Baltimora

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For the plant genus, see Baltimora (genus).
Baltimora
Jimmy McShane Baltimora Promotional Photo 1987.jpg
Frontman Jimmy McShane of Baltimora
Background information
Origin Milan, Italy
Genres New wave, synthpop, Italo disco
Years active 1985–1987
Labels EMI Italiana
Associated acts Carrara
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 were an Italian new wave act active in the mid to late 1980s.[1] 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 the 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.[2][3] 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 are 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.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

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.

Bassi also recruited other musicians to record songs that would eventually appear on both Baltimora albums: Living in the Background and Survivor in Love.

Success with "Tarzan Boy"[edit]

"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.[4][5][6] Soon afterwards, Baltimora found similar success in the United Kingdom with "Tarzan Boy", where it reached No.3 in August 1985.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[5][10]

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, entering the Top-20 album charts in only a few countries in Europe including Sweden.[11] The album managed to reach only position No.49 in the US.[12]

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[edit]

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 Million Ways to Die in The West (2014).

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
CAN
[13]
SWE
[14]
US
[15]
Living in the Background
  • Released: 4 September 1985
  • Label: EMI
  • Format: CS, CD, LP
49 18 49
Survivor in Love
  • Released: 1987
  • Label: EMI
  • Format: CD, LP
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details
The World of Baltimora[17]
  • Release date: 26 November 2010
  • Label: EMI
  • Format: CD, Music download

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
ITA
[18]
AUT
[19]
CAN
[20]
FRA
[21]
GER
[5]
NDL
[22]
SWE
[14]
SWI
[23]
UK
[7]
US
[24]
"Tarzan Boy" 1985 6 2 5 1 3 1 2 4 3 13 Living in The Background
"Woody Boogie" 18 20 32 4 15
"Living in the Background" 96 87
"Juke Box Boy" 1986 12
"Key Key Karimba" 1987 37 Survivor in Love
"Global Love"
(with Linda Wesley)
"Call Me in the Heart of the Night" 1988

References[edit]

  1. ^ Italian Talent. Billboard. 1986-12-20. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  2. ^ "One Hit Wonder Baltimora: Tarzan Boy" (in German). Bayerischer Rundfunk. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  3. ^ See "Epilogue" section. euro-flash.com, 2004.
  4. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1985". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c "Charts.de: Baltimora (singles)". Media Control (in German). Charts.de. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "BALTIMORA - TARZAN BOY". GfK Dutch Charts. 
  7. ^ a b "Official Charts Company: Baltimora". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "RPM: Top Singles - Volume 43, No. 16, December 28, 1985". RPM (magazine). Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Allmusic: Baltimora (singles)". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "BALTIMORA - WOODY BOOGIE". GfK Dutch Charts. 
  11. ^ "BALTIMORA-Living in the Background (ALBUM)". GfK Dutch Charts. 
  12. ^ "Allmusic: Baltimora (albums)". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  13. ^ Peak positions for Canada:
  14. ^ a b "Swedishcharts.com: Discography Baltimora". Swedishcharts.com at Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "American chart". Billboard charts. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Music Canada: Baltimora". Music Canada. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "Tarzan Boy: The World Of Baltimora". EMI Germany. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  18. ^ For Italian peaks:
  19. ^ "Austria's singles positions for Baltimora". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  20. ^ Peak positions for Canada:
  21. ^ "France's singles positions for Baltimora". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  22. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40: Baltimora". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  23. ^ "Switzerland's singles positions for Baltimora". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  24. ^ "American chart". Billboard charts. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "Info Disc: Les Singles en Or (Singles)". Info Disc. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  26. ^ "BPI: Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 

External links[edit]