Strange Bedfellows III: An Earlier, Even More Brain-Melting Ultravox! Cover Discovered!

Strange bedfellows, indeed…

Strange bedfellows, indeed…

Virgin | JPN Promo | 12" | 1983 | LWG-1239The deeper I dig into this John Foxx conspiracy, the dirtier my hands get! At first I found a record that united Foxx and Lionel Ritchie by weird circumstance. A Japanese promo 12″ from 1983 with the audacity to untie those artists on a single, unholy disc. Then the appearance of the “Exponentialism” EP with female performers prompted me to do a little research to see if any other women had ever covered John Foxx before. Oh yes. This was actually old hat.

amii stewart - tryloveBENLPAA search of John Foxx writing credits revealed that the earliest Ultravox! cover had been recorded in 1984 by a woman better known as the  diva who released an electrodisco cover of the soul classic “Knock On Wood” in 1978. Yes none other than Amii Stewart had covered a Foxx/Ultravox! song decades earlier. Surely this was the first Ultravox! cover ever? It sure seemed that way. This was as far back as a writing credit search on had revealed.

richard blade6So it was a few months later. I was listening to the New Wave Comp at left; “Richard Blade’s Flashback Favorites vol. 6” when I was struck by The Romeos’ track “Seriously Affected (Rock And Roll And Love And Death).” Damn, but it really reeked of The Rolling Stones! What was up with that group, anyway? So I looked the band up on I didn’t recognize any of the ban members save for one Dony Wynn. Hmm. That sounded familiar, but where did I know that name from? I clicked on his name in The Romeos listing and it took me to Dony’s page in Discogs. Lots of Robert Palmer albums caught my eye. Aha! That’s was where I knew his name from! But then I saw this…!

Polydor | Venezuela | LP | 1982 | 30.358

Polydor | Venezuela | LP | 1982 | 30.358

Maria Conchita Alonso: Ritmo Peligroso Venezuela LP [1982]

  1. You Yeah You ( Tu Yeah Tu)
  2. Dangerous Rhythm ( Ritmo Peligroso)
  3. No Words For Love (No Hay Palabras Para El Amor)
  4. Forget About You (Baby, Baby) Olvidate De Tí
  5. Suspicious Mind ( Mentes Suspicaces)
  6. Do You Wanna Go With Me? (Quieres Ir Conmigo?)
  7. I Was Wrong (Estaba Equivocado)
  8. Lion Sleeps Tonight (El León Duerme Esta Noche)
  9. The Bad Outside (Lo Malo De Afuera)

The album that Dony Wynn sessioned on was called “Ritmo Peligroso…” Spanish for “Dangerous Rhythm!” My Spidey-sense® was tingling. Could it be a John Foxx cover of the same tune that Amii Stewart did two years later? The listing in Discogs was light on the data. No writing credits, but there were multiple photos for the release. A dig there revealed the mind-melting truth!

Writing credits were included on the label, shown here

Writing credits were included on the label, shown here

Yes, Maria Conchita Alonso; Miss Venezuela 1975-slash-disco dolly-slash-actress-slash-right-wing-ex-celebrity has seemingly scooped all others in covering the work of John Foxx/Ultravox! on this obscure Venezuelan pressing! The data on Discogs fails to reveal the producer, but I’d be really curious to find out who made this queer thing happen! It’s conceivable that this recording influenced the one that Amii Stewart did two years later! The notion of these Ms. Stewart and her producer picking the proto-New Wave debut single by Ultravox! from out of the blue seems pretty unlikely. But even so, it holds more water than the even less likely notion of Alonso [or more likely her producer] trolling for likely songs by poking into the primeval tributaries of Post-Punk as produced by Brian Eno! At this point, I expect to find that “Dangerous Rhythm” was really covered first by Marie Osmond on her “new look” 1978 album “This Is The Way I Feel!!!”

– 30 –

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5 Responses to Strange Bedfellows III: An Earlier, Even More Brain-Melting Ultravox! Cover Discovered!

  1. Echorich says:

    Crazy! I wonder if this was marketed toward Spain since it was released through Polydor and could easily be distributed there. In the case of trying to sell in Europe, I wonder if the producers or label asked the A&R man to look for some “more European” sounding tracks. There has to be some sort of publishing connection I would think.
    As it turns out, this MC Alonso album is pretty well known. She certainly was marketed as a disco dolly but it makes sense that Amii Stewarts producers might look to what was going on in European dance music for her 84 album. As well it looks like Dangerous Rhythm was a hit for MC Alonso and brought her to the attention of Giorgio Moroder and her cowriting Vamos a Bailar on the Scarface soundtrack…I KNOW AND LIKE THAT TRACK!
    I hope Foxx got some royalties from these two covers…sort of proves he and his music has always retained some respect.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Amazing. I know nothing of the “Scarface” OST though I have a Vero-compiled Blondie comp with the swell “Rush Rush” 12″ version on it. Hell, until I dredged this up, all I knew MC Alonso for was appearing in “The Running Man!” I had no idea of her storied career and certainly knew nothing of her covering Ultravox! But the freaky thing is that the “respect” you speak of is coming from very atypical quarters! This isn’t Jim Kerr name-checking Foxx or Numan giving credit. This is highly commercial disco product incorporating idiosyncratic proto-post-punk material as mainstream dance fodder!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – ¡Madre de dios! Did you notice the song on that label co-written between Andy McMaster [The Motors] and Maria Conchita Alonso??!! I just did!!!


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