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The Italian job
A collaboration with the sultry Italian singer JustCarmen has propelled Ireland's '60s hit machine, The Bachelors, back into the limelight.
Jason O'Toole, 30 Aug 2008
It might have been 40-odd years since they last enjoyed top ten chart success, but the Irish group The Bachelors are enjoying a revival – with a ‘Best Of’ currently riding high in the UK album charts.
Back in the 1960s, The Bachelors had nine singles and four EPs that hit the UK Top 10, and six albums in the Top 20 charts. They even appeared on an Ed Sullivan TV special, but they soon afterwards they disbanded and – by the early ‘70s – they were all but forgotten.
Now, with their greatest hits package at number eight in BBC Radio 1’s official chart, they are undergoing a strange second life. Bizarrely, their surprise comeback was kick-started when they re-recorded one of their most popular songs ‘I Believe’ with a sultry Italian singer named JustCarmen, for her intriguing debut album of duets. The album entitled Seriously Single features duets with the likes of Jonathan King, Elvis Presley from beyond the grave, and even the Italian lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano – who produced and orchestrated the album, in addition to singing on it.
The album was a minor hit in Italy, selling an impressive 40,000 copies. But, in one of those curious modern day internet-based paradigms, some of the duet tracks went on to record a staggering 650,000 downloads. Apparently, it was the surge in downloads of the duets with The Bachelors that prompted Decca to release a greatest hits package by the Irish band.
Speaking about the JustCarmen rendition of ‘I Believe’, with JustCarmen, Dec Cluskey of The Bachelors says: “It is an interesting version of the song, having a female voice. It works well and it could be released as a single.”
The Bachelors have since headed back into the recording studio with the 38-year-old Italian singer for her next album, I Wish You Love, which will be released this winter. “The Bachelors have recorded two songs with me on the next album,” JustCarmen told Hot Press. “It was a real pleasure to work with them. It is also great to see that there is now a renewed interest in their music back in Ireland and the UK.”