For the last quarter-century Ventura has made Italo pop which rarely deviates from the verse-chorus-verse structure, allowing him to show off his lyrical talent. And what lyrics they are! Such turmoil! Cheating lovers, mutability, the passing of time, heartbreak, rejection: It's all there, being soundtracked by the (oxymoronic?) pump of a Roland Juno 60 synthesizer and an Oberheim DX drum machine. Though influenced by Bobby Orlando, he's not as cheap-sounding, but—on the flipside—he isn't as smutty either. There are no creatures of the night lurking behind the hooks or New York freaks waiting to ambush you. This is anthemic electronic pop entertainment that could fill a 100,000-strong stadium of teenagers, although the high camp nature of these hits might spark nascent and unsure feelings amongst the boys.
A few of the tracks here are given the re-edit treatment from Ventura or contemporaries such as Alden Tyrell, Savino and Colombo, which makes this an ideal excuse for even super-fans to, as it says here, "cruise with your vintage BMW 3 series or Opel Manta on the sunny boulevard of Rimini, Scheveningen, Las Palmas or San Tropez." The best of the 12 aren't those for which Ventura achieved fame in the '80s ("The Years" and "Wind of Change"), but "Body Heat" is just about undeniable when the horns and his endearing mangling of the words make it sound like he's pleading: "Hey you, take a look at me, look me too beside it's the way I feel." The slap bass on "The Years (Go By)" is to die for and "When I Let You Down" is the kind of night-closer where the music would cut out and everyone would carry on singing the chorus, even after they got home. Even after 25 years.
Wed / 10 Dec 2008
01. Fred Ventura - Wind Of Change
02. Ajello feat. Fred Ventura - I'm Not Ready (Savino Remix)
03. The Parallax Corporation - City Of Destiny (Ventura & Colombo Remix)
04. Jupiter Black feat. Fred Ventura - Hold Me ('08 Edit)
05. Alden Tyrell feat. Fred Ventura - Memories
06. Fokewulf 190 - Body Heat
07. Flexx - Theme From Deep
08. Fred Ventura - The Years (Go By)
09. Fred Ventura - When I Let You Down (Alden Tyrell Remix)
10. Andy Romano & Fred Ventura - Open Your Eyes
11. Flexx - Theme From Flexxy Ball
12. I-F feat. Fred Ventura - I Cut My Heart Out ('08 Edit)