MARC FRUTTERO: “FAIRYLAND”
- The Story and the tracks -
by Marc Fruttero

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1. DISCO SILVIA (Album Version)
(M. Fruttero-C. Bihlmaier) 5'11"
Arranged by Andrea Cofrancesco.

This track has a curious story: It was created as a pure joke, nothing else: In 1990 a sexy French friend (Silvia Bagli) and I, decided to film a funny video for a ridiculous song we had made. That “primordial version“, already called “Disco Silvia”, was full of strange solutions, where Silvia and I sang and produced funny vocals. We laughed a lot, and then played it to our friends. Some of them found it funny, some others remained rather shocked…
Obviously, it wasn’t conceived for any release, it was only made for kidding with our friends. But in 2005 I wanted Kimmo Salo (my producer for Flashback records) to listen to some new modern songs (serious ones…) I had made.
I also played two old tracks we made for fun (just for joking once again). Among them the original, grotesque “Disco Silvia”…But Kimmo did not laugh… On the contrary he liked its refrain very much, along with some other sound effects in the background. He also admitted the vocals were a bit too “crazy…“, therefore he wanted to take the refrain and start a new arrangement. I had to write new, nicer lyrics for it (the original words were a real disaster…), then Kimmo asked his German friend Chris Bihlmaier to write some instrumental music to add to the vocal refrains.
…But Kimmo still wasn’t satisfied with the final result. Chris’ 80s style arrangement, along with his additional music, were very nice, but yet the instrumental coda was too long, and there were not enough vocals. Therefore he asked Roman arranger Andrea Cofrancesco to rearrange the song once again, still respecting a pure 80s style, as the album “Fairyland” needed to be.
This time, Kimmo was totally enthusiastic of the final result, and I liked it quite a lot.
New “Disco Silvia” has been mixed in two versions:
An extended mix for a vinyl maxi-single, and a shortened album version to be included in “Fairyland”: In fact, this is the version that has been chosen for the album. Final “Disco Silvia” has a nice “Gazebo” atmosphere, probably created by the influence Gazebo had on Cofrancesco’s musical culture (they are both from Roman background). It is surely a delightful result…! The track features one of my best vocals as well. The lyrics and the refrain are both simple, but everything sounds rather sparkling indeed…
There’s also a video already made, and it will probably be broadcasted in September or later in October 2008.

2. MEMORIES (Extended Remix)
(R. Calzolari-M. Traversoni) 7'40"
Arranged by the Dyva.

A track written by Dyva and rearranged by the same band. It was previously released by Flashback Records as a vinyl maxi (Under the name of Dyva, obviously), and I later sang a new version for my album. Practically it’s a Flashback cover. It’s undoubtfully a catchy song, as some other tracks written by Calzolari & Traversoni. One original thing of Dyva’s style, is changing the instrumental refrain for any rearranged version, keeping the original music only for the vocal sections. I have never heard any other band or artist to work like that, and to tell the truth, I did not want them to change the original instrumental theme for my own new version (the old refrain was already fantastic). …But…they anyway did it…This new instrumental theme is nice too, but the older one was even better. Never mind, the final result has been satisfying too. I suppose the fans of Italodisco will be sure to enjoy this 80s arrangement, as those they love so much….In fact, there’s one very typical element of the 80s in this track: The bells, and this arrangement is all pervaded by that magical effect that makes “Memories” a lovely and cheerful song.

3. DEEP INSIDE OF YOUR HEART (Extended Version)
(G. Mauro-M. Fruttero) 5'34"
Arranged by Joey Mauro.

A track composed by “Magical” Joey Mauro, a guy with a “nervous” creativity…able to compose 80s style arrangements with an originality that distinguishes his works from those made by other arrangers.
“Deep Inside Of Your Heart” was previously released as a vinyl maxy-single, but it wasn’t a success among Italo collectors (who generally buy Flashback’s vinyl records). All the same, I think it’s a very pleasant song. It isn’t exactly catchy like Dyva’s melodies, but it’s nice music anyway, and Kimmo Salo liked it madly from the moment he listened to its demo for the first time…

4. DARKNESS (Turin Mix)
(M. Fruttero) 4'26"
Arranged By Maurizio Castellano and Roberto Gilio.

There are only two songs of mine that have really been advertised in this world of modern Italo revival. One is “If You’re Feeling Blue”, and the other one is “Darkness”. With “Darkness”, some Dutch 80s Dance collectors discovered 1986 forgotten Aquarius project... A vinyl maxi with whom the original version was released (more or less) already in 1986 by a small Italian record label.
But unfortunately, distribution was extremely poor and it was almost impossible to find that record in any Italian shop. I heard less than 100 copies were distributed, and “Darkness” was then completely forgotten… Just after 2000, those Dutch collectors discovered a few “abandoned” copies in some Italian shops somewhere, and published a very positive article on “Darkness” at Iventi.net (until 2006 the most popular site for Italodance). That article was read by almost everybody in this field, and all the collectors started to look for “Darkness” by Aquarius. But that record was very rare, and each copy found and sold at Ebay costed a bundle. Anyway, the track gradually became very popular among those collectors, and, even now, it is the only song of mine (along with “…Feeling Blue”, as I said before) that is known by each Italodisco fan. That Aquarius version has been recently included in Summer Klub vol 2 compilation by 4EverMusic (Warner Bros distribution in Poland). This present other “Turin” version, included in the “Fairyland” album, is the original one of 1984. It’s arrangement is a rather poor when compared to final 1986 Aquarius version, but it anyway has its own particular feeling: A bit “naïve”, as some of the Italo tracks were during the 80s. It was recorded and mixed in a Turin recording studio, but it was practically unfinished. We restored and end this version for including it as B-Side of my successful ”If You’re Feeling Blue” maxi-single. That record was advertised at the top of Iventi.net’s home page, and Flashback Records could almost immediately sell a considerable number of copies. After two years, “Darkness” Turin mix has been included in this CD album too. Kimmo Salo likes this older mix more than the Aquarius version, even if I still think, the other one is still the best ever.
The subject of “Darkness” is a dialogue with our unconscious: We beg the ”deeper part” or “…darker part” of our soul to help us to solve the problems that makes life so difficult and problematic, hoping that powerful part will finally come out and save our existence in a near future…
The melody of “Darkness” is very wide and romantic, and listeners can surely feel a subtle influence by British NewWave. Therefore, some Italofans might say it’s not “Pure Italo” genre, but despite of this, it has been the luckier track I have yet recorded.

5. TELL ME NOW (Dance Version)
(M. Fruttero) 6'14"

Along with “Darkness”, “Tell Me Now” is one of the most melodic songs of the entire album, and surely one of my best loved compositions. It also has a very wide melody, passionate and romantic, and the lyrics talk about remembrances of youth and the love for our friends. Without friendship and love, our lives wouldn’t have any value, and this song celebrates those great sentiments.
This original version was recorded in the mid 80s, but it wasn’t much more than un unfinished demo. Therefore, it has been rather complicated to restore it with the PC: The drums section was still the most uncompleted part (it has been finished by DJ Dario Viale). To tell the truth this original arrangement isn’t really the best. I would have started a totally new one, keeping 80s style, as the spirit of this album requires, but Flashback Records wasn’t really interested in this song, and I was feeling lucky this track wasn’t omitted from the final album project.
There’s also a better version, with a modern arrangement, that I recorded in 2000. I included it in the “In My Dreams“ Cafepress CD-R album of unreleased tracks
( www.cafepress.com/marcfruttero2 ).
Unfortunately I didn’t have any chance to release it as a real CD or vinyl maxi, therefore that Cafepress CD-R is the only release available until now. A video of that modern version will be ready soon.

6. I WANNA LIVE WITH YOU (Miami Mix)
(M. Fruttero-M. Remigi) 4'44"
Arranged by M. Remigi.

This was the real track that started my collaboration with Flashback Records in 2004. It’s a “happy” love song, with a simple melody and sparkling arrangement that is refined and easy at the same time. It recalls the atmosphere of an old 80s hit like “Neverending Story” by Giorgio Moroder/Limahl.
This present mix, was previously released for the B-Side vinyl maxi with the same name. The A-Side featured the Extended Version, while this Miami Mix (it was in fact remixed in Florida) has been chosen for inclusion in the CD album.
“I Wanna Live With You” symbolises my first attempt of starting a solo singer career in the end of the 80s/beginning of the 90s, but for some distribution problem I had, it was only released in 2005 by Flashback Records…

7. IF YOU'RE FEELING BLUE (Extended Version)
(R. Calzolari-M. Traversoni) 5'57"
Arranged by L.A.Messina.

Surely the catchiest melody written by the Dyva, and also the catchiest song I have ever recorded. It was in Dyva’s collection of unreleased demos, and, since the first time I listened to it, I was immediately captured by its music themes. I still wonder why no producer has thought of releasing it as a single before Kimmo Salo and I took it for my 2006 vinyl maxi for Flashback Record!
But…this is a strange field, and all the most weird things are obviously possible. Perhaps the words have always been a bit too easy, but the entire track sounds so brilliant, that one can easily forget about any week lyrics…
The Dyva were then rather busy, therefore, we asked former Italo star L.A.Messina to arrange the song with a pure 80s Dance style. People that follow this genre, really know L.A.Messina very well (He was rather famous in the 80s), and this probably was one of the reasons why that maxi was an immediate success among the Italodance collectors.
Surely, advertising the record at Iventi.net was undoubtelly a good idea, but also taking Messina as arranger was really the right choice. The album ”Fairyland” features the same A-Side version of that maxi-single, so called Extended Version and mixed by DJ Savino in Holland. To tell the truth another better mix (called Waves mix) was chosen by Kimmo Salo and I for the final album project. But just before publishing the CD, Flashback Records decided to discard that new mix, and reintroduce Savino’s original Extended Version…That Waves Mix remains unreleased, but one can have an idea of how it was, going to my MySpace home page
( www.myspace.com/marcfruttero ),
and listen to a previous version of that mix. The subtitle is the same (always Waves Mix), but even if it’s not the final version that had to be included in “Fairyland“, the one featured at Myspace is rather similar, and can efficiently provide a fresh example of how it had to be.
Another earlier demo version is featured in my Cafepress CD-R “Just For The Record…”.
( www.cafepress.com/marcfruttero )
One could finally think: What’s really the best version of all…?

8. FAIRYLAND (Extended Version)
(G. Mauro-G.S. Arena-M. Fruttero) 5'12"
Arranged by Joey Mauro.

Another sweet track taken from the “Deep Inside Of Your Heart” vinyl maxi (B-Side). It’s also the title track of this present CD, and it can clearly express the dreaming nature of the album. The lyrics, created by Californian writer Gregory Santo Arena, talk about nostalgic remembrances of a guy that has lost his family and misses his brother most of all. That bad past has been substituted by two “princesses”:
His wife and the young daughter, in a magic place called…Fairyland…that gave life back to him…
Those soft lyrics have anyway a certain relation with the author’s biography.
Joey Mauro once again creates a fantasist game of sequencers that can delight the ears and make people dance at…Fairyland…

9. DIVERTISSEMENT (Extended Version)
(M. Fruttero) 5'42" - Duet with Anna
Arranged by Davide Balangero.

An authentic and unreleased recording from the middle 80s.
It has been remastered to include it in the album. It’s a duet with Anna, a girl that wasn’t a professional vocalist, but she used to sing with bands from time to time. Her voice was fresh and spontaneous, and Kimmo Salo liked her immediately since the first time he heard “Divertissement”. This enigmatic title is French, and it would mean a sequel of bright dances “to have fun” (the symphonic divertissement from the second act of “The Nutcracker” by Tchaikovsky, is a typical and very famous example). In fact my song would like to create the sensation of a dance series, where the only real intention is making people to have pure fun, to move on the wave of sounds and rhythm.
On the contrary, the lyrics’ subject is once again the unconscious, and the unpleasant presage of a difficult future made of loneliness. It can be considered, as for “Darkness”, to be rather a gothic atmosphere.

10. CRYING FOR LOVE (Extended Version)
(M. Fruttero) 6'46"
Arranged by Mauro”Tommy” Gallo
(also known as Tommy Bow).

Once again an authentic recording from the 80s, at least for the arrangement and the music. In fact, the music for the vocals was already written, but had never been sung at the time. The voice was finally recorded a bit later in Bologna, when I decided to finish the song.
In 2004, Kimmo Salo wanted to make it longer (an extended version), to be suitable for B-Side of the ”I Wanna Live With You” maxi. The original edit was much shorter. It is surely an extremely characteristic 80s danceable track, along the lines of Albert One or even Rick Astley. Tommy (Mauro Gallo) was one of Albert One’s arrangers, and this is the main reason why his work for this track sounds so typical. The words are about a desperate love story, where a guy is dominated and imprisoned by the cruel passion of a woman similar to Circe. Those lyrics were inspired by an original idea of Gregory Santo Arena once again.

11. PLEASE MY LOVE (Remix)
(R. Calzolari-M. Traversoni) 7'55"
Arranged by the Dyva.

Another beautiful cover written by Dyva. Previously released as title track of one of Dyva’s maxi-singles for Flashback, has been rearranged for my album. Roby Calzolari has once again changed the instrumental refrain, but keeping the vocals as they were before. I really love this new version, and I think it is surely one of the most pleasant recordings in this album. The arrangement is bright and cheerful, and can donate an immediate sensation of fresh purification. It is a love song, and, at the same time can clearly express sensations of magic that the subject of “Fairyland” requires. It’s also the longest track in this album. Therefore very suitable for DJs…

12. MOMENTS OF SURPRISE (Extended Version)
(G. Mauro-M. Fruttero) 6'05"
Arranged by Joey Mauro.

The final track…Kimmo Salo did not like this love song so much, and this is the banal reason why it is the last track in the album. I anyway think it’s a pleasant piece: It has a bit monotonous arrangement, so typical of many Italian Dance productions of the 80s. His drums section, that beats so much and constantly, was very frequently chosen in this music genre, first of all by secondary labels that pressed records only intended for playing in the discothèques or during private parties. “Moments Of Surprise” efficiently re-creates this effect so characteristic of those optimistic years.

Marc

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“FAIRYLAND” CD album is available at:
www.flashbackrecords.org

© Zeljko Vujkovic - September 2008