June 1, 1985: Cheryl Lynn, Gloria D. Brown, Rene & Angela, Advance, Touch Of Class

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

SOME COMBINATION of Steve Arrington, Roy Ayers and The SOS Band seems likely to be on a picnic at Knebworth in August — sounds like a showstopper, huh? . . . Paul Hardcastle ’19 — The Final Story’ disappointingly ended up with the same B-side as its predecessors . . . Aurra’s follow-up ‘Happy Feeling‘ in a fortnight will be flipped by a remix of ‘Like I Like It’ . . . Magnum Force have extended and remixed last year’s B-side as their new import single ‘Get Up And Get In The Mix‘ (US Paula Records) . . . Redds & The Boys ‘Put Your Right Hand In The Air‘ has been remixed for 12in by Mastermind (whose ‘Turntable Mix‘ of Little Benny snuck out so quietly as the original’s flip rather too late to be effective that I never even knew about it) . . . Les Adams has done a Steve Arrington medley of five tracks from the current album which does seem likely for release in some limited form . . . Julian Guffogg & John Rushford got fed up with doing mobiles around Ashford, Kent, and instead invested in a Teac recorder and digital delay to help with their home produced megamixes which they hope might end up on vinyl one day: best when cuttin’ it to the max, their synched segues aren’t always so hot although they’ve an ear for flow . . . Essex Radio 95.3/96.4FM, as hinted, this weekend unveils its much expanded ‘Essex Soul Parade’ (with special rates for new advertisers — call 0702-335707 Mon/Tues afternoons), Dave Gregory now running 6-9pm Mon-Fri but the big news is Saturday, which starting this week lines up 5-9am Adrian Seek, 9-noon Dave Gregory, 6-9pm Disco John Leech, 9pm-1am Tony Monson (including the exclusive first airing of his Street Sales Chart) . . . Solar & Horizon both came off air last Thursday to avoid unwelcome attention from you know who, although LWR bravely soldiered on (this was written too early to know if they got busted), while West London’s JBC 96.95FM (Jamaican Broadcasting Co) seems to have been expanding from its initial weekend shows . . . Disco Gary Van Den Bussche is the nearest London’s soul radio gets to the US “quiet storm” format, on Solar 102.45FM early hours Thursday, so much slicker than his rivals at that time of night . . . Nik Love souls Saturday 12-3pm, and with Jasper Wednesday 12-3am, on South-East London’s general purpose Skyline Radio 90.2FM — the trouble is, with so many 24 hour soul stations to choose between, who wants to check their watch and calendar? . . . Friday’s ‘6.20 Soul Train’ will feature Five Star, Ashford & Simpson, DeBarge, James Brown, Freda Payne and — in an astounding compromise — Style Council: the programme is forced to compromise all the time due to restrictions about the use of videos, visitors work permits and the like, none of which have so negative an effect on Top Of The Pops to which Paul Weller seemingly has a permanent passport, but this is taking their search for available acts into an area that many will feel abuses the whole point of the show — which surely is to expose those acts who don’t automatically get onto white dominated pop TV? . . . Millie Jackson has done a duet with Elton John, so they’ll be on Soul Train next week . . . Bill Cosby’s current TV family sit-com appears to have inspired the teaming of equally veteran black comedian Flip Wilson with none other than Gladys Knight in a similarly cosy, middle-aged, middle class, parents with kids sit-com ‘Charlie & Company’, due on US screens in the fall (sorry, make that autumn!) — in fact, Disco Mix Club trippers to New York in September should be just in time for its first showing . . . Tears For Fears topped US 12in Sales, Shannon ‘Do You Wanna Get Away‘ Club Play, while Whitney Houston ‘You Give Good Love‘ (her Kashif -produced slowie) is top Black hit — and Pete Tong, just back from the Big Apple, warns radio jocks here to try it as its “the business” — Pete is also raving about New York City’s brand new club The Palladium, on 14th & Broadway, which makes spectacular use of massive moving banks of TV screens and features DJs Jellybean, Larry Levan, Mark Kamins on various weekly nights . . . South Harrow Bogarts on the other hand unveiled their £300,000 refit with one of the great cliches of our time, ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ introducing a Hippodrome-styled ambitious lightshow which’ll be even better when the music accompaniment is more tightly edited (not very Young & Strong!), while DJ Chris Paul kept getting hung up by the loop in the back of his French designer shirt! . . . Beckenham McCormacks re-opens this weekend as the refurbished Harriot’s, now with funky Sat as well as jolly Sun hosted by LWR DJ Rick Robinson . . . Colin Hudd revives 1977 at Dartford Flicks Friday (31), when Steve Walsh & Paul Owens funk a County Sound special at Aldershot Civic Hall’s Prince’s Hall . . . Fatman Graham Canter (a bit thinner actually) and Chris Britton funk Tottenham’s (ex-Eltons) Websters Thur/Fri/Sun . . . John Dean is building funky Tuesdays at Hastings Flamingo’s with its own free funk force membership and free admission also for Caister passport/gold card holders . . . Sacha Vitorovich presents The Cake at London Bond Street’s Embassy Club this and every Wednesday with live bands, fashions, and unusual DJ Spinner D . . . David Johnson funks Wealdstone Boomers Thur/Sat . . . Franklin Sinclair adds funky-ish Friday at Manchester’s Playpen . . . Paul Needham, now Wed-Sat at Derby Knotted Snake, crams in over 2,000 just between 8.30-10.30pm Fri/Sat and says “come early!” . . . Keith Anthony is rammed out with really knowledgeable soulsters, weekends at Bermondsey Tanners . . . Ian Robertson reckons Scandals finally brings Dalkeith bang up to date . . . Mark Rymann, recently at Tokyo Joe’s, now does Soho’s Studio Valbonne . . . I finally looked in on funky Fresh at Mayfair’s Legends, the hip black boite to be seen at on Thursdays, more steamy than fresh actually and seemingly stuffed with the Gullivers crowd . . . Steve Jason celebrates a year of Soul On Sunday next week (9) at Peterborough Canters and would welcome extra PAs on 0733-262125 . . . Russ + Cass III is a black + white double act MC-ing out front with Russ’s wife mixing behind, and although they’re off to Denmark mid-June for two months they’re building up a regular Portsmouth-Penzance circuit by starting on a busy weekend night before returning a fortnight later to fill quieter mid-week slots (bookings 0202-38135/766872) . . . Greg Lynn, remembered as a disco plugger, has resurfaced managing the Manifesto disco duo of German Lisa and Belgian Pascal . . . Morgan Khan is WHAT?!! . . . Tricky Dicky points out that many gay clubs now play as much soul as Hi-NRG (in other words they reflect the national pop chart) . . . Adrian Parkin (Huddersfield Dorothy’s at the Adega) finds JoAnna Gardner ‘Special Feelings‘ follows to the last passionate groan Marvin Gaye ‘You Sure Love To Ball‘ . . . Eon Irving (now Sat as well as Mon at Chelsea Mainsqueeze) says Richie Weeks ‘Forbidden Fruit‘ was made to mix with ’19’, and revives Rene & Angela ‘Secret Rendezvous‘ — however, their old ‘Do You Really Love Me‘ is hotter for Big Phil Etgart (South Harrow) . . . Steve Phillips (Bristol Prince Rupert) revives Edwin Starr ‘War’ out of ’19’ . . . 16 year old Brian Sneddon wants to be a soul jock when he leaves school, but stuck out in the Radio One wasteland at 29 Kincardine Road, Carronshore, Falkirk FK2 89C in Scotland, he’d appreciate hearing better placed DJs’ mixes, etc . . . A Taste Of Honey so far is selling strongest in Scotland, where they always did like fast disco, and not much at all in London . . . Graham Murray of the Cleveland Area DJ Assn should perhaps wonder why it is that in his North-Eastern area the sales of soul records are the lowest (nearly non-existent) out of the whole country, then stop criticizing the places where people do buy them . . . Freddie Jackson turns out also to have been latter day lead singer with Mystic Merlin (after their ‘Just Can’t Give You Up’ era) . . . Marvin Gaye’s future album of standards seems likely to be credited between both CBS and Motown (although the former will distribute in the USA) to settle any conflict over which label had him signed at the time of recording . . . Levert and their label Tempre have been signed for US distribution by Arista, so doubtless won’t now appear here . . . Greyhound are distributing Firefly ‘Stay’ in the UK at domestic prices . . . Shawn Brown is confirmed as the unlisted artiste on ‘Rappin’ Duke‘, the “da ha da ha, da ha ha ha-ha ha” John Wayne impersonation that’s still creating huge listener reaction for those few hip jocks like Jeff Young: similarly, the Beverly Hills Version-credited ‘Axel F’/’Like Eddie Did’ cover and rap are now listed as by Det Reirruc/Club’s Rappers (try spelling that first name backwards!) . . . Roxanne’s saga is continued by Crush Groove ‘Yo My Little Sister‘ (US Singh), Ricardo & Chocolate Boogie ‘Do It Ricardo‘ (US Singh), Zeele ‘No More Roxanne‘ (US Treasure), Dr Rocx & Co ‘Do The Roxanne‘ (US Slice) . . . LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX!


MARVIN GAYE’S long awaited album ‘Dream Of A Lifetime’, due here imminently, actually arrived first from Holland (Dutch CBS 26239). The sexual lyrics of some of its patched up and posthumously completed songs were probably ad-libbed by Marvin either for his own amusement or as a rough vocal guide, but now they’re all that’s available as raw material. Most danceable are the funkily twining and grinding 90¼bpm ‘Ain’t It Funny (How Things Turn Around)‘ and odd English-accented kinkily disciplinarian 113½-0bpm ‘Masochistic Beauty‘, slowies being the lushly typical 78½-0bpm ‘Symphony’ and 24¼/48½-0bpm ‘It’s Madness’, weaving muttered 78½-0bpm ‘Savage In the Sack’, disjointed suite-like ‘Life’s Opera’, dead slow 0-48bpm sweet title track — plus of course there’s his 116½bpm ‘Sanctified Lady’ single, minus bleeps!


HOT VINYL

CHERYL LYNN: ‘Fidelity’ (US Columbia 44-05220)
Back again prod/penned by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, she teasingly starts by saying “no, no, do it the way we used to!” before re-hitting that ‘Encore’ groove which kept London’s black club floors full for all of last year. Yup, it’s another sparsely tapping tortuous 108(intro)-108¼-108½-108¾bpm hot tempo weaver full of subtle rhythm tricks, with a (0-)108¼-108¾bpm ‘High Fidelity’ dub mix flip. Encore!

GLORIA D. BROWN: ‘The More They Knock The More I Love You’ (10 Records TEN 52-12)
One of those dead simple and oh so right soul dancers that first hearing tells you will obviously be huge, like (without sounding that similar) another Jocelyn Brown or Jenny Burton, a steadily tapping 109½bpm chugger full of class (inst flip).

RENE & ANGELA: ‘Save Your Love (For #1)’ (Club JABX 14)
The synth wielding duo’s remorselessly nagging ever building electronically jiggled (0-)111½-111¾-111½-111¾bpm wriggler is started and climaxed by Kurtis Blow’s staccato rap, rather as if Chaka had done ‘Plane Love’ with Melle Mel’s help (inst/edit flip). Continue reading “June 1, 1985: Cheryl Lynn, Gloria D. Brown, Rene & Angela, Advance, Touch Of Class”

May 25, 1985: One Way, Bridge, Freddie Jackson, Merc & Monk, Carl Anderson

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

PAUL HARDCASTLE’S third and definitely last ’19’ mix (“so NOT another Frankie Goes To Woolworths”, he tells me!), a partly re-recorded ‘19 The — Final Story‘ (Chrysalis CHS 322860) brings out the commentary with sharper emphasis and less “song” in two following parts, 117¾-0f . . . 0f/0-118-0bpm, due imminently flipped for real value by ‘King Tut (Remix)’, and evidently ’19 (Destruction Mix)’ as replacement for ‘Rain Forest (Remix)’ which Bluebird barred, causing the originally pressed B-side to be scrapped . . . Chrysalis in the States have rushed out ’19’ after all, to the anticipated controversial reaction, interviews with Paul Hardcastle being televised simultaneously nationwide by both ABC and NBC news, the latter network banning parts of his Vietnam actuality video as “too harrowing”, while evidently ’19’ was adopted as the theme song (?) for parading ‘Nam veterans in New York (doubtless some heavy plugging involved there!) . . . Colin Hudd in his ‘Apocalypse Now’ video mix actually underpins all the early action with the promo flip’s rhythm track before starting ’19’ (original 12in) as detailed last week . . . Disco Mix Club’s New York visit has changed dates yet again, to the cooler September 22-29, as the New Music Seminar with which it’s set to coincide has had to reschedule back by seven weeks due to its planned venue not being built in time . . . Roy Ayers’ vibes help give depth and de-sweeten Loose Ends ‘Magic Touch (The Vibes Version)‘ (Virgin VS 76113), on 114½bpm one-sided promo but selling in shops now . . . Skipworth & Turner ‘Thinking About Your Love’ is now in its inevitable 106¼-0bpm remix, more mellow with a drawn out less forceful intro . . . Bruce Weeden has cleaned up Joanna Gardner ‘Watching You’ into a much beefier and better 107¼bpm Extended Remix, due soon . . . Change ‘Let’s Go Together (Paul Hardcastle Remix)‘ should be their current 12in flip within a fortnight, the follow-up being a Nick Martinelli remix of ‘Mutual Attraction’, while Cooltempo have also picked up the next BB&Q Band LP . . . 10 Records managed to win Gloria D. Brown for release next week, to be followed with a limited edition remix by Jocelyn Brown/Jenny Burton producers McFarlane & George (funny, as I originally likened Gloria to their class!), plus the label picked up The Affair featuring Alyson as well as the Conway Brothers, the latter featuring a remix from the start — talk about hot! . . . Mick Clark, responsible for these signings, must have pulled some fast strokes as until recently he’d been hospitalized for ages having his wisdom teeth out — and that’s not all his news, as Dexter Wansel is cutting a solo album for 10 featuring the Jones Girls and a ‘Life On Mars 85’! . . . Eugene Wilde for his follow-up has completely re-recorded and rewritten ‘Che Che Kule‘ as a sort of medley with new lyrics about “let’s celebrate”, making a totally different song . . . Polydor are reissuing on 12in EP the same four James Brown oldies mentioned recently, but this time in full-length versions . . . EMI’s new double LP ‘Now Dance‘ (NOD 1) containing full 12in versions of 20 current or recent disco smashes (the pop stuff sensibly restricted on just one side), should at about £6.99 be good value for impoverished mobile jocks, and similarly (although edited versions) Virgin’s album of recent reggae hits ‘Massive 1‘ (V 2346) contains 12 cool grinders — doubtless inspired by Jet stars success? . . . Pennye Ford, whose LP ‘Pennye’ (Total Experience FL89449) is finally out here, is a little poppet, far cuter in the flesh than in photos: sadly, she tells me her and Sharon Redd’s half-brother Gene Redd Jr. died of pneumonia last month — a veteran producer, working with James Brown amongst many, he was Kool & The Gang’s original mentor . . . Pennye’s chaperon, Rudy Taylor of the Gap Band, tells me that ‘I Found My Baby‘ is so like ‘Outstanding’ in a deliberate attempt (which seems to have worked) to win back their black audience after recent lightweight recordings . . . The Team ‘Wicki Wacky House Party’ only cost Gee Bello £500 to make, and in fact the very first take would have been the best had not the tape spewed all over the floor! . . . Gee Bello actually has a solo single (and LP) out in the States on Capitol, ‘International Lover‘, described by Billboard as “MoR-disco, mid-’70s style” . . . Go Go Promotions (01-771 1761) are looking for DJs with and without their own mobile gear in South London . . . Dave Gregory of Essex Radio rang me for a marathon chat to hint, without making any official announcement yet, that next month will find even more soul on the South-East’s legal airwaves . . . JFM will be back on air in the autumn and seem quietly confident, after playing it by the book, that they could be a legal station then . . . Tony Monson should soon be using the Dartford Tunnel rather more than he is at present . . . Les Adams has mixed a Maze medley which despite Solar FM’s claims is definitely not due for release: meanwhile, in further “scathing attacks” on Solar, Disco Gary Van Den Busche is easily their most relaxed and listenable late night jock on the Thursday dawn shift, whereas Graham Gold is shouting now even more than Froggy used to! . . . London’s pirates need the money so I’m delighted they’re pulling in so many commercials, but the tiresome saturation these have reached could well prompt listeners to dial hop — and with Solar, Horizon, LWR and commercial-free Radio London to choose from, they really should now tighten up their programming . . . Dave Treharne features ‘The Girl Groups’ on his Friday 8-10pm DevonAir R&B show this week (24) . . . Edwin Starr sounded good sitting in for an ailing Greg Edwards on Capital last Saturday . . . Edinburgh soul jock Tom Wilson is amongst those made redundant at Radio Forth due to needletime caused cutbacks . . . Stringfellows jock Peter Anthony, recently back from his first stint on Radio Luxembourg, quips about Frizzby Fox’s ‘The Future Now’ Thursdays at the Hippodrome “see tomorrow’s haircut today” . . . 1983 World Disco Dancing champion Jay Janani had his brand new 450 Mercedes Sport vandalised and smashed right outside his house last weekend, just before he was due to dance at the Princess of Wales’ brother Viscount Althorpe’s birthday party on Monday — hard parmesan . . . 6.20 Soul Train this Friday has Loose Ends, Mai Tai, Village People, Pennye Ford, Ike & Tina Turner, Rose Royce . . . Prince, although originally no single was scheduled, is releasing ‘Raspberry Beret’ in the States whereas we get the Lennonesque 106bpm ‘Paisley Park’ . . . Sister Sledge must be feeling sick that everyone here (except for pop radio) is ignoring their lightweight new 165bpm perky pop single ‘Frankie’ (Atlantic A9547T) in favour of the recreation of their old sound by Mai Tai! . . . Phil Fearon’s ‘You Don’t Need A Reason‘ is his poppiest bounder yet at 126½bpm, due soon . . . The Darts adopt a fast 172½bpm Prince beat for their Roy Carter-produced new ‘Blow Away‘ (Choice Cuts PIG 907, via PRT), but the flip’s squeaky Donnie Elbert-ish dated 128-130bpm ‘Hold Me Down‘ sounds far more interesting — with possible “rare soul” appeal? . . . Marvin Gaye’s next album, in 1986, may well be made up of easy listening standards from tapes given to his mother: however, both CBS and Motown have similar material, so a battle could result . . . David Grant’s album has met with on oddly cool response so far . . . DJ Atkin (Morpeth), one of many to praise my recent piece about Radio One (thanks), questions the RM Disco Chart’s claim to be “on the streets on Wednesday” — well, it is, in Central London, distribution delaying the paper until Thursday elsewhere . . . The Cool Notes’ ‘Spend The Night’ actually ended up a bigger pop hit than Loose Ends’ ‘Hangin’ On A String’, although this wasn’t reflected in the Disco chart as unfortunate timing by then had pitted it against Steve Arrington — and now it’s just as tough for Curtis Hairston, who normally could have expected to be number one (both Steve and Curtis have done far, far worse back in the USA even in the black charts than they have here) . . . Kool & The Gang ‘Fresh’ topped US Black 45s and 12in Sales, Tears For Fears Club Play . . . Cashmere should worry, even R&B columnist Nelson George in US trade paper Billboard thinks they’re a British act! . . . Mad Marx and his soul brothers have moved from Tues to Thurs at Westcliff On Sea Swag, and Kevin Hawkins (whose Brentwood Elliotts beach party is this Friday) corrects that Fat Sam’s Grand Slam bar is at Basildon’s Crest Hotel (most upfront Wed) — I do wish DJs could get things right before they go into print . . . Rick Robinson funks Leysdown Stage 3 this Friday (24), although normally he’d be at Brentwood Bugatti’s (where Mike Morgan souls Thurs) . . . Cacique and 3-D’s visit Harlow Whispers Saturday (25), Hereward’s Steve Allen, Jonathon and more funk Peterborough Rinaldo’s 6pm all-eveninger Sunday (26); Brass Construction start a week at Watford Baileys Monday (27) and play London’s Dominion Sunday June 2; Cool Notes play live at Preston Clouds Wednesday (29) with Colin Curtis and (a long way from his Peterborough La Scala residency) Wayne Fitzgerald . . . 400 Blows ‘Movin‘ is so good I played it solidly for a whole afternoon the day I got it! . . . Carol ties the knot with Chris Hill next Wednesday, and could it be 19 Tubular Bells for Ralph Tee and his Los Angeles companion Maggie Williams? . . . 1, 2, 4, 5 and a good third of the chart made up of “our” music last week — now we’ve got ’em on the run, LET’S KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON!


400 BLOWS may seem an unlikely source for a remake of Brass Construction’s classic ‘Movin’, but their excitingly sizzling 122¾bpm treatment is densely driven by relentless rhythms through braying brass and some clipped chicks (soul venues may prefer the instrumental, only on advance white label) in a surprisingly faithful clarification of the original’s sound, sure to be huge when released commercially in three weeks time by Illuminated (ILL 6112, via Pinnacle). First ‘Wicky Wacky’, now this — what next, ‘Shack Up’?


HOT VINYL

ONE WAY: ‘Let’s Talk’ (USA MCA Records MCA-23545)
“Let’s talk about sex!” chant the enthusiastic chaps, with female comments chipping in, rather as if Fatback’s ‘Girl’s On My Mind’ had been set to The System’s ‘Sweat’ at a steady 114bpm for an extra-long P’funk workout (excellent stark dub, and chorusing inst). Hard!

BRIDGE: ‘Baby Don’t Hold Your Love Back’ (US Atlantic 0-86892)
Classiest soul smash of the week, a creamily swaying fidgety 112bpm traditional male vocal group worrier full of agonised interplay ending acappella (inst/edit flip), probably too specialist for the pop chart though not unlike Grant & Graham/Detroit Spinners.

FREDDIE JACKSON: ‘Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake)’ (Capitol 12CL 358)
Despite his album having other now hotter contenders, this has a video already and anyway remains a superb knee trembling slow 72bpm soul smoocher aimed right at the ladies where they’ll feel it most (inst/edit flip), another ‘Sexual Healing’. Continue reading “May 25, 1985: One Way, Bridge, Freddie Jackson, Merc & Monk, Carl Anderson”

May 18, 1985: Edwin Starr, Chris Cameron, The Team, Bill Withers, Ian Dury & The Blockheads

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

COLIN HUDD at Dartford Flicks makes has own spectacular video mix of ’19’ using the Wagner helicopter attack from ‘Apocalypse Now’: start the movie at Robert Duval saying “shall we dance?”, the record at “I went my men out of there now”, and run them together emphasising the movie volume on helicopter effects and commands, so that both finish as Duval says “one day this war is gonna end” — phew! . . . Streetwave picked up Carl Anderson ‘Buttercup‘ for rush release, only a few years late, and Island finally got the great Shirley Brown ‘Intimate Storm’ LP . . . US LPs now out here are Freddie Jackson ‘Rock Me Tonight’ (Capitol EJ 2403161), Alexander O’Neal ‘Alexander O’Neal’ (Tabu TBU 26485), Jeff Lorber ‘Step By Step’ (Club JABH 9) — evidently the latter’s US 12in mixes of ‘Best Part Of The Night’ differ from the imminent UK remix . . . New Yorker Freddie Jackson started in his teens as a gospel soloist at Harlem’s White Rock Baptist Church, where he met and began working with his now producer Paul Lawrence, co-penning ‘Trust Me’ for Lillo Thomas as well as writing alone for Melba Moore (whom he sang behind) and Howard Johnson . . . Philip Bailey’s next secular set will be produced by Nile Rodgers, and he admits that “unofficially” Earth Wind & Fire have split up — he joins Aurra, Imagination, Freddie Jackson, New Edition & Donna Summer on this Friday’s ‘6.20 Soul Train’ . . . Streetwave’s cool dressing ladies man Orin Cozier actually got barred from a club for the first time in his life — at London Busby’s Friday Mud Club, for “looking too straight”! . . . Island’s go go movie ‘Good To Go’ has been upsetting many tradesmen along Washington DC area Adams-Morgan’s 18th Street, where the filming of some spectacular car smashing stunts effectively kept customers away without any prior warning or compensation (shooting should by now be just about wrapped up) . . . Thelonius Monk III and Eric Mercury are these days known as Merc And Monk because their earlier T.S. Monk partners Yvonne Fletcher and sister Boo Monk both tragically died in 1983 . . . A Taste Of Honey ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie’ should last week have read as “now dated”, which does rather alter the review! . . . Hi-NRG breakers include Village People ‘New York City (Remix)‘ (Record Shack), Martinique ‘No Regrets‘ (Young Blood), Isley Jasper Isley ‘Kiss And Tell‘ (Epic), Suzy Q ‘Computer Music‘ (Canadian Black Sun), Bronski Beat ‘I Feel Love (Medley)‘ (London), Lipps Inc ‘Does Anybody Know Me’ (US Twin Tone) . . . Hazell Dean has left Proto for EMI . . . South-West Wales’ only soul radio DJ and Swansea City Football Club’s Radio Vetch founder, James Lewis is teaming up with local funk jocks Jeff Thomas and The Bean to promote a city centre Soul Over Swansea night starting in June — prospective PAs and other interested parties call him on 0792-896928 . . . Superjocks pluggers Theo & Joy Loyla next week holiday on the Gower, my favourite place in Wales, looking at Worms! . . . Theo perhaps misunderstands my reference to London and the South-East starting all the soul hits — I’m not surprised the excellent Animotion pop hit broke everywhere but there — and persists in dismissing our Disco chart as “upfront”: it’s not, it’s the strictly specialist soul chart, and an accurate enough reflection of what his own punters are dancing to for John Osborne now to feature the RECORD MIRROR Disco Top 50 as the official chart on Horizon Radio 94.5FM Sundays 1-4pm . . . Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre, no sooner had I commented on video hirers rushing through record shops to get to the video department, have put their videos upstairs and the records down the stairs at the back — so no more browser box/display-generated impulse record sales there! . . . Loose Ends visit Southend Zero 6 tonight (Thursday 16), Direct Drive play Yeovil Electric Studio with Chris Stagg Friday (17), followed the next night by Chris Dinnis & Paul Lewis Saturday (18), when Intrigue PA at Harlow Whispers . . . Jeff Young, Pete Tong, Chris Paul & Neil James soul the invitation only pre-opening press night Monday (20) at the £300,000 refurbished South Harrow Bogart’s — yeah, I’d noticed the new paintwork when passing! . . . Eon Irving, a (small) blast from the past, souls busy Monday’s hipsters at Chelsea Kings Road Mainsqueez with both upfront sounds and mid-’70s street funk — which he confirms generates most excitement when simply chopped rather than mixed . . . Kev Hill (0277-223030) is after James Brown ‘Take A Look At Those Cakes‘ 12in, and says that War ‘Galaxy’ goes great out of the Conway Brothers . . . Terry James souls Peckham’s free admission Kellies pub (opposite Kisses) every night except Saturday, busy apart oddly from Thursdays for some reason, where he’s currently reviving Jaki Graham ‘Hold On‘ and Fatback Band ‘Spanish Hustle‘ (and not just on oldies Sundays) . . . Steve Banks has swung ’em over to upfront soul Thur/Fri/Sat at East London’s Sorrells in Commercial Road (over-21s, no jeans), where he’d like PAs and guest DJs . . . Dave Smith (01 734 6249) is after PAs at Mayfair Samanthas (next to late nite eaterie Rockafella’s) . . . Latin-jazz Mad Marx joins soul-funk Simon Abel & Gary T Tuesdays at Westcliff On Sea Swag’s Underground Soul Cellar, while his soulful Sundays at Leigh On Sea Whispers soon reach their first birthday . . . Trevor M still actually admits to playing “jazz-funk” along with electro & soul in Hanley (Stoke on Trent) at The Place Fri/Sat, Chicos Wed . . . Birmingham’s Studio 222 Experience with mixer Paul Dixon does Kitts Green Mackadown Tues, The Grapes’ Legs Eleven Wed/Sat, Ward End Fox & Goose Thur (funk night)/Fri . . . Tim Jeffery funks Brighton Escape Club Fri/Sat . . . Lynton P. Elcocks does Swindon disco-bar the Rodbourne complete with flashy lights and now a little dance floor . . . Paul Major has moved Wed-Sat to Leicester Harpers, chart funk ‘n dance . . . MDM Associates of Burlington, Massachussetts, have developed ‘The Extender’ (nothing to do with alcohol!) which enables a 7in single to be cued-up and slip-mixed like a 12in when inserted into this wide rimmed blank disc’s foam indented centre . . . Disco Mix Club’s May mixes are Les Adams’ absolutely brilliant funk medley (his best yet?), Sanny X’s clever fusion of David Cassidy ‘Romance’ with Donna Summer ‘Once Upon A Time’ & ‘Love To Love You Baby’ plus his equally cleverly synched classic rock medley, and Alan Coulthard’s noisy fast current pop and Howard Jones medleys (subscription details on 0628-67276) . . . London gay DJs are attempting to find an alternative descriptive word for Hi-NRG — any suggestions? . . . DA HA DA HA, DA HA HA HA-HA HA!


HOT VINYL

EDWIN STARR: ‘It Ain’t Fair’ (Hippodrome 12HIP 101, via EMI)
Fading into an instrumental start, this remarkably dated schmaltzily soulful 105½bpm swayer is pure 1974 — it must have reminded Peter Stringfellow of his DJing days playing Real Thing! — but is so craftily melodic that following extensive pre-release radio play by Tony Blackburn especially it’s become such a nagger it should be huge (even if only with nostalgic housewives!).

CHRIS CAMERON: ‘Is This Love?’ (Steiner STE 1265)
Shamelessly copying Earth Wind & Fire, this awkwardly started but then jerkily shuffling 112¼bpm brass spiked, falsetto squeaked and hummingly harmonised lush jitterer (inst flip) is selling so far only on white label after soul radio play in London.

THE TEAM: ‘Wicki Wacky House Party’ (EMI 12EMI 5519)
As detailed last week, here on hot vinyl indeed is the funkily bounding 113bpm medley of the Fatback Band and Fred Wesley oldies (inst flip), jammed up and jelly tight! Continue reading “May 18, 1985: Edwin Starr, Chris Cameron, The Team, Bill Withers, Ian Dury & The Blockheads”

May 11, 1985: Mai Tai, Paul Hardcastle, Change, Mink, Alexander O’Neal

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

RADIO ONE ought by now to be getting worried about their waning influence as one after another hits that they deliberately ignore come crashing into the charts, proving that other stations better in tune are filling the gap to win new listeners interested more in music with substance than in silly haircuts and over-hyped drones: in London and the South-East soul sales are incredibly strong thanks not only to the pirates but more especially to the shaken up programming policy at many local stations dominated by Radio London and Capital, who now jump on a hot import as if it was a domestic release — unfortunately the Gallup Top 75 has to monitor the whole nation and only the BBC covers the country, a real Catch 22 that now increasingly is being overcome! . . . London’s main Oxford Street HMV Shop reported last week that Paul Hardcastle was its biggest sales sensation since ‘Relax’, and in fact throughout the South-East he was easily top seller — without meaning to upset the provincials, it really is a shame that thanks to Radio One’s blinkered attitude people “up-country” are unable to appreciate fully the flourishing scene I write about, and by being behind in the BBC dictated taste are the unwitting culprits who hold back (by not buying them) the chart progress of so many massive South-Eastern soul hits, like Jenny Burton ‘Bad Habits‘ to name one outstanding recent example (imagined South v North elitism has nothing to do with this — or anything!) . . . TV’s 6.20 Soul Train is obviously already a help but still doesn’t quite reflect what’s really happening, tending to play faster music for the dancers than the stuff they’d actually boogie down to in the clubs (this Friday’s show has Aurra, Edwin Starr, Lifesighs, Dan Hartman, vintage Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5) . . . I reckon actually that radio and club play may be less important to the marketing of a modern pop hit than three other factors: the real vinyl junkies who visit their record shop every week and are the main target for remixes/gimmicks which radio listeners would be less aware of (this crowd also includes all the DJs who may well be the most faithful shoppers of all, hence the many disco hits that chart briefly just on DJ sales alone!); the special displays and browser boxes that can divert the attention of double-parked punters hurrying through the shop to get to the video department for their Saturday night viewing; the depressingly obvious impact of TV and videos on a mass public who don’t really listen to the radio burbling away in the background and need a visual stimulus to become fully aware of the music (all those unexpected MoR hits especially sell to a TV rather than radio audience) . . . Phyllis Nelson however was the first No.1 in ages without a video . . . Steve Arrington’s spectacular success only seems to have surprised those pop observers who still underestimate the current groundswell towards soul (and who obviously never experienced thousands of dancers moving in unison to Slave!) . . . Record Mirror’s soul orientated Disco chart currently has so many hot records all struggling up it that it’s actually tough to make the 85 let alone the Top 5 . . . Paul Hardcastle is now so hot he’s even had calls to his home phone number redirected to his management company (called 19) . . . The Manhattans ‘Too Hot To Stop It’ LP (CBS 26262) is now out here, as are the (here 105½bpm) 7in Bill Withers ‘Oh Yeah‘ (CBS A6154) and the ‘Rockie Robbins’ LP (MCA MCF 3259) — incidentally his 12in ‘Work For Love (M&M Mix)‘ turned out to be 117½-117¼bpm . . . Redds & The Boys ‘Put Your Right Hand In The Air‘ will soon be on tidied-up 12in . . . Touch Of Class still isn’t due here for another three weeks — are Atlantic waiting for an album to release first? . . . Warren Aylward — at Southsea Honky Tonk Mon/Portsmouth Ritzy Tues/Waterlooville Sam Lord’s Castle Fri — while fellow DJs Steve Foster & Mark Frampton claim their efforts to push soul in the Pompey area prompted the local Domino Records shop, on their self-named label, to pick up for re-release the old 118bpm Status IV ‘You Ain’t Really Down‘ (DOM 1T, via Greyhound or on 0705-833818 for £2.80 by mail) . . . US imports may not get any cheaper as a mandatory increased “stamp duty” is to be imposed on all non-EEC imports by the MCPS/BPI (despite mechanical royalties, which the duty covers, being paid already in the States prior to shipping) . . . BBC Radio London have had to economise on “needletime”, which explains why Guy Hornsby’s afternoon soul show plays so many StreetSounds ‘Love Ballads’ (Streetwave/StreetSounds being unregistered with PPL are non-needletime) . . . LWR are looking for more (un-salaried) DJs — send demo tapes to Mark Mason, 51 Fox Hill, London SE19 2XE . . . Invicta Sound, Kent’s ILR station, has renamed itself Invicta Radio now that the clashingly named pirate is long gone: however Andy Grahamme’s afternoon soul show is no more, and he’s moving to the London YMCA hotel’s closed circuit Central London Radio with the ambition of getting involved in any community soul station hoping for a licence (but meanwhile he’d welcome on 01-352 3822 offers from any current soul stations) . . . EMI’s Ian Dewhirst plays ’70s soul obscurities on Horizon 94.5FM Thurs 9.30-11.30pm . . . Pete Haigh (Fever Thursdays at Blackpool Blakes) is after Rare Essence ‘Body Moves‘, Fred Wesley ‘House Party‘ (12in), The Time ‘77911’ (LP or 12in) on 0253-824156 evenings, and Mark Clark (0734-793779) urgently needs Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde ‘Gettin’ Money‘ for big bread . . . Kevin Hawkins, souling Basildon’s new Fat Sam’s Grand Slam bar at the Essex Hotel Tues/Wed/Thur, still funks Brentwood Elliotts Fridays when he needs PAs for a beach party on the 24th . . . Sally Devine of Formby is going to Rhodes in June and would like advance warning of the hot spots to check in Rhodes Town or Ixia — it’s early in the season for our usual news bulletins from jocks there, but any info would be welcome . . . USA for Africa topped US Black 45s, Luther Vandross (finally) Black LPs, Kool ‘Fresh’ Club Play, while Loose Ends have started their US chart climb . . . TC Curtis, muttering darkly about his Melt Down Mix B-side, is having to fight off a cover version in the States, ironically British, by Nigel Wright-masterminded Skratch on Passion . . . Froggy, more than upset, points out the Shakatak megamix promo was pressed up while still an unfinished backing track . . . I know lots of jocks use the old 4-track 12in EPs by James Brown and the Fatback Band from 1982, when they were never BPM-ed, and now seems a good time to do so: ‘Sex Machine’ (edited) 107½-108½, ‘Get Up Offa That Thing’ 113-119-118-117½, ‘Get On The Good Foot’ 107½-107¼-108-108½, ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ 128-130, ‘Wicki Wacky’ 108-109-110½, ‘Do The Bus Stop’ 107-108-110, ‘Yum Yum’ 108-109, ‘Backstrokin’ 116½-117½-116½-117bpm . . . Five Star PA at Harlow Whispers Sat (11), Edwin Starr plays “live” Yeovil Electric Studio Fri (10), when Chris Hill & Danny Smith jazz-soul Hembsy Stardust Rooms in Norfolk . . . Chris Dinnis souls Torquay Monroes Fridays (summer visitors note), and guests this Sat (11) at Swindon Brunel Rooms . . . Larry Foster now does Enfield Townhouse Sat, still funks Gants Hill Villa Fri, and with Terry Jones 6-T’s Hackney Road Pickle House Wed — the latter Solar souled by Nick Laurence Thur/Fri, Segue Steve Goddard Sat . . . Adrian Dunbar has joined Andy Bianci mixing nightly (bar Sun/Mon) at Poole Quay Wharf, but still Hi-NRG-izes Bournemouth Bolts Sun . . . Brian Davies, disco columnist in three local papers, funks Stourport Severn Manor and Hagley Badgers Set Thur/Fri/Sat . . . Jay Cee souls Sat at Newtownards Mingles in Northern Ireland . . . Peter C. Helyer did so well after his namecheck on Mondays at Cardiff Ritzy he’s there now Fridays too, and funks Gloucester Cinderella’s Rockerfella’s Thursdays . . . I still find more tracks I really want to hear on the Process And The Doo Rags album than on Rick James’s, even if his title track is a blinder, so as far as I’m concerned my Process review was right! DA HA DA HA, DA HA HA HA-HA HA!


GEE BELLO filled some unexpected spare studio time by calling in ex-members of Light Of The World, Beggar & Co and Incognito for a spontaneous jam, which resulted in a roaring and blazing funkily bounding 113bpm medley of the Fatback Band’s ‘Wicki Wacky’ and Fred Wesley’s ‘House Party’ (with a little Kool & The Gang ‘Hollywood Swinging’). EMI cut just seven acetates in total, to distribute five among the jocks at Caister (where it raised the roof) and two for London’s soul radio — that is all, yet last week it actually reached 52 in our Disco chart! Legitimately too, as several Caister copies went towards that, but the rest was made up of DJs dubbing it off radio and playing cassettes, it’s so hot! I now have an eighth and final acetate, the only one flipped by a less exciting drawn-out dub version, although by now the vocal/instrumental versions should be on white label ahead of full release next Monday, to be followed in a few weeks by that dub. OK, all you frustrated funksters?


HOT VINYL

MAI TAI: ‘History’ (Virgin/Hot Melt VS 773-12)
Shaping up as the next crossover monster, “we are family” becomes “our love is history” in this 103½bpm shameless Dutch recreation of the Sister Sledge sound (in three mixes). For the final time, they’re pronounced “My Tie”!

PAUL HARDCASTLE: ’19 (Destruction Mix)’ (Chrysalis CHS 222860)
‘Two Tribes’ all over again? Due imminently, this more instrumentally emphasized (0-)117¾bpm version sets its main statement to a backing of helicopter effects before the music starts, the now 3-track flip’s new bonus ‘The Asylum (It’z Weird)‘ being fast smurfy 122½bpm electro hip hoppery.

PAUL HARDCASTLE ‘King Tut (Remix)’ (US Profile PRO-7070)
Possibly in short supply as now banned on import by its publishers, this excellent melodic quite jazzy 125¼bpm skitterer in typical ‘Rain Forest’ style is from his Bluebird material and if anything has replaced ’19’ on London’s soul radio (more cramped 125½bpm original version flip). Continue reading “May 11, 1985: Mai Tai, Paul Hardcastle, Change, Mink, Alexander O’Neal”

May 4, 1985: Fatback, Pennye Ford, Loose Ends, Atlantic Starr, Marvin Gaye

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

PAUL HARDCASTLE has made an even more spectacularly high pop entry than Steve Arrington this week! . . . Gloria D. Brown is so hot she has at least seven UK labels after her . . . A&M at the last minute decided not to release the Atlantic Starr LP here until June . . . Lillo Thomas’ last LP is finally set for UK release, but Freddie Jackson is being rushed next week . . . ‘Too Many Games‘ is the new US 12in for Maze, while Bill Withers’ LP (surely due here soon?) is as mellow as you’d expect . . . Sheila E ‘The Glamorous Life’ (Warner Bros W9285T) is the intro-less 127½-0bpm UK re-edit, and hopefully this third time around the exhilarating rattler with its nagging sax/rhythm hook will finally confirm my faith in it as one of 1984’s finest . . . Graham Gold — credited as from Solar Radio rather than Gullivers — had half a second of fame as DJ of the week on 6.20 Soul Train . . . (this Friday’s guests are Paul Hardcastle, Billy Ocean, Lifesighs) . . . Chaka Khan videoed “live” on stage at Hammersmith singing ‘Eye To Eye’ was obviously post-synched with the actual record . . . ACR (Alternative Community Radio) 103.3FM should be going around the clock this weekend in SE Essex . . . Birmingham Nightingale Hi-NRG jock (Wed/Sat/Sun) Tony de Vit and veteran radio man Mike Baker (hi Mike!) present a ‘Dance Hour’ on Beacon Radio relayed also by Wyvern Radio Wednesday midnight, and repeated at club chucking-out time Sunday 3am on the same plus Mercia Sound & Radio Trent . . . BBC Radio Cleveland presenter/ITV Razzamatazz DJ Paul Gough (0429-70036) badly needs a replacement James Brown ‘Honky Tonk‘ 7in for his South Shields Buddy’s weekends — he’ll pay well . . . Gary Webber (Northfield Blairs/Cannock Chasers) is after Jerry Knight ‘Overnight Sensation‘ on 021-358 2863 . . . Adrian Allen, who reminds me his Chelsea Cat venue is in South Shields, says although it doesn’t stock imports the hottest record shop with local DJs (50 go there weekly) is Chartz in Sunderland . . . Paul Barron Entertainments at The Music House, 111 Bole Hill Lane, Sheffield S10, South Yorkshire, urgently needs big name groups to PA for big bread over the next month . . . Steve Young, running disco equipment hire and his own upmarket mobile on 01-455 5055, is desperately looking for high class talking DJs with wide music variety for North London Saturday private functions . . . Beverley Winston, of his publishers Abkco Music (01-580 4571), is searching for first hand reminiscences and especially film of Sam Cooke’s UK visit . . . Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland has made a sensible seeming label move to that home of southern soul, Malaco . . . DeBarge topped US Black 45s, Maze topping instead Black LPs . . . Washington DC suddenly is becoming an American Liverpool, with US labels like Atlantic, Elektra, Manhattan, PolyGram, Columbia & Warner Bros all scouting for go go product in the wake of Island as news of their ‘Good To Go’ movie and the music’s success here rapidly spreads . . . Les Knott, scarpering from home town Harlow where he says most people spend the time hitting each other, is gigging in the Canary Islands for a fortnight before returning to jazz-funk Thur/Fri/Sat at Bishop Stortford’s Juicy Duck . . . The Guvnor “does a Dennis” to become ‘Mad Max Miller’ for Thursday party nights at Harlow Whispers (where Barbara Pennington PAs this Sat); meanwhile, Colin Hudd “does a Kevin” reviving 1976 this Fri (3) at Dartford Flicks — where incidentally on a New Year’s Eve visit David Grant was inspired by all the 70s soul classics to try his current hit revival — Flicks on Bank Holiday Monday (6) having a 6pm Kent Soul Festival Reunion with Colin Hudd, Kev Ashman, The Dude and more . . . Bank Holiday weekend, and sure enough Phil England does Cullompton Blazers Sat (4) . . . Sunday (5) Get Down & Lick Wood’s “2nd massive alldayer” at Hammersmith Palais 2-11pm stars Steve Walsh, David Rodigan, Freddie M, Smiley Culture, Asher Senator, Peter King, Patto Banton & the Fashion crew plus Cool Notes live and Aswad, Direct Drive, TC Curtis, Hi-Tension, Hot Shots PAs . . . Baz Fe Jazz bosses the Jazz Room at Camden Electric Ballroom Fri (3), joins Gilles Peterson at Richmond’s Sheen Road Belvedere Arms Sun (5), and with Chris Reid jazzes Hanley’s Place Club 3pm Mon (6) alldayer funked by Trevor M, Colin Curtis, Jonathan & Simon Smith . . . Paul Oakenfold hip hops Funhouse Saturdays at Scarletts in Purley Royal Oak Centre . . . Joe Field & Martin Collins have moved in Hemel Hempstead and now established soulful Sundays at the Midland Hotel (arrive by 8.45pm to get in, £1 including raffle) . . . Erskine Thompson seems to be making a habit of not turning up as arranged with Loose Ends for confirmed PAs, tsk, tsk . . . Theo Loyla surveyed 300 Superjocks DJs to find their favourite viewing is Dallas, The Tube, Hill Street Blues, Top Of The Pops, Minder — similarly, fave food is steak, curry, Chinese, and the person they’d like to spend a night with had Samantha Fox on top, then Madonna, and “the wife or girlfriend” (aah!) . . . Wiltshire Radio disco DJ Sandy Martin of Swindon’s Brunel Rooms now has all the expense of being a new daddy, just after he’d lashed out on 200 pre-printed cards for the charts he sent us — and we went and changed addresses! . . . Motown seem to have changed their traditional singles prefix from TMG to an anonymous Z . . . Roger Johnson, Detroit style . . . Neil Fincham topically revives Detroit Spinners ‘Love Is In Season‘ at Edinburgh Mad Hatters Sunday Soul Club — spring is the season it was meant for . . . The RAH Band’s video and TV presentation is sadly cheap and tacky, not the mental image I want to remember, and it’s possibly the cause of their dramatic drop in the soul chart . . . Alan Knight (Southsea), the track you want is George Kranz ‘Din Daa Daa’ (Island) . . . ‘Rappin’ Duke’, the label of which doesn’t list an artist, is being credited by Billboard to both Shawn Roberts and Shawn Brown . . . DA HA DA HA, DA HA HA HA-HA HA!


HOT VINYL

FATBACK: ‘Girls On My Mind’ (Atlantic FBACK 1T)
Better late than never, this terrific insidiously wriggling now 101½bpm low down nasty R&B smash has Sanborn’s sax squawking over the rambling chant ‘n chat, with its instrumental and last year’s overshadowed hot tempo-ish 108½bpm ‘Just Be My Love‘. Yes Yes Yes!

PENNYE FORD: ‘Dangerous’ (Total Experience FT 49976)
Sharon Redd’s kid sister is suddenly exploding with the back-to-back exciting remixes of this fun filled electro FX-ified 0-111½bpm jittery disco chugger and her earlier (0-)118½bpm ‘Change Your Wicked Ways‘ (both slower on UK 12in). Don’t miss ’em.

LOOSE ENDS: ‘Magic Touch’ (Virgin VS 761-12)
Not perhaps their album’s immediate standout, this winsome sneaky little 114½bpm wriggler (inst flip) sounds brightly jaunty in its Club Mix — initially marketed with a lavishly gatefolded bonus 12in of their old 122bpm ‘Emergency (Dial 999) (Dub Mix)‘ and 118bpm ‘Tell Me What You Want‘, but also due at some crucial chart stage in another mix with Roy Ayers on vibes! Continue reading “May 4, 1985: Fatback, Pennye Ford, Loose Ends, Atlantic Starr, Marvin Gaye”

April 27, 1985: Freddie Jackson, Gloria D. Brown, Advance, George Duke, The Gap Band

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

T. C. CURTIS snapped up for his Virgin/Hot Melt label no less than Mai Tai (which, a cocktail, is pronounced “My Tie” — hi Peter!) . . . Alexander O’Neal’s UK 12in will be ‘A Broken Heart Can Mend’/’Are You The One?’/’Innocent’, while Loose Ends follow up with ‘Magic Touch’ — incidentally the latter plus Steve Arrington, ‘Club Classics Volume 2‘ and Jet-star’s TV advertised ‘Reggae Hits Volume 1‘ have been doing deservedly well in the overground LP charts . . . Atlantic Starr’s LP is due on UK release by next week, so save some money! . . . Jakata ‘Golden Girl’ (Motown TMGT 1379) adds its instrumental on UK 12in . . . US smash Animotion ‘Obsession‘ (Mercury PH 3412), the excellent locomoting 115bpm pop chugger I turned on to in DC, is now out here and looking indeed hitbound . . . Bluebird Records worked out from mail order demand the two areas most worth setting up shop in (wouldn’t you like to know the other?!), and have opened a branch in Luton at 16 Stuart Street managed by Solar FM’s Andy Taylor — the “catalogue” mentioned in their advert is actually a 24 page monthly newspaper called Blueprint with features by such radio stars as John Sachs, Andy Peebles . . . Tony Berry, ex-Arista disco plugger and latterly boss of Pinnacle, is updating his CLUB mailing list at Tony Berry & Associates, 33 Mallings Drive, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4HF; Music Power Records, the home of Intrigue, are building a mailing list at 37 Grand Arcade, Green Lanes, London N4 1AQ; Jon Williams is running General, Alternative/Hi-NRG, and Black mailing lists at The Reaction Report, Unit 20, Liverpool Business Centre, Mathew Street, Liverpool: all want truthful applications from bona fide DJs . . . Carl Richardson has written a BPM programme for the BBC Micro computer, calculating (in fractions) over exactly 30 or 60 seconds when you press any key in time to a beat: send 40 track disk or cassette tape plus £2 to him at 32 Abbeydale Oval, Hawksworth Park, Leeds LS5 3RF . . . Morecambe’s tourism committee hold a UK Breakers Championship on Saturday June 1, £200 prize for crews (£2.50 enrolment fee), £100 for individuals over & under 16 (£1 fee) — but all enrolments are due by April 30 so call Cary Smith for details on 0524-34386

. . . Ethiopia’s potentially most interesting fund raiser is actually being recorded today (Thursday) in New York by ex-members of such doo wop oldies groups as the Cadillacs, Chords, Dubs, Orioles, Channels, Teenagers, Del-Vikings, Drifters, Halos, Jive 5, Chiffons, Tokens, Mellows — Arthur Crier of the latter, with his son GQ bassist Sabu, co-ordinating the ‘Don’t Let Them Starve’ session which is being videoed by the NYC Board of Education . . . Rare Soul fan Peter Gibbins of Hull infos that the Maze LP track ‘I Want To Feel I’m Wanted‘ was first cut by Frankie Beverly way back on Washington DC’s Rouser label — so rare only two copies reached Britain — before reissue on Philadelphia’s Fairmount label (around £40 when found here), both times as flip to ‘Because Of My Heart’ . . . Expose ‘Point Of No Return‘ topped US Club Play (not a particularly big seller), USA for Africa topping 12in sales . . . DeBarge seem bigger than ever with US pop fans, two old albums even re-entering the chart . . . Lisa Lisa is selling like hot cakes in the States still on UK CBS import, and remains huge with young black Londoners — as is the old Cheryl Lynn ‘Gotta Be Real’ for Steve Walsh’s crowd . . . Carrie Lucas’s import LP nicely revives ‘Goin’ In Circles‘ and ‘Hello Stranger‘, and Gwen Guthrie has a 5-tracker of old remixes (mainly of ‘Padlock’, and powerful) . . . Phyllis Nelson ‘Move Closer’ (which strikes me as being another Ketty Lester ‘Love Letters’) was launched on its way entirely by Tony Blackburn’s perseverance . . . Curtis Hairston does all the vocals you hear multitracked — “I’ve always liked male and female singers and when I came to record I wanted to try and get in between” (he sure couldn’t dance though on Soul Train, whose main stars this Friday should be Chaka Khan, Haywoode, Working Week) . . . Solar, Horizon & LWR all lost their transmitters last Thursday but were back by the weekend, LWR even in stereo now . . . Southwark’s Pentecostal black mayor Sam Beaver King is evidently applying to run a religious community radio station, Gospel Broadcasting Station (GBS) London, when local radio is expanded . . . Pete Tong’s Saturday soul show on Invicta Sound 103.8FM this week moves an hour earlier to 6-9pm . . . DMC mix champ Roger Johnson joined LWR lunchtime weekdays, Eddy James ditto 8-10 Tuesdays, while Damon Rochefort — who confides that now he’s got to know everyone on the soul scene he finds it hard to mouth off about them — has a “Street Noise of the air” on Horizon 5-7.30pm Saturdays . . . James & Susan Wells ‘RSVP‘ has been copied note for note as ‘Our Love Is Heart And Soul’ by The Denials on Canadian BMG . . . Pamela Nightingale used to be called Zippy Azizollah, her real name, when lead singer on Croisette’s old AVI LP produced by Ian Levine . . . Chris ‘Connie’ Crooks took his after-hours day Habits to Squires at Derby’s Rowleys . . . Gillingham’s Paul French unbelievably has moved yet again, now Spatts Mon, Ice Bowl Wed/Sun, Kents Thur, The Avenue Fri/Sat — right that’s yet lot! . . . Chad Jackson mixes just the early evening junior disco at Bolton Dance Factory on Saturdays, Franklin Sinclair taking over after 10pm . . . Rick Robinson starts funking Friday (26) at the actual opening of Brentwood’s brand new Bugatti’s, still does over-21 Sundays at Beckenham McCormacks, and has moved Thursday to London Bridge Royal Oak with PAs etc — also, keeping in with his Soul Patrol, he’s arranging free coaches to Stage 3 on May 24 (details 01-771 1761) . . . Brentwood Bugatti’s (A128 Ongar Road) other jocks include The Dude Sat, Dave Gregory & Kev Hill Wed (when it’s free for members) . . . Hereward Radio’s Steve Allen go go funks Peterborough Fletton Fleet Centre Friday (26) with Nick Graham & Trevor Mac . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn meets Sunday (28) noon at Sunbury on Thames Constines Restaurant (Sunbury Cross Shopping Precinct) with a presentation by Martin Audio . . . Carl Anderson’s old ‘Buttercup‘ is happening again (especially at Caister) confusingly just as a new LP is due . . . Los Angeleans are reportedly all walking around the streets going “da ha da ha, da ha ha ha-ha ha”, the Rappin’ Duke having taken a mighty hold! . . . WHAT IT IS IS WHAT IT WILL BE!


PAUL HARDCASTLE’S controversial ’19’ despite having smash written all over it oddly seems to be considered too offensive for army veterans by his record company in America, who have released ‘King Tut‘ instead — for the time being? Here ’19’ (a perfect synch with the Conway Brothers incidentally) is flipped by the typical 115¼bpm melodic jitterer ‘Fly By Night‘ and wave washed romantic 88½bpm ‘Dolores‘, but another as yet unheard Destruction Mix will add ‘The Asylum (It’z Weird)‘ to that version’s flip. Ever busy, Paul has also remixed ‘Oh What A Feeling‘ and ‘Let’s Go Together‘ back-to-back as the follow-up by Change! Does this man sleep?


HOT VINYL

FREDDIE JACKSON: ‘Calling’ (LP ‘Rock Me Tonight’ US Capitol ST-12404)
Superb soulful love set by the sometimes almost over-mannered Kashif-ish agoniser, hottest being this phone introed 103½bpm sparse tender snapper, the jiggly 115½bpm ‘He’ll Never Love You (Like I Do)‘, lush 92 1/6bpm (eee, you’re so precise James — Ed) ‘Love Is Just A Touch Away‘, and 12in hit 72bpm title track, although the 105¼bpm ‘I Wanna Say I Love You‘, (0-)109bpm ‘Sing A Song Of Love‘, 0-91½/45¾bpm ‘You Are My Lady‘, 0-26/52-0bpm ‘Good Morning Heartache’ (Billie’s) are just about as strong. Not to be missed if masculine breathy, wriggly vocal teasing is your style.

GLORIA D. BROWN: ‘The More They Knock The More I Love You’ (US Krystal Records KRY-16)
Instantaneously powerful Rodney Brown-prod/penned remorseless jiggly snapping 109½bpm chugger in the Jenny Burton/Jocelyn Brown class (inst flip), destined to be huge.

ADVANCE: ‘Take Me To The Top (Remix)’ (Belgian BMC BMC-3528)
Originally on a ‘Studio 57’ mixer LP ages ago, this brilliant Ben Liebrand restructuring of the chix chanted bass burbled 113½-112½bpm roller from over two years back (never issued here by Polydor) is causing a sensation on 12in thanks largely to the way it sounds as if the deck keeps accidentally stopping, only to restart without losing a beat (inst flip). Large! Continue reading “April 27, 1985: Freddie Jackson, Gloria D. Brown, Advance, George Duke, The Gap Band”

April 20, 1985: Steve Arrington, Paul Hardcastle, Curtis Hairston, Robert White, Aurra

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

BOILING POINT is now confirmed as Polydor’s new dance label — and it’s signed the available Philly World Records catalogue, starting with Joanna Gardner . . . Salsoul has folded, Aurra being their first act already to find a new label . . . Paul Hardcastle and Mark King’s remixes of ‘Anything’ will finally be out commercially next week as flip to Direct Drive ‘A.B.C. (Falling In Love’s Not Easy)‘ (Boiling Point POSPX 742), a brittle brassy fast un-funky 0-135¾bpm bounder that’ll need all they can do for it, a big mistake . . . Atlantic Starr ‘Freak-A-Ristic‘ (A&M AMS 245) is already due here but with its dub replaced by the old 117½bpm ‘Circles‘ and 108½bpm ‘Island Dream‘ . . . CBS have lost a great opportunity by only using the 7in edit of ‘You’re Gonna Love Being Loved By Me‘ on the 12in of The Manhattans ‘You Send Me’ (CBS TA 6046), flipping it instead with the old slow ‘Kiss And Say Goodbye’, ‘Hurt’ and ‘Shining Star’ — doesn’t everyone already have them on StreetSounds? — yawn! . . . Jeff Lorber’s first UK single on Club, although flipped with ‘Step By Step‘, oddly has ‘Best Part Of The Night’ as A-side — why not the far hotter ‘Every Woman Needs It’? . . . Chaka Khan’s ‘Eye To Eye‘ 7in mix is indeed far superior to the dreadful 12in botch up — can’t something be done? . . . New Edition’s excellent “extended version” seems totally unknown to certain MCA sales reps and hence has yet to show up in the chart — really creative marketing! . . . Nigel Wright & Froggy have done a so far promo-only Shakatak ‘Megamix’, which starts at 106bpm but sounds so dull I soon gave up! . . . Herman Kelly has evidently been cutting up rough over the inclusion of his old ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat‘ in Tommy Boy’s ‘Roots Of Rap’ LP and its Double Dee & Steinski medley, which seems to have put the project in jeopardy: unless he has equally clever re-release plans himself, what more profitable use could he find for such an obscure track? . . . Disco Mix Club’s April mixes are Roger Johnson’s championship winning clever cut ‘n scratch, Les ‘Mix Doctor’ Adams’ exciting ‘Hip Hop! What’s Up Doc?‘ based on Eddy’s ‘Shaft’, Sanny X’s powerfully restructured Lipps Inc ‘Funkytown’, Alan ‘The Judge’ Coulthard’s scrappy Level 42 and frustratingly bitty UK funk medleys being rather abrupt (DMC subscriptions on 06286-67276) . . . Les Adams actually bought Ready For The World ‘Tonight‘ just to play for me on his Friday late night Solar 102.45FM show, but his copy turned out too warped to track (excuses, excuses, but thanks anyway!) . . . RAH Band ‘Clouds Across The Moon‘ must be the biggest hit yet to be created primarily by London’s soul radio . . . KJAZZ, KO? . . . Robbie Vincent & Jeff Young co-hosted Radio London’s Saturday lunchtime soul show last week live from Caister . . . Colin Day may not be a nationally known radio DJ but has solid experience and currently operates as a “Jock Doctor”, evaluating and giving very sensible lengthy advice about prospective radio audition tapes, for £15 plus £10 per follow-up critique, on 0905-353361 . . . Soul Train on US TV let’s face it isn’t exactly action-packed, and in fact the UK version if anything has more happening even though it follows the same rather limp format (Cool Notes, Phyllis Nelson & Fat Boys guest this week) . . . Curtis Hairston is on Soul Train next week, and at London’s Lyceum with Barbara Pennington & Edwin Starr for Radio London’s Soul Night Out this Thursday (18) . . . Tony Blackburn & Steve Walsh start an alternative night out Monday (22) at the Old Kent Road’s Dun Cow — don’t spread it too thin, lads — while Steve Walsh, Freddie M & Damon ‘Cheesedip’ Rochefort attempt to make Leicester Square’s Maximus funky on Wednesdays . . . Colin Hudd and “new boy” John Courtney hold pyjama party Friday (19) at Dartford Flicks . . . Derby Habits is no longer gay Sats . . . Gillingham’s busy Paul French filled Wednesday at the Ice Bowl but dropped The Avenue on Sunday, now his only night off (which nevertheless he’d like to fill again!) . . . Maze topped US Black 45s, and on Wednesday May 1 join Dionne Warwick (plus Rita Coolidge, Peter Allen & Gregory Hines of ‘Cotton Club’) at London’s Royal Albert Hall for a gala night in aid of USA for Africa . . . Mark ‘1’ Richards (0432-57710) is after freebies and sponsors for the Hereford Disco Club’s well organised popular under-18s charity gigs, the next with Radio Wyvern DJ Sammy Southall (hi Sam!) being at Hereford Town Hall next Sat (27) in aid of Ethiopia . . . Shaun Sullivan gets solidly funky Tuesdays now (as well as more mixed Thur/Fri/Sat) at 800 capacity Bloxwich Flix, where he’d welcome PAs, videos etc on Walsall 27307 . . . Dave Rawlings has a new video system to play with at refitted Basingstoke Martines . . . Oneness Of Juju ‘Every Way But Loose‘ is being revived by both Dave Malone (Sudbury Queens Arms) and Adrian Allen (who writes reams weekly from Sunderland but never reminds me what his club is — not very bright, and he’s not alone!) . . . Alan Jones appears to be over-worked, hence no Nightclub chart recently . . . WHAT IT IS IS WHAT IT IS?


MARVIN GAYE’S first posthumous new release, initially on import 7in (US Columbia 38-04861) from his imminent ‘Dream Of A Lifetime’ LP, is the electronically bubbled lightly shuffling 116¼bpm ‘Sanctified Lady’ with gospel-ish girls emphasizing the “sanctified” as Marvin coos, croons ‘n yowls in his inimitable style, all slightly like an updated sexually healed ‘Got To Give It Up’ (inst flip). Pleasantly jaunty, co-penned and (with Harvey Fuqua) produced by Gordon Banks & Marvin, it may not have seemed such a major opus in his lifetime but is sure to satisfy expectations now.


HOT VINYL

STEVE ARRINGTON: ‘Feel So Real’ (Atlantic A9576T)
In an exceptionally strong week this, our current chart topper, has to be lead review, an incredibly original rattling and wriggling (0-)113½-0bpm inspirational soarer with Freddie Hubbard’s horn before the distinctive percussion breaks, the inst flip here being joined by the sombre ‘In The Ghetto’-ish (0-)95¼bpm ‘Willie Mae‘. Massive!

PAUL HARDCASTLE: ‘Nineteen’ (Chrysalis CHS 12-2860)
“In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26, in Vietnam he was 19” — that’s the boldly stated basis of this brilliant aural documentary with news reports and veterans comments superimposed and cut up over typical jittery 117½bpm electronics, sure to be as controversial a smash in America as Tom Clay’s classic ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love/Abraham, Martin And John’. As Paul himself says, “If this doesn’t shock you there’s something wrong”. (Promos had beats and bits for mixers, commercial copies have two as yet unheard newies on the flip).

CURTIS HAIRSTON: ‘I Want Your Lovin’ (Just A Little Bit)’ (London LONX 66)
So familiar to Londoners it’s almost an oldie now, this excellent leanly striding wriggly 119bpm soul burbler like his earlier hit ‘I Want You All Tonight’ is apparently duetted with a similarly straining girl — unless that’s him multi-tracked? — with a strong dub too. Continue reading “April 20, 1985: Steve Arrington, Paul Hardcastle, Curtis Hairston, Robert White, Aurra”