X-Tend

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X-Tend is an electro-rock group from Malta, active since 1984.


Early in the golden days of the eighties, in the midst of the hypes and vibes of the New Romantic era of 1984, Chris Cassar, a wandering soul drumming his way across the universe, while plotting endeavours in the local rock scene, met DJ Godwin de Bono, sound producer extraordinaire.

After living and sharing some turbulent teenage years and experiences in the same educational set-up, it was quite a surprise for the boys to discover they shared the same interests in the same genre of music. So it seemed logical that the next step would be to get together and rehearse some music written by Chris with a touch of production by Godwin. Chris encouraged his then girlfriend Sandra to play bass on a Yamaha duo-phonic synth, and a couple of days later guitarist John Attard was strumming his guitar with the trio, thus giving birth to the first line-up of what became known as X–Tend. However, after a short period of time, John was forced to quit, due to other working commitments. He was later replaced by the present guitarist Eric Ace. Chris, inspired by a catchy name on a local ironmongery store, named the group X–Tend.

X-Tend

After weeks of rehearsing, the band decided to record some of the material they were playing with. Through their common friendship with a working colleague, Vince Fabri (of Xarabank fame,) X–Tend were introduced to Charlie Dalli who owned a home–based studio and who immediately pointed out that the band lacked real punch, when it came to laying down vocals. X–Tend took the hint and went ahead recording some tracks with Dalli as lead vocalist and with Eric as backing vocal, a combination that went on for years and is still going strong today. A mini gig at the Ħamrun Boys Scouts on the 26th of September 1984 was the first time X-Tend got together on stage.

After a number of small gigs within weeks of their first show, X–Tend were invited to appear as guests in a very popular T.V. programme Arzella, hosted by Ray Azzopardi and immediately struck a chord with the audience with their fresh appearance, original approach and the new sound of their repertoire.

Barely three months after their nationwide debut appearance on T.V., the band’s determination to make it big, landed them in San Remo, Italy. But not before going into a professional studio to properly record a couple of songs. Joe Baldacchino of Smash Studio and maestro Paul Abela along with the band took care of the production. After literally conquering the regional eliminations in Sicily, X-Tend qualified to participate, together with other Italian and international competitors, in Passaporto per San Remo which was being staged at the famous Ariston Theatre in mid-December‘84.

With a spectacular performance, X-Tend managed to achieve what many of their counterpart bands only dreamt of. They were crowned overall winners with their song I can feel, a punchy new wave melody with a bouncy rhythm. A modest Italian label, San Remo Holidays, the organizers of the festival, managed by Mr. Flavio Meraglia, immediately signed them up.

In March 1985, they took part in the Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija 1985 for the first time, with the song Gmiel written by Vince Fabri. But although the band gave a very good show, they had very little control on the whole affair and came out a bit disappointed, but the outcome was very positive in terms of publicity.

X-Tend

In August 1985, X–Tend, believing they had what it takes to make it, released I can Feel coupled with Love me as their first single, at the then Malta Hilton International, a master stroke engineered by manager Edwin Zammit, an astute perfectionist. The song was launched accompanied by a professional video, immediately hitting the Maltese Chart’s top spot. Mr. Zammit proved to be a staunch disciplinarian and a workaholic, never ceasing to inject fresh ideas, to enhance the band’s approach. He was the difference between a professional and an amateur organisation and helped X–Tend to progress in no small way.

This sudden success was followed by a number of stunning TV appearances, concerts and live performances all over the country and abroad and succeeded in projecting the band to another level of popularity. At this point a public relations office was inevitable as a source of communication with countless interested parties. This gave birth to the band’s fan club which was based in Valletta. However, a sad decision by Sandra, to call it a day, a few weeks prior to the album`s release, was received by mixed emotions, but injected more determination in the other members to strive on.

The dream was coming true…

Finally, after going through several ups and downs, working hard seemed to do the trick, and spending most of their time locked up in the studio polishing and finalising the end product, paid off. X-Tend released their first album 'Extend' in December 1985 at the Grand Hotel Excelsior with the same luscious organisation of the previous event. A legacy left by Mr. Zammit who by now decided to venture into more adventurous territory, dedicating more time to his profession, but not before launching them on the right track. With songs such as the now popular I Can Feel, Midnight Sun, Deadly Dreams and Glittering which were by now, becoming the fans’ favourites, 'Extend' was an instant hit.

The album spent several weeks topping the Maltese charts and is still one of the fans’ favourite albums today. March 1986, the band were invited to make a guest appearance in the Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija with the song Nightmares, and the show went down a storm. Early May 1986, X-tend were invited to Italy to make a special appearance in Passaporto per San Remo at the famous Ariston. At this stage Marc Abela (Marc Hertz) was drafted in to play percussions and synths. The band took advantage of the situation and organized a mini tour, which would take them to northern Italy, Monaco, Monte Carlo and Paris, were they began shooting the video of their next single Boys of Tomorrow.

The song was released as a double A side record, Boys of Tomorrow / Nightmares in October of that year and again topped the local charts for several weeks. The single was immediately followed by the release of 'X–Tend on tour', a compilation of video clips, including some performances of the tour shot on location in France, Italy and Monaco. The band was determined to widen their horizon so they turned to experienced Mark Attard to play the piano and keyboards.

Spurred by the single’s success, a second album 'Boys of Tomorrow' was launched in January 1987, a year that was to be as fruitful as it was demanding in terms of energy sapping for the band. Following on the heels of 'Boys of Tomorrow', they were off to Turkey to participate in the Mediterranean Song Festival after submitting a song Forsi Ghalik, the original Maltese version of Maybe for You written by Alfred Borg and Charlie Dalli, and making it to the finals. Barely a week later, X-Tend were playing in Frankfurt, Germany, at the Euro Concert’87, doubling also as supporting act for top British band, Wet Wet Wet. They crowned 1987 with a glorious event, when at the Savoy Theatre in Valletta, X-Tend were presented with the best band award in front of the island’s elite in entertainment. The evening was impeccably organized by S.P.D.C.

The band started playing with some ideas for their next album. They released the video of Maybe for You shot entirely in the French and Italian Alps and Paris to much of the critics’ acclaim. They were working tirelessly on the new album, Bits from the Scrapyard which was released in February 1988. Once more a number of tunes, namely the ballad Maybe for You, Game of Love, Don’t say no to Rock‘n Roll and the title track, Bits from the Scrapyard were very popular, as they were being played on national radio.

The album was a milestone in the band’s history as it marked the beginning of a change, shifting from the 80’s new wave sound to their more characteristic rock combined with some beautiful harmonies reminiscent of the classic 60’s. X-Tend were creating all this, at a time, when everybody else was doing very little or nothing in the Maltese music scene. Gigs were rife and it was common practise for the band to make several appearances and shows during a week especially in summer.

Following the third album, Mark Attard left the band but a number of experienced session musicians featured in the band’s line up, contributing to a constant musical development, maturing and changing with the times they were living. This all leads to the 1988 release of 'Sbieħ il-Milied' (Dawn of Christmas) Vol.1, an album which would become a top selling Maltese album, featuring the Christmas classic Tini Tini Żmien il–Milied. Apart from the band, special praise goes to Tony Scott and Phyllisienne Brincat who worked really hard alongside Charlie Dalli on the musical and vocal arrangements.

X-Tend and Phyillisienne Brincat Choir Sbieħ il-Milied recording at 1991

Towards the end of the following year, keyboardist Noel D'Anastas, joined the band, who were at the time working on another FIRST! The first ever Maltese band to record an album on CD. Released in August 1991, 'Social Dancing' featured another face of X–Tend. Full with fresh ideas and hard-hitting lyrics accompanied by punchy sequencers, layered on modern rhythmic beats, 'Social Dancing' topped the Maltese charts for several weeks. 'Social Dancing' was followed immediately within months by arguably the most popular piece of music ever produced by X-Tend. 'Sbieħ il- Milied which also include tracks from the previous Christmas album, was to be the first ever, Maltese speaking double CD in Maltese musical History.

Just mention the song Christmas Father and you are talking about a myriad of different generations, such was the popularity of this Christmas album.


First in everything…

After a two year stint on the road, X-Tend got together again for their next release 'Let’s Have a Party' – a dance-music based album was released at The Malta Hilton in August 1993. Besides the hit singles Let’s Have a Party, Techno Alphabet and the ballad I Believe in You, this album broke every previous record chart in Malta, by holding on to the #1 spot for 15 weeks.

1994, the 10th anniversary year, saw the release of 'Chapter VIII: Collage', the band’s fourth album on CD recorded at X-Tend’s professional recording studios.

The style employed by the band once more was dance-based, mixed with a retro-80’s inspiration as well as operatic and classical elements. It housed tracks like the popular Everybody Wants to have Fun, Dance Floor, Feed the Children of the World, The Art of the Common Love, Love is Forever and the ballad Since I’ve been losing You.

The album saw the co-operative professional talents of top local artists such as Debbie Scerri, Marie Angie, soprano Joan Cassar, tenor Brian Cefai and a children’s choir.

In the first edition of the Malta Music Awards, X-Tend were nominated for the Best Band, Best Album, Best Recording Engineer, Best Sleeve and Best Image awards.

In 1996, shortly after the departure of drummer Mark Abela, Chris Cassar, founding member and drummer in the original line-up, returned bringing back a new musical vision, and experiences accumulated after years playing across the UK. Once more, the band started working towards a new direction, radically changing styles from the previous albums, and experimented with new arrangements, and eventually adopted a more guitar orientated style, with a hint of Britpop and alternative rock.

The socio-critical album 'Powerpl@y' resulted from this change in styles. 'Powerpl@y' was launched on the 13th of June 1997 at The Victoria Hotel in Sliema. Surrounded by around 400 guests, X-Tend seemed to have hit the big time again. The evening was enhanced by the viewing of 'Powerpl@y' video, directed by the late Mario Ellul, considered a genuine talent by the band. Also X-Tend launched their website, buzzing with interesting facts and music. The response to the whole project was fabulous, all 10 tracks on the album received rave reviews from critics and the general public alike and ended up with a number of nominations for the 1997 Malta Music Awards.

Eventually, the boys realised their dream, going home with the Best Album Award, a grand feat, considering that 1996 and 1997 were exceptionally prolific years for Maltese musicians, and X-Tend were in the company of the elite talent on the islands.

X-Tend 2018

1998 was crowned by another “I did it first, sort of thing“ when X-Tend released Big Boys Don’t Cry on an interactive C.D. as a double A side single, accompanied by a video of the song, directed by the band and produced by Chris Cassar, a photo gallery, and a host of other information about the band. The effort was a success and praised by music critics for the professional innovation exhibited. X-Tend managed to crown an old vision, sharing their work and emotions with everybody.

December 1999 saw the release of a much awaited compilation C.D. album 'The Collection 1984–1999'. The song Millennium Countdown was released from the same compilation. Similarly to the songs Waiting for You and Mill-Garage, Millennium Countdown was never released on an X-Tend album before. 'The Collection' was the band`s biography in itself. It takes you on a rollercoaster ride through the amazing years of X-Tend`s musical career.

On 2 September, 2017 X-Tend lead by Charlie Dalli taken part in L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2017 with the song ‘B’Kelma’ lyrics and music by Charles Dalli.


Present Members

Discography

Albums

'Extend' (1985) (LP/MC)

Extend (1985) (LP/MC)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 Glittering
02 I Can Feel
03 Deadly Dreams
04 Love's Last Crime
05 Love Me
06 Midnight Sun
07 Desperation
08 Can't Hear You Calling
09 I Can Feel (re-mix)

'Boys of Tomorrow' (1987) (LP/MC)

Boys of Tomorrow (1987) (LP/MC)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 Black Pagodas
02 Boys of Tomorrow
03 Video Dilemma
04 Odyssey
05 Emotional Sspy
06 Nightmers
07 Conclusion
08 X-Rap
09 Epilogue Emotional Spy

'Bits from the Scrapyard' (1988) (MC)

Bits from the Scrapyard (1988) (MC)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 Maybe for You
02 Don't Say No to Rock'n Roll
03 Reflections
04 Game of Life
05 Bits From The Scrapyard
06 I Can Feel' 88
07 Every Single Heart
08 I Miss You
09 Message
10 The Last Time

'Sbieħ il-Milied Vol.1' (1988) (MC)

Sbieħ il-Milied Vol.1 (1988) (MC)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 Doqqu Qniepen Doqqu
02 Ejjew Maltin Ninagħqdu
03 Medley: Reġa wasal il-Milied, Ninu Ninu tal-Milied and more...
04 Reġa Wasal il-Milied
05 Il-Ġrajja tal-Milied
06 Is-Siġra tal-Milied
07 Kartolina
08 Tini tini żmien il-Milied
09 Paċi u Sliem(mhux fil-Milied biss)
10 Il-Milied hieni lil kulħadd

'Social Dancing' (1991) (CD/MC)

Social Dancing (1991) (CD/MC)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 Prelude Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
02 Social Dancing Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
03 I've Been Missing You Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
04 Man Machine Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
05 Reach Out (To Your Stars) Eric Ace Eric Ace
06 Shades Of Life Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
07 Tomorrow Is Another Day Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
08 New World Charles Dalli Noel D'Anastas
09 Hide Your Shame 2 Eric Ace Noel D'Anastas
10 True Is Not The Truth Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
11 Save Me (12" re-mix) Charles Dalli Noel D'Anastas
12 Epilogue

'Sbieħ il-Milied' (1991) (Double Album - CD/MC) - Disc 1

Sbieħ il-Milied (1991) (Double Album - CD/MC)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 It-Tħabbira ta' l-Anġlu - Ftuħ Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
02 Il-Christmas Father Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
03 Tini Tini Żmien il-Milied Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
04 Ejjew Maltin Ningħaqdu Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
05 Il-Vjaġġ,- Ejjew Nagħmlu Party Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
06 Doqqu Doqqu Qniepen Doqqu Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
07 Awguri Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
08 Sparaw għall-Anġlu Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
09 Ġewwa il-Grotta, Ngħixu ftit fil-Kwiet Charles Dalli
10 Medley: Reġa wasal il-Milied, Ninu Ninu tal-Milied, Joy to the World, Jingle Bells and more...
11 Din id-Dinja Sabiħa (Ma' Neqirduhiex} Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
12 Il-Wasla tas-Slaten Maġi Charles Dalli
13 Ġabra t'Għana tradiħħjonali tal-Milied Charles Dalli

'Sbieħ il-Milied' (1991) (Double Album - CD/MC) - Disc 2

Sbieħ il-Milied (1991) (Double Album - CD/MC)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 Sbieħ il-Milied Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
02 Niċċelebraw Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
03 Dur Dinja Dur Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
04 Reġa wasal il-Milied Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
05 Il-Ġrajja Tal-Milied Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
06 Siġra tal-Milied Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
07 Kartolina Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
08 Magħqudin flimkien Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
09 Kartolina t'Emigranti Żmien il-Milied kollu nkwiet Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
10 Paċi u Sliem (Mhux fil-Milied biss) Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
11 Viva il-Milied Egħluq Charles Dalli
12 Ġesu' Charles Dalli Charles Dalli

'Let's Have A Party' (1993) (LP/MC)

Let's Have A Party (1993) (LP/MC)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 Let's Have A Party Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
02 Welcome To The Party Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
03 Praise The Lord Jesus Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
04 Techno Alphabet (Kindergarten mix) Eric Ace Eric Ace
05 Techno, Rave and Rock'n Roll Charles Dalli Noel D'Anastas
06 I Believe In You Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
07 I'll Always Love You Eric Ace Eric Ace
08 Plastic Planet Mario Fenech Charles Dalli
09 Helpless Tears Eric Ace Noel D'Anastas
10 Street Party (Reggae mix) Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
11 Arabian Nights (Aladin mix) Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
12 Rave It Up Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
13 Techno City Ball Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
14 Lingering Shadows of Love Thema Zarb Thema Zarb
15 The Party Is Over (Welcome to the Party - Remix) Charles Dalli Charles Dalli

'Chapter VIII - Collage' (1994)

Chapter VIII - Collage (1994)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 The Art of Common Love Noel D'Anastas Noel D'Anastas
02 Computer Destiny Eric Ace Eric Ace
03 Love Is Forever Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
04 Everybody Wants To Have Fun Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
05 Dance Floor Eric Ace Eric Ace
06 Since I've Been Loosing You Charles Dalli Noel D'Anastas
07 New Romantic Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
08 Change the World Eric Ace Eric Ace
09 Free
10 Satisfaction Eric Ace Eric Ace
11 Lonely Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
12 Feed The Children Of The World Charles Dalli Charles Dalli

'Powerpl@y' (1997)

Powerpl@y (1997)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 Chess Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
02 Eternal Kiss Eric Ace Charles Dalli
03 Rule and Divide Noel D'Anastas Noel D'Anastas
04 Wrong Direction Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
05 I Can't Believe Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
06 Icebreaker Partyshaker Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
07 I Want You Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
08 Free For Freedom Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
09 Just Like A Dream Eric Ace Charles Dalli
10 Powerplay Charles Dalli Charles Dalli

'The Collection 1984 - 1999' (1999)

The Collection 1984 - 1999 (1999)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 I Can Feel Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
02 Midnight Sun Eric Ace Eric Ace
03 Nightmares Eric Ace Eric Ace
04 Boys of Tomorrow Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
05 Maybe for You Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
06 Hide Your Shame Eric Ace Noel D'Anastas
07 Mill-Garage Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
08 I've Been Missing You Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
09 Let's Have A Party Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
10 Techno Alphabet Eric Ace Eric Ace
11 Dance Floor Eric Ace Eric Ace
12 Everybody Wants To Have Fun Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
13 Waiting For You Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
14 Powerplay Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
15 Rule and Divide Noel D'Anastas Noel D'Anastas
16 Eternal Kiss Eric Ace Charles Dalli
17 Big Boys Don't Cry Chris Cassar Charles Dalli
18 Millenium Countdown Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
19 Tini tini żmien il-Milied Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
20 Christmas Father Charles Dalli Charles Dalli

'Aħna l-Maltin u Ħutna l-Għawdxin' (2015) (in Australia)

Aħna l-Maltin u Ħutna l-Għawdxin (2015)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 Merħba Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
02 Jisimna X'Tend Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
03 Aħna l-Maltin u Ħutna l-Għawdxin Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
04 Il-Kċina Maltija Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
05 Ġejna Ġejna Ġejna Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
06 Mhux Għax Int Tiegħi, Jien Inħobbok Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
07 Arani w La Tmissniex Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
08 Malta Vincent Scerri Charles Dalli
09 Peppi Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
10 Il-Maltin Biss Vincent Scerri Charles Dalli
11 Wied Babu Vincent Scerri Charles Dalli
12 Malta Jien Ħallejtek, Iżda Qatt ma' Nsejtek Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
13 Hawnhekk Qegħdin Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
14 Tagħna f'Tagħna Alfred Borg Charles Dalli
15 Bit-Tikki, Tikki Clifton Casha Charles Dalli
16 Agħtini Informażżjoni Joe Attard Charles Dalli
17 Wom Radio Joe Attard Charles Dalli
18 Ħabbież Vincent Scerri Charles Dalli
19 Niġru Wara l-Ħin Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
20 Saħħiet Charles Dalli Charles Dalli

'Aħna l-Maltin u Ħutna l-Għawdxin' (2017)

Aħna l-Maltin u Ħutna l-Għawdxin (2017)
Track Title Lyrics Composer
01 Merħba Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
02 Aħna l-Maltin u Ħutna l-Għawdxin Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
03 Il-Kċina Maltija Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
04 Arani w La Tmissniex Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
05 Mhux Għax Int Tiegħi, Jien Inħobbok Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
06 Bit-Tikki, Tikki Clifton Casha Charles Dalli
07 Wied Babu Vincent Scerri Charles Dalli
08 Ħabbież Vincent Scerri Charles Dalli
09 Il-Maltin Biss Vincent Scerri Charles Dalli
10 Ġejna Ġejna Ġejna Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
11 Jisimna X'Tend Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
12 Hawnhekk Qegħdin Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
13 Malta Vincent Scerri Charles Dalli
14 Tagħna f'Tagħna Alfred Borg Charles Dalli
15 Malta Jien Ħallejtek, Iżda Qatt ma' Nsejtek Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
16 Agħtini Informażżjoni Joe Attard Charles Dalli
17 Peppi Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
18 Niġru Wara l-Ħin Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
19 Saħħiet Charles Dalli Charles Dalli
20 Sa Ma Nerġgħu Nitaqgħu Charles Dalli Charles Dalli

Singles

Singles
Track Title Lyrics Composer Year
01 I Can Feel / Love Me (1985)
02 Boys of tomorrow / Nightmares (1987)
03 Big Boys Don't Cry / Call My Name (1998)
04 Millennium Countdown (1999)
05 Conclusion (2006)

See also

Category:X-Tend Photos