Alta Moda

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Alta Moda
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Funk rock
Years active 1979-1988
Labels CBS Records
Associated acts Infidels
Past members Molly Johnson
Norman Orenstein
Steven Gelineau (1982-)
Etric Lyons (1983-)

Alta Moda were a Canadian funk rock band formed in 1979 in Toronto.[1] It originally consisted of singer Molly Johnson and guitarist Norman Orenstein.[2] Drummer Steven Gelineau and bassist Etric Lyons were added in 1982 and 1983 respectively.[1]

After performing for several years in Toronto and releasing a demo cassette, the band eventually signed to CBS Records and released their debut album in 1987.[3] Although the album spawned the single "Julian", radio stations criticized them for sounding like "generic American funk"[1] and going as far as saying they sounded "too black",[1] with the result that the song was only a modest hit, peaking at #53 in the RPM Hot 100 chart the week of January 30, 1988.[4] The album's other singles, "Notown (In Particular)" and "Cool Love", did not chart. The band also contributed a non-album track, "American Chaser", to the soundtrack of the 1986 television film Popeye Doyle.[1]

The band declined a Juno Award nomination in the R&B category for "Julian", because they felt it was a mislabelling of the song.[1]

Although the band had originally signed a six-album deal with CBS, they were dropped from the label after the album's poor sales.[1] The band continued to perform live, on the lookout for another deal. Orenstein wrote and produced material for other artists, and Johnson performed as well with a band who later became known as Big Sugar.[1]

Johnson and Orenstein reunited in 1990 as Infidels,[1] who had a similar sound to Alta Moda's but were more successful on the charts.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Alta Moda at Jam!'s Pop Music Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ Molly Johnson at The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ "Molly gives Alta Moda the soul-pop push". Toronto Star, October 9, 1987.
  4. ^ Top Singles - Volume 47, No. 15. RPM, January 30, 1988.