This site too slow? Try a mirror  --  Subscribe to the Guide  --  Find artist:
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

Dalbello


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Eclectic, evocative, beautiful and fierce alternative rock. (Neile)

Status:

Most recent release, whore (1996)

See also:

Wikipedia's entry on Dalbello

A Dalbello fan site

Comparisons:

Earlier Danielle Dax. Gutsy like PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Sara Craig. (Neile)

Like Madonna would sound if she had any talent. (jmgurley@drizzle.com)

Luba. (DAVIS@OSWEGO.ARPC.ALCAN.CA)

Covers/own material:

Own material

General comments:

Dalbello has a strong, individual powerful voice and writes the music to match it. The songs are melodic but often angry, kind of like Kate Bush in "Get Out of My House". That's the world she inhabits, rather like a lion. Hard, gutsy, edgy rock. I think she's brilliant.
     She began by doing funk- and soul-influenced pop in the 1970s as Lisa Dal Bello. The best-known song from these early releases is a bouncy tune called "Pretty Girls".
     She changed dramatically and released her first album as Dalbello (whomanfoursays) in 1984. It's a great strange, powerful, gutsy album. Following that she released she, which was a tiny bit more pop. "Let's Tango" was the single from that album that got the most attention, but "Black on Black" appeared on the soundtrack for the movie 9-1/2 Weeks and Heart covered this and other of her songs. Then she disappeared for several years—the only word we heard about her was that she had done a beer commercial—then in 1996 she burst back on the scene with whore. Ever since I heard whomanfoursays in 1984 I've been a huge fan of hers. She deserves way more recognition than she's ever received.
     If you want to hear a real angry woman in rock who can do the angry thing and still carry an incredible hook, listen to Dalbello, whore in particular. That album (and her earlier ones too, actually) knocks all of those angry-young-woman-in-rock albums right out of the water. In my opinion the only people who can stand up on that particular pedestal with Dalbello are Patti Smith and PJ Harvey. (Neile)

An underrated GODDESS! (jmgurley@drizzle.com)

Oh, yes Dalbello! Our greatest UNKNOWN Canadian resource! Do you know she sings beer comercials up here? Oh, it's disgusting! I can't believe she's not more popular. It upsets me every time I think about it. (Andrea@hivnet.ubc.ca)

As to her voice: very POWERFUL, quite sonorous. I've heard it described as "masculine", but I'm not sure I really agree—I don't know a guy who sings anything like it! (DAVIS@OSWEGO.ARPC.ALCAN.CA)

i'm not sure how to describe dalbello either except to say that she reminds me of a edgier t'pau crossed into y tori kant read dealing with issues in her songs in a direct, realistic and often uncompromising way. musically, it's pop rock with a heavy reliance on synths from somewhere in the '80s but the music isn't the focus. the lyrics, sung in a growly, spiky voice, are where dalbello is at. listening to these albums makes me uncomfortable, though i'm not sure why. worth checking out. (woj@smoe.org)

Ah, so nice to see another person who has discovered Dalbello. Take it from me, this woman does powerful stuff! I only hope that she keeps recording. Her voice and her writing blow me away. A thinking person's mature Alanis Morissette (i.e. what Alanis could grow up to become if she really has the talent). (Alvin.Brattli@phys.uit.no)

I'm one of those who swear by Dalbello, and if you don't mind a little mature anger and an interesting voice in your music, give her a try. Anyway, high recommendations for Dalbello from me, if you're looking for some ferociously, beautiful and fierce music! She's what Alanis Morissette was trying to be on Jagged Little Pill. I'd love to get a new Dalbello album someday, but I'm worried that won't happen. (colford@chlotrudis.org)

I am another one of those folks who mourns the absence of new Dalbello material—a songwriter whose work I appreciated via Heart long before I ever joined ecto. We're talking fifth grade here. (kscleaves@juno.com)

Just make sure you have speakers that can handle her vocals. She'll rip your speakers out. (spike45@sos.net)

She is my latest passion and absolutely fabulous!! Definitely buy an album or three!! =) (shye@uclink4.berkeley.edu)

Recommended first album:

whore

Recordings:


whomanfoursays

Release info:

1984—Capitol (Canada)—C2 48991

Availability:

Available in Canada and Sweden

Ecto priority:

Must have. (Neile)

MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST HAVE.(jmgurley@drizzle.com)

Group members:

Dalbello

Guest artist:

Mick Ronson

Produced by:

Dalbello and Mick Ronson

Comments:

This is a powerful album. Dalbello can give me shivers. When she sings "I'm gonna get close to you" you feel how much she means it. Listening to this album is intense. (Neile)

Strong feminist dance/rock mix. Raw energy and pure rock heaven. (jmgurley@drizzle.com)

whomanfoursays is every bit as essential as I thought it would be! Rock-ish, but more experimental musically than Jennifer Trynin / Belly / etc. Has a very nice edge—reminds me of people like Patti Smith and PJ Harvey, but with a touch enough of pop/rock to be reminiscent of the likes of, well, Pat Benatar (but not standard pop/rock). Ultimately cool and primitive with an urban twist, resonating with Sheela-na-gig energy.... (rholmes@cs.stanford.edu)

Good. An album that in my opinion is very listenable. (Alvin.Brattli@phys.uit.no)

whomanfoursays was produced by Mick Ronson but has none of the Ziggy power chords or lead licks you might expect from him. Its sound is closer to "80s Peter Gabriel. (spike45@sos.net)


she

Release info:

1987—EMI (UK)—CD 564-7 48286 2

Availability:

Widely available in Canada.

Ecto priority:

Must have. (Neile)

MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST HAVE. (jmgurley@drizzle.com)

Group members:

Dalbello—vocals, backing vocals, keyboards, drums, bass

Guest artists:

Steve Webster—bass
Asher Horowitz—guitar
Scott Humphrey—keyboards, drums

Produced by:

Dalbello

Comments:

While I prefer whomanfoursays and whore, this album is still powerful and intense. "Tango" got some airplay on Much Music in Canada. (Neile)

More pop/dance oriented than her first album, but still as great. Play it loud and try to keep from dancing. (jmgurley@drizzle.com)


whore

Release info:

1996—EMI Canada and Europe—7243 8 37985 1 0

Availability:

Widely available in Canada and Europe. U.S. release is pending.

Ecto priority:

Highly, highly recommended to anyone who likes powerful rock.

Comments:

The long gap between releases made me fear that Dalbello had disappeared from the music scene, and the loss was great. But Dalbello is back stronger and more powerful than ever. Whore is energetic, catchy, raw, polished—a knock-out of an album. All those "angry women in rock" can only dream of producing an album as powerful yet melodic as this. Run out and buy it—if you're in the U.S. where it isn't yet available, it's even worth a trip to Canada or Europe to get it (or call one of the Canadian record stores that have 800 numbers or one of the online stores). Just get it and play it LOUD. This is the stuff of obsession. A powerhouse of an album. (Neile)

Whore is a fabulous album, and Dalbello has been highly under-rated and under-promoted. (dlw@sympatico.ca)

Just wanted to say that I got Whore a few weeks ago, after having whomanfoursays for a while, and was completely blown away. I didn't really warm to whomanfoursays that much because, despite the strong material, the production was just *so* eighties that I cringed every time I heard it. But Whore is a huge improvement.
     I find the first two tracks a bit mainstream rock, but it's all uphill from there. The title track is suitably weird and twisted, "Falling Down" is a fantastic quasi-ballad, "Little Boys" has this great eastern blend, "Deep Dark Hole" is suitably ominous and "The Revenge Of Sleeping Beauty" is a perfect way to end the album. The production is also so brilliant! There just aren't enough female artists using that industrial-style menace, and Dalbello is certainly one of the best examples, only just behind Stina Nordenstam in my opinion.
     It took a while, but I'm now a confirmed Dalbello fan! (afinney@ozonline.com.au)

Whore is powerfully intense, and not for the faint of heart. For a couple of weeks, I had Whore rated ***** on my personal scale. The reason I have rated it ****+ now is not that I like it less, but rather that the addiction I had to this album wore off. It's still a very, very good album. (Alvin.Brattli@phys.uit.no)

One of my best of all time CDs. The last track on the CD is "The Revenge of Sleeping Beauty." It's like Kate Bush (not vocally) on LSD with sonic layers of sound. (spike45@sos.net)


Further info:

Heart and Queensryche have covered her songs, and Dalbello also appears on the 9 1/2 weeks soundtrack. She has written songs with/for Julian Lennon and Patti Labelle.

Dalbello also did a *blazing* vocal on a song called "Start Today" on Alex Lifeson's solo album, Victor (1996). She does a dead-on, probably intentional impression of Alex's Rush bandmate Geddy Lee at one point. Not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination. In my opinion, this is one of those "worth the price of the whole album" kind of songs. She's simply amazing on it. (Tivolie@aol.com)


Thanks to Jens P. Tagore Brage for work on this entry.

Why the ads?


Artists commented on by
dlw @ sympatico.ca

20 entries

Click the bullet for speed (drop the menu) or the name for convenience (keep the menu)


>
Afro Celt Sound System

>
Tori Amos

>
Laurie Anderson

>
Bruce Cockburn

>
Cowboy Junkies

>
Dalbello

>
Emm Gryner

>
Sarah Harmer

>
PJ Harvey

>
Juliana Hatfield

>
Sarah McLachlan

>
Joni Mitchell

>
Oh Susanna

>
Once Blue

>
Liz Phair

>
R.E.M.

>
Jane Siberry

>
Throwing Muses

>
Suzanne Vega

>
Weeping Tile


Other Commentators...
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2016-05-15 15:35:51.
Please request permission if you wish to
reproduce any of the comments in the
Ectophiles' Guide in any context.

The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music is copyright © 1996-2004 by the editors.
Individual comments are copyright © by their authors.
Web site design and programming copyright © 1998-2004 usrbin design + programming.
All rights reserved.