The following has been taken from Lisa Dal Bello's official website at

"Cutting edge" is a term more than one writer has used to describe the music of Dalbello,
the performing name Lisa Dal Bello adopted in 1984 for her pivotal fourth album,
whomanfoursays. Since that time, the talented singer-songwriter, producer and musician has
been on a quest to find herself. If she seems somewhat obsessed with establishing her own
identity----independently of what anyone else might tell her----and the self-esteem that
goes with it, it's probably because she spent most of her adolescence and adult life trying
to undo the musical identities that she was labeled with by record companies and their
marketing departments. Along the way, she has been transformed from a child prodigy to a
disco princess to an innovative rock singer. As she summed up the title song from her latest
release, whore (1996), for Billboard, "The title wasn't a flippant thought. The song is
about your ethical core and your own sense of self." 

Started Working In Industry at the Age of 13
Born in Weston, a suburb in Toronto, Ontario of Italian and British parents, Dalbello was
something of a musical prodigy. Her first music industry opportunity came at the age of 13
in the summer of 1971, but she had to lie about her age to get it. For one month she toured
Ontario with about 35 other performers in a educational goverment-sponsored troupe called
Summer Sounds '71. 

Although Dalbello's earliest musical awareness was nurtured by her parents' love of soul
music and rhythm and blues, especially artists like Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Ray
Charles, her first musical identity as a solo performer was that of a folk singer. A
self-taught musician who first picked up the acoustic guitar at the age of 11 and began
writing her own songs, the young teenager performed at the Mariposa Folk Festival and also
at the Fiddlers' Green club in Toronto. The first song she wrote was reportedly a protest
song called "Oh, Why?". 

In 1972, at the age of 14, Dalbello was discovered by Jack Budgell and singer-songwriter
Ian Thomas, two then-fledgling CBC producers' on hiatus from a union strike, who decided to
hold auditions seeking out new talent. They gave her her first recording studio opportunity,
where she recorded 3 of her songs for the CBC. 

Jack Budgell introduced her to jingle producer Tommy Ambrose, and subsequently many other
producers,who gave Dalbello her first of many opportunities to receive significant studio
experience as a session singer on countless sessions. Dalbello credits this early part of
her musical background as having had a vital creative impact in teaching her about the
technical and audio side of recording, as well as the exploration of her voice and the
development of its emotional capacity. Dalbello made her first television appearance on
Sinagalong Jubilee. Featuring country and folk-flavoured music, the CBC-TV series was known
as the show on which singer Anne Murray got her start. The next year Dalbello appeared on
the CBC TV pop series, Music Machine, as a part of the vocal group Liberation. The following
two years were spent as a regular back-up session singer on Canadian television's The Bobby
Vinton Show , and in numerous recording sessions for other artists and jingle work. 

It was on Music Machine, the Dalbello met Roy Kenner, who became her friend and mentor.
Kenner, an important member of the Toronto music scene and former lead singer of Joe Walsh's
band The James Gang, provided her with helpful encouragement, suggesting that she go to Los
Angeles and record a demo. It was in L.A. that she first met aspiring producer David Foster,
a session player who played piano on her demos. 

In 1975 the 17-year-old singer-songwriter was signed to a recording contract by MCA Records
in the United States. Recalling the work she did with David Foster on the song demos that
got her the deal, she went to Los Angeles to record her debut album, the self-titled Lisa
Dal Bello , a soul and R&B record which was produced by David Foster, and was released in
1977 during the disco craze. 

In an effort to fit the album into the current Canadian radio programming that had no format
for R&B or soul music at that time, MCA subsequently marketed her record as disco, although
music writer Maggie Dowling in an article in Stagelife, recognized that most of the album
reflected "its creator's enthusiastic delight in the energetic, textured format of R&B."
Dalbello's debut album was good enough to earn her a 1977 Juno Award for Most Promising
Female Vocalist of the Year. 

The songs on the album were either co-written by Dalbello and David Foster or by Dalbello
herself, who by this time was composing her songs on piano rather than guitar. In addition
to the first single "Stand In Your Way", co-written by Dalbello and Roy Kenner, the album
included the autobiographical "Snow White" and a Gino Vannelli- inspired ballad, "Touch Me". 

Dalbello's second album, Pretty Girls, was recorded in Los Angeles in 1978 with Rufus
producers Bob Monaco and Al Ciner and released in 1978 on Dalbello's independent label
Talisman Records, which was one of the first indie labels in Canada formed by an artist.
The title song, written by Dalbello, received only modest airplay in Canada. Two years
later it was covered by Melissa Manchester and became a modest hit, reaching number 39 on
Billboard's pop chart. 

In 1979, Dalbello signed with Capitol Records in the United States. She reportedly spent 9
grueling months in L.A. under the supervision of new A&R executives, writing and re-writing
material according to their chosen direction for her. Her third album, Drastic Measures, 
was released in the United States and Canada in 1981, but it failed to sell in either
country. It was a difficult tug of war for Dalbello, and some of the songs on the album,
notably "Dr. Noble" and "Stereo Madness" as well as "She Wants To Know", co-written with
Bryan Adams, suggested that Dalbello's style and sense of self was already evolving and
departing from the existing material on the album. The change would become apparent on her
next album, whomanfoursays, but not before she spent three years away from the music business. 

From 1981 to 1984, the twenty-something Dalbello quit writing and performing her music
publicly. As she told Billboard, "I felt there was no point in making records if I hadn't
found a sense of how i fitted in musically, and how to express myself. I hadn't yet learned
how to convey my musical ideas to the people I was working with." 

whomanfoursays Marks a Turning Point
"whomanfoursays was a great turning point for me," Dalbello told Billboard. I finally found
a sense of myself." As part of her new identity, and in an effort to give the songs on
whomanfoursays the opportunity to be received and judged without prejudice of any
preconceived perceptions of how she had been previously mis-marketed by her former recording
company, Lisa Dal Bello adopted a new name, Dalbello. The album featured only her face
although it was barely revealed behind a colourful tribal-like mask of hardened mud. The
album title was meant to be a de-construction of the words "human forces". 

The 1984 album was co-produced by Dalbello and Mick Ronson. Ronson, an outstanding rock
guitarist as well as a talented producer, was known for his lead guitar work in the Spiders
From Mars band on several David Bowie albums, and with British rocker Ian Hunter from the
rock group Mott The Hoople. After his work with Dalbello, he eventually produced such artists
as Morrisey, the Rich Kids, and Pure Prairie League before succumbing to liver cancer on
April 12, 1993. On whomanfoursays, Ronson played guitar, synthesizer and bass. Dalbello
expanded her musical role by playing synthesizer, bass and drums as well as singing. The
album was critically acclaimed but made little commercial impact in Canada or the United
States. Writing in the Globe and Mail, rock critic Liam Lacey called the songs "highly
stylized, but darkly exciting." He noted, "There is a hard-edged authority that makes for
an unusually consistent, unified album." He also described dalbello's new look. No longer
the sexy disco princess, she adopted "crazy Kabuki eyebrows" and sought a more exotic look.
On the strength of this album, Lacy felt that "she emerges as an important one-woman musical
force." A single from the album, "Gonna Get Close To You" was covered by heavy metal group
"Queensr˙che" on their 1986 gold-selling album, Rage For Order. 

Dalbello soon took up an offer to tour Europe with German singer and political activist Udo
Lindenberg. It gave her a chance to promote whomanfoursays to a new European audience. She
was well-received and decided to establish herself a base in Germany . The band NENA invited
her to Berlin to write and co-write the English lyrics to their record, and soon after, she
began splitting her time between Toronto and Germany. 

During the late 1980's, Dalbello contributed to the 9 & 1/2 Weeks Soundtrack, by writing the
song "Black On Black" and worked with other artists, including Duran Duran's John Taylor,
Heart, the band Nena, Glass Tiger and their producer Jim Vallance, and Howard Jones' producer
and artist in-his -own-right, Rupert Hine. Shortly after she eagerly began a co-production
with Rupert Hine in London, England, her manager Roger Davies vetoed the project and
suggested that she look for another producer who might be more commercial. Disappointed,
Dalbello returned to Toronto and waited for her manager to set up meetings. In the meantime
she and engineer Lenny De Rose recorded 3 tracks in the hopes that they might accept her own
production. Although they liked the songs, they vetoed Dalbello as the producer. 

Almost a year had transpired with both her manager and recording label seeking a producer,
and in an effort to move the project forward, she decided to hand in the demo of the same
3 tracks she had delivered to her record company a year earlier; having learned the lesson
over the years that "perception is everything"--even with your own manager and recording
company, Dalbello half-jokingly labeled the producers' name as Bill Da' Salleo, an anagram
of the name "Lisa Dal Bello" , explaining to them that Mr. Da' Salleo was a an old school
friend of hers and a very talented producer who "just needed a fair break". Both Roger Davies
and Capitol immediately green lighted the project, stating that Bill Da' Salleo was "a genius". 

Her next album, the self-produced she , was released in Europe in 1987. Riding on the heels of
the commercial success in Scandinavia, Germany and Holland with the singles "Tango" and Talk
To Me", Capitol Records in North America requested that Dalbello return to Toronto to begin
promoting and touring the record which they were preparing to immediately release in North

However, with the knowledge that Bill Da' Salleo was actually Dalbello, her manager began to
question the strength of the album's production and commercial viability. Suggestions were
made to scrap half the album and record new songs with a new producer and other songwriters.
Because of this, 18 months transpired until the album's release, and the momentum was
subsequently lost, resulting in the record company losing interest with tour and promotional
plans . The album was released in 1989 failing to make any viable commercial impact in Canada.
Dalbello broke off relations with Capitol Records and decided to relocate to Los Angeles. 

Moves to Los Angeles

Several factors in Dalbello's personal and professional life led to her decision to move to
Los Angeles. According to Canadian Musician , she had just gone through a bad relationship
and her grandmother had passed away. The rigors of touring in Europe promoting she hadn't
left her time to deal with either of those personal events. As she told Canadian Musician ,
"Suddenly, I said, I will not take this next step forward with my career until I take some
time for myself, to look at what had been going on, to really feel good about myself." 

Once she had relocated, Dalbello planned to make a living by writing songs for other artists.
"I made a definite decision to quit making records for Dalbello, and didn't make a decision
to walk away from music, but rather, to walk towards a sense of more stability, a more
private life, a more balanced life," she explained. 

Beginning in 1990, Dalbello spent the next four years in Los Angeles, expanding her musical
contacts, and writing songs for other artists such as Branford Marsalis and Julian Lennon,
and co-writing with successful songwriters Carole Bayer Sager, Frannie Golde, Bruce Roberts,
Holly Knight and Gerald O'Brien. 

In 1993 she toured with Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, performing Heart material and songs
that Dalbello had written for the group. That same year, she played keyboards and guitar in
the group's studio sessions for Capitol that resulted in "live" songs being added to the
CD singles released from Heart's 1993 album, Desire Walks On. On that album, Heart covered
Dalbello's "Black On Black" from she as well as "Anything Is Possible", which Dalbello
co-wrote with Ann and Nancy Wilson. In 1994, Dalbello produced and wrote "Come As You Are"
for Patti LaBelle's album Gems. 

Describing the time she spent in Los Angeles, writing and producing music for other artists,
Dalbello told Canadian Musician, "It was a good learning experience for me, but I was doing
it because I really felt like I had explored a lot about music from my point of view. I knew
how to express myself musically for my own music, but I really had a curiosity about other
people's music." 

As it turned out, Los Angeles wasn't the best place for Dalbello to find balance in her life.
She found the social unrest and natural disasters around her particularly unsettling. "It
almost promotes a shutting off, because there is so much social chaos going what with the
riots, the trials, the earthquakes, fires, floods, and all that" she explained to Canadian
Musician. "It was not conducive to an individual trying to find themselves and open up." 

Regains Interest in Recording 

After the 1994 earthquake in Los Angeles, her brother Stefano came to visit her, in part to
boost her morale and also to convince her to move back to Toronto. He played some music he
had written for her, setting motion a series of events that led to Dalbello's first album in
nearly nine years. After hearing Stefano's tapes, Dalbello told Frontiers magazine, "I was
blown away....I became interested again in music because I found his approach to it was
something very fresh nd something that reminded me of how I had approached music in the past.
He very much explored the darker melodies, his ideas of sound design were very inspirational." 

Stefano's tapes formed the basis of the song, "The Revenge of Sleeping Beauty", to which
Dalbello wrote lyrics and helped finish musically. The song was recorded in Los Angeles along
with three other tracks, "All That I Want", "Yippie" and "Falling Down" with Stefano Dalbello
and Dalbello sharing songwriting credits. 

Before returning to Toronto, Dalbello met with former manager, Roger Davies, who was an
Australian transplant living in Los Angeles at the time. Davies asked her if she wanted to
record another album, and inspired by the songs she had written with Stefano, she answered
affirmatively. Through Davies' efforts, a recording deal with EMI Electrola, which is based
in Germany, was forthcoming. Helping cement the deal was the fact that Dalbello had lived
and performed in Germany and had a following there. 

Dalbello returned to Toronto with Stefano in 1994 to complete work on the album. She had set
up a home studio and "every song was pre-produced in my home studio so that most of the work
for sound designing----guitar ideas, guitar sounds, how I would hear my vocals,
shape-shifting a keyboard sound and putting it through compression," she told Canadian
Musician. "The reason I do this at home is for two reasons: one, as I'm writing, I'm literally
hearing it all and I want to be able to capture it as it's coming out; and two, I'm not only
hearing ideas and melodies, but I am hearing alot of the sounds and, for me, it's something
I'm bound to forget if I wait for two months to get to the studio." 

A band was assembled to record the remaining songs at Phase One Studios in Scarborough, with
Dalbello and engineer Richard Benoit co-producing. With Canadians Randy Cooke on drums,
Steve Webster on bass, and Kevin Breit on guitar, Dalbello added her own guitar, bass,
keyboards and clavinet along with her lead and backing vocals. Other musicians were also
called upon for some tracks, including drummer Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe and guitarist Justin
Clayton from Julian Lennon's band. As Dalbello described the recording sessions to Canadian
Musician, "The most important part of what was done at Phase One was capturing the live
performances, the instinctive performances and the interaction between the musicians and

Since her return to Canada, Dalbello has been embraced by her musical peers and has performed
and collaborated with Canadian artists I Mother Earth, and guitarist Alex Lifeson of Rush,
who invited Dalbello and Edwin, singer for I Mother Earth to participate in the making of his
solo record debut project named Victor. Her lead vocal graces one of the album's most
provocative songs "Start Today". 

Despite Dalbello's long absence from the recording world, she was eagerly welcomed back by
the Canadian music press as well. Because of her powerful voice and aggressive persona,
comparisons were drawn between Dalbello and the surprising successful Alanis Morissette.
However, she refused to take credit for paving the way for other female rockers like
Morissette. As she explained to Jane Stevenson of the Toronto Sun, "someone like Alanis has
a sense of angst, a sense of unrest within herself and that's coming from her personal
experiences which are different from mine." Dalbello credited women rockers such as Chrissie
Hynde (of the {Pretenders), Annie Lennox (of the Eurythmics) and Patti Smith as paving the
way for her and others. 

whore received favourable reviews from critics upon its release in mid-1996. Writing in the
British magazine Frontiers, music critic Peter Sims said,"As a whole, it sounds very
contemporary but without sacrificing or compromising Dalbello's unique style. If anything,
whore is her most extreme album to date." The songs on the album display a range of emotions,
from bittersweet compositions and gentle ballads to songs with a "pounding beat and funky
bass lines." Sound distortions and processed vocals are also employed. Sims described the
title song as "Dalbello at her psychotic weirdest with much of the lyrics spoken." 

The cover art for whore photographed by photographer and video director Floria Sigismondi
(David Bowie, Marylin Manson) shows a sculpture of Dalbello's torso mounted on a pedestal
and set against a blood-red wall. As she explained to Billboard, "I wanted something
reflecting what you can become when you place your self-esteem into the hands of someone else.
It's the me I could become if I don't remind myself of the things I believe in. It speaks
for the record and the path I went through to make it."