Conceived, produced, arranged, performed, recorded, engineered, cut, mixed and mastered by NEO.

Special thanks to Giuliano, Zhanna, Achim, Ralph, Jerry, Nikka & Dirk and Carlo. This is the online booklet for those interested in more background on the wearisome production process.

Cover Art, Booklet & CD Production: Neo
Video Production: Neo
Photography & Model: Жанна Арцили
€xecutive Producer: NeoMusic

Recording & Mixing Software: Cool Edit Pro 2.1, GarageBand 10.1.2
Recording Mixer: Phonic Helix Board 12
Grand Piano: The Grandeur
Microphone: Beyerdynamic TG V96c
Sax & Vocal Correction Software: Melodyne Editor 2.1
Mastering & Burning Software: Adobe Audition CC 2014, Studio One 2.6.2
Mastering VST EQ Plugin: FabFilter Q2
Video Editing Software: Adobe Premiere CC 2015
Operating Systems: Windows 7 Prof., OS X El Capitan 10.11.4

No MIDI, quantizing or Auto-Tune® was used in this production. Mastered with -0,3dB headroom at a dynamic range of 12.5 overall

The CD is a product of chance. I was working on new songs for my vast cover music repertoire and was adding some bossa nova tracks. I fell in love with the Brazilian beat and started experimenting with pop songs. I began to notice that songs like Imagine sounded very interesting when spiced up with the slow samba. After a few weeks I had already adapted 25 pop songs and so the idea of producing a CD was born. The initial idea was to make it a band project with a producer but it was hard to get everybody together in time, so I decided to do it on my own. However, I invited some very talented musicians who gave their invaluable contributions. Click on the songs below for details.

NEO c/o NeoMusic June 24, 2016

Bart Howard
First released in 1954


Lead Vocals: Neo
Piano: Neo
Saxophone: Achim Jankowski
Rhythm & Solo Guitar: Ralph Ehlers
Strings: Neo
Arrangement for Drums, Percussion & Bass: Neo

Tempo: 105 bpm (Intro: 95 bpm)
Key: A-minor
Dynamic Range: 14
Recorded between: April 18 and April 20

Fly Me To The Moon was the second song I recorded for this CD. I added the rarely heard intro: "Poets often use many words..." in order to pay tribute to Bart Howard's original composition.

In the "good old times" it was common to add an intro to a composition that was musically apart from the rest of the song. Unfortunately in our "new civilized times" where time is money those beautiful intros have forfeited. Over the Rainbow and As Time Goes By are fine examples of modern song amputations. Just A Gigolo is another one. Click on the three links to be surprised.

The sax was played by Achim Jankowski and the fabulous guitar work was elaborated by Ralph Ehlers who are longtime friends and co-musicians.

Watch my little selfmade video clip of this timeless classic:

Fly Me To The Moon - Video

Jim Steinman
First released in 1983


Angelic Voice: Nikka
Lead Vocals (span.): Neo
Piano: Neo
Saxophone: Achim Jankowski
Rhythm Guitar: Neo
Strings: Neo
Arrangement for Drums, Percussion & Bass: Neo

Tempo: 120 bpm
Keys: Bb-minor/Ab-major
Dynamic Range: 12
Recorded between: April 15 and May 27

Jim Steinman, the lord of excess penned this incredible heartbreak power ballad in 1983 for Bonnie Tyler. Numerous remakes and covers have been produced since, but none is halfway instrumental focusing chiefly on piano and rhythm like this one.

The sax played by Achim replaces the lead singer in the intro and the angelic "turn around" voice was lent by Nikka, my co-singer and duet partner.

In the early eighties I was a big fan of Jim Steinman and his Bat Out Of Hell album with Meat Loaf but Total Eclipse Of The Heart was blasting the music world away in 1984 with its unprecedented power and blown-up composition technique in a piano based slow song. Steinman went where no pop music composer had gone before and created a masterpiece of dark love that not only became a theme song for suicidal Emos but a huge mega-seller all over the world.

I opted for the wisely translated Spanish lyrics that are even more sinister than Steinman's original: Eclipse total del amor!

Diana Ross once criticized Jim by asking him: "Is everything horrifying and dark, don't you have anything positive to say?" Steinman's reply was: "Well, I'm positive everything is horrifying and dark." *LOL*

Here's my little selfmade video clip of this timeless masterpiece:

Total Eclipse Of The Heart - Video

Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
First released in 1961


Lead Vocals: Neo
Piano: Neo
Rhythm & Solo Guitar: Ralph Ehlers
Strings: Neo
Arrangement for Drums, Percussion & Bass: Neo

Tempo: 110 bpm
Key: D-major
Dynamic Range: 13
Recorded on: April 21/22

I do not now whether there is a hit song on this CD but if I were to pick one it'll be Stand By Me. And that is not completely but mostly due to Ralph's fabulous guitar work. His solo is so delicate and though the rhythm guitar he lay underneath may hardly be audible it adds substantially to the groovy bossa rhythm boldly "stolen" from a free Youtube recording. Ralph's guitar blends very well with my piano and Ben King would hopefully not dislike this adaption.

Dieter Bohlen
First released in 1984


Lead & Background Vocals: Nikka & Neo
Piano: Neo
Rhythm & Solo Guitar: Ralph Ehlers
Strings: Neo
Arrangement for Drums, Percussion, Bass & Synth: Neo

Tempo: 117.5 bpm
Key: E-minor
Dynamic Range: 14
Recorded between: April 25 and May 27

Why Dieter Bohlen? A German lalala-producer with a reputation for taking ideas from others rather than inventing his own stuff. Well, the song is good and Bohlen's former lead singer Thomas Anders beautifully reduced their first smash hit to the max by having it jazzed up and inspiring me. Watch it here.

My version is a duet between the charming Nikka from Wiesbaden and me. Some effect sounds from the eighties were added to pay tribute to the genius of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis from Flyte Time and Roger Troutman† from Zapp.

John Lennon
First released in 1971


Choir: 600 Singers
Vocals: Neo
Piano: Neo
Lead Saxophone: Achim Jankowski
Lead & Rhythm Guitar: Ralph Ehlers
Strings: Neo
Arrangement for Drums, Percussion & Double Bass: Neo

Tempo: 120 bpm
Key: C-major
Dynamic Range: 13
Recorded between: April 15 and April 27

The unofficial "unnational anthem" of the New World Order (NWO) is not my favorite song but one has to acknowledge that the cleverly written lyrics sound tempting even though they obviously dwell on the idea of a one-world government with no room for God, religion, countries or personal belongings.

However, democracy by definition is impossible without countries and even religion with all its downsides is surely helpful in providing a moral glue for society. Also there is more than one reason to doubt whether a one-world government by taking away our belongings (and by banning cash) will bring about a world order where there's no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of men.

But let's talk about the song:
There are so many cover versions out there that it was not easy to make Imagine shine in a new light but the CHOIR!CHOIR!CHOIR! project from Toronto gave the creative input and Achim on sax and Ralph on guitar shone through again beautifully.

Prince
First released in 1984


Choir: 1999 Singers
Piercing Shriek: Prince (Cream)
Lead & Harmony Vocals: Neo
Piano: Neo
Strings: Neo
Arrangement for Drums, Percussion & Bass: Neo

Tempo: 116 - 121 bpm
Key: E-minor
Dynamic Range: 11
Recorded between: May 8 and May 12

My musical idol and inspiration for at least a decade was Prince and having When Doves Cry on this CD was not due to the Prince's eerie passing on the Queen's birthday but due to my veneration for the Minneapolis born prodigy. This song was a huge hit in the mid-eighties and when I found the original CHOIR!CHOIR!CHOIR! performance with just an acoustic guitar accompaniment I was so moved that in just 3 days I finished adding all the other instruments, my vocals plus the video below. Click it and you'll be moved too!

Of course the end is fake since I was not in Toronto. Instead I cleverly edited the cheering crowd and put my final praise on top of it to make it sound real.

When Doves Cry - Video

Peter Cetera
First released in 1976


Lead Vocals: Neo
Piano: Neo
Saxophone: Achim Jankowski
Rhythm & Solo Guitar: Ralph Ehlers
Strings: Neo
Arrangement for Drums, Percussion, Bass & Brass: Neo

Tempo: 103 bpm
Key: D-major
Dynamic Range: 14
Recorded between: May 8 and May 28

Peter Cetera is a high-pitched tenor and I am technically a bass-baritone, so to sing one of his self-written ballads is impossible for me, but it is not impossible to change the key and the rhythm which is what I did and I hope you like it.

It was actually one of the hardest tracks to produce for this album because of the tricky rhythmic syncopation with a lot of stop and goes. It took 3 weeks to finish.

Roberto Carlos, Erasmo Carlos
First released in 1981


Lead Vocals: Jerry Canizales
Piano: Neo
Rhythm Guitar: Ivan Santos
Strings: Neo
Arrangement for Drums, Percussion & Bass: Neo

Tempo: 120 bpm
Keys: D-/Eb-minor
Dynamic Range: 12
Recorded between: April 15 and April 20

Singer/songwriter, magician and brilliant entertainer Jerry Canizales from Costa Rica was my preferred lead singer for the former latin hit by Roberto Carlos and his brother Erasmo who are living legends in Latin-America with a stockpile of hits and beautiful songs in their ever-growing catalogue.

Jerry has become a great friend of mine even before I started working on this CD. I first saw and heard him at Frankfurt Maritim Hotel singing his heart out and entertaining people with his unique style that is not contrived but part of his great personality.

My original idea to have a genuine Brazilian bossa musician on all tracks went awry but for Cama Y Mesa, my first recording, I was able to "lure" Brazilian guitarist Ivan Santos. Ivan is a prolific singer/songwriter who in 2005 won a Grammy in Los Angeles for best Brazilian song in Portuguese language. He lives and performs in the Frankfurt area and made his contribution by lending his guitar skills. You can see and hear Ivan in all major hotel bars, performing night after night, living his dream of being a successful full-time musician.

I have never heard a cover of Cama Y Mesa and though I am sure there are several I guess my accentuated bossa beat adds a new twist and with Ivan's guitar and Jerry's fine vocals it has become a new potential latin hit... reloaded.

Michael Jackson
First released in 1982


Lead Vocals: Neo
Piano: Neo
Rhythm & Solo Guitar: Ralph Ehlers
Strings: Neo
Arrangement for Drums, Percussion & Bass: Neo

Tempo: 112 bpm
Key: F#-minor
Dynamic Range: 13
Recorded between: May 28 and June 10

I love this song. I mean, I really love this version because few people have dared to downsize one of the world's biggest dance hits and make it a ballad, adding a Brazilian rhythm.

Brazil is a huge country with 200+ million people and I am sure someone has "bossafied" this song before but being German I have given it my perfectionist touch and changed it with minute attention to detail. Especially with the left-hand piano pattern in the beginning and end playing the original bass line.

I have never been a huge Michael Jackson fan (song no. 6 gives you a clue as to why) but Billie Jean is a masterpiece and he wrote it. Props to his undisputed genius!

Scott English, Richard Kerr
First released in 1974


All Instruments & Vocals: Neo

Tempo: 117 bpm
Keys: Ab-/Bb-/G-/E-major
Dynamic Range: 13
Recorded between: May 30 and June 4

Mandy was probably the first song I was able to play on the piano and sing to it. Since then I have performed it countless times and I have even released it on all my previous CDs. However, this time I have recorded it as an instrumental with a driving bossa nova beat underneath.

The CD title from Bossa with Love is an allusion to my love for Bossa and Russia, using the lemma from the old James Bond movie even though there is no Russian song on this record. However, Russian cover art model Жанна has given a sexy contribution by lending her impeccable legs to my CD layout.

I have always been interested in the sensuality of life and so I guess it was fair to add two sensuous pictures to my latest production. Even more so with this sensuous music and my amicable connection to Russia and Ms. Arzili

I have played and arranged all the instruments on this one.

Gary Moore
First released in 1990


Lead Vocals: Neo
Piano: Neo
Saxophone: Achim Jankowski
Rhythm & Solo Guitar: Ralph Ehlers
Strings: Neo
Arrangement for Drums, Percussion, Bass & Trombone: Neo

Tempo: 110.5 bpm
Key: G-minor
Dynamic Range: 13
Recorded between: April 26 and June 14

As you can see from the dates this song was the one that gave me the most headache. I sang it 4x in different moods and occasions and I changed the saxophone almost a dozen times until I was satisfied. The metrics were enhanced or reduced throughout the mixing process and the dynamics broadened from an initial DR 10 to an optimal range of 13.

The original is a Viennese Waltz blues(!) and turning it to a 4-beat bossa was a tough struggle to begin with. I even tried to sing it the Joe Cocker way which failed until I finally found my own style.

Gary Moore's song is an unacknowledged replica of a 1945 French chanson that became famous as the jazz classic Autumn Leaves by the late great Nat King Cole et al. The verses follow the Circle of Fifths, a harmonic sequence that is based on the mathematical phenomenon known as the Golden Ratio which is a physical constant in nature often being referred to as the "Divine Proportion".

Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio
First released in 1967


Lead Vocals: Neo
Piano: Neo
Rhythm & Solo Guitar: Ralph Ehlers
Strings: Neo
Arrangement for Drums, Percussion & Bass: Neo

Tempo: 120 bpm
Keys: A-/C-major
Dynamic Range: 14
Recorded on: June 2

The famous instrumental part between the verse and the chorus is probably widely responsible for the huge international success of this sixties track by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

However, here the emphasis is on the verse, chorus and the bossa beat. The middle part is colorized and adorned solely by Ralph's guitar and my piano. The original brass section was left out to give the song a slightly different sound after perceived 1000+ covers of this timeless classic.

Bonus Tracks:

Armando Manzanero
First released in 1998


All Instruments & Lead Vocals: Neo

Tempo: variable
Keys: A-major/A-major
Dynamic Range: 13
Recorded on: different days in May and June 2016

In 1995, I personally met composer Armando Manzanero in Montevideo the day after his spectacular Cena Show and spent an unforgettable afternoon with the Mexican genius and his wife. In a bar in the historic district of the Uruguayan capital I sang the famous tango Uno for him that subsequently he incorporated in Luis Miguel's next album Romances, making me proud of having contributed a petty fact to the career of Latin-America's Frank Sinatra.

Manzanero's song Huele A Peligro was made famous by former beauty pageant winner, Chilean actress and singer Myriam Hernández. Aside from Me Pareces Tanto A Él it has become her signature song.

I once went thru a similar situation described in the song (huele a peligro = smells like danger) and so I could always relate to Manzanero's vivid description of secret love and I included it for the sake of adding a bonus track to the CD without bossa, in fact no rhythm at all.

I have played and arranged all the instruments on this one.

Roberto Carlos, Erasmo Carlos
First released in 1981


Rap Vocals: Giuliano Camet
Rap Lyrics: Neo

Dynamic Range: 13
Recorded on: May 21/22

This is a remix of Jerry's great performance with a few tweaks here and there but mainly to showcase my son's amazing wording skills in his mother tongue. He is 19 and has a great musical talent but for the time being he is focusing on rap music which is how I started too.


Dynamic Range explanation Dynamic Range explained (in German)