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Patrick Cowley (1950 - 1982)

Lifespan: 1950 - 1982

Related: Hi-NRG - gay music - AIDS - Sylvester - Donna Summer - disco music - American music

Megatron Man (1981) - Patrick Cowley [Amazon.com]

Patrick Cowley was one of the earliest of major recording artists to succumb to AIDS. He passed away in November of 1982 at the age of 32, following additional success writing and producing Right On Target for Paul Parker, collaborating with Sylvester on Do You Wanna Funk, and releasing his own album Mind Warp. Sylvester continued to record for Megatone into the mid-1980's.


Patrick J Cowley (b October 19, 1950 Buffalo, New York - d November 12, 1982 San Francisco, California)

Hi-NRG dance music composer and recording artist.

Born in Buffalo in 1950, Cowley moved to San Francisco in 1971, beginning an intensive study of the synthesizer. Working at the City Disco, he met Sylvester who was there performing. They began to collaborate, and Cowley's aggressive synthesizer style became associated with Sylvester. Their club-dancing fan base responded enthusiastically to hits like "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)," "Dance (Disco Heat)," and their most successful single, "Do You Wanna Funk."

Cowley's own hits included "Menergy" in 1981, a frank celebration of the gay club sex scene, and "Megatron Man." He also wrote and produced the dance single "Right on Target" for San Francisco artist Paul Parker, which reached #1 on Billboard's Disco Chart. His final album, "Mind Warp," was composed as he felt the increasing effects of HIV infection, and its songs reflect his increasing detachment from conventional reality as the disease progressed. Cowley's work is limited to five albums, but groups including the Pet Shop Boys and New Order cite Cowley's style as a major influence.

Patrick died from complications of AIDS on November 12, 1982. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Cowley [Feb 2005]

Megatone Records

Megatone Records was founded as an independent record label in San Francisco in 1981 by producer/songwriter/performer Patrick Cowley and producer Marty Blecman. Megatone quickly impacted the dance music world through Cowley's release of Megatron Man. Filled with synthesizers, Cowley's sound influenced a wide range of dance music to come including electronic music masters New Order and the Pet Shop Boys.

Marty Blecman

Marty Blecman continued to lead Megatone until 1991 when he also died as a victim of AIDS. During the latter part of the 1980s Megatone released dance recordings by Modern Rocketry and Jeanie Tracy, formerly a backing vocalist for Sylvester, among others. John Hedges and currently Terrence M. Brown have followed Blecman as heads of the Megatone label. In the mid-1990s, Megatone relocated from its San Francisco home to Hollywood.

Donna Summer [...]

The primary dance music legacy of Megatone is the sound of Patrick Cowley. Cowley's synthesizers are filled with urgency but also a sweeping romantic beauty which transports the listener and dancer. In addition to his own recordings, Patrick Cowley will also be remembered for his legendary 15-minute remix of Donna Summer's I Feel Love. At the present time, Megatone Records has indicated a full-length album of Patrick Cowley's material remains in its vaults and will soon be released.

I Feel Love - Donna Summer (Patrick Cowley mix)

  • New Order - Back to Mine - Various Artists [Amazon.com]
    1. Big Eyed Beans From Venus - Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2. Higher Than the Sun - Primal Scream 3. he Rain - Missy Elliot (Supa Dupa Fly) 4. Venus in Furs - The Velvet Underground 5. M62 Song - Doves 6. In Every Dream Home a Heartache - Roxy Music 7. Was Dog a Doughnut? - Cat Stevens 8. Bassline - Mantronix 9. Cherry Red - The Groundhogs 10. Energy Flash - Joey Beltram 11. I Feel Love - Donna Summer (Patrick Cowley mix) 12. Mushroom - Can 13. The Dance - Rhythim is Rhythim 14. E=MC2 - Giorgio Vs Talla 2XLC

    Megatron Man (1981) - Patrick Cowley

    1. Megatron Man 2. Thank God for Music 3. Menergy 4. Get a Little 5. Lift Off 6. I Wanna Take You Home 7. Sea Hunt 8. Teen Planet 9. If You Feel It 10. Megatron Man '87 11. Megatron Man [Radio Edit]

    Do Ya Wanna Funk (1982) Sylvester

    Do Ya Wanna Funk (1982) Sylvester [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    This cd which is released on the Canadian label Unidisc was originally released (on L.P.) on the Megatone label in 1982. Electronic synthesizer master Patrick Cowley (who died in the early 80's) was an innovator in this hi-nrg electronic sound (as was Giorgio Moroder in the 70's) and both Sylvester and Cowley make the perfect combination. Sylvester with his gospel high searing vocals and Cowley's melodic synthesizers. This cd includes all the hits (Do you wanna Funk, Don't Stop and Be with You) plus the remix versions, some of which were only available as import 12" records from Europe. The sound quality is nothing less than superb. If you enjoyed hi-nrg music from the 80's such as Miquel Brown, Hazel Dean, The Flirtations, Bobby O, Lime, etc. then you'll love this disc. Highly Recommended! -- barrycrist via Amazon.com

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