Search This Blog

Saturday, May 5, 2012

TAXI

 
 
By all accounts - which, I can assure you, are not many - TAXI was a late '70s Teen Pop band hailing from Manchester, England.  Their main claim to fame, from what I can gather, came in the form of four LP's issued only in Germany.
Comprised of a pair of brothers of probably Italian descent and a friend of theirs, Ross Burgess, the band was backed by the songwriting/production team of Colin Frechter (Rollers, Hello), Dave Hunt and a possibly German co-conspirator of theirs with the surname Mueller.
Joe and Paul De Biase, whose given names are, respectively, Giuseppe and Paolo, were one pair of the TAXI brothers. 
And that, I'm afraid, is the extent of my knowledge on this band.  Nevertheless, TAXI has been at the top on my shortlist for a '70s Teen Pop feature for an awfully long time, so here goes... 
 
TAXI discography:
 
LP's:
 
"Taxi" (1977)
A rather "basic" debut with all tracks credited to impresarios Hunt/Frechter/Mueller.  Clear stand-out cuts include single "You Got Your Way in the End O.K." and emotive ballad "Memories".

 
Personnel, etc.:
 
Paul De Biase (Lead Vocals, guitar)
Joe De Biase (Bass guitar, vocals)
Phil Polcaro (Rhythm guitar, vocals)
Pasquale Polcaro (Drums, vocals)
Ross Burgess (Lead guitar, vocals)
 
Produced by Dave Hunt.
Executive producer: Dave L. Miller.
Arrangements & musical director: Colin Frechter.
Recorded March 1977 at The Music Centre, Wembley, England. 
 
 

"Do You Love Me" (1977)
A much more varied and interesting - if unimaginatively entitled - sophomore effort.  In spite of taking the easy way out with well-known '60s covers medley in lead-off single "Do You Love Me"/"Sha La La Lee" (Reminiscent of something from MUD's "Rock" album, with faux "live" audience et al), the record slowly thereafter picks up steady pace with the stand-outs being guitarist Ross Burgess's "Baby I Want You", as well as Hunt/Frechter/Mueller's "Step in the Right Direction" and "Wouldn't You Like".
 

 
Personnel, etc.:
 
Paul De Biase (Lead Vocals, guitar)
Joe De Biase (Bass guitar, vocals)
Phil Polcaro (Rhythm guitar, vocals)
Pasquale Polcaro (Drums, vocals)
Ross Burgess (Lead guitar, vocals)
 
Produced by Dave Hunt.
Executive producer: Dave L. Miller.
Arrangements & musical director: Colin Frechter.
Recorded September/October 1977.
 
"Taxi" (1978)
Arguably the least engaging Taxi album, also their first for EMI-Electrola, the songwriting team of H/F/M were now, understandably perhaps, trying to come up with more "mature" material for the boys.  The results, however, were somewhat less than stellar.  Nonetheless, two singles - "Back on the Road Again" and "Goodbye Caroline" - were culled from it.  Unfortunately, though, both are instantly forgettable.  Regretfully, much like the album itself.
 
Personnel, etc.:
 
Paul De Biase (Lead Vocals, guitar)
Joe De Biase (Bass guitar, vocals)
Phil Polcaro (Rhythm guitar, vocals)
Pasquale Polcaro (Drums, vocals)
Ross Burgess (Lead guitar, vocals)
 
Produced by Frechter and Mueller.
Recorded at The Music Centre, Wembley, England in August 1978.
 
"I'm the One" (1979)
  
With the Polcaro brothers and Ross Burgess now having exited and the band being reduced to a four-piece, with guitarist Steve Clarke and an unknown drummer entering the ranks, the tone of this fourth and final Taxi album is instantly more optimistic, fresh and - dare I say it - New Wave-ish.  After all, it was 1979 by this point in time and drum machines and synths were rapidly becoming all the rage.  And it shows.  The album contains only a couple of daft disco leftovers, so it's safe to say that Taxi left us on an overall positive note.  Best bits: "I'm the One", "Ready Set Go" and Steve Clarke's very own "Baby You've Gone Too Far". 

 
Personnel, etc.: (No credits listed, save for "produced by")
 
Paul De Biase (Lead Vocals, guitar)
Joe De Biase (Bass guitar, vocals)
Steve Clarke (Lead guitar, vocals)
"Unknown" (Drums)
 
Produced by Dave Hunt.
 
Last year, Steve Clarke left this comment about his time with Taxi on Robin Willis' PUREPOP blog:
 
 Hi there , my name is Steve Clarke and i was the lead guitarist in TAXI from 1978 - 1980 the last album was called IM THE ONE,I was in Bravo and other teen mags november 1978, i joined a Punk band called the Drones for two years then a London band in 84,did production work for many bands in the 90s, still play today and did some work with Dave Stewart two years ago.had lots of fun in taxi when we supported SMOKIE in 78 dont know what happend to the other guys in the band unless you know. STEVE CLARKE
 
 
Singles:
 
"You Got Your Way in the End OK"/"It's No Use Pretending" (1977)
 
"Do You Love Me (Sha La La Lee)"/"Have You Heard" (1977)
 
"Gonna Be a Star"/"Please Love Me" (1977)
 
"Back on the Road Again"/"Empty Arms" (1978)
 
"Goodbye Caroline"/"Ask No Questions"(1978)
 
 
See also: Joe Le Taxi.
 

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for letting us remember one of the best bands ever. Very fine pics.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The unknown drummer in the later years was a man called Anthony arrigoni I work with him.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just found these guy's on YouTube and they were great why did I not know about them then as I was really into my music at a very young age around 8yrs old

    ReplyDelete