Home > Italo Disco > Loving every night with the feeling of the moon?

Loving every night with the feeling of the moon?

114680186“Moliendo Cafe” may not actually be a schlager, but the way the song has been covered, translated, and re-interpreted by global cultures over the years places it squarely into the schlager bracket of songs.  Originally created by Venezuelan composer Hugo Blanco and his uncle, Jose Manzo Perroni, wikipedia claims that over 800 recorded versions exist.  Having done a comparative analysis of a few versions of “Body And Soul” during university, and recalling how long that paper was, it’s clear that at this point I’m not brave enough to attempt to reconcile all of those versions of “Moliendo Cafe.”*  However, there is one version I’d like to highlight, and that is the version by the Italo Disco group Cheaps.

Existing squarely in Italo Disco’s sweet spot from both a musical (pulsing rhythm and lots of synths) and release year (1983) viewpoint, “Moliendo Cafe” was a one-off – an artist called Antonello Gabelli** has been stated to be the actual artist behind Cheaps, and it’s his name that appears with Manzo Perroni’s as the composer.  What’s especially interesting about it is that these lyrics seem to have been created by Gabelli specifically for this release.  They bear absolutely no relation to the original “Moliendo Cafe” lyrics in any language, in fact.   Gabelli’s new lyrics are effective at transporting us to some alternate reality where the cure for broken-heartedness is a trip back to the Cafe Moliendo, and “dancing every day to the rhythm of the compass” is a regular facet of life in Brazil, even if that phrase and the lyrics themselves make no sense.

I also want to call out the possibly-intentional screw up that occurs at 2:08-2:11, where half of the vocals seem to come in too early.  Shades of “Louie, Louie” across the decades!  It’s oddities like this that make Italo Disco records so charming and unique***, especially in the 1982-1983 time frame.  By the time you get up to the M&G “When I Let You Down” era in ’86, the homebrew aspect was lost, and even great tracks like that one are dead ringers for major label pop in production quality.  Time marches on, but we’ll always have the talented amateur era of Italo Disco to hold dear.

This track is digitized from the original Baby Records Italy 7″, sorry for a few pops here and there but I’m not a big believer in post-processing.

[audio http://www.divshare.com/direct/24331131-7f0.mp3]


*one person braver than myself has an interesting take on a couple versions here.

**also co-writer of JD Jaber songs, as well as Chris Luis’ great “Heart Of The City,” but Gabelli was also an artist in his own right, with at least three releases under the “Duke Lake” pseudonym according to Discogs.

***See also Awesome Hall Of Fame’s post on Block Sistem and the dodgy tape edits that define the instrumental version.

Categories: Italo Disco
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