It”, "Sharing Your Love".
- Change: LP/CD This Is Your Time, Memory/RFC-Atlantic, 1983 singles: “Got To Get Up”, “This Is Your Time”, “Don’t Wait Another Night”, “Magical Night”.
- Change: LP/CD Change Of Heart, Five/RFC-Atlantic, 1984 singles: “Change Of Heart”, “You Are My Melody”, "Say You Love Me Again", “It Burns Me Up”.
- Change: LP Greatest Hits, Five, 1984.
- Change: LP Greatest Hits, Renaissance International, 1985.
- Change: LP/CD Turn On Your Radio, RFC-Atlantic, 1985 singles: “Let’s Go Together”, “Oh What A Feeling”, “Mutual Attraction”, "Examination", "Turn On Your Radio".
- Change: CD The Very Best Of Change, Rhino-Atlantic, 1998.
- Change: 2CD The Best Of Change, Warner Music, 2003.
- Change: single “You Miss My Love”, Yanis-Sony, 2004. (unofficial release)
- Change: 2CD The Final Collection, Fonte, 2007.
- Change: 2CD Greatest Hits & Essential Tracks, Fonte, 2009.
- Change: CD Change Your Mind, One Trybal-Fonte, 1990/2010.
- Elvin Shaad: LP Live For Love, Goody Music, 1978 - single: “Live For Love”. **
- Goody Music Orchestra, The: LP Hits Of The World Vol. 1 - Best Of Goody, Goody Music, 1980.
- High Fashion: LP/CD Feelin’ Lucky, EMI-Capitol, 1982 singles: “Feelin’ Lucky Lately”, "You're The Winner", “Hold On”.
- High Fashion: LP/CD Make Up Your Mind, EMI-Capitol, 1983 single: “Break Up”, "Make Up Your Mind". - Gianni Riso: single “Disco Shy”, Goody Music, 1980.
- Jumpers, The: single “Coke And Roll / Rock And Roll Boogie”, Avangarde, 1980.
- Kevin Johnson: single "Video Night / Child Of Tomorrow" Speed/Sneak Preview, 1984.
- M Like Moon: single “Sunlight”, Flarenasch/Ariola, 1984 / Renaissance International, 1985.
- Macho: LP/CD I’m A Man, Goody Music/Prelude, 1978 singles: “I’m A Man”, “Hear Me Calling”.
- Macho (II): LP/CD Roll, Goody Music, 1980 singles: “Roll”, “Mothers Love”, "Not Tonight".
- Macho III: single “Kalimba De Luna”, Flarenasch/Five, 1984.
- Midnight Gang: LP Love Is Magic, Goody Music, 1979 singles: “Love Is Magic”, “Midnight Game”.
- Midnight Gang: single "Hollywood City", Speed, 1984.
- Nobel: single “Turn On Your Radio”, Renaissance, 1985.
- Peter Jacques Band: LP/CD Fire Night Dance, Goody Music/Prelude, 1979 singles: “Walking On Music”, “Fire Night Dance”, “Devil’s Run”, “Fly With The Wind”.
- Peter Jacques Band: LP/CD Welcome Back, Goody Music, 1980 singles: “Is It It”, “Counting On Love (One-Two-Three)”, “The Louder”, “Mighty Fine”.
- Peter Jacques Band: LP/CD Dancing In The Street, Renaissance International/Polydor, 1985 singles: “Going Dancin’ Down The Street”, “Mexico”, “Drive Me Crazy”, "This Night".
- Peter Jacques Band: CD The Very Best Of Peter Jacques Band, Fonte, 2006.
- Peter Jacques Band: CD Greatest Hits & Essential Tracks, Fonte, 2009.
- Persuader: single "So Decide", Renaissance International, 1985.
- Random: single "Rondo'm", Goody Music, 1978. **
- Revanche: LP/CD Music Man, Goody Music/Atlantic, 1979 singles: “Music Man”, “Revenge”, “You Get High In N.Y.C.”, “1979 It’s Dancing Time”.
- Ritchie Family, The: LP/CD I’ll Do My Best, RCA, 1982 singles: “I’ll Do My Best (For You Baby)", “Walk With Me”, “Alright On The Night”.
- Rudy: LP/CD Just Take My Body, Goody Music/Polydor, 1979 singles: “White Room”, “Just Take My Body”, “Thank You Baby”. 
- Sherwin: single “State Of The Nation”, Speed, 1984. 
- Silence: LP Goodtime Baby, Memory, 1982 - singles: “Midnight Visitors”, “No Way”.
- Silence 2: LP The Beast In Me, Flarenasch/Five Record, 1984
- Silvio: single "Adesso", Goody Music, 1978. ** single: ”The Beast In Me”.
- Tato: single "Crazy Boy", Renaissance International, 1985.
- Zinc: LP/CD Street Level, Memory/Jive, 1982 singles: “Street Level”, “Punkulation”, "Amazon", "I'll Never Stop". 
- Zinc: single “I’m Livin' A Life Of Love”, Jive, 1983. 
- Zinc feat. Sherwin: single “State Of The Nation”, Sneak Preview, 1984. 
- Zinc feat. Sherwin: single "Hollywood City", Sneak Preview, 1984. 

* Producer Mauro Malavasi does no longer collaborate on the releases from 1984 onwards.
** Published by Goody Music Production but no musicians of the Goody Music Orchestra involved.

Little Macho Music compilations on CD:

- 2CD Disco Connection - The Great Disco '70/'80, Fonte, 2004.
- 2CD Goody Music - Golden Age - Best Of Vol. 1, Goody Music Production-Antibemusic, 2005.
- 5CD BOX Album Collection - Peter Jacques Band / Macho / Revanche / Rudy, Fonte, 2005.
- 5CD BOX Album Collection - Change, Fonte, 2005.
- 5CD BOX Album Collection - B.B.&Q. Band / High Fashion, Fonte, 2005.
- 5CD BOX Album Collection - The Armed Gang / Firefly / Flowchart / Zinc, Fonte, 2005.


Singer Gianni Morandi & Mauro Malavasi

SIMILAR ARTISTS - SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY

The list below shows a selective discography of albums, album tracks and (album) singles that were distinctly influenced by, or built on the legacy of Jacques Fred Petrus & Mauro Malavasi. It’s no coincidence that several productions were Italian. The achievements of Goody Music Production clearly inspired other Italian producers to add soul and funk to their dance music. Read more about them in the next chapter about Italian disco-funk and boogie.

The Flowchart production deserves special attention because this Bolognan concept was very similar to the productions of Little Macho Music. Flowchart was an obscure Italian studio project, influenced by the international success of Italian groups like Change and High Fashion that were instigated by J.F. Petrus and Mauro Malavasi.
Their album The New Harlem Funk was released in 1983 on the small Italian label Maximus Records. After hearing "Ask The Boss", "R.U. Single" and "I Saw Him Make Eyes Atchoo" many funk lovers thought the production was made by the team of Jacques Fred Petrus and Mauro Malavasi. But it was executively produced by Raffaele Ottavio and Mario "Don Giorda" Giordani. All the tracks were composed and arranged by keyboardist Flow Giorda, keyboardist Fio Zanotti and guitar player Romano Trevisani. The well-known black American singer and arranger Fonzi Thornton was hired to write the lyrics.
Romano Trevisani already made a slight impact on the disco scene in 1979 and 1980 with the albums Bravo by Bravo (singles "Soul Sacrifice" and "Touch Me Now") and Mesa by Mesa, both on Chic records. In 1982 Zanotti and Trevisani teamed up a first time to write and produce the Game album Gotta Take Your Love, including the popular boogie single "Gotta Take Your Love". 
For the Flowchart project the producers got bass player Davide Romani and Malavasi, both key members of Change, to play sessions on the album. However, due to contractual obligations, Romani performed under the pseudonym of Dav. Mandingos while Malavasi wasn't credited at all, but indeed playing keyboards on the Orchestra Version-mix of the single "Ask The Boss". This instrumental version was mixed by Mauro Malavasi at the Fonoprint studios in Bologna. Maurizio Biancani was the sound engineer.
Even more mystery surrounded the four credited NYC session singers. Names on the cover like Micael Merfi, Dany Jor, Mary Dan and Ullaw Jo more than suggest they were pseudonyms as well. Singer Fonzi Thornton - also a backing singer with Change - was the author of all the songs and may as well be one of the male singers. It is thought that Ullaw Jo is Ullanda McCullough, a busy N.Y. session singer. Micael Merfi was another familiar name and an alias for The System-singer Mic Murphy, who worked at Fred Petrus' office in NYC. Murphy even sang backgrounds and played guitar on the first Change album! The vocals were taped in NYC and the music was recorded at the Maison Blanche-Umbi Studio in Modena and the Fonoprint Studios in Bologna (sessions on second release) where also Change used to record. The percussionist involved was Lele Melotti, yet another musician linked with Little Macho Music.
The single "Ask the Boss", a delicious copycat of the Malavasi sound, created a certain fuss but the record company was unable to press sufficient copies of the album which quickly became a highly sought after item.
Curiously, the Italian wine farmer Giacobazzi contacted the producers and offered them to pay for a re-issue of the album, as a promotional tool for his wine business. His conditions were that his son got to sing lead on a new song that should become the album's title track. Hence, the album was re-released in 1983 on the City Record label as A Little Love A Little Wine. New cover artwork referred to the Giacobazzi wine company in Modena. In an attempt to increase the record's commercial potential, an exciting instrumental remix by Mauro Malavasi of "Ask The Boss" was added. Unfortunately it didn't improve sales, and the new LP was just as scarce as the first.
In 2005, the first pressing received a CD re-issue on the Italian Fonte label as part of a 5CD box of rare Italian funk albums. Meanwhile, also the second version A Little Love A Little Wine came out on the Dutch label PTG Records.

* Advance: single “Take Me To The Top” (Energy, 1983).
* Alec Mansion: single “Trop Triste” (Warner Bros., 1982).
* Baiser: single “Summer Breeze” (No Parking, 1983).
* Curtis Hairston: LP/CD Curtis Hairston (Atlantic, 1986) - track: “The Morning After”.
* Dayton: LP/CD Hot Fun (Liberty-Capitol, 1982) - track “Meet The Man”.
* Delia Renee: single “You’re Gonna Want Me Back” (Airwave, 1981).
* Elusion feat. Limon Wilson: LP/CD Show And Tell (Cotillion, 1982) - single “Lay Back In The Groove”.
* Flowchart: LP/CD The New Harlem Funk (Maximus, 1983) - single: “Ask The Boss”.
* Flowchart: LP/CD A Little Love A Little Wine (City, 1983) - single: “Ask The Boss”.
* Game: LP Gotta Take Your Love (Maximus, 1982) - single: “Gotta Take Your Love”, "Never Get Enough".
* Gino Soccio: LP/CD Outline (RFC-Warner Bros., 1979) - singles: “Dancer”, “The Visitors”.
* Gino Soccio: LP/CD Closer (RFC-Atlantic, 1981) - singles: “Try It Out”, “Hold Tight”.
* Jimmy Ross: LP/CD First True Love Affair (Full Time, 1981) - track: "My Life".
* Kano: LP New York Cake (Full Time, 1981) - single: “Can’t Hold Back”.
* Kano: LP Another Life (Full Time, 1983) - single: “Dance School”.
* Kasso: LP Kasso (Banana, 1981) - single: “Walkman”.
* Kasso: LP Kasso 2 (F-1 Team, 1984) - single: “Dig It”.
* Lenny White: LP/CD Attitude (Elektra, 1983) - tracks: “Fascination”, “My Turn To Love You”.
* Leroy Burgess: single “Heartbreaker” (Salsoul, 1983).
* Luther Vandross: LP/CD Never Too Much (Epic, 1981) - single: “Never Too Much”.
* Luther Vandross: LP/CD Forever, For Always, For Love (Epic, 1982) - track: “Better Love”.
* Orlando Johnson: LP/CD Turn The Music On (Zig Zag, 1983) - track: "Can't Break Loose".
* Selection: single “Madly” (Full Time, 1980).
* Serge Ponsar: LP Back To The Light (Warner Bros., 1983) - single: “Out In The Night”.
* Vivien Vee: LP With Vivien Vee (Banana, 1983) - singles: “Destiny”, “Wanna Feel”



Mauro Malavasi receiving the Premio Pico della Mirandola Award in 2008


ITALIAN DISCO-FUNK & BOOGIE - SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY

During the early '80s Italian top deejays like Claudio Cecchetto, Paul & Pietro Micioni, Leonardo Re Cecconi and Alvaro Ugolini moved on to the music business just like Fred Petrus had done earlier. Whether they cloned the style of pioneer Malavasi or not, Italian musicians succeeded in making a typical Italian funk sound that could easily stand the test with funky U.S. productions. They frequently made up American-sounding names to lend credibility to their productions. The artists listed in the following discography all delivered some heavy Italian boogie-funk during the early eighties (notice that some names already occured in the discography above).
Successful Italo-funk producers were: Claudio Simonetti & Giancarlo Meo (Vivien Vee, Easy Going, Capricorn, Kasso), Giancarlo Meo (Barbara York, Fascination), Celso Valli (Tantra, Azoto, Passengers), Stefano Pulga & Luciano Ninzatti (Kano, Jimmy Ross), Tiziano Mazzilli (J.M.T. Band, Jimmy Ross, Vin-Zee), Laurent Van Meerhaeghe (J.M.T. Band , Jimmy Ross, Vin-Zee), Dario Raimondi & Alvaro Ugolini (Advance), Claudio Donato (Selection, Tom Hooker, Jago, Kano, Rainbow Team, Firefly, Trance, Band Of Jocks, Electric Mind, Stephany, George Aaron), Franco Donato (Selection, Orlando Johnson), A. Candelora (Electric Mind), Fio Zanotti (Marzio, Game, Flowchart, Harry Valentino), Claudio Giusti (Metropole, Cristal White), Romano Trevisani (Marzio, Game, Mesa, Bravo, Flowchart, Cruisin' Gang, Harry Valentino), Luigi 'Luis' Figini (Dr. Togo, Kano), Leonardo Re Cecconi (Dr. Togo, Koxo), Serse May (Bravo, Mesa), Michele Violante (Korja, Rainbow Team, Jago, Ago), Kynsha (Korja, Ago, Jago), Al Festa (Metropole, Dr. Jerky & Mrs. Hives), Geoff Bastow (KID), R. Cucinotta (Boeing), Maurice Cavalieri (Evo, Rainbow Team, Firefly, Nexus, Ago, Korja), Maurizio "Sangy" Sangineto (Firefly, The Armed Gang, The Creatures, The Passengers), Paul Micioni (Mr. Lover, Mike Francis, Amii Stewart, Gary Low), Peter Micioni (Mr. Lover, Mike Francis, Gary Low), Tony Carrasco (The Gong's Gang), Matteo Bonsanto (Kano) and Victorio Pezzola (Asso).
The tasteful Italian R&B-disco or boogie not only appealed to the European dance public but also seduced the American dancefloors. Many Italian disco artists like Vin-Zee, Jimmy Ross, Kano and Firefly reached high positions on the U.S. Billboard Disco/Dance Charts and the Billboard R&B Charts.
The artists and producers involved in this thriving and vibrant Italian music scene were like one great family. Illustrative for this Italian funk in-crowd is perhaps the figure of Luigi 'Luis' Figini. He produced Dr. Togo’s soulgem “Be Free” and enrolled Kano-singer Glen White as Dr. Togo’s lead vocalist in 1983. Figini also produced Kano and participated in projects of Peter Jacques Band, Change and B.B.&Q. Band in 1985. Luigi Figini is a close friend of Mauro Malavasi too. Paolo Gianolio conducted and mixed the Vivien Vee disco album With Vivien Vee in 1983, on the sleeves of which both Kano-singer Glen White and Davide Romani get a special thanks. Davide Romani played bass guitar on Flowchart’s rare New Harlem Funk / A Little Love A Little Wine album under the pseudonym of Dav. Mandingos. On Flowchart's single "Ask The Boss" we can even hear Mauro Malavasi on keyboards, uncredited, because just like Davide Romani he had signed exclusively with the production company of Fred Petrus. The Italian boogie-funk scene was one great family indeed! In 1983 George Mikulski of the German label ZYX launched the term Italo-disco to label Italian dance music in general.


Producers Peter Micioni, Davide Romani, Paul Micioni and unknown at recording studio in Rimini


* Advance: single “Take Me To The Top” (Energy, 1983).
* Ago: LP/CD For You (Full Time, 1982) - singles: “For You”, “Trying Over”, “You Make Me Do It”.
* Armed Gang: single “All I Want” (Chaz Ro, 1982)
* Armed Gang: single “Love Shot” (Musix, 1983).
* Armed Gang: single “Everybody Celebrate” (Sun & Sea, 1984).
* Asso: single “Don’t Stop” (Ace, 1983).
* Azoto: LP/CD Disco Fizz (Modulation, 1980) - single: "San Salvador".
* Billy Jean: single "I Need You" (DR, 1983).
* Boeing: single “Dance On The Beat” (Full Time, 1982).
* Bravo: LP Bravo (Chic Record, 1980).
* Cela: single “I'm In Love” (Derby, 1980).
* City Group’s Band: single “Our Time” (Flop, 1981).
* Cristal White: single “Leave Together” (Spice 7, 1982).
* Dr. Jerky & Mrs. Hives: single “Higher!” (Monkey Music, 1983).
* Dr. Togo: single “Be Free” (Derby, 1982).
* Electric Mind: single “Summing Up” (Full Time, 1982).
* Electric Mind: singles “Can We Go”, “Zwei” (Full Time, 1983).
* Evo: single "Din-Don" (C&M, 1983).
* Fascination: single “Out To Get You” (Banana, 1983).
* Firefly: LP/CD Firefly (Mr. Disc, 1980) - single: “Love And Friendship”.
* Firefly: LP/CD My Desire (Mr. Disc, 1981) - singles: “Love (Is Gonna Be On Your Side)”, “My Desire”, “You Can Lead Me”.
* Firefly: LP 3 (Mr. Disc, 1982) - single: “I Just Want To Be Your Lover”.
* Firefly: LP Double Personality (Mr. Disc, 1984) - single: “Stay (No Time)”.
* Flowchart: LP/CD The New Harlem Funk (Maximus, 1983) - single: “Ask The Boss”.
* Flowchart: LP/CD A Little Love A Little Wine (City, 1983) - single: “Ask The Boss”.
* Game: LP Gotta Take Your Love (Maximus, 1982) - singles: “Gotta Take Your Love”, "Never Get Enough".
* George Aaron: single "Silly Reason" (Full Time, 1985)
* Gong's Gang: single “Gimme Your Love” (Phoenix Records, 1983).
* Herbie: single "You Don't Love Me" (Renegades Of Planet Earth, 1983).
* Jago: single "I'm Going To Go" (Full Time, 1983)
* James Otis White: single “Baby Come On” (Musix, 1983).
* J.M.T. Band: single “Just Your Love” (Spice 7/Full Time, 1981).
* Jimmy Ross: LP/CD First True Love Affair (Spice 7/Full Time, 1981) - singles: “First True Love Affair”, “Fall Into A Trance”.
* Joe Coleman: single “Get It Off The Ground” (F1 Team, 1982).
* Joe Coleman: single “Test Drive” (F1 Team, 1982).
* Kano: LP Kano (Full Time, 1980) - singles: “It’s A War”, “Holly Dolly”, “I’m Ready”.
* Kano: LP/CD New York Cake (Full Time, 1981) - singles: “Can’t Hold Back”, "Baby Not Tonight", "Don't Try To Stop Me", "Round And Round".
* Kano: LP Another Life (Full Time, 1983) - singles: “I Need Love”, “Dance School”, “Another Life”.
* Kano: LP The Best Of Kano (Full Time, 1983) - single: “Queen Of Witches”.
* Kasso: LP Kasso (Banana, 1981) - single: “Walkman”.
* Kasso: LP Kasso 2 (F-1 Team, 1984) - single: “Dig It”.
* Kenny Claiborne And The Armed Gang: LP/CD The Armed Gang (Musix, 1982) - single: “Are You Ready”.
* KID: LP Don’t Stop (Ariola, 1981).
* KID: LP/CD Fine Time Tonight (Baby Records, 1982).
* Korja: single “My Mind” (Flop, 1981).
* Koxo: single “Step By Step” (Sugar Music, 1982).
* Matakena: single "Nuts On Me / Aphrodisiac" (Matakena, 1983).
* Maurice McGee: single "Do I Do" (Full Time, 1983).
* Mesa: LP Mesa (Chic Record, 1980).
* Metropole: single “Miss Manhattan” (Derby, 1981).
* Michael Baker: single "Don't You Want My Lovin'" (Premo, 1984).
* Mike Francis: LP Let’s Not Talk About It (Concorde, 1984) - singles: “Cover Girl”, “Let’s Not Talk About It”.
* Mr. Lover: single "Run For Cover" (Best, 1982).
* Nat Bush: single "Taste Of Love Again" (S.P.Q.R., 1983)
* Nexus: single "Stand Up" (Mr. Disc Organization, 1983).
* Orlando Johnson & Trance: LP/CD Turn The Music On (Full Time, 1983) - singles: “Turn The Music On”, “Chocolate City”, "Somebody Save Me".
* Pino D’Angio: LP Pino D’Angio (Flarenasch, 1981) - singles “Ma Quale Idea”, “Okay Okay”.
* Plus Two: single "Melody" (M.I.O., 1983).
* Point Blank: single “Sign Of The Times” (Full Time, 1983).
* Rainbow Team: LP/CD Rainbow Team (Full Time, 1981).
* Rainbow Team: LP/CD A Song For You (Full Time, 1982) - singles: “Hope He Wants”, “Bite The Apple”.
* Selection: single “Madly” (Full Time, 1980).
* Selection: LP/CD Selection (Full Time, 1982) - singles: “Got To Be Real”, “Ride The Beam”.
* Sunflower: single "Love Is Magic" (F1 Team, 1981).
* Tantra: LP The Double Album (Import 12, 1980) - single: “The Hills Of Katmandu”, “Get Ready To Go”, “Wishbone”.
* Tantra: LP Tantra II (Import 12, 1981) - single: “Macumba”.
* Toba: single “Movin' Up” (Connection, 1982).
* Tom Hooker: single “Talk With Your Body” (Full Time, 1982).
* Tom Hooker: single “Love Attack” (BMC, 1983).
* Trance: single "Hang On It" (Good Vibes, 1982).
* Vin-Zee: single “Funky Bebop” (Spice 7/Full Time, 1981).
* Vivien Vee: LP With Vivien Vee (Banana, 1983) - singles: “Destiny”, “Wanna Feel”.
* V.I.S.A.: LP San Francisco (RCA/Unidisc, 1981) - single “I’m A Dancer”.
* Compilation: 2CD Disco Connection-The Great Disco '70/'80 (Fonte, 2004).


Fio Zanotti, Davide Romani, Celso Valli, Mauro Malavasi, Guido Elmi and Gabriele Melotti


ALBUM CREDITS - GOODY MUSIC / LITTLE MACHO MUSIC / RENAISSANCE INTERNATIONAL



THE B.B.& Q. BAND - THE BROOKLYN, BRONX & QUEENS BAND

SIDE 1

ON THE BEAT 5:55
(M. MALAVASI - P. SLADE)
TIME FOR LOVE 6:05
(M. MALAVASI - P. SLADE)
DON’T SAY GOODBYE 3:47
(M. TANSINI - T. WILLOUGHBY)

SIDE 2

STARLETTE 4:57
(M. MALAVASI - D. ROMANI - P. SLADE)
MISTAKES 4:40
(M. MALAVASI - D. ROMANI - T. WILLOUGHBY)
LOVIN’S WHAT WE SHOULD DO 5:06
(M. MALAVASI - J. HOGGARD)
I’LL CUT YOU LOOSE 5:18
(M. MALAVASI - R. TREVISI - T. WILLOUGHBY)

ALL SELECTIONS PUBLISHED BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP
PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC.
COMPOSED, ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY MAURO MALAVASI EXCEPT “DON’T SAY GOODBYE” COMPOSED, ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY MARCO TANSINI
LYRICS BY PAUL SLADE AND TANYAYETTE WILLOUGHBY

RECORDED AT FONOPRINT STUDIOS, BOLOGNA, ITALY
ENGINEERS: MAURIZIO BIANCANI, MICHAEL H. BRAUER
ALL VOCALS RECORDED AND MIXED AT MEDIA SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK CITY ENGINEER: MICHAEL H. BRAUER
ASSISTANT ENGINEER: ANDY HOFFMAN
MASTERED AT CAPITOL RECORDS BY JAY MAYNARD

PLAYERS:
PIANO AND SYNTHESIZERS: MAURO MALAVASI
BASS GUITAR: DAVIDE ROMANI, PARIS ‘PEEWEE’ FORD
GUITAR: PAOLO GIANOLIO, ABDUL WALI MOHAMMED
DRUMS: TERRI SILVERLIGHT, DWAYNE PERDUE
KEYBOARDS: KEVIN NANCE
ASST. SYNTHESIZERS: MAURIZIO BIANCANI
SAXOPHONE: RUDI TREVISI, DENNY TRIMBOLI
TRUMPET: VICTOR PAZ, EARL GARDNER
TROMBONE: BOB ALEXANDER

LEAD VOCALS: IKE FLOYD
SOLO VOCALS: GORDON GRODY, BOBBY DOUGLAS
BACKGROUND VOCALS: LUTHER VANDROSS, ALFONSO ‘FONZI’ THORNTON, BOBBY DOUGLAS, GORDON GRODY, DIVA GRAY, ROBIN CLARK

STRINGS: THE GOODY MUSIC STRING ENSEMBLE

SPECIAL THANKS TO STEPHEN L. KOPITKO, ESQ. OF GRUBMAN & INDURSKY, P.C. ART DIRECTION: ROY KOHARA
DESIGN/ILLUSTRATION: ROLAND YOUNG, DON BATTERSHALL
PHOTOGRAPHY: RON WEST

(P) (C) 1981 CAPITOL RECORDS-EMI RECORDS



THE B.B.& Q. BAND - ALL NIGHT LONG

SIDE 1

ALL NIGHT LONG (SHE’S GOT THE MOVES I LIKE) 5:55
(K. ROBINSON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./CRYSTAL EYES PUBLISHING CO./ASCAP-BMI)
IMAGINATION 6:00
(K. WILLIAMS, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO, INC./PIZZAZZ MUSIC/ASCAP-BMI)
THE THINGS WE DO IN LOVE 4:58
(K. ROBINSON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./CRYSTAL EYES PUBLISHING CO./ASCAP-BMI)
DESIRE 4:20
(T. ALLEN - K. ROBINSON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./G.S. EUROAMERICA PUBLISHING/ASCAP)

SIDE 2

HANGING OUT 5:10
(T. BRIDGES - J. KEMP JR. - M. MALAVASI, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
HARD TO GET AROUND 5:15
(M. MALAVASI - M. TREVISI - J. KEMP JR., LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
(I COULD NEVER SAY) IT’S OVER 4:05
(M. MALAVASI - J. KEMP JR., LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT 5:54
(M. MALAVASI - J. KEMP JR., LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)

PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
CONDUCTED BY MAURO MALAVASI AND JACQUES FRED PETRUS
ARRANGED BY MAURO MALAVASI
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC. 

RECORDED AT MEDIA SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK, NY
ENGINEERED BY MICHAEL H. BRAUER (BASIC TRACKS), ALEC HEAD, LINCOLN CLAPP (OVERDUBS)
MIXED AT POWER STATION AND MEDIA SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK, NY
ENGINEERED BY BILL SCHENIMAN AND MICHAEL BARBIERO
MASTERED AT STERLING SOUND, NEW YORK, NY BY GREG CALBI

PLAYERS:
KEYBOARDS: JEFF BOVA, STEVE SKINNER, MAURO MALAVASI, KAE WILLIAMS
DRUMS: YOGI HORTON, BERNARD DAVIS
BASS: TONY BRIDGES, DAVIDE ROMANI, TIMMY ALLEN
GUITAR: KEVIN ROBINSON, CHIELI MINUCCI, MIKE CAMPBELL, ED MOORE PERCUSSION: JIMMY MAELEN
HORN SECTION: DAVID TOFANI (SAX), JOHN FADDIS (TRUMPET), DAVE BARGERON (TROMBONE), MARVIN STAM (TRUMPET)

LEAD VOCALS: KEVIN ROBINSON
BACKGROUND VOCALS: BENNY DIGGS, ZACK SANDERS, BRENDA WHITE, DENNIS CALLINS, JOHNNY KEMP, LEROY BURGESS, TAWATHA AGEE, ALFONSO ‘FONZI’ THORNTON, GORDON GRODY, BOBBY DOUGLAS, ERIC MC CLINTON, KEVIN ROBINSON, TIMMY ALLEN, ALYSON WILLIAMS (BENNY DIGGS APPEARS COURTESY OF HANDSHAKE RECORDS, INC.)

SPECIAL THANKS TO STEVE BOGEN AND MICHAEL MURPHY
ART DIRECTION: ROY KOHARA
DESIGN: HENRI MARQUEZ
GROUP PHOTOGRAPHY: BRIAN HAGIWARA
BACKGROUND PHOTOGRAPHY: DARIO PERLA / AFTER IMAGE, RON SLENZAK, NASA

 (P) (C) 1982 CAPITOL RECORDS-EMI RECORDS



THE B.B.& Q. BAND - SIX MILLION TIMES

SIDE 1

KEEP IT HOT 5:42
(M. MALAVASI - P. SLADE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
STAY 5:35
(K. ROBINSON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./CRYSTAL EYES MUSIC CO./ASCAP-BMI)
SHE’S A PASSIONATE LOVER 4:15
(ROBINSON - ROBINSON, JR. - T. BRIDGES, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./CRYSTAL EYES MUSIC CO./ASCAP-BMI)
WE’VE GOT TO DO IT 4:40
(K. ROBINSON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./CRYSTAL EYES MUSIC CO./ASCAP-BMI)

SIDE 2

SIX MILLION TIMES 5:48
(K. ROBINSON - H. KING, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./CRYSTAL EYES MUSIC CO./GUN HOUSE MUSIC/ASCAP-BMI)
SHE’S A WOMAN 6:17
(J. LENNON - P. MC CARTNEY, MACLEN MUSIC, INC./BMI)
DOWNTOWNE 5:20
(JOE JEFFERSON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
MISSING YOU, MISSING ME 4:32
(K. ROBINSON - H. KING, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./CRYSTAL EYES MUSIC CO./GUN HOUSE MUSIC/ASCAP-BMI)

PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI
CO-PRODUCED BY KEVIN ROBINSON
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC. 
ARRANGED BY MAURO MALAVASI AND KEVIN ROBINSON EXCEPT “MISSING YOU, MISSING ME” AND “SIX MILLION TIMES” ARRANGED BY KEVIN ROBINSON AND HOWARD KING

RECORDED AT UMBI STUDIOS, MODENA, ITALY
ENGINEERED BY MAURIZIO MAGGI
MIXED AT SORCERER SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK, NY
ENGINEERED BY ALEX HEAD
MASTERED AT STERLING SOUND, NEW YORK, NY BY GREG CALBY

PLAYERS:
BASS GUITAR: TONY BRIDGES
LEAD GUITAR: KEVIN ROBINSON
GUITAR: CHIELI MINUCCI, MICHAEL CAMPBELL
DRUMS: BERNARD DAVIS
SAXOPHONE: RUDY TREVISI
KEYBOARDS: MAURO MALAVASI, RUDY TREVISI

LEAD VOCALS: KEVIN ROBINSON
BACKGROUND VOCALS: BOBBY DOUGLAS, ERIC MC CLINTON, TIMMY ALLEN

THANKS TO: VARNELL JOHNSON, STEVE BUCKLEY, STEVEN KOPITKO, STEVE BOGEN, BARBARA CLARKE, PETER MATORIN, REENIE, MIC MURPHY, AND OF COURSE BERT PADELL.
MANAGEMENT AND DIRECTION: ANDRE PERRY, (P.O. BOX 897, TEANECK, N.J. 07666) 
ART DIRECTION: ROY KOHARA
DESIGN: JOHN O’BRIEN
PHOTOGRAPHY: BRIAN HAGIWARA
STYLIST: HUI WANG / SKIRT: A. VITTADINI

 (P) (C) 1983 CAPITOL RECORDS-EMI RECORDS



THE B.B.& Q. BAND - GENIE

SIDE 1

GENIE 6:01
(K. WILLIAMS)
MAIN ATTRACTION 5:42
(K. WILLIAMS)
WON’T YOU BE WITH ME TONIGHT 4:33
(K. WILLIAMS)
DON’T FORCE IT 4:55
(K. WILLIAMS)

SIDE 2

MINUTES AWAY 3:15
(K. WILLIAMS)
ON THE SHELF 5:15
(K. WILLIAMS)
DREAMER 5:46
(K. WILLIAMS)
RICCOCHET 4:15
(K. WILLIAMS)

ALL SELECTIONS PUBLISHED BY GUADELOUPE MUSIC AND PIZZAZZ MUSIC/ASCAP-BMI PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND KAE WILLIAMS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR VEDETTE INTERNATIONAL
ALL SONGS, MUSIC AND LYRICS BY KAE WILLIAMS

RECORDED AT MORNING STUDIOS, MILAN, ITALY AND MORNINGSTAR STUDIOS, SPRING HOUSE (PA), USA
ENGINEERED BY RENATO CANTELE
MASTERED AT FRANKFORD WAYNE MASTERING LAB BY HERB POWERS JR.

PLAYERS:
MICHAEL CAMPBELL: GUITAR, ACOUSTIC GUITAR
TIMMY ALLEN: BASS GUITAR
JAY DAVIDSON: SAX
KAE WILLIAMS: DX-7, RHODES, PROPHET, ORGAN, LINN DRUM, DMX DRUM, PIANO, HORN, HARP, SAX

LEAD VOCALS: CURTIS HAIRSTON
BACKGROUND VOCALS: ULLANDA MCCULLOUGH, CURTIS HAIRSTON

(P) (C) 1985 RENAISSANCE INTERNATIONAL RECORDS/COOLTEMPO RECORDS/BREAK RECORDS/MEGA RECORDS/ZYX RECORDS
(P) (C) 1986 ELEKTRA RECORDS



CAPRICE - RUSSIA

SIDE 1

RUSSIA 6:22
(C. SANCHEZ - WAUQUIER)
STAY TONIGHT 4:30
(R. ROUSSEL - PENDERVIS)
DE MUSIQUE EN MUSIQUE 5:24
(L. MARINO - F. COREA)

SIDE 2

SHAME AND THE SCANDAL IN THE FAMILY 7:43
(HUON DONALDSON - SLIM HENRY BROWN)
VALIENTE 7:04
(C. SANCHEZ - WAUQUIER)
SEXOPOLIS TOWER 7:36
(C. SANCHEZ - WAUQUIER)

PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR GOODY MUSIC PRODUCTION
ARRANGED BY, COMPOSED BY: CANDELARIO SANCHEZ

RECORDED AT: STUDIO MILAN - PARIS
MIXED AT: POWER STATION - NEW YORK

 (P) (C) 1980 GOODY MUSIC RECORDS



CHANGE - THE GLOW OF LOVE

SIDE 1

A LOVER’S HOLIDAY (A JIM BURGESS MIX) 6:24
(D. ROMANI - T. WILLOUGHBY, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
IT’S A GIRL’S AFFAIR 5:29
(P. GIANOLIO - W. GARFIELD, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ARA PESH COMMUNICATIONS UNLIMITED, INC./ASCAP)
ANGEL IN MY POCKET 6:10
(P. GIANOLIO - W. WILLOUGHBY, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)

SIDE 2

THE GLOW OF LOVE 6:11
(D. ROMANI - M. MALAVASI - W. GARFIELD, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ARA PESH COMMUNICATIONS UNLIMITED, INC./ASCAP)
SEARCHING 8:01
(M. MALAVASI - P. SLADE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
THE END 5:54
(P. GIANOLIO, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)

ALL SELECTIONS PUBLISHED BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP
PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC., NEW YORK
ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY DAVIDE ROMANI AND PAOLO GIANOLIO EXCEPT “THE GLOW OF LOVE” AND “SEARCHING” ARRANGED BY MAURO MALAVASI
LYRICS BY WAYNE GARFIELD, TANYAYETTE WILLOUGHBY AND PAUL SLADE
ALL SONGS PLAYED BY THE GOODY MUSIC ORCHESTRA

LEAD VOCALS: JOCELYN SHAW 
EXCEPT ON “THE GLOW OF LOVE” AND “SEARCHING” BY LUTHER VANDROSS (LUTHER VANDROSS APPEARS COURTESY OF DAVID KREVAT/CEILIDH PRODUCTIONS, INC.)

RECORDED AT FONOPRINT STUDIOS, BOLOGNA, ITALY
ENGINEERED BY MAURIZIO BIANCANI
ALL VOCALS RECORDED AND MIXED AT POWER STATION STUDIOS, NEW YORK CITY ENGINEERED BY BILL SCHENIMAN
“THE GLOW OF LOVE” AND “SEARCHING” RECORDED AND MIXED AT MEDIA SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK CITY
ENGINEERED BY MICHAEL H. BRAUER
MASTERED AT STERLING SOUND INC., NEW YORK CITY

ALBUM COORDINATION BY RAY CAVIANO AND BOB SIEGEL
MANY THANKS TO LUTHER VANDROSS AND JOCELYN SHAW
VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO RAY CAVIANO, VINCE ALETTI AND BOB SIEGEL

ALBUM DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION BY GREG PORTO

(P) (C) 1980 RFC RECORDS- WARNER BROS. RECORDS/GOODY MUSIC RECORDS/WEA RECORDS



CHANGE - MIRACLES

SIDE 1

PARADISE 5:14
(D. ROMANI - M. MALAVASI - T. WILLOUGHBY)
HOLD TIGHT 4:23
(D. ROMANI - M. MALAVASI - P. SLADE)
YOUR MOVE 4:23
(D. ROMANI - M. MALAVASI - P. SLADE)
STOP FOR LOVE 4:12
(M. MALAVASI - P. SLADE - T. WILLOUGHBY)

SIDE 2

ON TOP 5:13
(P. GIANOLIO - M. MALAVASI - T. WILLOUGHBY)
HEAVEN OF MY LIFE 5:34
(P. GIANOLIO - D. ROMANI - M. MALAVASI - T. WILLOUGHBY)
MIRACLES 5:17
(M. MALAVASI - T. WILLOUGHBY)

ALL SELECTIONS PUBLISHED BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP
PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI FOR LITTLE MACH MUSIC CO., INC., NEW YORK
COMPOSED, ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY DAVIDE ROMANI, MAURO MALAVASI AND PAOLO GIANOLIO
VOCALS CONDUCTED BY TANYAYETTE WILLOUGHBY / READY PRODUCTIONS AND JOCELYN SHAW
LYRICS BY PAUL SLADE AND TANYAYETTE WILLOUGHBY

RECORDED AT FONOPRINT STUDIOS, BOLOGNA, ITALY
ENGINEERED BY MAURIZIO BIANCANI AND MICHAEL H. BRAUER
ALL VOCALS RECORDED AND MIXED AT MEDIA SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK CITY ENGINEERED BY MICHAEL H. BRAUER - ASSISTANT ENGINEER ANDY HOFFMAN MASTERED AT STERLING SOUND, INC., NEW YORK CITY
ENGINEERED BY GREG CALBY

PLAYERS:
MAURO MALAVASI: PIANO, SYNTHESIZER
DAVIDE ROMANI: BASS
PAOLO GIANOLIO: GUITAR
RUDY TREVISI: SAXOPHONE
DOC POWELL: GUITAR
TERRY SILVERLIGHT: DRUMS
ONAJE ALLAN GUMBS: KEYBOARDS
MAURIZIO BIANCANI: ASST. SYNTHESIZER
HORNS:
VICTOR PAZ: TRUMPET
EARL GARDNER: TRUMPET
DENNY TRIMBOLI: SAXOPHONE
BOB ALEXANDER: TROMBONE

STRINGS PLAYED BY THE GOODY MUSIC STRING ENSEMBLE

LEAD VOCALS: JAMES ‘CRAB’ ROBINSON AND DIVA GRAY
SOLO VOCALS: GORDON GRODY AND DIVA GRAY
BACKGROUND VOCALS: JOCELYN SHAW, CRYSTAL DAVIS, DIVA GRAY, ULLANDA MCCULLOUGH, LUTHER VANDROSS, BENNY DIGGS, DENNIS COLLINS, FONZI THORNTON
ULLANDA MCCULLOUGH APPEARS COURTESY OF ATLANTIC RECORDS
LUTHER VANDROSS APPEARS COURTESY OF EPIC RECORDS
BENNY DIGGS APPEARS COURTESY OF HANDSHAKE RECORDS
FONZI THORNTON APPEARS COURTESY OF ATLANTIC RECORDS
RUDY TREVISI APPEARS COURTESY OF POLYDOR RECORDS

SPECIAL THANKS TO RAY CAVIANO, VINCE ALETTI AND BOB SIEGEL FOR THEIR ONGOING SUPPORT
ART AND DESIGN BY GREG PORTO

(P) (C) 1981 RFC RECORDS-ATLANTIC RECORDS/GOODY MUSIC RECORDS/WEA RECORDS




CHANGE - SHARING YOUR LOVE

SIDE 1

THE VERY BEST IN YOU 5:41
(H. SMITH - M. MALAVASI, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./DIFFERENT STROKES MUSIC/GS EURO-AMERICA/ASCAP)
HARD TIMES (IT'S GONNA BE ALRIGHT)* 5:23
(M. MALAVASI - D. ROMANI - A. THORNTON - J.F. PETRUS, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./ASCAP) OH WHAT A NIGHT* 5:23
(R. GAUDIO - J. M. PARKER, JOBETE MUSIC CO. INC./SEASON MUSIC CO./ASCAP)
PROMISE YOUR LOVE 4:27
(M. MALAVASI - A. THORNTON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./ASCAP)
EVERYTHING AND MORE 4:23
(L. BOONE - L. LAFALCE, LOUISE-JACK MUSIC CO./ROCK YOUR SOCKS MUSIC/ASCAP)

SIDE 2

SHARING YOUR LOVE 6:03
(J. ROBINSON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./ASCAP)
TAKE YOU TO HEAVEN* 5:26
(D. ROMANI - J. KEMP, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./ASCAP)
KEEP ON IT 5:36
(K. WILLIAMS, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./PIZAZZ MUSIC CO./ASCAP)
YOU'RE MY NUMBER 1 4:21
(L. BURGESS - S. DAVENPORT - J. CALLOWAY, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./CALEBUR COMPOSITIONS/ASCAP)
YOU'RE MY GIRL 4:08
(M. MALAVASI - D. ROMANI - A. THORNTON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./ASCAP)

ON BEHALF OF LITTLE MACHO MUSIC ALL SONGS ARE ADMINISTRED BY W.B. MUSIC CORP.
PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC

CHANGE IS:
JAMES ROBINSON: LEAD VOCALS
DEBORAH COOPER: LEAD VOCALS
TIMMY ALLEN: BASS
MIKE CAMPBELL: GUITAR
VINCENT HENRY: SAXOPHONE, GUITAR
JEFF BOVA: KEYBOARDS
RICK GALLWEY: PERCUSSION

MUSICIANS:
KEYBOARDS: MAURO MALAVASI, KASHIF, KAE WILLIAMS, ANDY SCHWARTZ, DAVIDE ROMANI, BARRY EASTMOND, ADAM IPPOLITO
BASS GUITAR: DAVIDE ROMANI, TIMMY ALLEN
DRUMS: YOGI HORTON, BUDDY WILLIAMS, TERRY SILVERLIGHT
GUITARS: HIRAM BULLOCK, IRA SIEGEL, MIKE CAMPBELL, HERB SMITH, JAMES ROBINSON, FAREED ABDUL HAQQ, KEVIN ROBINSON
PERCUSSION: RICK GALLWEY, JIMMY MAELEN
SAXOPHONE: VINCENT HENRY, DAVE TOFANI, RUDY TREVISI
TRUMPETS: RANDY BRECKER (COURTESY ARISTA RECORDS), JON FADDIS
FRENCH HORN: BROOKS TILLDTSON
STRING PLAYERS:
ON 'THE VERY BEST IN YOU', 'EVERYTHING AND MORE' AND 'PROMISE YOUR LOVE': GENE ORLOFF (CONCERTMASTER) - ALFRED BROWN - FREDERICK ZLOTKIN - JONATHAN ABRAMOWITZ - HARRY LOOKOFSKY, JOSEPH MALIGNAGGI, MITSUE TAKAYAMA, JULIEN BARBER, HAROLD KOHON, GERALD TARACK, GUY LUMIA, FREDERICK BULDRINI, MARILYN WRIGHT
ON 'SHARING YOUR LOVE' AND 'YOU'RE MY NUMBER 1': JEFF DELINKO, SANFORD ALLEN, KATHLEEN BEAVER, KATHRYN KIENKE, DIANA HALPRIN, HARRY CYKMAN, GUY LUMIA, ANN BARAK, RICHARD HENRICKSON, RICHARD MAXIMOFF, JULIEN BARBER, RUTH DEMARCO, KERMIT MOORE, JESSY LEVY

LEAD VOCALS: JAMES "CRAB" ROBINSON, DEBORAH COOPER, ROZ RYAN 
BACKGROUND VOCALS: JOCELYN BROWN, ROBIN CLARK, GORDON GRODY, BOBBY DOUGLAS, MICHELLE COBBS, FONZI THORNTON (COURTESY BRUCE WALLACE MGT.), PHILLIP BALLOU (COURTESY HANDSHAKE RECORDS), NORMA JEAN WRIGHT, JOHNNY KEMP, DEBBE COLE, LEROY BURGESS, SARA GELLER, KEVIN ROBINSON, TIMMY ALLEN, ETHEL BEATTY

CONDUCTED BY MAURO MALAVASI, DAVIDE ROMANI, JACQUES FRED PETRUS 
ARRANGED BY MAURO MALAVASI, DAVIDE ROMANI

RECORDED AT MEDIA SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK
ENGINEERED BY MICHAEL BARBIERO - ASSISTED BY DON WERSHBY, HARRY SPIRIDAKIS, ANDY HOFFMAN
*REMIXED BY MICHAEL H. BRAUER
MASTERED AT STERLING SOUND, INC., NEW YORK
ENGINEERED BY JACK SKINNER

PHOTOGRAPHY: JIM HOUGHTON
STYLIST: VERONICA REILLY
ART DIRECTION: BOB DEFRIN
DESIGN COORDINATION: GREG PORTO

(P) (C) 1982 RFC RECORDS-ATLANTIC RECORDS/POLYDOR RECORDS/MEMORY RECORDS




CHANGE - THIS IS YOUR TIME

SIDE 1

GOT TO GET UP 6:02
(M. MALAVASI - R. TREVESI - P. SLADE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./ASCAP)
THIS IS YOUR TIME 5:49
(L. BOONE - L . LAFALCE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./ROCK YOUR SOCKS MUSIC/ASCAP) ANGEL 4:31
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE - C. MCKEE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./ASCAP)
MAGICAL NIGHT 6:12
(M. MALAVASI - L. BOONE - L. LAFALCE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./ASCAP)

SIDE 2

STAY'N FIT 5:30
(T. ALLEN - J. F. PETRUS, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/ BMI)
TELL ME WHY 5:21
(M. MALAVASI - M. CAMPBELL - T. ALLEN - L. LAFALCE, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/FAMIKA MUSIC/BMI)
YOU'LL NEVER REALIZE 5:46
(M. MALAVASI - R. TREVESI - P. SLADE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./ASCAP)
DON'T WAIT ANOTHER NIGHT 5:51
(C. MINUCCI - B. MATTHEWS, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC./HOT URBAN MUSIC/ASCAP)

PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS

CHANGE IS:
TIMMY ALLEN: LEAD VOCALS, BASS GUITAR
RICK BRENNAN: LEAD VOCALS, PERCUSSION
DEBORAH COOPER: LEAD VOCALS
VINCENT HENRY: GUITAR, SAXOPHONE
MIKE CAMPBELL: LEAD GUITAR
JAMES (CRAB) ROBINSON: LEAD VOCALS
JEFF BOVA: KEYBOARDS
TOBY JOHNSON: DRUMS

THE OTHER MUSICIANS ARE:
MAURO MALAVASI: KEYBOARDS
BERNARD DAVIS: DRUMS
RUDY TREVISI: SAXOPHONE

BACKGROUND VOCALS: JOCELYN SMITH, LISA FISCHER, ERIC MCCLINTON, BOBBY DOUGLAS, STEVE DANIELS, LARRY LAFALCE
ERIC MCCLINTON APPEARS COURTESY OF CAPITOL RECORDS
BOBBY DOUGLAS AND STEVE DANIELS APPEAR COURTESY OF RCA RECORDS 

ARRANGED AND CONTUCTED BY MAURO MALAVASI
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT AND RHYTHM ARRANGEMENT BY TIMMY ALLEN

RECORDED AT UMBI STUDIOS IN MODENA, ITALY
ENGINEERED BY: MAGGI MAURIZIO
OVERDUBS AND MIXED AT SORCERER SOUND, NEW YORK CITY
ENGINEERED BY: ALEX HEAD
MASTERED AT STERLING SOUND BY JOSE RODRIGUEZ

ALBUM COORDINATERS: RAY CAVIANO AND BOB GHOSSEN
SPECIAL THANKS TO: STEVEN KOPITKO, BARBARA CLARKE AND STEVE BOGEN.
A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO BERT PADELL.

PHOTOGRAPHY: ROBERT LEWIS
ART DIRECTION: BOB DEFRIN
ART AND DESIGN: GREG PORTO

 (P) (C) 1983 RFC RECORDS-ATLANTIC RECORDS/POLYDOR RECORDS/MEMORY RECORDS




CHANGE - CHANGE OF HEART

SIDE 1

SAY YOU LOVE ME AGAIN 4:26
(T. LEWIS - J. HARRIS III, FLYTE TYME TUNES/ASCAP)
CHANGE OF HEART 7:02
(T. LEWIS - J. HARRIS III, FLYTE TYME TUNES/ASCAP)
WARM 5:00
(T. LEWIS - J. HARRIS III, FLYTE TYME TUNES/ASCAP)
TRUE LOVE* 3:46
(T. ALLEN, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/BMI)

SIDE 2

YOU ARE MY MELODY 6:22
(T. LEWIS - J. HARRIS III, FLYTE TYME TUNES/ASCAP)
LOVELY LADY 3:53
(T. ALLEN, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/BMI)
GOT MY EYES ON YOU* 4:34
(T. ALLEN, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/BMI)
IT BURNS ME UP* 5:03
(T. ALLEN, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/BMI)

PRODUCED AND ARRANGED BY JIMMY JAM AND TERRY LEWIS FOR FLYTE TIME PRODUCTIONS
*CO-PRODUCED BY TIMMY ALLEN
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC. 

CHANGE IS:
TIMMY ALLEN: BASS, KEYBOARD, LEAD VOCALS ON “GOT MY EYES ON YOU”, BACKGROUND VOCALS
RICK BRENNAN: LEAD, BACKGROUND VOCALS
DEBRA COOPER: LEAD, BACKGROUND VOCALS
VINCE HENRY: GUITAR, SAXOPHONE
MICHAEL CAMPBELL: GUITAR
JEFF BOVA: SYNTHESIZER, KEYBOARDS
TOBY JOHNSON: DRUMS

ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS:
JIMMY JAM: KEYBOARDS, SYNTHESIZER
BERNARD DAVIS: DRUMS
O. NICHOLAS RATH: GUITAR

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND VOCALS: BOBBY DOUGLAS, TERRY LEWIS, LUCIA NEWELL, GWENDOLYN TAYLOR

RECORDING STUDIOS: UMBI RECORDING STUDIO, ITALY / CREATION AUDIO, MPLS. AND MEDIA SOUND, N.Y.
RECORDING ENGINEER: CRAIG BISHOP AND STEVE WEISE
MIXING STUDIO: MEDIA SOUND, N. Y.
MIXING ENGINEER: MICHAEL H. BRAUER FOR M.H.B. PRODUCTIONS INC.
MASTERING STUDIO: ATLANTIC STUDIO, N. Y.
MASTERING ENGINEER: DENNIS KING
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: GWENDOLYN TAYLOR

ALBUM COORDINATOR: STEVE BOGEN
SPECIAL THANKS TO: HENRY ALLEN, HANK CALDWELL, STEPHEN KOPITKO, AND OF COURSE BERT PADELL
DESIGN: GREG PORTO

 (P) (C) 1984 RFC RECORDS-ATLANTIC RECORDS/WEA RECORDS/FIVE RECORDS





CHANGE - TURN ON YOUR RADIO

SIDE 1

TURN ON YOUR RADIO 5:15
(A. BAGNOLI - J.F. PETRUS, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/BMI)
LET'S GO TOGETHER 6:06
(D. ROMANI - J.F. PETRUS - P. SLADE, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/BMI)
EXAMINATION (5:34)
(T. ALLEN, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/BMI)
YOU'LL ALWAYS BE A PART OF ME 5:25
(T. ALLEN, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/BMI)

SIDE 2

OH WHAT A FEELING 5:42
(T. ALLEN - P. SLADE - D. COOPER, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/BMI)
MUTUAL ATTRACTION 6:00
(T. ALLEN, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/BMI)
LOVE THE WAY YOU LOVE ME 5:39
(T. ALLEN, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/BMI)
IF YOU WANT MY LOVE 5:24
(T. ALLEN / ADDITIONAL WORDS BY: D. COOPER, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/BMI)

PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
CO-PRODUCED BY TIMMY ALLEN
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC. 

CHANGE IS:
TIMMY ALLEN: BASS, KEYBOARDS, SYNTHESIZER, BACKGROUND VOCALS
RICK BRENNAN: LEAD, BACKGROUND VOCALS
DEBRA COOPER: LEAD, BACKGROUND VOCALS
VINCE HENRY: GUITAR, SAXOPHONE
MICHAEL CAMPELL: GUITAR, ASSISTANT RHYTHM TRACK ARRANGER

RECORDED AT: MORNING STUDIOS, MILAN, ITALY
ENGINEER: RENATO CANTELE
MIXED AND MASTERED AT: ATLANTIC RECORDING STUDIOS, NEW YORK CITY
MIXING ENGINEER: CARL BEATTY
MASTERING ENGINEER: DENNIS KING

PHOTOGRAPHY: ROBERT LEWIS
DESIGN: GREG PORTO

(P) (C) 1985 ATLANTIC RECORDS/INJECTION RECORDS/RENAISSANCE INTERNATIONAL RECORDS/COOLTEMPO RECORDS




ELVIN SHAAD - LIVE FOR LOVE

SIDE 1

LIVE FOR LOVE 6:13
(E. SHAAD - F. LANDAU)
I'M BURNING UP 7:06
(E. SHAAD - F. LANDAU)

SIDE 2

I WANT LOVING 10:20
(E. SHAAD - F. LANDAU)
LOVE ME NOW 6:13
(E. SHAAD - F. LANDAU)

ALL SELECTIONS PUBLISHED BY PUBL. SIAE/TELEVIS/ REBERA
MUSIC PRODUCED BY: ELVIN SHAAD AND FLORIDA FOR GOODY MUSIC PRODUCTION 
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: ELVIN SHAAD AND JACQUES FRED PETRUS
COMPOSED BY, ARRANGED BY, DIRECTED BY: ELVIN SHAAD
WRITTEN BY: ELVIN SHAAD AND FELIX LANDAU
LYRICS BY: FELIX LANDAU

DRUMS, PERCUSSION: ELVIN SHAAD
CONGAS: SYDNEY
GUITAR: JOSE LOMBARDO
KEYBOARDS, ELECTRIC PIANO (FENDER RHODES), SYNTHESIZER: MARC GOLDFEDER 
BASS: NACE

RECORDED AT: FLORIDA STUDIO - PARIS
MIXED AT: AIR STUDIO - LONDON
REMIXED AT: SIGMA SOUND STUDIOS - NEW YORK
MIXING ENGINEER: MIKE STAVROU
REMIXING ENGINEER: ANDY ABRAMS
MIXED BY: TOM SAVARESE

ARTWORK, DESIGN BY: ELVIN SHAAD
PHOTOGRAPHY: ALAIN LARUE
FRONT SLEEVE NOTES: "THE NEW FRENCH LOVE SOUND COMES IN A GATEFOLD SLEEVE."

 (P) (C) 1978 GOODY MUSIC RECORDS/UNIDISC RECORDS




HIGH FASHION - FEELIN' LUCKY

SIDE 1

FEELIN' LUCKY LATELY** 5:46
(D. ROMANI - M. MALAVASI - A. THORNTON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./FONZWORTH MUSIC INC./ASCAP)
YOU'RE THE WINNER* 5:02
(K. JENKINS - M. MORGAN, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
HOLD ON 5:27
(KASHIF, DUCHESS MUSIC CORP. (MCA)/BMI)
NEXT TO YOU 4:20
(KASHIF, DUCHESS MUSIC CORP. (MCA)/BMI)

SIDE 2

HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS 4:47
(D. ROMANI - A. THORNTON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./FONZWORTH MUSIC INC./ASCAP)   
WHEN THE LOVER STRIKES 4:25
(D. ROMANI - A. THORNTON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./FONZWORTH MUSIC INC./ASCAP)
I WANT TO BE YOUR EVERYTHING* 3:35
(KASHIF - G. BALLARD, MCA MUSIC, A DIVISION OF MCA INC./MUSIC CORPORATION OF AMERICA/ASCAP-BMI)
BRAINY CHILDREN* 3:32
(D. POE - L. ALLEN - R. STEWART, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)

PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI
ASSISTANT PRODUCERS: DENNIS COFFEY, MIKE THEODORE AND KASHIF*
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC. 
ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY: DAVIDE ROMANI**, MAURO MALAVASI AND JACQUES FRED PETRUS

LEAD AND BACKGROUND VOCALS CONDUCTED BY FONZI THORNTON

HIGH FASHION IS:
ALYSON WILLIAMS: LEAD VOCALS
ERIC MCCLINTON: LEAD VOCALS
MELISA MORGAN: LEAD VOCALS

MUSICIANS:
ACOUSTIC PIANO, KEYBOARDS SYNTHESIZERS: STEVE ROBIN, KASHIF, DAVIDE ROMANI
BASS GUITAR: DAVIDE ROMANI, KEVIN JENKINS
GUITARS: IRA SIEGEL, HIRAM BULLOCK, PAOLO GIANOLIO, DENNIS COFFEY
DRUMS: YOGI HORTON, BUDDY WILLIAMS
PERCUSSIONS: JIMMY MAELEN, RUDY TREVISI
SAXOPHONES: MICHAEL MIGLIORE

BACKGROUND VOCALS: FONZI THORNTON, DIVA GRAY, DAVID CLARK, MICHELLE COBBS, KASHIF, PHILIP BALOU (COURTESY OF HANDSHAKE RECORDS, INC.), DOLETTE MCDONALD,CRYSTAL DAVIS, GORDON GRODY.

RECORDED AND MIXED BY MICHAEL BARBIERO AT MEDIA SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK CITY
ASSISTED BY HARRY SPIRIDAKIS AND DON WERSHBA

SPECIAL THANKS TO STEVE BOGEN AND MICHAEL MURPHY OF LITTLE MACHO CO, INC.
ART DIRECTION: ROY KOHARA, PETER SHEA
COVER PHOTO: MIKE HASHIMOTO
COVER STYLING: KARL HOLM AND MICHAEL ALVIDREZ OF "PALEEZE" GROUP
MAKE-UP: CHALOA LASTER

 (P) (C) 1982 CAPITOL RECORDS-EMI RECORDS




HIGH FASHION - MAKE UP YOUR MIND

SIDE 1

MAKE UP YOUR MIND 5:01
(T. ALLEN, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/BMI)
BREAK UP 6:14
(M. MALAVISI - P. SLADE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
SHOW ME* 6:33
(K. ROBINSON - T. AGEE, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/CRYSTAL EYES PUBLISHING CO./BMI)
A LITTLE MORE TIME 5:57
(M. MALAVASI - J.F. PETRUS - E. MCCLINTON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)

SIDE 2

YOU SATISFY MY NEEDS 5:11
(C. MINUCCI - R. MATTHEWS, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./HOT URBAN MUSIC/ASCAP)
LOVE 5:13
(M. MALAVASI - J.F. PETRUS - E. MCCLINTON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
PUMP ON THE PIPE 5:41
(M. MALAVASI - R. TREVISI - E. MCCLINTON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
JUST A LITTLE MORE LOVE 5:14
(T. ALLEN - K. ROBINSON, GUADELOUPE MUSIC/JOHNNIE-MAE PUBLISHING/CRYSTAL EYES MUSIC CO./BMI)

PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC. 
ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY MAURO MALAVASI
*"SHOW ME", ARRANGED AND PRODUCED BY MAURO MALAVASI AND KEVIN ROBINSON

HIGH FASHION IS:
ALYSON WILLIAMS - LEAD VOCALS
ERIC MCCLINTON - LEAD VOCALS
MARCELLA ALLEN

MUSICIANS:
BERNARD DAVIS: DRUMS
TIMMY ALLEN: BASS GUITAR, BACKGROUND VOCALS
TONY BRIDGES: BASS GUITAR
KEVIN ROBINSON: LEAD GUITAR
CHIELI MINUCCI: GUITAR
MICHAEL CAMPBELL: GUITAR
DAVIDE ROMANI: KEYBOARDS
MAURO MALAVASI: KEYBOARDS
RUDY TREVISI: SAXOPHONE, KEYBOARDS

BOBBY DOUGLAS: BACKGROUND VOCALS (APPEARS COURTESY OF RCA RECORDS) 

RECORDED AT UMBI STUDIOS IN MODENA, ITALY
ENGINEERED BY MAURIZIO MAGGI
MIXED AT SORCERER SOUND, NEW YORK CITY
ENGINEERED BY ALEX HEAD
MASTERED AT STERLING SOUND BY GREG CALBY

SPECIAL THANKS TO: VARNELL JOHNSON, STEVE BUCKLEY, STEVEN KOPITKO, BARBARA CLARKE, STEVE BOGEN AND OF COURSE BERT PADELL
ART DIRECTION: ROY KOHARA
DESIGN: JOHN O’BRIEN
PHOTOGRAPHY: MAX PETRUS/BOB VAN LINDT
MAKE-UP: JULIANA CHRIS

 (P) (C) 1983 CAPITOL RECORDS-EMI RECORDS




MACHO - I'M A MAN

SIDE 1

I'M A MAN 17:45
(S. WINWOOD - M. MALAVASI - A. TAYLOR)

SIDE 2

HEAR ME CALLING 7:10
(M. MALAVASI - A. TAYLOR)
BECAUSE THERE IS MUSIC IN THE AIR 10:25
(M. MALAVASI - A. TAYLOR)

ALL SONGS PUBLISHED BY SUGAR MUSIC EXCEPT "I'M A MAN" - ISLAND MUSIC COMPOSED AND PRODUCED BY MAURO MALAVASI
ARRANGED BY MAURO MALAVASI FOR GOODY MUSIC PRODUCTION
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI

LEAD VOCAL: MARZIO VINCENZI
BACKGROUND VOCALS: ARTHUR SIMMS

RECORDED AT FONOPRINT STUDIO, BOLOGNA AND FLORIDA STUDIOS, PARIS
MIXED AT SIGMA SOUND STUDIO, NEW YORK, USA
ENGINEER: ANDY ABRAMS - ASSISTANT ENGINEER: JIM "DOC" DOUGHERTY
MASTERED AT STERLING SOUND N.YC.
"MIX BY SAVARESE"
STRING AND HORN ARRANGEMENTS BY MAURO MALAVASI

THANKS TO: ALFREDO, LUCA SACCHI, SEBASTIANO AND ALFREDO FROM METROPOLIS RECORDS SHOP
PHOTOGRAPHY: GIANNI SPINAZZOLA
COVER CONCEPT: JEAN BERNARD EDWIGE
ACCESSORIES: BEGED-OR

(P) (C) 1978 GOODY MUSIC RECORDS/PRELUDE RECORDS/EMI RECORDS/FLARENASCH RECORDS/ARIOLA RECORDS




MACHO (II) - ROLL

SIDE 1

MOTHERS LOVE "MAMMA MIA" 7:21
(C. VALLI - F. FLOYD)
ROLL 5:32
(C. VALLI - F. FLOYD)
NOT TONIGHT 5:38
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE)

SIDE 2

TALK 4:37
(C. VALLI - F. FLOYD)
GOT TO MAKE A MOVE 4:44
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE)
MONTREAL 4:52
(C. VALLI - F. FLOYD)
YOU GOT ME RUNNING 5:21
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE)

ALL SELECTIONS PUBLISHED BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP
PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: JACQUES FRED PETRUS & MAURO MALAVASI FOR GOODY MUSIC PRODUCTION
COMPOSED, ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY CELSO VALLI

ALL SONGS PLAYED BY THE GOODY MUSIC ORCHESTRA
LYRICS BY: PAUL SLADE AND FRANK FLOYD

RECORDED AT FONOPRINT STUDIOS AND STONE CASTLE STUDIOS, ITALY
ENGINEER: MAURIZIO BIANCANI AND RUGGERO PENAZZO
ALL VOCALS RECORDED AND MIXED AT POWER STATION STUDIOS, NEW YORK CITY ENGINEER: LARRY ALEXANDER
EXCEPT MOTHERS LOVE "MAMMA MIA" RECORDED AND MIXED AT MEDIA SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK CITY
ENGINEER: MICHAEL H. BRAUER
MASTERED AT: STERLING SOUND, NEW YORK CITY
ENGINEER: GREG CALBY

COVER CONCEPT BY: J. F. PETRUS
REALISATION: PINNA MARCO

(P) (C) 1980 GOODY MUSIC RECORDS/UNIWAVE RECORDS/STRAND RECORDS




MIDNIGHT GANG - LOVE IS MAGIC

SIDE 1

MIDNIGHT GAME 6:03
(M. TANSINI)
THE WHOLE WORLD’S SINGIN’ 6:58
(M. TANSINI)

SIDE 2

LOVE IS MAGIC 6:45
(M. TANSINI)
LET’S GO DANCIN’ 7:20
(M. TANSINI)

ALL SELECTIONS PUBLISHED BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI
COMPOSED, ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY MARCO TANSINI AND GIANNI GRECCHI 

RECORDED AT C.A.P. STUDIO
ENGINEER: GIANNI PRUDENTE AT S.A.R.
STUDIO ENGINEER: DON NIKOLOFF AT C.G.D. STUDIO, MILAN, ITALY
MIXED AT POWER STATION STUDIOS, NEW YORK
ENGINEER: BILL SCHENIMAN

PLAYERS:
GIANNI GRECCHI: GUITAR, BASS GUITAR
MARCO TANSINI: GUITAR, PERCUSSION, CLARINET
MAURO MALAVASI: TRUMPET, FLUEGEL HORN, POLYMOOG
PIERO BASSINI: ACOUSTIC PIANO, MINIMOOG, ARP ODYSSEY
ROBY COLASANTE: DRUMS, PERCUSSION
ALDO BANFI: POLYMOOG, ARP. EL. CLARINET
ALESSANDRO MORO: SAXOPHONE
ANTONIO MONTANARI: TRUMPET
DON NIKOLOFF: TRUMPET, TROMBONE, FLUEGEL HORN
GEORGE AGHEDO: CONGAS

SPECIAL THANKS TO MAURO MALAVASI FOR HIS PRECIOUS GUIDANCE

ART CREDIT:
COVER CONCEPT BY J.F. PETRUS
REALISATION: JEAN BERNARD EDWIGE
PHOTOGRAPHY: GIANNI SPINAZZOLA

(P) (C) 1979 GOODY MUSIC RECORDS




PETER JACQUES BAND - FIRE NIGHT DANCE

SIDE 1

WALKING ON MUSIC 8:16
(M. MALAVASI - A. TAYLOR)
DEVIL'S RUN 8:30
(M. MALAVASI - A. TAYLOR)

SIDE 2

FIRE NIGHT DANCE 8:40
(J.F. PETRUS - M. MALAVASI - A. TAYLOR)
FLY WITH THE WIND 9:03
(M. MALAVASI - A. TAYLOR)

ALL SONGS PUBLISED BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP
PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR GOODY MUSIC PRODUCTION 
COMPOSED, ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY MAURO MALAVASI ASSISTED BY RUDY TREVISI

VOCALISTS:
LEAD VOCAL: LEROY BURGESS
BACKGROUND SINGERS: ARTHUR SIMMS, JOE SCOTT, SAMMY GAHA, ANN CALVERT, GLORIA TURNER, CLAUDIA POLLEY, HILDA HARRIS, LAVELLE DUGGAN, MAERETHIA STEWART

MUSICIANS:
FABBRI GIORGINO: GUITAR
DAVIDE ROMANI: BASS
GABRIELE MELOTTI: DRUMS
GEORGE AGHEDO: CONGAS, PERCUSSION
RUDY TREVISI: SAX, TRUMPET, FLUTE, PERCUSSION, SYNTHESIZER, ELECTRIC CLAVINET, ELECTRIC PIANO
SANDRO COMINI: TROMBONE
MAURO MALAVASI: TRUMPET, SYNTHESIZER, ELECTRIC CLAVINET, FLUTE, ELECTRIC PIANO
MAURIZIO BIANCANI: ASSISTANT FOR SYNTHEZISER SESSION

STRINGS: THE GOODY MUSIC STRING ENSEMBLE SPECIAL THANKS TO WILLIAM WRIGHT - FIRST STRING

RECORDED AT FONOPRINT
ENGINEER: MAURIZIO BIANCANI
SPECIAL THANKS TO MR. MAURIZIO BIANCANI WHO ALWAYS GIVES US THE BEST STUDIO MILAN ENGINEER: MALEK JEAN PAUL
C.G.D. STUDIO ENGINEER: PINO VICARI
MIXED AT SIGMA SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK, USA
ENGINEER: CARMINE RUBINO - ASSISTANT ENGINEER: JIM (DOC) DOUGHERTY MASTERED AT STERLING SOUND, NEW YORK, USA
ENGINEER: JOSE RODRIGUEZ
MIX BY MALAVASI AND PETRUS

U.S. COVER CONCEPT BY BY J.F. PETRUS
REALISTATION: JEAN BERNARD EDWIGE
PHOTOGRAPH: GIANNI SPINAZOLLA
ACCESSORIES: ALVEAR
ART CREDIT EUROPEAN SLEEVE: KEITH RAMSDEN AND TED FRANKLIN

WE WOULD LIKE TO DEDICATE THIS ALBUM TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF GOODY MUSIC PRODUCTIONS FOR THEIR ENTHUSIASM AND WORK
SPECIAL CREDIT TO ALL THE MUSICIANS OF THE MACHO ALBUM

(P) (C) 1979 GOODY MUSIC RECORDS/PRELUDE RECORDS/ARIOLA RECORDS/EURODISC RECORDS




PETER JACQUES BAND - WELCOME BACK

SIDE 1

COUNTING ON LOVE "ONE TWO THREE" 5:20
(M. MALAVASI - P. SLADE)
WELCOME BACK 6:27
(M. MALAVASI - L. VANDROSS)
THE LOUDER 7:02
(M. MALAVASI - F. FLOYD)

SIDE 2

IS IT IT 5:22
(M. MALAVASI - P. SLADE)
EXOTICALLY 5:55
(M. MALAVASI - F. FLOYD)
MIGHTY FINE 5:27
(M. MALAVASI - F. FLOYD)

ALL SONGS PUBLISED BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP EXCEPT “WELCOME BACK” - LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./UNCLE RONNIE’S MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP 
PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI FOR GOODY MUSIC PRODUCTION
COMPOSED, ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY MAURO MALAVASI

THE PETER JACQUES BAND GROUP:
JACOB WHEELER (LEAD VOCALS)
SANDI BASS
DIANNE WASHINGTON
VON GRETCHEN SHEPARD 

ALL SONGS PLAYED BY THE GOODY MUSIC ORCHESTRA
LYRICS BY: PAUL SLADE, LUTHER VANDROSS AND FRANK FLOYD
RECORDED AT FONOPRINT STUDIOS, ITALY
ENGINEER: MAURIZIO BIANCANI
ALL VOCALS RECORDED AND MIXED AT MEDIA SOUND STUDIOS, NYC
ENGINEER: MICHAEL H. BRAUER
MASTERED AT: STERLING SOUND, NYC
ENGINEER: GREG CALBY

COVER CONCEPT BY: J.F. PETRUS
PHOTOGRAPH: RENAULT MARCHAND – PARIS
ACCESSORY BY: PETER JACQUES BAND

(P) (C) 1980 GOODY MUSIC RECORDS/UNIWAVE RECORDS/ARABELLA RECORDS/ARIOLA RECORDS




PETER JACQUES BAND - DANCING IN THE STREET

SIDE 1

ALL RIGHT LET'S GO 6:24
(D. ROMANI - J.F. PETRUS - P. SLADE)
THIS NIGHT 5:37
(D. ROMANI - J.F. PETRUS - P. SLADE)
MEXICO 4:29
(M. TANSINI - J.F. PETRUS - S. ZANINI)
EVERYBODY HAVE A PARTY 4:01
(N. LELLI - J.F. PETRUS - P.SLADE)

SIDE 2

GOING DANCING DOWN THE STREET 5:40
(D. ROMANI - J.F. PETRUS - P. SLADE)
DRIVES ME CRAZY 4:10
(D. ROMANI - J.F. PETRUS - P. SLADE)
HIGHTIME 4:54
(D. ROMANI - J.F. PETRUS - P. SLADE)
DON'T SAY YOU'VE GOTTA GO 3:52
(D. ROMANI - J.F. PETRUS - P. SLADE)

ALL SONGS PUBLISHED BY: VEDETTE INTERNATIONAL CO. INC./ASCAP
PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR RENAISSANCE INTERNATIONAL. 

MUSIC BY: DAVIDE ROMANI, NINO LELLI, MARCO TANSINI
LYRICS BY: JACQUES FRED PETRUS, PAUL SLADE, SIMONA ZANINI
ARRANGED BY: DAVIDE ROMANI
CONDUCTED BY: DAVIDE ROMANI AND JACQUES FRED PETRUS
ALL SONGS PLAYED BY: DAVIDE ROMANI IN THE RENAISSANCE ORCHESTRA 

RECORDED AT UMBI STUDIO AND MORNING STUDIO, ITALY
MIXED BY: RENATO CANTELE

THE PETER JACQUES BAND IS: ILTO SAMPAIO, BETTY LAMI, CARIN MCDONALD, CARMEN BJORNALD

LEAD VOCAL ON 'ALL RIGHT LET’S GO': ULLANDA MCCULLOUGH
LEAD VOCAL ON 'EVERYBODY HAVE A PARTY', 'DRIVES ME CRAZY' AND 'DON'T SAY YOU'VE GOTTA GO': PAUL SLADE
ALL BACKGROUND PERFORMED BY: CHANGE (COURTESY OF LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC. NY) AND PAUL SLADE

A SPECIAL THANKS TO: ELVIO PIERI, MARCO TANSINI, SIRO GALLOTTI, GIGI FIGINI, ROSA CESARIO FOR THEIR KIND COLLABORATION.
COSTUMES BY: JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
PHOTOGRAPH: GEORGES ROSEMBERG
ART DIRECTION: BOUBA KEITA

(P)(C) 1985 POLYDOR RECORDS/RENAISSANCE INTERNATIONAL RECORDS/INJECTION RECORDS




REVANCHE - MUSIC MAN

SIDE 1

YOU GET HIGH IN N.Y.C. 8:40
(M. MALAVASI - A. TAYLOR - J.F. PETRUS)
REVANCHE 8:53
(M. MALAVASI - A. TAYLOR)

SIDE 2

MUSIC MAN 8:16
(M. MALAVASI - A.TAYLOR)
1979 IT'S DANCING TIME 8:45
(M. MALAVASI - A. TAYLOR - J.F. PETRUS)

ALL SELECTIONS PUBLISHED BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP
PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR LITTLE MACHO CO. INC., NYC 
COMPOSED, ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY MAURO MALAVASI ASSISTED BY RUDY TREVISI

ORCHESTRATED BY:
GUITAR: PAOLO GIANOLIO
BASS: DAVIDE ROMANI
DRUMS: GABRIELE MELOTTI
CONGAS: GEORGE AGHEDO
SAX: RUDY TREVISI
TROMBONE: SANDRO COMINI, MARCO PELLACANI
TRUMPET: MAURO MALAVASI, LINI FERMO, EMILIO SOANA
SYNTHESIZER: MAURO MALAVASI
ELECTRIC CLAVINET: MAURO MALAVASI, RUDY TREVISI
ACOUSTIC PIANO: MAURO MALAVASI, RUDY TREVISI
STRINGS: THE GOODY MUSIC STRING ENSEMBLE, SPECIAL THANKS TO MR WILLIAM WRIGHT - FIRST STRING

VOCALS BY: CHRISTINE WILTSHIRE, YVONNE LEWIS, JOCELYN SHAW, BOBBY DOUGLAS, STEVE DANIELS, SKIPP INGRAM, ROBIN CORLEY

RECORDED AT: FONOPRINT, BOLOGNA, ITALY
ENGINEER: MAURIZIO BIANCANI
VOCALS RECORDED AT POWER STATION, NEW YORK
ENGINEER: BILL SCHENIMAN - ASSISTED BY RAYMOND WILLHARD
MIXED AT: POWER STATION, NEW YORK
ENGINEER: BILL SCHENIMAN - ASSISTED BY RAYMOND WILLHARD
MASTERED AT: ATLANTIC STUDIOS, NEW YORK
ENGINEER: DENNIS KING
"A MALAVASI AND PETRUS MIX"

COVER CONCEPT BY PETRUS
REALIZATION: JEAN BERNARD EDWIGE
PHOTOGRAPH: GIANNI SPINAZZOLA
SPECIAL THANKS TO BOBBY DOUGLAS, STEVE DANIELS, SKIPP INGRAM AND ROBIN CORLEY OF PLATINUM HOOK (APPEAR COURTESY OF MOTOWN RECORDS)

 (P) (C) 1979 GOODY MUSIC RECORDS/ATLANTIC RECORDS




RITCHIE FAMILY - I’LL DO MY BEST

SIDE 1

I’LL DO MY BEST (FOR YOU BABY)* 5:22
(M. MALAVASI - G. SALERNI - A. THORNTON, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./FONZWORTH MUSIC/ASCAP; SUB-PUBLISHED OUTSIDE THE USA BY CAN’T STOP MUSIC/BMI)
THIS LOVE’S ON ME 4:51
(J. MARCELLINO, PUBLISHED IN THE USA BY FRESH SQUEEZED/SHAMEL/ASCAP)
ONE AND ONLY 4:30
(Z. CONKERITE, PUBLISHED IN THE USA BY PEER INTERNATIONAL CORP./BMI)
YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON ME 4:15
(H. SMITH - W. GAY, PUBLISHED IN THE USA BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./GS EUROAMERICAN/DIFFERENT STROKES/ASCAP; SUB-PUBLISHED OUTSIDE THE USA BY CAN’T STOP MUSIC/BMI)

SIDE 2

WALK WITH ME 4:19
(T. VEITCH - G. MATHIESON, PUBLISHED IN THE USA BY SLAP SHOT/MIGHTY MATHIESON/BMI) ALRIGHT ON THE NIGHT 5:04
(D. ROSE, PUBLISHED IN THE USA BY RADMUS PUB. INC./ASCAP)
TONIGHT I NEED TO HAVE YOUR LOVE 4:08
(H. SMITH, PUBLISHED IN THE USA BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./GS EUROAMERICAN/DIFFERENT STROKES/ASCAP; SUB-PUBLISHED OUTSIDE THE USA BY CAN’T STOP MUSIC/BMI)
YOU’VE GOT ME DANCIN’ 4:50
(H. SMITH, PUBLISHED IN THE USA BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./GS EUROAMERICAN/DIFFERENT STROKES/ASCAP; SUB-PUBLISHED OUTSIDE THE USA BY CAN’T STOP MUSIC/BMI)

RITCHIE FAMILY IS:
VERA BROWN
JACQUELINE SMITH-LEE
THEODOSIA “DODIE” DRAHER

PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS/LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO.,INC., FOR CAN’T STOP PRODUCTIONS, INC.
ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY GIULIANO SALERNI

RECORDED AND MIXED AT MEDIA SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK
ENGINEER: MICHAEL BARBIERO - ASSISTED BY GREG MANN AND DON WERSHBA 
MASTERED AT MASTERDISK, NEW YORK CITY
MASTERING ENGINEER: BILL KIPPER
*MIXED BY MICHAEL H. BRAUER
VOCAL TRACKS CO-PRODUCED BY FONZI THORNTON
A&R COORDINATION: HILDA WILLIAMS 

SPECIAL THANKS TO STEPHEN KOPITKO
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LYNN GOLDSMITH INC.
LOCATION BY PERMISSION OF BOND INTERNATIONAL CASINO
COSTUMES BY J. CARTINELLI
HAIR AND MAKE-UP BY JOE MC DEVITT

(P) (C) 1982 RCA RECORDS/HIGH FASHION MUSIC/DURECO RECORDS/VIP RECORDS




RUDY - JUST TAKE MY BODY

SIDE 1 

WHITE ROOM* 7:00
(J. BRUCE - P. BROWN)
JUST TAKE MY BODY** 6:50
(P. GIANOLIO - A. TAYLOR)
HIGHER 4:54
(R. TREVISI - A. TAYLOR)

SIDE 2

THANK YOU BABY 7:47
(R. TREVISI - A. TAYLOR)
CAN YOU STOP WOMAN 6:18
(R. TREVISI - A. TAYLOR)

ALL SELECTIONS PUBLISHED BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP, EXCEPT * PUBLISHED BY CASSEROLE MUSIC CORP./BMI
PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI
COMPOSED, ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY RUDY TREVISI EXCEPT * BY LUCA ORIOLI AND ** BY PAOLO GIANOLIO

MUSICIANS:
GUITAR: PAOLO GIANOLIO
BASS: DAVIDE ROMANI
DRUMS: GABRIELE MELOTTI
CONGAS: RUDY TREVISI
SAX: RUDY TREVISI
TROMBONE: SANDRO COMINI, MARCO PELLACANI
TRUMPET: MAURO MALAVASI, BELTRAME DORIANO
SYNTHESIZER, ELECTRIC CLAVINET, FLUTE, ELECTRIC PIANO: MAURO MALAVASI, LUCA ORIOLI, RUDY TREVISI
PERCUSSION: RUDY TREVISI
ASSISTANT FOR SYNTHESIZER SESSION: MAURIZIO BIANCANI
STRINGS: THE GOODY MUSIC STRING ENSEMBLE
SPECIAL THANKS TO MR. WILLIAM WRIGHT - FIRST STRING

VOCALS BY:
KRYSTAL DAVIS
YVONNE LEWIS
CHRISTINE WILTSHIRE
BOBBY DOUGLAS
STEVE DANIELS
SKIPP INGRAM
ROBIN CORLEY

BOBBY DOUGLAS, STEVE DANIELS, SKIPP INGRAM AND ROBIN CORLEY APPEAR COURTESY OF MOTOWN RECORDS

RECORDED AT: FONOPRINT, BOLOGNA, ITALY
ENGINEER: MAURIZIO BIANCANI
MIXED AT: POWER STATION STUDIOS, NEW YORK
ENGINEER: BILL SCHENIMAN - ASSISTED BY JAMES FARBER

PHOTOGRAPHY: JIM MATUSIK
DESIGN: STEPHANIE ZURAS (AGI)
ART DIRECTION: BOB HEIMALL (AGI)

 (P) (C) 1979 GOODY MUSIC RECORDS/POLYDOR RECORDS





SILENCE - GOODTIME BABY

SIDE 1

MYSTERY 4:28
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE - C. MCKEE)
MORE THAN EVER 4:15
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE - C. MCKEE)
GOODTIME BABY 4:02
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE - C. MCKEE)
YOU'RE NOT ALONE, NO 3:11
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE - C. MCKEE)

SIDE 2

MIDNIGHT VISITORS (SILENCE) 5:10
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE - C. MCKEE)
NO WAY 4:05
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE - C. MCKEE)
BREAKING POINT 3:54
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE - C. MCKEE)
NIGHTMARE 3:47
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE - C. MCKEE)

ALL SELECTIONS PUBLISHED BY LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP
PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS JACQUES FRED PETRUS, MAURO MALAVASI, CELSO VALLI FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC
COMPOSED, ARRANGED, CONDUCTED BY CELSO VALLI
LYRICS BY PAUL SLADE AND CARLOTTA MCKEE

RECORDED AT FONOPRINT STUDIOS, BOLOGNA, ITALY
ENGINEERED BY MAURIZIO BIANCANI
ALL VOCALS RECORDED AND MIXED AT MEDIA SOUND, NEW YORK CITY

PLAYERS:
SYNTHESIZERS: CELSO VALLI
BASS GUITAR: DAVIDE ROMANI, PAOLO GIANOLIO, D. D'AUTORIO, C. GOLINELLI 
GUITAR: PAOLO GIANOLIO, DOC POWELL
DRUMS: TERRY SILVERLIGHT, FLAVIANO CUFFARI, GABRIELE MELOTTI
KEYBOARDS: CELSO VALLI, ONAJE ALLAN GUMBS
ASS. SYNTHESIZERS: MAURIZIO BIANCANI
SAXOPHONE: RUDY TREVISI

BACKGROUND VOCALS: DIVA GRAY, ROBIN CLARK, DAVID L. BYRON, TOM BERNFELD, KURT YAGIAN, GORDON GRODY
LEAD VOCALS: GORDON GRODY

ART AND DESIGN: GREG PORTO

 (P) (C) 1982 MEMORY RECORDS




SILENCE 2 FEAT. GORDON GRODY - THE BEAST IN ME

SIDE 1 

THE BEAST IN ME 4:30
(E. KAZ - M. MORROW, APRIL MUSIC PUBLISHING INC./KAZ MUSIC CO./ASCAP)
MIDNITE VISITORS 5:06
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE - C. MCKEE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
SO MUCH FOR LOVE 5:15
(C. VALLI - C. MCKEE - G. GRODY, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
TILL THE RIGHT ONE COMES ALONG 3:48
(C. MCKEE - G. GRODY, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)

SIDE 2

MOONLIGHT SHADOW 4:28
(M. OLDFIELD, VIRGIN MUSIC PUBLISHING INC./ASCAP)
MYSTERY 4:00
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
ANGEL 4:40
(C. VALLI - P. SLADE - C. MCKEE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)
MORE THAN EVER 4:00
(M. TANSINI - C. MCKEE, LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO., INC./ASCAP)

PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC. 
ARRANGED BY CELSO VALLI

MUSICIANS:
LEAD GUITAR: PAOLO GIANOLIO
BASS GUITAR: DAVIDE ROMANI
DRUMS: GABRIELE MELOTTI
KEYBOARDS: CELSO VALLI

LEAD VOCAL: GORDON GRODY

RECORDED AT FONOPRINT STUDIOS, BOLOGNA, ITALY AND UMBI STUDIOS, MODENA, ITALY.
ENGINEERED AND MIXED BY MAURIZIO BIANCANI AND ROBERTO COSTA
MIXED AT MEDIA SOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK CITY
MIXED BY MICHAEL H. BRAUER FOR M.H.B. PRODUCTIONS

(P) (C) 1984 FLARENASCH RECORDS/SPEED RECORDS/FIVE RECORDS




ZINC - STREET LEVEL

SIDE 1

STREET LEVEL 6:04
(KASHIF, MCA MUSIC/ASCAP/BMI)
I'LL NEVER STOP 5:40
(M. MALAVASI - C. MCKEE, ZOMBA MUSIC PUBLISHERS LTD.)
I'LL TAKE MY CHANCES 5:29
(M. MALAVASI - A. THORNTON, ZOMBA MUSIC PUBLISHERS LTD.)
THIS IS WHERE THE LOVE IS 5:56
(M. MALAVASI - A. THORNTON, ZOMBA MUSIC PUBLISHERS LTD.)

SIDE 2

PUNKULATION 5:57
(D. ROMANI - T. WILLOUGHBY, ZOMBA MUSIC PUBLISHERS LTD.)
AMAZON 6:13
(M. MALAVASI - R. TREVISI, ZOMBA MUSIC PUBLISHERS LTD.)
LIVIN' IN THE BOOGIE NOW 7:37
(P. GIANOLIO - M. MALAVASI - T. WILLOUGHBY, ZOMBA MUSIC PUBLISHERS LTD.)

PRODUCED BY JACQUES FRED PETRUS AND MAURO MALAVASI
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JACQUES FRED PETRUS FOR LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO.,INC. 
ARRANGED AND CONDUCTED BY MAURO MALAVASI

MUSICIANS:
ACOUSTIC PIANO, KEYBOARDS, SYNTHESIZERS: MAURO MALAVASI, STEVE ROBIN, RAY CHEW, DAVIDE ROMANI
BASS GUITAR: DAVIDE ROMANI
GUITARS: STEVE LOVE, HIRAM BULLOCK, IRA SIEGEL
DRUMS: TERRY SILVERLIGHT, YOGI HORTON, BUDDY WILIAMS
PERCUSSION: RICK GALLWEY
SAXOPHONE: ROBIN CARLEY, RUDY TREVISI

LEAD VOCALS: GORDON GRODY
FEATURED VOCAL "LIVIN' IN THE BOOGIE NOW": STEVE DANIELS
BACKGROUND VOCALS: STEVE DANIELS, BOBBY DOUGLAS, GORDON GRODY, FONZI THORNTON, MICHELLE COBBS

RECORDED BY MICHAEL BARBIERO
MIXED BY MICHAEL H. BRAUER AT MEDIASOUND STUDIOS, NEW YORK ASSISTED BY GREGORY MANN AND HARRY SPIRIDAKIS

SPECIAL THANKS TO STEPHEN KOPITKO, AND TO MICHAEL MURPHY AND STEVE BOGEN FROM LITTLE MACHO MUSIC CO. INC.
ART DIRECTOR: DONN DAVENPORT
PHOTOGRAPHER: PINDERHUGHES
DESIGNER: HOWARD FRITZSON
LOGO PHOTOGRAPHER: RANDOLF GRAFF
STYLIST: HUI WANG
GARMENT: ANDRE VAN PIER

(P) (C) 1982 JIVE RECORDS/MEMORY RECORDS 



THE (12 INCH) SINGLES ARTWORK GALLERY





INTERVIEWS 



INTERVIEW WITH DAVIDE ROMANI:

You are a self-taught musician. Where did that passion come from?
Already at a young age I came in contact with music. I had the opportunity to accompany my older brother who used to perform at dance halls with his band. Subsequently I began to play the flute and the organ in a group. At the age of fifteen after an audition with Pier Giorgio Farina I found myself catapulted on one of the stages of the renowned Bologna Jazz Festival, where the greatest names in jazz history have performed: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Herbie Hancock, Chet Baker, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, B.B. King,... After the organ I discovered the bass guitar. One night when I had to do a live gig with my group the bassist didn't show up and I took his bass guitar. This was the first time I played the instrument and I liked it. After that concert I took my friend's bass home and I continued playing and it went really well. That's how I picked up the bass.

How did you get involved with Goody Music Production? 
Amongst musicians it was told that in Ferrara there was a young, quite good bass player: that was me. Singer Marzio Vincenzi got in touch with me and took me to Bologna where he introduced me to Petrus and Malavasi. I was only 19 years old then and I had never played disco music before. In the studio they asked me to play the bass parts of the song “I’m A Man”. I enjoyed the agressive sound of the disco music, it was a very fascinating experience. They liked my playing and I joined the musician staff of Goody Music Production and I developed my personal bass sound. I collaborated on many projects like Rudy, Change, B.B.&Q. Band, High Fashion et cetera. Mauro Malavasi also persuaded me to compose songs besides playing the bass guitar. So, in 1979 when ‘Il capo’ (the leader) Malavasi was in the U.S. preparing new projects with Fred, I started composing tracks. I had never written songs before but the results were positive. My first composition was the Change hit “A Lover’s Holiday”, my second “The Glow Of Love”, followed by “Starlette”, “Paradise”, “Hold Tight”, and so on…

Were you influenced by the seductive Chic sound? 
I must admit that I was influenced by the sophisticated productions of Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards when I composed songs. Their innovative harmonic solutions in those days appealed me. Their work was incredibly infectious and musically rested upon a solid foundation of Nile's rhythm guitar and Bernard's bass playing. They redefined Disco music. After the success of the first Change record many artists and producers came to our studio to see us at work. One of those visitors was Nile Rodgers, this was a great pleasure for me. Even Disco producer Giorgio Moroder was impressed and he absolutely wanted me to record for him but unfortunately the musical association didn't happen because of the exclusive agreement with the Goody Music Orchestra of Fred Petrus.

How can you explain that an Italian is so good at making black dancemusic. 
I have no explanation. I’m indeed a white man from a small city called Ferrara. But in my heart I’ve always favoured soul music and other styles related with black music. In Italian music the lyrics predominate over the music. To me music is all about the groove, the vibe. I have never bought any Italian record or CD unless for professional reasons. I feel like an American producer living in Italy, an exception among the Italian producers. Making R&B or soul influenced music has always given me most satisfaction in my musical career.

Could you give a definition of "a groove"? What is it to you?
Groove is a concept of music that becomes very intuitive to experienced musicians, yet is somewhat difficult to completely describe. Basically, every view of what a groove actually is boils down to the rhythmic feel or pattern of a song. Music is mathematics but if every musician would play perfectly there would be no groove. The groove is inside every quarter note’s feel and swing percentage and gives an emotion that the mathematics do not succeed to give. The groove is the emotion that one should seek within every touch. The quarter note is the foundation of the groove. For bass players it is the most important rhythmic subdivision by far, since quarter notes are what make up a walking bass line. A walking bass line is rhythmically very simple -deceptively simple- but like many things that seem simple, playing good quarter notes for a walking bass line is very challenging and it takes many years of playing to do it really well. Musicians often say that the bass line is the heartbeat of the band. Together with the drummer the bassist constitutes the foundation of a band. The bass player is one of the most important elements in the swing equation. If the rest of the band is swinging and the bass player isn’t, the band isn’t swinging. Instead, if most of the band is not quite swinging but the bass is swinging hard, the band is swinging. So, as bassists we have a lot of power over the groove factor and a lot of responsibility too.

During the early eighties you worked with a lot of accomplished American studio musicians like Kashif. Who made the biggest impression on you? 
I had the opportunity and satisfaction to work with many American top musicians in New York. I can’t tell you who I preferred because there were too many talented people. But sure Kashif had a very unique musical touch and a very good taste.

What was the usual procedure when you recorded songs? 
Before we entered the studio with the other musicians we knew what we wanted. We had the basic track worked out. Usually I prepared everything concerning the compositions and arrangements, except for the lead guitar because I can’t play the guitar, I’m a bass player. Generally the tracks were constructed in Italy. The vocals were recorded and mixed in the U.S.

In 1983 you and Mauro Malavasi broke with producer Jacques Fred Petrus. What happened and why did you never produce black music again in the U.S.?
There was definitely a conflict with Petrus. He didn’t pay me anymore in the end. Petrus was only thinking about making money without recognizing the value of my work. So I stopped the collaboration and continued my professional carreer in Italy where I was busy working with Italian artists. Of course I regretted the impossibility of going on making black music in the U.S.. Now I realize that I made a big mistake there. 

After your bad experience with Fred Petrus, financially speaking, you worked again for him in 1985. Why?
Because I'm crazy. But the main reason why I hooked up with Petrus again were his exceptional capacities as a business man. He was the right man in Italy to give my music and creativity an international boost. Without him this would never have worked. Fred Petrus did have financial troubles but he was a good fellow after all. A careful and happy person I’d say.

What do you know about the tragic end of producer Jacques Fred Petrus? 
Fred was shot dead at home in his native country Guadeloupe about 1987 I think. He was hit by eight bullets. I don't believe the Maffia connection. I think the serious troubles started when he went back to Guadeloupe.

What is your opinion about today’s black music and the frequent sampling of music? 
Evidently the clock has turned full circle, in the sense that I’m not surprised that the musical trace I left behind has turned up again. My songs have been used by black superstars like Aretha Franklin, R. Kelly and Janet Jackson. For a songwriter this is the ultimate honour. But considering massive sampling in dancemusic today, I think we’re in the front of a new wave of young incompetent producers who don’t know much about making music, except reproducing. Modern sampling technology means that whole sections of old records are being filched wholesale to prop up artists whose talent is dubious. In order to have success you need to have new ideas. The capacity of making music is not enough. Occasionally, something interesting and original is achieved, but mostly the whole thing smacks of creative laziness and musical inexperience. However there are excellent groups with courage that I admire and respect, capable musicians who really perform their music. I think of Incognito, one of the best groups around in the last years. I also adore Latin and Brazilian music as well as acid-jazz and funk. I’m tired of listening to rap CDs only but often it’s the last resource for rhythm. Let’s say that I like the groove but not always the melody.

In 1983 the Italian group Flowchart meticulously cloned the Change sound on their much overlooked album The New Harlem Funk (a.k.a A Little Love A Little Wine). Can you appreciate this? 
At many points the concept was indeed similar to Change. The music was recorded by an Italian musician crew at the Umbi Studios in Modena and the vocals were taped in New York with session singers. Among them Mic Murphy, who arranged record deals for Petrus in America. Michael also sang backgrounds on The Glow Of Love. Former Goody Music musician Lele Melotti played percussion. Vocal arranger Fonzi Thornton, who penned the lyrics for several Change songs, was engaged to do the same for the Flowchart project. I was involved in this project as a bass player under the pseudonym of Dav. Mandingos. Flowchart's guitarist and songwriter Romano Trevisani was a friend of mine. I still remember the bass lines I played. I can understand that it was very tempting for Italian producers to follow the successful music formula we had worked out.

Why did you have a pseudonym on the Flowchart album? 
I couldn’t use my real name because I was exclusively engaged in Petrus’ company at that time. I was not allowed to play on any other productions but those associated with Jacques Fred Petrus. I think also Mauro Malavasi played keyboards on a Flowchart session but you won't find his name anywhere on the record, he too had contractual agreements with Little Macho Music.

Who are your favourite artists? 
My first love was Stanley Clarke and I've always liked the music of Chick Corea. My all-time favourite group is Earth, Wind & Fire. A tremendous female singer is Rachelle Ferrell and very nice male voices are Luther Vandross and Michael Bolton. But also a lot of other artists, too many to express a special favourite. At this moment I’m mad about the funky music of the British group Jamiroquai!

Are you still playing funky music today? 
I'm not so fond anymore of touring with different artists. I'm doing what I really like now. My passion is Mr. Groove, a music band I formed just for amusement. The group has eleven members among which three vocalists and three background singers. But the nucleus consists of Nicola Morali on piano, Luca Longhini on guitar, Pitona on drums, Annalisa Vassalli on lead vocals and me on bass. We play new-jazz, black music, lounge, music from the seventies and the eighties. And also tracks by Tower Of Power, D'Sound, Sting and Jamiroquai, one of my favourite artists. It’s really fun doing this. No stress!

Can we expect a new Change album in the future? 
Yes that’s possible. I recorded several demo-tapes with new, unpublished material. But I’m still looking for the right lead vocalist.

What are the essential qualities needed to become a good producer and what is your message to all the talented people who want to start a music career? 
We live in a very ambiguous world full of dishonest people. I advise musicians to persist, to write and compose songs. Playing music only is not enough unless you are a first class musician. It costs a lot of money to reach your goal but it’s possible in music. If you want to be a winner follow my advice.

Thanks for the interview!

Francis DEPUYDT (2001.12.15) (Translation: Bruna Stefani, Francis Depuydt)



 

INTERVIEW WITH JEFF BOVA:

During many years you were keyboard player with Change. Could you explain the production methods of Petrus & Malavasi? 
The Italians produced, wrote and arranged. If they weren't the writers then they still arranged the songs. Fred would have already approved the song before it was being recorded. Mauro and Davide would lay down the groove first (drums, bass and synthesizer) and then would overdub. Each song would require different approaches but I know they had at least the song blocked out before recording. Mauro and Davide were very organized and precise in the studio. Terry Silverlight was the main drummer they used. He was a real tight player and funky too. After the basic was down, then other musicians - guitars, saxophone, horns, more keyboards etc. would be added. That's when I came in to play my parts. So I got to see how they developed arrangements from the rhythm section up. Mauro and Davide were a big influence on me. There was however a difference with the recording process today. This era was pre-computers and -sequencers, so a lot of time was taken to make sure every player’s part was locked tight to the groove. One way was to slow down the tape and play the part at a slower tempo, then speed back up to normal afterwards. Finally the backing vocals and the leads were recorded and mixed.

Why were the vocal parts always recorded separately. Isn’t it easier to record music with singers in the studio?
It is standard practice to lay down the track first in this kind of music. Since it was very groove orientated and since the musicians all really have a great musical sense it works. A great musician knows where most things are going to happen. If someone went outside the bounds required, then Mauro or Davide would show us what they needed, based on their knowledge of what the song was. We never heard the vocals, except Mauro or Davide might sing over the track in the control room to make sure it was going to work. They would demonstrate how a part should go and then let you put your own spin on and play it yourself.

Was J.F. Petrus a reliable businessman or a shark? 
Shark first, and a very reliable shark at that.

Is it true that you were playing with Change in 1981 already? How come that Petrus picked you for the Change project? 
That’s right. In 1981 we were introduced by a friend of mine, Pete Cannarozzi, who was playing with Roberta Flack. He was offered the job but was tied up with her so he recommended me. In 1981 I toured with Change. We were the opening act of Rick James' successful Street Songs tour. I did three world tours with Change and I recorded for the 1982, 1983 and 1984 albums.

Was Jacques Fred Petrus ever present in the studio or was he a full-time office man?
He was there in the studio. Petrus definitely had input into the over all vibe. Mauro and Davide were the detail guys. Mauro led of course but Davide did contribute a lot to every aspect, he was more involved in the making of the rhythmics whereas Mauro used to give his finishing touch. They were a very valuable musician team.

Could you give a description of the mysterious Petrus? 
To my knowledge there are no pictures of him. Petrus was born in Guadeloupe. He wasn’t black but dark skinned. The man didn’t have a tall figure but acted tall. Stocky and muscular is my best recollection. He was a very evasive kind of person. He had quite a macho attitude and an intimidating personality. He was all about power... macho was his running theme. Petrus was capable of a good laugh and did have a charming way at times. But he thought highly of himself and he was very passionate. Very direct too. You knew he had the last word, he was the boss. He said to us once: "I AM Change!", which requires no further explanation…

Do you know more about Petrus' assassination? 
I heard it was a hit. He must have crossed the wrong guy, underworld/mob kind of thing.($$$$?)

What have you been up to since Change? 
Well I’ve kept real busy. I composed, arranged, produced and did session work for a wide range of artists such as Iggy Pop, Sisters Of Mercy, Bonnie Tyler, Cher, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Take That, Michael Jackson, Michael McDonald, Billy Ocean, Natalie Cole, etcetera. I also toured with artists Nona Hendryx, Herbie Hancock, Jeffrey Osborne, Akiko Yano and Cyndi Lauper. In my studio in New York I try to keep myself on the leading edge of the evolution in synthesizer programming and electronic synthesized instrumentation. In the last few years I‘ve picked up numerous digital instruments and effects generators. I realized that computers and synthesizers are not all separate things. Together with traditional keyboards they're tools for the musicians. The good musicians use the best and most versatile tools available that make the music sound better, and make creativity less encumbered by ‘mechanical’ limitations. I inter-connected computers, mixers, effects and instruments in a practical full rack system. But I keep my older analog gear in my system because I noticed that many producers are asking for acoustic sounds.

Thanks for the interview!

Francis DEPUYDT (2002.08.02)


 














INTERVIEW WITH MAURO MALAVASI:

I think that together with Jacques Fred Petrus and your mythical label Goody Music you were the first to introduce successfully Italian dancemusic in such a difficult market as the American music market. What are the differences between those times and the recent explosion of Italo house? 
The music is more or less the same despite the fact that there are less means available. There’s also more confusion today and record companies are becoming more suspicious toward new artists and new talents. Italo house was born from a lack of means and the triumph of the dance hits of the past with addition of the loop and some other original melodic ideas. Working this way reduces the costs more. If one has the possibility to try out oneself, then this might lead to interesting and intelligent products. Combining all elements to a musical creation surely isn’t easy. If one succeeds in realising a project which lasts 10 minutes, it means that it really is something valuable. It is true that after a first listen Italo house can appear as an amorf kind of music, commercial, without depth as youth would wish. But all things considered, I believe this music can contain more truth and valuable ideas than those big projects realised with astronomical amounts of money. This music is a witness of our time and one can also find a historic meaning in it. There are artists who succeeded in making a respectable product of it, like the project Black Box (album: Dreamland, 1990) who were my companions at the conservatory (Rudy Trevisi, Sauro Malavasi, Raimondo Violi, Roberto Fontalan). I always knew they had talent, they’re well prepared musicians and an intelligent team that works. I’ve always supported them by saying that they should not weaken because sooner or later their time would come. Today they finally found a successful formula.

It has been told that the success of Goody Music was the result of the Italian melody combined with American musicality, a formula suited as well for listening as for dancing. Italo house brought the Italian melody again to the fore in combination with an ascetic sonority, sometimes hard to listen to. 
The elements remain the same: if the music is good, the public reacts positively. If the artists work with sense and enthousiasm, the public is prepared to ignore the flaws and deficient sounds. What interests people is the creativity. According to me it’s possible to get more out of the success of Italo house: it should be a stepping stone in sight of new challenges which could be reached by Italian artists if they believed more in themselves. Now however we go to an over saturation in the genre of house to the success of products which are even vulgar and rude. But it is an understandable phenomenon: for dancemusic it was a moment of less success, a bit like in 1982 and 1983. At that time I was in America and I experienced the phenomenon from first hand, it were the record companies who decided that the hour of dancemusic was over and that it was time for a revival of rock, heavy metal and pop. Today we are in a moment which is favourable for dancemusic, the cyclus can start again.

What were the motives that led to the end of Goody Music in the US? One talked about a financial debacle. 
I left the states in late 1982. Honestly I had enough of it. I didn’t feel like an American, I couldn’t focus my life on making money. I also missed Italy too much. I’m an ardent nationalist you know and I got just married. On top of that I came in conflict with Jacques Fred Petrus. At that time I was a bit more than 20 years old and I knew very little about the record business. There was actually a financial debacle and when I was aware of this I decided to quit.

With Paolo Gianolio and Davide Romani you formed a very strong and successful team. Why didn’t you continue together. Is it true that there were rivalries among you?
This isn’t true. Davide, Paolo and I, we see each other often and we get on with one another very well. Paolo often works with Celso Valli, Mina and so many others. Davide often works for his own account. What concerns me, besides collaborations with Lucio Dalla I work with Rudy Trevisi.

You are a real musician. Do you think that technology harmed musical creativity?
Instruments like samplers are not necessarely ascetic and cold. On the contrary they can be of great value for the creation process. They are a part of the technological baggage which is available and it would be foolish to neglect. I rather think that technology enlarged the possibilities of expression.

In the days of disco group Change you discovered and launched Luther Vandross who is now a superstar in black music. Do you hear from each other now and then?
We are in optimal contact, so well that Luther included two of my songs on his latest Best Of album. Luther would have loved to work with me but I don’t like to be far away from home for a long time: I’m lazy and I’m scared to travel by plane. In the near future we will work together again. From the moment that I find a song suited for Luther I’ll propose it to him.

Interview by Clay Montana - Appeared in Musica & Dischi magazine (Italy) in 1990, with special thanks to Yves LePage and Patrik B. Andersson. (Translation: Dominique Lannoo, Francis Depuydt)




 

INTERVIEW WITH PAUL A. SLADE:

How did you get in the music business?
I started playing the guitar at the age of 9 and when I was 13 I formed my first group. When I left school in 1965 I joined The Ray King Soul Band as bass guitarist and backing singer. For the following two years I toured England playing on gigs with big names such as: Ike & Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Cliff, Elton John and Jimmy Hendrix… After playing at “The Revolution Club” in London in 1967 I was offered a recording and management contract and recorded my first solo singles with Decca records. At the same time I started writing my own songs and began playing the 12-string guitar. In 1971 whilst playing in Paris I had the occasion to sign to CBS records. I decided to move to Paris where I recorded my first folk-rock album Life Of A Man that put me on the road to a long international career. A year later my next album Dutchman was released. I also became the top 12-string guitarist in the Parisian recording studios. I spent the best part of the ‘70s/‘80s doing session work in Paris as a guitarist and backing singer and writing and recording film music and TV commercial jingles.

How exactly did Fred Petrus get in touch with you? 
In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s all the French artists wanted to sing in English and I was asked to write lyrics for countless artists and often had #1 songs in the French charts. I wrote songs for Jupiter Sunset Band, Dan Perlman, Bimbo Jet, Guy Frasseto, Danyel Gérard, Frank Dana, Jean-Louis D'Onorio (Sunshine On The World), Citizen Gang, Rose Laurens, David & Jonathan, Réjane Perry, Ringo, etc…Fred Petrus had connections within the Parisian disco scene and music publishing world and got in touch with me in 1979 via Marcel Marouani, who owned the publishing company Sugar Music. Marouani produced David & Jonathan at the time. I had just written lyrics for Marcel after having the # 1 hit "I Need A Man" in the USA with Grace Jones. Petrus was looking for hit lyrics. The first songs I did for him were for Change, Macho and the Peter Jacques Band. The biggest hit was "Is it it", not the best of songs I must say but it was catchy. Then I wrote the lyrics for the Change song “Searching”, my second international hit after Grace Jones. This one was followed up with the even bigger hit song “On The Beat” by the B.B.&Q. Band. More songs would follow like “Starlette”, “Time For Love” and “Keep It Hot” for B.B.&Q. Band; “Your Move”, “Hold Tight”, “Stop For Love”, “Got To Get Up” and “Let’s Go Together” for Change; “Going Dancing Down The Street”, “All Right Let’s Go” and “Drives Me Crazy” for Peter Jacques Band and “Break Up” for High Fashion.

Could you explain how the writing process worked? What was the normal procedure when you wrote songs for Petrus?
The first couple of times that I wrote lyrics for Petrus, he sent me the playback tapes (cassettes) home. Whenever Petrus sent me tapes it was 20 or even more songs at a time and I made lyrics for all of them! Naturally some of my stuff was never published. When you write 20 songs (and I ALWAYS work at the last minute under stress as it stimulates me) some of the lyrics are rubbish, specially when I don't feel the song! But as I didn't have much contact with Petrus he would either get someone else to rewrite the lyrics or to change some of them. He never contacted me to ask me to rewrite anything. This is probably what happened with the songs on the Silence album. I discovered there are songs on it that I am credited for that I don’t know. And I have certainly not signed any contract for them. Probably because Petrus got someone else to add some lyrics on the final recording and in doing so even changed the title of the original song that I wrote. On the tapes that I received someone just sang la la la for the melody. I had carte blanche for all I wanted to write. Nobody else had any say in the matter of lyrics. There are no rules for writing songs. I always tried to write lyrics with double meanings like "On The Beat". In English it means "on the tempo" and also "a policeman on his round". Writing funky lyrics was new for me but I have always worked with coloured musicians ever since the early ‘60s. Their music is natural to me. When I could I would just add my voice on the tape that Fred Petrus sent me, using a Revox tape recorder. But most of the time I just sent the lyrics by post to the USA because the songs weren't in my key for singing. When we did the tracks “All Right Let's Go”, “Drives Me Crazy”, etc. in 1985, I wrote the lyrics in Italy while Change and Peter Jacques Band were recording there. When I first met the musicians of Change it was in the studio in Carimate in Italy. When I arrived they were recording, so I just sat down in a corner. I was totally ignored by everyone until Petrus finally introduced me and they all cried out "Hey Man! We thought you were BLACK!". From then on we got on fine. I even sang backing vocals and the lead vocals on several songs of Peter Jacques Band, though my name was never mentioned on any record cover. I just sang the songs in the studio to show the group how I felt them. I didn't know that Petrus was going to release the songs with me as a lead singer!! In fact I only found out about it a few months ago and was very surprised to hear the tracks "Drives Me Crazy", “Don’t Say You’ve Gotta Go” and “Everybody Have A Party” with me singing lead!! Actually when you read about the history of Petrus I am hardly ever mentioned!?! They only talk about the music never the lyrics and who wrote them!

Do you still own some of the original tapes that Petrus sent you?
No idea where these cassettes are! It's so long ago I've lost them, probably threw them away with all my old Revox tapes. I don't keep everything I do, when things are done I move onto something else.

Can you express what you felt when you heard "On The Beat" on the radio for the very first time? Naturally I was always happy to hear my songs on the radio and in clubs. Just happy. I'm quite a reserved person, I like working on my own and always looking for new ideas. If a song becomes popular, all the better but it's not always the songs I prefer that work, although I do rather like "All Right Let’s Go" "Searching" and "On The Beat".

When did you discover that you were good at writing songs and lyrics? If people proposed you poor music, would you refuse sometimes or was it always a challenge to provide the lyrics?
I first started writing songs back in 1967 when I started a solo career in England. I rarely refused writing lyrics for others because 1) it is never the best songs that work and one never knows what will happen. Grace Jones was the proof. And 2) every song is a new challenge indeed.

How did you feel about working with J.F. Petrus? Did you always deal with him? What kind of a person was he to you?
Honestly, I’ve had, and still have enormous problems with Fred Petrus. He was a thief, a crook, whatever... For the past 25 years I have been trying to recuperate royalties for all the songs that I wrote and since my visit to Italy a couple of weeks ago I found out that Romani and Malavasi and their Italian publisher all have the same problem! So we are teaming up together to take legal action. Petrus was someone totally bad! He had absolutely no respect for anyone he worked with and considered that once anyone had worked for him, all the rights for the songs were his! And so he did whatever he wanted with all the works and pocketed all the royalties. That is without doubt why he was shot by the Mafia. The matter of the lyrics was never discussed with the musicians of Petrus. I never dealt with Malavasi or Romani.

Was Petrus a music producer? Was his creative or musical role in the studio important enough to be called so?
It all depends what your idea of a producer is. I think Petrus just had the lucky gift of putting the right people together to create a commercial product. I honestly never really liked the guy and didn't have a lot of contact with him. For a start he couldn't speak English very well, he spoke French and Italian mostly. Secondly he was just the sort of person that I didn't like. He was big headed and thought a lot of himself. Always talked about "His" groups and always called me "Slade" and not Paul. He even thought that I was having a big success in England but was mixed up with "Sade". I think he just knew a lot of people and had the gift to wrap them up.

How did Petrus fix it to enroll all those outstanding artists, musicians, songwriters? What was his clever trick to make it all happen?
Petrus was like a talent scout. As I said he was always looking for the best to do all the artistic work. I only met him twice. The 1st time was in Paris, I think he was just starting up. The first batch of songs I wrote was: “Counting on love”, “Is it it”, “You Got Me Running” etc.... They were released under the groups Peter Jacques Band and Macho. They were produced in Italy. He was based there with Goody Music and Little Macho Music. That was his first crooked thing I didn't realise at the time. All the contracts were in Italian and only much later did I find out that the contracts didn't stand up and he was in fact selling his publishing rights to himself in the USA and already illegally pocketing huge money from song royalties that he wasn’t untitled to under European law. He was very clever at playing that sort of tricks!

Do you know something about the tragic end of JF Petrus? I remember meeting Petrus' best friend Claude Ismael just after his death and he told me (and this is the truth): Fred Petrus was found in his bed with three bullets in his head whilst in his home in Guadeloupe. Probably the Mafia as he dealt with them and must have done something wrong!?! I met Claude Ismael a couple of times. He worked for Petrus in his NY office. He also helped run the night club Petrus owned in Le Gosier on Guadeloupe. He wasn't concerned with Petrus's productions but is probably producing his own stuff now in Paris. I remember that he once wanted to produce one of my songs but after being so stung by Petrus himself I didn't want to work with his close friends (I never told him that though).

You wrote for Petrus projects until 1985. You were a close witness of his rise and fall. Any idea why his Italian crew left him and why he wasn't so succesful anymore in the end? 
No idea. Petrus was just one of the many people I wrote for. Quite honestly I thought he was a joker in the beginning and was very surprised to find “Is it it” at #1 in the Italian charts when I was on summer holiday there. The following year I was even more surprised that “Searching” by Change was in the English charts.There must be a lot of reasons for his rise and fall. He must have had a lot of enemies around. I was certainly always trying to get him to send contracts to me after working and writing all the lyrics that I did. Once he had his recordings done he was the boss and did whatever he wanted with the works and didn't give a damn about the people who worked for him.

Does a song author (lyricist) share the same amount of royalties as the music composer? 
Legally Yes! The normal share is 50% publisher, 25% author and 25% composer. BUT the Italians split it different: 50% publisher, 30% composer and 20% author. Then again for certain royalties it always stays at 50%,25%,25%.

Of which realisations are you particularly proud of?
I rather liked "Searching" and "On the Beat". Otherwise what am I proud of? I guess the answer is nothing! I am an artist and I am never satisfied with all I do. Things can always be better. I think once an artist is satisfied he is finished! One must always try to do better. So I cannot really answer fully this question. All I can say is that I have written lots of songs and played and sang on countless sessions for other artists. I don't remember all of them. In the early ‘70s I spent years in the studios in Paris and played on hundreds of records and I never really kept track of all I did because right from the start I was writing my own material, in my style of music (far from dance music).

How did you actually meet Grace Jones at the time?
As for Grace Jones! I got done over that song too!!! I met Grace in Paris one afternoon when she had just been "discovered". I had already worked with her manager/producer Stephan Tabakov, a zero guy! Actually I was introduced to him because he had asked a couple of my English friends if they could work on his new discovery: Colin Caldwell (sound engineer at Acousti Studios in Paris) and Alain Reeves to do the arrangements. So I agreed to write the lyrics for Tabakov but told him that I needed to meet Grace in order to know what kind of lyrics she needed. When I met her she was only a model and was taking singing lessons (God! Did she sing out of tune!!!). She was trying to put herself up as being an American star but I had worked a lot with West Indians whilst in England in the ‘60s and there was no way she could fool me. She was West Indian origin! Anyway, I said that I would write the lyrics for her and so met Pierre Papadiamandis one day who played me a song that sounded like "Puppet On A String", an old ‘60s song by Sandie Shaw. It sounded (pardon the expression) like shit. After hearing her and meeting Tabakov, my English fiends and I all agreed that it was a joke and a waste of time! The sound engineer asked for an extremely high price for the studio and the arranger did the same. I just forgot it. Then one day, out of the blue I got a telephone call from Tabakov asking if I had done the lyrics. I answered "Yes" he then told me that he needed them that same day, so I said OK. When I put the phone down I hunted for the cassette of the piano version Papadiamandis had given me and quickly wrote the lyrics (took about half an hour at the most) then I jumped on my motorbike and took them to him. I didn't know at the time but three or four well known lyric writers also wrote some words. Mine were chosen and Grace recorded the song, it was released in France and was a complete flop so I forgot about it. Three years later a friend of mine at RCA in Paris telephoned me to ask if I had seen Billboard Magazine. I said no I hadn't. He then told me to go and look at his copy at RCA, so I went to see him. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that "I Need A Man" that I had written was #1 in the U.S. Disco charts!!! And all they had done was remix the song. I never play it to anyone because quite honestly I think it's lousy. As I said, I got done too because what actually happened was that Grace quit her manager in Paris, met up with Tom Moulton in the States who remixed the song and made it a hit. And once again pocketed all the royalties. Yep! I'm not a lucky person concerning producers. The Americans just told Tabakov to get lost as they had done all the hard work and my royalties got lost along with his. BUT I'M STILL TRYING TO TRACE THEM even after so many years now. The good thing was that after having a song at #1 in the USA lots of other people contacted me for lyrics (one was Petrus). Here you go! hard to believe eh? You can spend hours, days, weeks, months even years trying to write what you think is a great song and it won’t work or half an hour to write a lousy, rubbishy hi commercial song and it works! The whole business isn't about Talent, it's about who knows who and MONEY. That's why I got out of it and decided to continue writing my own stuff that I am proud of and even if one or two people listen and think they're good, then I'm happy. That's why I put my songs on the net for free. I'm happy when I make others happy. That's my life.

What are you busy with nowadays? Still composing or writing for others? Still having dreams you want to realise one day?
I’m living in the small village of Saint-Christophe, way out in the country in the centre of France, where for the last two years I’ve been concentrating on writing and recording my own songs in my home-studio. After 40 years of being in show business and all the different music styles I’ve been through, I wanted to get down to some serious writing, lyrics about life, how I experience it. I was busy producing my CD Talking About Freedom. But I do lots of things in fact. I like to do everything myself and I am always thirsty for discovering things. Music is in my blood so I can't let it go but sometimes I go a long time without writing or even touching a guitar. I spend my life searching. I have built two houses alone. I am crazy about trees and nature, I love painting too, I'm always on the go and looking for anything new to discover or create…

Thanks for the interview!

Francis DEPUYDT (2009.03.06)




 

INTERVIEW WITH HERB SMITH:

Could you tell me something about your musical background? I grew up in Philadelphia which had a strong local music scene. At the age of 9 I picked up a guitar and started writing songs. I was a natural, I had a musical ear and I was in the right place at the right time, therefore presented with many opportunities. Got to play behind hundreds of singing groups in Philly during the late ‘60s. At the age of 14 I started playing professionally. My first professional recording gig was for Philly group First Choice in 1973 on their album Armed and Extremely Dangerous. I worked with them for 2 years, from 1973 until 1975. I played Apollo and Copacabana in N.Y. with First Choice while still a teenager… even opened for Helen Reddy with First Choice. Then I joined Dexter Wansell’s band in 1976 and played with the group until 1979. Dexter Wansell was an important musician at Gamble & Huff’s legendary Philadelphia International Records label. He wrote, produced and arranged. I played guitar and placed songs through Dexter on Dexter’s own albums as well as on M.F.S.B.. Then through Dexter, I played guitar on many records produced for Philly International artists as well as for other artists including Donny Hathaway, Jean Carne, Billy Paul, Stylistics, Stephanie Mills, Phyllis Hyman, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Miles Jaye, Grover Washington Jr., Lou Rawls, The Jones Girls, Dee Dee Sharp Gamble, Loose Ends, Fatback, ... With regard to Philly International Records, through exposure to all the acts coming through, I was offered gigs as Patti LaBelle’s lead guitarist from 1980 until 2002. In addition to being guitarist, I placed 2 songs on Patti, “Family” and “I Can’t Forget You”.

How did you get involved with projects of Little Macho Music?
Hookup for Change came through Philly artist Kae Williams Jr., a keyboard player with Breakwater. In 1982 Kae Williams Jr. turned me onto Italian-born Philly arranger and producer Giuliano Salerni who drove down from N.Y. to my home studio in Philadelphia and listened to a bunch of songs I had written. Salerni and Williams had worked together on the Hi-Gloss project earlier. Giuliano took 5 or 6 songs back to New York – one of those was “The Very Best In You”. Giuliano passed the songs onto Jacques Fred Petrus. They were working together on a project for Ritchie Family. He seemed to be the executive producer type who made things happen in a business sense. He gave me an unexpected opportunity. Mauro Malavasi was the musician, the music producer. He played piano and arranged. His musicianship was hot. The Italians had their ears to the ground. They were going around to all the major clubs in New York City – including The Cellar and Sweetwater – to snatch up talent. Petrus and Malavasi decided they would do my song “The Very Best In You” on Change. Other songs of mine were placed on the Ritchie Family including “Tonight I Need To Have Your Love” and “You Can Always Count On Me” along with a few others. I played guitar along with Ira Siegel on the Change and Ritchie Family records. Will let you know if I recall the other session musicians’ names.

"The Very Best in You" is one of my favorite Change songs. Can you explain how you created this song together with Malavasi? 
Fred Petrus and Mauro Malavasi loved the hook which remained unchanged from how it was originally written. They wanted to keep the melody of the verse, but asked that I rewrite the verse lyrics. The original verse talked about a party…they wanted the verse to be a guy talking about his girl!! So I rewrote the verse lyrics, which they loved. Mauro Malavasi and the musicians chosen to play on the record helped to shape the vibe. They kept what I did, but added the N.Y.-vibe. Several drummers were tried out until they found one guy who locked, with direction from myself. Mauro came up with the intro and the music for the bridge, so he got writer’s credit on the song too.

What do you think about the evolution of black R&B music?
Music progresses as society progresses. Better is not applicable. Music is relevant to the time it lives in. I love R&B from the past as well as from the present.

What are you doing nowadays?
I’m married to Elisa O’Keefe-Smith (an Australian singer/songwriter), and father to Kera, Meme and Bryanna (a budding piano player and guitarist in the making at 10 years old). Currently I’m Musical Director and keyboard player at Courage Christian Center, a non-denominational African Church located in Philadelphia. In addition I have developed my own solo show to custom tracks using ipod, keyboard, guitar and vocals, being booked on a regular basis. So currently I’m gigging about 2-3 times a week in the local Philly area. Two nights a week as a solo act at an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia suburb and regular shows with a band called Soul Patrol consisting of other Philadelphia R&B and jazz musicians. The band covers Soul, Blues, R&B and Jazz genres. I’m always working on new songs for myself and other artists. I plan to release an own CD in September ’09. I’m also working on my wife Elisa O’Keefe-Smith’s CD – planning to release around September also. I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished: music career, family. Proud and honored to have been involved with so many wonderful, talented artists, both playing guitar and songwriting. Proud of having such a well-grounded family...


Thanks for the interview!

Francis DEPUYDT (2009.03.15)




SOURCES
  • The Best Of Soul, Ralph Tee (Carlton Books, 1993)
  • Soul Music A-Z, Hugh Gregory (Blandford, 1991)
  • Billboard Newspaper
  • Blues & Soul Magazine
  • All Music Guide To Soul, Various Editors (Backbeat Books, 2003)
  • Who’s Who In Soul Music, Ralph Tee (Weidenfeld And Nicolson, 1991)
  • Top R&B Singles 1942-1995, Joel Whitburn (Record Research/Billboard, 1996)
  • The Encyclopedia Of Popular Music Vol. 2, Colin Larkin (Macmillan, 1998)
  • The Virgin Encyclopedia of R&B and Soul, Colin Larkin (Virgin Publishing, 1998)
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Black Music, Various Editors (Salamander Books, 1982)
  • Liner notes by George Nazar, CD The Very Best Of Change (Rhino, 1998)
  • Liner notes by Jon-Andre Holley, CD Change - Club Classics (Sound And Media, 1997)
  • Liner Notes by David Cole, CD High Fashion - Feelin' Lucky (EMI-Capitol, 2004)
  • Liner Notes by Greg Burgess, CD The Brooklyn Bronx & Queens Band (EMI-Capitol, 2004)
  • Liner Notes by Gail Mitchell, CD Change: Miracles / Change Of Heart (Spy, 2002)
  • Liner Notes by Stefano Colombo, 2CD The Best Of Change (Warner Music Italia, 2003)
  • Liner Notes by Stefano Colombo, 2CD Disco Connection-The Great Disco '70/'80 (Fonte, 2004)
  • Liner Notes by Stefano Colombo, 2CD Change - The Final Collection (Fonte, 2007)
  • Liner Notes by Rico "Superbizzee" Washington, CD Change - Sharing Your Love (BBR, 2011)
  • Liner Notes by Rico "Superbizzee" Washington, CD Change - This Is Your Time (BBR, 2011)
  • Liner Notes by Rico "Superbizzee" Washington, CD Change - Change Of Heart (BBR, 2011)
  • Liner Notes by Rico "Superbizzee" Washington, CD Change - Turn On Your Radio (BBR, 2011)
  • All Music: http://www.allmusic.com/
  • Artist Direct: http://www.artistdirect.com/
  • Disco-funk: http://www.disco-funk.co.uk/
  • Jacques Fred Petrus: http://www.jacquespetrus.com
  • The Power Of Funky: http://members.tripod.com/~funkymusic/
  • Soulwalking: http://www.soulwalking.co.uk/
  • Little Macho Music, A Fan Project For Jacques Fred Petrus: http://littlemacho.tripod.com/
  • Vinyl Masterpiece: http://www.vinyl-masterpiece.com/
  • Davide Romani: http://web.tiscali.it/aaamusicians/iscritti/029.htm
  • Goody Music Catalogue: http://www.xs4all.nl/~halco1/mur/090800/goodycat.html
  • Goody Music: http://www.xs4all.nl/~halco1/mur/090800/goody.html
  • Disco-Disco: http://www.disco-disco.com/index.shtml

Paolo Gianolio

SPECIAL THANKS TO 

Patrik B. Andersson, Yves Le Page, Maarten L. Albarda, Steve Bogen, Claude Petrus, The Freestyle Crew, Davide Romani, Jeff Bova, Terry Silverlight, Mic Murphy, Masaru Nakajima, Goda Kazuhiko, Timmy Allen, Herb Smith, Stéphane Bossé, Widjay Koemar Ramharakh, Philippe Pampouneau, Kevin Robinson, Michael H. Brauer, Thierry Boulanger, Ben Belhacel, Andreas Hellingh, Eddy Boessen, Paul Slade, Claes "Discoguy" Widlund, Paris Ford, Paul Slade, Per Åkesson, Gerald Jacques and CrashComfort.


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