U.S.U.R.A. was started by Time Records owner Giacomo Maiolini, producers Walter Cremonini and Alessandro Gilardi. The name is derived from that of Maiolini’s mother, Ursula. The group is best known for the 1992-93 hit single (and later album) “Open Your Mind”, featuring a dialog sample from the film Total Recall, as well as from “Solid” by Ashford & Simpson (‘owh’) and incorporating sampled elements from the Simple Minds song “New Gold Dream” from 1982.
Its video morphs the faces of Ronald Reagan, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Ian Paisley, Margaret Thatcher, Richard Nixon, Mary Whitehouse, and Joe McCarthy.
“Open Your Mind” became a mainstream hit in early 1993, reaching the top five in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. A remix by DJ Quicksilver was released in 1997 but failed to replicate the success of the original.