The Single The late 70s and 80s were a time lost between the expanded vision of the 60s and the approaching, unknown, and, possibly, sci-fi new century. Frank Zappa had set my absurdity antennae twitching and he and a bunch of other bands and individuals had brought all kinds of sophistication and instrumental expertise to bear on the music that was in the ether.
Gruppo Sportivo was one band that seemed to integrate great pop sensibility and an oblique (not to say wacky) take on traditional ideas and lyrics involving teen angst, true love, and automobiles.
One Way LoveThis band was led by a guy with the great name of Van DeFruits, aka Hans Vandenburg, He and his gang in Holland had heard the same tunes everyone else had and their music alluded to, parodied, and took inspiration from everything under the sun, including hook-oriented pop and hi-tech studio production.
Out There In The Jungle
Album followed album, filled with excitingly goofy and tuneful songs that referred to the collective rock and roll experience that we lived full time. Songs like, Out There in the Jungle, Happily Unemployed, and I Shot My Manager kept me grounded, while thoroughly whacked ones like, Lock Yourself Up, Booby Trap Boogie, and Born On My Birthday stirred tender thoughts and memories.
I like listening to music where I have no idea what they’re saying — like Valerio Longoria, Paolo Conte, and Joao Gilberto, but, fortunately, Gruppo Sportivo sang in English. I would be much poorer for missing their perspective.