Jacques Fred Petrus (1948-1987)

Jacques Fred PetrusJacques Fred Petrus (left) is one of the greatest and maybe also one of the more ruthless business forces in the late 70s and early 80s dance music. From just being an ordinary record collector at first he became a self learned and skillful executive producer with an own musical empire under his sleeve that he maneuvered in a very clever, firm and determent way from 1978 to 1987. For this achievement and the amazing music that came out from his Goody music/Little macho production companies he has to be admired. Petrus had also an impressive hit feeling mixed with fundamental knowledge about trends in dance music, a knowledge that he had earned during his many years as a DJ and record dealer in the 70s. All this combined spiced up with good timing and a bit of luck made it possible for him to achieve a great amount of musical and commercial worldwide recognition and success. Petrus was also a highly controversial person that from time to time showed a very dark and grim side as a part of his mysterious double nature. His way of handling things, especially during the last years of life even made people hate him and see nothing else than evil in his mind.
BMW 733i 1981
Petrus liked exclusive cars. In the early 80s Petrus bought a BMW 733i, a car that Mic Murphy often kept "warm" when Petrus was in Italy.


Even though Petrus was the main figure of Goody music/Little macho it's very important to understand that Petrus was not a one-man-circus. With just a few exceptions he never composed, arranged or produced the music himself at all, even though he wrongly did take credits for that on the albums. He did however set up the musical guidelines for the music and had always the ability to approve or disapprove what he heard. In that respect Petrus was the creator of the music, but hardly more than that. It was his close Italian co-workers of Mauro Malavasi, Davide Romani, Paolo Gianolio and a few others that took care of that process and were the real forces behind the musical achievements. Without them and the highly talented and regarded hired personnel of musicians, vocalists and lyric writers together with skillful and accomplished studio personnel he would just have been a mediocre man with big dreams!

The early years

Jacques Fred Petrus, or just Fred Petrus as he most often was called, was born on the 22th of February 1948 in the village of Saint-Anne on the small island of Guadeloupe in French west India that is located in the Atlantic Ocean outside South America. Both of his parents are from Guadeloupe and are descendants from slaves brought in from Africa to work on sugar plants. The family have a long history on the island and the first known member that used the family name was Pierre Petrus (born circa 1830). He became a free man in 1848 when the slavery was abolished. Petrus family history is in no way unique. It is more the ordinary genealogical resumé of all Black people on the American continent, from Argentina to Canada. Petrus was dark skinned but not black and had a Creole or Mulatto origin. The mulattos were a mixed population of black (slaves) and white (slave owners) that represents 77% of Guadeloupe's population today. The island it self has been under French rule since 1814 when the Swedish king Karl XIII was forced to hand it over to the French. Ever since Christopher Columbus "discovered" Guadeloupe in 1493 the small island has been a part of a power struggle between mainly British, French and Spanish political and military interest. But after the short Swedish period between 1813-1814 a long and stable period under French rule began. Even though slavery was abolished in 1848 the situation was still harsh for most people. It wasn't until the 50s and 60s the people of the Guadeloupe slowly gained political consciousness towards independence, a thing that they until this day have failed to reach. Despite this grooving political turmoil Petrus was also brought up in a land with plenty of natural resources as Guadeloupe exported sugar, bananas, cocoa, coffee and vanilla. But it was foremost a sleepy part of the planet, more or less a "banana state", with the tourist invasion yet to come. Early on music became an important part of his life. He was a passionate collector of the latest R&B and soul records in the early 60s, music that had a profound impact on his entire life and later profession. While dreams of making his own music occupied his head reality reminded him that he got to work to make a living before that could happen. Consequently Petrus passed some kind of mechanical school before he in 1964, only 15 years old, left his home and became a diesel-engine mechanic on a cargo ship. From now on Petrus restless soul moved from corner to corner on the face of the earth always searching for new projects and challenges. He stayed in the cargo fleet until 1966 and from nowhere popped up in Paris as a DJ in 1968. That was a slightly odd change of direction in life perhaps, but as the dance music had a major influence on him ever since he was a boy the new role was no real surprise at all. In Paris, where he stayed for two years, he first worked at the club "François Patrice St-Hilaire" and then "White Chapel", situated at Place Mabillon. During the summertime he worked as a DJ both in Sicily, Italy and later legendary "Tifanie's" in Marbella, Spain. About 1969 he moved to Milan in Italy. Three brothers and his cousin Claude joined him in Milan during the 70s. Italy became from now on his main base and his brother Alex, that joined him in 1975, became his most trusted and helping friend until his death.



A unique picture from Petrus days at "Club Pilote" in 1969 sent as a post card.

The Italian job - building up an organization

In the prosperous town of Milan in the northern parts of Italy, world known for its extraordinary and ancient culture as well as a top of the art fashion business Petrus started to work as a DJ at the club "Good mood" in 1969. But the salary was low and Petrus understood that he couldn't make a living just as a DJ all his life so he began to import records from the US. He had contact with a company in the US that was specialized in records for discotheques. This move was going to change his life. Initially the quantity was limited to two packages per week, mainly because he didn't have the money to buy more records for, but it was nonetheless sufficient. Together with some DJ friends he started to sell them to the big discotheques like Nepentha and Charly Max in Milan and the business flourished. This whole idea was a rather new phenomenon at the time but innovative and gave Italy new influences in a way never seen before. Sometimes he also sold to local visitors by the premises that they hardly could find such exclusive records anywhere else except in US. Goody music add

Before his first productions, Petrus sold records via his Goody Music store placed in Milan. This Goody music ad was often seen in many Italian music magazines during the late 70s. This particular ad was published on the 25th of September 1977 in "Ciao 2001" that was one of the best known weekly music magazines sold in Italy spanning from 70s to 80s. In short it says that Goody music are a distributor of imported records from USA, GB, France, Germany and Holland. They sell with competitive prices and by many different genres to privates, Discotheques and radio stations. They also claim to have everything before anyone

After a detour to Rome in 1972 and the club "Staco Matto", Petrus was back in Milan in 1973. He felt that he needed a more organized structure of his business and that eagerness made him to create the "Goody music" firm in Milan (see add to the left; the address was Via Friuli 51/1; after 86 the address was used by the important Italo music record company Full time productions, later renamed London Street) that was the first music shop in Italy specialized in importing and selling Disco music records from the US. The Goody Music shop was a division of the big American record shop chain established by Sam Goody in 1951. Petrus managed during the following couple of years to expand the number of Goody Music shops through out Italy building up an economical and social fundament for his next step to produce and record his own music. Petrus was one of the biggest pioneers in Italy as an door opener for Disco music. He was not alone to import records from the US however. There were two other import shops, Carù and Ronchini in Parma, but they were not interesting in the Disco genre as they thought it was yet to uncertain to put any major effort in. Petrus was bold and innovative and never afraid of taking risks though. He just moved on as he certainly believed in this kind of music and it later showed to be exactly the right decision.

Evan though Petrus' main work in the mid 70s was to import and sell records he did also work as a customer assistant in one of the two highly trendy Fiorucci fashion stores in Milan. Fashion and music was like today closely connected, so it was a logical choice. Even more important than that was Petrus work as radio DJ at the Radio Milan international radio station that was the first Italian private radio station. It's said that Petrus also was one of the first persons to join the station in 1975. Petrus seems also been an economical contributor to the radio station. However, after a shorter period of time he was forced to leave after a furious quarrel with one of head officials of the station due to economical disagreements. Petrus and economy were two things that to a large extent were incompatible. His ability, or more correctly, his lack of that when dealing with economical issues was something that followed him through his entire life and later caused him much more difficulties than this quarrel did.

Petrus and Malavasi

Mauro MalavasiDuring these experience and learning years Petrus had always new ideas and dreams popping up now and then. One of them was to produce his own music instead of just providing other artists stuff, a thought he had nourished for a long time and step by step was getting closer to. In 1975, or 1977 according to other sources, he made a lucky strike when he met a young Italian musician called Mauro Malavasi (left). That meeting with this highly talented young kid resulted a few years later in a remarkable and rarely seen success on the dance music scene! Malavasi, that was born in Bologna in 1958, was at the time a student at the music conservatory in the same town (Conservartorio di musica di Bologna). Malavasi had during the early 70s educated him self at the conservatory in the composition, choir and orchestral disciplines. He also became a masterful piano player during these years and played jazz in different bands now and then. All the studies at the conservatory were in fact financed by Petrus of unknown reasons. In 1977, just one year before his first musical project with Petrus and only 19 years old, he and a his friend Marzio Vincenti, that was a friend of Petrus as well, produced an album under the name of Marsius (Vincenti's alias) entitled "Save the tiger" but without reaching any commercial success. Although Malavasi had a classical education both Petrus and Malavasi headed towards disco music. In 1978 they started a production company in Milan named "Goody Music Productions" (GMP) with the profit from the import shops as an economical foundation and using the same name as Petrus' firm. This was good start for their ambitious plan to conquer the world market of Disco.

DiscOmusic bookletA very rare Italian booklet featuring an exclusive interview with Petrus in 1979. Petrus describes in a very self confidant way his early years and the first success with Macho and Peter Jacques band.

The small business was located on Via Pietro Mascagni 15. Their goal was to be the new (Italian) Gamble & Huff, well known and successful producers at that time. Even though that didn't happen they manage to create a successful
mix of European and American style of disco into something partly new and astonishing for the world. Their style was a part of, or creators of, the genres "Spaghetti disco", "Italodisco" or "Eurodisco". Disco its self, as a genre, ruled the world from the mid to late 70s and everybody, whether your name was Blondie or not, wanted to release at least one disco album. Fred Petrus and Mauro Malavasi were no exceptions. By style the disco tracks were characterized by catchy, harmonic and highly danceable melodies included on ridiculously extended versions, often more than seven minutes that had one or more funky breaks that lasted forever. It was in this ocean Petrus and Malavasi wanted to show the other fishes who was the mightiest.

From disco to pop

Even though disco was the main influence at the beginning the musical language of the productions changed over time. Therefore can all the music that was released from Petrus and Malavasi's empire be divided into three periods.

  • Until 1981 disco ruled their sound, and that period was the first one.
  • In 1982, and even more in 1983, their compositions became denser with an R&B and popfunk oriented and more groovy sound. That change was much due to the more extensive use of black American songwriters at the expense of the use of Malavasi and Romani. It also reflected the less use of the slightly out dated disco style music.
  • The third and final period came at the very last minute in 1985 when the sound of Little Macho was consumed by the strong waves of watered down pop and synth music that the record companies and most of the radio stations now gave their fully attention to.

Besides these three musical periods Petrus and Malavasi went through two phases based on commercial success as well, the building up and commercially moderate period between 78 and 79, and the most successful period between 80 and 85.

The great Italian musicians

Davide RomaniBesides Malavasi Petrus also got to know other Italian musicians that became important key figures in the Petrus/Malavasi dream. One of the most important and well used of them was self-learned bass guitar player Davide Romani (left) that was introduced to Petrus by Marzio Vincenti in 1977. Just like Malavasi Romani was also just a young kid. He was born in the small town of Ferrara in 1959 and was at the time only 19 years old without any experience in disco music. At first Romani was just a regular player in the Goody music orchestra but later he got the opportunity to write songs as well. Together with Malavasi they created a rarely seen trademark of incredibly good sound that reached its peek between 80 and 83. Romani did without a doubt play a tremendously important role during these years. Other important musicians were guitarist Paolo Ginlolio (bottom left), that used to write some tracks, and keyboardist and saxophonist Rudy Trevisi (right), that Malavasi met at the Conservatory. Especially Trevisi did help Petrus a great deal, not only as a musician Rudy Trevisiand songwriter, but also as assistant producer on a few occasions. These four musicians became the main creators under the wings of Petrus. They composed, arranged (mainly Malavasi) and conducted (mainly Malavasi) all the music with an outstandingly successful result. They could hardly speak any English so the communication with the American musicians and vocalists were made by using their body language and most of the times it went well. Their work as songwriters, arrangers and conductors during the first period between 1978 and 1980 was clear and indisputable. The years after other songwriters gradually took over as writers in favor of the in-house Italians, but just a little bit.Paolo Gianolio It was men like Kevin Robinson, Kay Williams and Timmy Allen. The main reasons were probably the closer contacts, influences and competition from the musicians and songwriters in US that Petrus used in his productions. But the Italians were not out numbered in anyway and they still wrote a huge majority of the tracks in 1981-1983. In 1984 and 1985 they didn't write at all however, not because they were not allowed or weren't good enough anymore, but simply because they had left Petrus after the severe economical problems of Little Macho in 1983 as a result of the collapse of Goody music in 1982. When it comes to the lyrics however, it was something that outsiders took care of as been said before, simply because the Italians didn't feel comfortable enough with the language.

The accomplished personnel

Petrus hired brilliant musicians and vocalists of the best class money can buy during the years. They were known from the jazz, soul and funk scenes and had played with the world´s greatest artists or were trying to reach that glory in the late 70s to mid 80s when Petrus was looking for some personnel to be used on the recordings. It was names like trombonist Bob Alexander that played with many of the big bands in New York already in the 50s, trombonist Dave Bargeron that played with such great jazz acts like Miles Davis and Terumasa Hino, mastermind producer, singer and songwriter Leroy Burgess, the man behind groups like Black ivory, Aleem, Inner life besides a few outstanding 12" singles on his own and producer and musical director and musician Ray Chew that worked with the cream of black R&B artists like Stephanie Mills and Melba Moore. Although these musicians are only a few names the quality was equally high among almost all of Petrus' choices. The flip side of this good taste of Petrus was of course the heavy costs that also increased for each year and eventually became one of the main reasons to his prematurely death.

A few words must also be said about the lyric writers. Two of the most well used between 80 and 81 were Paul Slade and Tanyanette Willoughby that Petrus engaged in 80 among several NYC key figures. Their important role to bring further light to the excellent music like "Heaven of my life" by Change for example shouldn't be overlooked Today Tanyanette still bring the old vibes back in NYC in places the "Old Cellar" on 95th and Columbus Avenue. She also hosts on Tuesday evenings at the "Sugar Shack" in Harlem on 139th and 8th Avenue (2006).

Engineers and studios

Maurizio BiancaniOn the technical side of Petrus' and Malavasi's productions Petrus used several good engineers in many different studios both in Italy and in US. In Italy played the experienced engineer and keyboardist of Maurizio Biancani (left) at the Fonoprint studios in Bologna a crucial role during the early years in the web of contacts that Petrus was building up. He was born in Bologna 1953 and had started his career at Fonoprint studios in 1970. He was filled with experience when Petrus took advantage of his services in 1978, a companionship that lasted until 1981 besides a short revival on the album of Silence 2 in 1984. As important Biancani was in Italy as important was Michael Brauer (to the right) at the mythical Media sound studios in New York. He was the man that soon was to take over the scene as Petrus most appreciated and well used engineer both in Italy and in US in favor of Biancani. Brauer had worked in the New York studio since 76 and advanced rapidly. He had earlier played drums in the group Michael Brauer (MHB productions)Silverhoof that was a band formed by Ron Silverlight, the brother of one of Petrus' most appreciated and used drummers, Terry Silverlight. Petrus engaged Michael in 1979 for the first time just as the second period of Petrus' and Malavasi's era started. That year he mixed two tracks for Change's first album in 1980 that also became his first personal big break as engineer. He worked also with Peter Jacques band's album on which he recorded and mixed the vocals in US as well as Macho's second and last album "Roll". Both these albums were also released in 1980. At this time Brauer just worked in US, but he must have made a strong impression on Petrus, as he already in 1981 was flown over to the Bologna studio. At his arrival in this new studio environment Brauer literally took over Biancani's role as the main engineer. Even though Biancani was credited as engineer together with Brauer on both Change's and B. B. & Q. band's albums that year no one else except Brauer engineered a single note. Even though Brauer's memory is a bit unclear, Biancani was most likely his assistant in 81. If that was the case it consolidated the shift in power between the two. A funny story was that the speakers in the Bologna studio was in such a terribly poor condition that Brauer had to use his own 6" German Visonik David's monitor speakers when he recorded the two albums. Despite the small size, they had a very high quality that provided a very neutral sound, crucial for studio and audio professionals, even though Brauer certainly must have wanted something better. Brauer remained as the main engineer over the 1982 season but his position was shared with others, mainly by his old mentor Michael Barbiero from the Media sound studios. In 83 Brauer didn't participate in any Petrus project but did a short comeback in 84 on the albums of Change and Silence 2 before his final departure. Although Brauer worked four years together with Petrus he didn't exactly appreciate his character and methods and his verdict about Petrus is without mercy, to say at least: "He was a wolf in sheeps clothing. He was shit. If you (one) think for one moment that Petrus was anything less that an evil man, you are much mistaken and to write otherwise would be misleading."

Both of them are still working as engineers today. Brauer with his own M.H.B. production company in New York and Biancani still at the Fonoprint studios in Bologna. They have an amazing amount of work as engineers with world known artist under their belts. In these two Petrus found skillful and experienced forces that were well used but not always well paid as it turned out.

From Goody music to Renaissance international

The Goody music production logoAfter Petrus' and Malavasi's first releases in 1978 their joint Goody Music production (GMP) company played a multi-role. It didn't only produce music by the in-house Italian producers but was also a publishing company and a label for the European market. GMP even licensed outside artists on their label.. It could be music by the obscure Frenchman Elvin Shaad and his debut album "Live for love" in 1978 or the American vocalist Geraldine Hunt. But most of all the label was used for Petrus' in-house bands like, Macho, Peter Jacques band and later on Change.

As a parallel to that, Petrus soon turned to the US for publishing issues and by that move he tried to get a bite of the gigantic and highly important US market. As Petrus and Malavasi wanted a major breakthrough in the US this was a crucial decision that moved him closer to the big moguls of music and the never-ending flood of hungry and talented musicians and vocalists that he so much needed. In the US he opened up a small publishing office in New York in 1978, using the name Little Macho instead of GMP. The office was situated on the 7th floor on 1775 Broadway street. Petrus managed to get contracts with several record companies like Prelude and Atlantic/RFC so he could release the "new Italian sound" on the US market as well. Early on he appointed a couple of key figures like the talented teenager Mic Murphy (road manager of Kleeer; soon co-founder of The System) and Steve Bogen to operate the office while he was in Italy. They learned a lot from Petrus during this period that helped both Petrus and them self.

The great ambitions of GMP was in the long run impossible to maintain. Until 1980 the GMP label was still a label to count with. After that however the number of new releases dropped dramatically, mainly because of economical problems. It was probably just too hard for them to stick with this multi-role of taking care of the whole musical process. As a result of that the cooperation with other labels to publish their music on the European market increased and the productions in 1981 were split into several labels instead of GMP like EMI (Holland), ZYX (West-Germany) and WEA (West-Germany).

The unpleasant economical situation for GMP grew even stronger though and in 1982 it was all clear that the Petrus couldn't keep GMP floating anymore. The coasts were simply to high for his ambitions and GMP did finally collapse and officially disappear that year even though GMP's last release was made in 1981 with Change's second album. Petrus' newest project in 1981 The B. B. & Q. band clearly emphasized that paradigm shift when their debut was put on EMI (Holland) instead of the GMP label. GMP's role as a publishing company and label were now gone but the production role was still very much alive, a role now fully taken over by the Little Macho office. To consolidate that shift Petrus and Malavasi moved to New York to take care of Little Macho on site. They continued to produce music for three more years although in a much smaller costume than before and with a much more Americanized staff of musicians and producers.

Petrus role was still strong though despite the revolutionary changes. He was still the executive producer, producer and head manager of Little Macho affairs but he was more depending on others than before when his label was gone. From now on he had to shop contracts both in Europe and in the US like anybody else. This was indeed a rather huge step for the whole Petrus and Malavasi dream, to be forced to lose up the overall desicion making control to outsiders whether their music was alright or not. But they didn't have any choice due to the increasing economical problems, a problem that didn't left Petrus until he was six feet under.

The Little Macho period was not for long though and already in the shift between 1984 and 1985 Petrus was back in Italy leaving Little Macho dead behind him. Here he created a new production company called Renaissance international and the publishing company Vedette international. As artistic director of the two divisions Petrus appointed the experienced ex Kano member Luigi "Luis" Figini. He was together with Malavasi one of the first Italian producers to reach success in the US and the man behind great hits with Kano like "I'm ready" in 1979 and "Dance school" in 1983. By doing that Petrus wanted to bring back that old sparkle from the late 70s to early 80s, but it was impossible. The new companies were the last administrative efforts Petrus did before he was killed.

Working order and procedures

Petrus and Malavasi, and in some extent Romani, did have a special bound that followed them until 83-84. Even though Romani was musically very important Malavasi and Petrus were the two main characters. Like two Roman emperors their power and roles were divided; Petrus was the boss and took care of the business side and Malavasi the creation of the music. More speciically Petrus role was to collect money, make deals with new artists (on the Goody music label in 1978-1982) and record companies outside Italy as well as building up good long term contacts with the companies and to find musians and singers. He did also set the musical guidelines, hire or fire touring personnel, pretty much everything except writing, arranging and producing the music. In the US Petrus used to go to different clubs to find suitable singers and musicians. If he liked what he heard, he approached them. Some were used on the recordings in Italy but most of them were hired to front the band and/or be a part of the touring ensemble. In the late 70s the Italian influences in the writing, arranging and producing areas were almost complete but in the early 80s American influences became stronger in each year. He made it all in a very straight forward, an easy and relaxing way. He also had the final word over who's gonna play in the "band" when such band identities became a reality in the early 80s (Change as the best example), the lineup for the touring band, that many times was different from the lineup of the recording band, and much more. Petrus did practically a little bit of everything and was an unorthodox CEO of Goody music/Little Macho that liked to put his fingers in any jar can possible.

Even though Petrus was mainly a businessman he did participate in the studio and had the over all and final decisions in his hand about what songs that was going to be used and on which albums they should be released on. Therefore one might say that he had an important indirect role in the creation of the music it self. He even co-wrote some tracks, but that was a rare thing. Drummer Terry Silverlight describes the process:

"I think Fred was the business guy. He didn't seem to be hands-on musically, although he was certainly aware of the overall direction and obviously was one of the creators of the overall vision. But, he left all the technical aspects and particulars of the actual music making to Mauro, with assistance from Davida and a few other friends in the control room." and "Mauro Malavasi who was the leader of the sessions in the sense that he made all the musical decisions and had the overall musical vision as to what all the rhythm section players should be playing, including myself. Davida Romani, the bass player who was living in Bologna contributed a lot of his ideas too and he and Mauro were in constant communication."

The musicians were hired and flown in to the studio in Bologna, Italy and did their job but had no idea of how the material was going to be used. They were in total darkness playing their small but important role within certain directions but only Petrus, Malavasi and Romani saw the whole picture. The musicians had possibilities to change and developed the groove though, but only within certain limits. Malavasi and Petrus always had the last word about the final result. It was first several months later that the musicians could hear their great contributions when the songs finally had made their ground on different albums. Silverlight recalls about that process:

"---basically Mauro would say, "OK, here's a new song and the tempo is this and let's try some different drum grooves. The small rhythm section would play the groove, try several options, learn where the breaks and changes were in the song form, and then cut the song in one or two complete takes. Not much punching in. What you hear on those records, at least as far as the drums goes are live, complete takes. Davida punched in his bass parts relentlessly after my drums were recorded. I say relentless in a complimentary way. The parts Davide created by being so meticulous made for some of the most inventive bass lines in recorded history. This procedure went on for a full two weeks, one track after another."

Although it was very hectic days in Italy during the recordings the musicians experienced some nice moments outside the studio during their visits to Italy. Petrus brought them to fancy and beautiful restaurants at lunch and dinner and ate plenty of great food. But non was getting rich on their work, if anyone did, it was Petrus. Despite this imaginary richness Petrus was slowly sinking deeper into economical problems trying to keep up with the heat from they who wanted their money. This became later the major reason to his early death.

The mixture between Petrus talent and his musicians became a stone hard combination that during the first years certainly worked very good without any major friction.

Mafia connections?

It's not an overstatement to say that the Mafia created some of the disco music in the late 70's and an even greater part of the Italodisco or Eurodisco. It's indeed a fact that some of the money brought into the disco era productions and the record companies that supported them came from the Northern Italian Mafia and the American based Italian Mafia in New York. They still possessed an immense power at the time before the spectacular trials of the 90s and the decline of their power. For example was the Buddah record company in New York entirely Mafia property, and they ruled with sometimes rough methods. What the Mafia did was understandable in their point of view. Where there is money, there is the Mafia, but there is only one problem, it's illegal. Of course not every Italian was involved, in fact quite the opposite, especially among the great musicians. On a whole it was very few people directly involved. But the Mafia were there in the shadows. One thing is clear though; without their black money, some of the best disco music wouldn't have been made. But the notion of that drugs and underground casino money were brought in is not a pleasant one.

But was Petrus actually involved with the Mob? Sadly to say, he was most likely so, even though it's uncertain if it actually was the Mafia or a similar sub organisation. Way to much information from several different sources points that out, to many to be just rumors or coincidences. It is in the late 70s and early 80s that Jacques Fred Petrus most likely gets involved with the organized crime, even though most sources don't say it straight out. Some sources do however state that Petrus eventually helped the Mafia to whitewash black money to gain access to important and always welcomed money into his business. Like all musical businesses it's a rough and hard playground and the need for financial support is crucial. Petrus had big dreams and his business was no exception from the rule. Of course such activities, if they actually occurred, must have helped the financial part of his musical projects. But on the other hand it also bound his hands behind his back for years to come, and even more seriously, it threaten to put his whole dream in jeopardy. Whether he played a higher role or just was I brick, the Mob got what they wanted and Petrus too. The problem was that he was forced to pay back to the Mob in "music money", a fact that later became more of a problem then now as selling figures dropped. If the musicians were aware of this is not known, but likely some must have known. One thing is sure though, Petrus decision had great impact on the rest of his career.

Down to business - The first period 1978-1980

Peter Jacques band - On tourPetrus' and Malavasi's work were clearly divided in two periods when it came to commercial success and different projects. The first period, completely characterized by the disco influences, lasted between 1978 and 1980 and all the records from the period were released on Petrus' and Malavasi's own Goody music label in Europe and Atlantic or Prelude records in the US. The main productions included their first band, a studio group called Macho, named after the singer in the band that was formed in 1978 (two albums in 1978 and 1980 including the 17:42 minutes long and successful monstertrack "I'm a man" in 78), Revanche (one album in 1979 including the knockout stomper disco hit "1979 it's dancing time"), Peter Jacques band (three albums in 1979, 1980 and 1985), Midnight gang (one album in 1979) and their unmistakably biggest success Change (six albums in 80, 81, 82, 83, 84 and 85). A few other quite anonymous projects were also going on during the first period that today are very hard to get. One of them were A. N. T. I. Rock and their one-and-only 12" "D. I. S. C. O. from 1980 than in fact was an Italian version (performed in Italian) of the French group Ottowan's mammoth dance smoker with the same name that year.

The Goody music orchestra

When the first album of Macho came Petrus had hired and contracted a staff of Italian musicians partly mentioned above that worked under the umbrella name of "The Goody music orchestra" including the great Italian musicians of Malavasi, Romani, Gianolio, Trevisi, Melotti and so on. They received a monthly salary and were not allowed to work on any other projects. In that respect they were chained with Petrus whos contract was indeed strict. The role of the collective and anonymous orchestra faded away during the early 80s. It became more rarely used on the covers and soon it disappeared in favor of the individual names of the Italian musicians that now could shine on the covers by them self.

On these early production until 1981 all the projects were almost entirerly faceless studio concepts and didn't have any real band indentity. But it was at this time Petrus also started to experiment to actually create a real band and give the fans a pretty face to look at. This band like identity was first seen on Peter Jacques band's second album "Welcome back" in 1980. Four American singers were not only mentioned as a "group" but also clearly depicted both on the front and back covers. Despite this move the studio creations were stll Petrus tool for success before the big changes in 1981-1982.

American singers and songwriters

Even though Petrus had his inner core of well educated and skillful Italians a crucial thing was stopping him from getting on top of the world outside Italy. The simply reason was that they only could speak Italian and hardly no English. To compose and produce in Italian were no problem but when it came to singing and writing Petrus had to engage outside singers and writers for that task. Before Goody musics first release in 1978 Petrus began scouting intensively from their NY outpost for those key figuers and many was found and used, some more than others. One of the most well-used singer during the first years was the highly experienced former Black Ivory member Leroy Burgess. Otherwise the vocalist came and went as Petrus was restless and tried different combinations for a perfect result. In 1980 when the contacts in NY were better and more developed not only singers were hired but also musicians.

Change - The golden child

Change album from 1980 In December 1979 the production of what soon became the studio group Change was finished. The album "The glow of love" was released in 80 and became a fantastic success and placed it self on the top of most charts for weeks. The album included besides the title track hits like the bubbel-gum-like "A lover's holiday", dreamy "Searching" - that in the last minute replaced the originally intended track "Starlette" that one year later was found on B. B. & Q. bands debute album instead - and the catchy and aggressive "It's a girls affair". But was this just a Chic copy? Well, both yes and no. Most artists were influenced by Chic at the time and Change was one of them. Davide Romani, that played a huge role as songwriter on the release, admits that that was the case. But Change did have its own sound from the beginning that was even more refined and melodic than Chic. Characteristically for Change was the much more polished, smoother, softer and airy, laid back sound compared to Chic's more harder, aggressive, raw and more grooveoriented, on-the-listerner sound. If one compare Chic's "Chip of the old block" from the same year with "A lovers holiday" the differences are obvious even though the similarities are still there. The more aggressive "A girls affair however, got much more in common with Chic's album. Another difference was the way of playing the guitar and the bass guitar. Change had a heritage from the old classical European music in its sound, that must have been a result of the many classically educated Italian musicians Petrus used. It still had the punch and energy that Chic had, but it sounded more classy, polished and pure nonetheless. The may have had a similar sound, a common C in the beginning of their names and released on the same label, but for every serious listener, this is were the parallels ends.

Outcome of the first period

During this first period Petrus and Malavasi earned a relatively considerable amount of respect with their music. Malavasi as the composer of literly all songs until 1980 became one of the most important figures in disco in general and the Italian disco in particular. The music was characterized by some joyful, rather catchy and decent disco tracks, interesting, but hardly innovative. There were with just a few exceptions of really high quality like Revanche's catchy track "1979, it's dancing time" from their one and only mini-album in 1979 (a format that most Petrus/Malavasi productions had in 1978-1980). That track was in fact one of the most memorable ones in the entire Goody music/Little macho production history and a classic disco tune. But Revanche was an exception and real success was not acheived until the end of the first period with the albums of Peter Jacques band and Change in 1980 that really set a new standard for Goody music/Little macho. Change not only ended the first period but started the second one as well and became their number one success. By overlooking the whole first period It's not an overstatement to say that Petrus and Malavasi got their big break in 1980 after two years of hard work. Whether you're a disco fan or not, one has to admit that Petrus and his team reached their most successful point at this time both musically and commercially. Such fluency and harmony that could be heard now simply hadn't been heard before. And the success continued with more awesome albums by Change and perfect blend music from new act's like B. B. & Q band and High fashion later on.

1980 was not only a successful year with Change and Peter Jacques band but also a year when Petrus made huge and surprisingly big changes among the number of bands that was supposed to stay on the Goody music production roaster. Petrus was not mercyfull in his judgement though and almost did a clean house with all these early band's that completely vanished, with the exception of Change and Peter Jacques band. And even though Macho did release an album in 1980 they didn't drop any more new stuff after 1980. Why this rapid change occurred is unclear but as always Petrus likely must have had a new plan explaining why he almost swept all the old band's away. Most likely Petrus, and maybe also Malavasi and some of the others among the inner core, were not satisfied with the overall commercial and musical success with the other band's and they decided to start from scratch. And he thought that he could afford it after the tremendous success with Change's debut "The glow of love" backed up by the excellenct album "Welcome back" by Peter Jacques band that all together must had put him in a state of euforia.

Grand success! - The second period 1981-1985

As for the second period the individual tracks of these projects were very similar and could have without too great difficulties been reversed from one album to another without any one knowing it. In that respect were the sound of Petrus/Malavasi somewhat "fabric" made during the second period, but therefore not musically something less attractive!

Malavasi hegemony in the songwriting area during the first period was almost complete. It was just a few tracks that was written by others like Romani, Gianolio and Trevisi. But that was going to change during the second period that lasted from 1981 to 1985. During this time frame the great Malavasi continued to be the indisputably number one songwriter, arranger and conductor but did get some real competition from Romani. In 1981 these two Italians grip over the composing and producing aspects were still very strong but a change of balance towards the US was obvious and as a consequence of that Petrus and his main staff moved to New York in 1982. The New York office of Little macho had gone through a metamorphose in favor of the collapsing Goody music production, but in a smaller costume. That major geographical and administrative change also affected the number of musicians from the US that participated on the records. Especially in 1982 and 1983 that was extra obvious. But it didn't last for long and in 1984-1985 Petrus was back in Italy again. Even though the Americans temporarily took over in favor of the Italians Petrus had found the best musicians possible including great names like Kashif, Yogi Horton, Kevin Robinson, Hiram Bullock and Timmy Allen to name a few.

This period was also characterized by a great deal of serious economical turmoil. Petrus both massively over spendid, becam more econonically self centred and the estimated sales fugures didn't match the reality. In 1982-1983 all these factors resulted in big changes for Petrus as a person and businessman. But evan more importantly Petrus also lost many of the great Italians due to the economical problems (he could rarely pay them their monthly money check) and serious disagreements when it comes to which way the music should go. Even things like Malavasi's longing for Italy affected his desicion to move back after the releases in 1983.

Too much melody - The successful formula

Already at the end of the first period in 1979-80 the later on so successful "Change" sound was molded out. It was characterized by a well-produced, slick and polished blended sound of disco and R&B. The development went from the former to the latter and ended up with clearly pop/synth influenced music in 1985, especially emphasized on PJB's last album. But there was something that always was present during all these years; strong and catchy melodies! These significant parts were crucial trademarks of the sound. To focus so much on the melodies were not a random thing, it was a conscious choice and decision by Petrus and his inner core of Italians. An interesting statement by Petrus in 1981 explains his views as he considered the X-factor to be "---too much melody---". And who can say that Change and B. B. & Q. band in 1981, and even the albums later on by them and High fashion and Zinc were lacking of catchy and immensely strong melodies, no one of course! The successful formula and almost too well-produced melodies were simply "too much" in the good sense of the word, something that one easily couldn't live with as the result was dream music on the highest level!

Productions during the second period

Change 1981In 80 and 81 Petrus and his staff had a busy time creating the new music of 81. Besides Change and their successful debut album Petrus wanted yet another studio concept, later named Brooklyn, Bronx & Queens band after the three areas the "band" members (with accomplished bass guitar player Paris Ford as the main character) came from. The creation process of the music in 81 was basically the same as before. First Malavasi, Romani and a few other Italians under Petrus supervision created a bunch of tracks in Italy. With the final 16 songs they decedid to use in hand both Italian and flewn in US studio musicians recorded these songs at the Fonoprint studios in Bologna, Italy. They were then taken back to Media sound studios in NYC and divided in two sets of 8. The vocal parts were then implemented by separate studio singers for each band. Brauer and a few others took finally care of the mixing and mastering the stuff before the two productions were finished. In was first at this stage that one of the sets were assigned the name of B B. & Q. band. The other set was of course meant for already established concept Change that at the same time also did get a more band like identity.

These efforts finally reached the market with the two excellent albums of "Miracles" by Change and B. B. & Q. band's self-titled debut album. The album of Change is a well-balanced and perfect musical achievement with a touch of heaven all the way from the first to the last song! The album, that certainly lived up to its name, is probably the single most impressive production that left the Petrus "stable". In addition its being one of the best albums in 81 over all. "Miracles" is jam packed with irresistible melodies including the three hit singles of "Paradise, dreamy and irresistibly catchy "Hold tight" and the majestically and expressively singed "Heaven of my life" (including a fantastic guitar break) that leaves no one untouched. Also "On top" with its aggresive guitar play, catchy melody and rock influenced chorus is excellent. Even though B. B. & Q. band's more aggressive sound, or funkpop as ex Change member Bova once described it, didn't reach the same level of consistency as Change did they came up with the perhaps single most impressive track that year in the gigantic megablast hit "On the beat" written by Malavasi. It was backed up by the majestically singed "Time for love" on side A with the competitive dance tracks of "Starlette" and "Mistakes" rounding up side B. The rest was unfortunately rather average stuff which make Change a clear winner.

The hectic year of 1982

In 82 five albums were released, all recorded at the Media sound studios in New York without any Italian involvement at all this time. Zinc 1982Petrus and Malavasi did also move to New York to exclusively work at the Little Macho office after the collapse of Goody music production that year. Their move could be seen as a try to broaden their musical base and as a next step in their common development. But unfortunately it didn't last very long and the typical splitting of the recordings were in 83 back to normal with the exceptions of new studios. In 1984-1985 Petrus also moved back from New York, closing down his Little Macho office for good and built a partly new Italian base. This time however without his main coworkers of Malavasi and Romani and most of the original Italian staff.

But 1982 was still present and Petrus/Malavasi reached their absolute crescendo when it comes to quantity; but was it top notch music as well? The albums released in 1982 were "Sharing your love" with Change, "All night long" by B. B. & Q. band, "Feelin' lucky" by High fashion and "Street level" by Zinc as well as Ritchie family 1982a guestplay on Ritchie family's album "I'll do my best for you". Two smash hits stood over the rest of the material in the classy "Feelin' lucky lately" by High fashion and "I'II do my best (for you baby)" with Ritchie family. The first was written by Romani and the second by Malavasi and represents two of the finest productions in their careers. The rest the material on the album by High fashion was good but not in any way astonishing. The album by Ritchie family however did include the superb "Alright on the night". But that track and all the rest of tracks from the constantly evolving band, with the exception of Malavasi's "I'II do my best (for you baby)" had nothing to do with Petrus and his Italian staff as they where written by others.

Even though Change and B. B. & Q. band didn't quite reach that same hit level they presented nonetheless dozens of most capable and catchy dance tracks including the slick floor filler "The very best in you" by Change that did get some commercial attention as it reached the highest position on the charts and the electrofunkish "Imagination" with B. B. & Q. band just to mention two.

As the most unknown production that year Zinc didn't reach any commercial success with their debut album "Street level" and vanished after a poor 12" release in 83 that was a left over from B. B. & Q band's album in 1982. But "Street level" was nonetheless one of Malavasi's and Romani's most exciting and innovative projects and much enjoyed by them self and many of the musicians. It included the fascinating "Street level" that was penned by the ex BT-Express member Kashif and Romani's excellent funk gem "Punkulation". Kashif was an uprising producer, songwriter and musician that was temporarily used by Petrus that year and participated with two of the greatest productions in 82 that besides "Street level" also included the excellent up-tempo dance gem "Hold on" by High fashion.

Much can be said about Petrus but he definitely did know where to find the best possible musical craftsmen!

From project to band

An important change in 82 mainly concerning the two most successful projects of B. B. & Q. band and Change occured. As their grooving popularity made the fans more curious and demanding to see how they all looked like Petrus simply needed to give them a more band like identity. This was most likely the main reason why Petrus left the small-part-philosophy. Petrus took notice of the situation and changed his mind. So, in 82 the listeners finally could see how Change and B. B. & Q. band looked like on the album covers. The new Change lineup was almost entirely stable until the last album in 85. B. B. & Q. band, that actually had a group like identity already in 81 even though it was losely put together was stabalized in 82 and featured the same lineup in 83 until a completely new band was created in 85.

When the picture of the members now were available for the first time notable differences could be seen. On the Change album they all were dressed up in costumes in a suitable, classy style while the members of BB were wearing a more leisure wear outfit (maybe hotter in the studio). That illustrated the tiny but yet detectable differences between the two in a quite good fashion as B. B. & Q. band had a slightly harder edge.

The question is whether the formation of more group like identities had any effect on the inspiration and creativity compared to earlier albums when almost everything was uncertain. Most naturally the earlier concept must have brought the best of each level of performance whether it was in the studio or on the tour. Probably Petrus original idea was the most creative and best suited for his restless soul. All the earlier creations emerged from, in a certain way, controlled chaos and he succeeded every time with that "devils run". But was the new way of working going to work in a good fashion as well? The answer is yes, the success continued at least over the season in 82 with several very competent track produced and Petrus and Malavasi could still sleep safely with dreams of eternal fame wandering in their minds.

The empire is stumbling...

At the same time that the 82 albums hit the market the team worked on the 83 albums, "It's your time" by Change, "Six million times" by B. B. & Q. band, "Make up your mind" by High fashion and the 12" "I'm livin' a life of love" by Zinc. The recordings in 83 were made at the UMBI studios in Modena, Italy with the exception of the 12" by Zinc that was recorded exclusively at Media sound studios in New York. This new Italian studio was situated in a farmhouse in the countryside of Modena and was by Chieli Minucci described as "paradise!". Minucci recalls that he participated in two sessions, one at UMBI and one at Sorcerer sound but it's unknown if both of them were used on the final recording. In general though the basic creation of the music took place in Italy, the tapes were then taken back to the US and Sorcerer sound and Sterling sound studios in NYC for overdubs, mixing and mastering in 83. Where the recordings of the vocals took place is not known but likely they were made in NYC as well. Brauer and Media sound studios was this time not involved but did a short comeback in 84 before the final split with Petrus. .

Compared to the last year this season were not as commercially successful but was still able to present several really good tracks like appealing "This is your time" with Change and "Make up your mind" with High fashion. Both albums, and especially the one from High fashion had a very high general standard and are both very much worth having. B. B. & Q. band's Prince inspired album under Kevin Robinson's principal lead was unfortunately a flop that despite being innovative just had two descent tracks that presumably were leftovers from their most resent album. To let the more European sounded Zinc project have just a tiny 12" clearly showed how important they were in the producers eyes, especially as "I'm livin' a life of love" was a left over from B. B. & Q. band's album in 82 and Zinc soon disappeared from the scene for good.

The departure of the Italians - Petrus facing grooving problems

1982 was the starting year of major changes on many levels in the Petrus musical empire. Cracks occurred that soon groove bigger and eventually led to the departure of almost all of the original Italian musicians that Petrus had worked with and severe economical problems became a reality that eventually led to Petrus prematurely death.

Two main reasons are detectable to explan the major changes. Besides these two main reasons played the fact that his entire work force in 82 moved to New York and the Little Macho office also a considerable role as something that affected the over all working climate. The originally small publishing office had by taken over the role as Petrus new production company after the collapsing Goody music.

One of these two main reasons had to do with different views between the two main creators of the music, Mauro Malavasi and Davide Romani. Romani was the more conservative of the two that wanted to stick with the old successful formula on the new albums in 82 and 83. Malavasi on the other hand was more interesting in a change of the music towards new and bolder creations. Some say that this conflict affected the sail figures during these years, but no proof for such a statement can be found much due to the complexity of the matter. A fact that most likely did affect the number of sold copies more than the disagreements between Malavasi and Romani was the paradigm shift in music over all from a general point of view. New and powerful trends like pop- and synth music did considerably affect the music industry together with sudden changes in what kind of music radio DJ's decided to play on the radio that had a huge impact too. The typical 70s and early 80s black groove that was the trademark of Little Macho music was simply not as popular as before and that is a tough customer to fight!

The other main reason that affected all the personnel around Petrus was the economy. Clear facts that explains the background to that are sometimes hard to get in this case. A few things can be seen though like the likely dark alliance Petrus had with Mafia like elements, wrong economic plans, priorities and bad selling figures. One or more of them affected for sure the role of Petrus' and Malavasi's old production company Goody music that quite rapidly faded away in the early 80s. In 82 the legendary Italian label no longer existed. Mic Murphy that was one of the co-runners of the Little Macho's office remembered that people already in 81-82 were showing up now at the and then at the office demanding money and threatening. Petrus had clearly made some bad economical choices and combined with a drop in the sales that was a dangerous combination.

Even though Petrus company earned a lot of money the first couple of years he became more and interested to put the in his own pocked rather than sharing what was left of the profit equally between himself, the Italians and the rest of the hired personnel. That pattern became even stronger when the economical calculus failed and the amount of sold records started to drop in 82-83. As a result of that the monthly salaries that the Italians (the original Goody music orchestra) earlier received were decreasing or simply ceased completely. The situation for the temporarily contracted Americans was sometimes even worse as Petrus many times treated them really bad. Ex-member Chieli Minnuci of B. B. & Q. band, that was only 25 years old in 83 recalls the horrible treatment:

"---he didn't treat me right in the end. He was dishonest with the money, so I bailed out...he almost stranded me in Italy, tried to bribe me to stay longer...it was awful....---"

With these two major changes in mind the Italians, the engineers like Brauer, and the hired American musicians like Robinson and Minucci, simply all the people around Petrus began to have second thoughts about their engagements with Little Macho. One of the original coworker of Paolo Gianolio had enough in 1982 and left the US for Italy for good but came back in 84 on the obscure Petrus led Italian production of Silence 2. Also Romani, that now was only 24 years old left the US after the productions in 82, but just like Gianolio he worked with Petrus in 84 once more on the album of Silence 2 and the 12" "Sunlight" by M like moon. Romani later said that his departure was a great mistake as he loved the American style of music too much. Trevisi left in 83 as well and the great Malavasi in 84. In contrast to Gianolio and Romani Malavasi and Trevisi never worked with Petrus again. Malavasi later said the he missed Italy very much (he was very home sick) that together with his uncomfortable life in the US and the terrible economic situation made him leave. Malavasi continues:

"When I became aware of the financial disaster I decide to stop and return to Italy. There where rumours on the fact that I, Gianolio and Romani should have been rivals, but everything was absolutely false; we are often in contact and we have a good relationship."

The fact that Malavasi left was a spectacular thing and the successful dynamic duo of Petrus and Malavasi were now history!

The economical problems were also clearly shown on the covers of the albums produced mainly in 83. Considerably less hired musicians were used than before. Petrus used for example almost the same lineup to play on the albums of B. B. & Q. band and High fashion in 83. Change on their hand was almost completely Americanized by now and continued more or less as before but the poor economy affected the amount of players for Change as well. This was a clear difference compared with the situation in 81 and 82 when much more musicians and vocalist were used and Petrus spending ability seemed endless. Even though Petrus couldn't use as much personnel as before it didn't affect the quality of the music it self as the players that were left certainly was very, very good. The only notable musical change during these years was the obvious flirt with American R&B that from started already in 82, took over completely in 83 and 84 until it faded away on the pop consumed Petrus releases in 85.

Where had all the money gone, Most likely the two sided sword that Petrus got after his presumable pact with the devil (The Mafia) now showed its other, more cruel side but also because of the simple fact that the records from his empire didn't sell as much as before. These two thing put Petrus up against the wall. But even though he was under pressure he managed to make a few more footsteps in the sand of music. Petrus was simply not done yet.

In a relatively short period of time Petrus had now lost four of his absolutely most important producers and songwriters, arrangers and conductors that was the force behind the success with Change and B. B. & Q. band. This should have been a major blow to anyone in Petrus' position, but no, not to Petrus. He was able to stabilize the empire by using an almost hundred percent US recruited staff in 83 and 84 with the exception of Silence 2 in 84. To have his base in New York and not in Italy between 82 and 84 naturally helped him a lot to succeed with that.

After the departure the Italians participated in several Italian productions either as musicians or/and producers. One of the first projects were both Malavasi, Romani and Trevisi took part as musicians was the band Stadio and their album "La faccia delle donna" on RCA in 84. Even Maurizio Biancano, the old engineer of Petrus' was the co-enginner on the album. Gianolio on his side worked a lot with Celso Valli, that from time to time worked for Petrus and others.

The Italians were still in their mid twenties and had much more left to give the world, a fact that became more than obvious for Malavasi later on.

Flowchart - A mysterious and rather amusing sidestep!

Michael "Mic" MurphyEven though the core staff of Italians were bound to work for Petrus as being mentioned above a rather amusing sidestep from these harsh circumstances was made by Romani in 1983. That year he appeared as bass guitar player on the one-and-only and much overlooked/sought after album by Flowchart under the pseudonym "Dave Mandingose". This obscure Petrus/Malavasi style influenced release was originally released with the title "New Harlem funk" on the small Italian label "Maximus Records". Few copies were made and even fewer were sold despite several really good dance tracks of best Italian soul funk quality. But the story of Flowchart wasn't over yet. A rich Italian wine maker, Giacobazzi (still around today), found out about the band. How he did that is unknown, but his musically interested son was most likely the reason to that. The wine producer wanted to finance a re-issue of the album but he had three demands. First, he wanted to add one extra track to the original track list that his son got to produce. Secondly, he wanted a new title and thirdly he wanted a new album cover (see below). The track that the son produced (also released on 12") was cleverly given the name "A little love a little wine" (marketing trick #1) and was printed in two different versions on the new Flowchart LP (original and D.J. version). That song title also became the name of the album. The cover design was totally changed featuring a much more simple layout than the original with the band name written in big blue letters with an opened and tilted wine can in the bottom right corner (marketing trick #2). This slightly moderated version of the original Flowchart album was released on City Record, yet another small Italian record label, in 1983. This meant that Flowchart came in two different shades within a year; a really rare incident when it comes to albums!

The new title track had a nice groove and fitted well with the original string of tracks but even more interesting is it to read the credits on the back covers of the two releases. It's not only the fact that Romani played bass pretending to be somebody else, as mentioned above, it's something with the other names of the players, vocalists, engineers etc. that isn't completely right. Take the former co-runner of the Little Macho office in NYC Mic Murphy (above) for example. His name is spelled "Micael Merfi". Is that just a miss-spelling or something made on purpose? The fact is that both of Romani and Murphy did participate on the album. Murphy are even displayed on the cover but he can't remember recordig it and has not listen to the album(s). But you'll also find other strange names like "Ullaw Jo", "Dany Jor" and "Mary Dan" among the vocalists. Who are these people? Is Ullaw Jo in fact the background singer Ullanda McCullough that Petrus used on many of his projects? Also, not a word about any producer either, something indeed unusual, at least when it comes to albums. Not confirmed information though says that the producer was one of Petrus' studio musician associates, Romano Trevisani, which only is credited as arranger. If he in fact was the brainchild behind Flowchart together with two executive producershe they were all real copycats of Petrus way of producing a record as the whole process are so similar. The recordings took place in both Italy and the US. When that part was over Murphy didn't hear anything more, much perhaps due to the fact that he was an American and that the release was made in very small numbers on an Italian label, but nonetheless, zero! He was even surprised to see the picture of himself on the back cover of the first released version of the album and discover the strange way of spelling his name. All that was totally unknown to him until recently. He had no idea when the photo actually was taken, besides from in a studio, and have no memory clearing that one to be published for the release. That way of dealing with the over all recording process was typically Petrus style! There are still a few question marks around Flowchart to be answered though. Why were Romani, Murphy and maybe Ullanda McCullough presented under pseudonyms? Was Petrus aware of this somewhere in the background? Clearly though wasn't the original rules as harshly followed at the time perhaps due to the extensive turmoil caused by the severe economical crisis that Petrus had put himself in and that demanded most of his time.

Flowchart - Italian edition Flowchart - US edition  

DUE VERSIONI

The two covers of the super rare Flowchart album, the original issue to the left and the second issue to the right. With a similar sound of Petrus/Malavasi, strange names on the cover, no mentioned producer this is perhaps P&M's best kept secret?

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis - A lucky strike in 84

84 was the beginning of a new and quite successful but short era. Petrus/Malavasi had split up and most of the original lineup of Italian musicians were gone due to the reasons described above. Although Petrus prosperous teamwork with Malavasi and Romani was gone he managed to find two new fantastic and multitalented replacements in James Harris III and Terry Lewis. Petrus once again showed his smart business mind and naurally he wanted to continue to be the executive force new successful recordings.

The serious economical situation did however affect the number of releases in 84 that only included the albums of Change and Silence 2 and a debut 12" by M like moon. In reality in was only the album by Change that had anything to to with the great traditions the Petrus had built up before, the rest was just embarrassing plastic Italo pop productions. Petrus invited a new strong team, the uprising stars and former members of the Minneapolis funk band The Time, James Harris III and Terry Lewis, more known as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. He used them to produced the new Change album, "Change of heart". The Change album was recorded both at the UMBI studios in Italy and at the Media sound studios in New York.

Jimmy Jam
Terry Lewis

J i m m y J a m
&
T e r r y L e w i s i n 1 9 8 2


Pics taken from the Time cover

Petrus had now Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis under his command. They played a tremendously important role and wrote and produce most of the material together with Change's talented bassist/keyboardist Timmy Allen, that slowly had grown on his own and by now in reality was the leader of the band.

Jam/Lewis had started their producing career in 82 when they produced parts of both SOS band's excellent album "S.O.S. III" in conjunction with Leon F. Sylvers III and the all female funk band Klymaxx's debut album "Girls will be girls" when they were still members of The Time on which album they also participated that year. In 83 they once again produced SOS band's new album. In 84 they didn't only take care of Change album but also Cherrelle's chilly sounded "Fragile" and SOS band's outstanding album "Just the way you like it". But among them were "Change of heart" their most complete album. It was even one of best albums that year and an excellent example of Jam & Lewis production skills with tracks like addictive "Change of heart", "You are my melody" and funky "It burns me up". This was something to live for a long time. I still remember when I heard "Change of heart" for the first time in a car going up to the Swedish Alps, it was a moment of great happiness in your whole body and soul. So when I came back it was nothing else to do than to buy it on the big Swedish mall NK! ;)

But the new companionship had just started before it ended because of the same reasons as the rest of the personnel around Petrus experienced. Jam and Lewis didn't get their paychecks in time or at all. A story even says that they were forced to sell their flight tickets to afford paying the hotel bills. The engineer of Michael Brauer that been with Petrus since 1980 and mixed the "Change of heart" album was ripped completely, Brauer recalls:

"Petrus didn't pay me for the last Change record I mixed for Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. That was the last project I did for him so I wasn't aware that he was ripping me off until after the project was over."

Petrus, which money problems continued, was now in serious trouble.

Despite these depressing stories two new and exclusively Italian projects were actually made that year as well in contrast to the almost completely American made album of Change that of course was the center piece in 1984 regardless ot these two. They were Silence 2 album "The beast in me", that featured the lead vocalist Gordon Grody from B. B. & Q. band and the both homecoming musicians Gianolio on lead guitar and Romani on bass guitar. The album was officially produced by Petrus but in practical terms it was a work by Celso Valli. The other short lived project was the obscure M like moon band, that only released the 12" "Sunlight". Both were poor rock pop projects of average Italian class and obviously a part of Petrus' adventurous "new Italian deal" that groove even bigger in 85, but the result was just embarrassing Italo pop.

A kingdom for a bunch of money - The dark end

Peter Jacques band in 1985In 85 it was fall in Petrus world but despite major changes in the music world, financial problems and perhaps an increasing lack of inspiration Petrus was the over all force behind three albums that year and a few new projects released on 12" singles. All the albums were recorded at the Morning studios in Milan and the UMBI studios in Modena. The three albums were "Turn on your radio" by Change, "Genie" by B. B. & Q. band and "Dancing in the street" by PJB. They were all released on a completely new label/production company Petrus created that year called Renaissance international (company and label) and Vedette international (publishing). Both of them were created in favor of the New York based Little Macho productions that ceased to exist. As artistic director of the two labels Petrus appointed the experienced Luis Figini, best known as the former producer of classic Italian disco funk band Kano. To choose the name Renaissance is an interesting choice reflecting Petrus' perception of the musical situation.

Even though Petrus wanted to revive the old stuff and create a new renaissance with his music the hour was to late and the musical changes in the world to big for Petrus. Even so, he managed to deliver a few more glimmering shots in the dark before the end with old bands of Change, B. B. & Q band and PJB.

This time it was the albums by Change and PJB that were poor achievements and the album by B. B. & Q. band that was the winner especially compared with the poor Prince pastiche they did in 83. The two main reasons to B. B. & Q. band's greater success that year were due to the completely new lineup and the fact that the former Breakwater vocalist Kae Williams completely took care of the entire production as he wrote all songs, all the music and all the lyrics. The artistic director Figini was very pleased with Williams:

"---a delicious person, a good musician and arranger---"

and he continuos:

"---the record reflected Kae's refined taste and leaned out in the European classifications without getting the expected success."

Notable members besides Williams were the passionate vocalist Curtis Hairston that took over the role as lead vocalist after Robinson and Timmy Allen from Change. Allen had slowly gained more and more ground as songwriter within the Petrus stable. All in all the new mix of musicians and vocalists created a new and fresh contribution that the B. B. & Q. band so much was looking for. To give Williams so much freedom on the album as Petrus did was a lucky strike considering the end result. The album had a very good general standard and the titletrack "Genie" together with "Dreamer" was really catchy and appealing tracks that together with Curtis Hairston's sensitive vocals made them complete. This sound continued in 86 when Hairston released his outstanding one and only solo album "The morning after" that sounded very much as the tracks on "Genie" and could very well have been on that record. B. B. & Q band became Petrus last major success.

When it comes to the two albums by Change and PJB Petrus divided the main writing and producing work between Timmy Allen and Davide Romani that surprisingly returned to Petrus after the severe economical disputes that forced him to leave in 83. Even though Romani wrote one the songs on "Turn on your radio" Romani's principal work became the album of PJB. He wrote six of the eight tracks and was in reality the producer of the entire production even though Petrus as many times before wrongly took the honor of that on the cover.

Allen on his side took care of the album by Change on which he too wrote six of the eight tracks and also co-produced with Petrus. But in reality, like Romani on the album by PJB, Allen was the actual producer of the majority of the stuff produced on that record. Notable is that Petrus actually co-wrote the lyrics and perhaps even a few tracks on these two albums as well. Allen was another highly appreciated musician by Figini:

"---(he) was very meticulous, a perfectionist and he always knew what to do without expecting anything by itself. I liked a lot to watch him playing guitar, he had an incredible groove."

The sound on these two albums was similar but Change had more left from the successful earlier music than PJB that had considerably more of the europop/italopop styles. Even though these projects weren't any good from a musical point of view, especially if one compare with the earlier albums, they had a few semi-hits like "Let's go together" by Change (same track as "All right let's go" on the album of PJB) and "Going dancing down the street" by PJB. The latter were played quite a lot at the time and did get some considerable attention. Although the music didn't have that old fire and passion it plays an important role in europop/italopop music history nonetheless.

A few other interesting differences between the three records are obvious too. The album by B. B. & Q. band is very much an exclusively American affair with Kae Williams as the only songwriter and producer besides the all American line up of musicians and vocalist. The only parts that still revealed any of the Italian roots were Petrus role as (executive) producer and the fact that the album was entirely recorded at the Morning studios in Modena, Italy. The albums by Change and PJB however had a much more Italian costume than B. B. & Q. band's. PJB's album was almost a completely Italian production all over with the exceptions of three of the members of which Carmen Bjornald from Sweden (the blonde above) today works as an excellent jewelry designer. PJB's album was in that respect an album that closed the circle with Petrus' and Malavasi's Italian roots where it all started seven years earlier.

Why Petrus so much forced these two albums so hard into the europop genre when it comes to Change and even more PJB is strictly due to his desperate need for money even though he did know that it was so different compared with the "old good times" and indeed economically dangerous. Despite debts, key business associates leaving him and being chased by the Mafia he bought exclusive and highly expensive clothes from the famous fashion designer Gaultier (PJB) in the middle of that turmoil. It was so typical Petrus to do that. It was as he wanted to make that lucky strike all over again without thinking a minute of the consequences. Such moves can only a man with unstoppable dreams and often uncontrolled ruthlessness make.

At least two, perhaps even three new projects besides the albums above were released on 12" singles on the Renaissance international label as well that year and included "So decide" by Persuader, "Crazy boy" by Tato and maybe also "Turn on your radio" by Noble that used the familiar title from Change's album. How extensive Petrus' involvement with the new projects was is not known but he was the executive producer of Persuader and the producer of Tato that also was arranged by the Italian Marco Tansini that was well used by Petrus in 84 and 85. Tansini had in fact worked with Petrus already in 79 when he wrote, arranged, produced and conducted all the tracks on Midnigh gang's one and only album and in 80 as composer and arranger of The Jumpers one and only 12". All of the new projects in 85 however were like M like moon and Silence 2 in 84 poor Italian productions of pop that vanished soon after their arrival mainly because of bad selling figures and perhaps in combination with the death of Petrus and the departure of Renaissance international and Vedette international labels/companies one year later.

Despite the relative success with "Genie" Petrus days were reaching an end as a (executive) producer, and also, unfortunately as a human being.

How he died

The circumstances around his death have for a long time been unclear and mysterious. Some sources claims he was shoot at the international airport of Mexico City in 1987 or even in Barbados in the southern parts of the same archipelago as Guadeloupe and close to the Island it self. However, Kevin Robinson, Michael H Brauer and Davide Romani have stated that he was in fact shot in Guadeloupe even though the exact location varies. Robinson have said that "I have only heard that Fred was killed in some dispute that started at his club (in Guadeloupe)". Romani added that he remember that he was shot dead at his villa in Guadeloupe. The three statements above were finally confirmed as correct by Petrus cousin, French born sound engineer Claude Petrus, in June 2006. According to him Petrus was assassinated by several bullets from a revolver in his villa on Guadeloupe on the 8th of June 1987. Even though he tried to grab his own gun to return the fire it was too late. According to Claude's father it was a Swiss man that shot him after an argument that got out of hand between him and Petrus outside Petrus' club in Saint-Anne on the eastern island of Grande-terre in Guadeloupe. Petrus had not allowed him to enter the club and that trifle led to murder. The man followed Petrus to his villa and killed him there. The Swiss was later arrested in France but no other information about the after math of that incident is known. The often heard explanation to Petrus death by close co-workers as Romani and Bova giving a criminal background is according to this story false, no mob involvement, no pissed off drug tycoons, just a minor issue outside a club going way out of line. Some people on Guadeloupe thought it was a drug-related hit though, a theory that the local polices dismissed due to lack of evidence. Still, statements from so many people like Brauer that has said "Some people hated him so much, they went to Guadeloupe to make sure he was dead." and Bova's and Romani's statements that it was a mob thing really makes it hard to completely dismiss the theory of a criminal involvement even though the reason to take him out is very much unclear. And as money probably wasn't the reason (you hardly get your money if you kill someone) one might wonder what could have been? Assume however that the Swiss man in fact wasn't a tourist but a hit man acting like a tourist everything changes. If that's the case it's almost impossible to proof it without the testimony of the Swiss man, but it's an interesting theory. Despite the rumors about a criminal background everything points out a lonely man in rage as being the real reason to Petrus death at this moment.

Background to his personality

As a young boy in Guadeloupe raised by Italian descendants he moved to Italy in his teens. The reason to his later strongly focus on making money and success was obviously deeply rooted in is mind and the reason might be found in his early days in Italy, when he was struggling to "be someone" in his new country. The statement "I am Change", that he ones said maybe say it all about that side.

The reason is of course also biological, a part of his natural personality. He might also have been a wounded child as Bova suggests, but nobody knows. Psychologically his must have been a very sensitive person beneath the sometimes hard and though outside. The immense stress and the ever going struggle to collect money during his work must dramatically have increased the pressure on him together with the great mistake of involving the Mafia.

Petrus as a person

Petrus has been described in very different way depending on who you are talking to. Sometimes he has been described as a tough, ruthless and destructive force when it comes to treating his employes and sometimes as a passionate, nice and hard driven person with lots of energy and a highly developed business mind that did not say more then necassary. His plus side can also be added with the facts that he enjoyed a good laugh and had a charming way of acting and was kind and and fair. This wide array of descriptions naturally depends on where, for how long and under what circumstances they met him. Former keyboard player Jeff Bova describes him like this:

"Macho was his running theme. Fred was the Business Brains and money behind the creative team of Malavasi and Romani. He had lot's of energy and "Macho" Attitude to get what he wanted. He played the tough guy. He was self created. He was probably a wounded child who needed to build an empire around himself to protect who he really was. He was all about power. I remember when he picked me up at Milan Airport on one of my trips to Italy to work, after clearing me through customs, he said "Jeff, You see, I decide if you get into the country or not. If I say let you in, they let you in, If say you don't, you don't. He also drove really fast." Petrus was capable of a good laugh and did have a charming way at times. But he thought highly of himself and he was a very passionate personality. Very direct too. You knew he had the last word, he was the boss. He said to us once that, "I AM Change!".

The by Petrus most appreciated drummer Terry Silverlight that had a good contact with him says:

"I really liked Fred very much. He was always very kind to me and had a soft way about him that made me feel comfortable. He was quiet and careful about what he said and when he said it and never came off as being aggressive. I liked him.

Silverlight also says that a different experience of Petrus might have been the case:

"I have heard brief quotes about Fred from other people, but I only know him the way I remember him and the way he treated me which was kindly and fairly."

Kevin Robinson, member of B. B. & Q. band 1982-1983, describes Petrus two sides in a good way:

"I never had problems in dealing with Fred. I had a great deal of respect for his business ability however; he could be at time ruthless however. I found that his treatment of individuals was according to his need. If he needed you, he treated you well. If not, trying to get paid could be an ordeal."

Robinson on how he managed to get paid in times when others weren't:

"With Fred, I always had to receive half my money before I began a project and the other half when the project was halfway completed. My argument was that there was no incentive for me not to complete a project since my goal was to acquire more projects through the success of the current one. So I always got paid."

Michael Brauer, the maybe most well used engineer of Petrus' that saw and met him both in the studio in US and Italy, gives the most explicit and hardest picture of him:

"Fred Petrus simply was the business man who took the credit for it all. He was a really bad man who screwed everyone he ever met out of money, credit and abused people like they were scrap."

And he continues...

"I saw him do things to young singers that destroyed them. He was a wolf in sheeps clothing. He was shit. If you (one) think for one moment that Petrus was anything less that an evil man, you are much mistaken and to write otherwise would be misleading."

Michael Brauer had during the early years of the 80's also a unique advatage over the musicians and the singers when it comes to knowledge of Petrus way of working as Brauer worked both in US and Italy in the important role of main engineer and had the overall look on things compared to the musicians and the singers that just met Petrus seperately and occasionally corresponding to Petrus specific way of working with small and separate parts. This fact gives Brauer's description a very high value when it comes to describing Petrus in action, and maybe also the best on a whole. But Brauer's description does not say very much of Petrus as a private person which Bova and Silverlight do. Bova clearly show the more darker sides of Petrus, even though he doesn't spit it out. Silverlight's description however, is the most favorable of the three. The reason why Silverlight described Petrus in such a good way was according to Brauer due to the fact that Petrus attitude changed after 81-82. When Silverlight met Petrus in 81 and 82 these changes hadn't occurred yet and Brauer should be the man to know.

Obviously Petrus had different sides with different persons during different times and on different locations, like most of us do. When it comes to business Petrus was a firm hard-liner that used any means necessary reaching his goals and obviously he was a very ruthless man in many respects too. More private however, like in the studio he was for sure also a person with some good sides. As always you get different answer from different persons simply because we all have different relationships with different people and Petrus was no exception. Maybe his looks worked against him sometimes and added even more stuff to his tough and ruthless sides. Terry Silverlight experience was that:

"You wouldn't want to mess with him. If you didn't know him, he could be intimidating at first meeting."

Besides this more harddriven and tough side he had a very friendly and relaxing way with most of his musicians and was respected for what he did as an executive producer. The gang of musicians in Italy in the early 80s seemed to have had a relaxing as well as intense time together. Silverlight says that

"---there was plenty of great food all the time. We stopped each day for fabulous lunches and were treated to great dinners at beautiful restaurants. I got along with everyone and there were never stressful moments. Intense, but not stressful."

Not a surprise one can say when they were in the land of good food, Italia! The working climate was good.

For sure he was a mystical man. He also seemed to have the a very special way of dealing with people, a mystical force that musicians in his stable can prove. They all show a huge respect for him, and they don't expose more then necessary. The Latin phrase "Bene qou latuit, bene vixit" maybe describes Petrus life, meaning "The one that have been worked without exposing him to a grander audience is a great man". And that's what he did, he did not expose him self and this explains the great difficulty to find information about his private and professional life. He did not say more then necessary. Petrus was a pretty big guy with a roundish head and not much hair (see picture at the top) and his looks could sometimes be intimidating.

Jacques Fred Petrus was never married and did not left any known children after him and no relationships with women are known either even thought it's likely they were present.

Petrus and the assumed Mafia connection

Even though not all the trustworthy sources say it straight out the main reason to Petrus' prematurely death is most likely to be found in his highly assumed involvement with the underworld/Mafia of some sort.

One interesting source is Mic Murphy that was one of the co-runners of the Little Macho's office. He remembered that people already in 81-82 were showing up now and then at the NYC office demanding money and threatening. Everyone can understand that something wasn't right and that these actions must have had a criminal background.

Another interesting story comes from one of Petrus most appreciated Italian musicians Davide Romani that in an interview said that: ---the murderer presumably was connected with the illegal affairs Petrus was involved in---".

Petrus cousin, sound engineer Claude Petrus, have heard that some people on Guadeloupe, where he was shot, thought it was a drug-related hit, a theory that to local polices dismissed due to lack of evidence.

The well-used engineer Michael Brauer that worked with Petrus between 78 and 84 have said that "He was killed in his homeland Guadeloupe. Some people hated him so much, they went to Guadeloupe to make sure he was dead."

Former Change member Jeff Bova on his hand have in two different interviews, one of them here, said that he "---don't know if anyone knows the real reason---" "He obviously crossed someone in the underworld" and that he "---heard it was a hit. Underworld/Mob kind of thing".

Also former lead vocalist of PJB and background vocalist on B. B. & Q. band's debut album Leroy Burgess, that was interviewed by Mats Nileskär in the Swedish national radio program "Soul" in 2001, pointed out that Petrus was involved in something connected with the underworld. Even though Burgess didn't say it straight out, it was obvious that the pointed out the Mafia as a part of Petrus net of connections in New York. In fact it wasn't that unusual that the Mafia did have connections with the musical business at the time according to Burgess. Labels like Buddah was clearly ruled by them, sometimes with rough methods as Burgess described in the interview when the leadership collected debts with baseball bats and so on. The fact that there was a Mafia/Music connection is not surprising though as the business was very lucrative. Naturally the Mafia always sought for new hunting grounds that might extend their dark economic power and never ending desire for money.

The only person that have said that Petrus was directly connected with the Mafia is the oracle of black soulfunk music in Sweden, Mats Nileskär, that in a e-mail told me that he was a leading character and heavily involved in the organized crime, more known as the Mafia. He was according to this source putting a lot of dirty money into the music business to make them white. He was due to some mistake murdered by the Mafia by the classic and cruel way with some heavy weights around his legs in the hot waters outside Mexico City in 1986.

All available sources point out Petrus underworld/Mafia connections in such way that it can't be any doubt that such connections with the Mafia in USA or/and Italy existed. One thing is sure; his death was a sad end for a great producer.

If he was invloved in the underworld when did it all start? Petrus most likely got involved with the organized crime in Italy or USA is not certain but it must have been in the late 70s in US or even before in Italy. Most likely it's US based Mafia of some sort that's closest to the truth. The big apple contained a lot of criminal activity and the Mafia always vaccumcleanded their areas for new incomes. About 80 when the last efforts with his new group Change were made he had used good singers and musicians in a way not seen before and someone or somebody had to pay. Most things speaks for a start of the illegal involvement in 78 or 79 just before the release of "The glow of love", a project that needed more money then earlier projects because it was Petrus most ambitious and expensive. At the beginning the connection gave him want he wanted but it was a false sense of power that progressively developed into a dangerous game. Although all things speak for a connection with the underground/Mafia, no clear evidence is available so far. Therefore, the information above and beneath is somewhat speculative and should scientifically be used with great care. The latest news about Petrus death says however that he was shoot by a Swiss due to an argument outside Petrus' club in Guadeloupe in 1986 without any mafia involvement at all. See article above about his death for full details.

His need for power was tremendous and he always did everything to reach his goals. He once said about Change that "I am Change", a statement that clearly describes Petrus need for control and exposing his thoughts about his own over all role. For sure the fire and thurst in Petrus mind was a two-sided sword, that might give him tremendous success but also disaster. Both things struck Petrus in his life. After he actually reached his goal with Little Macho he protected his musical empire like an ancient citadel. But like all citadels' they finally fall and break apart, so did Petrus mighty citadel too.

Although this likely connections with organized crime he had a genius musical interest and feeling for what's "right" in the music world and he manage to contribute to the world of music as one of the best executive producers all time. But his focus on the music became more and more depended on the illegal money he was putting into his productions more then the fundamental, simple and original fulfillment of the music it self. Money and success became in this way, as the time was running his main guidance in life instead of music. All this together made the whole scene more unbalanced for Petrus that also can be seen as an important part to the lack of success during his last years when he couldn't pay his salary's to his main producers and the selling disappointments, especially with his most beloved child of Change.

Summing it up

Petrus was undoubtedly one of the greatest business men in the late 70s and early 80s dance music and to one extent a musical mastermind as he took the final decisions concerning choice of tracks and over all sound. He was the driving force behind Goody music/Little macho and the man that put it all together. He should be remembered for that but also for the hard and sometimes ruthless personality. He could use musicians, singers and many others for his needs rather than looking at theirs and took credit from the main producers work, like Malavasi and Romani in a selfish and disrespectful way. These tendencies could be seen from start, especially when Petrus took the credits out of Malavasi, but it accelerated dramatically after the financial crisis in 82 when he clearly felt the grip of the empire was slipping away and the pressure was one. Malavasi was without a doubt the main musical creator and a genius of best sort, but he was compared to Petrus, the weaker part, a thing that Petrus took advantage of. Further he was a typical kingpin that centralized the power around himself like many of his business colleges did. He could show a darker side when it concerned the business as well as a more lighter side as a private and musical person even though most of the people around him never came that close. He clearly had different relations to the staff of musicians and vocalists as well. The main difference to most people was perhaps his almost obsessive demand for success ay any coast. It was like the persons around him was just pawns on a chessboard that Petrus could use or dismissed as he pleased. These behaviors was ironically the main reasons to both his success and his fall. Silverlight, once again, maybe describes the real Jacques Fred Petrus beyond the sometimes unpleasant and grime surface when he said, "I only know him the way I remember him and the way he treated me which was kindly and fairly."

Notes:

1) Many efforts have been put into the biographical work to describe Petrus music but also as a person, which never have been done in a grander scale before. By doing so I have tried to find out who he really was, his way of directing this drama of passion for the music and his way of taking control of the production process whatever means it took. Also, knowledge about his presumable connections with the Mafia together with the circumstances around the strange and tragic death have been important parts to get a more complete picture of Petrus.

2) Updates are written in blue for two weeks after the update, then the text turn back to black again.

(Patrik Andersson)

Jaques Fred Petrus discography 1978-1985

Below you can see both a complete list of projects that Petrus as a producer was directly involved in, like Peter Jacques band, Change and later High fashion and Zinc.

Beneath that list I have also listed lincensed artists that only were released on his and Malavasi's label Goody music (78-82) and Petrus and Figini's label Renaissance (85). Petrus had no influnce over these artist except giving the clearance for them on his labels. Sometimes he was credited as executive producer. In these cases he had a financial role in his role bringing the project home. Otherwise he wasn't credited at all. In these cases the artist were purly lincensed, like already established American Geraldine Hunt.

Even though Petrus was mentioned as the producer he wasn't in most cases the actual producer. The creation of the music was instead something that Malavasi, Romani, Gianolio and later on in the 80s a few Americans like Robinson, Allen, and Williams, took care of.

Even though Petrus didn't write any notable amount of the music his powerful indirect role and involvement of setting the musical guidelines for the writers and producers and giving his aprovment to the final productions was very important! In that respect he was a producer of all his projects.

The letters stands for: E=Executive producer, P=Producer.

Artist
Title/Format/Credits

Year & rating

- Productions 1978-1985 -
Macho
I'm a man (LP) (E & P) *

1978 **

Midnight gang
Love is magic (LP) (E & P)

1979 **

Peter Jacques band
Fire night dance (LP) (E & P) *

1979 ***

Revanche
Music man (LP) (E & P) *

1979 ***

Rudy
Just take my body (LP) (E & P) *

1979 ***

A.N.T.I. Rock
D.I.S.C.O. (12") (P)

1980 **

Caprice
Russia (LP) (E & P)

1980 **

Change
The glow of love (LP) (E & P) *

1980 ****

Gianni Riso
Disco shy (7") (E?)

1980 ***

The Jumpers
Coke and roll (12") (P)

1980

Macho (II)
Roll (LP) (E & P) *

1980 *

Peter Jacques band
Welcome back (LP) *

1980 ***

B. B. & Q. band
B. B. & Q. band (LP) (E & P) *

1981 *****

Change
Miracles (LP) (E & P) *

1981 *****

B. B. & Q. band
All night long (LP) (E & P) *

1982 ****

Change
Sharing your love (LP) (E & P) *

1982 ****

High fashion
Feelin' lucky (LP) (E & P) *

1982 ***

Ritchie family
I'll do my best (LP) (E & P) *

1982 ***

Zinc
Street level (LP) (E & P) *

1982 ***

B. B. & Q. band
Six million times (LP) (E & P) *

1983 **

Change
This is your time (LP) (E, P & S) *

1983 ****

High fashion
Make up your mind (LP) (E & P) *

1983 ****

Zinc
I'm livin' a life of love (12") (E & P)

1983 **

Change
Change of heart (LP) (E) *

1984 *****

Macho (III)
Kalimba de luna (12") (E)

1984 **

Silence 2
The beast in me (LP) (E & P)

1984 **

B. B. & Q. band
Genie (LP) (E & P)

1985 ****

Change
Turn on your radio (LP) (E & P) *

1985 ***

Nobel
Turn on your radio (12") (?)

1985

Peter Jacques band
Dancing in the street (LP & CD) (E & P) *

1985 **

Tato
Crazy boy (12") (E & P) Renaissance

1985

Change
Change your mind (CD) Fonte records *

2010

All original release years
Artist
Title/Format/Credits

Year & rating

- Licensed artists on the Goody Music and Renaissance labels 1978-1985 -
Elvin Shaad
Live for love (LP) (E) Goody music

1978 **

Pacific blue
You gotto dance (12") Goody music

1979

Theo Vaness
bad bad boy (LP) Goody music

1979

NH3 band
Let's have a good time (LP) Goody music

1979

Blood sister
Ring my bell (12") Goody music

1980

Geraldine Hunt
No way (LP) Goody music

1980

Joe Lamaire
Flouze (LP) Goody music

1980

Ras midas
Rain and fire (12") Goody music

1980

Sheila Hylton
Disco reggae beat (12") Goody music

1980

The royall rasses
Humanity (LP) Goody music

1980?

Unknown
Unknown (LP) Goody music

1980?

M like moon
Sunlight (12") (E) Renaissance

1984 **

Persuader
So decide (12") (E) Renaissance

1985 **

All original release years
Artist
Title/Label/Origin/Format

Year & rating

- Compilations 1980-2010 -
The Goody music...
Hits of the world vol. 1... (GM) Italy (LP)

1980 ***

Change
Greatest hits (Five) Italy (LP)

1984 ****

Change
Greatest hits (Renaissance Int) Italy (LP)

1985 ****

B. B. & Q. band
The best of (Italo heat) Germany (CD)

1988 ***

Change
Collection (Friends) Holland (LP & CD)

1989 ****

Change
The best of (Flarenasch) France (CD)

1993 ****

Ritchie family
The Best of (Hot productions) ? (CD) *

1995 ***

Change
The very best of (RFC/Warner Bros) USA (CD) *

1998 *****

Change
Miracles/Change of heart (Spy) (CD) USA *

2002 *****

Change
The best of (Warner Music Group) Italy (CD) *

2003 *****

Various
Goody Music - Golden age - Vol 1 Italy (CD) *

2005 ****

Peter Jacques band
The very best of (Fonte records) Italy (CD) *

2007 ****

Change
The final collection (Fonte records) Italy (CD) *

2007 *****

B. B. & Q. band
Final collection (Fonte records) Italy (CD) *

2008 *****

Peter Jacques band
Greatest hits & essential tracks (Fonte) Italy (CD) *

2009 *****

Change
Greatest hits & essential tracks (Fonte) Italy (CD) *

2009 *****

B. B. & Q. band
Greatest hits & essential tracks (Fonte) Italy (CD) *

2009 *****

All original release years
Artist
Title/Label/Origin/Format

Year & rating

- Reissues of the original vinyl albums 1992-2007 -
Change
The glow of love (RFC/Warner Bros) USA (CD) *

1992 ****

High fashion
Feelin' lucky (Vivid) Japan (CD)

1999 ***

High fashion
Make up your mind (Vivid) Japan (CD) *

1999 ****

Change
Glow of love (WEA/East west) Japan (CD)

200? ****

Change
Miracles (WEA/East west) Japan (CD) *

2000 *****

Change
Sharing your love (WEA/East west) Japan (CD)

2001 ****

Change
Change of heart (WEA/East west) Japan (CD)

2001 *****

Change
Miracles/Change of heart (Spy) USA (CD) *

2002 *****

B. B. & Q. band
B. B. & Q. band (EMI) Holland (CD) *

2004 *****

B. B. & Q. band
B. B. & Q. band (Fonte records) Italy (CD) *

2004 *****

B. B. & Q. band
All night long (Fonte records) Italy (CD) *

2004 ****

B. B. & Q. band
Six million times (Fonte records) Italy (CD) *

2004 **

High fashion
Feelin' lucky (EMI) Holland (CD) *

2004 ***

B. B. & Q. band
B. B. & Q. band (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 *****

B. B. & Q. band
All night long (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 ****

B. B. & Q. band
Six million times (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 **

Change
The glow of love (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 ****

Change
Miracles (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 *****

Change
Sharing your love (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 ****

Change
This is your time (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 ****

Change
Turn on your radio (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 ***

High fashion
Feelin' lucky (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 ***

High fashion
Make up your mind (FR) Italy (CD) **

2005 ****

Macho
I'm a man/Roll (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 ***

Peter Jacques band
Fire night dance (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2004 ***

Peter Jacques band
Welcome back (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 ***

Peter Jacques band
Dancing in the street (FR) Italy (CD) **

2005 **

Revanche/Rudy
Music man/Just take my body (FR) It (CD) **

2005 ***

Zinc
Street level (Fonte records) Italy (CD) **

2005 ***

B. B. & Q. band
Genie (PTG records) Holland (CD) *

2006 ****

Change
Turn on your radio (Blue bird records) UK (CD) *

2007 ***

Change
Sharing your love (Blue bird records) UK (CD) *

2011 ****

Change
It's your time (Blue bird records) UK (CD) *

2011 ****

Change
Change of heart (Blue bird records) UK (CD) *

2011 *****

Change
Turn on your radio (Blue bird records) UK (CD) *

2011 ***

All original release years
Artist
Title/Label/Origin/Format

Year & rating

- Similar artists -
Kasso
Kasso (Banana) Italy (LP)

1981 ***

Luther Vandross
Never to much (Epic) USA (LP & CD) *

1981 ***

Leroy Burgess
Heartbreaker (Salsoul) USA (12")

1982 *****

Luther Vandross
Forever, for always, for love (Epic) (LP & CD) *

1982 ***

Flowchart
New Harlem funk (Maximus) Italy (LP & CD) *

1983 ****

Flowchart
A little love a little wine (City) Italy (LP & CD) *

1983 ****

Shine
Shine (Connection) Sweden (LP)

1983 *****

Network
I need you (Rams horn) Holland (LP & CD)

1984 ****

All original release years

*) In print *) Included in a series of five boxes with 5 CD's each of which four contains Petrus productions. These CD's are not separately. Sources A very special thanks to former DJ René de Leeuw from Holland for the photo of Petrus and Petrus cousin, Claude Petrus!! A special thanks to Yves Le Page, Paolo Caroselli and Tommy "Tunes" Phillips. A great thanks to Mats Nileskär for his valuable information about Petrus involvement with the Mafia and general knowledge about Mafia connections in the music business. This article can't be used in any form without my permission. Used without such permission will result in legal actions. Copyright © 1999-2012 Legal notice