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For the plant genus, see Baltimora (genus).
Origin Milan, Italy
Genres Italo disco, new wave
Years active 1985–1987
Labels EMI Italiana
Past members Jimmy McShane (vocals), Maurizio Bassi (keyboards, vocals), Giorgio Cocilovo (guitar), Gaetano Leandro (Keyboards), Dino D'Autorio (bass), Gabriele Melotti (drums)

Baltimora was an Italian group active in the 1980s.[1] They 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, including their native Italy, the group 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 Ireland. They decided to form a band fronted by McShane, who was a talented dancer with a good voice. Bassi recruited other musicians to record their first album, including virtuosos Girgio cocilovo on guitar and Gabriele Melotti on drums. McShane's look, who was characterized by extravagant and loose clothing, was soon adopted by Bassi and all the other members of the band, who appeared on stage with extravagant hairstyles and wearing large red-rimmed glasses.

Some sources state that lead vocals were actually performed by Maurizio Bassi, with McShane actually providing the backing vocals.[2][3] The bulk of Baltimora's song writing fell on Bassi and Naimy Hackett, though McShane wrote the lyrics to some of their songs, including the single "Survivor in Love".

Success with "Tarzan Boy"[edit]

Baltimora's first single, "Tarzan Boy", was released in in the summer of 1985, and became a huge European 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] The song eventually made it to the United Kingdom charts, where it reached no.3 in August 1985.[7]

"Tarzan Boy" was subsequently 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.[6][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 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,[11] reaching the no. 49 spot in the UScharts.[12]

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


"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), A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) and The Wolfpack (2015)


  • Jimmy McShane – vocals
  • Maurizio Bassi – keyboards, vocals[13]
  • Giorgio Cocilovo – guitar[14]
  • Gabriele "Lele" Melotti – drums[15]
  • Gaetano Leandro – keyboards[16]
  • Dino D'Autorio – bass[16] He replaced Pier Michelatti as Baltimora's bassist in 1987.[16]
  • Naimy Hackett – backing vocals, lyrics
  • Claudio Bazzari – guitar
  • Pier Michelatti – bass[17]


Baltimora's music style is mainly described as Italo disco[18][19][20][21] and sometimes as new wave,[22] including their first album, Living in the Background.[23]


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[27]
  • 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. ^ Castelli, Vittorio (20 December 1986). "Now Italian Talent Can Make That Vital International Breakthrough". Billboard 98 (51): I-6. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  2. ^ "One Hit Wonder Baltimora: Tarzan Boy" (in German). Bayerischer Rundfunk. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Tom Hooker". 2004. See "Epilogue" section. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1985" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Baltimora – Tarzan Boy" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c (German) Baltimora at the Wayback Machine (archived 7 November 2014). GfK Entertainment.
  7. ^ a b "Baltimora". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 43, No. 15, December 21, 1985". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Singles". Billboard 98 (9): 66. 1 March 1986. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  10. ^ "Baltimora – Woody Boogie". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Baltimora – Living in the Background". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c "Baltimora – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Maurizio Bassi". Discogs. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "Giorgio Cocilovo". Dvmark. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Gabriele Melotti". Discogs. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c "Baltimora - Survivor In Love (1987) MP3". IsraBox. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Pier Michelatti – Collaborazioni". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  18. ^ Piazza, Enrico; Fusaro, Francesco (16 January 2012). "RETROTERRA: Storia dell'Italo Disco" (in Italian). Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  19. ^ Fabbri, Franco; Plastino, Goffredo (2013). "Italo Disco". Made in Italy: Studies in Popular Music. Routledge. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-415-89976-5. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ "60 Great Albums You Probably Haven’t Heard". 10 November 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  24. ^ Peak positions for Canada:
  25. ^ a b "Discography Baltimora". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  27. ^ Tarzan Boy: The World Of Baltimora at the Wayback Machine (archived 10 December 2010). EMI Germany. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
  28. ^ For Italian peaks:
  29. ^ "Discographie Baltimora" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  30. ^ Peak positions for Canada:
  31. ^ "Discographie Baltimora" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  32. ^ "Top 40: Baltimora". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  33. ^ "The Official Swiss Chart – Search for: Artist: Baltimora". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  34. ^ "Les Singles en Or" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  35. ^ "Certified Awards". BPI. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 

External links[edit]