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Tarzan Boy – Baltimora

Tarzan Boy by BaltimoraFifty bucks to anyone who can name the band behind “Tarzan Boy.” How about $100 to anyone who can correctly identify the origin of Baltimora, sing more than the chorus of the song, and tell me the lead singer’s name and what he did after “Tarzan Boy” became an 80s one-hit wonder.

Stumped?

Don’t jump over to Wikipedia or Google “Tarzan Boy” for details. You have to know these details without the help of online aids or cheat sheets.

So here is the skinny on “Tarzan Boy.” It’s yet another example of a novelty song that becomes a bona fide hit. It’s also the song with the famous chorus that goes:
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Got it now? How about these lyrics:
Night to night
Gimme the other, gimme the other
Chance tonight
Gimme the other, gimme the other
Night to night
Gimme the other, gimme the other world

Lyrically, it’s pretty forgettable stuff. But the hook; that incessant hook gets in your head and soon you’re singing Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
the entire afternoon. And evening. And next morning.

Perhaps that explains how a Eurodisco hit from an Italian-based band called Baltimora became a #13 Billboard hit in 1986.

Surely, it couldn’t be the name, which we think is a tribute to their favorite American city, Baltimore, mixed with the “ra” from the Japanese word Saynora, which means “goodbye” precisely because Baltimora presciently knew their time on the Billboard charts was limited at best.

It couldn’t be the video, which is silly and lame in all the most endearing 1980s ways.

It couldn’t be the lyrics, which are pretty tame and lame at the same time:
Hide and seek
We play along while rushing cross the forest
Monkey business on a sunny afternoon

“Tarzan Boy” was a number one hit in Canada and The Netherlands, and a top-10 hit in 11 European countries. Surely they hear and understand something we don’t. Regardless, I’m keeping my fifty bucks but encourage you to listen to “Tarzan Boy” right now so you can enjoy the chorus in your dome for the next 48 hours. Really, you can thank me later.

Listen to “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora

Buy “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora

Lost Hits of the 80's (All Original Artists & Versions) - Various Artists

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I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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One Response to "Tarzan Boy – Baltimora"

  1. […] The 500X looks, well, it looks like an Italian crossover if you can conjure such an image in your mind. It’s based on the bones of the iconic Fiat Cinquecento, though I’m using “iconic” loosely since the chances of the average American driver having any recollection of a mid-1980s Cinquecento is slightly worse than remembering that Italian band Baltimora sang the 1980s one-hit wonder, “Tarzan Boy.” […]

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