Worst Clichés in Eurobeat

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Worst Clichés in Eurobeat

Post by #Infinity » May 7th, '18, 18:51

What common tropes bother you the most in eurobeat, in spite of your love for the genre regardless? These would be mine...

1. Fire/Desire rhymes: In 1989, F.C.F. released “Bad Desire”. This song was a huge smash at the time, a major part of that being its climactic sing-a-long chorus. Mauro Farina managed to make the words ‘fire’ and ‘desire’ pack a ton of punch, the perfect descriptions of raw lust to compliment a genre with hyperkinetic production and a specific appeal to club audiences.

Naturally, several eurobeat writers came along trying to recapture the ingenious magic of “Bad Desire”, perhaps adding their own spin to the salaciously exclamatory chorus. The thing is, though, these copycat compositions just kept coming, and coming, and coming, AND COMING. By the time eurobeat reached its apex about 10 years later, “Bad Desire” had become easily the most influential song to the entire eurobeat genre - more than “Give Me Up”, more than “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”, more than “Space Boy”, more than “Night of Fire”, more than “Dark in the Night”, more than “Fantasy”, more than “King & Queen”. It literally seemed that every other eurobeat song being released featured some sort of fire/desire rhyme, with the only expanded variations being ‘higher’, ‘liar’, and ‘power’, despite the fact that several words more rhyme with ‘fire’ and ‘desire’. The F.C.F. classic had cast such a shadow over the industry that even its punctuated, ascendig vocal riff would be ripped off countless times and not just the rhyme scheme. David Dima and later-era Time writers have tended to milk this cliché the most, but pretty much everybody in the eurobeat world has been guilty of it at some point since “Bad Desire” came out.

Fire/desire rhymes, in my opinion, are the ultimate sin of eurobeat’s craft. They are so common that to my ears, they almost always come across as cheap corner-cutting from lyricists too inspired or rushed to put more love and care into what their performers are singing about. I actually get kind of pissed whenever I stumble across this heinously overused rhyme sequence, and in numerous cases, it ruins a entire song or at least holds it back from true greatness. Many people will tell you that eurobeat is one of the samiest music genres they’ve ever heard, and I would definitely have to blame this cliché the most for that reputation. What started off as a great idea in one particular song’s context is now the biggest obstacle for me to take eurobeat music seriously.

2. Japanese-targeted themes: This is technically not the fault of the writers themselves, but to this day, I cannot stand how ardently the eurobeat genre is marketed to the Japanese and the Japanese only. Considering the music is primarily sung in English by Italians and has its roots in more universally popular dance music from the 1980s, I find it tragic how narrow the genre’s demographic is, and the incessantly Japanese lyrical themes has only perpetuated this close-mindedness throughout the music’s run.

As an American with a natural love for upbeat dance music, I was drawn to eurobeat music purely for its sonic aesthetics and ability to tap into my emotions in ways that most 2000s pop music in the US simply couldn’t. When every other eurobeat song I listen to makes reference to Tokyo or some sort of Japanese popular culture, I can’t help but feel the marketing crew behind eurobeat turning a cold shoulder to the average, unbiased listener while heavy-handedly feeding the Japanese market alone. It would be one thing if Tokyo was just a common fad in eurobeat the way cars and sex are, but Avex’s atrocious, strictly domestic PR over the genre that they virtually monopolized causes the pain of this cliché to feel all the more real to me. I always dearly wished that eurobeat was a more globally accepted form of music – it has ‘euro’ in its title, after all – but it seems that the writers and promoters of the genre just started to exploit its popularity in Japan and then completely went from there.

Even more objectively, a lot of the Japanese references in eurobeat can be totally cringeworthy. Since eurobeat is made in Italy, the outsider perspective can get sorely obvious in far too many cases. I don’t mind Domino’s tendency to sing in Japanese because she embraces it to the point where it’s just a natural part of her musical identity, but in an otherwise excellent song like “Music Over” by Elvis, for example, I can’t help but scoff when Nando proclaims himself a “Tokyo man”. He’s not Japanese, he’s Italian, through and through, and absolutely nothing else is done to thematically justify such a specific description. Why was that line included? Because eurobeat’s audience is primarily Japanese, that’s it. It’s pure, distracting marketing, not a line meant for anybody fluent in English to identify with on a general level.

3. Fading out during the sabi: I’ve already complained about this one a fair amount in the Eurobeat Kudos thread, but a eurobeat synth hook is the worst possible place to fade a song out. I don’t want to hear a bunch of loud, hyperkinetic synthesizers being gradually phased out into silence without a clean conclusion. It sounds awful and incomplete, like a premature ending. Some labels did it far more than others, but unless the song was aishu and had a gentle, sparse synth hook, this cliché would always irritate me.

4. Anonymous vocalists: In far too many cases, we have no idea who in the world is performing our classic eurobeat songs. In some cases, they’ll be deceptively marketed using models, Milli Vanilli style, but in most instances, we jusf never have the privilege of getting to know our favourite voices, even on the most basic level. It’s now 2018, and yet we still don’t know the full names of the classic vocalists for Judy Crystal or Bazooka Girl, for example.

In my opinion, the frequent anonymity of eurobeat vocalists suggests that the performers are likely ashamed to even be associated with the genre, perhaps only recording it in order to find work as professional singers. Do they not even include their experience on their resumé? This is absolutely tragic, especially considering eurobeat is not a huge enough genre that its known performers are even particularly famous, so there’s not exactly much of a risk to being known, except apparently for being associated with a music too humiliating to take ownership of. I do respect artist’s rights to privacy, but the eurobeat industry feels like something people see as degrading, like being known as a eurobeat star will ruin their reputation everywhere else. Not to say anonymous vocalists aren’t a thing in other dance genres, but this trope is by far the most rampant with eurobeat.

Personally, I wish more eurobeat singers would embrace their stage names, reprsenting either a concrete alter ego like Bamboo Bimbo is for Christian Codenotti or just a separate side to their personality like Ennio Zanini used to do with Fastway versus Dusty. It can be fun solving the mystery behind eurobeat vocalists, but regardless, music is so much easier to personally adore if the performers and producers are proud and confident enough in their creations that a concrete identity, imaginative or not, is an integral part of the package.
Last edited by #Infinity on May 8th, '18, 00:28, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Worst Clichés in Eurobeat

Post by Crockett » May 7th, '18, 21:58

#Infinity wrote:
May 7th, '18, 18:51
1. Fire/Desire rhymes: In 1989, F.C.F. released “Bad Desire”. This song was a huge smash at the time
To be honest, I don't get it... Best of the best always inspired themselves another best... productions, musicians. Can be some rhyme you hear personally inside a song a great sin ? This is almost a natural way of music, drawing from the goodness of the past.

Besides, did really younger, much younger Eurobeat producers know what some FCF done in 1989 ? Have they ever followed, looked back at the market ?

I remember an old post by L. Gelmetti who had no slightest idea that G. Pasquini took over some of the 80's works he was engaged before...
#Infinity wrote:
May 7th, '18, 18:51
2. Japanese-targeted themes: This is technically not the fault of the writers themselves, but to this day, I cannot stand how ardently the eurobeat genre is marketed to the Japan and the Japanese only.
Actually, I don't get it either. Ok, you don't like this, but that's the commonly known history of Eurobeat and the major factor why you ever found out the genre later. I will quote the statement from Mauro Farina interview, which can be an answer to your thoughts in this point:

"Japanese taste is totally different from all the musical world... They have a "unique mentality", that's why the Boom Boom Beat must keep a kind of distinctive like a fast BPM."

Starting from here we should search for Eurobeat isolation reason and bad rumors.
#Infinity wrote:
May 7th, '18, 18:51
4. Anonymous vocalists:

In my opinion, the frequent anonymity of eurobeat vocalists suggests that the performers are likely ashamed to even be associated with the genre, perhaps only recording it in order to find work as professional singers.

I do respect artist’s rights to privacy, but the eurobeat industry feels like something people see as degrading, like being known as a eurobeat star will ruin their reputation everywhere else.
When I first time bought an original CD and listened to any Eurobeat songs, my only database, in other words assistance, was Discogs or... nothing.

A lot of people won't agree with me, however browsing hundreds entries in the catalogue I came to the conclusion that to enjoy the sound, cherish and celebrate the pleasure of listening I don't need the personality of vocalist, especially in a kind of particular music like Eurobeat.

Nonetheless, any the greatest star or little singer in a bar uses an alias, fake identity.

More I care how the voice is, or who is responsible for creation. All the rest is just a curiosity, unnecessary...

I will quote again myself, where I replied to you as well not so long ago, when you criticized Norma Sheffield.
Crockett wrote:
Apr 16th, '18, 17:56
How many artists like Norma Sheffield had any identity, own image (model or real image) ? Only selected, the most important, right ? Regardless of our taste.

Before social media there was no official source where the name of Francesca Contini/Chiara De Pieri appeared, same for Clara Moroni, who used many more aliases introduced as various persons.

There is no difference between these two ladies and anybody from Italo Disco/Eurobeat world. People believed in fake information and confused the singer with model. I didn't notice bad feelings in terms of Giorgio Conti who played the role of Atrium...
By the way, you missed something, the real name of Bazooka Girl is written on the internet and in the Eurobeat catalogue, no mystery.

Still once for a while I wonder what this knowledge gives me in practise. In what situations I will mention the real name and as you suspect, does a specified person want to be described on Facebook ? What attitude to Eurobeat and these experiences the person has ?

No, absolutely I don't tell it's inappropriate ! Just these real names are used to make a hype, while for many, rather for all artists the hype has ended many years ago.
Last edited by Crockett on May 7th, '18, 22:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Worst Clichés in Eurobeat

Post by Bonkers » May 7th, '18, 22:12

I can tell you many reasons why Eurobeat is not popular in other areas, but that's for another thread.

As far as cliches, my pet peeve lies within the structure/composition, usually in the beginning leading up to the riff in most tracks. It's when you have a good 4-8 measures to make it even patterned,like 98% of all other edm genres, but then eurobeat has to add in that 1 extra measure making it completely off pattern for mixing. Sometimes, this extra measure can be 4 beats, sometimes 1 beat, sometimes 2 beats...but it totally knocks off a pattern for easy mixing.

Another cliche for the genre that gets under my skin is the audio mastering. It may not be an authentic cliche, BUT there's something wrong when two-three tracks from the same label, which both appear on the same CD, and one sounds crystal clear and the other sounds like it's from the inside of a tin can. One track may have a strong bass, the other literally sounds like the bass was turned off in the final recording. It just happens too much, and it's apparent on too many SEBs for it to not be a cliche, and out of all the genres I've collected, eurobeat has to be the one genre in my collection that has some of the worse audio mastering. Is it the artists? Were they using out of date equipment while all other genres of EDM in the 90s flourished in new technology?

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Re: Worst Clichés in Eurobeat

Post by #Infinity » May 8th, '18, 00:16

Crockett wrote:
May 7th, '18, 21:58
#Infinity wrote:
May 7th, '18, 18:51
1. Fire/Desire rhymes: In 1989, F.C.F. released “Bad Desire”. This song was a huge smash at the time
To be honest, I don't get it... Best of the best always inspired themselves another best... productions, musicians. Can be some rhyme you hear personally inside a song a great sin ? This is almost a natural way of music, drawing from the goodness of the past.
There's a huge difference between drawing inspiration and just lazily falling back on the cheapest tricks to slap a song together, whether or not it's even musically effective or makes sense. When F.C.F. employed the fire/desire rhyme scheme, it was with purpose, development, and served the motive of the song. Also, it wasn't already beaten into the ground back in 1989.
Besides, did really younger, much younger Eurobeat producers know what some FCF done in 1989 ? Have they ever followed, looked back at the market ?
It doesn't really matter whether or not they're particularly familiar with "Bad Desire", even though I assume almost all major producers even today at least know that song. The point is, the song's influence on eurobeat lyrics and melodies is so overwhelming that it's not uncommon for a song to draw indirect influence from it, in the same way the Beatles have arguably influenced all popular music from the past 50 years, directly or indirectly.
I remember an old post by L. Gelmetti who had no slightest idea that G. Pasquini took over some of the 80's works he was engaged before...
Oh, so Laurent Gelmetti wasn't aware of 100% of the eurobeat being made back in the '80s? That doesn't mean he hadn't heard "Bad Desire". I'm pretty sure the types of songs he wasn't aware of back then were more obscure recordings, certainly not towering standards of the genre like "Bad Desire".
#Infinity wrote:
May 7th, '18, 18:51
2. Japanese-targeted themes: This is technically not the fault of the writers themselves, but to this day, I cannot stand how ardently the eurobeat genre is marketed to the Japan and the Japanese only.
Actually, I don't get it either. Ok, you don't like this, but that's the commonly known history of Eurobeat and the major factor why you ever found out the genre later. I will quote the statement from Mauro Farina interview, which can be an answer to your thoughts in this point:

"Japanese taste is totally different from all the musical world... They have a "unique mentality", that's why the Boom Boom Beat must keep a kind of distinctive like a fast BPM."
I know fast-paced dance music is generally more popular in Japan, but the thing is, eurobeat wasn't always as idiosyncratic as it is today. Back in the 1980s, it was barely distinguishable at all from plenty of pop songs produced by italo disco labels, as well as Stock Aitken Waterman. Michael Fortunati's "Give Me Up", for example, is recognized as a pioneering song in the eurobeat genre, but its production is virtually identical to Bananarama's "I Hear a Rumour", which was a #4 hit in the United States. Even Radiorama, fronted primarily by none other than Mauro Farina himself (plus Clara Moroni on "ABCD"), scored numerous hit singles in Switzerland between 1985 and 1988, thanks to the genre fitting in with pop trends at the time.

The fast BPM phenomenon isn't really exclusively because that's only something Japanese people enjoy. Happy hardcore, for example, was a huge fad throughout Europe in the mid-'90s, and those songs were even faster and more hyped up than your average eurobeat hits. If happy hardcore tracks like "I Wanna Be a Hippy", "Back in the UK", "Boomerang", and "Have You Ever Been Mellow?" could achieve major chart success in numerous countries outside of Japan, I don't see why eurobeat couldn't have found the same popularity in the West had the course of history been more favourable to its reputation.

The real reason for eurobeat's struggle to maintain a footing during the Super Eurobeat era is really just that popular music in western markets had diverged more towards hip hop, eurodance, and house. Had 1980s-style pop of the Bananarama, Sonia, Jason Donovan, Dead or Alive, etc. mold remained legitimately popular beyond the 1980s, it's likely there would have been a lot of '90s pop remarkably similar to what eurobeat eventually became. Maybe its western counterpart wouldn't have had as high a BPM on average, but I could still easily picture an alternate timeline in which eurobeat-ish music achieved success outside of Japan.
#Infinity wrote:
May 7th, '18, 18:51
4. Anonymous vocalists:

In my opinion, the frequent anonymity of eurobeat vocalists suggests that the performers are likely ashamed to even be associated with the genre, perhaps only recording it in order to find work as professional singers.

I do respect artist’s rights to privacy, but the eurobeat industry feels like something people see as degrading, like being known as a eurobeat star will ruin their reputation everywhere else.
When I first time bought an original CD and listened to any Eurobeat songs, my only database, in other words assistance, was Discogs or... nothing.

A lot of people won't agree with me, however browsing hundreds entries in the catalogue I came to the conclusion that to enjoy the sound, cherish and celebrate the pleasure of listening I don't need the personality of vocalist, especially in a kind of particular music like Eurobeat.
That's your opinion, but for me personally, having a public identity adds such a major dimension to the content that a singer performs. When they're completely faceless, it's such a missed opportunity.
Nonetheless, any the greatest star or little singer in a bar uses an alias, fake identity.

More I care how the voice is, or who is responsible for creation. All the rest is just a curiosity, unnecessary...
There's a difference between embracing your stage name as part of your core identity as a performer, like Ennio Zanini did as Fastway and Dusty, versus hiring models to deceive people into thinking the voice of a eurobeat artist is somebody other than who it really is, as was the case with Milli Vanilli.
I will quote again myself, where I replied to you as well not so long ago, when you criticized Norma Sheffield.
Crockett wrote:
Apr 16th, '18, 17:56
How many artists like Norma Sheffield had any identity, own image (model or real image) ? Only selected, the most important, right ? Regardless of our taste.

Before social media there was no official source where the name of Francesca Contini/Chiara De Pieri appeared, same for Clara Moroni, who used many more aliases introduced as various persons.

There is no difference between these two ladies and anybody from Italo Disco/Eurobeat world. People believed in fake information and confused the singer with model. I didn't notice bad feelings in terms of Giorgio Conti who played the role of Atrium...
There was no Internet back during the rise and fall of Milli Vanilli, and yet Western audiences still ripped them to shreds when they got confirmation that the performers were not actually singing on their music. The same scandal befell Black Box and Technotronic around the exact same time. There's a reason conventional audiences aren't so forgiving of this type of trickery. Maybe your typical eurobeat audiences are more forgiving of this than mainstream pop audiences, but I'm still speaking from my own perspective, and I'd far rather take a genre of music I love like eurobeat seriously than just allow phoniness to completely reign supreme over the industry.
By the way, you missed something, the real name of Bazooka Girl is written on the internet and in the Eurobeat catalogue, no mystery.
It is? Where? Bazooka Girl is and never was Cristiana Cucchi. Any photos you get of "Bazooka Girl" are just a model. The actual Bazooka Girl vocalist is completely anonymous, with the only known information about her name being that one of her initials is R. Check out cheeseman's catalogue for reference.
Still once for a while I wonder what this knowledge gives me in practise. In what situations I will mention the real name and as you suspect, does a specified person want to be described on Facebook ? What attitude to Eurobeat and these experiences the person has ?

No, absolutely I don't tell it's inappropriate ! Just these real names are used to make a hype, while for many, rather for all artists the hype has ended many years ago.
Eurobeat should be a genre people are proud to have represented, not one that they try to hide from their past. If singers refuse to even acknowledge that they ever sang eurobeat, why even bother?
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Re: Worst Clichés in Eurobeat

Post by jeurobeat » May 8th, '18, 14:07

#Infinity wrote:
May 7th, '18, 18:51
What common tropes bother you the most in eurobeat, in spite of your love for the genre regardless? These would be mine...

1. Fire/Desire rhymes: In 1989, F.C.F. released “Bad Desire”. This song was a huge smash at the time, a major part of that being its climactic sing-a-long chorus. Mauro Farina managed to make the words ‘fire’ and ‘desire’ pack a ton of punch, the perfect descriptions of raw lust to compliment a genre with hyperkinetic production and a specific appeal to club audiences.
This is an intersting topic. I agree with most you say about Fire/Desire. I got tired of it as well.
Infinity wrote:2. Japanese-targeted themes:
I also agree with this one.
Infinity wrote:I don’t mind Domino’s tendency to sing in Japanese because she embraces it to the point where it’s just a natural part of her musical identity, but in an otherwise excellent song like “Music Over” by Elvis, for example, I can’t help but scoff when Nando proclaims himself a “Tokyo man”. He’s not Japanese, he’s Italian, through and through, and absolutely nothing else is done to thematically justify such a specific description. Why was that line included?
I think you misheard the lyrics - this is a rant towards the 'talky man without passion' (not Tokyo man). He is certainly not singing about himself in this sentence 8)
Infinity wrote:3. Fading out during the sabi:
I don't mind this that much, but I don't perfer fading out anywhere in a song.
Infinity wrote:4. Anonymous vocalists:
Maybe for vocalists who are wellknown elsewhere, this might be true. However, some unknown vocalist may only attended to get decent vocals on a track, but don't intend to become a public persion.

Things I can add to the worst cliches in eurobeat:

Childish lyrics
Lyrics that don't make any sense
Accents that are really very heavy (I don't mind a bit of an accent)

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Re: Worst Clichés in Eurobeat

Post by Crockett » May 8th, '18, 14:33

#Infinity wrote:
May 8th, '18, 00:16
Crockett wrote:
May 7th, '18, 21:58
I remember an old post by L. Gelmetti who had no slightest idea that G. Pasquini took over some of the 80's works he was engaged before...
Oh, so Laurent Gelmetti wasn't aware of 100% of the eurobeat being made back in the '80s? That doesn't mean he hadn't heard "Bad Desire". I'm pretty sure the types of songs he wasn't aware of back then were more obscure recordings, certainly not towering standards of the genre like "Bad Desire".
I wasn’t clear enough. Laurent Gelmetti worked for all italian Eurobeat studios in the 80’s, he also mixed F.C.F. “Bad Desire”. I refered to his comment on this forum regarding the year 1990, when he moved permanently to Time Records, and Aleph left the label.

Since then, he wasn’t aware that Giancarlo Pasquini produced for Flea Records, continuing the same projects, which L. Gelmetti started with M. Farina – G. Crivellente in 80’s parallel with Asia Records.

I think it’s a nice example how typical studio staff was pretty much limited in following the market, such decisions where and whom to commission next songs, were made in the office of publisher.


Thus I just doubt a little, if really F.C.F. “Bad Desire” could’ve had direct, significant impact on late Avex Trax trends.
#Infinity wrote:
May 8th, '18, 00:16
There's a difference between embracing your stage name as part of your core identity as a performer, like Ennio Zanini did as Fastway and Dusty, versus hiring models to deceive people into thinking the voice of a eurobeat artist is somebody other than who it really is, as was the case with Milli Vanilli.
#Infinity wrote:
May 8th, '18, 00:16
Eurobeat should be a genre people are proud to have represented, not one that they try to hide from their past. If singers refuse to even acknowledge that they ever sang eurobeat, why even bother?
I believe there is an easy understandable explanation even for non-italian, non-european fan.

Within 2 decades Italians used the same tricks, and they moved them to Japan. Why ? Because during a very short time they created inconceivable number of songs.

There comes a time to go on stage and promote some project and what’s now ? Guy who did 100 titles should reveal the audience he has 10 aliases ? What would you do if the singer has bad look ? Once model was necessary, once not...

Otherwise Italo Disco and Eurobeat would be a great failure. I wouldn’t call it intentional cheating, but forced action to show the music varied.


Perhaps selected persons consider the status of Eurobeat vocalist for the japanese market under freaky sounding name as unimportant for the career in Europe and because they sang only in studio ?

Well, 95 % of Eurobeat are studio projects and the meaning of artist is here different.
#Infinity wrote:
May 8th, '18, 00:16
It is? Where? Bazooka Girl is and never was Cristiana Cucchi. Any photos you get of "Bazooka Girl" are just a model. The actual Bazooka Girl vocalist is completely anonymous, with the only known information about her name being that one of her initials is R. Check out cheeseman's catalogue for reference..
I don’t know how long this rumor is dragging on…

Barely 2 years ago at famous I Venti D’Azzurro 30th anniversary I met personally Cristiana Cucchi.

She was the singer of Live Music Studio from 1988 to 2005, at first in Asia Records as Chris, she was presented on the art covers, in the booklets, finally she participated in a tour to Japan as Bazooka Girl from Hi-NRG Attack.

Alongside Dave Rodgers and Domino, she is the most real, what is minority among Eurobeat artists with any known image…

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