Joe Dolce is a true poet in the body of a song and dance man, a soulful entertainer with a knife-blade wit. His fluency and range are dazzling, full of anarchic joy and sorrow. Who else could have written the superb “Cavafy Villanelles,” an act of homage returning the great Greek poet to the noisy café of his life? —David Mason, poet laureate of Colorado, 2010-2014
Knife Penny – a masterpiece in my view. —Les Murray AO, TS Eliot Prize, Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry
I have given your poems a careful reading. I think they are among the best you have written. You handle the villanelle deftly, lightly, appealingly. When I read the first one, The Murder of Alberta King, one that I read some time ago and immediately loved, I thought, What can Joe do to better this? And then I found you bettered it (or at least equalled it) time and again. —Andrew Lansdown, winner of the John Bray National Poetry Award, the Joseph Furphy Award for Poetry and twice winner of Western Australian Premier’s Book Award.
Enitharmon’s Bower is a Blakean exploration of innocence and experience in the form of three sonnets touching mortality which reminds us of Milton’s eternal question, ‘What hath night to do with sleep?’ This modernist triptych asks how love can be richly endorsed in the works of art.’ —Emeritus Professor Chris Wallace-Crabbe AM, Judge’s Report, ACU Poetry Prize.
Enitharmon’s Bower was magnificent. Take The Tyger with you if there is a flood – it’s a great poem. My mother was from Tasmania and my father used to call her the Tasmanian devil. Brush and Eucalyptus – what a rhyme. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and heartrending piece on the loss of Lin’s daughter [Our Loss]. A year may have passed but it feels in its freshness as if it is mere hours old. And before that the poem about the Frozen kittens and your hand reaching out towards them. I felt honoured to read both. —Elizabeth Smither, New Zealand Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
Go for it, Joe! —Kris Hemensley, recipient of the Christopher Brennan Award.
“Another fine example of the mastery of structure and form in [Best Australian Poems 2015] is Joe Dolce’s Blondi, a reflection on Hitler’s relationship with his titular German Shepherd… The grim and abrupt ending parallels the role of the famous dog in the Nazi propaganda machine – harkening to the dual roles Hitler played as both champion of the German people and abhorrent war criminal. Dolce manages to take a relatively innocuous subject matter to great new heights just by mastering the alteration of form.” Ali Schnabel, The Writers Bloc.
"… a serious composer, a poet and a terrifying intellectual.." Dr Houston Dunleavy, PhD Music, Head of Composition, Australian Institute of Music.
" Wry and wicked, Joe Dolce’s Hatbox is a magician’s box of poetic tricks.He can charm like an Italianate C. J. Dennis, then, as in his poem Bogong Moth, poetically “seize fire” yet “continue to swoop.”’ Jen Jewel Brown
"A poem that draws on country/blues/jazz/folk etc. needs to be partly in those grooves and partly distant from them. In loving conflict with their habits of heart and mind. When you do that well you are zowie!"Les Murray
"Amazing poems!" Robbie Coburn
"The real thing." Roger McGough
"Very moving poems about the past and family." Adrienne Eberhard
"This is poetry at play. Play in style and form and a wicked - sometimes self-pointilist - humour. Whitman, Shakespeare and Stein will never sound the same again." Susan Hawthorne
"Beautiful poems. I particularly liked Bogong Moth - a lean-back-in-your-chair-after-reading-it poem."
"Renowned songwriter, Joe Dolce, has long outgrown the pop lyric and moved into a risky domain where recitative, comedy, folk and slapstick build shelters for themselves among social commentary and the poetry of lists. He has a foot, or feet, in diverse realms serious and entertaining." Les Murray
"Lyrics that an eminent poet would be proud to have written." Chris Boyd, HERALD-SUN
ESSAYS & REVIEWS
'That piece you wrote a few issues ago on Westerns [Yellowstone]... was on a level with the strongest papers I have heard at academic conferences, and I do include overseas scholars giving papers. This is no exaggeration.' Dr Christopher Heathcote, Art Historian & Cultural Critic
" Dear Joe, Let me, on behalf of the Henry Lawson Festival committee, thank you for your unforgettable appearance at this year's Festival. It is certainly the best act I have had on the concert bill in four years of organising the event... people in town are still talking about it." Peter Soley, Henry Lawson Festival Committee "
~ 'LIVE AT POET HOUSE' CD~
"Exciting, charming and moving collection of songs … well recorded and immediate sounding". Jonathan Edwards
~ 'THE WIND CRIES MARY' CD ~
" Bloody brilliant album! You deserve much greater attention, you really do. Both albums are world class and you're a class act boyo. Expect to have the new album aired tomorrow! Just a bloody great album, mate. Full marks to you. Peter Haddow, 3MDR (97.1fm)
" . . .one hell of a bluesman! Dolce's guitar work is deceptively complex, weaving in and out of lyrical matter that is often a ball of complexity itself . ." XPress
" . . .cements Dolce's reputation as one of the country's premier songwriters. His lyrical compositions are delightful to listen to, the words fit together like a perfect puzzle and while their contrast to the music and their rhythmic sense is appealing, it is also the stories behind the songs that are beautiful. . ." Eva Roberts, Rhythms Roots Mazagine
"ARTISTS can illustrate an idea, or illuminate it.. . . the gently faithful Wind Cries Mary works, because by sharing verses with Lin Van Hek, attention is turned back to Jimi Hendrix's most undervalued words. The cheeky changes to McCartney's For No One uncover the real song lost in 1966 . . . . . .and beyond worthy reworkings of some traditional folksongs are bold strokes of invention, like the daring Gift (from One Iraqi Child) . . ." Pete Best, The Melbourne Sunday Herald
" . . .multi-instrumentalist Joe Dolce started as a lead guitarist and virtuoso blues harp player, who once backed Muddy Waters in the 70s . . .the Hendrix-penned title track, beautifully played on acoustics and resonators, moving into Third Stone from the Sun, with backwards electric guitar solo, while Cocaine Lil is a rollicking version of an old classic - in fact, a WH Auden poem. Dolce is full of pleasant surprises." Karl Mayerhofer, Australian Guitar Magazine
" . . . an interesting and satisfying disc, [Dolce] doesn't stand in one spot for too long and goes where his muse carries him. He wrote, or co-wrote many of the songs on the disc, and the others are pulled from various sources and redone by him. He mixes and matches to great advantage pulling a 19th century lyric by Louisa Lawson next to a song written after the invasion of Iraq. . ." Bob Gottlieb, US Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
" Escaping his 'Shaddap You Face' past was always going to be hard for Dolce, but this collection of songs certainly has nothing to do with the infamous novelty hit. The Dolce we find here delivers a mix of fairly straight guitar pop ('St Valentine's Day'), rockin' country stomps ('Cocaine Lil'), and even a gospel-style funeral tune ('Hill of Death'.) . . . Dolce's country tinged cover of the title track is a pleasantly surprising reinterpretation." Rolling Stone
" . . . Dolce's consistent ability to write or choose songs that obviously mean something to him . . . allow[s] his musicians and fellow singers to shine as well . . . . The CD begins with "St Valentines Day", which sounds like a live recording with the tuneful vocals up front and clear in the mix, and some nifty slide work by Dolce; a great driving start to proceedings. Then follows cajun/tex mex with "Lynetta" (reminding one of the late lamented Mollys) . . . one personal highlight is "Cocaine Lil" which combines a 19th century lyric with original music . . .the track struck me as treading a similar musical path to Jeff Lang, which can only be a good thing, really. Another favourite is "Gift From One Iraqi Child" which has a somewhat chaotic, experimental middle-eastern beginning, and then transforms into a melodic contemporary roots/rock song, with all too pertinent lyrics. . .": Michael Hunter, Green Man Review
"I once stayed in a hotel in France where on the back of the room door was a sign placed there by the management. The sign said 'Please refrain from cries of pleasure'.I thought of that hotel (way back down the road) as I played this CD. And figured that maybe Joe Dolce would have been wise to attach such a sticker to the jewel case of his CD." Dai Woosnam, Trad & Now, Kevin McCarthy's Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews
"Thank you for the sweet dedication, "Gift [From One Iraqi Child]." I will treasure it. I was very moved by the Irish song "Rocks of Bawn" a song for my son: Patrick Ryan McCaffrey [killed in Iraq] . . . In Peaceful Service." Nadia McCaffrey, US Gold Star Mother for Peace
"Hill Of Death" written and composed by the prolific Joe Dolce (VIC) won Best Folk Gospel Song 2004. Joe put the music to the words of Louisa Lawson (mother of Henry) in a rare but wonderful arrangement crossing the generations with a timeless message. Sheer brilliance." hardrushmusic.com
"Joe Dolce, as assured guitarist and blues harp player, is also a tireless performer . . . His independent CD Freelovedays is a powerful and diverse work. A highlight is the gospel-blues opener, Marchin' With Martin Luther King Jr, with its rousing vocal harmonies, but the pick of the disc is his quirky 'reinvention' of Michael Jackson's Thriller." Mike Daly, The Age
'Joe Dolce's cover of Michael Jackson's Thriller is fantastic! I kid you not. He plays guitar and harmonica and sings. He sounds great, his playing is mighty fine and he is a sparkling charming wit, and hilarious. It's a laid back blues rendition, sung with a humourous conviction that exposes the song for what it is: ' Who wrote this stuff?' He asks, then points out a similarity to Mellow Yellow. "I brought my own words if you don`t mind," he says, half way through, in a Vampiric voice, and bends the song into Gloria, although, of course, he settles for Gorier. On the one hand, we should herald Denton for getting Dolce to play this song, on the other, Joe Dolce shines as a great performer and comic genius."' Tonespy (Andrew Denton's 3MMM Musical Challenge)
'JOE DOLCE's musicianship and song writing are better than ever. One of his newest songs, about forgiving his father's violence, has lyrics that an eminent poet would be proud to have written. DOLCE's setting of another poet's work, called MILES' DELIGHT is a show-stopping highlight!' Chris Boyd, THE HERALD-SUN
" (Joe Dolce) is something of a legend in the Australian Music Scene Some were appalled when his song Shaddap You Face went to number one in the charts But that was twenty-five years ago, and since then he has carved out a place in Australian music like no other. " Vincent O'Donnell, ARTS ALIVE
'Man, can he make that blues harp walk and talk!' Inpress Magazine
'Dolce's harmonica and guitar work are outstanding! It may come as a surprise to learn that the expat Italian American who wrote the international hit, Shaddap You Face, is the same Joe Dolce who composed the gorgeously melancholy ode to Frida Kahlo, A Que Ver Sale. The Georgia Straight, VANCOUVER, BC.
' He begins strumming on his polished steel guitar - a Christmas present from Lin Van Hek, a performance artist and his partner of more than 20 years. He messes around with a blues version of Shaddap, before moving on to a more recent work. It's a setting of a work (In The Monotonous Village) by the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy, about a man living in a dull town, who escapes his humdrum life through sexual fantasy. There's a yearning, folkish sound to the simple guitar part, reminiscent of Joni Mitchell; his eyes close as he sings, absorbed in the tune. It's beautiful.' David Fickling, The Guardian, UK.
" . . . The effervescent Freelovedays bubbles over with glorious melodies and clever lyrics. While the eclectic collection of musical ideas resists categorisation, the evidence is that Dolce is born of that folk-blues tradition that flourished before John, Paul, George and Ringo changed the rules. Indeed, the title track feels a little like Dylan's My Back Pages, and Jack of Diamonds could easily have slipped off Blood on the Tracks . . . . the highlight is the barely orchestrated tribute to the Greek poetess Sappho whose legendary work remains only in brief fragments. Dolce sings Fragment 64 accompanied by Miriam Morris's viola (da gamba) in a moment of unlikely beauty, not a million miles from William Orbit's Pieces in a Modern Style. " Pete Best, THE SUNDAY HERALD
"American-born, Australian-based performer, Joe Dolce is a man of many talents. Creator of the multimillion-selling song, Shaddap You Face, member of the Difficult Women performance group, and sensitive, thinking-minded singer-songwriter. Freelovedays is full of tantalising images (love, beliefs, dreams), memorable characters (Mozart, Martin Luther King Jr, Frida Kahlo) and stimulating music (folk, rock, blues, classical, choral.) The wonderful Lin Van Hek provides vocal assistance; with instrumental support including acoustic and electric guitar, synth and piano bass, keyboard and, of course, harmonica. Joe Dolce's Freelovedays is immensely appealing and one of the best albums of the year." Sue Barrett, Rhythms Magazine
' This CD - Memoirs of a Mouth Organ - documents twenty years of fascinating musical variety. . . Dolce's chromatic feedback approach to the harmonica (Hendrix meets Adler where the harmonica feeds back through an amplifier!) is used to wild effect in 'Armonika Fahnta-C in B-minor. . . Edge of a Miracle is a beautiful gospel track featuring Lin Van Hek . . . string quartets, 12-tone composition, poetry, oratorios, psychedelia and R&B are mixed into a heady brew . . .' James Black, Niche Music Guide
' Dolce's musical score - Fitzroy Crossing - and its evocative and mournful blues reflect the sparseness of an outback prison where hopes and dreams evaporate into tortured parodies of impotent memories.' The Age
'The themes of greed, envy and betrayal (in Phil Motherwell's play, Held In Camera) were beautifully echoed in some superb songs by Dolce, who in turn supplied the songlink with the other prison play, Daniel Keene's, The Hour Before My Brother Died. ' Centrestage
'The modern Baptist Church served as an appropriately sophisticated setting for Joe Dolce's, Joan on Fire, an oratorio for string orchestra and choir. Yes, it is the same Joe Dolce who sang 'Shaddap You Face' - but this was a far cry from the pop song that made his name. Inspired by a lucid dream concerning the last moments of Joan of Arc, the oratorio consisted of a series of poems set to music and performed byChorelation and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. The libretto was little too literal for my liking, but the music - inspired by composers as diverse as Philip Glass and J.S. Bach - was an effective blend of lush Romanticism and Minimalist splendor. The Herald-Sun
'. . . a serious composer.' Greg Hocking, Artistic Director, Collins Street Music Promenade.
'Dolce is no slouch! Though I have still not forgiven him for writing 'Shaddap You Face', there's no denying his talent for composition or his dazzling musicianship.' Chris Boyd, The Melbourne Times.
'Joe Dolce was brilliant! Many of you out there will be pleasantly surprised at the hidden talents that this man possesses. As well as providing the musical 'Midas Touch', he excels as an actor and a comedian.' Beat Magazine
'Your 'Boat People' song lyrics are touching and beautiful.' Sid Bernstein, the entrepreneur who brought 'The Beatles' to America.
'Dolce's songs are lyrical and punchy rendered with much feeling . . .(a) poem set to blues harp solo, 'Miles Davis' Delight' was an absolute classic!'' The Christchurch Press, NEW ZEALAND.
'Joe Dolce sings his moving song - Father - telling his own story of childhood beatings and reminding us that many men are also scarred by sexism and family violence.' Green Left Weekly
(...the show) built in yet another direction when DOLCE took on the issue of male violence with a song about his father's violence toward him as a child.' THE CANBERRA TIMES
'. . . JOE DOLCE played guitar, did some poetry about MILES DAVIS and blew some steamin' harmonica! . .' THE EDINBURGH SCOTSMAN
~ Peace Songs For A Better World ~
" This collection of acoustic songs from international artists promotes peace wonderfully. The folksy "Gift (One Iraqi Child)" from Aussie Joe Dolce is particularly timely and thought provoking." Mark E. Waterbury, MUSIC MORSELS
" This 15-track collection of songs from both female and male North American artists (with Australian and Norwegian representation) is a life-affirming musical project humbly shadowing its more famous and forceful predecessor, "Woodstock". Check out the Bob Dylan-inspired 'Gift (One Iraqi Child)'!
Diane Wells, Monkeybiz
~ Shaddap You Face ~
Excerpt, from a review, written by Michael Connor, on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s memoirs: 'When Webber’s song “Take That Look Off Your Face” found a place on the British record charts, his three-year-old daughter was allowed to stay up and watch it being performed on Top of the Pops: - 'The following Saturday Imo[gen] was repeating like a demented parrot about going into town to buy the record about “your face”. I was touched by such an early show of loyalty. We joined a queue of other parents and their kids all wanting the single about “your face”. When we got to the counter the smiling salesman said to Imo, “You’re a lucky young lady, this is our last copy,” as he handed Imo Joe Dolce’s No. 1 single “Shaddap You Face” to the beaming up-to-then apple of Daddy’s eye.’ [from Unmasked, by Andrew Lloyd Webber]."
" What do you think is the most influential Australian music release and why?
Joe Dolce - Shaddap You Face. One of the more catchy, unusual tunes I've ever heard. Can really relate to that one, brilliant! " Gus & Frank, Australian Music Online
'Maybe you recall Shaddap You Face as just a novelty song of 1980, but Dolce's hugely successful singalong was more than that. It summed up the change in Australia when multiculturalism displaced the derogatory label 'New Australian', when colourful Immigration minister Al Grassby regularly graced the national stage, and SBS was about to take to the air. It caught a social current and gave voice to it in about three minutes.' Sydney Morning Herald
'. . . the actor-musician-comedian's hit song put him in the Guinness Book of Records when it became the most successful Australian-produced single of all time.' Women's Day
' The Victorian Premier, Mr Hamer, presented Dolce with a special trophy . . . a solid perspex frame with a photo of himself inside, instead of the usual gold or platinum record. "It has gone way beyond the gold-and-platinum level - someone had to dream up something else to give him, " Mr Hamer said.' Adelaide Advertiser.
' His mother, Grace Dolce, said the song, 'Shaddap You Face', is based on real experiences when Joe attended high school, but she was a little hazy about it. "He liked to shoot billiards, but I would just tell him to shut up, behave and go to school," she said. "He's never taken any musical lessons, he's just sort of picked it up," his father, Frank, added.' Painesville Telegraph, 1981.
'In 1980, Italo-American-turned Australian Joe Dolce's comment on multiculturalism "Shaddup You Face"became the biggest Aussie single around the world . . .18 years later, Dolce has updated the song with Vietnamese-born Aussie comic Hung Le, with new sub-title "No Room For Racism" and aimed at One Nation puppet Pauline Hanson. Says Dolce, "The song is a bit like the egg in the film 'Alien' - every time a racist looks into it, the squiggly tentacled thing flies out and wraps itself around her face! After this song is released, don't stand to close to Pauline!" Music and Media Business News
' Shaddap You Face - No Room For Racism 1998' - . . . the new version is about showing solidarity against Pauline Hanson . . .Ideological enemies won' t be queuing for a copy. "What a lot of crap," sputters Rod Spencer, Victoria's One Nation convenor, "If he thinks this is a serious contribution, he's got rocks in his head."' Who Magazine
' . . .as everyone out there knows, spending a fortune on champagne and an expensive hotel room doesn't necessarily mean the sex will be any good. eg. I had probably the most intense orgasm of my entire life in the back of a plumber's van while the radio played 'Shaddap You Face'. Latrobe RABELAIS.
' Joe Dolce was a one-hit wonder with Shaddup Yer Face (sic). And that 25-year-old hit still has legs, it seems. Certainly it has kept Joe jogging along on assorted different paths. The American is now a dinkum Aussie and he has been writing film scores and gospel songs, doing a show called Difficult Women with his partner Lin Van Hek and he seems to have been doing a lot of cooking. He has a massive repository of weird and wonderful recipes on his website. Joey Dolce is baby roo, for example. There are a lot of horsemeat recipes. And some downright terrific ones. Samula Harris, The Advertiser
'. . .Kylie Minogue and Joe Dolce both made it into the Hell 20 List . . .Aaaaarghhh!. . . and the worst album of all time. . . was: 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' , by The Beatles.' London Evening Standard, 2000
' It's official ... Joe Dolce's 'Shaddup You Face' has been voted the worst No 1 song in British pop history. BBC Radio 2, which conducted the poll, said it beat all other contenders "by a mile." TARA CONLAN, The Daily Telegraph
"Last year, BBC Radio 2 presented a music programme called 'Twos on 2', which was about so-called "classic" songs being kept off the number one spot in the pop charts by so-called "novelty" songs. One example they came up with was when 'Shaddap You Face' prevented Ultravox's 'Vienna' from reaching number one (as if Ultravox had some God-given right to be number 1!). Now, during the course of this radio programme, listeners were invited to call in (my emphasis) and and vote for which of the many songs featured they most disliked. [Shaddap You Face] was voted "most disliked". The BBC press office managed to contact the producer of the programme and they asked him whether there's any record of how many people voted, who they were, whether they were representative, etc. He said that it's likely that no record was kept. So, it seems that the poll is not one to be taken seriously. It transpires that the BBC2 poll voting 'Shaddup Your Face' was unscientific and irrelevant." Cheers, Phil Hebblethwaite, Editor, The Stool Pigeon UK 2004
'1982. Age ten. Playing in a tree fort with neighbourhood kids. The smell of urine wafts through the air, and it's coming from a cubby hole down in the tree. Urine and candy wrappers. Another mix tape. Joe Dolce, with 'Shaddap You Face'. And The Boss, with 'Hungry Heart'. Except it wasn't really the Boss. And it wasn't even Joe Dolce. This was one of those cheap deals with songs sung by studio musicians, i.e. not the original singers. Sure, they sounded similar, but something was lacking: the emotion, the power of singing your own song. But hell, I was ten. I wasn't gonna complain.' ExtraTexture
' You wouldn't talk about Churchill and not mention World War II, so why review Joe Dolce's 'Shaddap You Face' and not mention the song's finest moment, 'gotta no respect'? Lest we forget, the dullingly dull 'Vienna' by Ultravox was heading for Number One when the boy Dolce put in a fine late tackle to consign Midge and the lads to the bridesmaid's slot. Joe Dolce, we salute you!'' Q Magazine, UK.
"On such whimsical foundations is mild, long-term fondness built, in much the same way that Joe Dolce occupies a place in many hearts solely because his single Shaddup You Face prevented Ultravox getting to No 1 with the deeply rubbish Vienna." Lloyd Cole
'That man and his song have plagued us around the world.' Midge Ure, Ultravox, 1981
'That was a good song. I wish I'd written it.' Billy Currie, keyboard player, Ultravox, 1996
"It was one of those occasions when the public's taste just decided to defy logic," he says. "I've never met Joe Dolce and don't intend to. But nowadays Vienna regularly appears in polls of the hundred greatest singles ever and I'm still around. Where is he now?" Midge Ure, Ultravox, 2009
' The Dullest Songs Ever: Vienna Ultravox. Famously, this pompous, overblown, Gothic snorefest never made it to number one, beaten as it was by Joe Dolce's 'Shaddap You Face'. As many critics fail to point out Dolce (real name James Dolce) wasn't the talentless self-parody that he made out and as well as reaching number on in the UK, he also was an accomplished mountaineer, cellist, librettist and international jurist, being responsible for writing the preamble to UN Security Council 338 which calls for "the withdrawal from all occupied territories by the a-state of Israel, pronto." Ultravox front man Midge Ure never lived down this perceived humiliation, despite Vienna reaching a 9 on the Ditchwater Scale of Dullness, and insisted that when he co-wrote 'Do they Know It's Christmas' with Bob Geldof, he insisted that charities had to sign a legal declaration thus: "We (insert name of charity here), without let and hindrance do here forth admit that 'Vienna' was a more worthy and better song than 'Shaddap You Face' which is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture; but rather repugnant to the word of God", and any charity that refused would receive nary a penny in aid. An interesting sub-note is that during the filming of the video of Vienna, Ure's moustache, having been declared a Crime Against Humanity by Amnesty International, had its own lawyer appointed. The moustache's resulting dirty-protest meant that the video had to be shot in black and white with a lot of 'tache obscuring dry-ice; Amnesty only relenting and agreeing Ure could keep the bumfluff in exchange for a promise to stop tucking his trousers into his boots. Regardless of the controversy, Vienna is now considered a classic although Shaddap You Face is a far, far better song. Sadly Dolce lost his lustre and is reinventing himself as a drag tribute act covering maudlin, inoffensive pop standards as "The Dago Dido". Boris The Tonk
'Get the money, Joe.' Chubby Checker: advice to Joe backstage at Musicladen, Germany.
' As an aficionado of truly bad music, I was really hoping for much worse from this release. Yes, there are some truly abysmal tracks, such as Joe Dolce & Tiny Tim, but too many fall into the category of just not very good, rather than truly execrable. The purpose of an album like this is to have your guests look at their watches and say "Gosh! That late? I'm sorry, I have to leave." ' Pat Kelly. Review of 'Cheggers Choice,' Amazon.com
' Don't you just love BIS ? Manda Rin. Johnny Disco. With names like this you could be forgiven for imagining re-invented crap popsters BIS might, at any second, launch into wanky bagshite psuedo-Italian Joe Dolce's bastardpiece "Shuddup Ya Face," but no, we couldn't be so lucky. While Joe Dolce swiftly died a death never to be seen again. . . ' Javelins
' Clearly, however Mr Dolce has this month received more coverage in the British Press than Paul Keating. We wonder whether there has been more - stuff that we might have missed, either in Britain or elsewhere. Readers, therefore, spotting any reference to the man, in current, or near current, foreign journals are requested to send a photocopy of same (noting the title or the rag and its publication date) to EG. Mark your envelopes 'Gratuitous references to Joe Dolce in the International Press Investigation'. ' THE AGE.
'What's sa matta you, Hey? Hell yes, I know your song - It's kept us from the Number One spot in England and Australia.' Sting, The Police, 1981.
' Dear Sir, The reason there are no aboriginals in the audience, Joe Dolce, is that the White Man Slaughtered and raped them out of existence, the Italian White man being one of the many of the White Race that did it. You are sick, Joe Dolce. In the head. Yours sincerely- ' anonymous
'I know passed on it back then and if you offered it to me today, I'd pass on it again.' Cigar chomping New York music publisher, when recently reminded that he'd turned down 'Shaddap You Face' in 1981 - (Name withheld)
" First single I ever bought was "Shaddup You Face" by Joe Dolce. Loved it. Played it non-stop with my mate Darren, singing away like the tragic little turds we were. Why oh why did nobody administer upon me the severe kicking that I so clearly deserved?" Soapy Norris
"When I was wee I wilfully, and with malice aforethought, bought Shaddup You Face by Joe Dolce. And now I have the cocking thing running around inside my head. Thanks." Tiny Clanger
"Joe Dolce, Renee + Renata and Spagna are NOT typical of Italian music trust me!" Zomata
~ KRS-1 hip-hop version of 'Shaddap You Face' ~
"Shutupayouface" has another pleasing beat, and the Teacher adopts a speedier technique, with interesting & impressive success." Elements, on KRS-ONE, from Sneak Attack.
"Attendance," "Hot," "The Lessin," "The Mind," "Hiphop Knowledge," and "The Sneak Attack" are stand out tracks on a very solid album. The real gem though, is "Shutupayouface" which uses a haunting harp riff and unorthodox drum lines to hold the listener. " CyberKrib
" Stand out track: "Shutupayouface" - Because it's not every day The Teacher quotes Joe Dolce! " Freaky Trigger
"Highlights to these ears include "Ghetto Lifestyles", "Hot", "Hiphop Knowledge", "Get Yourself Up" and "Shutupayouface". Definitely one of the best releases I've heard in a long time . . " BIG BABY BOOHDA
~ My Home Ain't in the Hall of Fame ~
' ROBERT EARL KEEN also gives nods to his inspired influences by covering songs by Johnny Cash, Joe Dolce and Terry Allen. Opening with Dolce's "My Home Ain't In The Hall Of Fame," it's clear that Gurf Morlix's production (Lucinda Williams) rolls about between ribald twang, rootsy rock and shitkickin' jams like a tumbleweed on the Panhandle's prairie.' Richard Proplesch , Music Reviewer, 'Gravitational Forces', by Robert Earl Keen
'If anyone needs to be convinced that Robert Earl Keen is the reigning champion of Texas twangers, Gravitational Forces makes one forceful knock-out blow. Keen delivers his goods early and often, starting with the singalong chorus to Joe Dolce's "My Home Ain't in the Hall of Fame." ' Scott Cooper, All Music Guide
' Keen seems more engaged by other people's songs, whether it's the exquisite folksy country dirge "Snowin' on Raton" by Townes Van Zandt, the vibrant album opener "My Home Ain't in the Hall of Fame"by Joe Dolce, or the sweet, soulful "I Still Miss Someone" by Johnny Cash. Given the brilliance of Keen and his band's performances on these tracks, it's a wonder he didn't scour the songbook further. ' Richard A. Martin, Pulse! Magazine
' You want smooth, twang-heavy honky-tonk played in alt-country mode? Look no further than Keen's swinging-cum-bittersweet approach to Joe Dolce's "My Home Ain't in the Hall of Fame," a rejection of the blandishments of pop stardom that's pitched at the maverick in us all. ' Tom Laskin, The Daily Page
' The opening cut and first single, "Hall of Fame" by Joe Dolce, is one of five well-chosen covers on (Robert Earl Keen's) album, which also features songs by Johnny Cash, Terry Allen, and Townes Van Zandt. Billboard
'In addition to 8 originals, Keen covers Johnny Cash, Terry Allen, Townes Van Zandt, and Joe Dolce in his best disc since 'Gringo Honeymoon.' His version of 'My Home Ain't In The Hall of Fame' is as good as Jonathan Edwards's and I love JE's version! Bill Fitzhugh
' Keen's sensitive, nuanced songwriting -- along with his constant touring -- has won him a large, devoted and very boisterous following that includes first daughters and noted party animals Barbara and Jenna Bush, who each have named Keen as her favorite musician, and whose dad (President George W) recently declared himself a Keen admirer. . . the anthemic opening track, (Joe Dolce's) "My Home Ain't in the Hall of Fame" is rapidly emerging as (the) definitive Keen statement, despite the fact that he didn't write it.' LoneStarMusic.com.
' Keen delivers his goods early and often, starting with the singalong chorus to Joe Dolce's "My Home Ain't In The Hall Of Fame" . . .with a hook so infectious, you'll mumble along anyway. Of course, none of these tracks are destined for Top 40 radio, but they're surely bound for glory in the realm of Americana." Scott Cooper, All Music Guide
'One cut is outstanding - Joe Dolce's "My Home Ain't in the Hall of Fame". Rolling Stone, review of 'Jonathan Edwards' CD, 'Have a Good Time for Me'.
'As a fan of country music, I had heard of J.D. Crowe and The New South long before I picked up this CD. What I did not know was that the lead singer of The New South was country legend Keith Whitley. Admittedly, it had been entirely too long since I last enjoyed a round of my Keith Whitley's Greatest Hits and when I popped in 'My Home Ain't In the Hall of Fame', I honestly felt goose bumps. ' Darren Staley, FM Sound
~ Etc Etc ~
"What possesses people to make music that sounds like Big Sky? The bastard lovechild of Joe Dolce and Mariah Carey? I'm not offering further opinion because I'm not listening to it again. Ever. It is difficult to stop yourself from throwing a brick at your CD player when tosh like track 5, 'Cloudbusting' comes out of it on a regular basis. And 'Dream of Sheep' reminds me of crushed babies. I wish it wouldn't." Soldierboy ~ Kate Bush's 'Hounds Of Love' ~
'What a wonderful surprise and what an even more wonderful record of 'Mommy,' by that great recording artiste, Joe Dolce! I was absolutely ironed flat as I listened to this sensational - and I mean the word - rendition of my song and I can only reprise the first paragraph above as a repeat chorus of my deepest thanks! My warmest regards and thanks for the sheer artistry of performance on his great record.' Tommie Connor, writer of the classic song, 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.'
' Warning! If you listen to this song, you won't get it out of your head. Joe's Pizza Pizza could become the new pizza industry anthem.' PMQ Magazine, USA.
'"If You Want to Be Happy" has got to be as good if not just a wee better than 'Shaddap You Face'. Frankly I never dreamed anyone could come up with such a great and incredibly different arrangement. Sure, the new lyrics are excellent but the whole Italo-Anglo melodic fusion is absolutely fantastic. As a hard-nosed and proud Italian-American, I do not in anyway find it offensive or demeaning. Would you believe that I am a charter member of the National Italian American Foundation and not more that two weeks ago, I informed our president in Washington, D.C., Frank Stella, that Joe Dolce's next release would be one I wrote!!' Frank J. Guida - writer of the classic song, 'If You Want to Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life'.