Archive for July, 2010

You Are A Danger(!)

July 5, 2010 2 comments

Among the best and most successful Italo Disco songs, Gary Low’s “You Are A Danger” is a fine example of the playfulness of the genre at its peak, circa 1982-3.  It is also an exemplar of the old adage “less is more” – though more in the length department than the instrumentation (which has everything including what sounds like a highly tuned kitchen sink drip).

Any good Italo Disco song has some really sassy synths, and “You Are A Danger” is no different.  Right from the beginning some vocoder warbles combine with some whistle-like sounds to give the impression that the song is catcalling someone…perhaps you, the listener?

Though the backing track here is quite good, unlike some other Italo Disco songs, the instrumental would leave you missing some of the best parts of the song* – the chirpy, girl-group-ish chorus vocals, the absurd lyrics (“your sensibility is out of reach”), and not forgetting the relative lack of vocal skill of Mr. Low himself.  He’s no Gary Numan, that’s for sure.

Thematically, “You Are A Danger” mines the same territory as Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” with a lot less pathos (and detail, for that matter), as long as we assume that the female chorus vocals are this song’s “waitress in a cocktail bar.”  That’s no sure thing given how positively chirpy they are (I imagine a troika of hipster Italian faeries), but I’m out of coherent theories otherwise.

Unlike some of its more esoteric counterparts (c.f. Gay Cat Park’s “I Am A Vocoder”), the song is also available in a more-easily-digestible 7″ version clocking in at 3.5 minutes.  The 12″ version is over eight minutes and does not do much in the extra five that it hadn’t done already.  If you don’t believe me, or have a very patient crowd of dance partiers, you can grab the 12″ version on iTunes for 69 US cents (the original 12″, on il Discotto, will set you back considerably more).  This version is taken from a Swiss pressing on Baby Records – the picture is from the sleeve.  I got this in a nice haul from a local Zürich record shop that had a realistic view of single prices for once: this one cost 50 cents.  By comparison, every single 7″ single in the local thrift store is priced at CHF7.  WTF?


*Though I will provide the instrumental by request.

Categories: Italo Disco