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