June 30, 1984: Phil Fearon & Galaxy, T. Ski Valley, Detroit Spinners, Brass Construction, Prince

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

JULY’S ISSUE sees the DJ’s only (currently 1,300 Subscribers) Disco Mix Club graduate from cassette to vinyl, the mixes on one album and preview excerpts on another — which will make the mixes really easy to use at last . . . Kenny G ‘Hi How Ya Doin’?’ is evidently due again in yet another new remix, flipped by a live version . . . Lionel Richie’s next LP will finally be preceded in August by the 12in coupling of ‘Love Will Find A Way’/’Penny Lover’ — nothing like leaving the best till last, huh?! . . . ‘Beat Street’, volume one of the movie’s soundtrack LPs, is now out here (Atlantic 780 154-1), as belatedly is the Fatback ‘Phoenix’ LP (Cotillion 790 168-1) — this latter totally overshadowed here by their older ‘I Found Lovin’ hit, the remix of which was by Master Mix label co-owner Lewis Hayes, who happens to be son of the late jazz saxist Tubby Hayes . . . Marsha Raven’s Dutch remix is now on her UK flip, while Evelyn Thomas has been remixed (with a remixed instrumental flip) on US TSR 12in . . . Ian Levine is back in the studio with Barbara Pennington, who’s been kicking her heels in Chicago since he recorded her last in ’78 . . . Laser’s aerial was hit by lightning even as I typed last week’s copy, but is back in action again pumping out exciting all-hit radio on 558MW, where you’re truly “never more than a minute away from music” — unlike on Horizon, for instance, which these days seems to be wall to wall advertisements and tedious telephone numbers . . . DBC (Dread Broadcasting Corp) has moved to 94FM — actually they say it’s 93.9 — and although not full time they were certainly pumping out reggae, soul and intelligent jazz oldies from Thursday onwards last week in “North-West Central” London, to become my favoured listening at the time (as maybe you can guess, recent theft means I now listen to new Blaupunkt Toronto with auto-search electronic tuning, which can be — and is — removed whenever I park!) . . . Worthing And Brighton Commercial Radio WABC 102.7FM has a soul show Sundays 11am-5pm with the likes of Paul Bentley, Andy King, Paul Clark, Mick Fuller . . . Jon Guy plays “quality daytime musics” during his Saturday 2-7am dawn shift on Stockport/South Manchester pirate KFM (what wavelength?) . . . Gary Mathews on Dublin Community Radio DCR Stereo 105FM does a Friday 9-11pm soul and dance music show — only weekly though, unlike rival Tony Turner’s daily slot on Radio Dublin . . . Paul DeKane (Hull Romeo’s & Juliet’s) mixes a special weekly ‘Tasty Mixer’ for the Friday edition of Carl Kingston’s 6-7pm Electric Wireless Show on BBC Radio Humberside 96.9FM/1485MW . . . Dartford Flicks are managing another protege of Colin Hudd to rival his earlier legendary discovery the appalling Ian Moore, who thought he could dance: this new guy thinks he can sing, under the name of Hughie Chunder! . . . O’Bryan ‘Lovelite‘ topped US ‘Black’ 45s with Prince ‘When Doves Cry’ looking almost certain to have replaced it by the time you read this . . . ‘Electric Breakdance‘, a K-tel compiled US LP (Dominion NU 2320) could be useful even at import prices as it has Newcleus ‘Jam On It’, Melle Mel ‘White Lines’, D Train ‘You’re The One For Me’, Twilight 22 ‘Electric Kingdom’, GLOBE & Whiz Kid ‘Play That Beat Mr DJ’, Whodini ‘Magic’s Wand’, Run-DMC ‘It’s Like That’, Double Vision ‘Clock On The Wall‘, BT & The City Slickers ‘Rockit‘ — the trouble is, as this package exemplifies, the USA is so late in latching onto electro hip hop — now largely due to the Breakdance-type films and Shannon hits — that there will be no stimulus for producers there to develop the sound they’ve been making for ages, while here this lack of freshness has already made hip hop sound predictable to ears that tuned into it from the outset . . . Adrian Dunbar (Southampton Raffles) sees something similar happening to Hi-NRG with a glut of UK product swamping the chart as small labels board the bandwagon in the (misguided?) hope it’ll make them money: he thinks “fast disco” could be a passing fad with the general public and hopes Hi-NRG will soon return underground, and mainly on import . . . Norman Scott (Harringey Bolts) got criticised by some first (and last) time visitors from Heaven for playing “too much Hi-NRG music”: Norman in turn predicts now Hi-NRG has crossed over that the gays will be searching for something new to identify with — he also says that his Wednesday oldies night at Charing Cross Road Busby’s is attracting 800 weekly, ironically more than double the number at the Monday Bang gay night there . . . Rick Robinson (Lee Danielle’s Fri/Sat, Penge McCormack’s Sun) has added a Thursday oldies night at Bermondsey Dockhead’s Swan & Sugarloaf, where he’ll be keeping to “credible” ’66-’80 shades of soul . . . Trevor ‘Redeye’ Hughes, back in action around Telford, reports Shropshire’s current biggies are the 18 month old Tin Tin ‘Kiss Me (US Remix)‘ (WEA Curve), 3 year old Animal Magnet ‘Welcome To The Monkey House‘ (EMI) and of course 5 year old Sister Sledge — the first two of course have a reputation in the Midlands already, but are also now huge for Nick Davies on his Sunday “alternative” nights at Watford’s New Penny (where with an enlarged stage Mr Harris is after guest PAs on Watford 22003) . . . Adrian Allen at South Shields ancient Chelsea Cat scores with oldies of a funkier hue, Freeez ‘Southern Freeez’ and Bobby Rush ‘Wanna Do The Do‘ (he’d welcome offers of the latter in better nick than his on Boldon 364895) . . . New Hill (Harlow Whispers) is one of those reviving Linda Clifford ‘Runaway Love‘ (Curtom/US promo remix), but John Dane (Bishopsgate BB’s Mon-Fri, Portsmouth Ritzy Sat) reckons Johnny Bristol ‘Love No Longer Has A Hold On Me‘ (Ariola Hansa) could be the next ‘Thinking Of You’ . . . John DeSade goes right against the grain this Sunday (1) reviving nothing but Beatles at Leysdown King Henry’s Club — mummy, what’s a Beatle? . . . Ian Reading, an oldie of a different ilk, celebrates his birthday Thursday (28) at Southend Zero 6 International . . . Friday (29) Chris Hill souls Tottenham Valentino’s, Robbie Vincent souls Dartford Flicks with Jaki Graham, Chris Dinnis souls Taunton Kingston’s, JFM’s Graham Gold funks Southgate Pink Elephant early before returning to Mayfair Gullivers (with yours truly) to host a Shannon PA and hand over a hi-fi in our “arrive before midnight” lucky draw . . . Chris Kaye does Southborough Royal Victoria Hall Fri (29), Tonbridge Angel Centre Sat (30) — cor, ‘Angel’, we know about her, don’t we boys?! . . . Divine plays Edinburgh Fire Island Sunday (1), when Shannon starts touring at Nottingham Rock City’s 3pm alldayer (with Jonathan, Shaun Williams, Colin Curtis, Baz Fe Jazz, the usual crew) before visiting London’s Venue Mon (2), Luton Pink Elephant Wed (4) . . . Pete Haigh hopes his Monday Funk & Soul Club at “funk starved” Blackpool’s Secrets will get the support he has in Wigan and Lancaster . . . Steel City Gary Senior is now slipping in some electro and lovers rock on Tuesdays at Chesterfield Fascination . . . Gary Hallwood souls Wednesdays at Watford’s Levi pub in St Albans Road (free admission) . . . Big Phil Etgart is also free at Hackney Follies (Victoria Park) on Saturdays, and re-starts his “history of soul” on Sundays at Greenford Barbarella’s following its grand re-opening next Thursday (5) — where the rest of the team is Chris ‘Tequila’ Paul Wed/Fri, Darryl Le Moody Thur/Sat . . . Steve Bryant runs a fax ‘n info crammed fanzine Souled Out, similar to New Blackbeat but published only every 4-5 months so less current in its news, good for trivia freaks at 65p or £1.95 for three issues (UK rates) from 141 Pembroke Road, Seven Kings, Ilford, Essex IG3 8PF . . . Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields has produced for his new label RCA a Boston girlie group called Ouch! doing a revival of the late great Linda Jones’ classic ‘Hypnotized‘ . . . Manhattan Transfer’s next LP will be all straight jazz with much new material created by scat pioneer Jon Hendricks, of the ’50s Lambert, Hendricks & Ross group who remain so influential (the Ross was our own Annie Ross) . . . Chuck Jackson, the ex-Independents singer and producing partner of Marvin Yancy rather than the veteran solo soul star, turns out to be the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s brother! . . . Gary Glitter’s new hit was helped by possibly the best picture-disc yet, a die-cut upright figure (with the very small 33 1/3rpm disc bit forming just the centre part) . . . Chris Britton (0442-41700) after four years finally left Watford Baileys to freelance again and would love sensible offers of a “party nite”-type gig within the Home Counties . . . Colchester sounds a dangerous place to visit if you’re black — ask Second Image, and be warned, and LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, HUH?


HOT VINYL

PHIL FEARON & GALAXY: ‘Everybody’s Laughing’ (Ensign 12ENY 514)
Starting with chix and percussion before the now typical beat beefs up, this latest frothy 115bpm shuffle ‘n kick swinger has steel drums and some sizzling trumpet — by none other than Tom Browne, who’s featured on one of the flip’s more immediate instrumental versions, the other featuring Brass Construction keyboardist Randy Muller, although a flute seems most dominant on his. Megamixers will have a field day combining all three treatments!

T. SKI VALLEY: ‘Catch The Beat (Scratch The Beat)’ (Belgian BMC 3597)
So, a new “scratch” version does exist of this approximately four years old weaving funky summer tempo rap classic, which never went out of date and now thanks to pirate plays and dancefloor reaction in London at least looks all set to be the next Fatback-type “sleeper” smash! Remixed by Pascal B with some effective scratching and a bit of phasing near the end, it’s now a faster 106½-108-109-106½bpm while the instrumental flip is 103-104½-105bpm — however, still just as powerful remains the original ‘!Catch The Beat!‘ (US Grand Groove 7701) at 105(intro)-103-104-105-103bpm and especially the Grand Groove Bunch credited 102½-104-105bpm ‘!Catch The Groove!‘ instrumental flip, which latter is terrific out of Mary Jane Girls ‘All Night Long’ or with such hot tempo hits as indeed ‘I Found Lovin’. Catch the beat, indeed!

DETROIT SPINNERS: ‘Love Is In Season’ (Atlantic A9649T)
This is the hit, finally on 12in here, a gorgeous mellow gentle 101bpm swayer in traditional soul vocal group style with bass voice playing a key role to melt summer holidaymakers hearts, flipped by their classic old swaying 100-105bpm ‘Could It Be I’m Falling In Love’ and episodic slow ‘Living A Little Laughing A Little’. Continue reading “June 30, 1984: Phil Fearon & Galaxy, T. Ski Valley, Detroit Spinners, Brass Construction, Prince”

June 23, 1984: Tyzik, Leon Bryant, Surface, Konk, Shakatak

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

OBVIOUSLY SOMEONE doesn’t want Jermaine Jackson to have a hit: instead of reactivating the still climbing ‘Come To Me‘ as an A-side, Arista are scheduling it again as 12in flip of another as yet undecided new plug side — and if you’re assuming it has to be his sure-fire ‘Tell Me I’m Not Dreamin‘ brotherly duet with Michael then be prepared for a shock ‘cos THAT’ll be on the B-side too! . . . Chris Hill’s big northern soul — sorry, jazz bossa nova — discovery at Caister, the early ’70s Sivuca ‘Ain’t No Sunshine‘ is being put out through Polygram soon (Tracey Thorn fans will dig) . . . June 1979 saw Anita Ward ‘Ring My Bell’ atop the national chart with McFadden & Whitehead ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’, Sister Sledge ‘We Are Family’ and Earth Wind & Fire ‘Boogie Wonderland’ all close behind in the Top 10 — never again was the “Caister effect” more keenly felt . . . Frankie Goes To Hollywood has received a surprisingly cautious initial response from chart-returning pop jox, who seem more inspired to resurrect ‘Relax’! . . . Shannon’s new 12in in the States plays safe (?) with the 116bpm continuation of her established formula, ‘My Heart’s Divided‘ (US Mirage 0-96937) . . . Tom Wilson, helping out on Radio Forth’s soul show with Graham Jackson, was inspired to call several urban contemporary radio stations in the States for their current charts, and much to his surprise all but WRKS (KISS-fm) said yes — so now at around 11.15pm every Tuesday, listeners within range of Edinburgh can hear the likes of Charlie Casanova of New York’s WBLS, Graham Armstrong of Chicago’s WGCI, Dan Shannon of Oakland’s KDIA, live on the phone! . . . Rayners Lane Record & Disco Centre soul seller Jerry Green has his own 9-11pm Monday show on Horizon 102.5FM . . . I’m getting a bit bored by London’s soul pirates actually, but over on the Medium Wave at 558kHz the all pop-zappy Laser boasts “you’re never more than a minute away from music” — kick out the jams! . . . Streetwave/StreetSounds boss Morgan Khan starts a monthly hip hop/electro/Hi-NRG guest spot this Friday (22) at 9pm on Dave Brown’s soul show over BBC Radio Medway 96.7FM/290MW . . . Chrysalis Records, with new developments in the dance field looming, are looking for an experienced dance/disco plugger with good current DJ contacts (call the A&R Dept on 01-408 2355) . . . Mail Order or personal shoppers spending more than £75 at the Derek James Disco Centre in Frome before Monday July 9 will be eligible to win a flight in Concorde including a low-level fly past at the Brands Hatch air display on July 22 . . . DJ Andy Turvey has organised for Gloucestershire builders Robert Hitchins Homes a county-wide disco dancing championship with finals this Saturday (23) in Pittville Park at Cheltenham’s weekend Midsummer’s Daze Festival – mmm, sounds exciting! . . . Big Phil Etgart (Greenford Barbarellas) makes a “hot tempo” mixer out of the old Lalo Schifrin ‘Jaws‘ on 45rpm by playing it (in short doses) at 33 1/3rpm! . . . Graham Gold (Mayfair Gullivers) does a great logical mix between El Chicano ‘Let Me Dance With You‘ and Cameo ‘(Let Me) Groove With You‘ . . . Gary Millwood (Quainton Chequers mobiles) has come up with an “orgasmix” of Jane Birkin ‘Je T’Aime’/Yvonne Elliman ‘Love Me’/Mtume ‘Juicy Fruit’/Mary Jane Girls ‘All Night Long’/Donna Summer ‘Love To Love You Baby’, all vari-speeded to 96bpm! . . . Rusty Egan is bubbling about his ‘Beat Boy‘ on the next Visage LP (probably on 12in later), white hip hop with yowling but melodic ‘Rock Box’ guitar and touches of ‘Relax’ meeting ‘Rockit’ — Marsha Raven guests on the mellow rock-disco ‘Questions‘ while some of the album is surprisingly jazzy with Pestorius-style bass and great sax (though you’ll have to wait a while) . . . Nate Nelson, ex-Flamingos but best known here in person as a latter day Platter from ’65-’82 (and a New York pal of mine 20 years ago), sadly died aged 52 of heart disease on June 1 . . . Brass Construction continue their tour at Nottingham Rock City Fri (22), Glastonbury Festival Sat (4pm, followed later by Stevie Wonder!), Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush also Sat (midnight), and three nights at London’s Venue Sun/Mon/Tues (24-26) . . . Thursday (21) Kenny Hume starts weekly soul/funk at Wimbledon Nelson’s . . . Friday (22) Chris Hill souls Southend Zero 6, Jeff Young souls Tottenham Valentino’s, Divine party’s at Haringey Bolts . . . Saturday (23) Record Mirror’s chirrupy Gary Crowley bossa nova’s Sheffield Park’s Sheffield Arms in Sussex . . . Sunday (24) Shango (minus Bill Laswell but plus Grandmixer D.ST) funk a one-off at the Camden Palace . . . Monday (25) Chris Hill souls Bermondsey Dockhead’s Swan & Sugarloaf . . . Tuesday (26) Essex Radio’s “live on-air scratcher” Dave Gregory hits Harlow Whispers — his scratch is from Orlando Johnson & Trance ‘Chocolate City‘ (US Channel) . . . DJ Stash mixes hip hop Tuesdays at the new Sunderland Genevieves night of Newcastle-based moveable club The Sidewalk . . . Steve Cochrane is normally at Palms fun pub next to Rayleigh’s Pink Toothbrush but does Hi-NRG Tuesdays in the latter . . . Danny Searle has “alternative/Hi-NRG funk” Wednesdays (jeans allowed) at Southampton’s Riverside Nightclub (ex-Floaters) . . . Poole’s Mariner’s Wharf has Hi-NRG Wed/Fri with Andy Bianchi, upfront funk Tues/Thur with Ken ‘B’ Brudenell, both combining Sat . . . Darren Fogel, no longer at Thackeray’s, souls Saturdays at Earls Court’s La Vie En Rose 2 (wine & buffet included for £3) . . . Frenchie (yet another) after two years in Leicester at Isabella’s and then Coasters is now at Baccus International’s extravagantly lit Night-Magic lazer disco in Dunfermline . . . Stuart McNiff not so surprisingly uses the stage name Stuart Alexander at Bathgate Rico’s (where Thurs seems most soulful) . . . Steve Ogley is now apparently full time at Lowestoft Wherry Hotel’s Park Avenue Disco . . . Alan Costa at Brighton’s new Tootsies explains it’s on the site of the old Bonsoir Club . . . ‘Mad Mike’ Gill, mixing hip hop/pop at Redcar Leo’s pub-disco, brags he’s the guy with the biggest dong in Cleveland! . . . Bruce Harper has a fan, or a press agent, in one Colin Niblett who never stops going on about how marvy the former is at Stafford’s Top Of The World, mixing Hi-NRG “to a T” . . . Phil England (Slough) reports the resident jock at a West Country club he recently played staggered him by spinning nothing but oldies of the Dan Hartman/Sylvester/Edwin Starr 130bpm ilk for a solid three hours — he’ll never complain about slow movement in the Nightclub chart again! . . . Rob Harknett (Harlow) after complex computations comes to the conclusion “perhaps my lot are just a little bit Hi-NRG but mainly Wallys”! . . . Jonathan Guy (061-273 1038), about to graduate from university, is after a Manchester area club in which to “purvey the funk” . . . Yugoslavian Sacha Vitorovich and Swiss Kevin Sebastian’s new big production Roxy Horror Wedding Show cabaret act is about to hit London’s smarter nitespots, and they remind us that their Strawz cocktail video bar in South Molton Street is where the elite meet (and we’re talkin’ B-I-G stars there) . . . Eddy Grant ‘Romancing The Stone‘ evidently is from an Indiana Jones-type film of the same name, on which (to judge from its trailer) Eddy’s own video was closely based . . . I suddenly received en masse last Thursday (June 14) all the records mailed me between 21-25 May! . . . Sergeant Phil Esterhaus, or rather the late Michael Conrad, was horribly prophetic with his “It’s a grave situation indeed” — HEY, LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, HUH?


THE SYSTEM made a motorway dash after two other gigs to fit in an appearance at Dartford’s Flicks, where vocalist McMurphy later enthused “The audience were far more in tune with what we are about than any of the other venues we visited”. That should make any other DJs they visited really feel like plugging their next record, right?


HOT VINYL

TYZIK: ‘Jammin’ In Manhattan’ (Polydor POSPX 692)
Trumpeter Jeff Tyzik scrapes the sky with searing sax support and vocodered title lines in the electrofied 114bpm logical follow-on from ‘Funkin’ For Jamaica (NY)’, real jazz-funk (emphasis on both words), already a monster. His beat box backed 131bpm attack on Benny Golson’s ‘Killer Joe‘ is flip.

LEON BRYANT: ‘Finders Keepers’ LP (US De-Lite DSR 8507)
Gruff suave soulster with the week’s hottest set, and the hottest cut is the great Dennis Edwards/L.J. Reynolds-type 94bpm title track, while also 94bpm is the more freely rolling and soulful ‘Never‘ (more detailed review next week).

SURFACE: ‘When Your X Wants You Back’ (Salsoul SALT 106)
Flute tootled acappella-introed chick-sung cleanly tripping 122bpm trotter with much airy space and an attractive lilt (inst/aca flip), now really taking off and cute enough to click. Continue reading “June 23, 1984: Tyzik, Leon Bryant, Surface, Konk, Shakatak”

June 16, 1984: Windjammer, Fatback, L.J. Reynolds, Barbara Mason, Brass Construction

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

STEVE HARVEY looks like heading for New York to record with The System, while the track mentioned last week is finally being dusted down for eventual release by London . . . Martha & The Muffins revamped name change to M+M could cause confusion with the M&M monicker by which hot remixers John Morales & Sergio Munzibai are better known . . . Arthur Baker’s remix of Bruce Springsteen evidently didn’t come up to scratch and thus got junked . . . Froggy’s megamix on Horizon the other Saturday of Grand Groove Bunch/T. Ski Valley seems to have been behind its being my biggest request later that night — doubtless news to disturb Greg Edwards, who would have been on Capital at the time . . . Monday afternoon Horizon and JFM both simultaneously played ‘When Your X Wants You Back‘, by coincidence of course, stand-in Dave Collins on the latter then fatally pre-announcing his entire playlist for the next half hour (I joined all the dial tuners searching for novelty) . . . Nick Lawrence on Horizon is known with reason as “The Pink Whale”! . . . Disco Mix Club’s June megamixes are an excellent Queen & King Bowie by Alan Coulthard who combines with Les Cokell for some vintage Hi-NRG, Les Adams doing the neat floorfiller and joining Simon Harris for a topical ‘Thrill Upon Thrill‘ Michael Jackson/Yvonne Gage/Local Boy blend that would be even better without so much of the actual ‘Thriller’ . . . Jermaine & Michael Jackson ‘Tell Me I’m Not Dreamin‘ topped US Dance/Disco, and works like a dream in the hot tempo mix Fatback ‘I Found Lovin’/SOS Band ‘Just Be Good To Me’/Cherrelle ‘Like I Will’/Change ‘Change Of Heart’/SOS Band ‘For Your Love’ (dub)/Jermaine & Michael/Jermaine Jackson ‘Come To Me’/The System ‘I Wanna Make You Feel Good’ (original) . . . Adrian Dunbar (Southampton Raffles) currently revives Teena Marie ‘I Need Your Lovin‘ and Shalamar ‘I Owe You One‘, the latter “surprisingly good” with The Earons and both “hot tempo” . . . Tom Wilson (Edinburgh) takes Womack & Womack out of Lionel Richie ‘Running With The Night’ “made for each other” sez he (quite!) . . . Mark Antony (Edgbaston Faces French) perks up his mixing by using a drum machine and drum synth to lay down his own rhythm tracks “live” . . . Shem Jensby (Shepherds Bush), confused, wrongly assumes that printed promotional slip mats like the Malcolm X ones are superior to the shop-bought variety (nope, just snobbier!) . . . Steve Davis was spotted watching Womack & Womack at Southend Cliffs Pavilion, where Essex Radio soul jock Dave Gregory was last-minute guest MC after they’d enjoyed doing his Saturday 6-9 show — Dave also guests this Sat (16) at Harlow’s heaving but aggro-free Whispers with Kev Hill, who gets punters asking where they can buy the “remix” when he uses two copies of Sister Sledge to synch back into the guitar intro out of the break and then set up an echo-type repetition on the verses . . . Sister Sledge (whose intro is also good through the Maze ‘Joy And Pain’ acappella outro) could be followed by yet another buzz about Linda Clifford ‘Runaway Love‘ — Big Phil Etgart (01-864 3271) is after the superior remix, and also reminds us the great reggaefication of ‘I’ll Be Around‘ by Otis Gayle is still available on the ‘Best Of Studio One, Vol 4’ LP (at Shepherds Bush’s Peckings Studio One Store in Askew Road, if nowhere else) . . . Friday (15) Chris Hill joins Nicky Holloway at Tottenham’s Valentino’s while Jeff Young joins Colin Hudd (wot, no charts?) at Dartford Flicks . . . Saturday (16) sees John Dene (having stopped the weekly trip to Newport Tiffany’s) reuniting for a new regular “dimwit” night with Nick Ratcliffe at Portsmouth’s Ritzy, London’s Baz Fe Jazz joining Rhythm Doc for their fortnightly jazz/soul/electro/funk at Coventry’s Hand And Heart in Gosford Street, and Chris Dinnis souling a one-off at Bournemouth’s Upstairs At Eric’s . . . Sunday (17) at Birmingham’s Powerhouse 3pm alldayer stars Steve Walsh, Tim Westwood, Baz Fe Jazz, Colin Curtis, Jonathan, Shaun Williams, Trevor M etc . . . Brass Construction kick off their UK tour Mon/Tues (18/19) at Watford Baileys, Thur (21) Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall (with the inevitable Chris Kaye) . . . Brooklyn mixing jock Dan ‘Danny Disc’ Pucciarelli has returned for his fifth UK season since 1980, this time at Ernie Priestman’s two Bunters clubs in Liverpool and Blackpool, until July 2, during which time he’ll again be mixing two special shows for airing by Mike Shaft on Piccadilly . . . Invicta’s Steve Devonne-a-go-go spins only a little hip hop amidst the soul Fridays at Soho Ronnie Scott’s Maze . . . Rita Gray & Alex Yearwood have weekly Thursday funk (no trainers) at Manchester Annabell’s in Wood Street off Deansgate . . . Ilford’s reorganised The Villa (‘Segue’ Steve Goddard soul-jazz Wed, Larry Foster disco party Thur/upfront funk Fri, Robbie Collins party Sat, Kenny jazz-funk Sun) has revamped its restaurant as Porky’s and charges for only one meal if two people order a full three-course feast and one can actually finish it! . . . Steve Walsh now does Rayleigh’s Pink Toothbrush Thur/Fri (isn’t Ilford on the way?) . . . Peterborough’s Grapevine in Queen Street has “disco-dine” music to eat ‘n booze to, with Duane Hanson & Nick Graham’s alternative pop Fri, Steve ‘Hereward’ Allen & Jerry Little’s soul Sat . . . John DeSade funks Gillingham Joanna’s Fri with half-price booze all night . . . John ‘Nick’ Osborne is back in Ilford at Oscars Fri/Sat . . . Dennis Clarke at Wolverhampton’s gay Fri/Sat Silver Webb Private Club plays mostly Hi-NRG with pop-funk and chart hits for variety too . . . Tricky Dicky Scanes of Soho’s Record Cellar Hi-NRG shop describes Big Ben (apropos the Flirtations/Marsha Raven ‘Anglia Remix’ rather than more recent escapades) as the guy with the biggest dong in London — how does he know? . . . Earls Court Copacabana DJ Chris Lucas is back at the Shack (behind the record counter) . . . Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre is offering big money (or part exchange) for your unwanted soul oldies to help kick off a new department . . . South Harrow star George Alexander just caught up with ‘Grease’ — or at least his sister did, to judge from the hairstyle she’s given him! . . . Nicky A (he’s abbreviated his Aravis surname) proudly boasts the Tudor Lodge opposite the station is the only wine bar in Romford to play upfront black music on Saturdays (when there isn’t an “R” in the month?) . . . Phill Andrews, funking Derby Chamaille’s, wonders if he’s the only jock writing to us from the East Midlands — well, this particular week yes Phill! . . . Franklin Sinclair reports from Radcliffe Benny’s (pulling punters from “funk-starved” Blackpool) that Rikki Patrick, “one baad dancer”, and his whole family are regulars but his brothers prefer dancing to Paul Hardcastle! . . . ‘Electro Boogie’, the follow-up film to ‘Breakin’/’Breakdance’, is already in production . . . Heineken’s new “prehistoric movie” commercial is a monster! . . . ‘Burundi Black’ briefly used out of context behind Kenyan scenes rather casts doubts on the authenticity of Channel 4’s otherwise excellent ‘Africa’ series . . . LET’S BE VERY CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

WINDJAMMER: ‘Tossing And Turning’ (MCA MCAT 897)
Growing steadily on import LP and now rushed as a UK 12in, the Joe Jackson-managed New Orleans group’s lushly textured 109½bpm swaying jogger has rich “new soul” vocals and remarkably a feel reminiscent of Tony Etoria’s old ‘I Can Prove It‘ (108bpm). The flip’s starkly jerking vocodered 126bpm ‘Dive Inside My Love‘ typifies the uneasily schizoid programming of the parent LP ‘Windjammer II’ (US MCA MCA-39021), although amidst the frantic rock-disco ‘Anxiously Waiting‘ is another lovely soulfully wailed 106½bpm swayer and ‘I’ll Always Love You‘ a gentle 75bpm romancer with Isleys-style guitar. I guess it’s all down to Mr Jackson’s famous son and ‘Beat It’ that the current US market dictates such catch-all contents.

FATBACK: ‘Just Be My Love’ (LP ‘Phoenix’ US Cotillion 90188-1)
Although it has no one song as strong as ‘I Found Lovin’, I can say after living with it on in-car cassette for the last fortnight that this as a set is extremely strong. Most intense of the three hot tempo goodies and best out of ‘I Found Lovin’ is this 109bpm clopper, the gradually unfurling 0-107bpm ‘You’ve Got That Magic‘ and ‘Plane Love’-ish 111bpm ‘The Drum Song‘ being the others, while ‘I Love You So‘ is the 115bpm slowed-down ‘Searching’ style, ‘Jump Up Baby, Jump Up!‘ a trite cheerful fast 122bpm romper and ‘Call Out My Name‘ a good wailing 68bpm slowie. Easy to live with, indeed.

L.J. REYNOLDS: ‘Don’t Let Nobody Hold You Down’ (Club JABX 4)
Now on exceptionally good value 4-track 12in, the dramatic soulster’s Jones Girls-backed terrific huskily wailed Dennis Edwards-ish 104bpm jittery jogger as anticipated exploded on import LP, from which also come the regionally possibly more popular Philly-style 118bpm ‘Weigh All The Facts‘, supposedly “live” 127-126bpm ‘Don’t Worry‘, and slow rolling 0-68bpm ‘Love Me All Over‘. This guy sings soul — don’t miss him! Continue reading “June 16, 1984: Windjammer, Fatback, L.J. Reynolds, Barbara Mason, Brass Construction”

June 9, 1984: Patrice Rushen, Fatback, Bobby Womack, Eleanor Grant, Strafe

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

A NEW law coming into force on July 1st gives the Department of Trade & Industry power to confiscate not only pirate radio transmitters but also studio equipment without a court order, but there’s a strongly hinted possibility that already well established stations supplying a strictly ethnic need will have less hassle — and may well end up being legalised in the long run . . . London’s pirates, adding so mach choice to the airwaves, seem to have reawakened interest in radio generally, to judge from the new demand for car stereo systems featuring lots of pre-set buttons . . . Oscar J Jennings reports that LWR 92.5FM has a bigger transmitter now fitted, going 24hrs 7 days again — a pity they’re merely duplicating the overground commercial stations . . . Tony Turner’s daily Mon-Fri 3-6pm soul show on Radio Dublin is Ireland’s first end only of its type, in which he tries to expose things that listeners haven’t heard before (good lad) . . . Morgan Khan’s latest venture is a very selective Street Dance record plugging service, only working two records at any one time (and they gotta be good) . . . CBS’s current disco promotion tactics merely echo their long standing cynical disregard for DJs needs (remember how they often released big name acts only on 7in when they were likely to sell anyway?): now they know that jocks will have to buy the hits, which as I said all along does make sense, they use independent pluggers to send out just the rubbish that needs to be worked — in a way, these pluggers (with DJ-ing backgrounds) are being disloyal to fellow jocks in taking on these records, as if we can’t have everything from CBS why should we do them a favour in helping the stuff that isn’t good enough to sell without us? . . . South Eastern Disco Assn SEDA have a 10th anniversary jamboree weekend at West Mailing’s Greenways on the A20, with a record fair in the afternoon and giant Superdisco evening on Saturday (9), disco equipment exhibition noon-6pm Sunday (10), followed by a private dinner (sorry I can’t make it but I’m gigging near Newbury!) . . . JA Publications, 8 Beverly Road, Canterbury, Kent, publish a very informative loose-leaf guide to DJ work in Norway, all the do’s and don’ts/gigs and contacts, price £2.99 . . . Alan James Jewell out in Hong Kong at the Hollywood Boulevard has remixed a local version of ‘Let It Whip’ sung presumably in Cantonese (quite a culture shock!), and megamixed an original artists Hi-NRG medley LP titled ‘On The Boulevard‘ (Chrysalis 6.1120) containing current Hazell Dean, Laura Pallas etc . . . Bernie Lyons, playing Hi-NRG Thurs/soul Fri at Dublin’s Flamingo, has written a “BPM-finder” program for his Commodore 64 computer and will supply info from 35 Shanboley Road, Beaumont, Dublin 9, Ireland . . . Tony Cochrane has started an international video contact and exchange club so members can swap video material — £18 membership details from Video PALs, PO Box 124, Dundee DD1 9UQ, Scotland (phone 0382-644003) . . . Dartford Flicks reintroduce their famous Club Dancer competition on Fridays through July (however, Chris Hill’s there this week’) . . . Arrow’s soca classic ‘Hot Hot Hot’ has been re-released (AIR ARROX 1), but stupidly the 7in for radio is the same old edit which leaves out the “O-lay O-lay” chant line that’s most likely to sell it . . . Detroit Spinners ‘Love Is In Season’, Womack & Womack ‘Baby I’m Scared Of You’, Gilberto Gil ‘Toda Menina Baiana‘, Shannon ‘Sweet Somebody’, Jeffrey Osborne ‘Plane Love (US Remix)’, are all due here soon from usual sources, while Island are releasing Run-DMC ‘Rock Box‘, Konk ‘Your Life‘, Fresh Band ‘Come Back Lover‘ and hopefully Tony Baxter ‘Screamin‘, the Bobby “O”-produced James Brown pastiche which built a buzz on the Continent over the last two years . . . Roni Griffith ‘Breakin’ Up’ is also due in a “non-gay orientated remix” — huh? . . . Wang Chung ‘Dance Hall Days‘/’Don’t Let Go‘ topped US Dance/Disco, Deniece Williams US Black Singles . . . Cameo evidently have another rap remix of ‘She’s Strange’ . . . Phyllis Hyman guests on the new Whispers album’s ‘Suddenly‘, due soon . . . Patrice Rushen’s main background vocalist is Roy Galloway, who backed Jeffrey Osborne’s shows here . . . Shannon-type chix and heavy electro seem to be influencing much new US disco material on 12in (many now at 45rpm), but I feel we’ve already been through all that and are moving on . . . Grand Groove Bunch’s old 102½-104-105bpm ‘!Catch The Groove!‘ (inst flip of T. Ski Valley ‘!Catch The Beat!’) evidently now also newly remixed, was oddly my top request and hottest hit at Mayfair Gullivers last weekend (it’s absolutely superb out of Mary Jane Girls ‘All Night Long’ as previously mentioned) — could it be another Fatback? . . . Ruffin & Moore’s “Lo-NRG” remix is not now coming out (in fact mine’s the only copy — offers of £50 or more!) . . . Denise LaSalle ‘Come To Bed’ should be 96½bpm . . . Womack & Womack not only did Des O’Connor’s TV show but guested at Soho Bananas first anniversary last Saturday, when I walked into Mayfair’s Rockafellas late nite eaterie to find Intrigue in incongruous mid-PA at 4.15am! . . . I then breakfasted with Lovely Previn (daughter of that TV salesman), who fiddles on Andde Leek’s mournful Steve Harley-esque slow 41-82-0bpm treatment of Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen‘ (Fascination/A&M FAS 602), possibly useful for pop jocks . . . Steve Harvey has sitting in the can ‘Is Nothing Gonna Change Your Mind?’, a fabulous sophisticated long jazzy skipper so unlike his singles that for weeks after he gave me it amongst other things on a cassette I had presumed it was an old Stevie Wonder track he’d left at the start of one side — possibly the most impressive British soul production ever, so when will it ever reach vinyl? . . . Sayeeda, wow! . . . Fatback’s brand new album, their first for Cotillion, due here next week to judge from preview cassette is much stronger as a set than their last few, with at least four hot dancers and a wailing slowie — they’re also appearing until this Saturday at Watford Baileys, where next week it’s Jimmy James (who’s currently working out with Mad Lizzie on TVam!) . . . Phil England goes OTT at Basingstoke Diamonds Thursday (7) . . . Pete Tong & Jeff Young shake Sheffield Park’s Sheffield Arms on the A275 this Friday (8), when Mayfair Gullivers gives away a colour TV in a lucky ticket draw for those who arrive before midnight (thus spending more for longer at the bar!) . . . Rick Robinson has a “F-underwear” night at Lee Danielles Saturday (9) . . . Sunday (10) finds dodgy duplication with Sheffield Romeo & Juliets alldayer (2-11pm) starring Colin Curtis, Jonathan, Simon Walsh, Steel City Gary Senior etc, Colin & Jonathan also joining Mike Shaft, Chad, Hewan & Richard Searling at Manchester Legends alldayer (2-11pm), while down at Camberley’s Cambridge Hotel the 7th anniversary of Frenchies celebrated by Messieurs Chris Brown & Johnnie Walker in “French” fancy dress . . . Record Mirror’s own radio & TV star Gary Crowley returns to South Harrow Bogarts with all his famous mates looking in every Tuesday again . . . Funk Masters Roger Jay & Graham Gee soul Forest Gate’s Railway Tavern nightly except Sunday . . . JFM’s afternoon drive time star Graham Gold (“have I got a good cause for you”) is chuffed to be packing Tuesdays at Tottenham Rudolph’s (behind the White Hart), and back on the Showstoppers team . . . Gary Oldis managed to move to the “very upmarket” Slix on the A19 at Dalton Piercy near Hartlepool . . . Nick Ratcliffe had a ball while the American fleet was in port at Pompey, all the black sailors heading for Portsmouth’s Ritzy where he does Thur/Fri, overlapping funky Fri/Sat with Gary Ashman who confirms the joint’s been jumping . . . Margie Joseph ‘Midnight Lover‘ has the ‘Holiday’ rhythm and already gets ’em singing along — Greg Edwards did a great mix into it out of Tyzik “live” on Capital’s Best Disco show . . . Al Matthews played the African baddie in last Sunday’s ‘The Professionals’ . . . Rusty Egan’s sister Tina Egan is making a record called ‘High Level’ for Red Bus, “really jazz-funky” sez Rust (which knowing him could mean anything) . . . Alan Dunbar (Southampton Raffles) reports that an Italian mixer record ‘The Return Of Mr Disco’ has yet another excellent Michael Jackson/Jacksons medley . . . Began Cekic confesses he originated the brilliant classic ‘Bits & Pieces III’ medley that ‘Stars On 45’ slavishly copied, so now the boot’s on his other foot regarding his copy with Main Line of Alan Coulthard’s official Michael Jackson megamix, which as previously noted in this country has been restructured to comply with the Disco Mix Club’s wishes . . . Steve Dennis at a recent Birmingham Powerhouse alldayer sneakily spun Yvonne Gage ‘Haunted House’ while showing the ‘Thriller’ video (from the dance part onwards), to great response — Yvonne may be hard to find now it’s run into hopefully temporary plagiarism problems . . . Andy Greg (Loughton Tempo Rico) on close examination of the LP sleeve sees that “Billie Jean is Greg Pillingaines”, and that the lyrics printed for ‘Lady In My Life’ have an extra verse and chorus — so will there yet be an extended 12in? . . . Steve Guarnori of the excellent New Blackbeat fanzine (£3.75 for six issues from 101 Sevenacres, Orton, Peterborough, Cambs PE2 0XJ) has dreadful news for ‘Hill Street Blues’ fans — on Anglia TV, ahead of the rest, Lt. Howard Hunter has committed suicide because LaRue and Washington discovered he’d once accepted payola . . . “Time, as is its want, moves relentlessly onward” — hey hey hey HEY, LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, HUH?


CORRECTION
ON MAY 26 I said that Record Shack had sold a controlling share to IDS. In fact, IDS do not own any shares in Record Shack. I am sorry for any misunderstanding this has caused.


HOT VINYL

PATRICE RUSHEN: ‘Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go) (Elektra E9742T)
Sneakily nagging and ultimately very powerful, this delicately sung but tough 104bpm repetitive swaying ticker despite DJ reaction here still has the cooler and sharper slightly less vocal Dub Version on the flip, now with a new instrumental too — try it in a long synch between Jocelyn Brown and Sun ‘Legs’! Keeping to the same sparse electronic keyboards and bass sound, her whole very listenable LP ‘Now’ (960360-1) really only has one other dance killer, the burblingly loping 116bpm ‘Get Off (You Fascinate Me)‘ with a good long break, plus the 109bpm ‘Gotta Find It‘, 95½bpm ‘Perfect Love‘, 106/53bpm ‘To Each His Own‘, 42¼/84½bpm ‘High In Me’, 39½/79bpm ‘My Love’s Not Going Anywhere’, 41½/83bpm ‘Heartache Heartbreak’, frantic 136½bpm ‘Gone With The Night’ and 151bpm ‘Superstar‘ (the latter with such good lyrics the tempo is immaterial). She sure sings pretty.

FATBACK: ‘I Found Lovin’ (Master Mix 12CHE 8401, via PRT)
The UK remixed (0-)105bpm A-side is a disappointment with a clumsily edited instrumental centre just as the tension and swing are building, but the 105bpm flip has (labelled in wrong order) a really useful instrumental dub and the original far superior — and essential — LP version of this terrific ever-building tension-filled hot tempo soul burner, smouldering away in London since last year until the pirates made it blaze!

BOBBY WOMACK: ‘Tell Me Why’ (Motown TMGT 1339)
Finally on extended 12in, big brother Bobby’s great chunkily rolling 111bpm gritty soul bubbler should follow Cecil & Linda chartwards, flipped by the Patti LaBelle/George Benson/Wilton Felder-backed searingly soulful 0-67/33½-71-69bpm ‘Through The Eyes Of A Child‘ — quite a double-sider, not to missed!

ELEANOR GRANT: ‘Lovin’ Your Good Thing Away’ (US Catawba 4Z9 05009)
George Kerr-produced, M&M-mixed, this powerfully simple purposefully striding 110bpm ‘Billie Jean’-ish pumper has a superb traditional soul vocal — the time honoured title idea being a nagging criticism that her man’s cheatin’ leaves him too shagged out for her! — dynamite with ‘Automatic’, ‘Encore’, Change etc (dub flip). Hey Jody, who’s makin’ love with your old lady while you’re out makin’ love?

STRAFE: ‘Set It Off’ (US Jus Born Records JB 001)
Weirdly tugging rumbling slow c.112bpm weaver with a ‘White Lines’-ish feel as guys wander about over the stereophonic meandering backing, all very odd (inst flip).

GINO SOCCIO: ‘Out Of My Life’ (Dutch Atlantic 786 953-0)
So soon, another even faster and more rock orientated 128bpm bounder (inst flip).

SKOOL BOYS: ‘Slip Away’ (US Columbia 44-05014)
Now in 12in, this terrific boy/girl phonecall started (“Are you tied up tonight?” “No, but I’d like to be!”) jittery 108½bpm hot tempo pusher works beautifully between ‘Automatic’ and (especially) ‘Encore’ and has a Real To Reel type appeal (inst flip). My kinda music!

CHERRELLE: ‘Like I Will’ (LP ‘Fragile’ US Tabu BFZ 39144)
Lucky Cheryl Norton has current hot tempo creators Jimmy Jam Harris & Terry Lewis again hitting their great Change/SOS Band groove on this (0-)104-0bpm wriggle ‘n kick pusher, while the fabulously socking 120bpm ‘I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On‘ strutter is a more fully fleshed mix than the criminally ignored dangerous dubwise 12in version (which is still essential for its incredible instrumental jazz-funk flip!), the appropriately glass-breaking 122½bpm ‘Fragile . . . Handle With Care‘ also socking along with squalling sax, their other contributions being the cooler hot tempo 103bpm ‘When You Look In My Eyes‘ and slow drag 84-0bpm ‘Who’s It Gonna Be’, leaving the sensuous slow 68bpm ‘Stay With me, 85bpm ‘I Need You Now’ and 59bpm ‘I Will Wait For You’ to another production team.

DENIECE WILLIAMS: ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’ (CBS TA 4319)
CBS’s disco mailing list jocks, myself included, have finally had to buy this George Duke-produced/Jellybean-remixed frothy 122½bpm pop smash (inst flip), which mixes well between Loose Ends dub and ‘Love Wars’, with a good percussion break on 12in.

CAPTAIN ROCK: ‘Capt Rock To The Future Shock’ (US NIA NI-1240)
Fantastic Aleems-prod/penned powerful smurf-introed 122bpm hip hop rap smacker, nothing new but infectious and very well done with a jiggly “DC-a-go-go” rhythm influence making it gratifying big on the floor at once, even now (inst/edit flip).

MARIO: ‘Sexy Freek’ (US Rappers Rapp Disco Co. RR-12”-2002)
Visualize a scratch version of Prince and you’ve got the vocal ‘Street Version’ in one, but the instrumental ‘Street Scratch Version’ of Mario Thompson’s 125-126-125bpm cut-up lurcher is really effective and possibly another Hashim with synth and bass wheezling and burping through the scratchy beat.

SANDRA REID: ‘Feels So Good’ (Sir George SG 014T, via Jet Star/Pinnacle)
Previously mentioned, this slinky 89bpm slight reggaefication of Midnight Star’s ‘Juicy Fruit’ — copying slowie is proving really useful on the floor and deserves much more radio attention (separate dub same side).

SMOKEY ROBINSON: ‘Close Encounters Of The First Kind’ (LP ‘Esser’ US Tamla 6098TL)
Immediately pounced on by DJs here as the standout of a dependably good listening set, this sinuously swaying 100bpm jogger has classic Smokey lyrics and singing, but in fact the first UK-released single is the odd disjointed 115bpm ‘And I Don’t Love You‘ (Motown TMGT 1344), while the ‘Billie Jean’-ish pounding 115bpm ‘Train Of Thought‘ and lovely (0-)113bpm ‘Little Girl Little Girl‘ would both make better uptempo dancers. If you wonder at ‘Essar’ as a title, Emgee was Marvin Gaye . . .

I LEVEL: ‘In The River’ (Virgin VS681-12)
A muddy river, to judge from the M&M-mixed sound of the lurchingly sung percussively throbbing War-like 104bpm chugger, which isn’t without interesting atmosphere but may groove too monotonously on one level as a song (acappella/dub inst/113-0bpm ‘Strangers‘ flip).

THE LATEST: ‘Starting Over’ (US Ransom RNM 1201)
Sekou Bunch-produced guy and gal wailed steady 113bpm tripper with twiddling synth and a satisfying drive (inst flip) in somewhat dated style, though no less welcome for that — in fact, the label does say 1983.

BEATMASTER: ‘Lipservice’ (US Tommy Boy TB 842)
‘No Sell Out’ beatster Keith LeBlanc, Shannon instrumentalist Robbie Kilgore and cut ’em up editor Chris Lord create a crashing stark 107bpm hip hop drum judderer full of smurfs, kazoos, chanting chaps (inst flip), powerful if nowadays specialist stuff. Pucker up!

SAMMY DAVIS, JR : ‘Hello Detroit’ (US Motown 4519MG)
Berry Gordy decreed it was time Detroit had a “New York, New York, what a wonderful town” all of its own, and with Willie Hutch concocted this bravura (0-)130-131-132bpm big band anthem which Sammy does his way, to end in Bobby McFerrin-style scat (inst flip). Better than you might think, it kept people dancing as my finale last Saturday and should be good MoR at least.

OLLIE & JERRY: ‘Breakin’ . . . There’s No Stopping Us (Club Mix)’ (Polydor POSPX 690)
Singing their own title track to the L.A. rather than Bronx-based quickie Hollywood hip hop flick here called ‘Breakdance’, which beat ‘Beat Street’ to box office mega-bucks (ten more similar films are evidently due this summer!), Ollie E Brown & Jerry Knight get a better setting in this Jellybean-remixed 115bpm 12in version of their angular jittering electro-ish jerker (inst flip) than in its 116½bpm original on the soundtrack LP ‘Breakdance’ (POLD 5147) — this however includes current US black hit the BAR-KAYS’ whipping 130½bpm ‘Freakshow On The Dance Floor‘, HOT STREAK’s 122bpm ‘Body Work’ and RUFUS & CHAKA KHAN’s 104bpm ‘Ain’t Nobody’ (no less!), Ollie & Jerry’s more hip hop instrumental 116bpm ‘Showdown’ being joined by other lesser original material, CHRIS ‘THE GLOVE’ TAYLOR & DAVID STORRS’ stark fast 129½bpm scratch rap ‘Reckless‘, 3-V’s skittering electro 123bpm ‘Heart Of The Beat‘, CAROL LYNN TOWNES’ sub-Shannon 119½bpm ‘99½‘, FIRE FOX’s pedestrian chix-sung 0-104bpm ‘Street People‘. RE-FLEX’s frantic rock-disco 153½bpm ‘Cut It‘. At least star Lucinda Dickey looks a bit luscious on the sleeve!

ROBIN GIBB: ‘Boys (Do Fall In Love)’ (Polydor POSPX 686)
Backed by Shannon/Beatmaster keyboardist Robbie Kilgore, the bleating Bee Gee goes hip hop pop rock on a (0-)125bpm basher best in its dub version, though he still insists on singing (rather like Cliff Richard in places).

KoKo-PoP: ‘Make You Feel Better’ (LP ‘KoKo-PoP’ US Motown 6096ML)
Typical new Motown group prone to rock-disco, but this interesting 110½bpm blend of English accented new music chant, soulful vocal, Vincent Price laughter, chugging hot tempo and — would you believe? — bagpipes intro works rather well (out of Change) and could be good on 12in, while the attractively arranged trotting 123bpm ‘I’m In Love With You‘ and jolting slow 85¼bpm ‘Make Up Your Mind’ sound as if they actually use real strings.

BILLY OCEAN: ‘European Queen’ (Jive JIVE C 55)
All three vocal versions of his ‘Billie Jean’-ish 114bpm throbber are now on blue vinyl 33 1/3rpm 12in, the UK-aimed A-side flipped by the otherwise identical ‘African Queen’ and ‘Caribbean Queen’, all nearly eight minutes long.

MARCUS MILLER: ‘I Could Give You More’ (LP ‘Marcus Miller’ Warner Bros 925074-1)
Bassist and now one-man-band Marcus is in danger of over-programming the rhythm machines — however. while several nice mellow soulful slowies come off best, this Luther-style wriggling 115bpm shuffler should work well with Kashif, the 105½bpm ‘Unforgettable‘ and instrumental 0-104½bpm ‘Juice‘ being over-stark judderers, and the faster un-remixed 121½bpm ‘My Best Friend’s Girlfriend‘ is frantically brisk.

RIKKI PATRICK: ‘I Never Thought It Would Come To This’ (CBS TA 4414)
Bolton wanderer doing this Michael Grant/David Jackson impersonation which settles down into an inoffensively plopping 114bpm swayer after an offputting percussion start.

SIMPLICIOUS: ‘Let Her Feel It’ (US Philly World 0-96945)
America’s soulful chaps-sung 124bpm answer to all our “high energy” formulae (inst flip), so it could do best in boys town.

R.A.F.: ‘Self Control’ (Carrere CART 324)
Fuzz guitar punctuated phonetic chick sung purposeful 108bpm Eurodisco chugger with typical catchy “whoa oh oh” background chant, now made even rockier (and huge in US discos) in a cleaner 106bpm cover by LAURA BRANIGAN (Atlantic A9676T), both good pop.


Hi-NRG

FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD: Two Tribes’ (ZTT 12ZTAS 3)
D-Day introed rattling 0-130bpm galloper using a synthesized Ronald Reagan to good effect, with a more frantically concise treatment and 0-110bpm rework of Edwin Starr’s ‘War‘ as flip, obviously bound for glory.

PAMALA STANLEY: ‘Coming Out Of Hiding’ (Casablanca CANX 1020)
Chunkily cantering 130bpm Laura Branigan-type pounder, big for a while, now flipped by its instrumental and last year’s 132bpm ‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It‘.

PLEASURE AND THE BEAST: ‘God’s Empty Chair’ (Carrere CART 326)
Rock guitar clashing 134bpm galloper sung by Robert and LA of late lamented Shock.

BREAKFAST CLUB: ‘Rico Mambo’ (Ze 12IS 178)
Frantic 163bpm rock disco by New Yorkers, not to be confused with our own Breakfast Band.


DISCO TOP 85 – June 9, 1984

01 01 CHANGE OF HEART, Change, WEA 12in
02 29 THINKING OF YOU, Sister Sledge, Atlantic 12in
03 04 DOIN’ IT IN A HAUNTED HOUSE, Yvonne Gage, US CIM 12in
04 03 AUTOMATIC (REMIX), Pointer Sisters, Planet 12in
05 05 SOMEBODY ELSE’S GUY, Jocelyn Brown, Fourth & Broadway 12in
06 02 I’LL BE AROUND, Terri Wells, London 12in
07 08 I WANNA MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD/PROMISES CAN BREAK, The System, Polydor 12in
08 17 FEELS SO REAL (WON’T LET GO) (DUB), Patrice Rushen, US Elektra 12in
09 06 EMERGENCY (DIAL 999)(REMIX)/DUB MIX, Loose Ends, Virgin 12in
10 07 LOVE WARS (REMIX), Womack & Womack, Elektra 12in
11 10 AIN’T NOBODY, Rufus & Chaka Khan, Warner Bros 12in
12 33 MIDNIGHT LOVER/READY FOR THE NIGHT/I WANTS MO’ STUFF/ADONAI/ TELL ME, Margie Joseph, US Cotillion LP
13 11 RIGHT OR WRONG/I’LL BE AROUND, Detroit Spinners, Atlantic 12in
14 12 SOMEBODY ELSE’S GUY (REMIXES), Jocelyn Brown, Fourth & Broadway 12in
15 09 DON’T LET NOBODY HOLD YOU DOWN/WEIGH ALL THE FACTS/DON’T WORRY/TOUCH DOWN, L.J. Reynolds, US Mercury LP
16 27 JAMMIN’ IN MANHATTAN, Tyzik US Polydor LP/12in
17 25 YOU ARE MY MELODY/WARM/TRUE LOVE/IT BURNS ME UP, Change, WEA LP
18 16 LOVE IS IN SEASON/TWO OF A KIND/OUR TIME FOR LOVE, Detroit Spinners, Atlantic LP
19 20 COME TO ME (ONE WAY OR ANOTHER), Jermaine Jackson, Arista 12in
20 15 JUST BE GOOD TO ME, The SOS Band, Tabu 12in
21 31 I’M SOMEBODY ELSE’S GUY, Frederick ‘MC Count’ Linton, US Vinyl Dreams 12in
22 13 STEPPIN’ OUT/PHILLY TALK/DREAM RIDE/DR ROCK, George Howard, US TBA LP
23 23 BREAK DANCE PARTY/DUB MIX, Break Machine, Record Shack 12in
24 — LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY (REMIX), Deniece Williams, CBS 12in
25 41 ONE LOVE — PEOPLE GET READY, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Island 12in
26 26 EXTRAORDINARY GIRL, The O’Jays, US Philadelphia International 12in
27 55 DON’T I EVER CROSS YOUR MIND SOMETIME, Barbara Mason, US West End 12in
28 32 TELL ME WHY, Bobby Womack, Motown LP
29 48 MR GROOVE/LADY YOU ARE, One Way, MCA 12in
30 56 WHAT’S THE NAME OF YOUR GAME/HOLD ON, Jaki Graham, EMI 12in
31 18 DON’T GIVE ME UP, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, London 12in
32 30 SUMMER FLING/LOVE YOU DIRECT, The O’Jays, US Philadelphia Int LP
33 68 TELL ME I’M NOT DREAMIN’, Jermaine & Michael Jackson, Arista LP
34 58 LAND OF HUNGER/DUB VERSION, The Earons, Island 12in
35 45 STAY WITH ME TONIGHT (US CLUB MIX), Jeffrey Osborne, A&M 12in
36 52 BREAK/NEXT TIME IT’S FOR REAL, Kleeer, Atlantic 12in
37 24 DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME (REMIX), Yarbrough & Peoples, Total Experience 12in
38 19 COME BACK LOVER, Fresh Band, US Are ‘N Be 12in
39 28 SHE’S STRANGE/CLUB MIX (REMIX), Cameo, Club 12in
40 44 KEEP IT COMIN’/YOU CAN’T HAVE MY LOVE/WHY YOU WANNA DO THAT TO ME, The Jones Girls, US Philadelphia International LP
41 43 THIS TIME, Funk Deluxe, Streetwave 12in
42 35 I FOUND LOVIN’, Fatback, US Spring LP
43 54 LOVER OF MY DREAMS, Yvonne Gage, Belgian BMC 12in
44 21 YOU’RE THE ONE FOR ME (MEDLEY), Paul Hardcastle, Total Control 12in
45 14 LOVEQUAKE, Bobby King, Motown 12in
46 37 IT’S ALL YOURS, Starpoint, Electra 12in
47 38 MATT’S MOOD, Matt Bianco, WEA 12in
48 46 LET ME DANCE WITH YOU (INSTRUMENTAL), El Chicano, US Columbia 12in
49 22 LOVE ME LIKE THIS, Real To Reel, Arista 12in
50 76 TOSSING AND TURNING/I’LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU/ANXIOUSLY WAITING, Windjammer, US MCA LP
51 59 EUROPEAN QUEEN/AFRICAN QUEEN/CARIBBEAN QUEEN, Billy Ocean, Jive 12in
52 51 ENCORE, Cheryl Lynn, US Columbia 12in
53 65 WHEN YOU’RE HOT YOU’RE HOT (REMIX), Ingram, Other End 12in
54 34 HEAVEN SENT YOU, Stanley Clarke/Howard Hewett, StreetSounds LP/US Epic 12in
55 57 BABY DON’T BREAK YOUR BABY’S HEART, Kashif, Arista 12in
56 67 YOU DID IT AGAIN/INTIMATE CONNECTION/GO FOR IT/TONIGHT, Kleeer, Atlantic LP
57 42 PLANE LOVE (REMIX)/DUB, Jeffrey Osborne, US A&M 12in
58 36 FOR YOUR LOVE/EXTENDED VERSION, The SOS Band, US Tabu 12in
59 — LIKE I WILL/I DIDN’T MEAN TO TURN YOU ON, Cherrelle, US Tabu LP
60 — LOVIN’ YOUR GOOD THING AWAY, Eleanor Grant, US Catawba 12in
61 63 STATE OF LOVE (REMIX), Imagination, R&B 12in
62 53 BREAKIN’ IN SPACE/INSTRUMENTAL, Key-Matic, US Radar 12in
63 — GET OFF (YOU FASCINATE ME), Patrice Rushen, German Elektra LP
64 78 DON’T GO LOSE IT BABY, Hugh Masekela, Jive Afrika 12in
65 47 JAM ON IT, Newcleus, Sunnyview 12in
66 — (YOU’RE MY) APHRODISIAC, Dennis Edwards, Gordy 12in
67 77 WHEN YOUR X WANTS YOU BACK, Surface, Dutch Rams Horn/US Salsoul 12in
68 61 TENDER LOVIN’, Funk Deluxe, US Salsoul LP
69 49 IT’S YOU THAT’S HAPPENING, Exquisite Taste, US Statute 12in
70 — CALIFORNIA/NO QUESTION ABOUT IT, Kent Jordan, US Columbia LP
71 — VENCEREMOS — WE WILL WIN, Working Week, Paladin 12in
72 — RIGHT PLACE RIGHT TIME, Denise LaSalle & Latimore, Waco 12in
73 60 STAY HERE WITH ME, Evan Rogers, RCA 12in
74 79 THRILLER — OWNER OF A LONELY HEART (MEDLEY), Local Boy, Belgian Jump & Shout 12in
75 — SLIP AWAY, Skool Boyz, US Columbia 12in
76 — BABY I’M SCARED OF YOU/T.K.O., Womack & Womack, Elektra LP
77 — IT’S GONNA BE SPECIAL (REMIX), Patti Austin, US Qwest 12in
78 — DETERMINATION, Kym Yancey, Pinnacle 12in
79 82 YOU’RE A WINNER/HANGIN’ DOWNTOWN, Cameo, Club 12in
80 64 MARVIN, Edwin Starr, Streetwave 12in
81 74 NEVER HAD A GIRL, Brass Construction, US Capitol 12in
82 85 CRAZY, Colorblind, US Capitol mini-LP
83 72 MEGA-MIX, Herbie Hancock/Grandmixer D.ST., US Columbia 12in
84 50 GOT THE HOTS, Cuba Gooding, US Streetwise 12in
85=— CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE FIRST KIND, Smokey Robinson, US Tamla LP
85=— CRASH GOES LOVE (MASTER MIX), Loleatta Holloway, US Streetwise 12in
85=— MAGIC TOUCH/WORK IT, Rose Royce, US Montage LP


BREAKERS

BUBBLING UNDER the Disco 85 are:

Pumpkin: ‘Here Comes That Beat!’ (US Profile)
Rapologists: ‘The Hip Hop Beat’ (Billy Boy)
Sun: ‘Legs’ (US AIR City LP)
Evelyn Thomas: ‘High Energy’ (Record Shack)
Grandmaster Melle Mel: ‘Beat Street Breakdown’ (US Sugarhill)
Kane Gang: ‘Small Town Creed’ (Kitchenware)
Sandra Reid: ‘Feels So Good’ (Sir George)
Dave Roach: ‘Back To Back’ (Coda)
Marcus Miller: ‘My Best Friend’s Girlfriend (Remix)’ (US Warner Bros)
Warp 9: ‘No Man Is An Island (Remix)’ (Fourth & Broadway)


HIT NUMBERS

Beats Per Minute for last week’s Top 75 entries on 7in (endings denoted by f/r/c for fade/resonant/cold):

The Smiths 0-113½/56¾c, David Sylvian 94-0r, Ozzy Osbourne 84-86-89-88-0c, Madness 59½/119-62/124f, Bronski Beat 63½/127(intro)-134f (DJ copies lack the complex intro), Siouxsie 0-144-143f, Michael Jackson 0-58½-117f, Change 107½f, Nick Haywood 134f, Marc Almond 189, Limahl 117f, Twisted Sister 146-148f, Peter Gabriel 0-98-97f, Madonna (0-)119f.


HI-NRG DISCO

01 01 HIGH ENERGY, Evelyn Thomas, Record Shack 12in
02 03 FRANTIC LOVE, Eastbound Expressway, Record Shack 12in
03 — YOU THINK YOU’RE A MAN, Divine, Proto 12in promo
04 — FALSE ALARM, Marsha Raven, Passion 12in/Dutch High Fashion remix
05 16 I HEAR THUNDER, Seventh Avenue, Record Shack 12in promo
06 08 DOCTOR’S ORDERS — COUCH COUGH, Maegan, Savoir Faire 12in
07 05 THE NEXT IN LINE, Eric Roberts, Electricity 12in
08 15 WHEN YOU WALK IN THE ROOM, Ramming Speed, Proto 12in
09 13 YOU TURNED MY BITTER INTO SWEET, Linda Lewis, Electricity 12in
10 07 EMERGENCY, Laura Pallas, Record Shack 12in
11 18 BEELINE (REMIX), Miquel Brown, US TSR 12in
12 06 WE ARE INVINCIBLE, 501’s, ERC 12in
13 26 DETERMINATION/IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME, Jayne Edwards, US Profile 12in
14 — STRANGE DESIRE, Nicci Gable, Passion 12in
15 09 HEARTS ON FIRE (REMIX), Hush, Spirit 12in
16 04 NOTHING’S WORSE THAN BEING ALONE, Velvette, Electricity 12in
17 02 ONE NIGHT ONLY, Scherrie Payne, US Megatone 12in
18 11 I’M GONNA LOVE YOU FOREVER, Jimmy Ruffin & Jackson Moore, ERC 12in
19 20 ALIVE WITH LOVE, Tina Fabrique, Electricity 12in
20 — LA SERENISSIMA (REMIX), Rondo Veneziano, Starlite 12in
21 — I LOVE MEN, Eartha Kitt, French In The Mix 12in/Record Shack promo
22 24 THE UPSTROKE/NAUGHTY MIX, Agents Aren’t Aeroplanes, Proto 12in
23 — DOIN’ IT IN A HAUNTED HOUSE, Yvonne Gage, US CIM 12in
24 12 AND DANCE, Billy Preston, ERC 12in
25 10 THEY ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT, Peter Brown, US Hot Tracks remix
26 19 KEEP DANCING, Touch Of Class, US Next Plateau 12in
27 25 NO MORE WORDS, Berlin, Mercury 12in
28 — BREAK ME, Charade, Passion 12in
29 22 COMING OUT OF HIDING, Pamala Stanley, Casablanca 12in
30=—JUMP (REMIX), Pointer Sisters, Passion 12in
30=—GIVE ME BACK MY HEART, Norma Lewis, Passion 12in promo
30=—BREAKDANCE (REMIX), Irene Cara, Epic 12in


NIGHTCLUB

POP JOX are playing: 1 (1) Pointer Sisters, 2 (4) Womack & Womack, 3 (5) Evelyn Thomas, 4 (11) Deniece Williams, 5 (8) Hazell Dean, 6 (2) Terri Wells, 7 (13) Break Machine, 8 (3) Jocelyn Brown, 9 (15) Duran Duran, 10 (6) Rufus, 11 (9) Jeffrey Osborne, 12 (42) Wham!, 13 (10) Bob Marley, 14 (12) Loose Ends, 15 (14) OMD, 16 (7) The SOS Band, 17 (—) The System, 18 (31) Human League, 19 (45) Imagination, 20 (32) Sister Sledge, 21 (26) Miquel Brown ‘SMM(R)’, 22 (—) Change, 23 (21) Melle Mel, 24 (30) Detroit Spinners 12in A/B, 25 (41) Yarbrough & Peoples, 26 (—) Ultravox, 27 (—) Agents AA, 28 (25) Blancmange, 29 (—) Style Council, 30 (—) Earons, 31 (—) Queen, 32 (48) Thompson Twins, 33 (35) Matt Bianco, 34 (—) Laura Pallas, 35 (24) Paul Hardcastle, 36 (38) Nik Kershaw, 37 (39) Alisha, 38 (—) Paul Parker, 39 (37) Everything But The Girl, 40 (20) Trans-X, 41 (33) Sandie Shaw, 42 (34) Phil Collins, 43 (46) Irene Cara, 44 (—) Ramming Speed, 45 (—) Starpoint, 46 (16) Cameo, 47 (—) Real To Reel, 48 (50) New Order, 49 (—) Kenny Loggins, 50 (—) Yvonne Gage ‘HH’.

June 2, 1984: Change, Kashif, Funk Deluxe, One Way, Kleeer

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

MAIN LINE ‘One And Only (Jackson Medley)‘ is being restructured for UK release to get away from the original Alan Coulthard megamix-copying sequence (was it something I said?) . . . Chaka Khan has recorded an evidently hip hop ‘My Love Is Alive‘ produced by John Robie, but release plans are unclear . . . Patrice Rushen’s LP is due here now, her UK 12in having an additional instrumental version . . . Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force’s next 12in teams them with Washington DC’s Trouble Funk-A-Go-Go . . . Stephanie Mills is back on Broadway in The Wiz, again in the role of Dorothy which brought her to fame . . . Motown may be amazed at the influential DJs who never knew ‘Fall In Love‘ was flip to Bobby King’s 12in, thanks to the A-side being both sides on promo pressings — please stop this irritating ploy! . . . WEA ought to consider re-releasing Lorraine Ellison ‘Stay With Me Baby‘ — it should be old enough now, surely? . . . Melle Mel ‘White Lines’ has now sold over 100,000 copies here yet when last seen (pre-picture disc) had still only peaked at 48 after 16 weeks — another ‘Relax’ without airplay — most sales are now coming from the North-West (although it’s top request at Worcester Tramps for Severn Sound’s Roger Tovell) . . . Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson, now at Toronto’s CN Tower for four months before heading into the Orient again on the Bacchus circuit, reports still huge in Birmingham are Tin Tin ‘Kiss Me’, Roni Griffith ‘Breakin’ Up’ and Animal Magnet ‘Welcome To The Monkey House‘ (whether in English or Spanish), three of his biggest records there two years ago! . . . Steve Stuart (Boston Elizabethan Club Lizzy’s) is after Vision ‘Lucifer’s Friend‘ on Boston 50993, good price paid — it’s hot again for Paul Major at Hinckley Bubbles . . . Anne Plaxton at Passion (01-735 8171) wants to hear from clubs interested in booking Hi-NRG acts for gigs/PAs . . . Agents Aren’t Aeroplanes appear to have blown their credibility (and chart placings) by PA-ing . . . Lee Taylor (London Hippodrome Mondays) still needs a high standard mixer for Oriental gigs (no matter what colour hair he’s got!) on 01-385 4345 . . . Piccadilly Radio soul star Mike Shaft reputedly mixes live on air using four decks — £25 will buy one hour of radio tuition with him at the North West DJ Assn’s DJ School, now operational with a wide range of courses to cover everything anyone ought to know, full details Mon-Sat afternoons from Paul Baxendale (Bolton 0204-53817) . . . Rotherham electro-pop jock John Malkin reports chum Martin McSweeney is setting up a possible rival to the Disco Mix Club called System X Music Tapes . . . Sanny Xenokottas now mixes with his digital delay Fri/Sat at Bournemouth Boscombe The Academy . . . Hereward’s Steve Allen souls Leicester Coasters Thursday (31) . . . Marsha Raven plays Haringey Bolts 3rd anniversary Friday (1), when Froggy funks Dartford Flicks, Phil England messes up Midhurst Grange Centre, and ’60s soul Function At The Junction moves to new venue Clapham Junction’s Wessex Suite . . . Sunday (3) Fatback play London’s Venue, Birmingham’s Hummingbird alldayer (2-11pm) has Kenny G live plus Steve Dennis, Frenchie T, Shaun Williams etc, Leeds Tiffany’s alldayer (3-12pm) has Colin Curtis, Jonathan, Simon Walsh, Eddie Gee, Cleveland Anderson, Tim Westwood (London coaches on 01-385 5796) . . . Monday (4) Southend Rain’s recent bucking bronco contest was so popular that Cosmic starts saddling up monthly heats to find the South-East champion, Linda Lewis plays the opening first-Monday-of-the-month boys town night at Nottingham Astoria (ex-Sherwood Rooms, fairly Hi-NRG Wed/Fri/Sat anyway) . . . Mayfair Gullivers highly popular Miss Gullivers final is Tuesday (5), Froggy funks Basildon RaQuels Wed (6) . . . Jim K declares Cambridge Bumpers fun pub (only 50p) is solidly upfront soul Saturdays . . . Dave Thomas spins 50p soul-funk-jazz Sundays at Shrewsbury’s Oak Hotel (A5 at Shelton — I keep passing it going to North Wales!) . . . Horizon’s Gilles Peterson has free ‘vibrant’ Latin jazz Mondays at Epsom Frenchies, jazz-soul Tuesdays at Croydon Solos . . . Derek Lawrence souls Wednesdays now at Bermondsey Dockhead’s Swan & Sugarloaf Lyndon T joins Tim Westwood jazz-funking Soho Gossips Fridays . . . Rick Robinson is most upfront before midnight Fri/Sat at Lee’s Dutch House Danielle’s (A20 Sidcup Road) . . . Adrian Dunbar’s Fri/Sat/Sun now are full-tilt soul-disco nights at Southampton Raffles (Back O’ The Walls), where he’s after suitable funky PAs Friday nights on Bournemouth 296253 . . . Steel City Gary Senior now funks Fridays at Sheffield Mona Lisa’s Hothouse and Tuesdays at Chesterfield Fascination (no electro at the latter, but free if with whistle or shorts) . . . Tricky Dicky at Soho’s Record Cellar shop reckons his customer DJs started the buzz on Hush after he’d unearthed it at a record fair in February and subsequently ordered copies to sell (it was released originally last November, when Disco Mix Club made it a powerplay — so much for their power!) . . . Al Charles (Southport Ainsdale Beach Lido Complex) insists Wally Of The Year has to be the guy who asked for the ‘Frankie Howerd’ single — it seems for the past six months he’d seriously thought that was who sang ‘Relax’! . . . Newcleus’s US LP will include a Marvel comic book starring the group’s Smurfs as intergalactic heroes . . . General Caine’s now also done a ‘Where’s The Beef‘ (US Capitol) . . . Kym Yancey ‘Determination‘ has the ‘Love Wars’ beat . . . Teddy Pendergrass’s long awaited Asylum debut is a ballad duet with Whitney Houston (daughter of Cissy) . . . Hot Vinyl scourers last week may have been confused by the jumbled running order . . . LET’S BE PARTICULARLY CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

CHANGE: ‘Change Of Heart’ (WEA YZ7 T)
My fave of the year so far, Jimmy Jam Harris & Terry Lewis’s perfect crystallisation of their SOS Band sound into this pent-up nagging 107½bpm jittering judderer is definitely hot tempo and remorselessly exciting — for further proof, just chock how amazingly well its parent LP has already done in the UK Albums chart! Now on 12in (flipped by the old 116bpm ‘Lover’s Holiday’ and influential Luther-sung 127bpm ‘Searching’), it’ll easily equal ‘Just Be Good To Me’ without having to wait ten months as the buzz is already incredible.

KASHIF: ‘Baby Don’t Break Your Baby’s Heart’ (Arista ARIST 12568)
Long awaited, his jiggly jolting 115bpm swayer is full of soulful tension created by pent-up panting, muttering and beseeching weaving along through the rhythm in a sort of cross between Michael Jackson and Al Green (inst/edit flip). With exposure it could be a slow burner, as the general public will need time, Rufus-style.

FUNK DELUXE: ‘This Time’ (Streetwave MKHAN 14)
Randy Muller-prod/penned great loosely rambling chick-nagged and eventually chap muttered (0-)114bpm chugging smacker extremely like Brass Construction ‘Walkin’ The Line’ (inst flip), rather late out here though still potent. Continue reading “June 2, 1984: Change, Kashif, Funk Deluxe, One Way, Kleeer”

May 26, 1984: Sister Sledge, Tyzik, Margie Joseph, Frederick ‘M.C. Count’ Linton, Sun

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

Thomas Dolby is mooted as possible producer of Michael Jackson’s next LP! … Fatback ‘I Found Lovin’’ is suddenly due on remix/dub/original 12in from new label Master Mix (via PRT) … Yvonne Gage’s ‘Haunted House’ has evidently met opposition from the ‘Thriller’ publishers … Grandmaster Melle Mel ‘White Lines’ is now on picture disc 12in to accelerate its chart climb! … Anne LeSear is due on 12in, Emotions ‘You’re The Best’ is on US 12in remix, but Change will not be a remix … Streetwave’s Julian Woolley wants all the pirate jocks to contact him on 01-993 1512 … Jez Nelson’s Horizon show early Sunday morning was his radio debut — “I was on a Dave Brown phone-in once, but then who wasn’t?”! … Froggy is another Horizon recruit, Tuesday evenings, which is when he also returns with the Rappers night to Epping Forest Country Club near Chigwell … London’s soul pirates would pay royalties for the music they play but until they’re legalised they can’t get a licence to do so … Carlos and Gary Kent, TV stars! … Gallup’s UK singles chart last week again held steady with a third being black, if not necessarily soul, while Top Of The Pops was a sea of black faces … Edwin Starr will be compere of a ‘Soul Train’-type show on Channel 4 … ‘StreetSounds Electro 4‘ is being mixed by new team Noel & Morris, ‘UK Electro‘ by Herbie Mastermind, and whichever charts highest will determine who mixes ‘Crucial Electro 2’ (stir, stir)! … Alan Coulthard’s May mixes on Disco Mix Club cassette are an extended return to Sharon Redd ‘Beat The Megastreet‘, an exciting pop set, and Alan s exploration of the “hot tempo” which brilliantly runs Yes ‘Leave It’ under Y&P (the only guy to pick up my tip?) … Creole Records are updating their DJ mailing list at 91-93 High Street, Harlesden, London NW10 … Record Shack sold a controlling share to IDS … Greg James’s Hammersmith Spin-Off’s record shop at 98 Fulham Palace Road is open Sundays noon-6pm, as now (11am-3pm) is Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre … O’Jays ‘Extraordinary Girl’ should have been 0-115bpm last week, when a miscalculation by our Mike Gardner meant most disco dates didn’t get printed — his brother Brian Gardner’s amongst them! (Brian, ousted after three years at the Whisky A Go Go when it became the Wag Club, now funks Wed/Sat at Soho’s Le Beat Route) … Pete Haigh & Richard Searling’s monthly ‘Mecca Soul Revival night’ is again at Blackpool Baskervilles this Friday (25), yet Pete says he’s glad he wasn’t at Caister as it sounded like a Wigan oldies session! … ‘Breakin’’, a budget hip hop movie set in LA rather than the Bronx, beat ‘Beat Street’ into US cinemas to boffo box office … K-Tel in the States have a teach-yourself ‘Breakdance’ video and LP, a sure sign that anyone hip will soon have to stop! … Yarbrough & Peoples is now top US Black single, The Earons rapidly replacing Deniece Williams atop US Dance/Disco (where Womack & Womack ‘Baby I’m Scared‘ is huge) … Arthur Baker collaborates with Daryl Hall on a future Dana Ross track ‘Swept Away‘, and Maurice Starr is producing the Stylistics for the Streetwise label … The Kane Gang (a thinking man’s ‘Relax’) I now see is produced by Pete Wingfield … Shakatak take another less commercial jazz direction on their next LP, teasingly promo-ed for radio … “Any football hooligans?” I quipped on entering Mayfair’s late nite Rockafella’s eaterie last Friday night – “Yes, Kevin Keegan” was the true reply … LET’S BE PARTICULARLY CAREFUL OUT THERE!


BANK HOLIDAY DISCO DATES

Scotland’s funksters have a sort of weekender at Coatbridge (Glasgow) Le Club De France with Kenny G live Friday, a Radio Clyde alldayer Saturday, “normal get-together” Sunday, farewell party Monday, jocks involved at some stage including London’s Cleveland Anderson, Birmingham’s Frenchie T, Bedford’s Stanford John, Radio Merseyside’s Kenny James, not to forget local lads Radio Clyde’s Jim Simon, Alan David, Derek Money, while down in the south-west “the most exciting sound system outside of Jamaica” Saxon Studio and its MC posse tour Bristol Trinity Hall Sat/Gloucester Jamaican Sports & Social Club Sun/Cardiff Penylan New Ocean Club Mon. Otherwise, FRIDAY (25) Plymouth’s old Palace Theatre reopens as The Academy, as with the Boscombe branch stuffed full of hi-tech effects and featuring live music, theatre and circus acts with uptempo sounds Fri/Sat; Steve Walsh Wheels Edwin Starr & Paul Hardcastle PA-ing to Torquay Monroes and then Paignton Ritzy’s; Darryl Hayden’s videotheque & Radio One’s Gary Davies do Fareham’s Ferneham Hall near Portsmouth; Phil England funks two nights at Yeovil Carnabys; SUNDAY (27) Simon Edwards promises Second Image, Central Line and more at Liverpool Wavertree Dallas Club’s first alldayer (noon-midnight, only £1.50); Kev Hill & Gary Campbell soul Harlow Whispers’ second charity allniter (midnight-7am Mon, £4 including breakfast); BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY (28) Luton Pink Elephant alldayer (noon-midnight) has Kenny G live and Chris Hill, Jeff Young, Pete Tong, Martin Collins, Chris Brown; Wigan Pier alldayer (2pm-midnight) has Colin Curtis, Kev Edwards, Mike Shaft, Jonathan, Richard Searling, Pete Haigh, Chad, Kenny McLeod etc; Birmingham Millionaires’ first alldayer (5pm-2am so more an all-eveninger?) debuts also ‘The Knights Of The Sound Table’ Steve Dennis, Frenchie T, Paul Dixon & Shaun Williams with Pressure Point live and lots of fun promised; Sean French & Nicky Holloway have a shorts ‘n shades party at Bermondsey Dockheads’s Swan & Sugarloaf; Evelyn Thomas, Miquel Brown & Earlene Bentley represent Record Shack at Preston Clouds Star Bar’s Hi-NRG alldayer; Marsha Raven plays Bournemouth’s Cabaret Club. Happy holidays!


HOT VINYL

SISTER SLEDGE: ‘Thinking Of You’ (Atlantic B 9744T)
Originally flip of 1979’s ‘Lost In Music’, this guitar-jittered pleasantly sung rolling 102⅓bpm jogger strangely has become something of a spearhead for the banner waving “back to soul” brigade and finally resurfaces on 3-track 12in with the previously better known 117-118-119bpm ‘We Are Family’ and 115-116-115¾(break)-116bpm ‘He’s the Greatest Dancer’ which doubtless have helped its rapid initial sale.

TYZIK: ‘Jammin’ In Manhattan’ LP (US Polydor 422-821 605-1 Y-1)
First cousin to ‘Funkin’ For Jamaica’ and scorching the floor in London already, trumpeter Jeff Tyzik’s sizzling hot 114½bpm funk instrumental title track is evidently due on better value 12in, if you can wait (the rest is jazz/slow).

MARGIE JOSEPH: ‘Ready For The Night’ LP (US Cotillion 90158-1)
Drummed by executive producer Narada Michael Walden, Margie’s label debut is loaded with dancers like the Teena Marie-ish 116bpm title track (also on 12in), brightly strutting 115bpm ‘Midnight Lover‘ (possibly best), Aretha-ish 115½bpm ‘I Wants Mo’ Stuff‘, raunchily worded 114bpm ‘Big Strong Man‘, lurching (0-)107bpm ‘Tell Me‘, swaying 112bpm ‘Adonai’, plus two slowies … in fact, there may be too many to take in. Continue reading “May 26, 1984: Sister Sledge, Tyzik, Margie Joseph, Frederick ‘M.C. Count’ Linton, Sun”

May 19, 1984: Bianca, Patrice Rushen, Change, Fatback, Cuba Gooding

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

BEGAN CEKIC, the Brooklyn producer who specializes in sound-alike remakes, has now got the Michael Jackson impersonator in Main Line to do a ‘One And Only (Jackson Medley)‘ (US Master Mix MMR-003) which in ‘Stars On 45’ style follows exactly the format of Alan Coulthard’s ‘Michael Jackson Megamix‘, the widely broadcast but commercially unavailable Disco Mix Club cassette/Epic 12in promo which legally used the genuine article (maybe now’s the ideal time for it to come out?): anyway, after I’d alerted him Alan’s comments were “An absolute blatant copy down to the most minute detail — incredible! I suppose I’m flattered really, but it’s a bit a cheek — I was flabberghasted when I heard it” (Alan is reading law at London University and had a few other things to say, tool) . . . London’s pirate soul stations must have started showing up in the ratings as increased pressure by legal stations is being brought on the Home Office to wipe them out — they certainly supply a real community service now, soul being available 24 hours now on Horizon, all day on JFM and nights on Invicta (who’ve been getting swamped by an Arab pirate!), not to forget every weekday morning with Tony Blackburn on BBC Radio London (all this regular exposure is creating Increased record sales if only to DJs) . . . Capital Radio’s Sunday pre-dawn soul slot is now filled with Peter Young doing a sort of updated ‘Pete’s Party — Part 2’, enlarging on the ‘Soul Cellar’ segment of his Friday evening show, and is soon to be followed early Sunday morning by Mister Ouch! Al Matthews’ new ‘When The Spirit Moves’ gospel show (mmm-hmm!) . . . Kashif’s imminent ‘Baby Don’t Break Your Baby’s Heart‘ (for rush release here) is a jolting 115bpm swayer with extremely mannered pent-up panting, muttering and beseeching vocal in Jackson style, while George Benson and Al Jarreau guest on his LP due next month . . . Roni Griffith’s 126bpm ‘(The Best Part Of) Breakin’ Up‘, an ever-present chart threat for the past two years thanks to its enduring Hi-NRG popularity, actually hit the Nightclub list this week in its original Vanguard form, but by total coincidence has just been re-released by new label Making Waves (SURF 101T, via Rough Trade)! . . . The System has been remixed to replace current pressings, and Jive re-pressed (promo only) Hugh Masekela with his shorter LP version replacing the Stretch Mix which really was proving too monotonously stretched out and boring! . . . Circle City Band ‘Magic’ is now on US Becket, so will PRT finally get it out here? . . . Roy Floyd (Okehampton Scandals) echoes us all in his disappointment that the Detroit Spinners ‘Love Is In Season‘ isn’t out here yet on single (maybe WEA think it’s the Christmas season!) . . . The Jacksons’ ‘Victory’ LP, due in a month, has fair shares with each brother contributing songs to prevent it being dominated by Michael, while unbelievably their US tour is rumoured so far to miss such key cities as Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta and New Orleans — maybe they’ll be literally “barnstorming”, as what’s left?! . . . Polydor ought to put it about that sister LaToya Jackson was of course recording for them before her current new Private I affiliation . . . Harry Belafonte-produced hip hop movie ‘Beat Street’ is having a huge promotional push in the States, with ranges of merchandise and even special boutiques in stores, which as previously predicted should both explode and ultimately kill the whole genre . . . Herbie Hancock & Grandmixer D.ST. live in concert are on US video . . . ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ was originally planned as Jermaine Jackson’s duet with Whitney Houston until Dennis Edwards beat him to it with his own partner Siedah Garrett — who incidentally, after working with Sergio Mendes and duetting on Kashif’s new LP, has been signed to Qwest as part of the group formed to sing on the next Quincy Jones LP (which is how James Ingram surfaced, if you remember) . . . Qwest have also signed jazz veterans Jimmy Smith and Sarah Vaughan, MCA dropped Oliver Cheatham (who sadly stiffed Stateside) but picked up Rockie Robbins . . . Julio Iglesias’s next singing partner will be Diana Ross! . . . Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis-produced Cherrelle is really Cheryl Norton. who’s sung with Michael Henderson . . . Billy Ocean is looking for PAs via In Store Music on 01-274 1563, similarly Intrigue via Nick on 01-800 6113 . . . Paul ‘Suzuki Kidd’ Anthony, producing legal ‘Mastertrax’ background/foreground music cassettes for Tape Techniques, still does Mon/Wed at Wolverhampton Eve’s but has taken over Fri/Sat at Luton’s refurbished Tropicana Beach where manager Dave Cahill (0582-458750) is keen to be included in any PA itineraries . . . Disco Gary funks Fri/Sat at Croydon Club Musique and does St James’s posh Tramp Wed, but could handle more gigs on the other nights (Medway 0634-683841) . . . Matt Hayward, responsible for putting out so much black material while managing PRT, has formed his own Shepperton Studio Centre-based Sierra label and is after masters/artists for the UK on 09328-62688 (I include this especially for our US readers) . . . Suzie Halls has left Jive to live in New York (and sing on more records?) . . . Z.Z. Hill the soulful blues man sadly died aged 48 from a blood clot on April 27: without meaning to name drop, I’ll never forget finding my first Z.Z. Hill single twenty years ago at New York’s Colony record shop on Broadway, where they used to let me play all the new stuff myself behind the counter — I’d just put ZZ on when my friend the then jazz star Les McCann came into the shop and we both raved about ZZ’s soulfulness (incidentally, how long before the jazz mafia latch onto Les?) . . . BBC-1 on Monday showed 1972’s ‘Across 110th Street’ with soundtrack songs by Bobby Womack — how many spotted the opening shot of 125th Street with the Apollo’s marquee advertising the Miracles and Jr Walker?! . . . ‘Black On Black’ this Thursday (17) are filming the first semi-final of ‘Miss Gullivers’, and Channel 4 are also at Mayfair’s Gullivers for the next few Mondays making a programme about soca . . . Heatwave are in town to record a new LP, and Sharon Redd is also about (sporting a new red Jeffrey Daniel haircut!), interestingly between labels . . . Divine Sounds ‘What People Do For Money‘ (Streetwave here) stormed into the US Black chart, while John Rocca ‘I Want It to Be Real‘ topped US Dance/Disco . . . The Earons give themselves numbers rather than names, so they’re comprised of .22, .33, .18, .28 and .69 (I wonder what he’s into?) . . . Norman Scott is packing the floor at Harringey Bolts with an exclusive Proto preview cassette of Divine’s ‘So You Think You’re A Man‘, due in June and reportedly fab . . . Chris Lucas (Earls Court Copacabana) has left the counter at Record Shack to work instead at original Embassy DJ Greg James’s brand new record and equipment shop in Hammersmith (98 Fulham Palace Road) . . . Robbie Leslie, top jock at the world’s biggest gay club, New York’s The Saint, flew to London last weekend evidently just to hear Ian Levine mixing at Heaven but got jet lag and overslept until 5am, missing it all! . . . Colin Holsgrove (London Hippodrome) was “only an inch away” from that lion . . . I find my current killers are Local Boy/Yvonne Gage ‘Haunted House ‘/Loose Ends ‘Emergency (Dub)’ (amazing effect with the exact same beat sound taking over!)/Brass Construction; Patrice Rushen/Change/The SOS Band ‘For Your Love (Dub)’ (dynamite out of Change’s break!)/Pointer Sisters; Jermaine Jackson ‘Come To Me’/The System ‘I Wanna’; Hugh Masekela/Timmy Thomas . . . El Chicano’s vocal works if you start with the instrumental, synching the vocal side over it to mix in at the first chorus —but why should we have to (a) buy two copies (b) do the producer’s work for him? . . . London Stringfellows jock Peter Anthony drove 1,500 miles in two days touring Scotland, Lake District & North Wales with not surprisingly often comatose girlfriend Philippa — hey, hey, hey, LET’S STAY FRESH OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

BIANCA: ‘Where The Beat Meets The Street’ (EMI 12EMI 5459)
With at least a title line that sticks in the mind after just one play, this Peter Collins-produced over anxious 120bpm attempt to muscle in on Madonna territory is sung by a delightful Belgium-based Hungarian who’s even foxier in the flesh than her photo suggests! If she can just be persuaded to face the audience at PAs she should go far…

PATRICE RUSHEN: ‘Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)’ (US Elektra 0-66970)
Quietly satisfying rather than an epoch-making mind blower, so likely to stay within soul circles without crossing over in a big way, her long awaited newie comes in two similar vocal versions with the sharper so-called ‘Dub Version‘ flip already being the floor scorcher — a repetitive gently swaying 104bpm delicate cool tugger with her usual precise singing and a perfect subdued hot tempo (great between Jocelyn Brown and Change), all very sneaky.

CHANGE: ‘Change Of Heart’ LP (WEA WX5)
Hotter than hot, in fact THE hot tempo, the Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis-prod/penned 107½bpm title track tensely tugging ultra nagging jitterer is poised to top the soul disco chart once UK 12in copies (remixed it seems) appear in the next fortnight, but meanwhile the original already sizzling LP is out here now and well worth getting as there are some venues which amazingly prefer the toned down jitter of the blander 110bpm ‘You Are My Melody‘ and 109bpm ‘Warm‘. If excitement comes in colours, colour this black! Continue reading “May 19, 1984: Bianca, Patrice Rushen, Change, Fatback, Cuba Gooding”