“Self Control” is a song by Italian singer Raf, released in 1984. It was written by Giancarlo Bigazzi, Steve Piccolo and Raf. The song was covered the same year by American singer Laura Branigan. Her version first hit #1 in Germany. Raf’s version first hit #1 in Italy. Both versions of the song were popular across Europe during much of the summer of 1984 and were the most successful single of the year in Germany and Switzerland. Branigan’s version reached #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and also #2 on the dance chart.
The song has become one of the defining songs of the 1980s, with a number of remakes recorded each year. Notable covers include Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin in 1993, a hit dance remake by Branigan in 2004 and two 2006 versions that hit the Top 5 in various European enclaves, by Danish dance group Infernal and Spanish singer Soraya Arnelas.
Raf, born as Raffaele Riefoli, co-wrote the song “Self Control” with Giancarlo Bigazzi and Steve Piccolo. It also notably edged into #1 in nearby Switzerland between runs at the top spot by Laura Branigan’s version of “Self Control”, and peaked at #2 in Germany, #7 in Austria and at #40 in France. Raf released an extended dance mix of the song, like Branigan, but Raf’s version featured a rap (performed by two other rap vocalists), relatively rare for a white artist at the time.
He would release several more tracks in English and re-release his debut 1984 album Raf in 1987 under the title Self Control, featuring two of these tracks. Although his English-language album and especially the singles proved to be quite successful in Italy and elsewhere, he began releasing his later albums in his native language, almost all of which were received better in Italy than the English-language albums; many of them entered Italy’s Top 10 album chart.