Jacques Fred Petrus

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Jacques Fred Petrus (born February 22, 1948 in Guadeloupe, French West Indies - June 8, 1987 in Sainte-Anne Guadeloupe, French West Indies) was a French-Italian businessman and a pioneer of Italian Disco music.

Early years[edit]

He worked as a diesel-engine mechanic on a cargo ship aged only 15 before his early interest for R&B and Soul music brought him to Paris where he worked as a DJ at different clubs, including the legendary jet-set nightclub "Club Saint-Hilaire".

In the early 70s he moved to Milan, Italy and continued his career as a DJ for several famous local clubs like "Good Mood". After a crucial meeting with music student Mauro Malavasi (°1958) in Bologna, who became his working partner and main song writer and producer, they formed a disco production company called Goody Music Productions (GMP), invested in a recording studio at Bologna and created the Goody Music record label.

In 1978 the associates released their first studio project called Macho which was followed by more or less commercially successful disco productions like Revanche and Peter Jacques band. But it wasn't until 1980, when their latest creation called Change was revealed, that Petrus and Malavasi established their own signature sound and reached their goal of world wide success. In 1979 Fred Petrus gathered his international music activities under the company name Little Macho Music.

Change - Petrus' biggest success[edit]

When Change hit the market in 1980 with their debut album The Glow of Love Petrus and Malavasi didn't realise the magnitude of the success that was to come. Petrus used two other Italian musicians besides Malavasi on this album, bassist Davide Romani (°1959) and guitarist Paolo Gianolio. Romani, who not only wrote the No 1 hits "A Lover's Holiday" and "The Glow of Love" (vocals by Luther Vandross, who was hired by Petrus to perform together with Jocelyn Brown), but also arranged and conducted the entire set in conjunction with Gianolio. Besides "A Lover's Holiday" which reached the No 1 spot on Billboards Hot Dance Club Play for nine weeks, the album also received 7 Grammy Award nominations.

Although similarities with famous disco band Chic, which was a source of inspiration for Romani, Change had their own slick and sophisticated blend of Eurodisco and American Chic'esque R&B-disco. From 1980 to 1983 when Chic's fame was waning Change managed to climb higher on the charts each year, a rather satisfying and amusing fact for the founders Petrus, Malavasi, Romani and Gianolio. Although Jacques Fred Petrus released many other tracks with many other artists, none achieved the same fame and success as Change.

Other projects until 1986[edit]

Early Petrus projects included Macho (1978), Elvin Shaad (1978), Peter Jacques Band (1979), Revanche (1979), Rudy (an album bringing the Italian Goody Music collaborator Rudy Trevisi to the front), Midnight Gang (1979), A.N.T.I. Rock (1980) (the Italian version of Ottawan's disco hit D.I.S.C.O.), The Jumpers (1980), Gianni Riso (1980) and Caprice (1980).

After the tremendous hype with Change Petrus and Malavasi launched several new projects like The Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens band (B. B. & Q. band) in 1981, High Fashion (1982) (including the Romani/Malavasi penned hit "Feelin' lucky lately" which reached the No 32 spot on Billboards R&B chart), Silence (a pop album released in 1982) and Zinc (1982). Petrus and his troupe of Italian studio musicians and writers also co-wrote and produced parts of The Ritchie Family's 1982 album "I'll do my Best". The title track became a club hit, and was penned by Malavasi. Of all these new projects the B. B. & Q. band was by far the most successful concept. Their self-titled 1981 debut album included "On the Beat" (by Malavasi/Slade), a highly catchy and hypnotic dance floor filler with a powerful intro that rocketed to the No 8 spot on the Billboard black singles charts.

During the second part of the 80's Petrus achieved success with album releases of B.B.&Q. Band (1985), Peter Jacques Band (1985) and Change (1985). Less successful projects in 1984 and 1985 (often single releases) included Silence 2 feat. Gordon Grody (1984), Macho III (1984), Kevin Johnson (1984), Zinc feat. Sherwin (1984), M Like Moon (1984), Midnight Gang (1984), Tato (1985), Nobel (1985) and Persuader (1985). Due to severe troubles with the US taxman, Petrus was forced to shut down the Little Macho Music company. In 1985 he started up a new production company and record label called Renaissance International. Vedette International was the name of his new publishing company.

Death[edit]

In 1986 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US federal government accused Jacques Fred Petrus of tax evasion. Petrus put his music industry activities on hold and fled to Guadeloupe. Petrus was murdered in the Spring of 1987 in Guadeloupe under mysterious circumstances. He was only 39 years old. The official version from the French police reported that Petrus had been shot at home in Sainte-Anne by a Swiss gunman who had clashed with him earlier the night of the murder at the Petrus-owned club L'Elysée Matignon in Le Gosier.

Producer discography[edit]

  • A.N.T.I. Rock: single “D.I.S.C.O.”, Goody Music, 1980.
  • B.B.& Q. Band, The: LP/CD The Brooklyn, Bronx & Queens Band, EMI-Capitol, 1981

singles: “On The Beat”, “Starlette”, “Time For Love”, "Mistakes".

  • B.B.& Q. Band, The: LP/CD All Night Long, EMI-Capitol, 1982

singles: “Imagination”, “All Night Long (She’s Got The Moves I Like)”.

  • B.B.& Q. Band, The: LP/CD Six Million Times, EMI-Capitol, 1983

singles: “Keep It Hot”, “She’s A Woman”.

  • B.B.& Q. Band, The: LP/CD Genie, Cooltempo/Break/Zyx/Mega, 1985

singles: “Genie”, “Dreamer”, “On The Shelf”, “Riccochet”, "Minutes Away", "Main Attraction".

  • B.B.& Q. Band, The: LP/CD The Best Of B.B.& Q. Band, Italo Heat, 1988.
  • B.B.& Q. Band, The: CD Final Collection, Fonte, 2008.
  • B.B.& Q. Band, The: CD Greatest Hits & Essential Tracks, Fonte, 2009.
  • Caprice: LP Russia, Goody Music, 1980.

singles: "Russia", "Stay Tonight".

  • Change: LP/CD The Glow Of Love, Goody Music/RFC-Warner Bros., 1980

singles: “A Lover’s Holiday”, “The Glow Of Love”, “Searching”, "Angel In My Pocket".

  • Change: LP/CD Miracles, Goody Music/RFC-Atlantic, 1981

singles: “Paradise”, “Hold Tight”, “Miracles”, "Stop For Love", "Heaven Of My Life".

  • Change: LP/CD Sharing Your Love, Memory/RFC-Atlantic, 1982

singles: “The Very Best In You”, “Hard Times (It’s Gonna Be Alright)”, “Oh What A Night”, “Keep On It”, "Sharing Your Love".

  • Change: LP/CD This Is Your Time, Memory/RFC-Atlantic, 1983

singles: “Got To Get Up”, “This Is Your Time”, “Don’t Wait Another Night”, “Magical Night”.

  • Change: LP/CD Change Of Heart, Five/RFC-Atlantic, 1984

singles: “Change Of Heart”, “You Are My Melody”, "Say You Love Me Again", “It Burns Me Up”.

  • Change: LP Greatest Hits, Renaissance International, 1985.
  • Change: LP/CD Turn On Your Radio, Renaissance International/RFC-Atlantic, 1985

singles: “Let’s Go Together”, “Oh What A Feeling”, “Mutual Attraction”, "Examination", "Turn On Your Radio".

  • Change: CD The Very Best Of Change, Rhino-Atlantic, 1998.
  • Change: 2CD The Best Of Change, Warner Music, 2003.
  • Change: 2CD The Final Collection, Fonte, 2007.
  • Change: 2CD Greatest Hits & Essential Tracks, Fonte, 2009.
  • Elvin Shaad: LP Live For Love, Goody Music, 1978

single: “Live For Love”.

  • Goody Music Orchestra, The: LP Hits Of The World Vol. 1 - Best Of Goody, Goody Music, 1980.
  • High Fashion: LP/CD Feelin’ Lucky, EMI-Capitol, 1982

singles: “Feelin’ Lucky Lately”, "You're The Winner", “Hold On”.

  • High Fashion: LP/CD Make Up Your Mind, EMI-Capitol, 1983

single: “Break Up”, "Make Up Your Mind".

  • Gianni Riso: single “Disco Shy”, Goody Music, 1980.
  • Jumpers, The: single “Coke And Roll”, Goody Music, 1980.
  • Kevin Johnson: single "Video Night / Child Of Tomorrow" Speed/Sneak Preview, 1984.
  • M Like Moon: single “Sunlight”, Flarenasch/Ariola, 1984 / Renaissance International, 1985.
  • Macho: LP/CD I’m A Man, Goody Music/Prelude, 1978

singles: “I’m A Man”, “Hear Me Calling”.

  • Macho (II): LP/CD Roll, Goody Music, 1980

singles: “Roll”, “Mothers Love”, "Not Tonight".

  • Macho III: single “Kalimba De Luna”, Flarenasch/Five, 1984.
  • Midnight Gang: LP Love Is Magic, Goody Music, 1979

singles: “Love Is Magic”, “Midnight Game”.

  • Midnight Gang: single "Holliwood City", Speed, 1984.
  • Nobel: single “Turn On Your Radio”, Renaissance International, 1985.
  • Peter Jacques Band: LP/CD Fire Night Dance, Goody Music/Prelude, 1979

singles: “Walking On Music”, “Fire Night Dance”, “Devil’s Run”, “Fly With The Wind”.

  • Peter Jacques Band: LP/CD Welcome Back, Goody Music, 1980

singles: “Is It It”, “Counting On Love (One-Two-Three)”, “The Louder”, “Mighty Fine”.

  • Peter Jacques Band: LP/CD Dancing In The Street, Renaissance International/Polydor, 1985

singles: “Going Dancin’ Down The Street”, “Mexico”, “Drive Me Crazy”, "This Night".

  • Peter Jacques Band: CD The Very Best Of Peter Jacques Band, Fonte, 2006.
  • Peter Jacques Band: CD Greatest Hits & Essential Tracks, Fonte, 2009.
  • Persuader: single "So Decide", Renaissance International, 1985.
  • Revanche: LP/CD Music Man, Goody Music/Atlantic, 1979

singles: “Music Man”, “Revenge”, “You Get High In N.Y.C.”, “1979 It’s Dancing Time”.

  • Ritchie Family, The: LP/CD I’ll Do My Best, RCA, 1982

singles: "I’ll Do My Best (For You Baby)", “Walk With Me”, “Alright On The Night”.

  • Rudy: LP/CD Just Take My Body, Goody Music/Polydor, 1979

singles: “White Room”, “Just Take My Body”, “Thank You Baby”.

  • Sherwin: single “State Of The Nation”, Speed, 1984.
  • Silence: LP Goodtime Baby, Memory, 1982

singles: “Midnight Visitors”, “No Way”.

  • Silence 2: LP The Beast In Me, Flarenasch/Five, 1984

single: "The Beast In Me".

  • Tato: single "Crazy Boy", Renaissance International, 1985.
  • Zinc: LP/CD Street Level, Memory/Jive, 1982

singles: “Street Level”, “Punkulation”, "Amazon", "I'll Never Stop".

  • Zinc: single “I’m Livin' A Life Of Love”, Jive, 1983.
  • Zinc feat. Sherwin: single "Hollywood City", Sneak Preview, 1984.
  • Zinc feat. Sherwin: single "State Of The Nation", Sneak Preview, 1984.

References[edit]

External links[edit]