Archive for December, 2007

Anna Oxa: Superenigmatic Italian Diva

December 20, 2007

Yeah, I’d stumbled upon an album cover by her at one time or another, but I’d never been taken by the anomaly of her spectacle until now. After all, how many MOR divas can you name that toyed with a punk image as early as 1978?

Anna Oxa, 1978

Anna Oxa, 1978

  • Intervista Discoring 78
  • Or is that ‘punque’ (from the waist on up, anyway.) Alas, her stylists didn’t do enough research to know that flared trousers were in fact the aesthetic anathema to all true punks.

  • “Un’emozione da Poco”

  • Well in case you’ve had enough vulcanized gender transgressions for one day, I’ll assure you that the imposing, distaff maverick seen up above did in fact mutate into a wholesome young woman, most captivatingly so in this très sexy segment from 1982:

  • “Il No” Video (1982)
    Aah, I love the slow motion camerawork and soft lighting that glows upon her face.
  • That sultry slow motion delivery really was just totally befitting to that number, as this alternate clip further demonstrates:

  • “Il No” (1982)

  • Now as you rejuvenate, I’ll have you know that the surprises don’t end there, for the smooth as silk teddy bear from that last clip morphed yet again by the mid ’80s, this time into a sultry vixen. Here she sits resplendent in platinum perfection in this 1984 clip with Raffaella Carrà:

  • Oxa Pronto Raffaella 84
  • And here she performs in her newly perfected Monroe-esque glamour:

  • “Non Scendo” (1984)
  • “Eclissi Totale” (1984)

  • Later, as The Style Decade drew to a close, the genesis from humanoid to honey to heroine was complete, as seen in these aristocratically dressed-to-kill clips from 1988:

  • “Oltre la Montagna”
  • “E tutto un’attimo”
  • “Quando nasce un amore”
  • pronto è la rai oxa
  • pronto è la rai oxa 2
    (Caveat: I think she went a bit too far on the tweezing.)
  • golden-lady-anna-oxa-print2-orig1

    Apparently, our satin-legged, statuesque songstress also had a knack for comedy:

  • parole parole ….imitazione Anna Oxa, frantastico 9 ’88
  • love story presunta di fantastico 9 Oxa
  • I sure hope the following incident wasn’t real:

  • caduta dalla scale di fantastico 9

  • Oh well, in any case, it appears as though her heavenly legs (as well as her eyebrows) did indeed recover:

  • “Tu non ridi piu”
  • “Pensami per te”
  • Live Medley ’92
  • golden-lady-anna-oxa-poster-orig



    December 17, 2007

    Mid-70s symphonic vikings Ruphus were the subject of a recent PE inquiry, to which I responded with the following:

    Ranshart (1974), the second album from these mighty Norwegians, was their best, chock full of infectiously melodic Yes-like prog with coed vocals, especially the three songs which comprise the first side, all of which can be heard on this page:


    After that I’d go for their third, Let Your Light Shine (1976), which has them dancing on crystallized fusion ice, with two of the more exuberant numbers also featured on that page.

    Their fourth, Inner Voice (1977) album continued the fusiony trend, albeit with added disco elements, whilst their 1973 debut (YMMV – one track included up above) went for a more song-oriented, heavy prog style with somewhat dubious vocal performances.

    Galliard and The Greatest Show On Earth

    December 12, 2007

    Brass rock pages are all being updated to six songs, or even more with the addition of video clips, such as with the If page, which now includes two highlights from their third album:


    A few impressions: Galliard‘s second album, New Dawn (1970), has the clear advantage over their 1969 debut, Strange Pleasure. The former hears them weaving elements of jazz, blues and folk into a cohesive tapestry on par with the likes of early Jethro Tull and Pete Brown and Piblokto! On the other hand, Strange Pleasure betrayed an affinity for jingly horn blasts of the show tune pop caliber with only a tentative grasp on rock, ultimately pinning that album to the lighter side of the ’60s. This could have been down to the age of the members, a couple of whom looked old enough to have been kickin’ it with Acker Bilk at some point. Kind of like the professorly yet progressive-minded Dick Heckstall-Smith, once the oldest musician on the British rock scene (RIP.)


    The Greatest Show On Earth, meanwhile, put their best foot forward on their debut, Horizons, which mostly focused on their main strength of crafting catchy, solid, four minute rock songs stuffed with horns. And they had so many such gems that the page is still hurting by a few absentees, such as “Day of the Lady”, on which they ably mustered a pleasing little folk ditty in waltz time.

    The Greatest Show On Earth