I want to tip my hat to Alessi, a band I totally enjoyed in my formative years, late 1970s.
Being twins, like all brothers bands, the harmony vocals of Bobby and Billy Alessi were impeccable. They sounded like Angels.
When I say brothers bands, I’m referring to the likes of the Wilson brothers (Brian, Carl and Dennis) of the Beach Boys, the Gibb brothers (Barry, Robin and Maurice) of the Bee Gees, the Everly brothers (Phil and Don), the Jacksons (Tito, Jermaine, Randy, Marlon, Jackie and Michael) and the Osmonds (Alan, Jay, Merrill, Donny and Jimmy).
Where I live in Singapore, back in the day, buying the Alessi brother’s album vinyls were not easy. But I managed to acquire them all – where’s there’s a will, there’s Alessi albums. Years later, I also bought up the album CDs – four on high-audio quality Japanese-pressed SHM-CDs.
There’s only six albums that they have put out on major labels – five on A&M and one on Qwest (Quincy Jones’ label).
From Long Island, they had the gift of vocal harmony and song arrangement. I saw pictures of the twins recently, and it looks like they aged well, no traces of drug abuse ravaging their still-fresh faces. They are still doing what they were born to do, one of the rare ones in the rough and tumble field of rock and roll. Well done, guys!
At their height, they had collaborated on projects with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Olivia Newton-John, Christopher Cross, BB King, Art Garfunkel, Rick Springfield, and Four Tops, as well as Ghostbusters and The Main Event movies.
I love that all their best album songs were positioned at the last song on the first side of every album vinyl.
My favourite Alessi album is All For A Reason.
My favourite Alessi songs are London, Seabird, All For A Reason. Avalon, Make It Last, Forever, Sad Songs and Joanna,
The song Forever which also featured the angelic voice of Christopher Cross, of Sailing fame, was deeply moving.
I also liked their cool fashion taste.
On John Lennon’s Milk and Honey album, Bobby and Billy Alessi provided vocal harmonies on the album. They recorded the album at The Hit Factory studio, in New York City.
Lo and behold, years later, I was there too, with Blondie when they were at the studio rehearsing for their Pollinator album (image below).
I hope to meet you both one of these fine days, Bobby and Billy Alessi.
Debatably, still your Biggest Fan in Singapore.