This album made jazzpop fashionable. For ca 6 months.
In the early eighties popular music began to change. After a couple of years of sickeningly sweet pop, anarchic punkrock, stupid pubrock and pompous metal (just think of Abba, T-Rex, The Sweet, The Bay City Rollers and The Clash) the audiences taste was changing. Bands like ABC and The Human League brought a sense of playful irony and a healthy dose of sarcasm together with the use of new technologies (Sequencers, Samplers) and released some amazing albums which would broaden the audiences tastes. Now everything was possible.
At around that time, Danny White, Mark Reilly and Toto Pocioni were picking up the pieces of their failed project Blue Rondo a la Turk, which must have been a bit too weird for the world. They knew they were onto something with the jazzy stuff they've done with B.R.a.l.T., but maybe had to work on commercial viability. So they started writing again, this time with a little known polish girl called Basia Trzetrzelewska arranging the vocal harmonies, now calling themselves Matt Bianco. In the studio, aided by a group of brillant studio musicians (Guy Barker, Ronnie Ross, Robin Jones et al), they made good use of the new gear around at that time but where able not to let the technology get in the way of the songwriting.
They hooked up with Warner Bros (in a contract that should later almost ruin them) and released Get out of your lazy bed, which turned into an instant hit. The followup, Half a Minute became the summerhit '84 in Europe, and the last single release More than I can bear was even bigger. The album became one of the biggest selling records of the year (it had to compete with Frankie, though) and especially continental Europe was hooked.
What was the music like?
Think Bossa Nova, Rumba, Salsa and even a little Ska on acid, hooked up with some electric drumloops, a catchy DX 7 slap bass and the most dazzling female vocal harmonies ever heard on record.
- Whose side are you on?
- More than I can bear
- No No never
- Half a minute
- Matts Mood
- Get out of your lazy bed
- It's getting late
- Sneaking out the backdoor
- Riding with the wind
- Matts Mood II
Unfortunately, the version of "More than I can bear" released on CD is a weak retake of the original without the dazzling vocals released on 12" and LP, as, due to Basia leaving to do her own thing, there were contractual problems with the rerelease on CD. You can get the original fortunately through the usual channels, or get the 12" at gemm.com.
All in all an early masterpiece of the much derided Jazzpop genre .