Tony Di Bart – The Real Thing

History wasn’t particularly kind to Tony Di Bart. The singing dentist – or wait, wasn’t that Dr. Alban? He had his moment in the limelight a quarter of a century ago, as his number one hit The Real Thing was released 25 years ago this week.

Antonio Carmine Di Bartolomeo, for that was his real name, wasn’t a dentist, actually, he was selling bathrooms in Buckinghamshire. In spite of the name, he’s actually British. His short-lived musical career started with The Real Thing, originally released on 12″ in 1993 including the original mix and two low-budget remixes by Rhyme Time, and was a minor chart hit.

But then, in mid-1994, the Joy Brothers turned up and remixed The Real Thing, turning it into a fantastic piece of mid-1990s pop-dance. “If I can’t have you, I don’t want nobody baby,” sings Di Bart. Grammatically incorrect, but it’s a great catchy pop lyric, and he has a great voice – it works extremely well with the dance backing. It’s also aged pretty well, surprisingly.

It hit number one, and was a sizeable hit around Europe, but the singles that followed over the next three years performed progressively less well each time they appeared. There was, ultimately, just one idea here – a great song with an interesting dance mix – and while the Joy Brothers turned up for a second go-around on the near-top-twenty hit Do It, the big names who turned up to rework the other tracks failed to make the same impact.

After the Joy Brothers‘ version, New 7″ Dance, we’re treated to the New 7″ Radio, a bluesy version full of funky guitar work and stings. It’s not unpleasant, but honestly it doesn’t work nearly as well as the dance version, where they have stripped out all the warbling and stuck to the song.

The funny thing about Joy Brothers is that they never really seem to have done much else. Richard Lane had had some minor success as a house musician in the early nineties, but has little of note to his CV, apart from this. So this is really a one-hit wonder on many levels. The full Joy Brothers version comes next, and really is a joy to hear. Where the radio mix had been tight, while working well, this version is huge and spacious.

The pleasantly tribal house mix by Rhyme Time follows, interestingly sharing elements from Joy Brothers‘ later version, suggesting that theirs was in fact a remix of a remix. This is, I suppose, the remix that got people’s attention initially, and so maybe goes some of the way towards explaining what went wrong next – it seems he needed a strong production team around him, and for whatever reason, album Falling for You, which finally appeared two years later, failed to include the right people. Indeed, his self-produced album included a second disc with five uncredited remixes, and that’s surely the only thing most people would have been interested in?

Finally on the single comes the original Underground Mix by Rhyme Time, now renamed as 12″ Dub Mix. It’s a bouncy house dub mix, but it doesn’t really offer much of interest. With its broad organ pad middle section, it’s difficult to imagine many DJs playing it even, but who knows? That dub closed the single, and pretty much closed Tony Di Bart‘s career.

Back to bathroom sales it is, then. But it’s a shame – Di Bart showed a lot of promise with The Real Thing, and it definitely deserved its success. It’s just a pity that he was never really able to capitalise on it, and it’s disappointing that the world no longer really remembers Tony Di Bart.

Fortunately, common sense has prevailed, and The Real Thing is still available to stream or download from all major retailers, alongside another random single from 1999.

Music for the Masses 33 – 23 February 2005

Unfortunately the webcam wasn’t working this week, leaving us with very little documentary evidence of the show. Artist of the week was my long-time favourite act The Beloved, and other highlights included oddities from White Town and The Postal Service.

Show 33: Wed 23 Feb 2005, from 6:05pm-8:00pm

Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: The Beloved.

  • Mylo – Valley of the Dolls
  • Robert Miles – Children
  • Olive – Miracle (Radio Mix)
  • Röyksopp – Poor Leno
  • New Order – True Faith
  • Enigma – The Eyes of Truth
  • The Beloved – Time After Time
  • Tony di Bart – The Real Thing (Joy Brothers Remake)
  • Sarah Cracknell – Anymore
  • The Shamen – Xochipili’s Return
  • Deep Forest – Yuki Song
  • The Beloved – Sweet Harmony
  • White Town – Duplicate
  • Fluke – Atom Bomb
  • Orbital – The Saint
  • The Postal Service – We Will Become Silhouettes
  • Dario G – Sunchyme
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Electricity
  • The Beloved – A Dream within a Dream
  • Bent – Sunday 29th

Music for the Masses 11 – 1 March 2000

Universities, seats of learning though they may be, are not always seats of perfection, so a note from your producer saying “Please mention karioky,” as shown on the image below, shouldn’t be too much of a surprise! Just in case I forgot to mention it on Bay Radio back in 2000, there’s karioky at PJM on Wednesday night at 8pm.


Show 11: Wed 1 Mar 2000, from 10.55am-1.00pm

Tracks taken from the playlist (Total 12 tracks). A indicates A-list (6 tracks); B indicates B-list (3 tracks) and C indicates C-list (2 tracks). S indicates the Single of the Week R indicates tracks taken from my own collection (Total 11 tracks). X indicates tracks I borrowed off friends (Total 1 track). L indicates the ones from the “library” (Total 6 tracks).

  • 1. Bellatrix “The Girl with the Sparkling Eyes” C
  • [IRN 11.00 News]
  • 2. Gene “As Good As it Gets” L
  • 3. Wannadies “Yeah” A
  • 4. Death in Vegas “Aisha” L
  • 5. Kraftwerk “Expo 2000” R
  • 6. Heaven 17 “Dive” R
  • 7. Chemical Brothers “Music: Response” A
  • 8. Basement Jaxx “Rendez-Vu” R
  • 9. Human League “These Are the Days” (Sonic Radiation) R
  • 10. Ooberman “Shorley Wall” A
  • 11. Asian Dub Foundation “Real Great Britain” S
  • 12. Bluetones “Keep the Home Fires Burning” A
  • 13. Big Yoga Muffin “Is that How You?” A
  • [Chart rundown: numbers 10 -> 6]
  • 14. James “Just Like Fred Astaire” L
  • 15. Erasure “In My Arms” R
  • 16. Dubstar “Not So Manic Now” R
  • [IRN 12.00 News]
  • 17. Moby “Natural Blues” A
  • 18. Enigma “Return to Innocence” R
  • 19. Divine Comedy “Something for the Weekend” X
  • 20. Coldplay “Shiver” B
  • [Chart rundown: numbers 5 -> 1]
  • 21. Atomic Kitten “See Ya” L
  • 22. El Niño “Friends” L
  • 23. Massive Attack “Protection” R
  • 24. Tony di Bart “The Real Thing” R
  • 25. Jean Michel Jarre “This is a Sign” R
  • 26. Sarah Cracknell “Anymore” (Faster Pussy Cat, Kill Kill Mix) R
  • 27. Muse “Sunburn” C
  • 28. Southern Fly “Maybe It’s the Right Time” B
  • 29. Charlatans “Scorched” B
  • 30. Peach “Hush” R

Producer: None.

Notes: Reasonable… had severe ups and downs (I went from being half decent to completely dying on my rump). Nonetheless, entertaining from where I was sitting.

Music for the Masses 6 – 31 January 2000

The end of January 2000 saw this blog’s predecessor, the radio show Music for the Masses, return for another run of shows on Bay Radio, Aberystwyth’s student radio station.


Tracks played on the sixth show, Mon 31 Jan 2000, from 11am-1pm

Tracks taken from the playlist (Total 13 tracks). A indicates A-list (7 tracks); B indicates B-list (3 tracks) and C indicates C-list (2 tracks). S indicates the Single of the Week. R indicates tracks taken from my own collection (Total 13 tracks). L is the ones out of the drawer (Total 5 tracks).

  • 1. Terris “The Time is Now” B
  • 2. The All Seeing I “1st Man in Space” R
  • 3. Oasis “Go Let it Out” A
  • 4. Kraftwerk “Expo 2000” (Kling Klang Mix 2002) R
  • 5. Space Brothers “Shine 2000” L
  • 6. Jay-Z “Anything” A
  • 7. Enigma “Gravity of Love” R
  • 8. Hepburn “Deep Deep Down” B
  • 9. The Clarke & Ware Experiment “Travel” (from Music for Multiple Dimensions) R
  • 10. Eiffel 65 “Move Your Body” L
  • 11. Death in Vegas “Aisha” A
  • 12. Raissa “How Long Do I Get?” S
  • 13. Everything But the Girl “Temperamental” R
  • 14. Rhinocerose “La Guitaristic House Organisation” C
  • 15. Tom Jones & Stereophonics “Mama Told Me Not to Come” A
  • 16. Monaco “What Do You Want From Me?” R
  • 17. Fungus “A Fanclub Would Be Nice” B
  • 18. Sarah Cracknell “Anymore” R
  • 19. Dario G. “Voices” L
  • 20. Yello “To The Sea” R
  • 21. Eels “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues” A
  • 22. Pet Shop Boys “Lies” R
  • 23. Apollo 440 “Heart Go Boom” L
  • 24. Kelis “Caught Out There” A
  • 25. Missy “Misdemeanour” Elliot “Hot Boyz” A
  • 26. Yazoo “Don’t Go” (Todd Terry Freeze Mix) R
  • 27. Kawala “Humanistic” L
  • 28. Manic Street Preachers “You Stole the Sun from My Heart” L
  • 29. Wannadies “Yeah” A
  • 30. Tony di Bart “The Real Thing” R
  • 31. Robert Miles “Freedom” R

Producer: None.

Notes: Mmm, nice. Err… not a lot else to say really. Lots of noisy listeners too, which is scary. But there we go. Oh, and hilarious drying up to even more hilarious consequences at one point. Well, I thought it was funny…