|Genres||Italo disco, new wave|
|Past members||Jimmy McShane (frontman, vocals)
Maurizio Bassi (keyboards, vocals)
Giorgio Cocilovo (lead guitar)
Claudio Bazzari (rhythm guitar)
Pier Michelatti (bass guitar)
Gabriele Melotti (drums)
Baltimora was an Italian act active in the mid to late 1980s. It comprised Jimmy McShane (frontman/lead vocals), Maurizio Bassi (keyboards, vocals), Giorgio Cocilovo (lead guitar), Claudio Bazzari (rhythm guitar), Pier Michelatti (bass guitar) and Gabriele Melotti (drums). They are best known for their 1985 hit single "Tarzan Boy".
Jimmy McShane, of Derry, Northern Ireland, was the frontman of Baltimora. Some sources state lead vocals were performed by Maurizio Bassi (with Jimmy actually providing the backing vocals), including lead vocals on their biggest hit "Tarzan Boy" despite the fact that McShane lip-synched while appearing in the "Tarzan Boy" music video and not Bassi, who was also Baltimora's keyboardist although this remains uncertain. Both the music and the lyrics of Baltimora were written mostly by Bassi and Naimy Hackett, though McShane wrote the lyrics to some of their songs, such as the single "Survivor in Love".
Baltimora is often considered a one-hit wonder in the United Kingdom and the United States due to the success they experienced with "Tarzan Boy" compared to their other singles. In other European countries such as Italy, the group had more success.
In early 1984, Maurizio Bassi, a music producer and musician from Italy, was looking for a new art project. He met Jimmy McShane, an emergency medical technician (EMT) who worked for the Red Cross in Ireland.
McShane proposed the project and recorded some voices in order to be the visual leader of the group, due to his emaciated appearance and his talent as a dancer. McShane was characterized by extravagant and loose clothing, and all the group members appeared on stage with various hairstyles and wearing large red-rimmed glasses.
Success with "Tarzan Boy"
"Tarzan Boy", released in Europe in the summer of 1985, was a huge success, peaking at No. 6 on the Italian single chart as well as entering the top 5 in numerous European countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and Norway. Soon afterwards, Baltimora found similar success in the United Kingdom with "Tarzan Boy", where it reached No.3 in August 1985.
The "Tarzan Boy" single was released in Canada in October, 1985 and peaked on the Canadian charts at No. 5 by the end of the year. However, it took a while for the single to enter the Hot 100 single chart in the United States (where it was released on EMI). When it eventually did, it remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six months, ultimately peaking at No. 13 in the early spring of 1986. Baltimora performed on the American TV show Solid Gold, which helped further their success in America. The second single, "Woody Boogie", which also gained notable success, entered the top 20 in Germany, Switzerland and Sweden.
Baltimora's first album, Living in the Background, was released in Europe at the end of 1985, and was released in United States in 1986. Despite the enormous success that Baltimora achieved with the single "Tarzan Boy", Living in the Background only charted moderately (selling just over 2 million records worldwide), entering the top 20 album charts in only a few countries in Europe, including Sweden. The album managed to reach only position No. 49 in the US.
Baltimora attempted a comeback in 1987 with a second album, Survivor in Love, but the single "Key Key Karimba" was the only one that managed to enter the Top 100 charts anywhere, and charted in only a few countries.
Break-up and aftermath
After the release of Survivor in Love, with no label support of a follow up album and due to its poor success, Bassi decided it was time to move onto other projects and Baltimora disbanded.
The single "Tarzan Boy" bounced back into the Billboard Hot 100 chart in March 1993 as a remix, climbing to No.51, at the time of its appearance in a Listerine commercial. The song was also featured in the films Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), Beverly Hills Ninja (1997) and was then referenced in A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014).
- Jimmy McShane (23 May 1957 – 29 March 1995) was a backing vocalist and stage dancer from Derry, Northern Ireland.
- Maurizio Bassi is an session arranger, producer and songwriter from Milan, Italy.
- Naimy Hackett is an Italo disco artist and dancer, best known for her role as the lyricist of Baltimora, as well as being one of several vocalists of the Italo disco act Pink Project (and of Baltimora, too).
- Gaetano Leandro is an Italian pop keyboardist best known for his collaboration with American singer Amii Stewart.
- Giorgio Cocilovo (born 1956), is an Italian jazz fusion guitarist and music teacher from Milan.
- Claudio Bazzari (Milan, 12 September 1949) is an Italian blues and country rhythm guitarist, he has played in various groups and as a session musician and has collaborated with many artists, including Fabrizio De André and Mario Lavezzi. Bazzari ceased to be a member of Baltimora in 1987.
- Pier Michelatti is an Italian session bassist, known for his collaboration with Pink Project, Fabrizio Cristiano De André and Baltimora.
- Dino D'Autorio (born February 1, 1954) is an Italian pop, rock, jazz, funk and blues bassist, and music teacher/arranger from Penne, Italy. He replaced Pier Michelatti as Baltimora's bassist in 1987.
- Gabriele "Lele" Melotti (born 20 September 1953) is an Italian session drummer and drum programmer from Bologna, Italy.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|Living in the Background||49||18||49|
|Survivor in Love||
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart.|
|The World of Baltimora||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|"Tarzan Boy"||1985||6||2||5||1||3||1||2||4||3||13||Living in The Background|
|"Living in the Background"||—||—||96||—||—||—||—||—||—||87|
|"Juke Box Boy"||1986||12||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Key Key Karimba"||1987||37||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Survivor in Love|
(with Linda Wesley)
|"Call Me in the Heart of the Night"||1988||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
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- Peak positions for Canada:
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- Tarzan Boy: The World Of Baltimora at the Wayback Machine (archived 10 December 2010). EMI Germany. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
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- "Discographie Baltimora" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- Peak positions for Canada:
- "Discographie Baltimora" (in French). Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- "Top 40: Baltimora". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- "The Official Swiss Chart – Search for: Artist: Baltimora". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- "Les Singles en Or" (in French). InfoDisc. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "Certified Awards". BPI. Retrieved 4 December 2010.