Midland International 10339
coterie of musicians existed in Munich in the mid-'70s who worked sometimes in adjoining studios, producing records that were successful around the world. Some of the names became well-known in the latter half of the decade, including Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder; other names didn't become familiar until years later, like Keith Forsey ("Flashdance... What a Feeling") and Harold Faltermeyer ("Shakedown"), who often worked together.
Two of the creative forces of the Munich musical connection were Silvester Levay and Michael Kunze. Levay was a studio musician until Kunze, impressed with his synthesizer work, asked him to arrange the sessions he was producing. A couple weeks after they started working together, Levay played some of the songs he had written for Kunze. Michael asked Silvester to add strings to one number called "Save Me" and record a demo of it.
When "Save Me" became a European disco smash, an album had to be recorded. Before "Save Me," Levay had written another tune based on a riff he had in his head one morning upon walking. Kunze remembered it and suggested they use it for the LP. "I didn't know if it should go on the album," Levay confesses. But Kunze was convinced it would be a hit. "He said, 'I'm going to call this song 'Run, Rabbit, Run.' I wasn't so happy about it because of the Volkswagen Rabbit, but I didn't want to criticize him. The next morning, somebody up there must have heard my plea. I heard on Armed Forces Network a song, 'Run, Rabbit.' It was just a half-hour before the girls were to come in and sing. I was very happy. I said to Michael that I had just heard a song called 'Run, Rabbit' and in 30 seconds he said, 'O.K., let's do 'Fly, Robin, Fly.'"
Recorded with the same set of anonymous background singers, "Fly, Robin, Fly" was a smash in the discos before it spread to radio. "Save Me" had not charted in America, but "Fly, Robin, Fly" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 87 on October 11, 1975, and soared to number one just seven weeks later. Silvester and Michael received a phone call from Bob Reno at Midland International Records in the states informing them the song had gone to number one.
Unfortunately, the singers who had recorded as Silver Convention were about to adjourn. They could not come to terms and were replaced by three women signed to Jupiter Records. Penny McLean was recording her own solo LP, which included her disco hit, "Lady Bump." Ramona Wolf and Linda G. Thompson completed the new trio who became Silver Convention in time for their second American hit, "Get Up and Boogie" (number two in June 1976).
The group had only one more chart entry, "No, No, Joe," number 60 in September, 1976. Linda Thompson left the group and was replaced by Rhonda Heath. Silver Convention continued to release albums in America through 1978 before plummeting back to obscurity.
Levay came to America after Donna Summer recorded his "Who Do You Think You're Foolin'" on her album The Wanderer. Working with Giorgio Moroder as arranger on his film work for Flashdance, Scarface and Metropolis, Levay was soon in demand as a composer. His themes have graced the television series "Airwolf," "Otherworld" and "Double Dare" as well as the motion picture The Creator, starring Peter O'Toole and Mariel Hemmingway.
- Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard, 1988.
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