Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Baltimora 'Tarzan Boy'

Chart Peak: 3

Baltimora is really Jimmy McShane - an Irish singer based in Italy. This track was first a massive hit on the continent and then it raced to No. 3 in Britain in early September.
Some people might question the word "really" there: whilst McShane (from Northern Ireland, to be exact) was certainly the frontman of the act, this song is sung with a surprisingly strong Italian act and since his death in 1995 many have speculated as to whether he ever made it to the studio; he did apparently co-write some of their other songs though. Yes, they did have other songs and even other hits in some territories, but this was their only UK chart appearance; even then it took the release of a special "summer mix" for it to make an impact.

As a song, 'Tarzan Boy' is clearly rubbish. To the extent that the words are even audible they make no real sense, whoever's singing doesn't have an especially pretty voice and is often slurred, unless the chorus really is "Nighty-night, gimme the armholes". The production sounds cheap and nasty, especially with 27 years' hindsight, and there's no originality outside the pronunciation. And yet I have to admit that I sort of love this track. I can't even claim the excuse of nostalgia for childhood days, because if I ever did hear it in 1985 I don't remember it; I think there's something refreshingly honest about its silliness and the fact that it makes no pretension to doing anything other than going straight for the jugular of catchiness.

By the way, I didn't really intend to disappear from this blog for over a week. Luckily I should still be able to polish off Now 6 by the end of the month but perhaps the six series should end on this album? I'm open to persuasion on that though.

Available on: 100 Hits 80s Classics

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