Black Box

Black Box

One of the leading exponents of a wave of Italian house music that flourished on the dancefloors of the late 80s and early 90s, Black Box comprised three Italian studio musicians (Daniele Davoli, Mirko Limoni and Valerio Semplici), collectively known as Groove Groove Melody. Based in the Reggio Emilia area of northern Italy, and made frequent use of "singer" Katrin Quinol (b. Catherine Quinol, Paris, France, of Guadelope descent). Semplici was a clarinet teacher and played in the La Scala Classical Music Orchestra in Milan. Davoli was a well-known Italian club DJ (known as DJ Lelewel), largely at the Marabu Starlight Club, while Limoni was the computer and keyboard whizz kid of the trio and had previously engineered for Italian pop act Ivana Spagna. The Groove Groove Melody team were established as one of the top two production outfits in Italian dance music, churning out more than a dozen singles a year in their native country. Katrine was spotted by Ivana Spagna's guitarist at a club, and, after introductions, featured as vocalist on "Ride On Time". The single became the first of a series of Italian house records to crossover to the UK charts, staying at number 1 for six weeks in 1989.

Controversy reigned when it was realized that the single had sampled the voice of singer Loleatta Holloway from the "Love Sensation" single she made with Dan Hartman in the late 70s. An agreement was eventually worked out with Salsoul Records (who owned the rights) as both companies benefited from 800,000 UK sales. The Groove Groove Melody team were also behind the production of Starlight's "Numero Uno" and Mixmaster's "Grand Piano", another prime example of "Italo-house", and another crossover hit. Under seven or more pseudonyms, they turned out numerous further records. However, as Black Box, their hits included "I Don't Know Anybody Else" (also based on "Love Sensation"), "Everybody Everybody" (the last of the "Ride On Time" trilogy), "Strike It Up", and "Fantasy", a revamp of the Earth, Wind & Fire hit, all of which featured an uncredited Martha Wash on vocals and broke them into the US market. They were also responsible for, among other remixes, ABC's 1991 comeback single, "Say It". Their mid-90s singles, "Not Anyone" (featuring new vocalist Charvoni), "I Got The Vibration", and "Native New Yorker", enjoyed limited chart success. Still to this day, Black Box refuse to credit many of their lead singers, including their touring singers. As of 2015, their current lead singer is Celestine Walcott-Gordon.

Black Box Discography


Black Box Dreamland (Album) Groove Groove Melody Venezuela 1990 Sell This Version
Black Box 2+2 (Album) Airplay Records, Carrere France 1990 Sell This Version
Black Box Positive Vibration (Album) Clubstitute Records Indonesia 1995 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Black Box Ride On Time (Single, Maxi) Out UK 1989 Sell This Version
Black Box And Lelewel* Black Box And Lelewel* - Ride On Time Mix With Magic Atto 2 (Maxi, Single) Carrere, Airplay Records, Airplay Records, Carrere France 1989 Sell This Version
Black Box I Don't Know Anybody Else (Maxi, Single) Groove Groove Melody Italy 1989 Sell This Version
OUT 3261 Black Box / Starlight Black Box / Starlight - Ride On Time / Numero Uno(7", Jukebox) Discomagic Records OUT 3261 Italy 1989 Sell This Version
RHR 3797 Black Box / Dan Hartman / Loleatta Holloway Black Box / Dan Hartman / Loleatta Holloway - Ride On Time / Love Sensation / Hit'N Run(12") Rams Horn Records RHR 3797 Netherlands 1989 Sell This Version
Black Box Blackboxedtotalmix (Single, Maxi) Deconstruction, RCA Spain 1990 Sell This Version
Black Box Featuring Stepz Black Box Featuring Stepz - Get Down (Single) Airplay Records, Carrere France 1990 Sell This Version
Black Box Megamix (Maxi, Single) Polydor France 1990 Sell This Version
Black Box Everybody Everybody (Maxi, Single) RCA Italy 1990 Sell This Version
Black Box Bright On Time (Maxi, Single) Polydor Netherlands 1990 Sell This Version
Black Box Fantasy (Maxi, Single) Polydor Germany 1990 Sell This Version
JB 010 Black Box / Tony Scott Black Box / Tony Scott - I Don't Know Anybody Else / Get Into It(7", Jukebox) Discomagic Records JB 010 Italy 1990 Sell This Version
Black Box Open Your Eyes (Maxi, Single, EP) Polydor US 1991 Sell This Version
Black Box Strike It Up (Single, Maxi) RCA US 1990 Sell This Version
BVCP-9006 Black Box Black Box Megamix(CD, Maxi) Deconstruction BVCP-9006 Japan 1991 Sell This Version
OUT 3398 Black Box Megamix N°2(12", Off) Out OUT 3398 Italy 1991 Sell This Version
Black Box Hold On (Maxi, Single, EP) Groove Groove Melody France 1992 Sell This Version
Black Box Rockin' To The Music (Maxi, Single, EP) Deconstruction Italy 1993 Sell This Version
Black Box Not Anyone (Single, Maxi) Groove Groove Melody France 1994 Sell This Version
Black Box A Positive Vibration (Maxi) Groove Groove Melody Netherlands 1995 Sell This Version
Black Box I Got The Vibration / A Positive Vibration (Single, Maxi) Manifesto, Manifesto France 1996 Sell This Version
Black Box Native New Yorker (Maxi, Single) Groove Groove Melody Germany 1996 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 4 Reviews

Add Review



March 11, 2016
"Hindsight is such a Beautiful Thing"....goes an old saying.
It says more about how 'knowledgeable' many DJ's are/were that there first hit could be at Number One in the UK Charts BEFORE anyone 'noticed' the vocals were lifted from another older disco tune ?
Black Box were not anything but 'Clever' & that they used a Sample that every Queen & their Poodle [NOW] claim to have 'Always' Loved....
Reminds me [a little] of when The B-52's bounced back into the charts with 'Love Shack' & all the similar 'Oh, I ALWAYS LOVED THEM....' rubbish you'd here ?
Loleatta Holloway herself said that she was 'approached' to sing on the rest of Black Box's LP...but a deal 'couldn't be worked out.'
And that she couldn't 'understand' why 'Her Friend' Martha Wash did......maybe she just charged less ?
Would there have been such an up-shot of popularity in all things 'Salsoul' without 'Ride On Time', I doubt it.


January 10, 2016
100% agree with airwolf... If Black Box = "scumbags and thieves" then so are 90% of the house/dance music pioneers.

The fact that Black Box hired Martha Wash to sing vocals and then replaced her image with a hot model in music videos is well-known, but that was the status quo of the late 80's/early 90's as the popular music industry took a turn towards studio-based electronic club music, desperate to catch up with the underground scenes. Their first single "Ride On Time" was an unexpected MEGA HIT in the UK and put Black Box on the map overnight. The fact that they HAD TO brand themselves and put an image on their music is not their fault... that was (and now, still is) the price of being a hot shot in the popular music game. If you can manage to look past the technical sh!t and appreciate the music, it's some of the best dance music from the era! My favs are "I Don't Know Anybody Else" "Strike It Up (Original mix)" & "Everybody Everybody (Love Unlimited Edit)"


December 31, 2015
Black Box made and earned their place in the History of Dance music and Italo Dance. Their music will live forever. Sad to read idiotic comments from losers like the one down below.

Videos (121) Edit