January 18, 1986: L.L. Cool J, Val Young, Quest For Life, Doug E. Fresh, Aleem

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

There’s no need for speculation about the name of America’s Danté, who turns out to be Dennis Sanders, Phoenix-bred gospel singer who split for Oakland when 17, branching out into singing backup sessions before moving to Philadelphia and a solo debut on ‘Freak In Me‘ … Fantasia Records lack the distribution needed and are keen to licence their excellent Frankie Johnson Jnr ‘Whenever You Call Me‘ – you call Ian Anthony Stephens on 01-235 7726 for a deal … Tom Silverman has copied Def Jam’s move to a major, and signed a half share of his Tommy Boy hip hop label to Warner Bros in the States: meanwhile, Def Jam’s launch here through CBS will include an invitation-only proper party (free booze even!) later in the month … Change’s megamix on WEA promo turns out to be not by Les Adams, as informed, but by Alan Coulthard (who had a merry pub crawl with Cardiff homebody Damon Cheesedip over Christmas!) … Kurtis Blow slipped out here to some shops by mistake ahead of schedule, which gave him an unfortunately ill co-ordinated low chart entry … WEA are now reissuing the Jellybean-mixed lethargic (0-)119bpm Madonna ‘Borderline (US Remix)‘ (Sire W9260T) … Regina ‘Baby Love‘ is now due here on the new Funkin’ Marvellous Records (12MARV01, via PRT) … The Gap Band ‘Gap Band VII’ LP (Total Experience FL85714) is also due here … PRT picked up the Doug E. Fresh answering Symbolic Three ‘No Show‘, and Chrysalis got Betty Wright … Freddie Jackson’s ‘Rock Me Tonight‘ US soul smash of 1985 is being re-released here and could actually cross over this time, with four TV appearances booked already … Royalle Delite despite another UK visit (by all the girls this time) have had their slow ‘Spend A Little Time With Me‘ postponed for a few weeks, if not for a rethink! … Billboard’s US chart toppers since last mentioned in December have included atop Club Play: Phyllis Nelson ‘I Like You‘ (also top 12in Sales throughout), Total Contrast ‘Takes A Little Time‘, Alisha ‘Baby Talk’, Stevie Wonder ‘Go Home (Remix)’, and atop Black Singles: Eugene Wilde ‘Don’t Say No Tonight‘, Lionel Richie ‘Say You, Say Me’ … Jack To Jack are a Birmingham trio along DSM lines about whom a whisper is circulating … rm’s new printing schedules mean, although the Disco chart remains unaffected and bang up to date, the rest of my column has to be finished by an early Friday deadline — record companies and scandal mongers please note! … GET LOOSE!


HOT VINYL

L.L. COOL J ‘I Can’t Live Without My Radio’ (Def Jam recordings/CBS TX 6684)
This very stark basic juddering 89⅓bpm rap is strictly for headspinners (unlike ‘The Show’, say), flipped by the more interestingly gentle 0-95bpm ‘I Can Give You More‘ plus its instrumental, which feature isolated piano plonks amidst the beat box thuds. The kid is certainly a master at his art, rapping alone to minimal hip hop backing, and if you were concentrating before Christmas you’d have seen my BPM listing for his complete ‘Radio’ LP (US Def Jam/Columbia BFC 40239), the excitingly scratched 98½bpm ‘Rock The Bells‘ being currently hottest cut.

VAL YOUNG ‘If You Should Ever Be Lonely’ (US Gordy 4557GG)
Starting (after a quiet click track for mixers) with a startling acappella-style intro that’s immediately striking, the superior Street Mix becomes an offbeat throbbing and clonking 118bpm canterer with pealing vocal lines and a ringing ‘phone bell, while the instrumentally started less surprising Club Mix is however more of a song (with an edit too). M&M mixed of course, but it was Levi Ruffin Jr and Fred Jenkins who produced, rather than Rick James. Truly, hot to trot!

QUEST FOR LIFE ‘Baby Don’t Stop Me’ (US SeaBright PAL-7094)
This Leon Ware co-penned chaps supported overwrought chick-led deliberately tempoed dense 102⅚ jitterer builds and builds unresolved tension in somewhat Lamont Dozier ‘Roots’ style, and has been exciting much interest since Christmas strictly in soul circles. A real napper that gets under the skin, it’s too specialist to cross over, but for those in the know it has an even longer dub (edit and acappella too). Continue reading “January 18, 1986: L.L. Cool J, Val Young, Quest For Life, Doug E. Fresh, Aleem”

January 11, 1986: Kurtis Blow, Cherrelle with Alexander O’Neal, Evelyn Thomas, Viola Wills, Mantronix

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

DEN HARROW’s new Eurobeat hit you will see is called ‘Charleston‘ — no, not the 1920s oldie, but the name being given to the Continent’s current slower dance tempo in Italy and France (so did we jump the gun in retitling the Hi-NRG chart to Eurobeat when this could be more appropriate?) … Sahara ‘Love So Fine‘ just refuses to die, Christmas plays and sales bringing it back into the Disco chart, where maybe not surprisingly there’s been a big resurgence of the solo sets by Cherrelle and Alexander O’Neal — the latter’s ‘What’s Missing‘ most now surely be a candidate for 12in release? … George McCrae ‘Rock Your Baby’ has been remixed on US Sunnyview Classics (with his 1974 original as flip), while Bernard Wright’s new import 12in couples a remixed ‘After You’ with ‘Yo Nard’ on US Manhattan … Les Adams’ excellent Change medley, covering all their vintages and making intelligent use of digital delay, has been promoed by WEA with no commercial release date set yet (maybe if it does come out it should be titled ‘Give Me, Give Me, Give Me Some Change’?): meanwhile Disco Mix Club colleague Alan Coulthard has a similarly promo-only Haywoode megamix on CBS, rhythmically more compatible of course so more slickly flowing but for some reason largely instrumental … Disco Mix Club’s December mixes were mainly 1985 medleys, Les Adams’ Funk, Alan Coulthard s Pop (and Merry Mixmas!), Sanny X s Rock, Euro and general Dance Party, while just received their January mixes are Les’s current funk, Alan’s pop-soul oldies (kicked off by his fave much-used Sharon Redd ‘Beat The Street’), Sanny’s hip hop and Billy Idol megamix (subscription details on 06286-67276) … Les Adams incidentally has been impressing various DJ Association meetings with his live mixing demonstrations, and can be caught by the public megamixing funk on a 3000 watt system at Norbury’s Sussex Tavern every Tues/Thur … Disco Gary VanDenBussche still funks Fridays at Croydon Southend’s facelifted Club Musique, now called Langleys, where Dirty Dave Shirt souls Saturdays (and Shepherds Bush Silks Fri) … Chris Brown’s Sunday lunchtimes are legendary but he classily souls Wednesday nights as well as Ascot’s The Belvedere Arms (at Blacknest Gate on the A329) … Kevin Hawkins has started ‘70s soul at Westcliff On Sea Swag Club Tues, disco at Brentwood Blazers Thurs and Hornchurch Rivals Sun (latter two are wine bars), with weekends at reopened Brentwood Elliotts … Jeff Thomas has dropped all other gigs to be resident jock at Bridgend’s Valbonne (ex-Drones) in Mid-Glamorgan … Stevie Dee is now the sole DJ at Gillingham’s Regency in the King Charles Hotel, having added jazz-funk Sundays to his other full line-up of nights … Paul Anderson & Steve Walsh’s sidekick Freddie M funk Peckham Kisses Friday with girls admitted free … Jonathon More & Rob Milton’s somewhat esoteric Meltdown night is back at Deptford Champs Fridays … Gary Steel funks Greenford Oscars Sundays and does Gerrards Cross Smarties Fridays … London Charing Cross Road Busby’s has had a major refit, the fourth (I think) to be endured there by long standing resident Greg Gregory in the last ten years … Ciarian Lawlor does Fri/Sat at Birmingham’s refurbished The Millionaire — which I’ll be visiting next month as a roving guest judge of the 1986 Technics DJ Mixing Championships … Merseyside’s Personality DJ Of The Year “Julia” Grant, entertainment overlord of Firehurst Leisure’s rapidly expanding Mersey/Manchester pub chain (18 and adding), does La Jardin nightly and then doubles at Clouds Mon/Tues, Coconut Grove Wed/Fri, Secrets Thur/Sat (Sunday she has a lie in!) … Darryl Hayden’s fire-eating video roadshow recently gigged at the House Of Commons … Dartford’s Mixmaster Fressh FM is touting for work on 04747 6381 (evenings) — ask for Chris Marshall! … Ken Brudenell (Southampton Raffles) reckons Patti Austin ‘The Heat Of Heat‘ if issued here on 12in could be another Cherrelle as they’re so similar … Chris Gagola, playing to Radio One listeners at Hemel Hempstead’s The Living Room, nevertheless has successfully revived Sheila E ‘A Love Bizarre’ in anticipation of its UK release this month, and remains a big fan of The Family ‘High Fashion‘ … Level 42 to my mind have been a rock group (albeit soulful like Steely Dan) for several years now, yet still there are DJs who play them but don’t touch Tina Turner — how odd … Ladies Choice are men? … ‘Vision Quest’, the movie, has been renamed by Warner Bros for video release after the song Madonna is seen singing — her only appearance — ‘Crazy For You‘ … Club DJ Of The Year nominations are still welcome from globe trotting disco pluggers, few of whom managed to get them to me before Christmas … I had a refreshing full fortnight off, half in North Notts and half in North Wales, the New Year’s Eve party at my mate Sparrow Harrison’s mansion in the latter once again being the only one outside London to relay Capital Radio’s four hour party tape, to which I rocked ‘n’ rolled with Ann ‘Spud’ Murphy — many renewed thanks to all for your cards, and the odd Jeroboam! … 1986 deserves to see us all campaigning for more soul during daytime shows on BBC Radio One —IN EIGHTY-SIX LET’S GIVE ‘EM STICK!


HOT VINYL

KURTIS BLOW ‘If I Ruled The World’ (Club JABX 26)
Already monstrous as it fits right in with Full Force, Mantronix, Doug E. Fresh and the rest, this half sung/half rapped (0-)97bpm infectious bouncy jiggler from ‘Krush Groove’ has go go percussion, chix chanted choruses and scratching breaks (dub/inst flip), another to fly the flag for “new wave hip hop”.

CHERRELLE with Alexander O’Neal ‘Saturday Love’ (Tabu TA 6829)
Well, we at least all knew that this 115⅓bpm catchy slinker would be a smash, although most must be disappointed that the 12in lacks the LP’s dialogue intro, inessential for disco use of course but a major part of the total track’s appeal and doubtless responsible for the album’s renewed sales (her old 120bpm ‘I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On‘ vocal is flip, sadly not the superior exciting instrumental version). Meanwhile back in the States. their 12in is an acappella started more spaciously remixed 116bpm Extended Version (US Tabu 4Z9 05332), with instrumental flip and a useful rhythm-started acappella for mixers … so CBS have further options to issue to boost the chart place, if needed!

EVELYN THOMAS ‘Cold Shoulder’ (Record Shack SOHOT 60)
Borrowing shamelessly from Instant Funk’s ‘Got My Mind Made Up’ chant, this Ian Levine produced/John Morales mixed infectiously pushing 105bpm piledriver has an irresistible rhythm and soaring vocals designed to drive soul clubs wild (dub flip) – don’t stop, don’t stop, I’ll tell you when! Phew, is this good! (Due fully Jan 20). Continue reading “January 11, 1986: Kurtis Blow, Cherrelle with Alexander O’Neal, Evelyn Thomas, Viola Wills, Mantronix”

January 4, 1986: Year-end Disco/Hi-NRG charts for 1985

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

ADRIAN WEBB gathered most of the old ‘funk mafia’ faces plus some younger newcomers for a pre-Christmas feast at Bob Payton’s Chicago Rib Shack. to confirm that the DJ line-up at Live Wire’s April 11-13 Bognor Regis Butlins ‘Ultimate Soul Weekender’ will be much as previously announced, with the significant absence of Martin Collins but the addition of Colin Curtis, Jay Strongman and Trevor Fung: present at the happy gathering (I felt a bit like a New York cop noting number plates outside a Mafia wedding!) were the team of Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Froggy, Pete Tong, Chris Brown, Bob Jones, Sean French, Jonathan, Colin Hudd, Nicky Holloway, Gilles Peterson, Trevor Fung, plus Eddie Gordon, Mervyn Anthony, John Hassinger, WEA’s Fred Dove & Zoe Glitherow, Kentish booker Brian Rix, Dartford Flicks owner Mike Kearn, Camberley Frenchies manager Bob ‘The Knob’ Houlton, many female accomplices and myself — the cosa nostra revealed? … Gilles Peterson’s odd spelling has been explained at last: he’s half Swiss, half French, and his real surname is something impossible! … Disco Mix Club’s next 3rd International DJ Convention has been confirmed for London’s Hippodrome again on Sunday March 16, when the World Final of the 1986 Technics DJ Mixing Championship will also be held (the separate UK Final having been there on Feb 26) … C. J. Carlos, reeling from the politics of the last few weeks, remains piratical at heart and would have returned to the airwaves on any station, TKO happening to be the one that gave him the best offer — unfortunately on the old Solar wavelength, which is all that’s really caused confusion … CJ incidentally has been resident now for two and a half years at Dalston’s Oasis, longer than anyone else has lasted in that area … TKO is fully automated using a machine that plays both sides of four cassettes without anyone having to be there, which will disappoint the DTI’s “pirate busters” should they think they’ve found a whole studio … Thursday (2) Steve Walsh, Tosca and others open up Streatham Gems, while Nicky Holloway & Trevor Fung soul St. Martin’s Lane Laceys weekly … Sunday (5) Bob Jones, Chris Bangs, Ed Stokes, Russ B & Tony Fernandez dive “In At The Deep End” at Canvey Goldmine for a night of interesting music … Wednesday (8) Belfast Soul Club meets at Derriaghy Lisburn Road’s Ferraris in the Stagecoach Inn, but £1 tickets are required in advance from Terry Corr at 7 Colenso Court, Belfast BT9 5BB (enclose SAE) — which seems a bit complicated … BBC2’s terrific two-part Arena special ‘The Apollo Story’ was made especially poignant by the death shortly before it of the featured ‘Big’ Joe Turner, the Kansas City shouter whose belting vigorous R&B needed little adaptation to become rock ‘n’ roll — such of his classics as ‘Shake, Rattle And Roll’ and ‘Flip, Flop And Fly’ were covered in the mid-’50s by Bill Haley and Elvis Presley, but for sheer power and lusty exuberance his originals could not be bettered … I could write reams about my own experiences at the famous Harlem showcase, which l used to visit weekly when living in New York during 1964, but suffice at this stage to say that one notable appearance I caught there, actually in 1967, was the debut of the Parliaments singing ‘Testify (I Wanna)’ in shimmying baggy lime green satin suits — the same group led by George Clinton who subsequently got spaced out and Funkadelicised as Parliament! … Eon Irving (Chelsea Mainsqueeze) tips the Jennifer/Jocelyn-ish first album by Shirley Murdock due soon on US Elektra and sent him from the States as a test pressing … Torso, realising that being a great dance troupe on Radio London’s Soul Night Out broadcasts doesn’t exactly reveal their talent in peoples’ living rooms, seem set to start recording on A&M so that they can be heard too! … Pet Shop Boys ‘West End Girls’ keeps reminding me of Al Stewart singing William De Vaughn’s ‘Be Thankful For What You’ve Got’ – how about you? … Robbie Vincent would have enjoyed playing Baby Boomer Trivial Pursuits with Chris Hill over Christmas rather more had Chris not cheated by learning the answers first! … Christmas has yet to happen as I write this for a foreshortened deadline, without time to do any full reviews, but as in the last issue all the major releases were at least mentioned with their BPMs you should be as up to date as possible at this early stage: however, due here now are Rochelle ‘My Magic Man‘ (Warner Bros W8838T), the Lisa-Lisa-ish (0-)112¼bpm jiggly pop nagger with kids appeal, Kurtis Blow ‘If I Ruled The World’ (Club JABX 26), and it appears possibly James Brown ‘Living In America’ (Scotti Brothers TA 6701) — back to normal next week … HAPPY NEW YEAR! Continue reading “January 4, 1986: Year-end Disco/Hi-NRG charts for 1985”

December 21/28 1985 (double issue): The Hammy Awards 1985, Capital Radio New Year’s Party playlist

THE HAMMY AWARDS

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Pray silence for Ham E. Fresh! Burp suck hiss burp, burp suck hiss burp, pop pop pop pop pop pop pop, burp! Yup, fighting our way through a barrage of human beat boxes, it’s time to open once again the golden envelope and see who wins the year end kudos for 1985. All statistics are derived from the year-end disco charts. for which you will have to wait a fortnight until the next issue of RM, but in the meantime . . .

DISCO ARTISTES OF THE YEAR:
René & Angela.

RUNNERS UP:
Fatback, Steve Arrington, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Loose Ends, Cameo, Change, Five Star, Kleeer, Colonel Abrams, Total Contrast, Cool Notes, Atlantic Starr, Skipworth & Turner, Midnight Star, Paul Hardcastle, Princess, Chaka Khan, Lisa Lisa with Cult Jam and Full Force, Barbara Pennington.

DISCO HIT OF THE YEAR:
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, ‘Twilight’ (Capitol).

RECORD AT NUMBER ONE FOR LONGEST:
Cameo ‘Single Life’ (six weeks).

IMPORT OF THE YEAR:
Harleqiun Four’s, ‘Set It Off’ (US Jus Born Prod).

BEAT OF THE STREEET:
“psha psha psha”. Continue reading “December 21/28 1985 (double issue): The Hammy Awards 1985, Capital Radio New Year’s Party playlist”

December 14, 1985: Sheena Easton, John Anderson Big Band, James Brown, Black Ivory, Ladies Choice, Hi-NRG roundup

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

PETE WATERMAN craftily keeps nicking other records riffs to boost his own mixes, cleverly choosing instrumental disco monsters that didn’t cross fully over the first time, and now he’s re-emphasised the psha psha ‘Set It Off’ cymbal beat for the 111¾bpm ‘Pull It Off’ (geddit?) remix of O’chi Brown ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’ (Magnet MAGTR 288) which in Princess ‘Bad’ style starts off instrumentally just like Harleqiun Four’s! . . . D.S.M. ‘Warrior Groove’ (10 Records DAZZ 45-13) as threatened has been remixed minus its excellent scratching for the rather fractured and empty seeming 0-118¼bpm ‘The Saga Continues’ and ‘Warrior Dub’ versions, although some remains in subdued form on ‘Jazz Groove‘ . . . Aretha Franklin’s 108¾-109-108¾-109-108¾-0bpm ‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who’ US Dance Mix adds a ‘Set It Off’-ish 108¾108¼bpm Dub and full length Acappella . . . Cherrelle cracked it, the first import album track to top our Disco chart (all over and not just in London) for no knowing how long — and Full Force reached runner-up position ahead of UK release too! . . . CBS have taken so much flak over not recognising Cherrelle’s hit potential — Tony Blackburn really pulverised them on air last week! — that they’ve been embarrassed into snatching her back from Streetwave to release themselves on January 10 (let’s hope they alert the sales force!) . . . Streetwave meanwhile are releasing back-to-back on one 12in the first two Doug E. Fresh singles, from different US labels, Vintertainment’s ‘The Original Human Beat Box‘ (when he was merely Dougie Fresh) and Enjoy’s ‘Just Having Fun (Do The Beat Box)‘/’Bonus Lesson #1’ — did he change his name’s spelling to get some DEF initials? . . . ‘Streetsounds 15‘ has the current hits by The Concept, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Princess (‘Bad’), David Grant & Jaki Graham, Colonel Abrams (‘Music Is The Answer’), Brass Construction, B.T. Express, Caprice, Lonnie Reaves, Aleem, while ‘Streetsounds Electro 10‘ includes Full Force, Tricky T, LL Cool J — and the ‘Jazz Juice‘ LP is now finally due after it seems my enthusiastic comments about it containing the ultra rare Quartette Tres Bien gave the track’s owners Decca thankfully short-lived second thoughts! . . . Colonel Abrams’ LP (MCA Records MCG 6001), The Temptations ‘Touch Me’ LP (Motown ZL72413) are out here now, The Isley Brothers ‘Masterpiece’ LP (Warner Bros 925347-1) is due next week, while on 12in Yarbrough & Peoples ‘Guilty’ (Total Experience FT49906) should be out too . . . Lionel Richie’s album isn’t now expected until January 12, his next single being a duet with Sheila E (it’ll all depend on the tempo!) . . . Marvin Gaye ‘Romantically Yours’ LP (US Columbia FC 40208) is better waited for on UK release, all slushy standards ‘n stuff . . . Symbolic Three featuring DJ Dr Shock ‘No Show‘ (US Reality D-250) is a chix-led answer to ‘The Show’ which although quite jolly in its word-switching insults (“fairy cake” instead of “frosty flake”) adds nothing else new to the original inventive format . . . John Morales has remixed The Winans, and Masquerade in another rap version remix is due imminently with a reprinted sleeve on which Morgan Khan’s eloquent message will actually be legible . . . Natasha King’s old 102½bpm ‘AM-FM‘ and its alternative c.103bpm Megamix pressing have been reshipped by Ecstasy to meet sudden underground demand, before proper re-release in the new year — another Royalle Delite-like sleeper? . . . Stevie Wonder was so late at his Stringfellows Christmas luncheon last week it was a bit like waiting for him to deliver a new album, but once he’d delivered a rambling speech and been photographed, the groaning buffet was finally opened to queueing grub grabbers (slurp slurp!) — amongst whom I waited with Greg Edwards, Chris Tarrant, Richard Allinson (all Capital Radio), Simon Bates, Ranking Miss P, Pete Ritzema, John Walters (Radio One), Dave Gregory (Essex Radio), Five Star and Dotty Green . . . Steve Walsh amazingly passed on the food to spend instead a liquid afternoon (evening and night!), moving on during closing hours with myself, Heaven’s “gay funk” DJ Damon Rochefort, Stringfellows jockette Marie Thompson and Hombre lighting girl Melanie to Tin Pan Alley’s A&R Club (just like “The Winchester Club”, know what I mean?) . . . Marie Thompson got her prestigious gig just two weeks after starting DJ-ing for the first time ever in a pub — her skintight black PVC dress so impressed Stringfellows’ main jock Tig’rr (sic ’em) she was offered an audition in the middle of a Saturday night (don’t it make ya sick?!) . . . 4th + B’way as stated will continue, run by newly promoted Adrian Sykes . . . Cameo’s rock guitar intro at Hammersmith Odeon was so appalling I nearly walked out then, but thankfully I stayed a while as about 20 minutes into the show they actually started singing (drowned though by deafeningly amplified instruments, which became too much for me) — to choose between two sometimes confusingly similar groups, the Gap Band are much better fun live . . . Graham Gold at last has realised an ambition, sitting in on Capital Radio for the Sunday 1-5am Steve Collins soul slot both last and this weekend (15), playing and brilliantly mixing (Roberta Gilliam/Ester, wow!) the black music that from experience he knows Londoners really relate to — exciting listening at such an early hour, but then club-leavers will love it! . . . CJ Carlos idiotically, considering of all the Solar jocks he had most star potential, has started broadcasting illegally again on TKO instead of being good and waiting for the community radio licences to be announced — Tony Monson thinks it’s a great shame that he and others have done this when there’s a real possibility they could do so legally soon, and as far as he is concerned those DJs and their breakaway activities have put them beyond the pale having no connection now with Solar or that station’s licence application as SLR (South London Community Radio) . . . Radio Tees soul jock Mike Prior links with New York KISS-fm DJ Bugsy every Saturday 7.15pm to run down the Big Apple’s hot hits . . . Kenni James it is who souls Radio Merseyside Monday evenings, any confusion over his spelling being due to the inaccuracies of a Radio Waves column in another supposedly streetwise paper — sorry to Kenni, and to Kenny Jaymes (who now apparently is resident jock at Luton’s Tropicana Beach, ex-Sands) . . . Christmas means that next week we combine two issues of RM, with the Hammy Awards and my Capital Radio New Year’s Eve four hour party tape’s running order, year end charts not appearing until January 4 — however, regular Disco and Eurobeat charts will appear in every issue, so DJs please post your chart returns NOW and again on Monday December 30 . . . MERRY CRIMBLE!


HOT VINYL

SHEENA EASTON: ‘Do It For Love’ (EMI 12EMI 5536)
Had this black dance-style 115¾bpm lurching bright strutter arrived on import by some unknown it would have been snapped up by all the hip jocks. The fact it didn’t doesn’t deserve to make a difference, but doubtless will! Not actually great, it’s worth trying, though.

JOHN ANDERSON BIG BAND: ‘Glenn Miller Medley’ (Modern Records 12GLEN 1, via EMI/Priority)
Mobile/MoR-type jocks may remember me raving about this Belfast bandleader’s essential seven inch a year ago, ‘In The Mood/American Patrol/Little Brown Jug/Pennsylvania 6-5000’ medleyed to an ungimmicky timeless twist beat. Well, he’s tinkered needlessly with the 192bpm beat but at least now on 12 inch, it should be easier to order, and will do unless you can find the still superior seven inch a likely floor filler for years! Incidentally, BLACK LACE: ‘Hokey Cokey’ (Flair Records 12LACED 3) will do for parties as well, especially the “X rated” pressing with a filthy ‘Agadoo Have A Screw)’ too!

JAMES BROWN: ‘Living In America’ (US Scotti Brothers 4Z9 05310)
Mr Brown comes storming back firing on all cylinders in a traditionally styled if lighter textured skipping rope strutter, prod/co-penned by Dan Hartman for the ‘Rocky IV’ film, in 114bpm R&B Dance and Soundtrack LP, 0-113¾bpm Instrumental Versions — so get down and do the double bump, it’s a brand new day, UHH! Continue reading “December 14, 1985: Sheena Easton, John Anderson Big Band, James Brown, Black Ivory, Ladies Choice, Hi-NRG roundup”

December 7, 1985: Masquerade, Full Force, Nicole with Timmy Thomas, Sophia George, Colonel Abrams

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

ADRIAN WEBB has resigned his founding directorship of Showstopper Promotions over policy disagreements and set up instead his own new Livewire operation to run amongst others The Ultimate Soul Weekend next April 11-14 at the evidently superior spacious Bognor Regis Butlins, exclusively using the usual Caister security and DJ team (including Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Martin Collins, Pete Tong, Froggy, Sean French, Chris Brown, Bob Jones plus such guest newcomers as Colin Hudd, Jonathon, Nicky Holloway, Gilles Peterson but minus the semi-retired Jeff Young), with proper sit-down concert presentations of visiting live acts, quality being his aim at all events (details on 01-440 3264) — meanwhile, although this move might be presumed to put their April 18-20 Caister Soul Weekender in jeopardy, Showstoppers’ John Morris assures me the traditional Gt Yarmouth Ladbrokes Holiday Village event will remain as planned with DJs including he claims established current Caister “names” as well as “new younger faces” (details on 01-886 8141) . . . Luton’s Sho-Pro owned Pink Elephant coincidentally has just reverted to being called The ‘New’ California — has this any bearing on anything? . . . Jeff Young, still doing just the odd selected evening gig, has given up jocking at weekenders no matter who the promoter as what with his Saturday lunchtime Radio London show and full-time Phonogram day job he needs to relax — he’s even reluctantly dropping his Sundays at South Harrow Bogarts after Christmas . . . Nicky Holloway following the artistic success of his own recent Bognor Regis weekender is planning a possible week away in Ibiza in May, on a small scale, with DJs playing in a different club every night . . . Ashley Newton and Julian Palmer are leaving it at the end of the year to start their own respective labels, but despite a strange spate of rumours to the contrary 4th + B’way will continue as before as Island’s funk outlet — and even celebrated the launch of its compilation double album ‘Beauty + The Beat > On Broadway‘ (BEAUT 1) last Monday week at Brixton’s The Fridge with a party attended by almost every DJ and disco figure from the London area, a great social occasion, entertained notably by Paul Johnson and friends from the London Community Gospel Choir singing acappella . . . Streetwave amazingly have snatched Cherrelle ‘Saturday Love’ from CBS, who nevertheless are enough on the ball to rush out Nicole . . . Bluebird/10 picked up Bobby Mardis — which, ultra-accurately, is (0-)117-117½-(break)-118bpm, and Meli’sa Morgan ‘Do Me Baby’ (Capitol 12CL 385) is already out here . . . Loose Ends ‘Choose Me’ has also been remixed on import . . . Sly & Robbie’s 12in has added ‘Bass And Trouble‘ to help it sell . . . Royalle Delite’s already promoed Streetwave newie after Christmas will be the dialogue started then sickly sweet 42¾-85½bpm ‘Spend A Little Time With Me‘, not terribly exciting, while Polo likewise have white labelled Midnight’s better pleasant gently cooed slow (0-)100½bpm ‘Easy Promise To Break‘, a bit Cool Notes-ish . . . Stevie Wonder was celebrating with an exclusive Christmas party at Stringfellows this Tuesday lunchtime, full menu details next week! . . . Junior as suspected did not anticipate much club play for ‘Oh Louise‘, wanting it to sound different and make it as a song . . . Haywoode, going to the same doctor as Paul Young for the nodules on her throat, doesn’t now visit the States until January to coincide with the release of her album . . . Five Star’s outfits didn’t exactly flatter their thighs and hips on last Saturday’s ‘Wide Awake Club’ on TV-am, talk about pork! . . . Leisa Dove, only 17 and no hits to her name, seems to be upsetting people by acting the prima donna already . . . Teddy Pendergrass’s ‘One Of Us Fell In Love‘ is actually a cover of 1981’s Liquid Gold single! . . . Lionel Richie on his upcoming LP has recorded one track with top country group Alabama, presumably to give him the chance of pulling off a truly across-the-board US chart-topper, Pop, Black, Dance, Adult and Country? . . . Isley Jasper Isley topped US Black 45s in Billboard . . . Gallup, to be fair, also openly allow record companies to hold albums off the UK LP chart during the first week when sometimes shipments have reached only a very few shops, although enough to result in an unrealistically low chart entry . . . Robbie Vincent points out that Radio One producer Pete Ritzema at least had been featuring Doug E. Fresh before it hit on Annie Nightingale’s Sunday evening show (thus giving Robbie the perfect excuse for not playing it himself?), although that’s not exactly a daytime “strip” show . . . BBC Local Radio stations together raised almost half the total money in the recent Children In Need appeal, in the face of TV and national radio competition — jolly well done! . . . LWR 92.1FM, TKO 102.4FM, KISS 94.05FM and JBC 105FM were still pumping out black music in London as of the weekend, when they were joined by yet another unidentified test transmission on both 106 and 101.05FM — while “upfront pop and soul” Radio Sanctum was due on 90.2FM (which won’t be popular with the Beeb) . . . Disco Mix Club main man Alan Coulthard is so addicted to TV soaps that he’s setting up a Soap-Opera Appreciation Society, and next Tuesday (10) he’s even talking about it on Radio London after 11pm with Steve Allen (not the Peterborough one!) . . . Pete Haigh does his monthly soul roundup this Sunday (8) on Steve Barker’s 2-5pm Radio Lancashire show, and doubtless will be raving about Manchester jazz-fusionists The Stems, with Viv Dixon’s vocals and Snake Davis’s slick sax sounding very American (and just a little characterless?) — they’re gigging at Withington Mulberry’s Tues (10), Sheffield University Thur (12), Carlisle Front Page Fri (20) . . . Colonel Abrams makes his first ever live concert debut, with British musicians, at Hammersmith Palais Monday (9) . . . Friday (6) Marsha Raven PAs for Adrian Parkin at Huddersfield’s revamped and renamed Hi-NRG 42nd Street (ex-Gemini Club, free admission), Saturday (7) Divine joins Norman Scott for a full show at Haringey Bolts, Sunday (8) Hazell Dean joins Bill Grainger for a 30 minute show at Edinburgh Fire Island . . . Tricky Dicky & Alex Baker have now started gay Wednesdays at Shepherds Bush Silks . . . Thursday (5) Lyndon T guests with Simon Goffe at London Leicester Square’s Secret Rendezvous . . . Chris Dinnis guests at Yeovil Electric Studio Sat (7), then souls with Chris Stagg Exeter Boxes Wed (11), Taunton Kingstons Thur (12), plus he’s jazzy Tues/funky Fri at Torquay Monroes weekly . . . LWR’s Ron Tom funks Canning Town Bentley’s Sat, Stamford Hill Cotton Club Wed . . . Chris Kaye took over Thursdays at Gillingham’s The Avenue (smart dress) . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn members meet Sunday (8) noon at Iver’s Tower Arms — I must agree with their Disco Action mag’s comment that for most mobile gigs 7in singles (apart from the rare essential 12in mix) are all that DJs need, which is precisely why (for my own use ultimately!) I always BPM the Hit Numbers on 7in for you . . . Kensington’s The Park went pop so Dave Rawlings left his funky Thursdays there after two years — he feels the DJ should be allowed to judge what music will work, while of course reacting to the dancers’ prevailing taste and that if forced into an unhappy musical compromise this will communicate to the audience (however he concedes that the new Top 20 format is working on the floor) . . . Full Force is neck and neck with Cherrelle as the number one in London’s clubs, with on their heels Kurtis Blow and Rochelle coming up fast — the latter being huge around Manchester too . . . Linda Clifford seems biggest along the Thames estuary for some reason! . . . Began Cekic’s prod/penned exciting catchy (0-)118bpm instrumental bounder from about three years ago, featuring Madness’s “Hey you” and other identifiable vocal punctuations, Brooklyn Express ‘Sixty-Nine’ has turned up in some London charts again evidently as a remix, which I’ve yet to locate although I’ve certainly seen the original (on US One Way) being used too — its shorter flipside ‘Change Position (88)‘ version always struck me as even more urgent . . . Corky Hale debuting at 93, is a female jazz harpist who otherwise sounds like Shakatak, if that’s your bag . . . EMI have mailed out import copies of Bernard Wright’s 12in, unscheduled here, so let’s see what delayed action they have on the Disco chart now — Clarence Carter as anticipated dropped right out again, and Sun returned, thanks to the “mailing list syndrome” (good records both, though) . . . Capitol need to get a Brass Construction video to Jonathan King in case Ashford & Simpson-like, lightning really can strike twice! . . . Froggy Productions Inc (or whatever it’s called) did the UK Gadget Version on the Doug E. Fresh remix, and Solar’s Chris Forbes with Disco Mix champ Roger Johnson were due to do one too although whether theirs is the Dr D. & Necam 7 Get Fresh Gadget Mix is unclear . . . Oliver Cheatham ‘Turning Point’ is now actually on Champion, for whom he’s currently cutting an album in London, licensed from Move . . . CBS have reissued not only Marvin Gaye ‘Sexual Healing’ but also Miami Sound Machine ‘Conga’ although not in its Hi-NRG hit Hot Tracks remix . . . Eurobeat breakers include Den Harrow ‘Future Brain (Remix)‘ (Italian Baby), Shady ‘Get Right Next To You‘ (Boystown UK), Bondettes ‘007‘ (Dutch Sound Shop), Evelyn Thomas ‘High Energy Medley’ (Record Shack), Angie St. Phillips ‘Light Up My Heart (Remix)‘ (US TRS), David Knopfler ‘Shockwave‘ (makingwaves), O’chi Brown ‘Whenever You Need Somebody‘ (Magnet), Tony Baron ‘Dream In Black‘ (French Carrere), Taracco, ‘Voodoo Night‘ (German Metronome), Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin ‘Sisters’ (RCA) . . . Christmas deadlines mean that if any gigs between now and January 8 are to be publicised, you MUST send details TODAY, not tomorrow, marking your envelope (addressed to me as usual) with “DISCO DATES” to arrive no later than Monday morning — that’s right, this coming Monday (9), for printing next week . . . SEND IT OFF!


Streetwave boss Morgan Khan hasn’t let colour supplement exposure go to his head, he really does appear with Masquerade on their record sleeve and at gigs with good reason — it seems he handles much of the lead vocal on their ‘One Nation’! Based on Funkadelic’s classic ‘One Nation Under A Groove’, with interpolations from other George Clinton P’funkers ‘Flashlight’, ‘Tear The Roof Off Sucker’ and ‘(Not Just) Knee Deep’, this version and the group’s use of the Union Jack have an underlying message, the significance of which would be more apparent to record buyers had the sleeve’s printing not obscured it. Morgan’s wise words which you should have been able to read are extremely pertinent: “Britain urgently needs to become one nation again, and perhaps the biggest obstacle preventing that happening is racism — a sickness that has to be wiped out. One way we can defeat racism is by reclaiming the flag for all Britons. The Union Jack has been hijacked and perverted by racist organisations and used by them as a symbol of hostility to any Briton who isn’t Caucasian. Let’s make the Union Jack the emblem of all the races in Britain today and at the same time deny the racists one of their most potent symbols. Then we can all have pride in our country, our environment and, most of all, in our future — one nation regardless of colour, creed, race, or sex.” Amen.


HOT VINYL

FULL FORCE: ‘Alice, I Want You Just For Me!’ (CBS TA 6640)
Out on Monday, this totally compulsive joyful bouncy (0-)101-0bpm unison-sung jiggler has as expected exploded and should even be a crossover monster maybe to rival Doug E Fresh, not that it’s a normal rap (two much more freaky quiet stark mixes on flip). Stay still if you can!

NICOLE with Timmy Thomas: ‘New York Eyes’ (Portrait TX 6805)
Currently a much bigger request than its parent import LP’s progress might suggest, poised to explode now on 12in, this delightful buoyant rhythm filled though surprisingly slow 79¼bpm tripping little jogger is duetted in irresistible pent-up style right from its “Hi, are you from New York?” conversational start (the ugly crass 125bpm ‘Ordinary Girl‘ flip’s a pity though).

SOPHIA GEORGE: ‘Girlie Girlie’ (Winner WIN/T 01, via Jet Star 01-961 4422)
Beware, here is a storm warning . . . storming the nation is this likely successor to the old ‘Up Town Top Ranking’ (at the same time of year too), another deadly irrepressible silly little (0-)81½-82½bpm reggae nonsense song that’ll scramble your brains with its indefinable charm (dub flip), too hot to stop and hitting hard in London already at all levels! Continue reading “December 7, 1985: Masquerade, Full Force, Nicole with Timmy Thomas, Sophia George, Colonel Abrams”

November 30, 1985: The Concept, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Ester, Loose Ends

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

EMI AMERICA here are indeed now going to release Jellybean ‘Was Dog A Doughnut?‘ out in January with promos sooner . . . Doug E. Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew ‘The Show’ (the latest black hit to take Radio One by surprise!) has two new remixes, the more instrumental Doctor D v Necam 7 mix (101½bpm on acetate) and restructured UK Gadget Mix (100½bpm plus ‘La-Di-Da-Di’ has been cleaned up into a non-explicit version . . . CBS on December 9 rush release Full Force, whose B-side ‘Bang Zoom‘ dirty monologue version was inspired by the Jackie Gleason/Art Carney vintage US TV series ‘The Honeymooners’ — prior to producing UTFO last year, their 1979 debut ‘Turn You On‘ (US Dazz Records) was the only thing Full Force had done . . . New York TV’s Channel 5 WNEW shows the ‘Inspector Gadget’ cartoon series every weekday morning for half on hour at 7am, so there must be a lot of early rising hip hoppers there! . . . Caprice ‘100%’ is due here on new label Lovebeat International (via Lightning/Spartan), and Streetwave picked up B.T. Express plus Aleem ‘Get Loose’ . . . Supreme Records worked out something with Wally Badarou so that the Princess “Bad” mix could come out — mind you, most clubs I’ve visited only seem to play the first two minutes before the singing starts, as an alternative to poor Wally whose ‘Chief Inspector’ it of course now copies! . . . Masquerade’s PAs are indeed being fronted by Streetwave boss Morgan Khan, leading the dancers — but then you never could keep him still (can your pussy do the dog, indeed)! . . . DSM may stand for Devastating Street Music but it’s also the first name initials of vocalist/producer Danny ‘Daniels’ Poku, scratcher Shaun Williams, DJ Mambo, as suspected . . . Cherrelle’s album track import smash is confusing many shoppers, who ask for the Alexander O’Neal newie instead . . . Cameo’s luxuriously packaged 12in “twofer” looks like selling out fast . . . Aretha Franklin’s 12in certainly adds a dub mix this week, but there’s confusion over whether its publicised new Dance Mix will be any different from the available one already billed as that . . . Kashif ‘Condition Of The Heart’ LP (Arista 207 426) is now out here . . . Glenn Jones’ album tracks ‘Everlasting Love‘/’Meet Me Half Way There‘ make up his new US RCA 12in . . . Eurobeat seems to be catching on fast amongst gay DJs as an alternative and now more accurate description of the Hi-NRG music they play, so, although I’m not convinced it’s as snappy a name, that’s what the relevant RM chart is now called — incidentally, Fantasy ‘He’s Number One‘ is number one in more gay charts than anything else, although not in enough to be number one nationally, yet . . . Tricky Dicky Scanes left London’s Spats after nine years amidst a blaze of publicity . . . Dave Gregory, soulling Saturdays at the now Keith Giles-owned Canvey Island Goldmine, returns well rested to Essex Radio this week on Fridays 9pm-1am and Saturdays 6-9pm, plus he’ll still be running the station’s Soul Night Specials (the next at Southend Zero 6 Friday the 13th), the other reprieved soul shows being presented by Disco John Leech Mon-Fri 6-9pm and Tony Monson Sat 9pm-1am — Essex funkers can breathe again! . . . Segue Steve Goddard defends the appearance of TKO on Solar’s old wavelength by pointing out that even if the latter does get a community radio licence there won’t be room in its restricted legal form for all its old 37 DJs to broadcast, which is why some are now on air again taking the law in their own hands . . . US radio stations when they put records onto cartridge tape (most use carts rather than vinyl singles) unbelievably have to hire an American Federation of Musicians’ union member musician to put the stylus on the record before the tape can roll! . . . Aretha Franklin and now Sheila E topped US Club Play, Phyllis Nelson ‘I Like You‘ 12in Sales in Billboard, whose dance charts are always what amounts to nearly a fortnight out of date being compiled by Monday of the week before the one in which they appear — what’s more, US record companies can evidently control the impact of their albums’ entry in the LP charts by getting Billboard not to include them until they’ve reached a more favourably high debut position! . . . Whitney Houston on account of her earlier credits partnering Teddy Pendergrass and Jermaine Jackson is ridiculously ineligible for the Grammy Award category that everyone expected her to win, Best New Artist — but can’t she aim for Best Female Vocal? . . . The Isley Brothers switched labels to Warner Bros and are in the process of suing Epic for allegedly enticing Isley Jasper Isley away from the family in what appears to be a very sad and unbrotherly squabble . . . Michael Praed of ‘Dynasty’ has covered Michael St. James’ ‘There Is Only One Love’ on US Columbia . . . Samantha Fox interviewed Steve Walsh on last Friday’s ‘The Six O’Clock Show’ on TV about how he turns down all the offers of free sex at his gigs! . . . Mayfair’s late nite eaterie Rockafella’s has finally reopened but under new management and as the flashy neon lit Rocky’s, serving unlimited “buffet” breakfasts after 4am . . . Reggie could well pinch the title from skinny Haywoode as best legs in the biz — she shakes ass, too! . . . Friday (29) David Grant visits Towyn Mirrors near Rhyl, and Eon Irving funks Kensington Roof Gardens . . . Saturday (30) LW5 PA — and Monday week (9) play live — at Harlow Whispers . . . Cameo headline Nottingham Rock City’s Sunday (1) 3pm alldayer . . . Belfast’s co-operative Belfast Soul Club meets next Thursday (5) at Skipper Street’s Crow’s Nest playing soul, funk, jazz, electro with freebies for all new members (£1 admission), details from Terry Corr on Belfast 661761 after 6pm . . . Baz Fe Jazz & Andy McConnell jazz, latin, Afro-Cuban, R&B and boogie woogie London Charlotte Street’s Sol Y Sombre Tuesdays . . . Paul Lambert plays really danceable soul at Brighton seafront Zap Club’s Wednesday The Hothouse . . . Chris Kaye welcomes well dressed upfront South Londoners at Wrotham Stocks Saturdays, and funks Tonbridge free admission fun pubs Harveys Mon, Loggers Tues . . . Colin Hudd at Dartford Flicks amongst other more usual James Brown stuff is reviving 1962’s ‘Night Train’, to get ’em all twistin’! . . . Steinski tipped me off in New York about the Music Factory shop in Times Square at 1476 Broadway (between 42nd and 43rd) as being good for “beats”, and sure enough that’s where I found for $5.99 some of the 6-track 12in ‘Break Beats’ series of essential cut ‘n scratch throwdown break rhythms (mentioned last week by Jay Strongman), Vol 3 including Herman Kelly ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat‘ (119¼-118-116¾-116½-117-118bpm), Incredible Bongo Band ‘Apache‘, Cheryl Lynn ‘Got To Be Real’ — not that the artists are mentioned, or indeed the titles printed properly, it being one of those dodgy sort of records (I’d previously picked up an ‘Apache’ boot at Downstairs Records in 1979!) . . . Go West’s current 12in includes an 114¼bpm Horizontal Mix of their US urban contemporary hit ‘Eye To Eye‘, except it’s nowhere near as mellow and soulful (in admittedly Hall & Oates-ish style) as the version I was hearing on New York radio — that one could cause a surprise if ever out here . . . Pete Townsend’s 204½bpm ‘Face The Face‘ although slightly slower should be good for pop jocks in the 219-220bpm Katrina And The Waves ‘Walking On Sunshine’/The Sweet ‘Ballroom Blitz’ mix — now all it needs is to be a hit! . . . Brian Chin, my counterpart in US trade paper Billboard, has as mentioned been visiting London and slipped me many of the bits in this week’s column, if you hadn’t guessed . . . Clarence Carter returns to the Disco Chart once again purely on mailing list DJs plays, so how long will they keep him there this time? . . . I reckon those record pluggers who regularly tour the country visiting clubs must be in the best position to judge how DJs rate against each other nationally, so within the next week or so could they please let me have a list, in complete confidence, of who they honestly think technically, musically, floor and vibe-wise, are the jocks worth not only a detour but the journey itself to see — if they’re fair about it, the results could be interesting indeed (and don’t forget the annual Hammy Awards loom closer!) . . . SET IT OFF!


• Latest product from the hot Waterman-Stock-Aitken team is O’CHI BROWN: ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’ (Magnet MAGI 288), a friskily wriggling 113½bpm bounder with many of their usual trademarks plus the fashionable “psha” cymbal beat. Although yet to hit the Hi-NRG/Eurobeat chart, it actually broke first in gay clubs, which may give some idea of its infectious jollity.


HOT VINYL

THE CONCEPT: ‘Mr D.J.’ (4th + B’way 12BRW 40)
Los Angeles radio jock Eric ‘Rico’ Reed of KJLH makes out instead he’s on WONE (“where you’re on the one”) as he fields dumb phone-in requests and gives out the weather (“purple rain forecast out of Minnesota — we’re talking forty days and forty nights here gang”!), all just slightly satirical — or is it? — and set to an innocuous 122bpm backing (inst flip). We’re talking a pick to click here gang, like monstrous!

THE TEMPTATIONS: ‘Touch Me’ LP (US Gordy 6164 GL)
Selling equally for its slowies (reviewed in full next week), this lovely set’s best dancers are the Sam Cooke-ish gently 0-102½bpm ‘I’m Fascinated’, weaving 105½bpm ‘Oh Lover‘, nagging 0-104¾bpm ‘Givehersomeattention‘ (sic), while that really is Luther V making his usual noises on ‘Do You Really Love Your Baby‘! Just to keep you posted about other current import LPs, the throatily jolting EWF-ish 103¾bpm ‘Very Real Way‘ is best dancer on the soulful gospel listening THE WINANS: ‘Let My People Go’ (US Qwest 1-25344), the slinky 0-93½bpm ‘All Fired Up‘ is creating some interest on the disappointing BRANDI WELLS: ’21st Century Fox’ (US Omni Records 90489-1), while the terrific soulful 90bpm ‘How Can I Get Next To You‘ is shaping up as a real classic on the previously mentioned CHAPTER 8: ‘This Love’s For Real’ (Beverly Glen Music BG 10007). The latter’s essential!

STEVIE WONDER: ‘Go Home (Remix)’ (Motown ZT 40502)
Stevie delivered, better late than never: replacing previous pressings, he’s remixed, toughened and extended this now much modified 119¼bpm light loper with new instrumental emphasis and bursts of electronic effects (new inst flip too) although whether it’s destined to be a future classic seems still in doubt. Continue reading “November 30, 1985: The Concept, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Ester, Loose Ends”

November 23, 1985: Colonel Abrams, Cameo, The Winans, The Temptations, 52nd Street

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

D.S.M. (standing for Devastating Street Music — how long did it take them to work backwards to that?) is being remixed on Elite/10 Records with some of the scratching substituted by sax . . . 4th + B’way snapped up The Concept ‘Mr DJ’ for December 2 release . . . Streetwave’s next DJ Limited Edition revivals will be Side Effect ‘Keep That Same Old Feeling‘/’Always There‘ (SWAVE 4), Sweet Thunder ‘Everybody’s Singin’ Love Songs‘/Slick ‘Space Bass‘ (SWAVE 5), Positive Force ‘We Got The Funk’/Sugarhill Gang ‘Rapper’s Delight’ (SWAVE 6), the 12in-only pressing limit being raised due to demand from 5,000 to 10,000 . . . EMI have made available here Bernard Wright ‘Mr Wright’ LP (Manhattan MTL 1000) . . . Dillinger’s 1977 reggae classic ‘Cocaine’ is being reissued on snow white vinyl by Champagne Records (via Culture Press) with a new backing track remixed in disco stylee . . . Oliver Cheatham is distributed by Champion/PRT, rather than Charly (who handle most Move product) — in fact, Andy Omokhoje of Move Records (031-225 8518) and Gary Jones of Domino Records (0705 833818) are getting together to invite other frustrated small soul and dance labels to combine with them in possibly forming a specialist distribution company as an alternative to the new wave orientated indies . . . 4th + B’way, taking a leaf out of London’s book, held the first of several parties for regional DJs at Liverpool’s Palmers Club this last Monday, and next Monday (25) hold another at Brixton’s Fridge . . . Kenny Jaymes (who must move about a bit as he sends us charts from Norwich Spencers) really knocks out some hot vinyl playing imports still unheard in London on Liverpool’s BBC Radio Merseyside Mondays 8-9.30pm, followed by soul veteran Terry Lennaine but in his mellow week-night slot — but most impressive listening on my last North Wales visit was Piccadilly Radio’s early morning Lee Brown, playing a majority of black music with a great radio voice right through the night . . . Al Jarreau, talking to Jeff Young on Radio London (amongst others), sounded surprisingly like Kelly Monteith — and just as funny, about the discomfort of the old Concorde seats (“three hours sitting with your chin on your chest”), and his days as a rehabilitation counsellor in flower power San Francisco — his collaboration with Bob James & David Sanborn being due in February . . . Malcolm Laycock while recently sitting in on Radio London’s afternoon show played an interestingly wide range of oldies including much pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop from the ’50s and earlier, with lots of assertive females — the disco divas of their day? . . . Capital Radio’s soul jock Greg Edwards, not many people will know, for the last two years has had a day job as boss of a fashion clothing company which takes him to his factory in Bologna, Italy, every week . . . St Martins Lane Lacey’s would have been a more congenial new venue for Soul On Sound’s Private Funktion with less officious bouncers and a few more funkers — as it was, I crossed the road to Stringfellows and checked Marie Thompson’s slick mixing of Matt Bianco and No Way Jose instead . . . Martin John of Welling’s Station got married and Silhouette Promotions’ super cool Bryan O’Connor was spotted at the wedding leading the ‘Birdie Song’ dance! . . . Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson, between globe-trotting for Bacchus International (over the next few months he’ll be jocking in Korea, Singapore and Indonesia), is briefly back in Birmingham at The Millionaire where he finds little change as the real monsters remain Animal Magnet ‘Welcome To The Monkey House‘, Roni Griffith ‘(Best Part Of) Breakin’ Up‘ and the inevitable Tin Tin ‘Kiss Me’ . . . Stevie Wonder ‘Part-Time Lover’ also topped US Club Play, Miami Sound Machine ‘Conga’ 12in Sales in Billboard — whose Brian Chin, my opposite number, will be visiting London’s clubs and second-hand record shops until next week . . . Graham Gold (Mayfair Gullivers) when mixing from Full Force into Fatback ‘I Found Lovin’ bridges between the new and the old soul faves of the reggae crowd, and suggests other newies that even Steve Walsh could get away with including Kurtis Blow, Jellybean, Aleem, DSM, Wally Badarou, Tavares, Serious Intention, Circle City Band, Sahara, Evelyn King ‘High Horse‘, Hardrock Soul Movement ‘Do It Anyway You Wanna (Jam Jam Jam)‘ (dynamite between ‘Set It Off’ and ‘Trapped’), while alternative oldies are Jermaine Jackson ‘Come To Me‘, Bobby Nunn ‘Don’t Knock It’, Maze ‘Before I Let Go‘, Keni Burke ‘All Night‘, James Brown ‘Don’t Tell It‘, Archie Bell ‘Don’t Let Love Get You Down‘ . . . Graham Murray (0642 226270) tours NATO bases in January and would appreciate advice about the stuff they’re currently dancing to in Italy . . . Andy Richards back in April was sent by Peter Larsen of Copenhagen’s Street Dance Records shop an orchestral remix 12in (not out here) of the then nearly year old Jennifer Rush ‘The Power Of Love’, which became an immediate monster for him at Streatham’s gay Chaplins where he was thus probably the first UK jock to break it — but, despite eventually proven demand and wide appeal, it took so long to explode nationally he reckons thanks to “the wallies at Radio One” ignoring it because it was too sentimental and not actually inside the Top 40 (her German newie is the 97bpm ‘Destiny‘ dancer) . . . Cherrelle is unfortunate to be on a CBS label as the current massive demand for ‘Saturday Love’ is unlikely to be translated into a hit should they ever get around to making it a single here, to judge from their marketing and promotion departments’ past all too familiar form with black product . . . EMI America despite losing him have put Jellybean’s old ‘Sidewalk Talk’ out in America and straight into the Hot 100, doubtless due to Madonna writing it and singing backups behind Catherine Buchanan’s lead vocal, so maybe there’s hope here yet for ‘Was Dog A Doughnut?’ . . . Bernard Fowler actually sings lead on Hanson & Davis ‘Tonight’ . . . Nayobe goes direct to the original Martha & The Vandellas’ ‘Dancing In The Street’ for the rhythmic and vocal drive of her 123½bpm ‘Schoolboy Crush’, bypassing Bowie & Jagger although obviously and inevitably their influence has now been felt . . . Ian Levine has remixed Bronski Beat ‘Hit That Perfect Beat’ to make it even more Hi-NRG . . . I’d review Hi-NRG releases more often if more consistently supplied, but it seems silly reviewing only some and not all of the UK-issued hits in our chart . . . Brian Mason (Cricklewood Ashtons) puts it just right, the sudden fast bit in Lionel Richie is about as welcome during a smoochy slow set as somebody turning the house lights on! . . . King Enri (Sidcup Danielles) reckons it’s cheaper to buy an import 12in containing all the mixes than in the end having to fork out for two or more UK versions to get the same, which reinforces my argument last week — he also suggests Cleveland Eaton ‘Bama Boogie Woogie‘ for reissue following Caister-generated demand . . . Paul Cummings (19 Myrtle Close, Alphington, Exeter EX2 8UX) badly needs Hamilton Bohannon ‘Let’s Start The Dance Again’ and Geraldine Hunt ‘Can’t Fake The Feeling’ . . . Kelly’s Great British Soul Par-tay has lots of PAs at Bournemouth’s The Academy Friday (22) . . . Darryl Hayden’s next under-18 video roadshow gigs are Greenford Town Hall Fri (22), South Reading Sports Centre Sat (23), Chard Guildhall Fri (29) . . . Saturday (23) sees rhythm pals Pete Tong & Jeff Young in action at Brands Hatch Kentagon . . . Colin Hudd has been joined by Eddie Gordon on Fridays at Dartford Flicks, and this Sunday (24) starts weekly up-front soul at Margate Bronco’s (ex-Atlantis) — where John DeSade also does Thursdays, while still at Sheerness Woodys Mon (under-18)/Fri/Sat . . . Direct Drive PA at Harlow Whispers Sat (23), and Weather Girls-like Sheer Heaven over the next few Saturdays tour Blackpool Flamingo (23), Doncaster Seventh Heaven (30), Birmingham Pagoda Park (7), London Maximus (14) . . . Mark Grice souls Blackburn The Club Wednesdays, and (free admission) Accrington Rumours Tuesdays . . . Swansea’s Harry’s Dance Bar funk nights with James Lewis & Jeff Thomas have changed to Tuesdays . . . Jay Strongman, Ian Dewhirst & Joseph Melotte have started the hard funk The Lid at Mayfair’s The Embassy Thursdays . . . Sun, as I nearly warned last week in as it turns out accurate anticipation, is the latest “mailing list hit” to whiz in and out of the Disco chart without selling, thanks to DJs’ short lived loyalty to certain of the promos they receive — oh, and Omari dropped half its DJs again although luckily sales strengthened — but this week’s mailing list hits are Sly & Robbie, The Team, The Family, Morris Day, Zapp, Topper Headon, Taka Boom (Jaki Graham & David Grant conversely are charted mostly on sales) . . . SET IT OFF!


• This cute bundle of mischief is 17-year-old New Yorker Leisa Dove, from the Manhattan School Of The Performing Arts (portrayed in ‘Fame’), whose precocious Jocelyn Brown-ish soul wailing belies her age on the new finally released ploddingly lurching 109bpm ‘I Wish That I Were Older‘ (Streetwave MKHAN 58), receiving mixed reaction as the song itself is none too strong (inst/edit flip).


HOT VINYL

COLONEL ABRAMS: ‘Music Is The Answer’ (PRT 12P 336)
Sneakily snapped up from the seemingly now defunct Streetwise label, this year and a half old gruffly sung influential 122bpm jittery fast leaper remains far stronger and more infectious in its fabulous largely instrumental 120½bpm dub version with tootling flute and echoing scat building a hefty “D” Train-ish drive, the flip also including his 0-63-64½-0bpm ‘Leave The Message Behind The Door‘ deep soul gem — far better value than his disappointing official follow-up ‘The Truth‘ (MCA Records MCAT 1022), evidently already outshone by his upcoming album’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Let You‘, this is a bassily bounding dull 116bpm lurcher tinged with rock-funk guitar (inst/acappella flip).

CAMEO: ‘She’s Strange’ (Club JABX 252)
Although seemingly a big enough hit last year this apparently was bought only by a third of the number who put ‘Single Life’ into the Top 20, so it’s out again to maximise its still potent potential — and instead of yet more remixes it’s actually now a 12in twin-pack containing all existing 108¾bpm versions for DJs to mix themselves (the original, Mark Berry’s club mix, and the ‘Room 123’ rap version!), plus an 110½bpm megamix of ‘Attack Me With Your Love/Room 123/Single Life’ by Les Adams in a rejig of his Disco Mix Club version.

THE WINANS: ‘Let My People Go’ (Qwest W8874T)
The gospel singing Winans family inspirationally weave South Africa’s problems into a parallel with Moses and the Egyptians on the 0-113½bpm vocal A-side, which is most played by radio, but many DJs prefer the Denzil Miller remixed more subdued 0- 111¼bpm Raw Instrumental flip which retains the chorus amidst a better dance beat. Here the vinyl is boring black, not purple. Continue reading “November 23, 1985: Colonel Abrams, Cameo, The Winans, The Temptations, 52nd Street”

November 16, 1985: Whitney Houston, Linda Clifford, Lonnie Reaves, B.T. Express, The Temptations

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THE CONCEPT’S actual ‘Mr DJ’ is real life Los Angeles radio jock Eric ‘Rico’ Reed — of station KJLH, rather than WONE! . . . Paul Laurence evidently intends that odd beat-losing jolt in ‘Strung Out‘ to portray the effect of a dozing “free base” junkie suddenly jerking awake, although it may be smoothed out on future pressings if response is too negative (he’s seriously anti-drugs) . . . Ben Liebrand’s remixes of ‘Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel‘, ‘Whodunit‘, ‘Don’t Take Away The Music‘ and ‘More Than A Woman‘ (the last two also now back-to-back on Dutch Capitol 12in) are likely to make up a Tavares 4-tracker here in the new year . . . Motown’s latest regurgitation of their past glories is a massive nine volume boxed LP set ‘150 Motown Hits Of Gold‘ (Motown WL 72410), the ninth album being of current material while the main eight contain the hits, all of which peaked in the UK chart above position 23, only Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder not being fully represented as their more recent tracks are contractually unavailable for compilation purposes . . . DSM has been snapped up from Elite by 10 Records . . . Masquerade have now covered the old ‘One Nation Under A Groove‘, due next week, in three differently emphasised 119½bpm treatments, English accented although still based on Funkadelic’s extended promo mix version (which surely should be rushed out sharpish?) . . . Tony Grant of ‘Newsbeat’ on Radio One points out that this twice daily 15 minute news magazine at least has played and interviewed Wally Badarou, along with many other disco acts who don’t necessarily get further exposure on the station . . . Disco John Leech has been covering the daily soul shows on Essex Radio for a resting nervously exhausted Dave Gregory, whose emotional total involvement with his job reached danger level following the previously reported sloppy technical back-up he had at his last live broadcast . . . LWR were having a party last Sunday to celebrate more than three weeks uninterrupted illegal broadcasting, the only trouble being — you guessed? — they were off air again by then! . . . Solar itself is staying legal pending its community radio application, but several of its jocks seeing their gigs suffer without incessant radio plugs very stupidly at the weekend started test transmissions on 102.45FM again as “TKO Ten Twenty-Four”, even though warned they’d never be welcomed back . . . US trade paper Billboard last week printed a complete list of all 222 radio stations whose playlists get incorporated along with sales reports into the Hot 100 chart, and just about all of them could apply for the call sign “WASP” — no wonder black product has a problem being seen to cross over in the States (New York’s two contributing stations are WHTZ and WPLJ, maybe “contemporary” but far from “urban” although that’s the city’s dominant sound) . . . Tony Blackburn’s repeated references to Radio London as “the class of music radio” are a direct pinch from the current slogan of New York’s WBLS, by the way! . . . Stevie Wonder’s ‘In Square Circle’ topped US Black LPs and ‘Part-Time Lover’ 12in Sales, The Flirts ‘You & Me‘ Club Play in Billboard — incidentally, Stevie got his wish and Martin Luther King’s birthday January 14 will be a US national holiday . . . Rick James and Isaac Hayes appear together acting and singing in a future episode of TV’s ‘The A-Team’, while at the movies Kurtis Blow is not only in ‘Krush Groove’ (playing himself) but also is about to act in ‘Bamboo Cross’ (yet another Vietnam veterans versus allcomers right wing rouser), and in next year’s first Fat Boys film . . . Disco Mix Club’s November mixes are Brian Butler’s very slick Five Star and Alan Coulthard’s serviceable “D” Train medleys, Paul Dakeyne’s initially bitty but then trucking “alternative” classics, Les Adams’ less well chosen than usual funk, and Sanny X’s ‘Trapped’ remix (Mix Mag readers should note I didn’t eat breakfast in New York quite as often as reported, although I did manage four lobsters in six days — a guy’s gotta eat, after all!) . . . John Morales actually began his music career as a rock guitarist, touring with Grand Funk Railroad and even playing with them here in Hyde Park at their early ’70s free open air concert — not being a recording member of the group he never got rich, and so then took up dee-jaying . . . Five Star ‘Let Me Be The One’ on US 12in contains all four remixes that were spread over separate records in Britain, although now their ‘R.S.V.P.’ 12in here similarly has three mixes with no further ones due: even if it doesn’t leave the record companies any leeway for later manipulative marketing, this long established US norm of a multiple mix 12in giving DJs and punters alike up to five different versions on the one piece of vinyl must make good sales sense as keen mixing jocks are likely to buy two copies anyway, probably even at the same time or soon after (of course in the States, with huge distances and slower distribution, UK-style successive separate mixes would be impractical in a disco market that is kept much farther apart from the radio orientated pop and black charts, with different bigger crossover problems, than our own) . . . 12in singles may be in short supply leading up to Christmas due to this year’s exceptionally heavy demand for record pressing capacity with precedence given to the more profitable album format, many previously scheduled singles being delayed until January (including Sheila E ‘A Love Bizarre’, now on import) . . . Mezzoforte’s first proper vocal featuring Noel McCalla ‘This Is The Night‘ has likewise been put off on Steinar 12in until January, when it’ll also be out on RCA in Germany, where the label who failed to sign it Teldec have already pipped it to the post by rushing out their own cover version by local lads Kano . . . Leisa Dove’s commercial release has been postponed until next week in the hope that her PAs will build bigger demand — unfortunately though in the meantime she, along with Dotty Green (also not fully available yet) and several others similarly with no back-up sales support, dropped out of the Disco chart thanks to the fickleness of mailing list DJs! . . . Julie Roberts, Val Young and even unbelievably Shakatak were only saved from similar extinction by their sales, while Omari’s up-down-up chart progress (now strong jocks and sales) was also the result of inconsistent DJ charts — look, when you get something in the mail for free only put it in your chart if it’s genuinely big on the floor, not for favours, and then if it’s that big it’ll presumably stay there longer (you can always send us more than just a Top 20 if there isn’t room, we set no limits) . . . Greg Edwards and Mike Allen on Capital Radio are rightly campaigning for white label advance promos to list at least such little details as the artist, title and label, let alone writer and publisher — it’s especially aggravating to receive something from a previously unheard of source without even a recognisable matrix number to work backwards from, yet some pluggers increasingly expect DJs and reviewers to cope with just such sloppy service . . . Soul On Sound have left London’s Hippodrome for nearby St Martin’s Lane’s Lacey’s where, with Doug E Fresh and more, the first Private Funktion is tonight (for Central London readers), Wednesday 13 — a pity they’ve pulled out of the other place as their nights there with unending well staged funky PAs were the only good reason for ever visiting it (however they could return for some specials in December) . . . Jay Strongman does Croydon Sgt Peppers’ weekly Boiler House! Thursday (14) . . . Watford Baileys reopens this Friday (15) as Paradise Lost, “the most beautiful discotheque in the world” . . . Alan Taylor is joined at Mirrors near Rhyl by Booker Newberry Friday (15), and Jimmy James & The Vagabonds live Thursday (21) . . . Rick Clarke PAs at Harlow Whispers Saturday (16), and Conn Hudd guests Tuesday (19) . . . Sylvester is live at Bournemouth Bolts Sunday (17) . . . Dublin’s Beat Records import shop presents Carol Jiani next Thursday (21) at McGonagles pub, evidently the first visit to Ireland by a Hi-NRG act . . . Steve Walsh heads the DJ line-up at Luton Pink Elephant’s 3pm-midnight alldayer next Sunday (24), advance £10 tickets including return London coach from Rick Robinson at LWR, 37b New Cavendish Street, London W1 (payable Le GoGo Promotions), or £4 at the door . . . Roger Tovell, whose weekday evening show on Severn Sound is strictly soul 6-8pm Fridays, on that same night has moved in Worcester to the brand new big Pavillion . . . Hugh Williams funks Weedon’s Globe Hotel Sundays and would welcome more Midlands gigs on 0604 65438 . . . Dirty Dave Shirt & The P.D.M. Perry Daniels, not un-busy, could still use more London residencies on 01-674 5409 especially now that Deptford Cheeks has gone experimentally gay . . . Norman Scott of Bolts fame is after other gay or straight gigs in Central or Northern London on 01-529 8107 (evenings) . . . Risen From The Rank ‘AIDS’ (Italian Discotto) could apparently qualify as the worst taste disco record ever . . . Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King’s album was of course lead review last week, and the start of the running order . . . Colin Hudd (Dartford Flicks) synchs Cherrelle ‘Saturday Love’ with Paul Laurence ‘Strung Out’ practically forever, or at least until the latter’s hiccup . . . I spent a memorable “lost weekend” in 1967 staying at the New Orleans home of Joe Banashak, owner of such legendary labels as Minit, Instant and Alon on which (General Johnson’s group) The Showmen, Benny Spellman, Ernie K-Doe, Aaron Neville, Irma Thomas, Chris Kenner and Jessie Hill came to fame: he introduced me to all the names in the Crescent City but best of all was the day and a half spent sitting in our pyjamas around the kitchen table while his kids kept going out to the liquor store for more bottles of Bacardi and his wife Bonnie kept serving salty pretzels to increase our thirst — sadly, Joe has died aged 62 of a heart attack in Atlanta, Georgia (would anyone knowing how please pass on my condolences?) . . . I don’t remember what if anything was “an unstoppable machine” as any remark to that effect was made at least four months ago! . . . SET IT OFF!


HOT VINYL

WHITNEY HOUSTON: ‘Saving All My Love For You’ (Arista ARIST 12640)
Always the discerning soul jocks choice from her LP (but swamped by its fast rubbish when that was promoed here instead), this US charts-topping gorgeous 33-66bpm slow smoochy torch song is very reminiscent of ‘Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue’ and deserves to be massive — if at MoR level. It was originally by Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr on their 1978 ‘Marilyn & Billy’ LP, incidentally.

LINDA CLIFFORD: ‘The Heat In Me’ (US Red Label V-70057)
An excellent solidly pushing 107½bpm beefy rolling jolter with great thrumming background bass and soulful singing, in four mixes, now starting really to take off — it is a grower, so give it time!

LONNIE REAVES: ‘Too Tough (Remix)’ (US Qwest 0-20393)
Quincy’s label gets streetwise with this terrific monotonously jittering 115bpm groove, full of chattering beats, loose chants, wailing chicks, mellow chords and chinking triangle (inst flip) — a more fully fleshed ‘Set It Off’, dare I say? Continue reading “November 16, 1985: Whitney Houston, Linda Clifford, Lonnie Reaves, B.T. Express, The Temptations”

November 9, 1985: Princess, Rosie Gaines, The Circle Band, Tavares, Val Young

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

IMPORTANT RECORDS misled me last week: instead of an initial 4-track promo there’ll just be two new (May 1983) M&M mixes of Fatback ‘Is This The Future?’ back-to-back commercially, the unheard long vocal and US issued dub . . . Wally Badarou’s 12in has quietly become a 3-tracker with an added even more percussive 100½bpm Precinct 13 mix, while (as promised, with no new remixes) Total Contrast has added a free bonus 12in containing “The Basement Tapes”, a drifting 0-97bpm instrumental ‘Sunshine‘ and old jolting 112½bpm ‘Next Time I’ll Know Better‘ — Wally incidentally has a massive 17 DJ lead at the top of the Disco chart over Total Contrast, although both acts’ sales are falling now in specialist shops . . . Radio One last week had yet to play Wally Badarou even once, evidently giving the excuse that there are too many instrumental hits at the moment so they’re just playing Jan Hammer’s: maybe there are instrumentals in the chart because the public likes them, which means that as licence fee funded public servants surely — forgive me if I seem naive — the BBC have a duty more than any other broadcasters to play the records real people (rather than radio producers) think are popular, and deserve to hear? . . . RCA have repressed 1,000 copies of the ‘Risin’ To The Top’-featuring old Keni Burke ‘Changes’ LP, to meet an order from Bluebird Records, and Capitol rather late in the day have finally released Rene & Angela’s 1981 ‘Wall To Wall’ LP, containing of course ‘Secret Rendezvous’ . . . MCA have re-serviced One Way ‘Let’s Talk (About Sex)’ presumably for the party season, as it was massive for months in pop clubs without the crossover sales it deserved . . . Champion picked up The Kartoon Krew ‘Inspector Gadget’ . . . Evelyn Thomas’s excellent ‘Cold Shoulder‘, like Instant Funk’s ‘Got My Mind Made Up’, is now at last due for rush release following the predictable flop of ‘Reflections’ . . . Will King ‘Backed Up Against The Wall‘ has been remixed on import with a tougher intro, and Keni Stevens ‘Night Moves’ is now in a much drier less bassy sparse 107½-0bpm Ultra-Sensual Remix and dub . . . John Morales, over here so often he now has a London flat, joined me again for lunch between remixing 52nd Street (with a new percussive drive) and Barbara Pennington ‘Out Of The Darkest Night‘: he finds following our campaign that the demand for “creative marketing” remixes has dropped off by 50 per cent but he’s still mixing things before they’re released, as always intended . . . Brass Construction’s ‘Vintage Brass Medley’ was originally 17 minutes long and under EMI’s supervision had to be edited down by John cutting into each tune rather than reducing the total included, so no wonder it’s overly jerky — but even so the sequencing could have been smoother for UK floor acceptance . . . M&M’s US remix of Michael Lovesmith returns the great piano to rightful dominance (a patch lead had fallen out without anyone noticing during the original remix session!) . . . Motown had their hand forced into releasing Lionel Richie’s new single ‘Say You, Say Me‘ ahead of schedule when Columbia Pictures, distributors of the Mikhail Baryshnikov/Gregory Hines-starring film ‘White Nights’ of which it’s somehow the “title” song, circulated it on tape to major US radio stations off their own bat (his album isn’t due until December): a dreary 32-64-98-0-64-0bpm slowie with a disconcertingly abrupt brief tempo change, it’s only flipped by his old 122½bpm ‘Can’t Slow Down’ (Motown ZB40421) . . . BPMs are easily calculated wrong by people new to the scene, who may feel tempted to copy those already printed here — but then their own calculations when there’s nothing to copy can end up embarrassingly adrift (RM, where you know we get it right!) . . . I realise many DJs get records in the mail which they legitimately put in their charts to show floor reaction, but to counteract the resultant “mailing list syndrome” with a “hard cash factor” here for cross-reference with the main Disco chart are the Top 20 actual sellers in specialist shops last weekend: 1. Doug E Fresh, 2. Evelyn King 12in, 3. Rene & Angela ‘SR’, 4. Serious Intention, 5. 52nd Street, 6. Princess, 7. Wally Badarou, 8. Isley Jasper Isley LP, 9. Frankie Kelly, 10. The Concept, 11. Brass Construction, 12. Total Contrast, 13. Grace Jones 12in, 14. Evelyn King LP, 15. DSM, 16. Roy Ayers LP, 17. Kashif LP, 18. Full Force, 19. Paul Laurence LP, 20. Cherrelle LP — some difference! — possibly to embarrass record pluggers even more the following are charted almost entirely on DJ play rather than sales (the last seven with no sales reported at all): Donald Banks, The Team, Paul Laurence 12in, Eugene Wilde, Cool Notes, Gardenia, Ready For The World, Freddie Jackson, Trouble Funk, Shakatak (promo), Clarence Carter, Morris Day, Leisa Dove (promo), Canute, Nicci (our charts, unlike some new ones, are fully researched — RM, where you know we get it right!) . . . Paul Hardcastle is of course selling strongly at the moment, but so far after two weeks of largely unenthusiastic DJ reactions there’s been little evidence that he’s happening on the floor (of soul clubs anyway), although if you think he deserves inclusion his position at 4 in sales would put him at 34 overall . . . Rene & Angela ‘I’ll Be Good‘ finally topped US 12in Sales in Billboard . . . Paul Laurence’s B-side, despite EMI’s insistence to the contrary, still trails waaay behind the DJ plays of ‘She’s Not A Sleaze’ . . . DJs into Ready For The World ‘Oh Sheila’ might now finally get their fingers out and start playing its superior inspiration, Sheila E’s ‘The Glamorous Life’ . . . Kleeer have left Atlantic, so as no further singles will be on the label ‘Lay Ya Down EZ‘ is at least a B-side — maybe radio could find it and flip it for themselves? . . . Pete Tong’s Sunday Invicta Radio soul show returns to being three hours, 7-10pm . . . North London’s Contrast Radio 90FM will be back early next month, manned by some well known black jocks . . . Thursday (7) London Leicester Square’s The Store becomes the weekly Secret Rendezvous (good name for a song!) hosted by Simon Goffe with Steve Walsh the first of a guest roster including CJ Carlos, Chris Stewart, Lyndon T, while Sylvester joins Norman Scott at Luton’s Bolts in the Tropicana . . . Nicky Holloway’s soul weekender on the Club 18-30 campsite near Bognor Regis this Fri-Sun (8-10) with Jeff Young, Martin Collins, Chris Brown, Bob Jones, Gilles Peterson, Johnnie Walker, Joe Field, Paul Morrisey & Trevor Fung still has a few tickets left on 01-853 1953 . . . Saturday (9) Steve Walsh returns weekly to Peckham Kisses, Danny Smith with weekly guests starts upfront jazz-soul at Gt Yarmouth Aquarius on Marine Parade, DevonAir’s Dave Treharne has an R&B/’60s charity party with Firing On Five and The Vipers live at Exeter’s Devon And Exeter Arts Centre . . . Segue Steve Goddard, Thursdays now at Shepherds Bush’s funky Silks, is after Younger Generation ‘We Rap More Mellow‘ and Shalamar ‘Sweeter As The Days Go By‘ on 01-857 8775 . . . Paul French, now Thur/Fri/Sat at The Avenue, reports his other Wed/Sun Gillingham gig at the Ice Bowl is installing large screen video . . . Tony James has started doing Saturdays at Chertsey’s The Bell pub prior to refurbishment that’ll include a proper night club if demand can be established . . . Dave Lorentzen & Jon Alsop get up to such high jinks at Dunfermline’s Night Magic Laser Discotheque as roaring in on a motorbike . . . Graham Gold, getting poor response to Minneapolis purpleness at Mayfair Gullivers, mixes up 52nd Street with The SOS Band ‘High Hopes’ and Patti Austin ‘Only A Breath Away’ . . . Bernard Wright poses with his hands in his pockets for a purpose, as according to The London Standard he’s got six fingers on his right hand . . . Sun’s ‘Legs’ sadly is not sleeved in their LP’s photo of lusciously rounded limbs, what a waste . . . Fort Baxter fans will join me mourning the death last Friday of Phil Silvers . . . Mark Fisher, ex-Second Image keyboardist, far from still being solo now seems to be part of Matt Bianco, to judge from the Thames Telethon . . . The Team and Simone have been the most recent acts to tour Tony Cochrane’s Scottish PA circuit of clubs and media — other so far unvisited venues, and interested acts, call him on 0382-644003/22348 . . . Jeff Thomas does a soul show on University Radio Abertawe Wednesdays 7-9pm before joining James Lewis funking Swansea Harry’s Dance Bar (free before 11pm) — his Saturday job at Derricks Records finds him selling 7in hits to DJs who depressingly have no interest in anything not already in the chart, which must make South Wales a tough place to “break” records (although one can sympathise with jocks on a tight budget) . . . 17p less, RM still sets the standard — SET IT OFF!


HOT VINYL

PRINCESS: ‘After The Love Has Gone’ (Supreme Records SUPET 103)
With amended title, totally new vocal and 100¼-100bpm restructured rhythm, the commercial pressings in a move to counter widespread criticism of the white label version already use what was intended to be the (first) remix — but, although better, it’s still just another Princess record (semi-instrumental Senza Voce flip).

ROSIE GAINES: ‘Good Times’ (LP ‘Caring’ US Epic BFE 40090)
On a patchy album with nice slowies and horrendous fast stuff, Rosie shows how sultrily soulful she can get classily singing and scatting this excellent jazzily tapping 103½bpm attractive swaying jogger, her vocal flexibility deserving wide attention.

THE CIRCLE BAND: ‘Party Lights (Shake Your Body Get Loose)’ (US Circle City Records BKD 526)
Brightly cranking, wriggling and smacking a happy infectious 120-0bpm beat in their usual style, the guys use vocoders and solos more than their own voices to colour a terrific dance groove (dub flip). Continue reading “November 9, 1985: Princess, Rosie Gaines, The Circle Band, Tavares, Val Young”