Baltimora was an Italian group active in the 1980s. They are often considered a one-hit wonder in the United Kingdom and the United States due to the success they experienced with "Tarzan Boy" compared to their other singles. In other European countries, including their native Italy, the group enjoyed more success.
In early 1984, Maurizio Bassi, a music producer and musician from Milan, met Jimmy McShane, a native of Derry, Northern Ireland. McShane was an emergency medical technician (EMT) who worked for the Red Cross in Northern Ireland. They decided to form a band fronted by McShane, who was a talented dancer with a good voice. Bassi recruited other musicians to record their first album, including Giorgio Cocilovo on guitar and Gabriele Melotti on drums. McShane's look, who was characterized by extravagant and loose clothing, was soon adopted by Bassi and all the other members of the band, who appeared on stage with extravagant hairstyles and wearing large red-rimmed glasses.
Some sources state that lead vocals were performed by Maurizio Bassi, with McShane providing the backing vocals. The bulk of Baltimora's song writing fell on Bassi and Naimy Hackett, though McShane wrote the lyrics to some of their songs, including the single "Survivor in Love".
Baltimora's first single, "Tarzan Boy", was released in the summer of 1985, and became a huge European success, peaking at No. 6 on the Italian single chart and entering the top 5 in numerous European countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and Norway. The song eventually made it to the United Kingdom charts, where it reached no.3 in August 1985.
"Tarzan Boy" was released in Canada in October 1985 and peaked on the Canadian charts at No. 5 by the end of the year. However, it took a while for the single to enter the Hot 100 single chart in the United States (where it was released on EMI). When it did, it remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six months, peaking at No. 13 in the early spring of 1986. Baltimora performed on the American TV show Solid Gold, which helped further their success in America. The second single, "Woody Boogie", which also gained notable success, entered the top 20 in Germany, Switzerland and Sweden.
Baltimora's first album, Living in the Background, was released in Europe at the end of 1985, and in United States in 1986. Despite the success of "Tarzan Boy", Living in the Background only charted moderately entering the top 20 album charts only in a few countries in Europe, including Sweden, reaching the no. 49 spot on the US charts.
When Baltimora's second album, Survivor in Love (1987) and the single "Key Key Karimba" failed to chart, the band lost label support and decided to disband.
"Tarzan Boy" bounced back into the Billboard Hot 100 chart in March 1993 as a remix, climbing to No. 51, at the time of its appearance in a Listerine commercial. The song was also featured in the films Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), Beverly Hills Ninja (1997), A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) and The Wolfpack (2015).
Baltimora's music style is mainly described as Italo disco and sometimes as new wave, including their first album, Living in the Background.