Dora Carofiglio

Valerie Dore

Monica Stucchi (born 28 May 1962), best known as Valerie Dore, is an entertainer of French and Italian descent, born in Monte Carlo. She rose to fame during the mid 1980s as part of the Italo disco-New wave project of the same name and became an influence for many European disco acts that followed. Italo revival act Sally Shapiro, whose debut album Disco Romance saw its release in late 2007, has cited Valerie as a primary influence.

Early career

Stucchi was a fashion model when she was discovered at the age of 22 by the famous music family Nicolosi (Lino, Pino and Rossana Nicolosi) and Roberto Gasparini in order to serve as the performer of their project "Valerie Dore", and its first song "The Night". "The Night" was considerably influenced by a new sound of Italo disco that Gazebo and Savage had introduced as "Romantic Dance". The song was actually sung by the iconic Italian singer Dora Carofiglio and Valerie Dore was initially to become of Carofiglio's many pseudonyms. Stucchi lip-synched the song, which became an unexpected hit in the European charts (Germany 5, Switzerland 8, Italy 14, France 23, Austria 29), and sold over 1,500,000 copies. Apart from Carofiglio's excellent vocal skills, the success was also driven by Monica's eccentric stage persona, impressive looks and Kate Bush-like style and image. All that made Stucchi so famous in the point that converted her to a household name, especially in native Italy.

In 1984 she won the prestigious "Vota la Voce" as Best New Artist of the year, and a year later the "Azzuro" of 1985. Her follow-up "Get closer" (which combined the voices of Dora Carofiglio and Monica Stucchi), though sharing identical arrangements with "The Night", its future background with the stupendous electronic effects made the song a complete masterpiece. "Get Closer" also made it to the European Top 10 (Germany 12, Italy 12, Switzerland 11, France 33). The romantic dance trilogy completed with Dore's 3rd single "It's so easy" (leading vocalist Dora Carofiglio) which became her third consecutive top 10 in Italy and Switzerland, but was a moderate hit in Germany where it peaked at 51. At that time Valerie Dore was regarded along with Gazebo, the most successful Italo disco solo act.

Dore as lead vocalist

In 1986 after the release of a vinyl-medley of her first three songs summarizing the first chapter of Valerie Dore, the initial team of Carofiglio, Nicolosi was replaced with Simona Zanini (Lyrics, backing vocals), Marco Tansini (music) and Stucchi now leading vocalist. The result of this partnership was the first of its kind (in the Italo-disco genre) concept album dealing with the legends of King Arthur.

"The Legend", Dore's debut, is considered to be the best Italo disco album and one of the best to be released in the 1980s. With one foot in her early romantic-synth sound and with the other "embracing" a new seductive and dark formula, enriched with live instruments and Celtic folklore elements was by every mean a very well refined album. Zanini's lyrics are also pure poetry, considerably adding positive elements to the artistic part of this album. The first single to be released "Lancelot" (Italy 9, Switzerland 10, Germany 36) became Dore's trademark song and a gigantic hit in Italy thanks to its catchy chorus. Its follow-up "King Arthur" (Italy 26, Switzerland 24) was a moderate hit outside Italy. "Magic Rain" and "Bow and Arrow" became huge radio hits. In 1987 internal conflicts considering the future of the project resulted to its end. In 1988 Dore went as a solo act to London in an effort to escape the limited borders of Italo disco and make a true career in the European music market.

"Wrong Direction", released by the independent Dore, Mauro Zavali and MGM, produced by Ralph Ruppert, made it to number 23 in Italy despite limited promotion, but went nowhere outside the Italian charts. "Wrong Direction", written by Force Majeure's, Dave Libby, is an early example of Grunge music, a style that will storm the charts at early 1990s, is considered to be Dore's best song and one of the most underrated songs of the 1980s.

New directions

In 1991 the Dore travelled to Madagascar and remained there for seven months in order to record the material for her long awaited second album. She worked with a famous local folklore band, in what would come to be a complete turn to her musical career.

In 1992 the Zyx label released Dore's The Legend retitled The Best of Valerie Dore with bonus tracks the extended versions of her dance hits "The Night", "Get Closer" and "It's So Easy", plus two remixes of "The Night" done by DJ Oliver Momm. In 1993 Valerie joined the French euro disco group Excess which made new house-techno versions of her biggest hits "The Night" and "Get Closer". The project was unsuccessful.

Recent interest

In 1998 a new version of "The Night" was released. With the new millennium, a new interest about Italo disco was born. Dore was offered several one-off shows in night clubs, and her best album was rereleased in 2001.

German electronic band Scooter covered "The Night" which became a huge dance hit in 2003. Electronic group Recall also made a version of "The Night". With five million of her singles and albums sold, Dore's name featured prominently in compilations that included her work.

Cover Versions

- Get Closer by No Kisses
- Get Closer by Razed In A New Division Of Agony
- The Night by Princessa
- The Night by Valerie

Discography

Singles

  • 1984 - The Night [#14 Italy, #8 Switzerland, #5 Germany, #23 France, #29 Austria]
  • 1984 - The Night - Remix
  • 1985 - Get Closer [#12 Germany, #12 Italy, #11 Switzerland, #33 France]
  • 1985 - It's So Easy [#13 Italy, #10 Switzerland, #51 Germany]
  • 1985 - It's So Easy To Get Closer In The Night Megamix
  • 1985 - Bow & Arrow
  • 1985 - The Wizard
  • 1985 - The Magic Rain
  • 1985 - Guinnevere
  • 1986 - King Arthur [#26 Italy, #24 Switzerland]
  • 1986 - Lancelot [#9 Italy, #36 Germany, #10 Switzerland]
  • 1986 - King Arthur / The Battle
  • 1986 - The Sword Inside The Heart
  • 1986 - The End Of The Story
  • 1986 - On The Run
  • 1988 - Wrong Direction [#23 Italy]
  • 1995 - The Night '95

Albums

  • 1986 - The Legend
  • 1992 - The Best Of

See also

References

External links

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