Black Box was an Italian house music group popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s.In 1989, the trio teamed up with French Caribbean model Katrin Quinol (b. Catherine Quinol featured on this photo) and formed the group Black Box

I haven't written anything of interest of late for you out there. However, what stirred me into writing again was when I was listening to the Radio whilst driving around in my car whilst in my home town which is Ipswich Town (England). I heard a single that I haven't heard in such a long time. The single in question was Black Box's - "Ride in Time", which was released in the Year of 1989. It was such a joy to hear as it bought back so many memories of times that were carefree and worry free!

I remember the single being everywhere; within the nightclubs of the time. All over Radio and on the newspapers and of course Top of the Pops ( BBC MUSIC CHART SHOW)

Black Box's - RIDE ON TIME - 1989.

Little was I to know at the time, the same as millions of other music fans accross the world was that the lead singer of the group  was not actually singing a word of the monster hit.We were about to witness another Milli Vanilli escapde all over again;but this time in the form of Dance/House music. We eventually learnt that the lead singer of the group that was Black box whom was French Model Katrin Quinol wasn't the actual singer of the song at all. It was all done by Loleatta Holloway.


In the year of 1980, the Disco queen that wasLoleatta Holloway topped the Usa dance music charts with two Dan Hartman compositions. One being "Relight my fire", which was later covered by TAKE THAT together with the vocalist known as LULU (The Year being 1993) ; and the other single was Love Sensation".

Its that single called "Love Sensation" released on Salsoul records that got all the column inches here ( In the Uk); and around the worlds via the worlds media when it reached number one via various music charts. Indeed no part of her single called "Love Sensation" was left untouched by musicians and music producers who used every part of this song for the creation of their own pending music releases.

Loleatta Holloway I have since learnt died within the year of 2011 via the City of Chicago, Usa. It was a shock to me as I never knew of this in any sharp or form. 

It was Her single called "Love Sensation" which was featured heavily within Black Box's world wide hit called "Ride on Time" in the year of 1989.

Holloway was so incensed by the use of her single for Black  Box's International hit that she engaged in a press attack on the group, which successfully secured a settlement that paid the singer an undisclosed sum. The group had legally cleared the samples with Salsoul Records, who had released the original track, but Holloway was in arrears for advances from the label and thus was not recompensed by Salsoul Records.

 "Not only did the production outfit not have permission; it also employed a French model to lip-synch over the Chicagoan’s vocals" stated Holloway.

“I thought I was gonna lose my mind,” Holloway told writer and DJ Bill Brewster in 2005.

“Seriously. I almost had a nervous breakdown. I couldn’t talk about it without cryin’. I’d spent so long tryin’ to be an entertainer, and I’m not even getting a credit for it? It was like, ‘How dare they?’ Someone’s just taken something from you, right in front of your face.” She added: “For years it destroyed me.” added  Holloway.

I spent the next half hour failing to persuade Holloway to talk about the sunnier side of her recording career adds DJ Bill Brewster in 2005

“Music didn’t do anything for me,” she retorted at one point. “I would probably have did better staying in the gospel and getting me a nine-to-five job. I probably would have been better off than trying to make a career out of this because my career was destroyed, starting with Black Box.”

She maintained that “Loleatta Holloway is not even a person,” adding that “you can cry, cry, cry so much and the it’s like, for what reason?” She had suffered more than most. “I know I’m one of the most sampled women there is,” she added. “It’s one thing with the sample if you give someone credit, but when you take the sample and take the credit and you are them, it’s another thing altogether. There’s so much they’ve done to me to just knock me out completely, like I never existed". Holloway tells DJ Bill Brewster in 2005.

A re-recording of the song with uncredited vocals by Heather Small was released in the second week of September 1989, and the original Holloway version was discontinued from distribution. This version was released as the "UK Remix" and contained the same three mixes as the original, but with Heather Small's vocals in place of Loleatta Holloway. The Original Mix, Garage Trip Mix and Pianopella Mix became Massive Mix, Epsom Mix and Ascot Mix respectively.

The song's title derives from a sample of Holloway singing the lyrics "Thank you baby, 'cause you're right on time"Daniele Davoli explained in  Uk Televison station known as Channel 4, via a documentary Pump Up The Volume that, owing to his limited knowledge of English and the song being sung in an American English accent, with t-flapping so that "t"s sound like "d"s, he thought that Loleatta Holloway sang "ride on time" instead of "right on time".

The song called "Ride on Time" was written and produced by the Italian production team Groove Groove Melody, consisting of DJ Daniele Davoli, programmer Mirko Limoni and musician Valerio Semplici - that included the famous "Love Sensation" within the track..

The team that was Black Box worked with French model Katrin Quinol, who was the face and image for the group . Within the video and in live performances Quinol lip-synced to the original vocals.

 Katrin Quinol (The French Model who seen lyp syncing  the famous track on THE BBC'S - TOP OF THE POPS MUSIC SHOW IN 1989) - Was interviewed on the 26th May, 2016 and has had her chance to say on the matter. Please click on this link - Katrin Quiniol full interview


Here is a small snippet of the Interview mentioned below to read if you don't want to read the full interview mentioned above! ( Which you can click on above to get the full interview):

You've been a member of the Italian dance music band Black Box. How did you that happen?

I was a model during the day and a gogo dancer in the nightclubs. I loved to sing at the end of the night and one night the producers came. They offered me that opportunity. I wasn't that excited (LOL), I loved my job, but I was young and I told myself : why not ? They want a singer : OK, let's try.

In the eurodance scene it was very comman to use models Lyp Sycn over tracks by Chorus singers. Was it frustrating for you?

A the beginning, it wasn't frustrated at all. It was a job like any other, I wasn't expecting anything special. I couldn't not imagine becoming that famous beeing black boxes's face. I thought I would go in a recording studio and sing their tracks, but everything was ready (LOL). I was used to lip sync on 70s/80s show before, I had fun to do it. It was just fine with Black Box too.

When I started to figure out the situation and wanted to sing for real, it was too late: Black Box was huge, I was like trapped. "Ride on time"was the biggest selling single of the year 1989 in the UK, I couldn't stop. It was a lot of fun, but of course, I would have loved to record the songs.

What memories do you have of  Black Box years??

I did travel a lot : Australia, USA, Japan... I met a lot of nice people and had crazy nights. I had a lot of lovers (LOL). Many great memories. But on another hand, I was exhausted, never home. I was living in planes and hotels. They were my home sweet home. If I had to do it all over again, I would do it  -

What is your favourite track from Black Box

Without a doubt "Ride on Time"

"Ride On Time" became a massive hit in Italy and then worldwide, after legal rights were obtained in all territories. The song spent six weeks at No. 1 in the UK, ultimately becoming the biggest selling single of 1989 It fared less well in the United States, where it failed to chart as a pop record, although it did reach No. 39 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. It was the first high-profile example of an Italo house record. The genre is noteworthy for extreme amounts of "borrowing", usually in single phrases, sometimes in couplets, the lyrical "hooks" from other compositions. It has been estimated that "Loleatta Holloway" vocals has been used in over 300 songs  This is double of the amount of music used by any other Disco labelled artists within the gene. For instance Donna Summer comes to mind here

"Love Sensation" is an 1980 song performed by singer Loleatta Holloway, taken from her album called Loleatta Holloway. The song was produced and written by Dan Hartman, put together by Norman Harris, and mixed by Tom Moulton

The single by Loleatta Holloway - Love Sensation  made in 1980

These are just some of the songs that have been sampled and used "Love Sensation in their compositions

Its seems as if we lost an unhappy artist in the form of Loleatta Holloway. She Died of heart failure in the year of 2011. However, the 300 recordings of her voice shows testimony about her talent and her voice that many producers depended upon.

I myself never bought the single that caused all the storm all those years ago. I rememeber seeing BLACK BOX on Top of the Pops ( BBC MUSIC CHART SHOW) and noticing that there seemed to be a trend going on here? This movement called Italo house by the dance musicmagazines at the time here in UK seemed BEING FAVOURED BY THE NIGHTCLUB Dj's OF THE TIME.  These Italian styled dance/House tracks that were being released furiously due to the House music scene. That many thought would have ended after the Second Summer of Love movement here in the Uk.

For me it seemed as if the movement of House music  in general was taking another influence from another country to broaden its appeal even further to music lovers around the world. This single helped the music of Italo house within the HOUSE music movement scene  to gain even futher momentum and challenge the popularity of HipHop music within the Uk and  Europe. As this particular single -  Black Box - "Ride on time"  reached number 1 within the Uk Pop Charts of 1989. And then opened the flood gates for more Italian styled House/dance tracks to dominate clubland.

 But the vocals were all American (*Well usually). And for this single they used the vocalist -  Loleatta Holloway

Loleatta Holloway, singer and songwriter: Was born in Chicago, USS 5 November 1946; married Floyd Smith (died 1984; three sons, one daughter); died Chicago 21 March 2011.

Well thats all folks for me now anyway.

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. me here. If you want to discuss anything mentioned here in this article.

Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show ©