A unique group in the Italian scene, Opus Avantra mixed together contemporary classical music with avantgarde and a light progressive rock inflience, giving an original result that's often considered too difficult to listen for straight prog rock ears. Their name was obtained from their three main interests, opera, avantgarde and traditional music.Formed in Veneto in 1973 around the nucleus of soprano Donella Del Monaco (the niece of famous tenor Mario Del Monaco), pianist-composer Alfredo Tisocco, philosopher Giorgio Bisotto and producer Renato Marengo, and aided in the years by many other musicians, the group released their first album in 1974, Opus Avantra - Donella Del Monaco (often referred to as Introspezione, from the title of the first track) on the collectible Trident label.
If you lived in the UK during the 1970s and 1980s, then you’re almost certainly familiar with the band Hot Chocolate, who were rarely off the UK Singles chart during the former decade and were still making regular appearances in the early part of the latter decade. These days, Hot Chocolate’s career in the US has been simplified by the media to such a degree that you’d be hard pressed to realize that “You Sexy Thing” wasn’t their only big hit. That’s why we’ve taken a look back at BOX SELECTION, a collection of the band’s eight albums on RAK Records, and shined a spotlight on some of the songs that you might’ve forgotten.