Pink Project

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Pink Project
Origin Milan, Italy
Genres Italo disco
Years active 1982–1983
Labels Baby
Past members Stefano Pulga
Luciano Ninzatti
Matteo Bonsanto
Massimo Noè
Ellade Bandini
Pier Michelatti

Pink Project was a one-hit wonder dance, pop and Italo disco band active in the early 1980s. It was the brainchild of Italian DJ-composer-keyboardist-producer Stefano Pulga (of Kano fame), together with guitarist Luciano Ninzatti, keyboardist-programmer Matteo Bonsanto and sound engineer Massimo Noè. Their only hit single, "Disco Project", was a mashup of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" and The Alan Parsons Project's "Mammagamma".

"Disco Project": the idea and the recording[edit]

The origins of "Disco Project" can be traced back to Pulga and Ninzatti's club nights as DJs. In early 1982, they realized that Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" and The Alan Parsons Project's equally popular "Mammagamma" were in the same tempo and, in some sections, in the same key. They proceeded to create a mix, opening with Parson's "Sirius" (another popular track from their 1982 album Eye in the Sky), then going straight into "Mammagamma" (avoiding Parsons' transition to his album's title track), over which an a cappella version of the children's choir from "Another Brick in the Wall" was superimposed, with the octave bass and steady drums from "Mammagamma" running all the way through. With copyright issues preventing the two musicians from releasing the actual original tracks, they decided to play a mashup ex-novo with the aid of two session players, Ellade Bandini on drums and Pier Michelatti on bass.[1] The vocals were performed by Italian-American vocalists Linda Wesley, Rossana Casale (still unknown as a solo artist at the time) and Naimy Hackett and multi-tracked at a slightly faster speed to simulate a schoolchildren's choir. The choir also followed the key shift in the music of "Mammagamma", which was not present in the original mix by Pulga and Ninzatti, and the full album version features another key shift toward the end, which was also not in the original mix and was arranged by Pulga especially for the (extended) album track.

"Disco Project" was a major hit in Italy and Switzerland during the summer of 1982.[2] Although Pink Project was meant to be a strictly anonymous act (no photos were featured on single or album releases, just futuristic-looking, vividly colored illustrations), similarly to Michael Cretu's 1990s project Enigma, the success of "Disco Project" forced the band to do a series of TV performances. The four musicians (Pulga, Ninzatti, Bandini and Michelatti) opted then for showing up dressed in black monk-like robes with black pointed hoods – reprising the theme adopted for the cover artwork of Pink Project's original 12-inch single. The TV performances also featured a small group of school children, loosely modeled after the children featured in the Pink Floyd film, lip-synching the lyrics. A postal address for Pink Project, a P.O. box located in Hamburg, was occasionally superimposed on screen; this was also partly fake, as the box belonged to the German office of their label, Baby Records.[3] Ninzatti's excellent rendition of David Gilmour's guitar solo, coupled with the band's mysterious look, contributed to propagate a short-lived rumour in the Italian press that Pink Project were actually original members of Pink Floyd and The Alan Parsons Project in disguise.

Subsequent career and demise[edit]

After "Disco Project", Pink Project released a handful of singles and two albums, mostly composed of more mashups, borrowing from Jean Michel Jarre, The Police, Falco, Vangelis and Deep Purple (among others). Two further singles, "B-Project" [4] (Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" + The Greg Kihn Band's "Jeopardy") and "Hyper-Gamma-Oxygène" (combining The Alan Parsons Project's "Hyper-Gamma-Spaces" and Jarre's Oxygène Part IV), respectively taken from Pink Project's first and second albums Domino [5] and Split,[6] were minor hits in 1983, like their follow-up (a remake of Space's "Magic Fly" in the style of Jarre, entitled "Magic Flight"). Despite a substantial amount of radio play, the two albums failed to chart, and Pink Project eventually disbanded.

The albums and the singles, released by the Italian pop/dance label Baby Records, have gone out of print since then. In October 2013, the albums were made officially available again, in their entirety, on iTunes; however, the title and cover artwork of the Split album were changed to those of "B-Project" (which was actually a single), while the actual content of the album itself (six tracks) stayed the same.

Personnel[edit]

  • Stefano Pulga - keyboards, production
  • Luciano Ninzatti - guitar
  • Matteo Bonsanto - keyboards, programming
  • Massimo Noè - sound engineering
  • Ellade Bandini - drums
  • Pier Michelatti - bass guitar

(Note: the liner notes on Domino do not include any detailed credits for vocals except for the three female vocalists on "Disco Project". Various other people, including all of the band members and well-known session vocalist Silvio "Silver" Pozzoli, are credited as vocal performers, but it is unclear who sings what. On Split no vocalists are credited at all.)

Discography[edit]

  • Domino (Baby Records, 1982)
  • Split (Baby Records, 1983)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pink Project - Disco Project
  2. ^ http://hitparade.ch/song/Pink-Project/Disco-Project-881
  3. ^ "Disco Project" on YouTube - a performance by the made-up band.
  4. ^ B-Project on Discogs
  5. ^ Domino on Discogs
  6. ^ Split on Discogs