Firefly

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Firefly -- not to be confused with the Kenny Nolan studio band of the mid-'70s or a metal group of the same name -- was an Italian dance group who is best known for the perennial dance favorite "Love…
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Firefly -- not to be confused with the Kenny Nolan studio band of the mid-'70s or a metal group of the same name -- was an Italian dance group who is best known for the perennial dance favorite "Love (Is Gonna Be on Your Our Side)." The '80s seemed to have been a good time for "tight" Italy-based bands with the most famous being Change.

Firefly's lineup was the songwriting/production duo of keyboardist Mariella Cavalieri and bassist/guitarist/drummer Maurizio Sangineto and lead vocalist Roland Leonard. The band's considerable chops (musical skills) were on display on their Firefly LP, which had a mellow jazz organ-flavored track and smooth songs somewhat akin instrumentally to Steely Dan. It also included the original version of "Love (Is Gonna Be on Your Our Side)," which has the basic elements of the better-known 12" version. Leased to NY-based Emergency Records and given a dazzling effects-filled remix by Herbert C. and Roy B., "Love Is Gonna Be on Your Our Side" b/w "Forget It" became an instant dance classic, even peaking at number 49 on Billboard's R&B charts in the spring of 1981. Emergency released more 12" singles by the band: "Show Me Tonight" (which sounded very much like "Love Is...") b/w the sweeping romantic "My Desire" and the gritty sax-lead "Stay." Several import dance singles surfaced in dance record shops, including their LP, Firefly 3. It differed from the Firefly LP in that there was more prominent use of synths and featured Roland drum machines (TR-808), but the group was as musically inventive as ever. Several tracks became favorites among dance aficionados. "Kissing Power" and "Love Is Coming" were given extended remixes on a 12" that included "Your Door," a song with lyrics of gothic imagery.

"Love (Is Gonna Be on Your Our Side)" was reissued on vinyl (1991) and CD (1993) by Canadian label Unidisc and as a CD single as part of German label ZYX Records' Golden Dance Classics series and is on various volumes of their Italo Dance Classics compilations .