Monday, 28 September 2015

Now HERE’s one a little closer to home for ol’ Guitarzan... ;)
An Italian group active in the 1980’s, Baltimora are often considered a one-hit wonder in the United Kingdom and the United States. In early 1984, Maurizio Bassi, a music producer and musician from Milan, met Jimmy McShane, a native of Derry, Northern Ireland. McShane was an emergency medical technician (EMT) who worked for the Red Cross in Northern Ireland. They decided to form a band fronted by McShane, who was a talented dancer with a good voice. Bassi recruited other musicians to record their first album, including Giorgio Cocilovo on guitar and Gabriele Melotti on drums. McShane's look, which was characterised by extravagant and loose clothing, was soon adopted by Bassi and all the other members of the band, who appeared on stage with extravagant hairstyles and wearing large red-rimmed glasses.
Some sources state that lead vocals were performed by Maurizio Bassi, with McShane providing the backing vocals. The bulk of Baltimora's song writing fell on Bassi and Naimy Hackett, though McShane wrote the lyrics to some of their songs, including the single "Survivor in Love".
But here for download is Baltimora's debut single, "Tarzan Boy", released in April 1985, in 12” form (Columbia ED-153). It became a huge European success, peaking at No. 6 on the Italian single chart and entering the top 5 in numerous European countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and Norway. The song eventually made it to the United Kingdom charts, where it reached No. 3 in August 1985.
"Tarzan Boy" was released in Canada in October 1985 and peaked on the Canadian charts at No. 5 by the end of the year. However, it took a while for the single to enter the Hot 100 single chart in the United States (where it was released on EMI). When it did, it remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six months, peaking at No. 13 in February 1986. The song was re-recorded in 1993 and has been covered by several artists throughout the years. Many vinyl and CD single remixes were made so it’s a little hard to tell if any of the remixes on this Australian 12” release (see here) were reissued to CD yet.
Baltimora's first album, Living in the Background, was released in Europe at the end of 1985, and in United States in 1986. Despite the success of "Tarzan Boy", Living in the Background only charted moderately entering the top 20 album charts only in a few countries in Europe, including Sweden, only reaching the No. 49 spot on the US charts.
When Baltimora's second album, Survivor in Love (1987) and the single "Key Key Karimba" failed to chart, the band lost label support and decided to disband. Eight years later, Jimmy McShane died of an AIDS-related illness in March 1995. mp3
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