At the time this song was released, disco was officially radio dead, but the clubs kept playing new sounds to fill the dance floors. Italo disco stepped into the fray with songs like Change's "A Lover's Holiday" being put together in Italy and making it big around the world. The disco fire never burned out in Europe and proof of that would be 90's disco sensation Blackbox and their blazing hot LP "Dreamland" that produced "Right On Time" and "Everybody Everybody" in the early 90's.
But back in the spring of 1981, a new funkier sound from overseas was invading the dance floors. The first time I heard this song I thought that Gino Vanelli had finally succumbed to the dance music bug and looked all over for it...Gino had put out his 1981 LP "Nightwalker", I ran out and picked it up, but did not find this song on the LP. I had to wait a couple of more weeks before I was able to identify it as Firefly. Confused, I thought it was the same Firefly that recorded the 1975 song "Hey There Little Firefly". As it turns out the man behind "Hey There Little Firefly" was Kenny Nolan (I Like Dreamin') from the US.
This new Firefly was a band formed in 1979 Vicenza, Italy consisting of Manuela Ometto, Maurizio Sangineto and Rolando Zaniolo, who met on a Vicenza RadioStar program in 1976. These three young artists loved the sound of disco music and decided to form a group that did that kind of music, with lyrics about the values of friendship and brotherhood. They decided to work with the production trio of Maurizio Cavalieri, Alberto and Alessandro Cerioni Scandale, who specialized in the production of soul, funk and disco music. This production clearly mimics that Chic sound with its scratching guitar and supple bass line.
Their first LP, "Firefly" from 1980 contained the song "Love and Friendship" which became a hit in Italy and was picked up by Emergency Records, given a US remix, renamed for the most prominent phrase in the song and released as "Love (Is Gonna Be On Your Side)" in early 1981. It peaked at #3 on the disco/dance chart and stayed on the chart for 22 weeks, a pretty awesome feat. The following year they released their second LP, "My Desire" and scored another Italian hit with "Come Back". A third LP, "Firefly 3" did not produce any hits and the trio disbanded. Giorgio Stefani took over the production with one member of the old production team, Maurizio Cavalieri. This new version of Firefly issued one last LP, 1984's "Double Personality" which did not sell well and the band finally called it quits.