Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mr Morse – ‎S.O.S. I’m In Love (EMI)

Most Wanted! Mr Morse And His New Alphaband ‎– S.O.S. I’m In Love (EMI)

A simple yet effective vocal hook. And a bit of… morse! With the whole over a horn driven funky led bass rhythm pattern… And here we go with this one and only jam by the likes of Mr Morse back in 1977. In a vein comparable to Casey Finch‘s typical approach on his productions for K.C. & The Sunshine Band, and most likely ‘Shake, Shake Shake’!

Although it only saw the light as a 7 inch, this one-off came to reach the peaks some 30 years after on the second hand market. And more precisely its French pressing for some reason…

Overview
A Paris native, Albert Valentin Verrecchia belongs to a family of musicians of Argentinian descent. A keyboardist, a composer and a producer, he quickly joined his sister (Evy) who was already singing. And together, they started jammming in Paris in a group called Les Problèmes. They then joined Vigon et les Lemons, an R&B ensemble that eventually became Evy’s backing group.
Moving to Italy, they got some popularity with the single ‘L’Abito Non Fa il Beatnik’, a cover version of Jackie Edwards and Spencer Davis Group‘s 1965 UK number one hit ‘Keep On Running’. This would mark the start of numerous live gigs in the clubs. In Italy, France or North Africa. Verrechia also comin’ to tour with Raffaella Carrà at the time.

Later, in Rome, Jazz singer Rocky Roberts, who had just split with The Airdales to go solo, was looking for musicians. This being how Verrecchia came to join him under the I Pyrañas guise. A band which also comprised famous French drummer André Ceccarelli whom Steve Ferrone (Average White Band) replaced in 1970.
Verrecchia began with a series of collaborations with many then up-and-coming artists after the group disbanded. He eventually produced Alan Sorrenti‘s debut-album – ‘Aria’ – back in 1972. And eventually worked xwith Renato Zero too.

A prolific and versatile mind, Verrecchia also ventured into film soundtracks. From ‘Tecnica di un amore’ (1973) to ‘Roma Drogata: La Polizia Non Può Intervenire’ two years after. Then, by 1976, he moved his interests towards the then emerging Disco sounds. He eventually produced the French sung ‘La Chatte à la Voisine’ for Chocolat‘s. A song which got banned from airing on various radio stations because of its double meaning. Then he formed Belle Epoque with his sister Evy and two Black chorists. Together, they would score their greatest successes with ‘Miss Broadway’ and a cover version of ‘Black Is Black’.

1977 saw the release of ‘S.O.S. I’m In Love’ which Verrecchia produced as Mr Morse. I can’t even remember hearing about this tune back at the time. No need saying how surprised I got when seeing it among the most sought after tunes on eBay 30 years after. This would be his first and only one release under this name. Although he also used it for the Disco-remake of Bobby Solo‘s classic ‘Una Lacrima Sul Viso (A Tear On Face)’.

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