September 10, 1983: Hot Streak, Curtis Hairston, The B Boys, Skyy, Hamilton Bohannon


ALAN COULTHARD has mixed CBS’s new ‘Dance Mix Dance Hits II‘ LP due next week, with a far stronger and more compatible looking line up of tracks than poor Froggy had to use last time, while Alan’s Duran Duran megamix for this month’s Disco Mix Club will be accompanied by not two but three cassettes of promo material . . . Volume 2 of the ‘KISS-FM Mastermix‘ series is now on import Prelude LP but features disappointingly dated tracks . . . ‘In Store Music’ plugger Granville Williams is fretting that DJs sent the cassettes of promo tracks for free are not filling their reactions as accurately as he’d like, some saying they already had a record before it had even been pressed — does it really matter? . . . El Chicano and the Booker Newberry III follow-up will be out here next week . . . Bensons of Henley at Remenham Hill have their music biz barbeque this Sunday (11) at 7pm, don’t forget (details last week) . . . Colin Day has taken over the ‘Dancing In The Streets’ Saturday 6-8pm disco show on Worcester’s Radio Wyvern but is short of good product from record companies/indie pluggers and could handle more interviews too . . . Cino Berigliano, still jocking, is now also working as a freelance plugger on dance records exclusively — but this is not an invite for DJs to call him as his service relies on personal contact with all the clubs in the London area rather than mail-outs (however, companies with product to plug can call 01-688 3699/551 0631) . . . Barry Brown of Barry’s Disco Centre in Gloucester is holding another annual Discomart exhibition at the Gloucester Leisure Centre on Sunday 13 November, stand space available on 0452-421126 . . . David Grant’s erstwhile Linx partner, Sketch is getting back into music but maybe in an unusual direction (just as long as it’s not like Shalamar, huh?!) . . . Chiltern Radio’s Sunday soul show host Martin Collins tragically lost his 16 year old sister last week, dying from an incurable respiratory problem, while one-time assistant editor of Record Mirror (responsible for my present job) and editor of several other Disco publications, Peter Harvey also sadly died recently — actually in mid-air aboard a flying ambulance on the way home to England for treatment for cancer of the liver — heartfelt condolences to both families . . . Rick James ‘Cold Blooded‘ took over as top US Black single . . . Kurtis Blow’s LP review missed the 104bpm ‘Got To Dance‘ last week . . . JFM’s ‘Crazy Chris’ Ryder kicks off Fridays at Gillingham’s Regency Nightclub with a Kenny Lynch PA this week, and also jazz-funks Saturdays at Coulsdon’s Dance Factory . . . Robbie Vincent, Jeff Young & Chris Bangs soul South Harrow Bogarts this Sunday (11) with 50p drinks 10-11pm . . . Cosmic, saying the Bank Holiday breakfast at Flicks was “allll right!”, is in slight confusion as the Liberties nightclub part of his Basildon residency has closed down although the New Yorker pub part hasn’t . . . Colin Hudd has been joined at Dartford Flicks by young blood David Williams for Tuesday’s under-18 ‘Teen Scene’ . . . Martin Waine does Fri/Sats at CJays on Colwyn Bay pier, but I was barbequeing in Denbigh the night he invited me there! . . . Peter Powell may have an annoyingly indistinct way of burbling on but he does at least sound different from his Radio One colleagues (and play more than the same six records over and over again!), as I came to realize once my cassettes had run out while exploring mainly sunny Central Wales later last week . . . John Tracy (Sheffield Leadmill/Manchester Hacienda) is one of several jocks who returned from hols in Spain full of praise for the standard of mixing and even sound and air conditioning in clubs there . . . New Yorker David Franco is new DJ and fellow American Elizabeth Krall the lighting jock at London Piccadilly’s Xenon, while around the corner in Bond Street The Embassy (celebrating its 3rd birthday tonight Thursday 8) has organised a petition to stop redevelopment of the site, which has housed a nightclub since 1870 . . . Dougie Mack, resident jock at Brighton’s Pink Coconut, says an earlier announcement of Jon Kutner’s that he’d also be working there was premature to say the least — he didn’t pass the audition! . . . Norman Scott similarly reports from the pink zone that despite muck raking by the gutter press there were over 1,200 gays at Brighton Bolts a couple of Sundays ago . . . Carl Richardson boogies with the boys this Saturday (10) at Hull Bali Hai . . . Adrian Dunbar (Southampton Warehouse) reckons the attitude of WEA plugger Fred Dove is very strange, as if DJs should feel honoured to be on his mailing list, and he now understands how pressure on DJs to chart any old track off dogpoop albums can distort the record’s real potential . . . IDA rep Martin ‘Fast Eddie’ Edwards, who also jocks at Harrow’s Mirrabeau winebar (Sunday MoR oldies his busiest night), says that in the current sales chart it’s easy to get to number 80 just on sales to DJs alone . . . Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre has yet to sell a single Clark Sisters 12in, despite discounting ’em to 99p in the cheapo bin . . . Nancy Wilson’s old 67bpm ‘How Glad I Am‘ is nice out of Carmel ‘Bad Day‘, inspiring me at another of my 6am closedown mobile gigs last Saturday to dig out Ketty Lester ‘Love Letters‘, Nina Simone ‘I Put A Spell On You‘ and Esther Philips ‘Moody’s Mood For Love‘ too . . . Tyneside’s peripatetic DJ Dirty Harry writes from Abu Dhabi that he’ll be reporting soon from Poland! . . . Hartlepool DJ Paul Gough, without being on radio, has got an impressive scale of sponsorship from Datsun dealers Bradleys of Blackhall & Peterlee, who gave him a free (but signwritten) Datsun Cherry courtesy car in return for plugs at all his many North-Eastern gigs . . . Chris Britton (Watford Baileys) used to drive “expensive limos” like a Jag, Audi, Merc, but now has a new 1.6 Ghia Escort which does 0-60 in 10 secs and 32mpg (is that all? — what a gas guzzler!), although he’s yet to see how much disco gear fits in the back . . . Graham Hunter (Basingstoke) finds guest appearances easier now with a Ford Cortina Mk. 4 Estate, which takes all his records in the back instead of as before on the passenger seats (OK, I know you’re all agog, I get five big and two small LP boxes in the normal concealed boot of my Cherry!) . . . Herbie Hancock has really brought the electro revolution out into the open, lots of electro mixers which previously would have been confined to certain black London and Birmingham clubs now moving chartwards fast, while it’s interesting that the chief critics of electrophonic phunk are all white suburban DJs working outside the city centres . . . WIKKI WIKKI!


HOT STREAK: ‘Body Work’ (Polydor PSOPX 642)
Starting with a US Army style “sound off” chant, the instrumental flip’s acappella version of which is dynamite played un-synched as a cross-fade out of ‘Autodrive’, this Jellybean Benitez-mixed vocodered and chanting catchy jittering 121bpm 12in tuneful electro rattler has taken off like a rocket already.

CURTIS HAIRSTON: ‘I Want You (All Tonight)’ (US Pretty Pearl PP 510)
Chix-backed new soulster, sometimes sounding more like a soulstress (without any effeminacy), on an excellent creamily pushing 114bpm 12in chugger that already has the feel if not lyrics of a classic in the Newberry/McFadden & Whitehead mould (dub/edit flip). Should be huge.

THE B BOYS: ‘Two, Three, Break’ (US Vintertainment VTI-001)
‘Buffalo Gals’ and ‘Rockit’ paved the way, now here’s the ultimate scratcher — pure and simple, just a 104bpm 12in judder ‘n thud rhythm box beat programmed by Guy Vaughn with Chuck Chill Out scratching over it, giving it musical form minus anything as off-putting as an actual tune or real instruments! (Same track on flip). Continue reading “September 10, 1983: Hot Streak, Curtis Hairston, The B Boys, Skyy, Hamilton Bohannon”

September 3, 1983: “Now seems the moment to put recent developments into their historical perspective.”


MICHAEL JACKSON has just cut another duet with Paul McCartney, mixed by Jellybean Benitez, but first we’ll finally get ‘Thriller’ on 12in in a month, while Alan Coulthard’s Disco Mix Club Jackson megamix has evidently been closely copied on a remade Belgian bootleg (please do not ask how to find it!) . . . Tom Browne has been produced by the Jonzun Crew in ‘Rockit’ style — and Herbie Hancock is now top US Dance/Disco hit . . . Bensons of Henley at Remenham Hill hold a music business barbeque next Sunday (11) at 7pm, £3 a head, all DJs and record company people welcome — if they can bear WEA’s Fred Dove as guest jock! . . . Randy Crawford will sing and talk to you all this month on 01-388 5188 . . . Lillo Thomas’s LP is already out here (Capitol EST 7122901), and Ryan Paris last week should have been 120½bpm . . . Brass Construction ‘We Can Work It Out’ is now on import 12in as a negligible remix . . . Philip Bailey’s import ‘Continuation’ LP doesn’t exactly scream “dance to me!” . . . Canada’s Power label soon reissues Antonia Rodriguez ‘La Bamba‘ and Dee Dee Jackson ‘SOS (Remix)‘, and in fact Power’s Vince Degiorgio is looking for new “high energy” masters at 190 Colin Ave, Apt 108, Toronto, Ontario M5P 2C6, Canada . . . Paul Travis has just started a free admission/pub bar prices boys town night at Wigan’s old Tiffany’s, now renamed Maxine’s, every Thursday . . . Norman Scott (Haringey Bolts — current big oldie, Connie Francis ‘Where The Boys Are‘!) passes on from regular Bolter Steve Jolley that Imagination’s next album will include some strong disco tracks . . . Pete Haigh (Standish Cassinellis) observes that boys town music seems to be crossing over to pop audiences who dislike electro-funk’s rigidity . . . Carl Richardson (Hull 0482-711874) is after the old “Josephine Baker tribute” LP by Phyliscia (Felicia?) Allen & The Village People . . . Paul Gough (Hartlepool 0429-70036) will pay big bucks for the old Prince Philip Mitchell ‘Top Of The Line’ LP . . . ‘New Blackbeat’ is a fax ‘n’ info crammed deep soul fanzine 34 closely printed pages long, £3.75 for 6 issues bi-monthly, from 101 Sevenacres, Orton Brimbles, Peterborough, Cambs PE1 OXJ — October’s will include the complete 1962-83 Frankie Beverly discography . . . Main Ingredient’s ‘Happiness Is Just Around The Bend’ has been remade by ex-lead singer Cuba Gooding for Streetwise . . . Sundays at Basildon New Yorker, Cosmic revives the likes of Mighty Fire ‘Love Fantasy‘ . . . Darren Fogel, now doing Saturdays at Tottenham Valentinos, is compiling the Top 100 Soul Singles for Christmas broadcast on Radio Invicta 92.4 FM (his ‘Soul Searchin’ spot’s 4-6pm Sunday), so send your nominations to Invicta at 8 Southampton Row, London WC1 . . . Alan Reid, ex-Bacchus/Julianas jock (he had to learn to mix in Canada, as if he talked the club emptied!) and ex-Birmingham Powerhouse lighting operator, has opened his own Gingers in Pontypridd with a full lightshow (Wed-Sun) even though it’s only small . . . Jon Alsop’s high energy bias is bowing to the ‘Rockit’ influence with increased electro-funk on Mondays at Edgbaston Faces French ‘Kilohertz’ night, while at Faces this Thursday (1) Steve Dennis has a visit from Kenny Lynch — who’s then on Friday (2) with Peter Lee at Bolton’s Dance Factory . . . Jeff Young guests Thurs (1) at Hemel Hempstead’s Whip & Collar, Dave Rawlings has a St Trinians Friday (fancydressers in for free) at Basingstoke Martines . . . Steve Walsh starts funking Mondays at Bermondsey Old Kent Road’s Dun Cow next week (5), Lyndon T electro-funks Tuesdays at Soho Jean Pierres (first drink free) . . . Frenchie’s Sunday Funk Club has moved to the later licensing hours of Wednesdays at Charnock Richard’s Bowling Green Inn (£1 before 10.30, half price drinks) . . . Rickmansworth’s very American style restaurant the Long Island Exchange (by the station roundabout) does alcoholic milk shakes — um yum, schlurp schlurp! . . . Colin Hudd has gone megamix crazy at Dartford Flicks on Saturday nights, and now that Thames Valley DJ Assn big boy Frank Smith has started editing the Disco Mix Club mag, all the TVDJA members are being told how to mix! . . . Steve ‘Dover’ Day (Sheerness Woodys) recommends mixing Hazell Dean ‘Searchin’ into Change ‘Searching’ in a synch from “where the drums sweep down and back up again” . . . Tom Edgar, jocking as Tom Mator (in a cockney accent?), is busy enough but could handle more club/pub gigs on 01-855 2064 (night)/855 7777 (day) . . . Rob Harknett (Roydon 027-979 2329), booked solid on Saturdays until 1985, needs more MoR jocks to cover some venues, small rigs OK but music must be “tame” for fees around £35/45 . . . Chris Cole (Bramley) recorded himself at a 21st gig to make a demo for a club where he wanted a residency, and was told he was “too confident, cocky and frantic” — presumably a nervous, shy and quiet jock got the job, but Chris’s own approach does at least bring in lots of mobile work! . . . Steve ‘Walthamstow’ Day similarly applied for a gig, only to be told he was “behind the times and much too old”! . . . Gary Oldis, now back at Aycliffe Bee Jays after fracturing his skull in a road accident, recuperated in Jersey where he reckons Chris Tandy at the Madison is the Island’s best night . . . Richard ‘Lofty’ Lofthouse (Tyneside) reckons the name LaFleur sounds like the Peter Sellers French pronounciation of what you dance on! . . . WIKKI WIKKI!

These are the breaks…

NOW SEEMS the moment to put recent developments into their historical perspective. Black American music began outside when Southern slaves relieved the tedium of picking cotton with rhythmic call-and-answer “field hollers” derived from dimly remembered tribal chants, vocal music being the cheapest to make — and maximum effect/minimum outlay still holds good today.

Christian church music, military bands, the patronising “plantation songs” of touring nigger minstrel shows, and the attention grabbing antics of street corner medicine sellers (whose increasingly eccentric dance steps were the basis of most we know now) all combined in the late 19th century to produce the different strains of a new and specifically American black tradition.

The banjo, an approximation of certain African stringed instruments, gave way to the Spanish guitar as the go-anywhere accompaniment for an emergent type of solitary “blues” singer, the blues being a simple secular adaptation of the mixture of call-and-answer with church music which at the opposite extreme resulted in gospel (the eventual inspiration of vocal harmony groups and ultimately soul).

The other solitary black musicians were the pianists in brothels, who experimenting amidst their exotic surroundings came up with sexy, sleazy, syncopated rhythms of “ragtime”, which when played with jaunty abandon on military band instruments became a dance craze lasting nearly thirty years with increasing acceptance (and white copyists) until the soloing fervour of its more adventurous musicians became known to the world as “jazz” in the early ’20s.

The urban jazz bands had no problem making a loud enough noise for dancers, but the rural blues guitarists had to play open-tuned chords with a broken bottleneck on their finger to make a shrill sound, or use metal bodied guitars fitted with resonators.

Following the spread of radio in the early ’20s came electrical recording in 1925, enabling “whispering” crooners to be heard where previously only the bellowers cut through, microphones replacing megaphones for the featured vocalists on ballroom bandstands.

With the big bands of the ’30s came an acrobatic black dance style known as “jitterbug”, which had been germinating in Harlem since 1923 and really erupted in ’28 when marathon dancer ‘Shorty’ George Snowden amazed onlookers by doing a “breakaway” flinging out his partner and improvising some solo steps. Shorty and other inventive dancers, egged on by money throwing celebrity socialites, became a big attraction as they tried to out-dance each other in the “Cats Corner” at the Savoy Ballroom, where two battling bands would drive the dancers so hard the music became called “swing”.

It was Benny Goodman who gave swing the white face of respectability in 1936, the same year young black teenager Charlie Christian (following the lead of Count Basie’s guitarist Eddie Durham) began experimenting playing jazz on a guitar plugged into a rudimentary electric amplifier. The Jimi Hendrix of his day, Charlie Christian went on to play with Benny Goodman, but more importantly his improvisational style influenced saxist Charlie Parker and the whole ’40s be-bop movement.

Probably the first electric blues guitarist was flamboyant showman T-Bone Walker (some of whose moves were copied by Elvis Presley!), but during World War II many rural bluesmen moved north and west to the industrial cities where they too plugged in and formed raucous “rhythm & blues” groups, augmented at war’s end by “booting” saxists splintering away from the no longer viable big bands.

Black kids who couldn’t afford an instrument would hang out on street corners copying such gospel-derived tenor/bass/harmony groups as the Ink Spots and Ravens, singing silly phrases like “doo-wop” in a style which influenced the Temptations onwards. Other street corners often had blues players plugged into portable speakers, some maybe talking rather than singing their blues, while in the churches were preachers whose crescendoing rhythmic sermons moved the congregation to frenzy.

Rapping and ranting radio DJs spread rapidly as R&B became “rock ‘n’ roll” in the ’50s and men like Alan Freed copied the black style, which right through the ’60s often incorporated a carefully prepared rhyming rap lead out over an instrumental from the playlist.

Around 1970 such street poets as the Last Poets recorded their angry, staccato, musically flowing raps (the era when Gary Byrd started out), all of this sewing the seeds of rap as we know it today.

However, apart from the total commercialisation of black music and increasing sophistication in the making of it, things stayed pretty much the same out on the street corners, in the subways and stairwells (anywhere there’s an echo!) . . . until, that is, another advance in the use of electronics. The ghetto blaster. Now every kid can make a loud noise out on the street, even miking up to rap along to the beat. Cheap electronics and the boom in synthesizers like the rhythm box which can be programmed to any automatic beat pattern have revolutionized the creation of black music, cutting costs and replacing musicians.

Out of the portable discos of Brooklyn, base of New York’s big Jamaican population with their sound systems, came the use of rhythm boxes allied to DJs “scratching” records over the top of them — often out in the street, where of course the “break” dancers carry on their tradition.

It’s sad to think that in this revolution we’ve probably lost the vocal group tradition, but the current breed of young men out there today are in fact merely following in the footsteps of all that went before them — and every new development mentioned above was greeted in its day with the abuse of many and total horror of some. Think about it!


LADY M: ‘Please (Don’t Break My Heart)’ (Calibre CABL 116)
Sneakily catchy with an interest-holding good frisky arrangement, this soulfully wailed soaring jaunty 114bpm 12in wraggler weaves around a booming bass line (good out of Kenny Lynch) with so much zest that it’s really quite high energy too and could well get pop attention (inst flip). The lady’s vocal is outstanding.

BAISER: ‘Summer Breeze’ (Canadian Celsius 12CLS-7013)
Chording piano, sassy brass and tootling sax start this attractive chick-sung long ever developing unhurried sinuously pumping gently jiggly 109¼bpm 12in swayer, which eventually hits a cowbell percussion break (inst flip) and initially had boys town attention though should win wider favour. Incidentally, check the chart in case any more hot imports arrived after this week’s early deadline.

K-9 CORP (Featuring Pretty C): ‘Dog Talk’ (US Capitol 8562)
Coinciding perfectly with renewed interest in the original, this is a great rap version of ‘Atomic Dog’ using George Clinton’s 107bpm 12in backing track behind and between mentions of Pluto, Goofy, Scooby Doo, Snoopy and other canine cartoon faves — “watch me raise my leg” being the nicest line! — flipped by Clinton’s own 113bpm instrumental of ‘Man’s Best Friend‘. Woof . . . woof! Continue reading “September 3, 1983: “Now seems the moment to put recent developments into their historical perspective.””

August 27, 1983: Newcleus, The O’Jays, Unique, Monyaka, The Rake


DISCO PLUGGER Fred Dove has spare copies of Serge Ponsar and the Clark Sisters for the first hundred bona fide DJs not already on his WEA list to contact him at PO Box 59, Alperton Lane, Wembley, Middlesex HA0 1FJ . . . Francois Kevorkian has remixed Time Zone for Island release soon, while One Way ‘Shine On Me‘ remix/instrumental is about on MCA 12in now . . . Steve Harvey may yet alter it, but his follow up is likely to be ‘Tonight‘, a juddering jolting c.110bpm smacker reminiscent of the Whispers similar title . . . Herbie Hancock’s LP title track ‘Future Shock‘ is indeed as my white label review said “Curtis Mayfield-ish” — he wrote it (and it’s sung by a squeaky chap, Dwight Jackson)! . . . IMS ‘Nonline‘ is 114½bpm, in case anyone was wondering how to get it down to “wikki wikki” speed, while last week’s Donald Byrd review should have mentioned the “live” 118-117-116-115-0bpm ‘Dominoes‘ jazz-funk anthem, and disco-aimed 107-106bpm ‘Change‘ . . . OPEC-UK’s Paul Oakenfold has finally got a day job at Rush Release . . . London Weekend Radio 92.5FM, normally funking the airwaves just on Saturdays (when Colin Hudd features the City Sounds sales chart during his 5-7pm slot), this weekend keeps going through to Monday . . . Peckham’s Kisses has a busy holiday weekend lined up, Richard Jon Smith & Katie Kissoon PA-ing with their radio commercial’s star DJ Froggy on Friday (29), Galaxy’s Phil Fearon somersaulting with Steve Walsh on Saturday, while Monday’s 3pm alldayer has Atmosfear, Direct Drive, State Of Grace and Katie Kissoon again PA-ing with JFM’s Graham “Good Morning” Gold, Invicta’s Steve Devonne, Lyndon T & Gordon Mac . . . Bob Jones, Chris Brown, Sean French & Nicky Holloway jazz-soul Watford Gemas all night Saturday (27) . . . Sunday (28) Manchester Hacienda’s 2pm alldayer stars Colin Curtis, Mike Shaft, Greg Wilson, Simon Walsh, Cleveland Anderson and more, Edinburgh Madhatter’s 3pm alldayer has Alan David, Kenny McLeod, Jim Symon, Billy Davidson, Paul Murphy, Cleveland Anderson (is this possible?) and more, while Wimbledon Tiffany’s 7pm ‘After Carnival Street Dance’ features the magical Mastermind Roadshow, Steve Devonne, Gordon Mac, Lyndon T & Nite Groove plus a £100 dancing prize (£4 advance tickets from Bluebird & Groove, £4.50 on door) . . . Bank Holiday Monday (29) starts early at midnight with Robbie Vincent, Colin Hudd & John Rush hosting Dartford Flicks annual charity allniter (this time a pre-swim beach party) which includes a free full British breakfast from 1am! Bank Holiday events then include Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Jeff Young, Pete ‘Pedro’ Tong, Chris Brown, at Eastbourne Kings Country Club 2pm (check ticket availability on 01-866 8141), Colin Curtis, Greg Wilson, Mike Shaft, Kev Edwards, Baz Maleedy, Toby Perkins, Ralph Tee etc plus PAs at Preston Clouds alldayer, Greg Edwards, Steve Walsh, George Power, Paul Anderson, Owen Washington, Steve Jackson at London Lyceum 2pm, Medway/Orwell’s Dave ‘TG’ Brown, Steve Devonne, King Enri, Barry Lee Martin, Tom Mator, Johnny North at Eltham’s Yorkshire Grey 2pm, Froggy, Martin Collins, Sean French, Bob Jones at Luton Pink Elephant’s noon toga party, Tom Felton, John ‘Nick’ Osborne, Russ B at Leysdown Stage 3 early evening 6pm . . . John ‘Nick’ Osborne has in fact left his tenure at the Room At The Top to move around the corner to Ilford’s Lords in Cranbrook Road on Tues (kids 14-18 before 10.30pm)/ Thurs (party night)/Fri & Sat (“good stuff”), still doing Wed at Bletchley Peaches and Sun with Steve Walsh at Streatham Cats Whiskers . . . Bluebird follow their re-release of Lonnie Liston Smith ‘Expansions’ with Francine McGee “Delirium” (which should please Brother To Brother in Stanmore!), all within a couple of months . . . Earlene Bentley is out here on import ahead of commercial UK copies, while the next exclusive Record Shack white label produced by Ian Levine will be the violently percussive Eastbound Expressway ‘Primitive Desire‘ . . . Tony Godden (01-370 7556), with Peter Brown ‘Can’t Be Love’ / ‘Do It To Me Anyway’ for sale, is after a copy of Gianco ‘Old Night Flight‘ and is also trying to identify a very fast “war dance”-ish record with the line “make it on your own” heard at Heaven’s Friday funk night . . . Boys Town “high energy” material seems to be crossing over into straight charts especially up North and in Scotland, where they’ve always been into fast stuff anyway (now then, who said “no taste”?!) — either that, or there’s an undiscovered new pink zone north of the Humber! . . . Brighton’s boys presumably will not be opening a new club called the Pink Zone . . . Bill Grainger (0506 54305) is after artistes with suitably high energy new records for PAs at Edinburgh’s Fire Island disco during the current Edinburgh International Festival (ends 10 Sept) . . . NYC Peech Boys pulled out of their UK club tour due to one boy’s injury — however, disgruntled reports suggest they were rather more rock orientated than expected . . . Slingshot’s cover of the ‘Do It Again/Billie Jean’ medley has topped the US Dance/Disco chart, Aretha Franklin ‘Get It Right’ the US Black Singles . . . Graham Gold (Mayfair Gullivers), back from his hols, reports the shops in Majorca have stopped stocking Ryan Paris ‘Dolce Vita’ as it’s “out of date”, the huge summer hit there being Righeira ‘Vamos A La Playa‘ (Spanish HispaVox 12in) . . . Monyaka, my import review of which was so long ago most people have forgotten it, only ever really sold around Harrow until Gary Crowley started plugging it on Capital — could his Tuesday residency at South Harrow’s Bogarts be the reason? . . . Men At Play has had far more reaction from people buying UK copies than from any jocks sent it on import for free by Rush Release . . . Motivation was serviced to DJs by Phonogram and has yet to sell as well as its current chart showing suggests . . . Level 42’s pop position must be due to the creative marketing of the 7in twin-packed with a free picture disc of ‘Out Of Sight Out Of Mind’ and the 12in similarly with either ‘Love Games’ or a cassette of LP extracts — but the creative marketing prize for shifting plastic over counters must go to Annabel Lamb, whose 7in is packaged with a free video! . . . Steve Dennis (Edgbaston Faces) was recently visited by Island’s Bryan O’Connor, who just happened to have a copy of Hot Streak which he let Steve play to great success — “Bryan, generous to a fault, allowed me to keep the polythene shrink wrap — which even created dance floor reaction, as my dog pulled it from my bag and played it for most of Sunday morning!” (like it, like it!) . . . Will Powers inferior version of ‘Adventures In Success’ is now about on import 12in, but thankfully it looks as if the great Big Brother version will finally get a push from Island . . . Steve Walsh was able to stagger Kenny Lynch during an interview with the info I’d fed him that Kenny’s cover of ‘Stand By Me’ in 1964 was not of Ben E King but of the then current version by new boxing champ Cassius Clay! . . . Phil Fearon’s big birthday party titbit which I forgot last week was Jabba The Hutt taking a swing at Doris Morris — whoops! . . . Channel 4 last week showed the Broadway production of ‘Eubie!’, reviving songs written by Eubie Blake who died recently aged 100, which hopefully anyone really interested in black music was able to see — from cakewalking vaudevillian ragtime to jazzy torch songs, big band blues and gospel, it was virtually an illustrated version of a book I’ve often recommended before, ‘Jazz Dance — The Story Of American Vernacular Dance‘ by Marshall & Jean Stearns (Macmillan), Rock On’s Ted Carroll this Sunday at Camden Town’s Electric Ballroom (7.30pm) presents a ‘1950s R&B Jamboree’ with Big Jay McNeely, Chuck Higgins, Young Jessie & Willie Egans — which brings the history of black music slightly more up to date, as these were the pre-rock ‘n’ roll “booting” sax guys . . . Roger Scott’s ‘Hall Of Fame’ on Capital has reached artistes beginning with the letter ‘P’, in the compilation of which last week I discovered in a spectacular mix how Pigbag got the rhythm for ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag’ from Esther Phillips ‘What A Diff’rence A Day Makes’! . . . Newcleus only just missed being Capital Radio ‘Peoples Choice’ by one vote . . . WIKKI WIKKI WIKKI WIKKI!

SECOND IMAGE did indeed win the final of TV’s ‘Freddie Starr Showcase’ on Tuesday, as widely tipped (actually some of us knew, as it had been pre-recorded in July!). They now go on to star in a telly special all of their own . . . which just shows where bodypopping can get you?


NEWCLEUS: ‘Jam On Revenge (The Wikki-Wikki Song)’ (Becket BKSL 8, via PRT)
Frankly pretty silly but such good fun that kids’ll love it, this ultra-catchy chipmunk/smurf-sung somewhat rambling 109½bpm 12in electrophonic jitterer imitates the scratching effect with its deadly “wikki-wikki wikki-wikki” hookline (dynamite synched over the ‘Rockit’ scratches!), and now as anticipated is such an underground cult it must be a monster crossover smash too (rap/inst flip, the UK pressing fractionally slower than import — a pity that fraction wasn’t upwards to 111bpm) Wikki Wikki!

THE O’JAYS: ‘Put Our Heads Together (Remix)’ (Philadelphia International 4Z9 04073)
Well, lookie lookie! Extended to 7 minutes with new stretches of instrumental adding to its peaks, and a totally instrumental flip, the 120bpm 12in soul stormer now gives itself and mixers more room to breathe (thus lessening the danger of crashing vocals during a mix into ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’, for instance).

UNIQUE: ‘What I Got Is What You Need’ (Prelude TA 3707)
My original mention of it being that week’s hottest import seems belatedly to have shot this surprisingly high in the chart, conveniently for CBS coinciding with its UK release. Dead simple, it’s a straightforward synth burbled chix sung striding 115bpm 12in disco smacker in classic uncluttered style (dub flip), strong enough to cross over. Continue reading “August 27, 1983: Newcleus, The O’Jays, Unique, Monyaka, The Rake”

August 20, 1983: New York Skyy, Edwin Starr, Rick James, Earth Wind & Fire, Junior Walker


PHIL FEARON of GALAXY, whose ‘Fantasy Real‘ follow-up will be a ballad, belatedly celebrated his birthday last week with the widely acclaimed “best party of the year” aboard a Mississippi-type paddle steamer going right down the Thames through the futuristic ‘Star Wars’-ish Thames Barrier (like the Sydney Opera House chopped up!), a really swell affair rounded off by his brother Paul Fearon turning DJ to play Tom Jones and ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’ in traditional style! . . . Phil’s friends (and just about everyone was there) included such out of town jocks as Ian Turner (Llandudno), Paz (Wallassey), Steve Dennis (Birmingham), Sandy Martin (Swindon), Steve Day (Dover) and one-time DJ of the year Dave Silver, now lunchtime jock on Leeds ILR . . . Muhammad Ali looked in at Mayfair Gullivers last Friday, where naturally I played Hurt ‘Em Bad ‘The Boxing Game‘ and ‘The Crown’ while screening ‘The James Brown Story’ — trouble is, we then gave him the latter! . . . Kenny Lynch is actually looking for club PAs, via Nine Bees Promotions on 01-902 4205/900 1683 (incidentally, the mafia jocks join me in hating his 12in mix) . . . Pete Tong is cutting down his journalism and jocking to join London/Polydor as club plugger and junior A&R man, working with Mike Sefton on London product but starting a new Polydor mailing list once settled in next month, his only club residency now being Fridays at Sheffield Park’s Sheffield Arms in Sussex (Bob Jones & Jeff Young taking turns to join him there) . . . Streetwave issue The Rake imminently, Arista/West End have Raw Silk next week, Chrysalis picked up Atmosfear from Elite for a 3-tracker now including their old 109bpm ‘Xtra Special‘ . . . Style Council has been promoed with a less good 86¼bpm remix on white label, luckily flipped by the fuller sounding superior 87bpm original ‘Long Hot Summer’ . . . Booker Newberry III’s ‘Teddy Bear‘ follow-up not surprisingly will be out here ahead of the States (where he’s yet to hit), while the UK version of Sylvester ‘Band Of Gold’ will make much use of its ‘I Can’t Help Myself’-quoting “sugar pie honey bunch” in a so-called ‘Clubhouse mix‘ . . . Hot Streak, the now radio activated New York reggae Monyaka, and Rumple-Stilts-Skin will be here on Polydor (I now find Lady M works better than Rumple-Stilts-Skin, by the way) . . . Liverpool’s Tony Tiger is looking for a versatile experienced club jock for a rapidly expanding local circuit of ten discos like Clouds, Coconut Grove & Earl St John’s, paying top money — full details were in an ad on August 6, p.39, or contact Box No 3841 at Record Mirror . . . Barrie Thyer (Bath 23728), something of an infant prodigy, started broadcasting on Bath Hospital Radio when only 11 and has been jocking kids discos until now aged 17 he’d appreciate some regular club work (he can mix) . . . Larry Foster (01-519 7280), still busy around East London other nights, is after another residency to replace Saturday at Tottenham Mayfair . . . Bank Holiday deadlines mean we need all charts and info for early September sent NOW! . . . Boys Town “High Energy” stuff is really starting to show up in Nightclub pop charts, which could get confusing, so would any new Boys Town contributors please come out and confirm it? . . . Norman Scott (Haringey Bolts) wishes the instrumental promo of Visage ‘The Anvil’ could be commercially released as he’s sick of all the punter enquiries . . . Carl Richardson boogies with the boys next Wednesday (24) at Hull’s Fagins under the Station Hotel (a week early) . . . Joe Field & Mike Allin’s guest this Thursday (18) at Hemel Hempstead’s Whip & Collar is busy Pete Tong . . . Ian Reading at Southend Zero 6 has Canadian Club at half-price all night this Thursday (18) and all spirits at half-price for three hours every Friday . . . Sean Brett jazz-funks Fri/Sat (19/20) at Nethertown’s Village Inn amidst the lovely Lake District . . . Galaxy PA with John DeSade at Maidstone Queens Head on Friday (19) before moving on to join Steve ‘Dover’ Day’s Tia Maria promotion night at Sheerness Woodys . . . Jon Kutner, now with new pluggers Feedback Promotions on Potters Bar 77-4410, starts jocking weekly this Saturday (20) at Brighton’s Pink Coconut (he also does Soho Hombre/Mile End Benji’s) . . . Watford Gema’s has an allniter next Saturday (27) with Bob ‘Dr Jazz’ Jones, Chris Brown, Sean French & Nicky Holloway — £4 tickets from the latter at 101 Lyttelton Road, London N2 ODD . . . Peter Young had Millie Jackson fans ears wide open when on his Friday 6.30pm ‘Soul Cellar’ on Capital he played her 94-96-0bpm ‘Not On Your Life‘ — but rapidly chopped it before the final “not on your *@+!ing life”! (on her 1980 ‘For Men Only’ LP, it’s another good summer tempo) . . . Tony Blackburn’s mid-morning Radio London show is reportedly rivalling Robbie Vincent and the weekend pirates for soul content — incidentally, London now has more soul radio stations than New York, even if they are all only part-time! . . . London Town 91FM, transmitter losses permitting, souls the airwaves Sunday nights 5-11pm with Big Phil Etgart, Paul The Big M, and the real Gary Steel — Paul also jocks Fridays at Bethnal Green’s Weavers Arms in Roman Road . . . Simon Walsh (Bradford Time & Place) was appalled in New York to find these days at the Paradise Garage one-time ace mixer Larry Levan merely slings on the records any old how, evidently a prevailing fashion amongst the Big Apple’s elitist gay jocks — oh dear! . . . Rayners Lane Record & Disco Centre’s Andy Mann found Record Mirror on sale in Rhodes, three weeks late maybe, but all the jocks buying it conscientiously! . . . Steve Jason (Peterborough) says Funk Masters and New Order were huge in Corfu, where he pushed Spandau Ballet for Rush Release (a big help, I’m sure!) . . . Kev Hill (Brentwood) writes, with further descriptions you can imagine, “In your dreams you’ve been to Tunisia — and in your nightmares you had to stay two weeks”! . . . Dave Stodart (Bridge) sent the best holiday postcard so far, from the Algarve — cor! . . . I’ll be in North Wales for the bank holiday, if jocks there can remind me how to find them before then . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn’s annual riverboat shuffle is this Sunday (21), leaving Walton-on-Thames at 7.30pm, £5 tickets on Ashford (Mx) 58881 . . . London’s LODJ Association have heard that the Inland Revenue are using 400 new recruits to winkle out moonlighters — be warned! . . . Morgan Khan on being told there’s a new US label called Street Sounds said: “I’ll sue ’em” . . . David Joseph goes the fast pop Shalamar route on his next c.141bpm ‘Be A Star‘ — so much for funk . . . Alton Edwards has been produced by Isaac Hayes . . . Gwen Guthrie isn’t exactly the smash that Island’s Bryan O’Connor confidently predicted — hopefully he’s not been too creative? . . . Ensign launch a great reissue series of ’60s Sue label classics soon . . . Second Image are hotly tipped to win the Freddie Starr Showcase final on telly next Tuesday (23) . . . Marvin Gaye’s ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat’ was actually recorded in 1962 for his January ’63 ‘That Stubborn Kinda Fella’ US LP and was merely resurrected in ’69 as flip to ‘Too Busy Thinking About My Baby’ . . . Motown, further to last week’s closing comment, was the only indigenous US pop music to compete successfully with the original ’60s “British Invasion” — and if today’s American radio programmers really looked at our own current UK pop chart, they’d find that full of black acts too . . . Newcleus played at the end of the night already has people going home chanting “motel, hotel, Holiday Inn” — wot a monster! . . . WIKKI WIKKI!


NEW YORK SKYY: ‘Show Me The Way’ (Epic TA 3691)
Randy Muller’s monster album track smash is out here ahead of import in Shep Pettibone remixed, though not necessarily improved, 12in form — and could catch out dozy dealers unaware of its popularity already! Now acappella introed, the perfectly simple 114(start)-115-116½-117bpm bass bumbled deceptively driving smacker has great anxious Jackson-ish vocal interplay and is a subtle dancers delight similar to Brass Construction’s ‘Walkin’ The Line’ (dead slow flip).

EDWIN STARR: ‘Smooth’ (Calibre CABL 114)
Originally unveiled at Mayfair’s Gullivers in a marathon half hour “live” version — during which Edwin’s all-star backup singers changed it to “the girl is rude”! — and now on vinyl seemingly lasting almost as long, this superb slightly reggae flavoured mesmeric soulful sultry slow slinky 77bpm 12in groin grinder should send shivers down your spine and could certainly sneak up your trouser leg to be a surprise big hit (inst flip). Thoroughly recommended.

RICK JAMES: ‘P.I.M.P. The S.I.M.P.’ (LP ‘Cold Blooded’ US Gordy 6043GL)
Getting the gatefold white suit glamour treatment, Rick’s latest is most notable for its slowies — the obvious monster being this dynamite ‘All Night Long’-mixing 97½bpm purposeful pusher with rapping help from Grand Master Flash, while on the gorgeous old fashioned sweetly wailing 36/72bpm ‘Tell Me (What You Want)‘ smoocher there’s passionately whispering actor Billy Dee Williams, and the equally romantic 35/70bpm ‘Ebony Eyes‘ is duetted by Smokey Robinson. Of the rest it’s his routine formula, all at fast US tempos — the 128bpm ‘U Bring The Freak Out‘, 130bpm ‘1,2,3 (U, Her And Me)‘, 134bpm ‘New York Town‘, 137bpm ‘Doin’ It‘ — apart from the now UK-issued title track 12in ‘Cold Blooded‘ (Gordy TMGT 1314), a Prince-type sparse jiggly 117½bpm smacker with “sexy sexy sexy” muttering, stronger on the floor than it sounds at home . . . though it’s a pity the instrumental flip couldn’t here have been replaced by the not exactly made-for-radio but more commercial ‘P.I.M.P.’! Continue reading “August 20, 1983: New York Skyy, Edwin Starr, Rick James, Earth Wind & Fire, Junior Walker”

August 13, 1983: Paradise, Style Council, Candido, Herbie Hancock, Hot Streak


WIKKI WIKKI! — Newcleus, which PRT picked up, is now getting bigger for many than Herbie Hancock and (at 110½bpm) is vital for mixers to use with ‘Rockit’ (111bpm) — as, in an ever evolving variety of mixes, are the 111bpm Time Zone, 107½bpm The Packman, 107bpm George Clinton ‘Atomic Dog’, 111bpm Dwayne Omarr ‘This Party’s Jam Packed‘ (US Survivor 12in earlier this year), 115bpm Man Parrish ‘Hip Hop’, 118bpm Tyrone Brunson ‘Smurf’, Herbie’s own 115bpm ‘Autodrive’, and even the military drumming intro of the 110bpm Diana Ross ‘Work That Body‘! . . . Take 3, reviewed last week, is still only on promo and will probably be out as a US remix . . . Galaxy is also available as a (slight) remix, which with Phil Fearon leaping on Top Of The Pops should creatively market it up the chart — but it’s not the easy ride that Ensign were expecting, is it? . . . Leeds Warehouse-owning Mike Wiand has picked up Otis Liggett ‘Every Breath You Take‘ for his recently started Warehouse label in a fortnight, the 119bpm Police remake mixing perfectly out of Club House to many enquiries — so it’s looking good Mike! . . . ‘All Night Long’ is still the dominant summer tempo, and worthy of Keni Burke-like re-release ‘cos great with it is Gwen McCrae ‘Funky Sensation‘ (97-99-98-100-99bpm) from the two years old ‘Gwen McCrae’ LP (on which the 97-95-97bpm ‘Feel So Good‘ could be good too), while Bob James ‘Sign Of The Times‘ (0-99-100bpm) is another that works well again . . . Orin Cozier the ladies man is compiling a new mailing list for his P’zazz Promotions at 70 Briar Road, London SW16 4LX — he needs “modern dance”-type Nightclub jocks only . . . Cath Harris (Preston) reckons the fast becoming notorious Ryan Paris ‘Dolce Vita‘ is the record that every British tourist is bringing home from Spain . . . Paul Lincoln, funking again at Lowestoft’s Corton Chalet & Caravan Camp, now at least can get a different version of Candido ‘Jingo’ — he’s had to play it up to five times a night seven nights a week, for the last two summers! . . . Danny Smith & ‘H’ at Yarmouth’s late-night 151 Club in King Street mix Mon-Thur, go MoR Fri/Sat . . . Basingstoke’s Martines only raised three contestants for the Miss Wet T-shirt contest (so therefore no pics to send us!) — unlike Bridgend’s Crossways Club where 40 would-be entrants had to be whittled down to just 16 actual contestants, not that compere Nino was complaining (and appropriately enough too, he’s from Bristol!) . . . PRT’s Robert Blenman warns jocks he’s back on the road visiting clubs . . . Alan Christo now does The Dunne Thing at Pontypridd (couldn’t resist that — it really is the club’s name!) . . . Danny Daniels, threatening to jog me during a mix, is currently also at Mayfair Gullivers funking downstairs Sat/upstairs Mon . . . Nicky Holloway & Sean French have had to meet demand for quality soul-jazz by adding Fridays now at Bermondsey Dockheads Swan & Sugarloaf . . . Chris Hill plays butler and Paul Clark footman for this Sunday’s 3.30pm garden party (formal dress preferred!) at The Sheffield Arms on the A275 in Sussex — if it’s fine, I’ll be there for the cucumber sarnies too . . . Record Shack have a little midnight promotion for Miquel Brown next Tuesday (16) at the Camden Palace . . . Carl Richardson boogies with the boys this Saturday (13) at Hull Bali Hai . . . Edinburgh Fire Island’s Bill Grainger now has a ‘High Energy Disco’ spot playing the boys’ biggies 2.45-4.00am Sunday mornings on Radio Clyde during Jim Symon’s regular all-night show . . . MCA’s Andrews Sisters medley, mentioned last week, turns out to be called ‘Boogie With The Andrews Sisters’ . . . Black Bob Maclauchlan (041-886 4899) and his Thunder-G-Disco partner ‘KP’ Graham (041 882 3460) play mainly high energy fast if not actual boys town Fri/Sat at Glasgow Paisley Road West’s Parkway Lounge Bar and are ever looking for further residencies . . . Chris King is another using lots of high energy stuff at Sunderland Mayfair (Sat/Sun/Mon/Tues) and Newcastle Tuxedo Junction (Thur/Sat late)/Tiffanys (Fri) . . . Alan Coulthard’s August Disco Mix Club floorfiller mix is his best yet, apart from the change from hard Unique to soft Galaxy (even more disastrously jolting on his fast oldies mix from ‘Que Sera Mi Vida’ into ‘Use It Up And Wear It Out’ — would more live gigs not help him?), this month’s megamix being of Earth Wind & Fire oldies . . . Mike Sefton is actually part of a three week rota with Ralph Tee & Lindsay Wesker playing soul newies 1-3.00am Sunday mornings on London Weekend Radio 92.5FM . . . Steve Prince, now plugging for Switch Records and arranging PAs on 01-727 0041 for someone called Tony Jackson, also broadcasts 6-8.00pm Saturday evening on London Music Radio 94.4FM and 2-4.00am Monday morning on Radio Horizon (same wavelength) . . . The Dells have joined the Chi-Lites now on America’s soulful Larc label — and if this trend for it to mop up ex-20th Century/Chi-Sound artistes continues, can Gene Chandler be far behind? . . . Dionne Warwick is the latest to be produced by Luther Vandross & Marcus Miller . . . Atlantic’s labels in the USA now all use the same new 12in sleeve design, confusingly not die-cut so you can’t even identify the label at a glance . . . Our Price record shops have shifted all their still unsold import stock to their Wembley branch, where there’s nothing over £3 now and literally everything must go, for however little it takes in the end . . . Rush Release, that should have been Lawton — not Hawton (and you probably know who he is!) . . . Capital’s cockney sparrow Gary Crowley is really championing The Rake ‘Street Justice‘ — good show, what? . . . Comateens ‘Get Off My Case‘, now indeed remixed for US 12in at any rate, is being tipped to tear ’em up Stateside even if everyone did ignore my rave about it here . . . Central Line seems to be being played by people who don’t normally feature real ‘soca’ . . . Sakhile’s album is my fave current most played in-car listening, so soothing! . . . Peter Lee reckons his anything-goes music at Bolton’s The Dance Factory is the most upfront in the area . . . Michael Jackson’s mega-selling number one pop album plus the unexpectedly huge TV ratings for the Motown 25th Anniversary special in the States must surely soon change the blinkered attitude of white-orientated US radio programmers, who appear to have forgotten the lack of colour bar in the ’60s when Motown really was ‘The Sound Of Young America’ . . . keep careful out there, but in the meantime — WIKKI WIKKI!


PARADISE: ‘One Mind Two Hearts’ (Priority PX 1)
Leaving other amateurish Brit-funkers standing as they scorch ever upwards on white label promo (surely due commercially by now?), the gospel trained guys are exceptionally accomplished on this ultra-soulful lightly pitched 107bpm 12in summer tempo jogger (‘Crazy’ goes great out of it).

THE STYLE COUNCIL: ‘Long Hot Summer’ (Polydor TSCX 3)
Sensational haunting truly soulful slow 87bpm 12in Imagination-type rolling grinder with scatting “shiddy diddy — diddy de bup” and mucho wailing, obviously a pop smash and so brilliant I actually bought it without waiting for a freebie to play amongst the real black stuff at Gullivers . . . I hope young Weller gets a kick out of that! This is one ex-Scene DJ who digs where he’s coming from.

CANDIDO: ‘Jingo’ (US Salsoul SG 406)
Just what you’ve been waiting for — the Shep Pettibone remix! Isolating and clarifying the enduring classic’s original percussive elements, this chanting Latin instrumental now chugs at 0-120-121-122½bpm (great with ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’) while the 12in flip’s a usefully very different much emptier 0-119-121-122-122½-122bpm ‘Jingo Breakdown‘. Watch this one go! Continue reading “August 13, 1983: Paradise, Style Council, Candido, Herbie Hancock, Hot Streak”

August 6, 1983: Rumple-Stilts-Skin, Serge Ponsar, Kenny Lynch, Toots Hibbert, Feel


SHEP PETTIBONE has remixed Skyy ‘Show Me The Way’ for rush released US 12in imminently, as ‘Bad Boy‘ bombed even in the States . . . Teena Marie is hotly rumoured to have an album due now . . . Keni Burke ‘Risin’ To The Top’ is set for re-release (same bass as ‘All Night Long’!), while a future Crown Heights Affair 12in will team ‘Rock The World’, their current 115bpm ‘Heavy Lovin’ 7in flip and an as yet undecided oldie . . . Junior ‘Runnin’ has been remixed by Nick Martinelli for UK 12in in a fortnight . . . CBS have white labelled UK-produced lady Haywoode ‘A Time Like This‘, due commercially mid-Aug, a beefily trucking 114½bpm thudder to which at PAs the crowd pleasing foxy Miss skips through all of Michael Jackson’s slickest video steps in rapid rotation . . . Disco Mix Club now sends members not only their cassettes but also a monthly “power play” on 12in (it’s been Club House, now Kenny Lynch) — for subscription details, DJs/ club managers should contact Christine Prince at PO Box 89, Slough, Berks or on 06286 63227 . . . Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ was deposed by The Police after 19 weeks as top US Pop LP, similarly after 25 weeks the Isley Brothers pipped it atop the Black LP list — but for only one week before it returned! . . . Mtume ‘Juicy Fruit’ lost the US Black Singles chart top after 8 weeks to Donna Summer, and Yaz(oo) ‘State Farm’ / ‘Nobody’s Diary’ is now number one US Dance/Disco . . . Second Image were the audience’s most-liked act on Freddie Starr’s Showcase last week on telly, and should they win the final (which you can see Aug 23) they would be in line for their own TV special — which could be interesting because, as hinted last week, they’ve left Polydor and are currently un-signed . . . Julie Roberts missed appearing with the Funk Masters on Top Of The Pops only because she was on a pre-booked holiday in America (silly girl) — oh, and at her big Bluebird Records party in Fulham Pools last week, Chris Hill was never out of the water (showing off his rippling physique!) . . . Big Brother ‘Adventures In Success’, still hot for me, rather interestingly has a totally different and less effective 94½bpm treatment on US Island 7in as by Will Powers, with composer credits including Robert Palmer and Sting — my thanks for this to Record Corner’s Terry Davis & Ian Clark, who will be presenting their soulful ‘Function At The Junction Pt 3’ this Saturday (6) at Lavender Hill’s The Cornet in Lavender Gardens, good regular crowd into deep rarities . . . Dave Rawlings has “Crazy Christmas” all this week at Basingstoke Martines (‘ere, where’s them pics?) . . . Bob Jones guests with Joe Field & Mike Allin this Thursday (4) at Hemel Hempstead’s Whip & Collar . . . Cleveland Anderson, standing to his full height and threatening my kneecap, proves he can get gigs in the south by funking Oxford Street Spats on Thursdays! . . . Loughborough University’s Eddie Gee & Ken funk a one-off ‘Touch Of Love Roadshow’ with competitions and a raffle this Thursday (4) downstairs at Mayfair Gullivers in Down Street — the same room that the all-mixing all-dancing Mastermind Roadshow has taken over on Fridays now, while upstairs at Gullys for the next two Fri/ Sats your own James Hamilton jocks all night while Graham Gold is away . . . Mike Sefton, guesting with Chris Brown at Camberley Frenchies this Sunday, the previous night (6) starts a monthly early-hours slot on London Weekend Radio 92.5FM playing mainly new soul-jazz-funk . . . I explored the sunny Suffolk coast last week, rather surprisingly listening to Robbie Vincent’s “naff” phone-in on radio London as far away as Snape . . . Peter Stringfellow was the interesting DJ guest on Susie Barne’s Friday night Radio London show last week . . . John Harris (Redruth): that record you couldn’t identify in Spain is that country’s current biggest hit, Ryan Paris ‘Dolce Vita‘ (Spanish CBS A 12.3557/Italian Disco Magic MIX 117) — so say “ta for the info” to Spud (Stevenage), Gary Allan (Liverpool), J A Knight (Bexleyheath)! . . . Heatwave’s massive injection of new blood would seem to have freshened up their stage act considerably . . . Newcleus’s “wicki wicki” vocal scratch effects are sensational repeatedly synched through Herbie Hancock’s real scratching bits, and those two plus Time Zone can be mixed back and forth until the cows come home! . . . Peaches & Herb ‘One On One Situation‘ so far seems hottest up north . . . Level 42 are hitting pop as a twin-pack twofer with ‘Love Games’ . . . I bet Bruce Foxton’s great dance-orientated ‘Freak‘ is the smash in the States that’s so far eluded Paul Weller . . . Isaac Hayes looked in at Mayfair Samantha’s (next to Rockafella’s late-nite eaterie off Regent Street) for Dave Smith’s “back to school” party recently . . . I wonder, does burbling Peter Powell ever think anyone’s made a bad record or done a dreadful Radio One Session? . . . Imagination, who missed their chance of getting out of the rut by not issuing ‘Heart ‘N’ Soul’ way back when they should, had better come up with something different and preferably energetic for their single . . . Greg Edwards stopped Capital’s listeners dead in their tracks last Saturday when he handled a birthday dedication saying, “I won’t tell how old you are — just as long as you’re old enough to funk, that’s alright” (at least we think that’s what he said!) . . . ‘War Games’, a great movie about this computer crazy kid who by chance connects through to the US defence centre and plays ‘Thermonuclear War’ for real (what, you know that plot?), also includes the lovely if oddly named Ally Sheedy — who ‘Hill Street Blues’ fans will know as that recent sexy “just three words” tease (oh boy oh boy!) . . . hey hey HEY, LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

ROBERTA FLACK has returned the favour when Peabo Bryson duetted with her following Donny Hathaway’s death, and now shares (second-placed) split billing with Peabo again on ‘Born To Love’ (US Capitol ST-12284), a largely slow quality selection penned/produced by the likes of Bob Gaudio & Bob Crewe (the uptempo highlight is their 121bpm ‘Heaven Above Me‘), Burt Bacherach & Carol Bayer Sager, and Michael Masser — whose Gerry Goffin co-penned slow Richie/Ross-like 0-29½/59-0bpm ‘Tonight I Celebrate My Love‘ is now on 7in here (Capitol CL 302). Designed with lovers in mind!


RUMPLE-STILTS-SKIN: ‘I Think I Want To Dance With You’ (US Heat MS 609)
Starting straight out with great squalling sax in Band AKA style over an Al Hudson-ish rhythm, this extremely soulful gal/guy duetted jiggly 112½bpm 12in swayer (inst/edit flip) is one of those unheralded delights that jump out of nowhere to scorch up the chart! Expect this to be massive.

SERGE PONSAR: ‘Out In The Night’ (WEA U9852T)
Instantly accepted rerun of the Chic/’Another One Bites The Dust’ bass line driving the black Frenchman’s 113bpm 12in jiggler, his vocals veering between Phil Fearon and the Bee Gees (inst flip). Sadly, Serge’s import LP ‘Back To The Light’ (US WEA 1-23914) is a bit dull apart from the 116bpm ‘I Want Money‘.

KENNY LYNCH: ‘Half The Day’s Gone And We Haven’t Earned A Penny’ (Satril 12SAT 510)
Very disappointingly in this 113bpm ‘Bethnal Green Chin-mental Funk Mix’ 12in version Kenny and Greg Edwards have together taken out all the funky feel of the LP’s great long intro to leave just the “disco” chix in a horrid empty unsoulful mix, which would never have had a rave review: in fact, I’m not massacring it now only because the swaying song’s so catchy it’ll cross over regardless . . . but do please check the better album version too. Flip’s the more languidly loping (0-)109-113bpm ‘Another Groovy Saturday Night‘. Continue reading “August 6, 1983: Rumple-Stilts-Skin, Serge Ponsar, Kenny Lynch, Toots Hibbert, Feel”

July 30, 1983: Herbie Hancock, The O’Jays, Julie Roberts, S.O.S. Band, Manhattans


RECORD DEALERS can start tearing their hair out now — ‘Street Sounds Edition 5‘ will contain current hits by Freeez, Funk Masters, Oliver Cheatham, La Famille, Aretha Franklin, Terri Wells, Wickett, plus Brass Construction ‘Brassy Version’, MCB ‘I’m The One You’re The One’ (both unissued here) and a remix of Kenny Lynch ‘Half The Day’s Gone’ . . . ‘Wired For Clubs Volume II‘ retaliates with Booker Newberry III, Steve Harvey, Leon Haywood, Tania Maria ‘Come With Me’, Ingram ‘Mi Sabrina Tequana’, Cameo ‘You’re A Winner’, Kool ‘Ladies Night ’83 Mix’, Central Line ‘Surprise Surprise (Remix)’ — which is certainly hotter than the first of Phonogram’s series . . . UK gospel group Paradise are currently impressing everyone on white label (prior to release on Priority PK1) with ‘One Mind Two Hearts‘, an exceptionally good lightly pitched ultra-soulful 107bpm summer tempo jogger which really puts amateurish British funk production in the shade, prompting Graham Hawton (Harrow) to call it “The first good reason for being on Rush Release’s mailing list” (tee hee!) . . . Gonzalez are also on white label (prior to release on PRT 12P 283) with the good chunky sparse thudding 113½bpm ‘Closer To You‘ which however is overshadowed by the flip’s excellent even nicer cool summer tempo jazzy instrumental 110-109bpm, and new group Keywi featuring Jane Bullen are similarly promoed (Virgin VS 62312) on the Joe Williams-prod/penned ‘Let’s Get It Right‘ a plaintively sung 0-115-119bpm loping swayer with flurrying syndrums and a better beefier more spacious instrumental flip featuring some David Bendeth guitar and a Froggy mix . . . Larry Levan’s US remix of Gwen Guthrie ‘Hopscotch’ (Island 12ISX 106, parallel number to last week’s alternative mix) at 112-113-114½bpm has some echo repetition and an accelerating 111-115bpm instrumental flip — incidentally, Paul Major in the Mecca house mag Polly Promotions, whose record reviews usually award 9 if not 10 out of 10, only gave 4 out of 10 to this “very plain funk number”! . . . Pinnacle some time back and with no publicity slipped out here the excellent Lavias ‘Do You Wanna Dance‘ (Golden Pyramid GP-1208), the Joe Thomas-saxed/Mike T-rapped 123bpm instrumental flip of which was hot on import . . . Midas Records free promo ‘In Store Music’ cassettes are proving sadly to be inconsistent contents-wise, only ‘Week 2’ being a good much repeatable programme, there being too much Boys Town and down-right dross on others (to be expected I suppose when it’s pay-for-play) despite their quota of quality cuts — and why on earth lumber us on ‘Week 4’ with the full instrumental of Gary Byrd (even the vocal, which quickly pulls, would have been better)! . . . Midas’s Granville Williams should consider keeping the pop/gay tempo material apart from the soul material and compiling separate types of ‘In Store Music’ programme, which should be easy enough to do considering its weekly release . . . Soul On Sand (sic!) in reporting 18,000 fortnightly sales are surprisingly not in the album top ten — this and other evidence suggesting that the ever exaggerating Toby Perkins thinks in multiples of ten (and if he’d come clean about this I’d have understood how maybe he couldn’t afford more bread) . . . Capital’s naughty John Sachs played without crediting either the Disco Mix Club or Alan Coulthard their Michael Jackson megamix, instead bragging how he’d be featuring it at his live gigs, and then after evident phone calls from his fans wanting it he still failed to say any more than that it was unavailable — oh and not that this is ‘Knock Sachs Week’ (his fill-in for Mike Allen was punchy listening), does he reckon he’s being a help by playing oldies off the 12in B-sides of the Isley Brothers and Manhattans instead of the current new plug-sides, which could really have benefitted from lunchtime play? . . . Ron ‘Spider’ Baker (Bermondsey Dun Cow) has furthered his video involvement by becoming consultant to Project Films Ltd, whose monthly ‘Dance On Video’ compilations now at his instigation include a disco as well as pop tape — first month’s rental £48.50, full details from Projection Films Ltd, Freepost, 45 Grove Lane, London SE5 7BR . . . Morgan Khan’s latest label The Sound Of London will eventually at my instigation become the far more obvious Sound Of Urban London — in fact, it’s amazing nobody else came up with those initials before . . . Sho-Pro’s twelfth Caister weekender has become so over-subscribed following gushing plugs by Peter Powell on Radio One that it’s been split in two again, the original as planned over October 14-16 and then Part 2 on October 28-30 — so if you’re 15 and into Shalamar why not join the throng? . . . no, really, a new generation of soul fans has to come from somewhere . . . Showstoppers foreign jaunt next year will not be to the South Of France this time, but closer to home at a self-contained holiday site in Jersey from May 5-12 (all Sho-Pro enquiries to the Pink Elephant on 01-586 6741) . . . Robbie Vincent returns to the Sho-Pro fold, and is currently chatting to record companies about his proteges Second Image . . . Barry Malgedy & Frenchie have just started up-front funky soul/hard jazz Thursdays at the plush spacious Peppers in Leigh, membership forms from the club or Barry at 53 Bentley Street, Sutton, St Helens, Merseyside . . . Santrax play live at Soho Ronnie Scott’s Maze this Fri/Sat (29/30) . . . Kev Ashman funks a pyjama party this Saturday (30) at Charing King Arthur’s Court . . . Brazelia was evidently the misprint it always looked like and has now been rectified on repressings (still only 7in) as Brazilia and the band, naughtily billed by their earlier name of Galaxy, headline at Leeds Tiffanys alldayer this Sunday (31) with Colin Curtis etc . . . Pete Stringfellow’s beneficiaries from the gala £25-a-head third anniversary this Sunday (31) of his celebrated Stringfellow’s club will be Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ Transglobe Expedition . . . Heatwave spend next week from Monday (1) at Watford Baileys . . . Sean Brett, jazz-funking Bury Peelers every Monday (only 50p) has started every fourth weekend at Nethertown’s Village Inn in the Lake District (if you’re counting, the next should be Aug 19/20) . . . Steve Day, the Dover one, funks Fridays at Sheerness Woody’s . . . Edinburgh pop venue Mad Hatters (as opposed to neighbouring Mad Hatters Speakeasy) has re-opened with a 3am licence, a refit, and jocks Ray West, Steve Martin, Steve South . . . Norman Scott at Haringey Bolts strips down this Saturday (30) for a shorts and whistle party . . . Carl Richardson, still boogieing with the boys the second Saturday of every month at Hull’s Bali Hai, has also just started (and you’ve just missed) the last Wednesday of every month at Fagin’s under Hull Station Hotel, with lotsa Hot Tracks and Disconet remixes promised . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool Concert Street) and now even Tricky Dicky Scanes (London Dicks venues) both concur that the use of expensive Hot Tracks/Disconet remixes does help freshen up the sound and lengthen the life of the Boys Town hits, which tend to stay for a long time anyway (thus giving our Boys Town chart a stagnant look on occasion) . . . Boys Town Gang ‘I Just Can’t Help Believing‘, already falling fast with no help from him, is described by Ian Levine (London Heaven/Gardens) as “what deserves to be called disco dross” . . . Marvin Howell’s “new Norma Lewis” is Linda Lawrence, of past Motown involvement, currently recording Stateside for ERC . . . Adrian Dunbar (Southampton Warehouse) has been slowing things down for the boys in the hot weather, featuring Mary Jane Girls and other summer tempos . . . Dave Rawlings (Basingstoke Martines) promises us some photos of last Friday’s Miss Wet T-Shirt competition — yes please, hurry, hurry! . . . Theo Loyla is now promoting the Original Peppermint Hula Hoop, a striped hula hoop which pongs of peppermint when spun, this the 25th anniversary of the old craze evidently seeing its revival in the States and, especially, Western Europe (where two million hoops have been sold this year already) . . . Club House fans who find a synch between the real ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Do It Again’ a bit tricky should note that Steely Dan is 123-126bpm . . . Big Phil Etgart, following up last week’s mention, will now pay anything for the Disconet remix of Willie Bobo ‘Always There’ (01-864 3271) . . . Roger Dynamite (Lowestoft) says Victor Tavares has exploded for him purely from play off the ‘In Store Music’ cassette . . . US Dance/Disco chart-toppers have recently been Human League ‘Fascination’ and now Freeez . . . Jeffrey Osborne’s new album is a disappointment, best cut being his single . . . Bohannon went into a kamikaze nosedive, Disco chartwise, this week — phew, what happened? . . . Roy Ayers needn’t have bothered appearing in London, to judge from several eye witness reports . . . George ‘Zorba’ Alexander wonders who this “G Alexandra” is who was billed to support Lonnie Liston Smith at the Middlesex & Herts Country Club earlier in the week — keep taking the hormone pills, George! . . . “Street star” struck the shock-horror headlines — but at least it ain’t THE Street (Hill that is?) . . . if you go swimmin’ with bow legged women, BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

SURFACE — WHOSE ‘Falling In Love‘ is one of the day’s catchiest disco hits — turns out to be David ‘Pig’ Conley (29) and Karen Copeland (28), both from New Jersey. David played with Mandrill for a couple of years during the late ’70s, then sessioned for Slave and Aurra before setting up his own small 4-track studio (bass/synth/sax/percussion/flute are his instruments), while tiny 4′ 11” Karen is a primary school teacher who, until David found her, also sang with local group Nightbird.


HERBIE HANCOCK: ‘Rockit’ (CBS TA 3577)
Restoring our faith in how good electrophonic phunk can be, a fantastically powerful 111bpm heavy instrumental judderer brilliantly scratched by Grand Mixer D.S.T., here on 3-track 12in with Herbie’s older jazz-funk hits from his vocoder era, the 116-117bpm ‘You Bet Your Love‘ and 116-112-114-116-114-28-116-115-114-0bpm ‘I Thought It Was You‘.

THE O’JAYS: ‘Put Our Heads Together’ (Philadelphia International TA 3642)
Proving we were just waiting for the right strong song before speeding ’em back to the heights, this immediately massive friskily striding 120bpm soul bounder is now on 3-track 12in with the lovely subtle slinky slow 0-38bpm ‘A Letter To My Friends‘ and a slightly fluctuating c.125bpm instrumentally padded remix of ‘Love Train’.

JULIE ROBERTS: ‘Fool For You’ (Bluebird BRT 3, via PRT)
Already hit-bound on white label, the Funk Mistress’s John Rocca-prod/Steve Jerome-penned rhythm box bumped 109bpm 12in tapper is an attractively chiming catchily phrased tuneful summer swayer, flipped by a superb authentically sung 62bpm deep soul revival of the Elgins ‘It’s Been A Long Long Time’. Amen! Continue reading “July 30, 1983: Herbie Hancock, The O’Jays, Julie Roberts, S.O.S. Band, Manhattans”