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Catherine Quinol

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Catherine Quinol

Black Box
Origin Italy
Genres Italo house
Years active 1988–1998
Labels RCA Records
Website www.blackboxhouse.eu/
Members Daniele Davoli
Valerio Semplici
Mirko Limoni
Katrin Quinol
Martha Wash
Charvoni

Black Box was an Italian house music group popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The members of the group included a trio made up of a club DJ (Daniele Davoli), a classically trained clarinet teacher (Valerio Semplici), and a keyboard and electronic music "wiz" (Mirko Limoni). The three created an image for the Black Box act using French fashion model Katrin Quinol as its album/singles cover art and supposed lead singer in all of the group's music videos.[1]

Davoli, Semplici, and Limoni had previously formed a group called Groove Groove Melody, producing dance music under names such as Starlight (who had a UK Top 10 hit in August 1989 with "Numero Uno"[2]) and Wood Allen. They went on to record music under many other aliases, most notably the alias Mixmaster, which scored a UK #9 hit in November 1989 with the song "Grand Piano".

History

In 1989, the trio teamed up with French Caribbean model Katrin Quinol (b. Catherine Quinol) and formed the group Black Box. By early 1990, Martha Wash was engaged to perform vocals on a number of tracks which, Wash was apparently told, were for club consumption and were not for mass-release. One would be "Everybody Everybody", which would become one of their two top-ten hits in North America. The album Dreamland was released in May 1990. Katrin did not contribute musically to any of the tracks on the album, she was considered the group's "image".

The first single "Ride on Time" was an international hit, making Top 10 in many countries and No. 1 in the UK, soon becoming the UK's best-selling single of 1989. The song heavily sampled "Love Sensation" by Loleatta Holloway, a 1980 disco hit. The Black Box title is derived from the lyrics "Cause you're right on time".[3]

Dan Hartman, writer and producer of "Love Sensation", was not sought for permission to sample his song, and soon after the international success of "Ride on Time," questions arose as to the true vocalist on the song. Legal proceedings ruled that Loleatta Holloway was the actual singer on "Ride on Time" (albeit by means of the "Love Sensation" vocal samples) and Black Box surrendered a large percentage of the royalties from the song to Hartman and Holloway. The song eventually did make it onto the Dreamland album when it was released later in 1990 as well as the Hits and Mixes compilation, and numerous other compilations. A new version of the track with vocals by Heather Small appeared solely as a single. Subsequent releases, as well as the album tracks, also featured a then-uncredited Martha Wash as vocalist. Katrin Quinol lip-synched the vocals in "live" performances and in the music videos for Black Box. Martha Wash sued Black Box, RCA Records and then C+C Music Factory for performing vocals on their respective songs and not receiving due credit. These legal actions led to the legal recognition of vocalists who perform songs for other artists, including samplings. Wash received full vocal credit upon the single release of "Strike It Up", but the music video still featured Katrin Quinol lip-synching the lyrics.

A megamix featuring cuts already released and entitled "The Total Mix" performed well in the charts towards the end of 1990. Various minor hits followed in the UK throughout the decade. In America, they are best remembered for their early '90s singles "Everybody Everybody", "I Don't Know Anybody Else", and "Strike It Up", their biggest hit in the United States, where all three of their hits are still heard on rhythmic radio and in clubs on a fairly regular basis to this day.

Black Box remain one of the few piano-house groups to achieve mainstream success in the USA. Dreamland earned a gold disc in both the Australia, where it spent eight weeks at #1 during early 1991. Along the way, it also spawned six massive hit singles, both on the mainstream charts and in the clubs.

Discography

Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
AUS
[4]
AUT
[5]
CAN
[6]
FRA
[7]
GER
[8]
NLD
[9]
NZ
[10]
NOR
[11]
SWE
[12]
SWI
[13]
UK
[14]
US
[15]
US
R&B

[15]
1990 Dreamland 1 14 18 35 36 63 4 8 15 9 14 56 16
  • AUS: 2× Platinum
  • CAN: 2× Platinum [16]
  • UK: Gold [17]
  • US: Gold [18]
1995 Positive Vibration
  • Released: August 23, 1995
  • Label: Clubstitute
  • Formats: CD
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
AUS
[4]
AUT
[5]
CAN
[6]
FRA
[7]
GER
[8]
NLD
[9]
NZ
[10]
NOR
[11]
SWE
[12]
SWI
[13]
UK
[14]
US
[15]
US
R&B

[15]
1998 Strike It Up: The Best of Black Box
Hits & Mixes
  • Released: June 30, 1998
  • Label: BMG
  • Formats: CD
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Remix albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
AUS
[4]
AUT
[5]
CAN
[6]
FRA
[7]
GER
[8]
NLD
[9]
NZ
[10]
NOR
[11]
SWE
[12]
SWI
[13]
UK
[14]
US
[15]
US
R&B

[15]
1990 Remixland 58
1991 Mixed Up!
  • Released: November 12, 1991
  • Label: RCA
  • Formats: CD, LP, cassette
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Singles

Year Single Peak chart positions
AUS
[4]
AUT
[5]
CAN
[6]
FRA
[19]
GER
[8]
IRE
[20]
NLD
[9]
NZ
[10]
NOR
[11]
SWE
[12]
SWI
[13]
UK
[14]
US
[15]
US
R&B

[15]
US
Dance

[15]
1989 "Ride On Time" 2 8 3 5 1 17 2 5 2 5 1 39
1990 "Megamix" (with Lelewel) 15
"I Don't Know Anybody Else" 6 10 87 9 12 2 25 9 4 8 3 4 23 10 1
"Everybody Everybody" 35 28 11 41 6 29 11 21 16 8 2 1
"Fantasy" 3 4 21 16 3 18 28 26 5
"The Total Mix" 24 18 34 33 10 39 12
1991 "Strike It Up" 20 27 35 26 26 8 4 29 16 8 16 1
"Open Your Eyes" 45 44 32 48
1992 "Hold On"
1993 "Rockin' to the Music" 14 39
1995 "Not Anyone" 31
1996 "I Got the Vibration" 21
1997 "Native New Yorker" 46
1999 "Bright on Time" 77
2008 "Everybody Everybody" (remix) 39
"—" denotes the single failed to chart

See also

References

External links

  • Official website
  • MSN Entertainment: Black Box
  • Surf2Music: Black Box
  • Official Facebook Page
  • YouTube Channel

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