You are a danger - Gary Low - 80sneverend - Danger of Italo-Disco

Dangerous Italo-Disco

Gary Low – You are a danger

You seem to be sorry but show no emotion
Without any worries without destination
You are a danger baby you are stranger
Sensibility is out of reach
#GaryLow #YouAreADanger

Have you ever thought about when was the birthday of famous Italo-Disco, that peculiar style of electronic disco music, very danceable and catchy, produced in Italy but sung in English, often by Italian singers or singers based in Italy anyway – but deleting any clue about their true origin in order to appeal the international market? I agree, maybe we won’t find this question in the newspaper, but I think it’s the right time to ask, because Italo-Disco is probably turning forty years old!

The history of Italo Disco is certainly a history of singers, but also of DJs and producers. Towards the end of 1982 the situation was curious: musicians and producers such as Pierluigi Giombini (also known on records as John Bini) and Paolo Micioni were convinced that they had the right idea, and that they were able to make it happen through the use of the first analog synthesizers. The problem was that, when they visited the big record companies and played the “demos” of their songs, obviously on cassette tapes, they were told that yes, maybe the song is nice, but that type of music will never make it big! And they went back to produce the records of old fashioned Italian singers.

As the great Giombini tells on his website, the turning point came while he was working on two songs at the same time, for two young guys who had great potential. One was born in Lebanon and his name was Paul Mazzolini, but he would soon adopt the stage name of Gazebo. He has an elegant look, a beautiful voice, knows many languages and is skilled in composing texts. Giombini produced Masterpiece for him, but the record companies responded with the usual polite refusal.

The other song was intended for a young man whose family had moved from Barcelona to Rome – after all his parents were musicians and he had also spent a lot of time in other countries such as South Africa. That young man always very elegant and with the pompous real name of Luis Romano Peris Belmonte had a great voice, and soon he would have chosen a slightly less high-sounding stage name: Gary Low.

What happened in the meantime, given that forty years later we are still talking about Italo Disco? It happened that instead of visiting the majors, someone had the idea of having vinyls printed and taking them directly to the record shops in Milan where DJs used to look for the latest productions.

And in fact the records began to circulate, and this success born almost spontaneously decreed the birth of this whole trend where we can also include P. Lion with Happy Children, Ryan Paris (born and living in Rome) and his Dolce Vita, and then all the Martinelli production with Simona Zanini who, in addition to singing Cinderella, also lent her voice to French dancer Mandy Ligios, better known as Moon Ray, for her Comanchero. And then we have the whole stream of Novecento and the Nicolosi family, producers not only of Movin’ on but also of a large part of the discography of Valerie Dore, also Italian, often with the voice of Novecento’s Dora Carofiglio. And these are just some of the names.

But let’s go back to the young man from Barcelona, Gary Low: the song Giombini had written for him was You Are a Danger, a very dancey rhythm with female choirs alternating with Gary’s deep voice, all on a background of electronic effects and whistles. And Giombini recalls on his website how the whistle was born by chance from a hasty move while playing the synthesizer. But that whistle was truly irresistible, and Giombini then worked to reproduce it and it became one of the characteristic elements of the song, which finally came out in December 1982.

The text is less trivial than it seems, and this is a characteristic of Italo Disco. In fact, if we read the lyrics of these songs, we are very far from the avalanche of “your eyes” and “my heart” that will characterize English pop in the years to come! This song talks about sensitivity and kitsch lifestyle, and after all even the lyrics of Gazebo, P. Lion, Martinelli and also Valerie Dore were anything but obvious.

You Are a Danger didn’t have a real video, and after all it’s understandable, if we think that at the beginning there weren’t even contracts with the majors; therefore, we have to use clips taken from broadcasts of the time. After all, in the case of Gary Low, even his greatest success, the remake of La Colegiala, had a very simple and low cost video.

One last note: the record companies naturally jumped on winners’ cars, and contracts arrived, but in many cases, according to the singers, they were decidedly unfavorable contracts, so within a few years many of our favorite artists found themselves to be so famous and admired by young people, but in fact they earned nothing or very little, and were bound to very pressing rhythms to record new songs or participate in broadcasts and tours. And often, then, even the record companies declared bankruptcy or their managers disappeared, so much so that some lawsuits have lasted almost up to the present day. Perhaps it was the record companies that Giombini and Gary Low were referring to when they said “You are a danger”!

Gary Low on Wikipedia

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