Zinc, taste that name, Zinc. A strange name for a band or perhaps
odd but nonetheless pretty cool. A band with such an unusual
name got to produce something special, and to a certain degree
1982 Petrus tried just another new concept in his never ending
search for success. Zinc became the result. It was, as many
times before, a clean studio effort and nothing else. Petrus
put together some of his already known Italian in-house-musicians,
a few American musicians and singers from the productions in
1981 and also a couple of new faces to play and sing. There
was nothing new or sensational by that. As
on B. B. & Q. band's debut album in 1981 Gordon Grody (left)
took care of the role as lead vocalist, and as always, he did
it with an appealing result. Steve Daniels, used as vocalist
on Revanche's one and only album in 1979, played Grody's role
on one track besides his main work as a background singer. Among
the musicians, Rick Gallwey from Change, Yogi Horton and Terry
Silverlight could be heard besides the standard line up of Malavasi,
Romani, Gianolio and Trevisi.
and Malavasi produced the set that was equally conducted and
arranged by the latter. It was completely recorded at Media
sound studios in New York by Michael Barbiero and mixed by Michael
Brauer. All albums that year from Little Macho were in fact
recorded in that studio. By that Petrus temporarily left the
Italian and US split recordings procedure of the albums. But
it was just for that year. In 1983 everything was back to normal,
even though the studios were different.
cover featured two sensual legs from a lady in a purple mini
skirt stepping out from a classic yellow cab in New York, a
rather conventional cover design in other words.
music was written, the musicians and singers were assembled,
all was set for the anticipated release, but was it going to
stand the pressure?
album "Street level" on Jive records was not like
the rest of the music from that year that emanated from Petrus
empire and the inner core of the mastermind Italian musicians.
Zinc was a mix of pop, funk, rock and a bit folk in a very interesting
and surprising way. Even though Change's album in 1982 was Petrus'
and Malavasi's best effort Zinc didn't came far behind. The
excellent title track was the Kashif written "Street level"
that managed to catch the street and city life feeling from
the time in an excellent way. The song was also perfectly backed
up by the lyrics, also written by Kashif. The uprising musician,
singer and producer Kashif did some gigs with Petrus in 1982
on Zinc's and High fashion's albums with a good result and on
this great tune he showed his potential. The most interesting
thing with "Street level" is the subtle mix of styles
and instruments brilliantly mixed with Gordon Grody's lively,
energetic and irresistible song effort. Even though it's much
pop it never gets over the top getting main stream. It hold
on to the groove almost without knowing it self. The appealing
synth patterns, but most of all the highly addictive, playful
and distinctive guitars seamlessly drifting from hard punch
to soft, made it complete.
three following grooves were all written by Malavasi and was
easy listening and descent stuff but didn't reach the same level
as the first track even though the last track "This is
where the love is" had some interesting and quirky guitar
riffs and an expressive song by Grody. On the B side however
another notable track was presented by Zinc in the funky gem
of "Punkulation" featuring some fat bass guitar riffs
and a great singing effort. Romani wrote it and it became maybe
his most surprising and bold track. The two last ones included
the mysterious jungle influenced "Amazon" by Malavasi
and the album was ending up with the average "Livin' in
the boggie now" by Gianolio and Malavasi.
in all was the interesting and tasteful album without a doubt
more than a few steps above average, showing some experimental
and innovative ideas from the main songwriters, especially on
"Street level", but also on "Punkulation".
was a change of time for Petrus and Malavasi and Zinc was a
very good effort in the last moments of their cooperation. The
year after Malavasi, Romani and many others left Petrus due
to Little Macho's severe economical problems. In that perspective
Zinc was unique as one of their last joint project before the
changes within the organization and outside musical poprevolution
towards the mid 80s.
story of Zinc didn't stop after "Street level" however.
One last effort on the Jive label with a 12" with the thoughtful
title of "I'm livin' a life of love" was released.
The track was in fact originally written in 82 for B. B. &
Q band but didn't make it for the album that year and was instead
used here. The B-side featured "Livin' in the boogie now"
once again. The song was a poor pop track written by Malavasi
lacking of glove and enthusiasm and flirting way to much with
new trends. It wasn't a surprise that Malavasi was the composer
among Petrus personnel that had the courage to try new formulas.
He was much more liberal and open minded for new musical constellations
than Romani for example that wanted to slowly continue the old
and successful formula without to much notable changes. Unfortunately
most of Malavasi's innovative and experimental songs didn't
reach any commercial success and non of them were musically
as exiting as his classic hits.
pale 12" unfortunately became their last effort on Jive
and perhaps any other label as well. However the name Zinc appear
on other releases that might have a connection. One of them
is the band Zinc featuring Sherwin that at least came with two
releases, "Hollowood city" in 84 and "State of
the nation". Both are 12" singles released on the
small French label Sneak preview, the latter with no printed
year. "State of the nation" was written by Carin Caronia
and produced by Marco Tansin, the credits of the other 12"
are unknown. The name and the fact that Tansini had been involved
with Petrus since at least 79 make it likely that these are
authentic recordings by Zinc, but that is still unknown.
Zinc was no commercial success but is a highly regarded project
among the composers and the musicians that participated today
and among a handful of serious collectors as well.
the short story, not unusual among the projects of Petrus' stable,
Zinc proved more than enough and more than once that the basic
idea of the band could stand the pressure and that Zinc was
a metal to take in to consideration.
the 15th of November 2005 the Italian label Fonte records released
the album by Zinc on CD as a part of a box of five CD's that
also included one album by Armed gang, one album by Flowchart
and two albums by Firefly. More
info about this box and the additional four exclusive boxes
in the series can be found here
Please click on the covers below to see a complete list of songs
from each record.
year & format
(LP & CD)
livin' a life of love
All original release years