Saturday, February 18, 2017

Frank Dana-Lovers: Best Of (2009)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: February 18, 2017

The best voices always deserve a respectful share of the spotlight here at "The Music Spectrum". Today, the voice I would like to highlight belongs to an accomplished gentleman going by the name of Frank Dana (also known by his aliases of Francesco Scorza and Frank Scorza), Not having grown up with his music—and not even becoming acquainted with him until well into the New Millennium—I cannot offer much regarding his musical background. But what I can say is that he's a terrific singer, and you'll immediately find evidence of that upon taking in his striking and commanding voice while listening to the 1982 hit ballad that he's widely recognized for simply called "Lovers". In addition to that gem, which deservingly serves as both the opening track and the inspiration for the title to this eighteen-track compilation celebrating the earliest years of his career, there are a half-dozen similar stellar ballads where his commanding soaring vocals dazzle the ears. There's "Your Life" and "Same Again" (both are nicely jazzed up with the accompanying saxophone with the latter having an especially epic production with the big pounding drums and elegant orchestra), plus the tender yet haunting "Just A Lover Man", "For Ever More" (he totally has that romantic soul crooner's thing going on here). "Gloria" (this cuddly tune blossoms into a powerful performance as he cries out to a special lady whom he hopes won't leave him and his heart hanging) and my personal favorite and the grand showstopper of them all,"Believe Me", where Frank declares and confesses his love for the woman in convincing fashion! When his stunning ballads aren't impressing your ears, his collection of Italo-disco tunes, which make up the vast majority of this eighteen-track compilation, step in to entertain you instead. Lots of goodies to highlight on this dancey pop side of Frank, so let me start with the ones that thrill me the most. "I Remember": A funny coincidence how this one has that particular title, as the chords sound so similar to Sting and THE POLICE's "Every Breath You Take", a hit from the 880's that I 'remember' very well. Frank's song is like a faster version of that.....except with some added jazzy saxophone sweetness, plus the entirely different lyrics that speak about him not being the same without the woman's love. More 80's memories surfaced the first time I listened to "Set Me Free"; the chords here now remind me of Kim Wilde's cover of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" while the 'whoa-oh-oh' delivered by the backing vocalists at the end of the chorus sound very much like the same 'whoa-oh-oh' heard on the Laura Brangian hit, "Self Control". I'd gotten another wonderful surprise when I played Frank's funky disco jam of a remake of the STEELY DAN classic, "Do It Again" (there was no mistaking when I heard the signature line of the chorus that goes 'back jack, do it again') while "All You Need Is Music" is just a wonderful straight up 70's disco-sounding jam that sparkles and dazzles with its theatrical-like production! I really like the dreamy and magical feel of "Ti Voglio", which sees him delivering more of his characteristic honest and sincere declarations of love, while it's all fun times for me on the sunny guilty pop pleasure "Just You And Me" and the supremely catchy, hi-tech energy rush that is "Mister President". And that is how I will conclude these highlights of Frank Dana's career on a high note:

1. Lovers
2. Your Life
3. I Just Love You
4. I Remember
5. Same Again
6. Ti Voglio
7. All You Need Is Music
8. Be My Woman
9. Sexy Lady
10. Set Me Free
11. Believe Me
12. Do It Again
13. For Ever More
14. Gloria
15. Rock'N Love
16. Just A Lover Man
17. Just You And Me
18. Mister President

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