Blue Russell was the husband/wife duo of Manlio Cangelli and Lorella Ghilardi from Milan.
Cangelli was a session musician and composer for many Italian singers, making music for commercial TV and working long days in the studio. He had a strong passion for the analog synthesizers of the time and discovered the latest drum machines. After appreciating a healthy dose of Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, he set out to make dance music similar to the Disco sounds of the late 1970s. The duo would go on to write and produce many Italo classics for artists such as B. Rose, Wish Key, Clay Pedrini, Jerry Moon, Scotch and more.
“I Wanna Fly Away” was recorded in Milan in the Spring of 1984 and released later that year on Disco Magic Records. The band created their signature sound using an Oberheim OB-X, Elka Synthex and Roland JX-3P as well as a cache of drum machines like the Oberheim DMX, Roland TR-808 and E-mu Drumulator. Cangelli uses double octaves, a technique where one hand plays the high notes of the chords on one synthesizer and at the same time another hand plays the bass notes of the same chords in a shorter time. This skillful alternation creates the unique arpeggios signature to Cangelli’s stylized sound. Lorella’s vocals are haunting and powerful. She oozes charisma as she sings about the loss of a lover and the sadness she feels, wishing she could escape this world. The B-side features an instrumental version with monolithic synth lines and throbbing drums.
Both songs are remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in a jacket with original artwork of a Lorella standing in the cockpit of a plane, ready to fly away at any moment. Each copy includes 2-sided postcard with lyrics, photos and notes designed by Eloise Leigh.