Gruppo Sportivo

buddyodorFinally got bored of the default Entourage mail sounds I’ve been hearing for two years and went looking for replacements — which turned up in spades at soundsetcentral.com. Paging through the downloads, jaw suddenly dropped when I came across a Gruppo Sportivo sound set.

25 years ago I worked at a surf shop in Morro Bay, when punk and new wave were peaking, and one of our customers brought in a tape of this obscure (to Americans) Dutch new wave band. The tape was on constant loop for an entire summer, permanently burned into my brain. But the funny thing was, I never saw an album cover of theirs, never owned any of their records, and promptly forgot about them when I left the shop.

Suddenly re-obsessed with Hans Vanderburg (Vandefruit) and Gruppo Sportivo, tracked them down on Amazon; turns out a bunch of re-issues have been produced recently, import only. Not a trace at Rasputin’s or Amoeba, so ordered “Buddy Odor Is a Gas,” “10 Mistakes,” “Back to 78” (full discography). They arrived a few days ago.

It’s strange to compare one’s hermetically-sealed-in-time memory of some forgotten musical branch with current impressions. How one group can be so stupid/silly and so brilliant at the same time is a confounding paradox. But I’m having fun trying to work it out. Amy and I have been singing the “Beep Beep Love” chorus for the past few days – amazing and welcome ear worm.

Music: Gruppo Sportivo :: Tokyo

12 Replies to “Gruppo Sportivo”

  1. I’m quite sure there must have been some, Scot. But it’s been sooo long ago, in the days my brain was misted by unhealthy doses of synthetic intoxins…
    I just remember it (the concert – in that tiny little village near my also tiny little birthplace) as being extremely energetic, fun, danceable, and very… ehm, pop. ‘t Was nice.

  2. I was working in a record store in 79 in Woodland CA and their record came in as a promo. The owner wouldn’t let us play any punk or new wave so I kept it. I still have it today and it’s amazing that other people have even heard it. I was watching a movie the other day and someone was doing a cover of Beep Beep Love. Perhaps it’s time to give it a listen again.

  3. Loren, looking back, would you be inclined to say it’s more pop than either of punk or new wave?

    Amazing that a boss in a record store was so draconian!

  4. Gruppo Sportivo is still alive and kicking in 2005! their latest album “Topless 16” is absolutely great! There’s also a DVD called Career Movies
    I’m a Gruppo fan since i 1st saw them playing on a festival in my hometown in 1978 , collected all their Lp’s and cd’s and still love and play them all!
    Happy to see that so many people outside of Holland love Gruppo’s unique sound also!

    Check these Gruppo pages:
    http://www.grupposportivo.com/
    http://www.hansvandenburg.nl/

  5. thanks for the gruppo reminiscence (sp.?). i had a big gruppo site up until last year; i’ll try to get it back up soon. i agree with mark that topless 16 is among hans’ best releases. absolutely stellar.

    all you need is (beep beep) love!

  6. I just heard a track from the band: Rancid The name of the song is: Arrested In Shanghai. I was promptly reminded of gruppo sportivo. I also had a tape or even two of them, in the past. I forgot them also but those fantastic songs are still in my mind. I’m a bit allergic against bands with terrible english accents, by gruppo it is a must and sounds great.

  7. I saw Gruppo twice back in the 70s (both gigs in Bristol, England) – they were terrific. I must have heard “10 Mistakes” hundreds of times while at university, they were very, very popular amongst my generation of students.
    I hadn’t heard their music for years until I recently found one of their CDs (“Sing Sing”) on eBay. I pondered whether to buy, wondering if re-introducing myself to music I loved nearly 30 years ago would be a good ide – some things are best left in the memory. However, I bought the CD in question and am very glad I did. Great verions of the old stuff and a lot more besides.

    Would love to see them again!!

  8. hi, gruppo sportivo’s been pretty popoular around local radios for a while back in the early 80’s here in italy as well (maybe cause they had an italian name, i’ve always wondered why they chose that)
    anyway i bought hey girl cd a few years ago; it was one good move i did
    by the way anyone remembering another dutch band called Diesel (they had a few hits in the usa such as Saosalito Summer Night and Down In The Silvermine), anyone who likes Gruppo Sportivo will love Diesel

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