Roberta Kelly was one of many U.S. vocalists who found success recording with cutting-edge producers in Germany during the early and mid-’70s. After singing on Silver Convention’s “Fly Robin Fly“, the singer was signed to Giorgio Moroder‘s Oasis Records. Recorded with Moroder and Pete Bellotte, Trouble-Maker made Roberta Kelly one of the most recognizable voices of the Eurodisco phenomenon.
If you liked Donna’s “Trilogy” album, you will love this as well, the same producers and the music is better much the same, Donna even sang background vocals on the “Trouble Maker” track. Another treasure on this, is “Love Power” which Luther Vandross later covered. But my favorites besides “Trouble Maker” are “Think I’m Going to Break Someone’s Heart Tonight“, which I played whenever I was going out to the disco with friends and “Innocent“. I’m so happy that this has been re-released.
A1 Trouble-Maker 8:48
A2 The Family 5:06
B1 Think I’m Gonna Break Someone’s Heart Tonight 6:20
B2 Innocent 6:40
B3 Love Power 6:30
Prior to releases in the US through composer Giorgio Moroder’s Oasis record label during the 1970s, Kelly recorded a single in Germany entitled “Kung Fu Is Back Again” (1974), released on Atlantic and produced by the songwriter-producer Pete Bellotte alongside Moroder.
She released the single “Love Power” a cover version of a 1967 hit for The Sandpepples, written by Teddy Vann, and later made famous as part of the repertoire of Luther Vandross. She also released the album, This is Roberta Kelly (1975). In April 1976, Kelly turned to disco with the single “Trouble-Maker” and released an album by the same name. The album contained five tracks, including an extended version of “Love Power“.
In 1977, she released Zodiac Lady, a controversial album that Casablanca Records, during the disco heyday, refused at first to release. Imports from Italy swamped the international dance floors, creating a hit for the title track and songs such as “Love Sign“. This album spawned a twelve-inch single, “Zodiacs,” which had major club and radio play. “Funky Stardust” was released from that album, in addition to “Zodiacs” itself. “Zodiacs” peaked at No. 24 in the US Hot Dance/Club Play chart in 1977 and at No. 44 in the UK Singles Chart in 1978. “Love Sign” was released as a single in Italy only. Both “Trouble-Maker” and “Zodiac Lady” were produced by Moroder and Bellotte.
The black gospel soul album, Gettin’ The Spirit, followed in March 1978. Produced by Giorgio Moroder and Bob Esty, it was an album consisting of gospel songs, performed in the disco style. The album featured dance versions of the Edwin Hawkins penned, “Oh Happy Day” and “To My Father’s House“, with both songs released on one single. “Gettin’ The Spirit” was also released with a disco version of “My Sweet Lord”. It peaked at No. 9 on the US Hot Dance/Club Play chart in 1978.
When Pope John Paul II succeeded John Paul I in 1978, Kelly released the single “John Paul II“, The single never made it onto an album, but the “Tribute to Love” did in the late 1980 release, Roots Can Be Anywhere. By this time, Kelly was no longer with Casablanca Records. Two singles were released: “Kabacka Shaka” and “Roots Can Be Anywhere”, but the album had limited success. It was available with two different covers and was produced by Michael Holm.
In 1981, Kelly released the album, Tell Me, through Baby Records in Italy, featuring “Patty Cake”, produced by Jürgen Koppers. After that, Kelly’s next release was not until 1995, when she issued The Sound of Color and “Jubilee in Germany,” celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.
During the summer of 2008, Kelly resurfaced with the single, “America (The Sound of Colour Realized)”.