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OriginMilan, Italy
GenresItalo disco, new wave
Years active1985–1987
LabelsEMI Italiana
Capitol Records (US)
Past membersJimmy McShane (front man)[1]

Baltimora was an Italian music project active in the 1980s.[2] They are best known for their 1985 single "Tarzan Boy" and are often considered a one-hit wonder in the United Kingdom and the United States due to the song's success compared to their other singles. In other European countries, including their native Italy, Baltimora enjoyed more success.


Early years[edit]

In early 1984, Maurizio Bassi, a music producer and musician from Milan, met Jimmy McShane, a native of Derry, Northern Ireland. McShane was an emergency medical technician (EMT) who worked for the Red Cross in Northern Ireland. They decided to form an act fronted by McShane, a trained actor and dancer, who had previously tried to break into the West End theater scene.[3] Bassi recruited prominent Italian sessionmen to record their first album, such as Giorgio Cocilovo on guitar and Gabriele "Lele" Melotti on drums.

The lead vocals were performed by Maurizio Bassi,[1] as he'd done with Carrara, with McShane sometimes providing the backing vocals.[4][5]The bulk of Baltimora's song writing fell on Bassi and American lyricist Naimy Hackett, though McShane wrote the lyrics to their track "Survivor in Love".[6]

Success with "Tarzan Boy"[edit]

Baltimora's first single, "Tarzan Boy", was released in April 1985, and became a huge European success, peaking at No. 6 on the Italian single chart and entering the top 5 in numerous European countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and Norway.[7][8][9] The song eventually made it to the United Kingdom charts, where it reached No. 3 in August 1985.[10]

"Tarzan Boy" was released in Canada in October 1985 and peaked on the Canadian charts at No. 5 by the end of the year.[11] 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 did, it remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six months, peaking at No. 13 in February 1986.[12] 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.[9][13] "Tarzan Boy" later appeared on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993) soundtrack.

Baltimora's first album, Living in the Background, was released in Europe at the end of 1985, and in United States in 1986. Despite the success of "Tarzan Boy", Living in the Background only charted moderately entering the top 20 album charts only in a few countries in Europe, including Sweden,[14] reaching the no. 49 spot on the US charts.[15]

When Baltimora's second album, Survivor in Love (1987) and the single "Key Key Karimba" failed to chart, Baltimora lost label support and Bassi decided to disband.

Jimmy McShane died of an AIDS-related illness in March 1995.[16]

Studio personnel[edit]

  • Maurizio Bassi session arranger, musician, producer, and songwriter from Milan, Italy.[17]
  • Naimy Hackett English-language vocalist and songwriter[18] from East Hampton (town), New York on Long Island, known in part for her role as the lyricist of Baltimora, as well as being one of several backing vocalists of the Italo disco act Pink Project (and of Baltimora, too).
  • Gaetano Leandro is an Italian pop keyboardist known for his collaboration with American singer Amii Stewart.[19] He joined the group in the studio for the Survivor in Love album, supplementing Bassi's keyboards.
  • Giorgio Cocilovo (born 1956), is an Italian jazz fusion guitarist and music teacher from Milan.[20]
  • 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.
  • Pier Michelatti is an Italian session bassist, known for his collaboration with Pink Project, Fabrizio and Cristiano De André and Baltimora.[21]
  • Dino D'Autorio (born 1 February 1954) is an Italian pop, rock, jazz, funk and blues bassist, and music teacher/arranger from Penne, Italy.[19] He replaced Pier Michelatti as Baltimora's bassist in 1987.[19]
  • Gabriele "Lele" Melotti (born 20 September 1953) is an Italian session drummer and percussionist from Bologna, Italy.[22]


Baltimora's music style is mainly described as Italo disco[23][24][25][26] and sometimes as new wave,[27] including their first album, Living in the Background.[28]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
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[32]
  • Release date: 26 November 2010
  • Label: EMI
  • Format: CD, Music download


Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"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


  1. ^ a b Hooker, Tom (September 2001). "Tom Hooker – Interview". (Interview). Interviewed by Zeljko Vujkovic. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  2. ^ Castelli, Vittorio (20 December 1986). "Now Italian Talent Can Make That Vital International Breakthrough". Billboard. Vol. 98 no. 51. p. I-6. ISSN 0006-2510.
  3. ^ McNeilly, Claire (27 April 2016). "Tragic Derry pop star Jimmy McShane's Tarzan Boy a big hit again thanks to new Wonga ad". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  4. ^ "One Hit Wonder Baltimora: Tarzan Boy" (in German). Bayerischer Rundfunk. Retrieved 4 December 2010.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Tom Hooker". Archived from the original on 9 November 2013.. 2004.
  6. ^ Survivor in Love (liner notes). Baltimora. ESonCD. 1987. Retrieved 4 January 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1985" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Baltimora – Tarzan Boy" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  9. ^ a b c "Baltimora" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Baltimora". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  11. ^ "RPM 100 Singles". RPM. Vol. 43 no. 15. 21 December 1985. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Singles". Billboard. Vol. 98 no. 9. 1 March 1986. p. 66. ISSN 0006-2510.
  13. ^ "Baltimora – Woody Boogie". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Baltimora – Living in the Background". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  15. ^ a b c "Baltimora – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  16. ^ Talevski, Nick (2006). Rock Obituaries: Knocking on Heaven's Door. Omnibus Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-84609-091-2.
  17. ^ "Maurizio Bassi". Discogs. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  18. ^ "Naimy Hackett". Discogs. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  19. ^ a b c "Baltimora – Survivor In Love (1987) MP3". IsraBox. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Giorgio Cocilovo". Dvmark. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Pier Michelatti – Collaborazioni". Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Gabriele Melotti". Discogs. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  23. ^ Piazza, Enrico; Fusaro, Francesco (16 January 2012). "RETROTERRA: Storia dell'Italo Disco" (in Italian). Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  24. ^ Fabbri, Franco; Plastino, Goffredo (2013). "Italo Disco". Made in Italy: Studies in Popular Music. Routledge. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-415-89976-5.
  25. ^ Morasca, Fabio (29 July 2013). "Nord Sud Ovest Est, la seconda puntata: Edoardo Bennato, Lollipop, Gazebo e Dj Francesco" (in Italian). Retrieved 3 May 2015. si parla del genere Italo Disco e di alcuni suoi rappresentanti: Baltimora, Sandy Marton, Taffy, Ryan Paris, Joe Yellow, Jock Hattle e Den Harrow.
  26. ^ Suiveng, Yannick (30 October 2013). "Flashback Top 50 : qui était n°1 en octobre 1985 ?" (in French). Charts in France. Pure Charts. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  27. ^ Gaslin, Glenn; Porter, Rick (1998). The Complete, Cross-referenced Guide to the Baby Buster Generation's Collective Unconscious: Baltimora. Berkley Trade; Boulevard trade pbk. p. 13. ISBN 978-1572973350.
  28. ^ "60 Great Albums You Probably Haven't Heard". 10 November 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  29. ^ Peak positions for Canada:
    • For "Living in the Background": "RPM 100 Albums". RPM. Vol. 43 no. 19. 1 February 1986. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  30. ^ a b "Discography Baltimora". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  31. ^ a b "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  32. ^ "Tarzan Boy: The World Of Baltimora". Archived from the original on 10 December 2010.. EMI Germany.
  33. ^ For Italian peaks:
  34. ^ "Discographie Baltimora" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
  35. ^ Peak positions for Canada:
    • For "Tarzan Boy": "RPM 100 Singles". RPM. Vol. 43 no. 15. 21 December 1985. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
    • For "Living in the Background": "RPM 100 Singles". RPM. Vol. 44 no. 3. 12 April 1986. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  36. ^ "Discographie Baltimora" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
  37. ^ "Top 40: Baltimora". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  38. ^ "The Official Swiss Chart – Search for: Artist: Baltimora". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
  39. ^ "Les Singles / Titres Certifiés "Or"" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  40. ^ "Certified Awards". BPI. Retrieved 4 December 2010.

External links[edit]