Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Rainy Day by Riky Maltese

It's been a while since I've played an italo-disco song, which is unfortunate.  The genre was meant to be practically disposable; it's like garage band dance music from the mid-80s that was specifically made to cater to a relatively small regional audience.  Most of the artists were one or two hit wonders who focused on singles rather than albums; many of them only had a song or two recorded at all.

That said, I've always thought disposable pop fun is still fun.  Heck; much of the corpus of pop music and New Wave music of the entire 80s, even in American pop music, is disposable one-hit wonder type stuff, and that's part of its appeal.

Honestly, I'm a little unconvinced that italo-disco is truly a genre of its own, rather than a localized expression of Hi-NRG anyway.  But because italo-disco as a label is fairly well known, I'll continue to use it.  As the mid-80s wound down, Hi-NRG and italo-disco (which by this point wasn't necessarily very Italian anymore; Irish, French, Slovenian, Canadian, and even German artists were producing "italo-disco" near the end.  It didn't so much as die as split and evolve into various other similar genres; Eurodance of the 90s was a direct descendant, and EDM of today has a pedigree in the area as well.

Riky Maltese was a four-hit wonder, I guess you could say, for certain definitions of hit.  "Rainy Day" was late for "pure" italo-disco; it came out in 1987 when the genre was pretty well and good fragmented and run it's course.  It is, however, one of my favorite tracks to come out of the ouevre.  I think that the copy I have on my phone as mp3 I modified slightly in Audacity to increase the tempo.  I few of these songs sound a little slow and laid-back compared to what dance music has become in the years since.  But if I did, it was only by a few percentage points.

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