How much would you pay for a “rare” record? I guess we’ve asked that question once in this issue already (see our piece on MK’s “Strider” acetate), but it’s a question being asked more and more often as the vinyl aftermarket overheats like the red-hot coil of a hair dryer just before it shorts out.
What we have here is one of the holy grails of Italo rare records – one so obscure that even many knowledgeable, intelligent and cultured connoisseur have never even heard of it. And with scarcity comes greed. According to various auction sites, the going rate for an original copy of Happen DJ’s Don’t Waste Your Time is somewhere between $250 and $700.
There’s precious little information about the man that made this track out there, so I’m leaning on Opilec’s guidance here. Sergio Appendino was the oddly-named “Happen D.J.,” and in his daylife is currently Professor of Music in Piedmont. That kind of respectability isn’t rare in Italo – tons of the people who made these wonderful records are directors, producers, pop impresarios and the like. He also has many other music projects occupying his time, and apparently gave his blessing to I-Robots of Opilec (a personal friend, it seems) to release this fine “revisited” record with the original release and a few modern takes.
The original is pure, mid-tempo dreaminess, with a vocal that ascribes to the Italo directive that songs are less what the lyrics mean than how they sound. I can’t recall a single word of it but the melody won’t get out of my head.
Most Italo singles from the early 1980s were released with just a vocal and instrumental mix; additional remixes or multiple tracks to make a single a true “extended play” were relatively rare. Opilec presents a radio and a 5:46 “original” mix, plus three additional cuts. I-Robots does his usual magic with his “reconstruction” – a lot of people like these tunes, but I don’t think many of them understand it like I-Robots does. It’s a full 7 minutes and I think you’re obligated by the law of good taste to play it all.