Change

This great band are one of the best, but also one of the most underrated ones in the disco and R&B genres during the first half of the 80s. They created a catchy, smooth and polished disco, and later R&B and pop funk sound, with a touch from heaven. Here is the story about the band that maybe let them shine a bit longer and perhaps do so for new music listeners as well, they certainly deserve it!

The background

Guadeloupe born businessman Jacques Fred Petrus and his closest companion, Italian Mauro Malavasi had been producing their own music since 1978 under the company name of "Goody Music Production" (GMP; later replaced by the Little Macho Music name). With in-house studio creations like Macho (1978) and Peter Jacques band (1979) they had earned some attention on both the European and American disco heaven. Based in Italy with a small publishing office in New York Petrus/Malavasi were the first Italian music producers, exclusively using Italian musicians, and most of all Italian producers that gained any broader success. In that respect they were true pioneers in Italy and was via their earliest achievements already eternalized in the history books of music.

Putting it all together

Davide RomaniAlready in 1979 the work with a new nameless project had started. The name was finally decided to be "Change", a perfect name considering the coming changes of the number of projects in GMP Petrus decided to keep. The main forces behind Change was the Italian Davide Romani (left), that had joined GMP in 1977 as a self-taught bass guitar player, and fellow countryman Paolo Gianolio on guitar, with a solid classic guitar education behind him. Romani himself also wants to give a great deal of credit to another Italian musician, Rudy Trevisi that played a more important role for Change than most people know. Romani didn't wrote anything the first years with GMP but got the greatest chance of his life on this new project after Petrus had persuaded him to compose some tracks despite the fact that Romani hadn't composed anything before. It turned out to be a very lucky strike for both Petrus and Romani. Together with Malavsi, Gianolio and Garfield they wrote all the tracks on the debut. Now it was time to find the singers and writers of the lyrics as the Italians hardly could any English. For that Petrus looked overseas, towards USA. Soon he found guys like Wayne Garfield that also (co-)wrote some tracks, Tanyanette Willoughby for the lyrics and the two main vocalists in Luther Vandross and Jocelyn Brown. Vandross caught Petrus' attention after he had heard him singing in a Coco Cola spot. He had the highly sensitive, emotional and expressive voice Petrus was looking for. Vandross had earlier been a well-appreciated background singer for artists like Roberta Flack, David Bowie and Chic, worked with highly successful and famous commercial advertisement for radio and television and been singing in the adult choir in the film "The Wiz" in 1978. He had even released two rarely heard albums on Cotillion under the name "Luther" in 1976 and 1977 but both of them, despite hitting the charts with one single from the debut, didn't reach any greater interest and soon vanished in the flood of music. This gig on the first album of Change became his Luther Vandrossbig breakthrough and opened up the road of incredible fame and commercial success as a (second try) solo artist with the strong debut "Never to much" in 81 on Epic. With that release and many others to come Vandross (left) became one of the biggest soul stars during the 80s and 90s. Vandross realized his value when negotiating with Petrus and expressed two demands to him before joining in. He wanted the have full control of the recording process of his voice and be able to stop whenever he wanted if he wasn't satisfied with the recordings and secondly to be credited as the main vocalist, something Petrus originally didn't plan to do. Both demands were accepted. This was a bigger catch than anyone could imagine. Jocelyn Brown on here side had made even deeper footprints in the sand of music than Vandross. She had earlier been a member of the obscure disco group "Musique" and became one of the original members of the later well-known "Inner life" band in 1979 and scored with them incredible hits like the remake of the classic hit "Ain't no mountain high enough" in 1981 and the catchy "I like it like that" in 1982. Brown certainly did posses valuable experiences from similar kind of music that Petrus/Malavasi produced and was like Vandross a perfect pick. She was later married Shaw and was for a short time credited as a background singer with that name on albums by Change in 80 and 81. But in 82 she was divorced and used her old name once again and become under that name a successful solo star during the 80s. Her solo career included the tasteful debut in 1984 including the funky dance hit "Somebody else's guy".

Important to remember though is that Change were, despite great singers and a huge "band potential", a studio concept. The fact corresponded well with the stylish cubist album cover made by Frank Porto without any pictures or credits of Change being a band on the cover.

How the work was done

Petrus/Malavasi had a specific way of working with their studio creations as the recordings of the music and the vocals were split between Italy and US. To split in such away was quite common in this kind of music but splitting up between countries was a more rare thing. First of all the melodies were created, recorded and mixed at the Bologna studio in Italy by engineer Maurizio Biancani. The hired musicians from the US were simply flown in for a couple of week's hard work and then went back home. The vocalists of Vandross and Brown on their side however stayed in NY where all the vocal parts were recorded, mixed with the music at the Power station studios and the later legendary Media sound studios. Bill Sheniman was the engineer at the Power station and the uprising engineer Michael Brauer at the Media sound. This job was Brauer's breakthrough as an engineer. Why they didn't record all the stuff at one place is unknown. Perhaps it was because they wanted the better of two worlds.

As Petrus constantly had several projects going on simultaneously none of the musicians or singers had a clue where the final results were going to end up. That knowledge was exclusively owned by Petrus, Malavasi and Romani and nobody else's.

Even though Petrus wasn't as the actual producer of the music, as the cover information on all the albums wrongly says. He did however decide about the over all influences of the music by setting up the guidelines for the sound. No songs were accepted for an album before his approval. In these ways he produced the music, but, without very few exceptions, in no other ways.

The release

In 1980 Change finally released their first album "The glow of love". Immediately it became an incredible hit and reached the no 1 spot on Billboard's "Black albums" list and stayed there for nine weeks, long enough to become the no 1 Disco single/album of the year. Also, three cuts, "A lover's holiday", "Searching" and "The glow of love" reached the no 1 spot on Billboard's Club play singles chart for nine weeks. The album was also rewarded seven Grammies. Around the world it received great attention as well and Change seemed to have a subscription of top ten places on the music charts. Petrus as the businessman, but most of all Romani, Gianolio and Malavasi as the creators of the music had done a superb job and couldn't have dreamt of a more impressive start. The by far biggest hit from the album was the incredibly catchy "A lover's holiday" with an excellent carpet of groovy guitars, smooth melody and classic handclaps. The hit was Romani's first (disco) composition ever and with such a start the hit making productions just got to continue. The rest included well-appreciated songs like dreamy "Searching", "The glow of love", that was Romani's second song (co-written by Wayne Garfield) and energetic and Chic like "It's a girls affair". Mauro Malavasi that was the leading man besides Petrus was especially pleased with the title track that he strengthened with some new arrangements as he saw great potential in it. "Searching" almost didn't make it for the record and Romani had to persuade Malavasi the opposite. The track that was removed in favor of "Searching" was in fact the later known hit "Starlette" by B. B. & Q. band that found a place on their debut album. Among all the tracks from the successful debut "The glow of love" became one of the most popular, covered and sampled dance songs with over 40 licensed versions to date. In fact, "The Glow of Love" is the no 3 all-time greatest dance/club hit recording, according to Billboard's 100th Anniversary issue. In an interview for Vibe Magazine (September, 2001) Wayne recalled Luther's recording session testimony as, "Wayne, this is the most beautiful song I've ever sung in my life....".

The sound

The material was much disco oriented with catchy melodies but some of them showed a slightly unpleasant, somewhat cold feeling, especially compared with later releases. In that respect Change' first album had more in common with Chic's more aggressive modern sound than any of the other releases. Vandross impressive voice did also receive great attention, according to a majority of the musical press at the time, he was inevitable for a solo career, an assumption that indeed was realized one year later.

Criticism could also be heard about Change as a "poor man's Chic". Even though Romani himself admits that Chic's appealing and sophisticated sound did have an impact and was a source for inspiration Change developed its own sound, something that became especially obvious on the second album. The sound was characterized by a sleeker, more polished and balanced touch with a less aggressive approach than the sound of Chic. Both of them had strong melodies and nice arrangements but Change brought that to an even higher plateau with an over all more clever production by the Italian producers. Especially Malavasi's and Gianolio's delicate classical background at the conservatory of Bologna contributed to that and shined through more than ones. The winning but short lived "Change sound" could soon be heard on all Petrus' projects. The centerpiece in all this was beyond any doubt Mauro Malavasi that in his crucial role both as a writer, arranger, conductor and over all producer of most of the Petrus' created bands is the essence of the successful "Spaghetti disco" sound from Italy! So to say that Change is a "poor man's Chic" is a statements that's not only ignorant but stupid as well.

Petrus and Malavasi had now made it; they had reached their goal to create a very successful band like Change and the sunny light of success was shining at their faces.

Miracles - Music from heaven and their greatest achievement!

James RobinsonIt was a new year and Petrus, Malavasi, Romani, Gianolio and the rest were in the studio planning their second album with Change. Luther Vandoss had gained some rather impressive attention after the debut album and Petrus, his producers and the fans wanted more of him. Romani even wrote "Hold tight" especially for him, but it wasn't meant to me. One of Petrus main engineers Michael Brauer explains the reason why: "The second Change album was suppose to be sung by Luther Vandross but because Petrus refused to agree to a fair contract --- Luther declined to sing on the record. They went on a search to find someone that sounded like Luther. They finally found a guy named Crabs that could copy the style but added little originality". So no more Vandross that thereby left the group for a successful solo career. He was, as Brauer said, replaced by James "Crab" Robinson (above) as lead vocalist that did have a great voice but was of course no Vandross. Nonetheless Robinson's voice was both smooth and powerful. Robinson, a cousin of Paris Ford from B. B. & Q. band's debut album, had earlier been a vocalist and played guitar on Sonny Liston Smith's jazz albums in 1979 and 1980 before joining Change. Furthermore Diva Gray replaced Jocelyn Shaw. Even though Vandross and Shaw stepped down from the main roaster they continued to sing and was s credited as background vocalists on "Miracles". That was especially strange when it comes to Vandross as he already had declined Petrus unfair offer to continue as lead vocalist. So why perform as a background vocalist? He even participated in the same role on B. B. & Q. band's great debut album that same year. The question however remains unanswered.

Change released their second album "Miracles" in 1981 that also reached the no 1 spot of Billboard's "Black music" albums and hold that for six weeks. That was a fantastic achievement but not a surprise as it was, and still is, a pure masterpiece of music!

The mastermind Italians - The real creators of Miracles!

Who were the creators of this great music? The three main sources to this immense success was the brilliant Italians of Davide Romani, that wrote three tracks, and Mauro Malavasi and Paolo Gianolio that wrote two each. Their obvious great love to what they enjoyed most was so powerful that their hearts literally could be seen in an inner world when the listener closed their eyes. It's like a journey between this world and an eternal paradise that they effortlessly travels back and forth between getting divine inspiration to, at the end, generously give the listener an experience of their life and everybody got a free ticket!

Davide Romani
Mauro Malavasi
Paolo Gianolio
 
Davide Romani
Mauro Malavasi
Paolo Gianolio
 

The spiritual moments is unmistakably obvious and equally an immense force that brings the release to pure musical quality. In fact, a more brilliant effort with such a heavenly feeling is very hard to find in this category of music. The music simply affects your body, inner consciousness, your spirit and foremost your heart in such a way that it's impossible to resist. This production is the highlight of all the efforts among the inner circle of the Italians.

To pick any major hits from the album is impossible but commercially "Paradise", with its playful guitars was a major song. The song got a rather impressive background story too. Romani thought that the set didn't have a strong single and in only one night he wrote "Paradise"; indeed a remarkable effort! The record also included the catchy "Hold tight" that was the second single, the spiritual "Miracles", speedy "On top". James Robinson's well articulated and sensitive interpretation on "Your move" and the fantastic, highly sensitive and spiritual "Heaven of my life" makes you feel that you were in paradise and wont leave anybody untouched in their spirit. That track is just a perfect combination that brings the result to the highest level of musical art. The track list ends up with "Stop for love", Malavasi' first ballad and once again performed by Robinson in such away that it leaves no one untouched. "Hold tight" deserves a few more words. The excellent produced piece just got to be heard with its sensitive, smooth, dance oriented melody right through the song, an addictive refrain and all put together with encouraging and uplifting lyrics performed by Diva Gray in a masterful way.

One thing that was so unmistakably clear about this album was the fact that all the melodies were so amazingly strong and hard to resist. These facts weren't created by chance though. It was something that Romani and Malavasi were well aware of. According to a statement by Petrus in 1981 the secret to the success was simply "too much melody". He saw that as the number one hit factor and tried to use that recipe over and over again and both Malavasi, Romani supported these ideals completely. Change and B. B. & Q. band certainly lived up to that statement!

The album became Change's best and most well balanced release. It showed a distinct and mature musical expression that surpassed their debut and in fact all the following albums as well, even among all the Goody music/Little Maco productions. The flawless production must have been a golden stone given by the treasury of the music in heaven. If there are any album with Change a new listener might choose, this is the one and you wont get disappointed.

After the successful first albums many great musicians came to the studio and one of the most memorable and highly appreciated visits for Romani was when no one less than Nile Rodgers dropped in during a day of hard work preparing "Miracles".

Change turns to R&B

Change had reached the famous top of success and it was now time for the important third album, the hardest they say.

Change had so far not been a band in the real meaning of the word, they were more a studio concept with several different "Change" touring in 80 and 81. Petrus realized after the success with the albums in 80 and 81 that Change must become more band like and that he had to finally give them a face and a stable identity. Former keyboradplayer Jeff Bova express this in a very clear way:

"Album was recorded with all the studio players. When it came time to promote it, Petrus had to put the actual touring band together to make it a real promotable entity. If I recall they did some gigs with the original lineup but it didn't work out for the long run. Between 81 and 82 they tried some live support of the record, recorded the 2nd album, organized the official touring group and members, then released it and the basic change that you know was unleashed upon the world! To make the band more group like was what promoters, booking agents (Norby Walters was ours) needed to get people to feel a connection to the band".

Sharing your love

The lineup of Change in 82 included James Robinson, lead vocals, Deborah Cooper, lead vocals, Timmy Allen (came from the band Kinky fox where he played bass), bass, Mike Campell, guitar, Vince Henry, sax & guitar, Jeff Bova, keyboards and Rick Gallwey, Percussion. Some of them had also participated on the tour after the 81 releases. Timmy Allen that originally came from Philly became an important figure, both now and even more later on. He had a great deal of influence over Petrus and was influential in shaping the touring band for Change and BB&Q band and played a later important role in the song selection process on a number of album projects for Little Macho Music. This lineup was almost entirely stable until their last album in 85

In 82 the new album "Sharing your love" hit the market with the dreamy dance hit "The very best in you" that reached the #16 spot on Billboard's Black Singles list. The album also had other highlights with tracks like "Hard times (it's gonna be all right)" with some fat guitar riffs and haunting horn pumping and street funky "Take you to heaven". The set also included some nice ballads that gained some urban contemporary airplay.

A new thing with this album was also the picture of the group that compared to the two albums before had not been showing anything except the cubist art of Frank Porto. The band ws now more stable with a lineup that basically would be the same until the last album and only go through some minor changes.

On a whole Change maintained much of the flow from the the album in 81 even though the material didn't have the high-end quality all through. Otherwise it was the fact that the band turned more to R&B than (post-)disco that was of any musical importance.

With three successful albums the fourth album "This is your time" in 83 became no major exception even though it didn't quite reach the same commercial success. The lineup was slightly changed. Toby Johnson on drums was added to the lineup and Rick Gallwey replaced Rick Brennan as percussionist. The album open up with the mid-tempo track "Got to get up" with lots of guitars and a deep groove; tasty. The second
track "This is your time" is faster, still with the deep guitars (groove!) all over, a landmark for this album with out a doubt. The firsts side ends with a couple decent tracks. When you turn to the other side "Stay' fit", a decent track once again meets you followed by maybe the best track together with "This is your time" on this album "Tell me why". These two tracks were similar in speed and feeling, both great dance classics. The last track "Don't wait another night" is a playful but ordinary track but still one of the best on the album. The process seen on the last album towards R&B continued with a deeper groove but also with less fluency and a feeling of atmosphere than before. Evan so the tracks were musically great for a rendezvous on the dancefloor or for a fully acceptable Change-night at home.

An new but short era

Jimmy JamAfter financial problems and the following departure of the two leading characters of Malavasi and Romani in 83 caused by that the future of Change, and every other of Petrus' projects, looked uncertain. Who could possibly replace them as the leading creators of the music? Petrus did however not hesitate a moment before taking action, and what a perfect move it was. Petrus hired the upcoming ex Time members, producers, songwriters and musicians, James Harris III and Terry Lewis, more known as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The pair wrote most of the tracks and produced the entire album. Timmy Allen, that slowly had developed within the Petrus empire, showed his writing skills on the rest of the tracks with a very good result. Allen, that became a key figure not only in Change, had a great deal of influence over Petrus shaping the touring band for Change and BB&Q and taking care of much of the song selection on a number of album projects for Little Macho Music. James Robinson left the group as lead singer, a role to be overtaken by Timmy Allen and Rick Brennan.

Terry LewisWhen the release of the fifth album "Change of heart" in the early parts of 84 came, it was a bomb. Featuring Porto's perhaps most excellent and well-balanced cover art among all their albums it was especially the first 12" included version of the title track "Change of heart", with an extremely catchy and irresistible melody with punchy guitars and delicately added synthesizers
that became an all time classic. This track and the whole set for that matter showed Jam's and Lewis' production skills at their best together with Petrus deep knowledge for what was good for the group over all. In fact, Petrus only was the executive producer letting Jam and Lewis be the producer, even though Petrus always had the last word and therefore indirectly decided over the sound. On a whole, this was and is a very complete album, the best since 81. Jam/Lewis logoThe process continued to R&B and away from the eurodisco just before. The release showed much of that stuff with tight harmonies, deep bass guitars and a more groove like music, much different from Change in 80 and 81. Although this isn't the "old Change" Jam and Lewis special sound fit perfectly. The timing couldn't have been better. Except "Change of heart", the whole album included fantastic songs like sing-a-long "You are my melody", the more edgy and sexy "I got my eyes on you", "Lovely lady" and the hypnotic and "It burns me up" all with a spark of the old Change in a modern way. Some fans of Change might say that this was American R&B and have nothing to do with the original Change, but you can only say that if your not open for some change(s). This is without a doubt one of the best albums in 84, a must have for any lover of R&B.

The last album

The success with Jam and Lewis was short and it only lasted for one album. In 85 Petrus had to come up to something new once again. The result became the album "Turn on your radio" that was released on Atlantic records. With a rather boring front cover (below left) )instead of the mystical and beautiful cubist art of Greg Porto - only the UK release did for some unknown reason feature the typical Porto style art (below right) - on the earlier ones it became their weakest effort but not without shiny glances of the old Change. Both Jeff Bova and Toby Johnson had also left Change after their successful album in 84 but Romani came back to write one track. A funny thing was that Petrus co-wrote the hit "Let's go together", a thing he seldom did. The album was foremost a production of formidable Timmy Allen (below) however. Allen wrote six tracks and was immensely inspired by the Jam/Lewis sound that he tried to reuse and had already proven his talent on three tracks in 84 including the excellent "It burns me up". To a certain degree he managed to copy the sound in 85 as well, especially on the brilliant ballad "You'll always be a part of me" that had very much in common with the Jam/Lewis monster hit "Weekend girl" by SOS band the year before. Allen was also the co-producer according to the album cover. In reality the album was his project and an opening for a successful career as producer. Even though Allen tried to stick with the old sound of Change the influences from the modern and empty plastic pop of the mid 80s couldn't be stopped entirely.

Cover EU & US (Type 1)
Cover UK (Type 2)

Compared with the twin album of Peter Jacques band's (PJB) the same year Change had more of that old groove oriented feeling left and showed a much more solid album than PJB did as well. Despite that, PJB's album did get slightly more media attention than "Turn on your radio" that once again indicates the strange musical world at the time. Even though Change's album was solid they couldn't quit compete with the best Little macho production that, the very appealing "Genie" album with B. B. & Q. band. As songwriters Petrus used Allen, Cooper and reused the old songwriter Paul Slade, that co-wrote so many great hits on B. B. & Q. bands first album, to bring some extra light to the project.

When the title track starts playing it's a happy and nice melody you hear but without that Change groove and glow from the past. One has to say though that all the tracks pending from good to descent dance tracks with a happy, easylisteing and welcoming sound. Three tracks however rise them self above the rest. The first of them, the thumping and happy "Let's go together" was strangely the same track as Peter Jacques band's "All right let's go" that year. Obviously the absence of good tracks made Petrus include Romani's track on both albums. The already mentioned marvelous ballad "You'll always be a part of me" was the second of the stronger acts from the set. The last of them was "Mutual attraction". Strictly commercially speaking the first and the last tracks together with "Oh what a feeling" became minor hits, especially in Great Britain.

Even though the album was a bit over average in quality with some highlights the fans must have been a bit disappointed nonetheless. Maybe the split from Malavasi was much more devastating than Petrus really understood in addition with the huge revolution going on within the music industry that not longer demanded the old disco groove oriented tracks any longer but more the pop/rock/synth ones. Said that, "Turn on your radio" still includes so much excellent musicians and singers filled with so much love, experience and joy to the music. It's just sad that the public couldn't quite comprehend that in 1985. Change really couldn't coop with these demands from the musical industry. They had a crush on their old sound that they couldn't let go of. That reason made them successful but laid also the ground for their end. PJB's similar album with far less impressive track material that instead was given to Change was even controlled by the pop and Synth music. Their music became also closer to a real failure that all Petrus productions that year.

Although the rather down going end of Change they still stands as one of the best groups ever in their time. In my mind, their second release is their most interesting and fulfilled effort together with the Jam and Lewis produced 84 album. But on the other hand, their single best track is to be found on their classic debut with the endless, tasty and flying rhythms of "A lovers holiday".

Change returned in 2009

Even though the original Change disappeared after 1985 Davide Romani, Mike Francis, a.k.a. Francesco Puccioni (1961-2009), and Patrick Boothe worked on a new secret album in 1990. This new Change project was at first called X-Change and planned to be released on BMG North America under that name in 1992. But due to some reason nothing from that album ever saw the day except the single "The way you want me" on the same label in 1993. Years later in 2009 Romani got a deal with Fonte records in Italy and could finally release the album late that same year.

The album - so far only available on Itunes but scheduled for a CD release in 2010 - includes tracks written and produced by Romani, Francis and Boothe and was arranged and conducted by Romani that also produced it in conjunction with Francis. The album is a slick production with a typical early 90s R&B flavor but has little to do with the original Change. It certainly got some high moments with a few quite appealing tracks but it is Patrick Boothe's touching voice that really gives the album the momentum to elevate itself over average.

Change after Change

After the end of the group, the members vanished to all kind of musical projects.

Timmy Allen (1982-1985, bass guitar, keyboard, lead vocals, background vocals and co-producer). This multi talented force had bit by bit grown as musician and songwriter during his years with Petrus. Already early on Allen had a great deal of influence over Petrus shaping the touring band for Change and BB&Q. He continued that development taking care of much of the song selection on a number of album projects for Little Macho Music. From 1984 Petrus even gave Allen the opportunity to write for Change showing high quality tracks like funky "It burns me up" in 1984 and poplike "Mutual attraction" in 1985. During the last years of Petrus' empire between 1984 and 1986 Allen also received recognition outside the Little Macho Music sphere as (co-)writer and (co-)producer of tracks for artists like Lillo Thomas (You're love's got a hold in 1984 and Sexy girl in 1986) and Millie Jackson (Hot! Wild! Unrestricted! crazy love! in 1984) and many more. Although they were all very well written and catchy melodies the commercial success was unfortunately minor except the #1 R&B hit "(You're puttin') a rush on me" by Stephanie Mills in 1984 that he wrote and co-produced in conjunction with writing partner Paul Laurence. Allen was very influenced by the sound of Jam/Lewis a fact that is clearly heard on the last Change album and on Lillo Thomas' early albums. Today Allen works with such famous acts like Britney Spears and Backstreet boys.

Deborah Cooper (1982-1985, lead vocals) did some background vocals on Jonathan Butler's album in 88 but has also appeared on several award winning #1 hits for C+C Music Factory, Victor Calderone, Peter Rauhofer and Tony Moran to name a few. In addition to her live appearances with Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey, and others; she is a highly regarded jingle singer for American Express and more. Check out her My space site here

James Robinson (1981-1983, lead vocals and guitar). This smooth but still powerfull voice appeared after Change on Jeff Lorber's album "Step by step" in 85 and released a mediocre solo album in 87 titled "Guilty" on which the former guitarist of Change and B. B. & Q. band's albums in 81 Abdul Wali Mohammed participated. Even though the album was lacking of good melodies it did include the tasty mid-tempo track "You're the one I've been dreaming of". A couple of years later Robinson also worked on Bob Balwin's album in 90 as vocalist.

Mike Cambell (1982-1985, guitar) has been very well used by multiple artists. He played guitar on B. B. & Q. bands album "Genie" in 85, Freddie Jackson's albums 86-90, former B. B. & Q. band background vocalist and former Network member Johnny Kemp's debut album in 86, Billy Ocean's album in 88, Atlantic starr's album the same year and on team mate Vince Henry's solo album in 90 to mention just some of them.

Vince Henry (1982-1985, saxophone and guitar) did play some outstanding saxophone play on Tawatha's debut album "Welcome to my dream" in 87, Tashan's album in 89, former B. B. & Q. band background vocalist and former Network member Johnny Kemp's debut album in 86, Kashif's album in 87 and much more. He released his own album in 90 titled "Vincent". His most recent project is Jean-Paul Bourelly's album from 2002 where he plays sax.

Jeff Bova (1982-1984, keyboards) also continued his work as a great keyboardist and can be found on almost every album cover. Bova toured with Herbie Hancock's Rockit Band and worked as a session player with Nona Hendrix (La Belle), Donna Allen, Starpoint, Cyndi Lauper, Robert Palmer, Tina Turner, Cher, Eric Clapton, Meat Loaf, Celine Dion and many others. He won a Grammy award in 1997 for "Album of the year" as a producer of Celine Dions "Falling into You". (check out the interview with Bova).

Rick Gallwey (1982, percussion) played percussion on former B. B. & Q. band background vocalist and former Network member Johnny Kemp's debut album in 86, Sharon Bryant's album in 89 and Pieces of a dream's album in 93 and others.

Rick Brennan (1983-1985, percussion) only known musical work is when he participated as background vocalist on Takeshi Itoh's album in 91.

Toby Johnson (1983-1984, drums) which later career is unknown.

Among all members of Change most of them continued as studio musicians and were very well used as they played or sang on numerous of well-known artists. James Robinson and Vince Henry did release own albums even though they didn't make any noticeable footsteps in the sand of music, at least not commercially. But the continued with the things the appreciate most, the music!

Timmy Allen and Jeff Bova however reached that highest level when it comes to fame and success as musicians, songwriters and producers in the much more commercialized 90's. In Bova's case mainly as a songwriter and keyboardist and in Allen's as a producer and songwriter. Timmy's work as a producer of Britney Spears and Backstreet boys was no musical improvement compared to Change and just a boring, mass produced rhythm mix that most readers here can live without.

Bova may has reached a higher musical level, but even so, both of them reached an impressive commercial achievement. Once again, when it comes to Allen his choice of mass produced main stream productions and writing jobs, especially during the 90's, was just a natural sign of the time. Still it's a bit sad for such a talented man. But on the other hand, the man got to live, so, no blame on Allen for sure! We just take our hats off and salute him for his outstanding achievements together with Change and B. B. & Q. band!

Compilations

Of course someone would sooner or later try to do a compilation of the best tracks of Change after their departure in 85. Until this day four compilations have been released. The first came in fact already in 84, before their last album, on the small Italian Five record company from Milan. They simply called the release "Greatest hits". It featured only eight tracks, including four from the first album, but was nonetheless a good selection.

In 89 a second try was made by the equally small Dutch label Friends records. They earned more substantial recognition than the Italian one and became the first major compilation of Change. They called the set "Collection" and featured eleven tracks. This was a competent record with a fine choice of tracks even though they emphasized way to much on Change's albums in 80 and 84. The "Collection" was happily released both on LP and CD.

Eight years later in 97 the French Flare records tried with another compilation, but didn't reach any success or recognition however, probably because it was released in too limited numbers.

Greatest hits 84
Collection 89
The very best of 98
The best of 03
 
Greatest hits 84
Collection 89
The very best of 98
The best of 03
 

The most commercially and musically successful achievement came just one year later on the 30th of June 1998 when Rhino records released the perfect "The very best of Change". This compilation has a well-balanced mix of tracks from all 5 albums and is tastefully mixed with a superb music quality. The only downside is that all the tracks taken from the debut album are shorter in length compared with the original album. It seems that the 7" single versions have been used. The rest of the material however have the same length as the original albums.

The latest reissue called "The best of Change", compiled in Italy, printed in Germany and distributed by Warner Music Group, was released on the 23rd of December 2003. It contains a brilliant mix of 28 track on two CD's covering all five albums is the most complete compilation until this day, but not without mistakes. Even though all tracks are full album versions non of the excellent Jam/Lewis produced 1984 album exists on this compilation!

Both of the two last compilations are, even thought they are not flawless, perfect and highly recommended if you don't know the band and would like to learn more about them without buying their entire stock of their albums.

Several test pressings are also available of which one, Change Megmix (test pressing 4) from 1981 can be downloaded here

Reissues

There have also been several reissues of the albums by Change.

The earliest came on the 1st of September 1992 when RFC/Warner bros released a US printed CD of the classic debut of Change.

Between 2000 and 2001 the second reissue was made on the Japanese East west records (distributed by WEA international) that dropped four of the six albums on CD containing the 80, 81, 82 and 84 releases. As they were imported the were very expensive though (around 40$) and few people could afford them all. Despite the high price the sound quality was superb!

On the 19th of November 2002 the unknown Spy records dropped their "2 classic albums on 1 CD!" containing both the outstanding "Miracles" and "Change of heart" albums.

On the 15th of November 2005 the Italian label Fonte records released "The glow of love", "Miracles", "Sharing your love", "This is your time" and "Turn on your radio" on CD in a box. More info about this box and the additional four exclusive boxes in the series can be found here

In January 2007 the small English label Blue bird records (BBR) released "Turn on your radio" on CD. On the 29th of August 2011 the same label also released "This is your time" and "Change of heart" includig a couple of bonus tracks. On the 19th of September 2011 BBR also added "Sharing your love" and "Turn on your radio" to the series, once again with bonus tracks.

In September 2007 Fonte records released the 2 CD compilation "Change - The final collection" featuring 28 tracks from all albums in a beautifully and classy Frank Porto inspired cover design.

In late 2009 Fonte records released the 2 CD compilation Change - Greatest hits & essential tracks.

If you got any new knowledge or anything else to add about this material, please feel free to send a mail to www.jacquespetrus.com by using the the e-mail address at the bottom of this page.

(Patrik Andersson)

Discography of Change

Please click on the covers below to see a complete list of songs from each record.

Album cover
(if available)

Title, year & format
(if available)

The glow of love
The glow of love

1980 (LP & CD)

Miracles

Miracles

1981 (LP & CD)

Sharing your love
Sharing your love
1982 (LP & CD)
This is your time

This is your time

1983 (LP & CD)
Change of heart

Change of heart

1984 (LP & CD)

Turn on your radio

Turn on your radio

1985 (LP & CD)

Change your mind

Change your mind

2009 (CD)

All original release years

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