The Italian dance group, Black Box, were pioneers of house music in Italy in the 80s and 90s and are available to be booked for performances worldwide through London based music booking agency MN2S.
The band comprises extremely gifted Italian musicians, Daniele Davoli, a club DJ who is best known for the big hit ‘Grand Piano’, and Valerio Semplici, a classical trained clarinettist, and the keyboard player Mirko Limoni. The three provided all the musical nous behind the group’s creative output, although they enlisted the services of the French fashion model Katrin Quinol to be the face of the group on their album artwork and in their music videos, posing as lead singer.
Black Box was not the beginning of a career in music for the three musicians having already released the single ‘Numero Uno’ under the moniker Starlight which shot into the UK top 10 in August 1989 and a follow up hit at UK number 9 entitled ‘Grand Piano’ as Mixmaster, before forming Black Box later in the same year.
Under their current Black Box alias, the group released their first single ‘Ride on Time’, which hit number 1 for six weeks in the UK and appeared in the top 10 in a number of charts across Europe, and went on to become 1989’s most popular song. The tune drew its inspiration from Loleatta Hathaway, taking its title from the lyrics to her 1980 release ‘Love Sensation’ – “Cause you’re right on time”. Using sampled vocals from the original meant that Black Box lost a substantial share of the song’s revenue through royalties, and, as a result, recorded a new version with Heather Small on live vocal duty.
Given that the group’s figurehead Katrin Quinol was just that, the group required an actual singer to perform on some of their tracks, and so brought in Martha Walsh to sing on some of their club tracks. Walsh also featured on the group’s 1990 album, ‘Dreamland’, which contained the hits, ‘Everybody, everybody’, ‘I Don’t know About Anybody Else’ and ‘Strike It Up’, all of which achieved worldwide popularity. The album spent an impressive three weeks at number one in Australia, where it also went double platinum, and also earned gold status in the UK and US.
One of the singles from the album, ‘I Don’t Know Anybody Else’ again draws on Loleatta Hathaway for inspiration, the title this time coming from a misinterpreted lyric from her ‘Love Sensation’, where the original line is in fact ‘I don’t love anybody else’. The single was a hit in a number of territories, reaching the Top 5 in the charts in Ireland, Switzerland, Norway and the UK, where it spent eight weeks in the charts. The single ‘Everybody, everybody’ saw success across the Atlantic where it was No. 1 for three consecutive weeks, as well as hitting no.2 on the US R&B chart, no.8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and no.16 in the UK charts.
The band’s distinctive house music style with frequent piano sounds defined the Italo house music genre, which evolved from Italo-disco fused with UK and US house music. Drawing on sounds from pop and dance music in the 70s and 80s, Italo-disco grew in popularity, but it was later overtaken in popularity by the exciting new genre Italo house.
Black Box are rightly regarded as legends of the dance music scene in Europe in the 90s, and continue to enjoy great popularity for their live performances to this day. To enquire about booking Black Box, please contact MN2S booking agency.
Article Submitted By Community Writer