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Eurobeat

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Eurobeat

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SUPER EUROBEAT Vol.160 Cover Art - © Avex Trax, Japan. SUPER EUROBEAT Vol.160 Cover Art - © Avex Trax, Japan.

The music sub-genre Eurobeat is closely related to Hi-NRG and disco. It is also very closely related to the Japanese Para Para dance culture.

Eurobeat, as the name implies, is a music genre from Europe. Stemming from Italo Disco, it is generally held to have originated in Italy in the late '70s and early '80s. Despite being European in origin, its main market has always been Japan, where its synthetic and emotionally upbeat stylings are popular. Even though many Europeans and Americans have heard Eurodance, Eurobeat is still a largely unknown genre in Europe where other types of music are dominant.

Although highly popular in Japan, Eurobeat has become more and more popular in the Western world in the past few years. The anime Initial D by Shuichi Shigeno uses Eurobeat music regularly in its episodes during racing scenes between the characters, and because of this it has come to the attention of some anime fans outside Japan.

Eurobeat's sound is its main link to its italo disco origins, where it was just one of many different experiments in pure-electronic dance. There are certain synth instruments that recur across the entire genre: a sequenced octave bass, distinctive brass and harp sounds, and tight, predictable precussion in the background. These sounds are layered with vocals and natural instruments(guitar and piano are common) into complex, ever-shifting melodies that, at their best, burst with energy.

Contents

Eurobeat genre

Eurobeat can create a number of different genres, while still keeping its own originality intact. In the late 1970s and early 1980s there were many new genres emerging from the creation of electronic music. Disco was the beginning of a whole new era in music, with popular artists such as George Clinton and Earth, Wind & Fire. However when disco music quickly became unpopular in North America, it remained in the limelight in Europe.

While modern music is often recognized by its lyrics, Eurobeat is recognized not primarilly by its lyrics, but by its synthesized chorus known as the Sabi (short for Sabishigaru, not to be mistaken for the Japanese Wabi-sabi), which means "to remember someone or something" in Japanese. This of course refers to the generally acknowledged fact that you mostly remember the Sabi as opposed to the stanzas of the Eurobeat song. This broad genre can create a great number of different "sub-genres" within it because of this combination of harmony and rhythm. Sometimes it can still sound like the old disco music we know, sometimes it can be very "fast and happy" like Happy Hardcore or Speed Music, and occasionally it even uses guitars as a method of Saiba.

One peculiar thing about Eurobeat is the fact that each artist is often credited with a variety of different aliases (See "Popular Eurobeat Artists" below for details). Artists usually adopt different stage names according to the mood of each song, or depending on who wrote their lyrics. For instance, Ennio Zanini has stated on the SCP Music website that he goes by the name of "Fastway" on songs which are more upbeat and sprinkled with high-pitched female backing vocals, and goes by "Dusty" on his more "serious" tracks. Also a popular theory is that Eurobeat artists such as Clara Moroni and Giancarlo Pasquini manufacture the same acts under many different names in order to "compete with themselves". (Compare to legendary House producer Thomas Bangalter, who is infamous for the same practice).

Eurobeat also has notoriety for name recognition, lifting titles from popular songs and using them as the names of Eurobeat tracks. Examples are "Like a Virgin", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", and "Station to Station." The Eurobeat songs that reuse song titles typically have nothing to do with the song it lifted its title from (i.e., not a cover).

The Eurobeat formula

Like most musical genres, (modern) Eurobeat has a fairly specific formula to it:

Intro -> synth -> verse -> bridge -> chorus -> synth -> extro

Of course, different names are used for these sections in different parts of the world. The synth has been known to be called a (synth) hook, riff, line, chorus, etc. The verse is often referred to as the "A melody", the bridge referred to as the "B melody", and the chorus called the "sabi" in Japanese.

Eurobeat is notorious for it's complex rhythm, always attempting to throw the listener in another direction, but the flow is usually a one way ticket. After the synth, the song usually repeats the verse, bridge, and chorus (although with different lyrics most the time) and then goes into a "breakdown" where there can be a variety of new parts to the song including a guitar solo, the dropping and adding of percussion, or a plain instrumental version of the track. Typically though, this only encompasses the verse and bridge; the chorus is usually sung once again, and then the synth and extro play. The extro can either be the synth played again, or something reminiscent of the intro. Another thing to note is that the intro is somewhat like an instrumental rendition of the verse, bridge, and chorus, while the synth is a lot like a synthesized version of the chorus. They don't have to sound completely similar, but they do in fact fit on top of each other most of the time.

There's a particular style of formula when it comes to the different "labels" of the Eurobeat world:

A Beat C: Typically follows the formula above, rarely straying away from a different type. This label is considered by the majority of the Eurobeat world to be the most "mainstream" label, taking a little bit of everything and adding it to their own style. They also have the largest amount of singers, which gives them variety.

Delta: Usually drops percussion during the breakdown while the singer sings the first verse and bridge again. Synths are typically very "harsh"-sounding, and bass is relatively low depending on the producer of each track.

Hi-NRG Attack: As with Delta, percussion usually drops during the breakdown. The thing with this label is that it's known for it's relatively "quirky" lyrics and rhythm. Synths are known to be very wild, sometimes playing a different note at every 1/4 beat.

Time: The interesting thing about Time is that most of the label's music includes a very long Intro and typically ends with a fade-out of the synth instead of an extro (which most labels don't do too often). To many, their synth can either be very intense, or can be a rather subtle, somewhat duplicated synth from previous songs.

Vibration: This label can surprise you. Sometimes they'll put in a simple percussion drop during the breakdown, and sometimes there is a very intense guitar solo or even new lyrics. Very unpredictable.

SAIFAM: This label can resemble house music very much if you listen closely. They typically use the formula of adding a new section of percussion, bass, and synth after every 4th measure. After the last synth (sometimes after the chorus is goes straight to the following) there is typically a percussion drop until there are only 4 measures of a "kick" or "hat" left. As with Vibration, SAIFAM can be somewhat unpredictable, but they don't tend to stray away from this formula.

SCP Music: SCP almost always follows A Beat C's formula. Rarely is there ever a percussion drop, but instead you can find a guitar solo or "ad-libbing" of lyrics or synthesizers. The interesting thing about SCP is that their music closely resembles Trance but still doesn't stray away from that authentic Eurobeat sound.

An honorable mention includes Akyr Music, which seems to take lessons from each of the labels and apply it to it's own music, or you can hear a strong similarity between Delta because Laurent G. Newfield produced many tracks for Delta.

Popular Eurobeat artists

Name Labels Aliases Groups
Alessandra Mirka Gatti A-Beat C Domino, Juliet, Mirka, Dynamika, 94 Sale, Eskimo, Sheela, Marie Aldridge, Paula Roberts. Go Go Girls, King & Queen, A-Beat Sisters, Groove Twins, Salt & Pepper.
Alessia De Boni SCP Music Pamsy Scream Team
Annerley Gordon A-Beat C Annalise, Lolita (1), Virginelle (only on "Lucky Lucky"), Ann Lee. Go Go Girls, A-Beat C All Stars.
Barbara Maniscalch A-Beat C Valentina, Margaret, Queen Of Times. Go Go Girls, King & Queen, A-Beat Sisters.
Christian Codenotti SCP Music Ace GO2
Clara Moroni Time Records, Flea, S.A.I.F.A.M. Group, A-Beat C, Delta. Vicky Vale, Leslie Parrish, Linda Ross, Cherry, Donna, Vanessa, Virgin, Priscilla, Pretty Woman, Denise, Candy Taylor, Lisa Johnson, Drama, Suzy Lazy, Leila, Doki Doki, Jenny Kee, Virgin, Terry Gordon, Bonnie. Delta Queens, Name, Gipsy & Queen, The Girls, Les Blue Bells, Kate & Karen, Newfield Moroni & Sinclaire.
Claudio Magnani Time Records, Delta, Hi-NRG Attack, AkyrMusic Mad Max, Babby One, Silver, Charly, Toby Ash (2), Dave Hammond (2), Atrium (2), Tam Arrow, Speedman, Volta & Gabbana, Mote Mote, Maximum Power.  
Cristian De Leo Time Records Dave, Chris Stanton, De Leo, Idol.  
Cristiana Cucchi Hi-NRG Attack Bazooka Girl, Samanta Claus, Chris, Cristiana.  
Cristina Toci SCP Music Christine  
Davide Budriesi Delta David "Off", Kevin Johnson (2), Buddy Bo, Allen Cox, Phil Jones, Chester, Tiger Shark.  
Davide Di Marcantonio Time Records, SCP Music, LED, AkyrMusic. Dave McLoud, Jimmy Bravo (2), Jackie 'O (3), Captain America (2), Dee Dee, J.Rush, David, Chemical Boy, Eurobeat Lovers, John Desire, Tiger Shark, David Kane, Lou Grant (2), Robert Patton (2).  
Denise De Vincenzo A-Beat C Nuage King & Queen, Go Go Girls.
Elena Ferretti A-Beat C, Time Records. Sophie, Alexis, Karina, Helena, Jilly, Rose, Victoria. Love & Pride, Eurosisters, King & Queen, A-Beat Sisters, Kate & Karen.
Elena Gobbi A-Beat C Lolita (2), Virginelle, Marlene, Roxanne, Marie Aldridge. Happy Hour, Go Go Girls, King & Queen, Groove Twins, Salt & Pepper, A-Beat Power, A-Beat Sisters, A-Beat C All Stars.
Ennio Zanini SCP Music Fastway, Dusty, Doctor Stranger, Tomas Lee. GO2
Fabio Lione A-Beat C J. Storm  
Federico Rimonti Flea, Time Records, S.A.I.F.A.M. Group, Hi-NRG Attack. Franz Tornado, Jeff Driller, Mad Cow.  
Fernando Bonini Time Records, Delta. Mako, Dr. Love, Nando, Tommy K (1), Mike Hammer, Elvis, Stop Limit Line, Sandy Bee, Tension. Maio & Co., Tokyo Future, Edo Boys.
Francesca Contini A-Beat C Norma Sheffield, Sonya, Sharon K. A-Beat Sisters, King & Queen.
Giacomo Caria A-Beat C Giacomo Caria, Chris T., Neo, G.Caria.  
Giancarlo Pasquini Flea, Time Records, A-Beat C Dave Rodgers, Lucky Boy, Danny Wilde, Derreck Simons, Dr. Money (1), Robert Stone (2), Chester, Patrick Hooley (2), The Big Brother, Mario Ross (2), Aleph, RCS, Romeo. The Spiders from Mars, Happy Hour, Thomas & Schulbert, Red Skins.
Gianni Coraini Flea, Time Records, A-Beat C, HI-NRG Attack, S.A.I.F.A.M. Group, LED. DJ NRG, KL Jones, Alvin (1), Maltese, Ric Fellini, Jeff Driller (1), Franz Tornado (1), Danny Keith, Captain America (1), Otello, Maxx Ducati, Jackie 'O (2), Jean Corraine.  
Gino Caria Time Records, A-Beat C, LED Gino Caria, Lou Grant (1), Frank Torpedo, Edo, De Niro, Tommy K (2), Robert Patton (1), Derreck Simons (2), Atrium, Mike Skanner (1), Dave Hammond, Dr. Money (2), Toby Ash (1), Pleasure & Pain, Teddy Boy, Chester, Frankie Beat.  
Giordano Gambogi Time Records Kasanova, Mr.M, Mike West, Time Force. Bad Gang.
Greta Accatino Hi-NRG Attack Baby Bazooka  
Karen J. Wainwright A-Beat C Karen, Kelly Wright, Wain L, Jaz, Veronica Sales. A-Beat Sisters, A-Beat Friends, Happy Hour.
Luca Torchiani Delta, SCP Music, AkyrMusic. Paul Harris, Eurofunk (2), Van T.K., Lukator.  
Matteo Setti A-Beat C Matt Land  
Maurizio De Jorio A-Beat C, Delta. Niko, D. Essex, David Essex, Marko Polo, Oda, Morris, Max Coveri (2), 7th Heaven, Cody, Kevin Johnson (1), Casanova. Tokyo Future.
Mauro Farina Flea, Time Records, S.A.I.F.A.M. Group. Mark Farina, Max Casanova, Mister Black, Ricky Davies, Oscar, Max Coveri (1), Mark Foster, Alvin (2), Ken Martin. Bombers, F.C.F., King Kong & D. Jungle Girls, The Factory Team.
Melissa Bianchini SCP Music Melissa White  
Nicola Mansueto SCP Music Nick Mansell, David Bird, Rocky.  
Roberto Tiranti A-Beat C Powerful T., De La Vega. A-Beat Boys
Simone Valeo Time Records Symbol, Sym 1, Dave Simon, Mike J, Big Town Guy. Time All Stars, Stylophones.
Stefano Brandoni A-Beat C Digital Planet, Spock  
Susanna Del Gasso A-Beat C Susan Bell, Monique, Donna Lee.  
Tomas Marin A-Beat C Mega NRG Man, Derreck Simons (3), Mr. Groove, Mike Skanner (2), Ricky M., DJ Zorro. A-Beat C All Stars

Eurobeat compilations

There are many Eurobeat compilations series, the most famous (and longest running) are Super Eurobeat and the various "Super Eurobeat presents..." compilations by Avex Trax. Other notable compilations include:

  • Aerobeat Eurobeat
  • EuroPanic!
  • Eurobeat Disney
  • Eurobeat Flash
  • Gazen ParaPara!!
  • LovePara²
  • Maharaja Night
  • ParaPara Paradise
  • Super Euro Best
  • Super Euro Christmas
  • That's Eurobeat
  • The Early Days of SEB
  • Tokio Hot Nights
  • VIP Mega Euro Star

Eurobeat labels

A-Beat C / Rodgers Music
AkyrMusic / Hearty, Inc.
Delta
Hi NRG Attack
LED Records (Includes Vibration, Eurobeat Masters.)
S.A.I.F.A.M. Group (Includes Boom Boom Beat, Asia Records, etc.)
SCP Music
Time Records

External links


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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.