Classics: Change – Hold Tight (Long Version) (RFC/Atlantic)
If to many Chic is the absolute reference in terms of Disco/Funk, Change definitely had nothing to envy them. Eventually pushing the limits to the next level with slightly more sophisticated arrangements. Not to mention a unique sound treatment that stood as an influence for many producers. Beginning with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis with whom Change eventually worked a few years later. With chances being great their approach also influenced Rahni P. Harris, Jr.. This when he came to produce gems such as ‘We Can’t Miss’ and ‘Meet The Man’ for Dayton back in 1982.
Chic pretty much relyed on this interaction between bass maestro Bernard Edwards and rhythm guitar head Nile Rodgers. Well, it would be pretty much the same regarding Change. With bass player David Romani jammin’ along with guitarist Paolo Gianolio.
As for the singers (Luther Vandross, Fonzi Thornton and others), they brought their contribution to both of them. Not to mention the sultry Diva Gray who, along backing vocalists Ullanda McCullough and Crystal Davis, gives a special flavor to ‘Hold Tight’.
“Hold tight, if you wanna make this feeling stay. Hold tight, don’t let this moment fade away…” As many words speakin’ for themselves. Speakin’ of this uplifting song standing among the highlights of their 1981 ‘Miracles’ album along with ‘Heaven Of My Life’.
One has hardly done anything better in the genre. Don’t you think?
– The end of the 70’s saw the establishment of a new team en route for worldwide recognition in the Disco/Funk circuit. On one hand, Jacques Fred Petrus, a French West Indies native who would act as an executive producer. And on the other, Mauro Malavasi, an Italian musician, songwriter, arranger and producer who crafted their sound in his Bologna-based studio. A song which he elaborated with bass player Davide Romani and guitarist Paolo Gianolio.
They started their collaboration back in 1978. Delivering no less than two albums. Respectively for Macho and Peter Jacques Band. With both of them in a typical Italian Disco vein.
1980 marked a big change for them artistically speaking. This with the arrival of Change‘s ‘The Glow Of Love’ album. An album which saw them defining a new standard and, in the meantime, a signature sound in the Disco/Funk circuit. With thanks to cuts such as ‘A Lover’s Holiday’ or ‘Angel In My Pocket’ featuring Jocelyn Brown. It also brought Luther Vandross to the first league with gems such as its title track and ‘Searching’. But also The B.B.& Q. Band (‘On The Beat’, ‘All Night Long’, ‘Starlette’). Then High Fashion (‘Feelin’ Lucky Lately’) or Zinc (‘Street Level’, ‘Punkulation’) to a lesser extend. And, last but not least, Ritchie Family (‘I’ll Do My Best (For You Baby)’)
Change released 6 albums between 1980 and 1985 and an impressive series of classics in the meantime. From ‘The Glow Of Love’ and ‘Searching’. To ‘Hold Tight’, ‘Heaven Of My Life’ and ‘The Very Best In You’. Not to mention ‘Change Of Heart’ and ‘You Are My Melody’ with production work courtesy of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. And, last but not least, the Nick Martinelli produced ‘Mutual Attraction’ back in 1985.
An accusation of tax evasion by the US Internal Revenue Service hit Petrus back in 1986. As a result, he put his activities on hold and fled to his native Guadeloupe. He got shot a few months after, in the late Spring of 1987, reportedly by a Swiss man whom he’d had a dispute with a few hours before at his owned club L’Elysée Matignon in Le Gosier…
Change eventually came to release an extra album – their seventh – back in 2010. But it was more of a collection that should have seen the light twenty years before.
2018 sees them back to the forefront along with Mauro Malavasi and Davide Romani, a new line-up of singers and musicians and a new album by the likes of ‘Love 4 Love’. An effort comin’ up with all the ingredients that made Change sounding like no other back in the ealy 80’s. In other words, a stellar Disco/Funk approach. Itself enlightened by the presence of First League singers along with lush arrangements. This resulting in an impressive amount of goodies from ‘Hit Or Miss’ to ‘All My Life’. But also ‘Make Me Go Crazy’ in a vein somehow reminding of Bruno Mars‘ ’24K Magic’. These in addition to ‘Living In Your Love’ and ‘How Will We’. Not to mention a couple of remixes of classics such as ‘Searching’ and ‘Oh What A Feeling’ featuring respectively Luther Vandross and Deborah Cooper.