March 26, 1983: Ingram, Lavias, Transit, Marvin Gaye, Valentine Brothers

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

STREETWAVE’S REMIX of Wish ‘Mr DJ’, due imminently, will incorporate a snippet of the actual Kool & The Gang ‘Ladies Night’ in amongst its similar bass line — which could be a first of its kind, barring bootleg mixers and full-length medleys! . . . Second Image’s limited edition twin-pack 12in sold fast last week — if any are left you’ll find the bonus free single has Pete Wingfield’s vigorously leaping 121-122-121bpm ‘Can’t Keep Holding On ’83‘ remix and the gently drifting 82-84bpm ‘Images‘ . . . Ensign’s first release via Island in a fortnight, Galaxy ‘Dancing Tight‘ has been getting much soul radio play on acetate and is now on white label: it’s a lovely creamily whomping 115½-116bpm swayer with chix-answered classy pent-up Phil Fearon vocal, or a jazzier synth, sax ‘n flute 117bpm instrumental flip . . . Chris Hill and I feel the Ingram whose ‘Smoothin’ Groovin‘ has exploded on import despite also being called James, is unlikely to be the Quincy Jones-produced James Ingram (who would surely weigh in with a vocal ballad rather than a jazz-funk instrumental) — this one must be the Ingram of ‘Mi Sebrina Tequana‘ fame, probably the keyboard/sax/flute-playing Jimmy Ingram of the mid-’70s Ingram Family whose ‘The Ingram Kingdom’ album on US Excello I chanced upon while browsing through my newly shelved record collection . . . US Atlantic are re-releasing the original Patrick Adams Phreek ‘Weekend‘, LP version and a remix, on 12in . . . Polydor look like losing the race here having picked up The System’s original ‘You Are In My System‘ — they should have gone with ‘Sweat‘ . . . Alan Omokhoje Jr’s new Move label is putting out Aural Exciters ‘Chinese Rap‘ (via Pinnacle), bone fide DJs can contact Alan at 70 Gloucester Place, London W1 (01-935 8980) . . . US 12in imports last week also included Omni ‘All For The One‘ (Fountain), Rocket ‘Here Comes My Love‘ (Canadian Quality — the slinky goodie from their album, c.103bpm I seem to remember), Jonzun Crew ‘Space Cowboy‘ (Tommy Boy — dreadful, c.101bpm), while LPs of limited interest include the very cerebral Manhattan Transfer-ish Rare Silk ‘New Weave’ (Polydor — their reading of Richie Cole’s ‘New York Afternoon‘ has specialist jazz jocks jumping), soulful stuff by Blue Magic (Mirage — they revive the Dramatics ‘In The Rain’), and a 4-track set by Blackbyrds drummer Keith Killgo (BWI — he revives Tommy James & The Shondells ‘Crystal Blue Persuasion‘) . . . Lonnie Liston Smith’s other big instrumental track is the bassily snapped then smooth 118bpm ‘Mystic Woman‘, while the O’Bryan slowie with excellent muted trumpet is the (0-)51½/103bpm ‘Soft Touch‘ . . . Patrick Simmons, whose terrific ‘So Wrong‘ mixes sensationally with Nile Rodgers ‘Get Her Crazy‘, turns out to be a Doobie Brother . . . Michael Jackson ‘Billie Jean’ is rumoured to have been remixed by US Hot Tracks but then banned by Epic, making any copies scarcer than hens teeth . . . San Francisco’s hot new gay label Arial has snapped up 250 old “disco” classics, many previously promo-only remixes, for reissue gradually over the next three years — and American DJ pool members are going to have to buy them, as that will obviously be their main market (some UK labels could learn from that) . . . Motown “plan” to release a brand new studio album by Stevie Wonder in April — they wisely don’t specify April 1983, though! . . . Johnnie Wilder stand-in Keith Harrison has reportedly left Heatwave to join the Dazz Band . . . Soul On Sound 014’s preview mix features Sunfire/Lorita Grahame/Shock ‘San Juan’/Tania Maria ‘Come With Me’/Patrick Williams ‘Too Hip For The Room’/Chill Fac-Torr/Rah Band/Wuf Ticket/Chi-Lites/Fatback ‘Is This The Future?’/Whispers ‘Keep On Lovin’ Me’/Omni ‘All For The One’/Electric Smoke/Chaka Khan ‘Best In The West’/Walter Jackson/Harry Ray/Ellie Hope/Earth Wind & Fire/Greg Kihn Band/Imagination ‘Changes’ remix/Charles Earland ‘Street Themes’/C.O.D./Nile Rodgers ‘Get Her Crazy’/Patrick Simmons/Jimmy Young/Lonnie Liston Smith ‘Rainbows Of Love’/Joe Sample ‘Wings Of Fire’ — 27 cuts in less than 21 minutes . . . Paul Lewis has re-established jazz-funk on Thurs/Saturdays at Swindon Brunel Rooms Ampitheatre (Sandy Martin does the Ballroom) . . . Tom Wilson is now full resident at Edinburgh Northumberland Hotel’s Pzazz Nitescene — with a club name like that, does the manager wear flares? . . . Mike Page reports from Telford that due to people saying they’ve nowhere to go during the week, Shifnal’s Nell Gwynn now operates on Monday too . . . Robbie Vincent jazz-souls Peckham Kisses this Saturday (26) — I bet he doesn’t play Forrest! . . . Steve Walsh seems to be cutting back on his residencies, or shall we say rescheduling his appearances? . . . Rush Release’s Nick Titchener, who plays Nightclub music with Pete Tong at Dartford Flicks on Thursdays, thoroughly recommends the Mattel Synsonics electronic “drum kit”, at just £99 or less, run on batteries or mains transformer and really impressive used with a bit of reverb, quoth he . . . Kilburn’s Cafe Lexi, just down from The National Club, is my current tip for apres-gig gorgers — nice food, reasonably priced, open until 6am seven nights a week . . . Easter deadlines mean that chart contributing DJs should get ’em in the mail RIGHT NOW, please! . . . Dave Lewis writes as manager of Bedford’s WH Smith record shop to say that thanks to these pages, his is one chain store that does stock all the hot new dance records (on UK release) and will order any DJ’s request . . . Tricky Dicky Scanes has now moved his entire stock from Disco Music in Mile End to the Record Cellar at 18 Newport Court, near Leicester Square tube station . . . I had raised eyebrows from some import buyers after last week’s mention of £6.99 as the current LP price — that’s what they are in Rayners Lane and at many other up-front stockists, so you may be shopping at the wrong place . . . Dave Phillips & The Hot Rod Gang ‘Tainted Love‘ (Rockhouse SP 8303, via Pinnacle) is a must for mobile jocks — a rockabilly backed but still Marc Almond accented 177bpm boogie! . . . Ellery Phillips (Bury St Edmunds) is desperate for the Canadian mixer (mentioned last summer by someone from the South of France) which “expertly dovetails Beatles rockers with added bass and drums” — any offers (vinyl or tape)? . . . Kevin James, currently based in Denmark at Tordenskjold Kobling, is happy to supply Continental records but warns they’re very expensive (7in £2.50, 12in up to £5) — contact him at Gronnedalen, 168 St m f, 7100 Vejle, Denmark (he also says the Danes reputedly seem to drink more than anyone else in Europe except the Germans, and they all seem to drink it at his club!) . . . Coggy (Lincoln) — no Khemistry didn’t come out here . . . Capital’s assistant librarian and Cruiser DJ ‘Disco John’ Leech, known to some as Leee(ch) John, doesn’t often get radio credits but always jocks the opening 8-9.30pm happy hour of Friday’s ‘Best Disco In Town’ at London’s Lyceum (“everybody go whoa-ho!”) . . . ooh-wee, that’s (UHH) baad, sweet peas, mmm-hmm, YES INDEEDY!


HOT VINYL

INGRAM: ‘Smoothin’ Groovin’ (US Mirage 0-99920)
Unlikely to crossover in a big way but immediately huge with “hard toon” lovers, this superb sophisticated gently flowing and pulsating 116(intro)-114-113-114-114½-114-114½-116½bpm 12in jazz-funk semi-instrumental shuffler packs a surprise punch out on the floor and sounds like a future classic, the more sombre jiggly monotonous 108½bpm ‘DJ’s Delight‘ making a good if less crucial flip. See ‘Odds ‘n’ Bods’ for an enquiry into Ingram’s identity.

LAVIAS: ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ (US Golden Pyramid GP 1208)
Lavias appears to conceal the identity of Mike T. teamed again with saxist Joe Thomas on a killer hard driving 123bpm 12in jazz-funk instrumental groove, breaking halfway for a nice mush-mouthed mellow rap which then picks up and kicks up the beat (terrific between Transit and Kabbala) — all this relating to the far hotter flip, as the nice enough vocal A-side lacks the sax.

TRANSIT: ‘Dance Groove’ (US Storm ST-519)
Out a while with (as I can testify!) proven grow-on-you appeal, this Gene Redd-produced (he’s Sharon’s brother) infectiously bounding 120-119-120-119½bpm 12in leaper starts excitingly with happy chaps and stabbing brass before exploding into a dynamite jittery but fluid bass break that then motivates most of the record. Continue reading “March 26, 1983: Ingram, Lavias, Transit, Marvin Gaye, Valentine Brothers”

March 19, 1983: Lonnie Liston Smith, Charles Earland, Man Parrish, Fatback, Patrick Simons

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

DAVID JOSEPH has been remixed for US Mango 12in (MLPS 7804), but the result is slower (c.115bpm), more percussive and less bright, with a similarly remixed instrumental flip, unlikely to cause a stampede here (in fact, shades of the US version of ‘Hi-Tension’?) . . . Kashif, Change, Champaign, Muscle Shoals Horns all have new import LPs, which you may want to fork out £6.99 for but I don’t . . . Epic have already issued the Tyrone Brunson ‘Sticky Situation’ LP (EPC 25291), very uninteresting and only with the vocal, no instrumental, of the title track . . . C.O.D. ‘In The Bottle’ has been snapped up here by Morgan Khan for Streetwave . . . Chill Fac-Torr is now coming through strongly on the dancefloors, following increased familiarity and radio plays — could it herald another Twist revival? . . . South Eastern Discotheque Association hold their seventh well organised equipment exhibition, SEDA 83 Spring Disco Fair, on Sunday April 17 at the Great Danes Hotel near Maidstone, followed by a dinner and cabaret — call Dave Pullen for details of stand space on 022779 2041 . . . Sunday 1st May (Bank Holiday weekend) sees the promised marathon ‘Ritz Revival’ alldayer at Manchester’s Rotters with living legends Ian Levine, Colin Curtis & Richard Searling spinning ’70s soul before at midnight switching into an allniter situation with the addition of Northern Soul pioneers Tony Jebb, Les Cokell, Kev Roberts & Simon Soussan plus two as yet unspecified US acts (veterans of the Mirwood label looking likely) — now that is one that I’ll definitely try to get to! . . . Ian Levine is currently donning suit and tie and lugging all his records across town to do “up market semi-gay” Sundays at Kensington High Street’s Gardens, kinda like New York’s Studio 54 before it became ultra-commercial, sez he . . . Tonie Walsh reports from Dublin that Flikkers is the only gay disco in the city although pubs and other venues abound . . . Duncan ‘Funky Dunk’ Finlayson of Birmingham’s Top Ten shop in Bristol Road, Selly Oak (where they sell the music), is organising a one-off night of Boys Town Disco music on Sunday April 10 at the Powerhouse . . . Chris Lucas (Earls Court Copacabana) says Azul y Negro and New Order once synched stay together on the beat for ages . . . Friday at Mayfair’s Gullivers the headphones weren’t working but even so, just by matching the LED cueing lights I amazed myself by getting two copies of Forrest perfectly synched so the percussion break phased all the way through (something easy to do with cans — but without, a sheer fluke!) . . . Graham Hardy, hitting Basildon at Raquels on Fridays and Sweeneys on Saturdays, has for his own use run off a computer read out listing of an odd assortment of old BPMs from this page . . . T. Evans (Sunbury-on-Thames), mobile for 15 years and mixing since before it was called that, warns fellow mobile jocks that at most gigs their own fave funk raves are unlikely to be appreciated (too true!): “your record purchases should be regarded like angler’s bait — you won’t get far playing the latest hip album track to Aunt Maud at a wedding just because it’s your only gig of the week” . . . Lawrence E.A. Flowers said it himself last week — he’s got 39 pages in which to read about the Eurythmics, Malcolm McLaren and similar pop stuff (the most danceable of which shows up in our Nightclub chart), as well as Radio One on which to hear it whenever he chooses, so he shouldn’t begrudge soul fans their bit of space (after all, where would the Eurythmics be without Grace Jones, or McLaren without the World’s Famous Supreme Team Show — and come to think of it, where indeed is ‘Soweto‘ without the latter?!) . . . Barry ‘Bazza’ Neale & Richard Searling host an ‘Upfront American Soul Session’ every Thursday at Manchester’s luxuriously equipped Sandpiper in Wilbraham Road . . . Martin Collins, Joe Field & Ralph Tee jazz-soul Hemel Hempstead’s Dacorum College tonight (Thursday 17), Joe Field & Mike Allin moving across town to the Whip & Collar pub for soul oldies on Sunday (20) . . . Adrian Thomas (0248 723054) has managed to establish Friday for jazz-funk-soul at Minnies in the Min-Y-Don Hotel at Red Wharf Bay way out on Anglesey, where he reckons a record company promotion night would help really put it on the map (gotta lotta Gallup chart shops on Anglesey, then?) . . . Paul Travis (90 Queensway, Moss Bank, St Helens WA11 7BY) has taken on promoting party nights on Thursdays at Wigan Pier, where he’d welcome some celebrity PAs to go with the various drinks company sponsored themes . . . Dave Rawlings this week adds Fridays as well as Saturdays at Basingstoke’s hula-hooping Martines (do they hula to Chill Fac-Torr yet?) . . . Graham Hunter (Basingstoke 771 238 evenings) is looking for a mid-week residency between weekend mobile gigs — he has a large varied record collection but prefers disco-jazz-funk . . . ‘Big’ Phil Etgart now does Saturdays, Brian ‘Bazzer’ Mason Fridays, at South Harrow’s Bobby McGees, early evening being most upfront soul-wise . . . Rose Royce play Watford Baileys for the week from Monday (21) . . . Pez (Wallasey), updating his home sound system with vari-speed Technics 1200 decks for possible use at a new venue later, reports Chris Currie is now similarly equipped at New Brighton’s Chelsea Reach . . . Tandy hi-fi shops have a vari-speed Realistic deck in their current sale at £79.95, but whether it’s any good for disco use I don’t know. . . Sandy Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms) is having fun experimenting with a £75 ‘Rhythm Box’ which keeps the beat forever (he reckons more expensive models offer even greater potential), and now hankers after a hand ‘drum kit’ played with the fingers, at around £320 . . . I finally got all my British Standard Steel shelving up in a marathon session aided by my father last week, which means my vast record collection will soon be propertly sorted and housed, but also means the next Soul On Sound preview mix will either be rather short or else reach you late again . . . Phonogram staff have inside info that their John Waller is in line for ‘Ghandi II’! . . . Luther Vandross on video looks not unlike the young Jimmy James (of Vagabonds fame), while certain shots of King Kong in a remake (recently reviewed on video) remind me of a certain lady hit maker on Prelude (especially her current 12in sleeve!) . . . Robert Perono, late of the defunct Shock dance troupe, appears briefly in ‘Extro’ — he’s killed off in the first reel . . . Prelude incidentally have really gone off the boil, to judge from most of the label’s current releases . . . WEA press officer Barbara Charone sent me a 12in of Modern Romance ‘Cherry Pink’, lickety spit — many thanks! . . . Mark Herstell’s “that’s life, c’est la vie, mon cheri” song query was in fact Gina X ‘No G.D.M.‘ info courtesy of Ann Ovenden (Northolt), Stewart Swan (Sheffield), Russell Davies (Worthing 0903 35904 — looking for jocking jobs in Sussex), Anthony Godden (23 Redcliffe Square, London SW10 — he volunteers to track down almost any oldie given time) . . . ooh-wee, that’s baad, sweet peas, mmm-hmm. YES INDEEDY!


HOT VINYL

LONNIE LISTON SMITH: ‘Never Too Late’ (LP ‘Dreams Of Tomorrow’ US Doctor Jazz FW38447)
Bob Thiele’s independent label returns to vinyl the jazz-funk keyboardist whose following is probably greater here than in the States. Co-produced, mostly penned and played on by bassist Marcus Miller (whose one solo LP is due on import), Lonnie’s set features his vocalist brother Donald on this lovely Luther Vandross-ish 120½(intro)-121-121½-120½bpm soul swayer, his other likely vocal being the slow jogging 89½bpm ‘A Lonely Way To Be‘, the monster specialist jazz instrumental being the busily backed but fluidly bouncing 124bpm ‘Rainbows Of Love‘.

CHARLES EARLAND: ‘Street Themes’ (LP ‘Earland’s Street Themes’ US Columbia FC 38457)
Another fave jazz-funk keyboardist returns with a good Dunn Pearson Jr-produced set, featuring a lot of vocals (fuller review next week), the immediate standouts being this Ramsey Lewis-ish pattering 115bpm piano instrumental which breaks from an early flow into piercing percussion for a while, and the 7in-issued gently pent-up purposeful jiggling 105-107-108bpm ‘Be My Lady (Tonight)‘ vocal.

MAN PARRISH: ‘Hip Hop Be Bop (Don’t Stop)’ (Polydor POSPX 575)
Better late than never, this terrific flutter flanging Tyrone Brunson/Extra T’s-type 115bpm 12in electrophonic phunk instrumental is long established as one of the best of the bunch — in fact right up there with the two already mentioned. Continue reading “March 19, 1983: Lonnie Liston Smith, Charles Earland, Man Parrish, Fatback, Patrick Simons”

March 12, 1983: Patrick Williams, Joe Sample, Whispers, C.O.D., Omni

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

MORGAN KHAN (to continue from last week’s Hot Vinyl) has taken his Streetwave label away from CBS to join StreetSounds being pressed and distributed by PRT, although the Hudsons will stay leased to CBS, his first acquisition given this new full independence of operation being Wish ‘Mr DJ’ — for which your own James Hamilton is creating a special remixed bonus third track . . . DJs Chris Brown & Mike Sefton will soon be circulating moody white labels of ‘We’re All Right Tonight‘ by Pagoda, a Greg Knowles-led splinter group from the Inversions . . . CBS release Visual in a fortnight and could be picking up Steve Shelto, this latter really now having taken off and despite my initial doubtful opinion of it, I too cracked it by mixing in the sequence David Joseph/Jazzy Dee/Jimmy Young/Steve Shelto . . . Polydor passed on C-Brand but Phonogram got it for inclusion on a future 4-track/4 artiste 12in, the C-Brand 116-115½bpm having been misprinted recently (I even used a nice new black typewriter ribbon last week but still didn’t win!) . . . Montana Orchestra is actually 123-122-123-126-124-126-124bpm, after careful consideration, and the Rah Band 97½-97-96½-96bpm — final commercial TMT copies of the Rah Band will contain other remixes either in addition or instead of those already included on Red Label copies . . . I originally thought the Nile Rodgers B-side, ‘Get Her Crazy‘, was too monotonous to be truly a dancer but now the somewhat electronic tempoed 116½bpm repetitive tribal chant jitterer is fast becoming the hot side . . . PRT have followed my suggestion and totally re-edited Disco Connection ‘Rock Your Baby’, the similarly and Belgian recorded original inspiration for Forrest ‘Rock The Boat’ — and Adrian (Bournemouth Adams) makes a back-and-forth medley of the two his current high spot of the evening . . . Island’s Bryan O’Connor has been circulating white labels of a 110½bpm cover version of ‘You Are In My System’ as by the R.P. Band — vocals (better than The System original) quite obviously by Mr R.P. himself, Robert Palmer! . . . Kinsman Dazz, now called Kinsman Dazz Band, have their classic 1979 album reissued on import US Casablanca (810 312-1 M-1) . . . Polydor’s Verve label has reissued the 1967 ‘Get It While You Can’ album by Howard Tate (Verve POLD 5096), who I saw at the Apollo in Harlem at the time when the title track and (included) ‘Look At Granny Run Run‘ were hot soul singles — he was on a bill with Peaches & Herb, The Fascinations, Robert Parker, Oscar Toney Jr, Mighty Sam, Albert King and more, July ’67 . . . Polo Records, up-dating their DJ mailing list, are looking for demo tapes from new artistes — contact their A&R office at 351 Edgware Road, London W2 (01-402 6954) . . . Theo Loyla’s recent DJ survey also revealed that 85 per cent of disco DJs use independent record shops rather than chain stores, the assumption being that as DJs buy mainly new releases they must reckon they get better service from indies (not that this really needed a survey to discover!) . . . Quincy Jones must be chuffed (and rich), his Michael Jackson LP and single are not only top of the LP and singles charts here but also in America, where they top the Black LP, Black singles and Dance/Disco charts too — a stupendous and unique grand slam — and not only that, it was the Quincy-produced Austin/Ingram duet which had been holding Michael from the top US singles slot until last week! . . . Loraine Trent’s assistant at CBS, Caroline Douratsos leaves this Friday with her husband to live on the Greek island of Syros — we’ll miss her muchly (but what a nice holiday destination, hint hint!) . . . Epping Forest Country Club surprised some at Soul On Sound’s alldayer last Sunday by not being a bigger venue, but had nice rooms for withdrawing into (some of the fellahs were even queuing in the Ladies!) — which was just as well as it was full to capacity, making the frequent PAs (by David Joseph, The Biz, Richard Jon Smith, Animal Nightlife and many more) difficult to see unless like the TV camera crew you were on the stairs . . . Manchester jocks Colin Curtis and Kev Edwards had to leave with their coach party at 9pm so the drivers were back within tachometer time, which upset all their punters . . . I celebrated my 20th anniversary as a DJ by playing one of the first records I’d used in March ’63, James Brown ‘Night Train‘, which actually got a round of applause, shortly followed by Tony Jenkins unexpectedly presenting me with a ‘Happy 20th BPMs’ birthday cake — thanks for both! . . . Soul On Sound’s next event could be in either Preston or Glasgow, incidentally . . . Chris Hill, well known Afrika Bambaataa fan, plays captain to a motley “crew” of mafioso at a Bournemouth Beach Party on Easter Monday in Boscombe’s Academy, promoted by Showstoppers (whose April Caister weekender is totally sold out) . . . Maze return for four nights at Hammersmith Odeon in May, but don’t bother trying to get tickets as amazingly they all sold out in an incredible stampede on Saturday following Robbie Vincent’s announcement of the dates on Radio London — however, Maze also play Manchester Apollo, Nottingham Rock City and Birmingham Odeon for one night each . . . ‘TCOB North Of Watford’ issue number 2 is a much better more substantial read than the first edition of Mike Shaft’s quaintly yclept fanzine . . . ‘Surface Thrills’, the less than startling new import Gordy LP by the Temptations, ought to be retitled ‘Surface Noise’! . . . Rush Release have been passing on (is that the right expression?) an hilarious new ‘Golden Circle’-type chain letter, only this one guarantees within one month to give 35 million people a dose of herpes! . . . Dave Rawlings reports the latest craze at Basingstoke Martines on Saturday nights is a hula-hoop competition, with all the local toy shops scouring the country for stocks to keep the practising punters supplied . . . West Sussex & Hants DJ Assn have an open night and equipment demonstration at Guildford’s Stoke Hall this Monday (14) at 8.15pm . . . Denise Williams stars at Watford Baileys for three nights from Thursday (10), while Viola Wills makes an exclusive London gay club appearance at Mile End Benjys on Sunday (13) . . . Terry Davis, whose monthly soul oldies show co-hosted with Clive Richardson on JFM this Sunday features a New Orleans special, has a ’60s soul ‘Function At The Junction’ on Saturday (12) at Lavender Hill’s The Cornet in Lavender Gardens (get there before 10.45pm) . . . Wigan Tiffanys has a marathon oldies alldayer/niter with a cast of thousands this Friday lunchtime right through until Saturday breakfast, while Friday evening finds yet more Northern jocks having a ‘Rare Soul Fling’ at Wolverhampton Old Vic Hotel’s Cavendish Suite, several of this mob plus others then moving on Saturday for a ‘History Of Northern Soul’ allniter at Burntwood Recreation Centre — d’ya reckon anyone will need artificial stimulation to keep going? . . . Neil Rushton tells me that the parallel ‘Modern Soul’ underground scene up north, for comparison with the south’s soul revivalists, has made a big floor-filler out of the Australian-recorded cover version of ‘I’ll Be Around‘ by Doug Parkinson . . . Pete Haigh & Steve Naylor do an ‘Urban Contemporary Dance Mix’ night on Thursdays at Standish Cassinellis near Wigan (M6 exit 27) . . . I found rather unnerving during my obviously all-mixed set at Epping Forest all the northerners clustered around the DJ booth watching my every move — hey chaps, it’s just a way of making the records flow, it’s no big deal you know . . . Joe ‘Minimix’ Field and Mike Allin have moved their jazz-soul Sundays to Hemel Hempstead’s kinky sounding Whip & Collar pub in Two Waters Road (free admission, and they get a good crowd) . . . Chris Kaye this week (12) adds Saturdays as well as Wednesdays funking the Eagles Nest at Badgers Mount in Kent (what names we’re getting this issue!) . . . Radio Horizon’s Barry Jameson now co-funks Fridays at Hackney Flappers with Mark Summers, who’s started a series of star PAs at the club on Thursdays . . . Steve Day, just engaged to Dawn Westbrook, now joins Larry ‘Daddy’ Foster on Tuesdays funking Stratford Reflections . . . Chris Bangs presents TC’s Latin/Jazz Fusion on Wednesdays at Kingston-on-Thames Jesters in Crown Passage . . . Buddy Lucas, jazz-souling Bermondsey Old Kent Road’s Dun Cow (Wed)/Green Man (Fri/Sat), says from reaction he gets, the nine-or-so months old Gene Chandler ‘I’ll Make The Living If You Make The Loving Worthwhile‘ (US Chi-Sound 12in) should be put out here . . . Lofty Lofthouse (Gateshead), amongst its many critics, says The Band AKA “at the tragic mixing point between ‘Joy’ and ‘Grace’” empties the floor . . . Simon Walsh at Bradford’s Time & Place is still hangin’ in there with the Webboes at number 2 in his chart, and this under-rated electrophonic phunker is showing further signs of life now . . . Ray Edwards (Raymondo of “sorry ‘baht that!” fame on Capital’s old ‘TV On Reggae’ show) has been replaced on Radio City’s weeknight late show by Brian Chalker, who despite his Country & Western background is reported by Cardiff listener Al Dupres to be continuing the slot’s soulful tradition . . . Capital’s Saturday evening soul show, currently presented by ‘The Baad’ Al Mathews (mmm-hmm), this week moves from 5-8pm to just 7-9pm — and it was the news of this curtailed time shift, no matter what else you may have heard, that discomfitted the show’s previous incumbent… Al’s actually calming his act down now . . . YES INDEEDY (MMM-HMM!).


HOT VINYL

PATRICK WILLIAMS: ‘Too Hip For The Room’ (LP ‘Dreams And Themes’ US PCM Records PAA-1001)
Already my favourite album of the year purely for listening, this composer/arranger/conductor’s beautiful jazz instrumental set features Tom Scott and all “the men” in subtly voiced brassy rather ’50s big band-type mood (try the lovely slow ‘Times’ for a great example), and I seem to have spent the whole weekend turning people onto it following in turn from Hertfordshire DJ Mike Allin turning me onto this particular featured track, a A fabulous sleazy good-time lurcher which takes off through 95-92-93-97/194-200-95-0bpm with a fast central section making that part ultra-specialist. The opening passage has produced squeals of delight every time I’ve chopped it out of the drum rolls that punctuate Tania Maria’s ‘Come With Me’, and then before the fast bit I chop into Chill Fac-Torr ‘Twist’. However that’s not all, as Williams composed the theme for ‘Lou Grant’ and, sho nuff, here’s the most definitive Tom Scott-played 95bpm ‘Lou’s Blues‘ that one is likely to find (as several readers have subsequently pointed out), while the multi-tempoed ‘Agave‘ is getting specialist Latin action. Give your ears a treat!

JOE SAMPLE: ‘Wings Of Fire’ (LP ‘The Hunter’ US MCA MCA-5397)
It’s a goodie! Totally independent of any fellow Crusaders, jazz pianist Joe’s self-penned instrumental set has returned one’s faith in his abilities at least, this melodic 119-120-121-120-122bpm adrenalin charger being the best dancer although the (0-)115-116-117-118-117-118bpm title track, 113bpm ‘Beauty And The Beast‘ (reminiscent of ‘Many Steps’) and (0-)91bpm ‘Night Flight’ are sure to get some attention too.

WHISPERS: ‘Keep On Lovin’ Me’ (LP ‘Love For Love’ US Solar 60216)
Worth the wait for its sheer quality as a self contained album if not so much as a dance set, their completely down tempo second side has a mellow resonance reminiscent of vintage Flamingos and is dominated by the deep soul 0-71-73bpm ‘Do They Turn You On‘, while the most impressive dancer is this classy 112bpm smooth chugger with nice little adlibs towards the end, the more laid back 0-106bpm title track also being good. The most obviously ”up” tune, on US single-issued A-side, the catchy 114bpm ‘Tonight‘ is in Britain coupled with the older 108bpm ‘Turn Me Out’ as 2-track flip to the slow Lionel Richie-influenced ‘This Time’ on 12in (Solar E 9878T). Surely that should have been the 7in plugside, but ‘Tonight’ would have made more sense alone on 12in A-side? Continue reading “March 12, 1983: Patrick Williams, Joe Sample, Whispers, C.O.D., Omni”

March 5, 1983: Chill Fac-torr, The Band A.K.A., Kashif, Jerry Knight, Glenn Jones

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THIS YEAR’S World Disco Dancing Championship, for the first time sponsored by Malibu (coconut flavoured rum), will begin with 82 heats throughout Britain during April-June before culminating with no fewer than eight nationally televised shows on Channel 4 directed by Mike Mansfield, including the internationally shown hour-long World final, all the dancing being to actual records with some heavy involvement by London DJ Steve Walsh — and there are still some venues needed for the preliminary heats, interested club managers/DJs wishing their club to be considered should contact either Steve Walsh or Jon Osborne at Concorde Management on 01-735 8171 . . . Greg Edwards may be in radio limbo at the moment but he certainly left a legacy in Forrest, which he alone broke (and which CBS seemed to have run out of last week!) . . . JFM’s Dave Collins has turned up in the pre-breakfast slot on Capital for a trial run . . . UK acts are breaking so big via video on TV in the States (where the comatose audience must have been waiting for just such a new excitement) that in fact maybe “urban contemporary” radio will soon stop playing them, to make some difference in format from ‘Top 40’ . . . I’ll be interested to see if the new Compact Disc laser-tracked digital audio system will include split-second dubbing and vari speed facilities! . . . Extra T’s ‘E.T. Boogie’ is now belatedly about on somewhat less expensive continental import, in picture sleeve . . . Harry Ray ‘Love Is A Game’ has been remixed for UK 12in . . . Earth Wind & Fire ‘Spread Your Love’ will only be on 7in, although DJs are being mailed the same version on 12in promo . . . Spencer Jones’ undeservedly ignored ‘How High‘ is hitting the US Dance/Disco chart on Next Plateau, while Culture Club ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me’ is a Black US hit . . . Soul On Sound’s current issue is running late, as suggested lest week, but should be about by now, my preview mix as promised finally catching up with some of the faster electrophonic stuff (I actually did the last part first this time, to be sure of getting ’em in!), comprising: Fatback/Steve Arrington ‘You Meet My Approval’/Wish/Whispers/Kashif/Salsoul Orch/Visual/C-Brand/Micronawts/The System ‘Sweat’/Aural Exciters/Tyrone (Tystick) Brunson/Attitude ‘We Got The Juice’/ . . . Soulsonic Force/World’s Supreme Team Show/Contact-U/Jonzun Crew ‘Pack Jam’/Coco Du Jour ‘Dancin’ In The Darkness’/Quadrant Six ‘Body Mechanic’/Klein & MBO ‘Wonderful’/Jonzun Crew ‘Space Is The Place’/Reggie Griffin & Technofunk/Orbit/Instant Funk ‘No Stoppin’/Ray Slyy ‘Hey You’/Thrust ‘Can’t Wait To Get To You’/Prince Charles ‘In The Streets’/“D” Train ‘”D” Train Dub’ . . . SOS’s Epping Forest alldayer this Sunday (6) is advance ticket only, no admission at the door, so if in a flap call 01-629 5897(11am-6pm) for details . . . Capital’s four hour long New Year’s Eve party show is still valid as the records were chosen for a timeless, general, appeal . . . Prince Charles’s ‘Gang War (or the Acid Funk Syndrome)’ is fine, it’s side one’s 121 bpm ‘Rise’ and similar 121 bpm ‘Move Your Feet (To The Beat)’ that are less substantial . . . Percy Sledge’s ‘Percy!’ LP is all new, Percy being the ’60s soulster of ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ fame . . . Stevie ‘CJ’ Craven is the Edinburgh Annabel’s jock, and Tim Arnold the DevonAir soul show host . . . Record Mirror’s soul/funk orientated Disco chart is as up-front as possible bearing in mind the national spread of our DJ contributors, while the Nightclub chart is possibly bogged down by having most contributors of all, but for real upfront reaction you can’t beat the Boys Town Disco listing as that is compiled from only a handful of influential venues, several contacted by phone every weekend and currently including: Charing Cross Heaven, Earls Court Copacabana, Mayfair Napoleons, Mile End Benjys, Haringey Bolts, various Dicks Inns, Manchester Heroes, Liverpool McMillans, Bournemouth Adams . . . Rawle James at Toronto’s Rooneys is a Canadian reader of these pages, but apart from expatriate Brits have we any US-based readers? . . . Carl Kingston, now home in Hull at Mecca’s Peppermint Park, always used our Disco reviews for buying records unheard from Britain while working all over Europe for the IDEA agency, and says “I have never been disappointed” . . . Nicky Holloway, still going strong with guest soul DJs every Monday at Bermondsey’s Swan & Sugarloaf (in Dockhead), asked for some oldies in this column and got ’em the very day the paper came out — “It pays to write to you”, sez Nicky . . . Mark Summers of Hackney’s Flappers (01-590 1825) is after McFadden & Whitehead ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ on 12in, to buy or swap for Peter Brown ‘Can’t Be Love — Do It To Me Anyway’ — this latter he’ll sell for £1.99, and it’s also offered for sale by Anthony Godden of 23 Redcliffe Square, London SW 10 . . . Mile End’s Disco Music has shifted its stock of thousands of soul/disco oldies (12in/7in) to the basement of 18 Newport Court, just off the Charing Cross Road behind Leicester Square tube station, which should be convenient for a rummage even by out-of-town visitors to London . . . Bensons Of Henley is the new name for Wheelers, at Remenhan Hill in Henley On Thames . . . Cloud play at Stanmore Chevaliers this Saturday (5) . . . George Alexander funks Harrow Weald’s Middlesex & Herts Country Club every Tuesday now Lyndon “T” currently funks Peckham Kisses (Fri/Sat), Slough Studio 1’s Club Creole (Thurs), ladies night at Soho Fooberts (Wed) . . . Kool ‘Ladies Night’ is a killer, as suspected, out of the vocal version of Wish ‘Mr DJ’! . . . Charlie Brown, mobile from Walton On-Thames, joins Phil Jay for a jazz-soul oldies spot on Sundays at Byfleet Carafino . . . Robbie Collins funks Saturdays at Watford New Penny . . . Neil Fincham, Steve Martin & Ray West have established a late night (’til 3am) Sunday Soul Night at Edinburgh Mad Hatters — where the new term for “punters” is “hillmans” (Hillman Hunter, punter!) . . . whaddya mean, you’re too young to know what a Hillman Hunter was?! . . . Stateside reports suggest the O’Jays are so broke after two years without a record out and only a few gigs that they couldn’t come up with the cash for a court action . . . JoBoxers current pop hit is nothing less than Northern Soul thinly disguised . . . Paul Major (Lincoln Cinderella Rockerfella’s) raves that Cori Josias ‘Takin’ It Straight (Dub)‘ mixes superbly with Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love’, Space ‘Magic Fly’, Sharon Redd ‘Beat The Street’, Electrik Funk ‘On A Journey’, LOTW ‘Time’ . . . Adrian (Bournemouth Adams) finds Yarbrough & Peoples ‘Heartbeats‘ synchs perfectly through the Vincent Price outro of Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ . . . Davy D’s decks on his recent Top Of The Pops appearance were supplied by EMI Music’s Rob Sawyer, who does weddings and bar mitzvahs on the side! . . . Modern Romance should note that I’d review their records (the early ones of which I used to champion) if only I received them before they’d hit the pop chart — in fact I’m still waiting for a 12in of ‘Cherry Pink’! . . . Mark Herstell (Knutsford) is trying to identify a chick-sung song that goes “that’s life, c’est la vie, mon cherie” — it certainly looks familiar, any ideas? . . . Dick James Music seem to have started a magazine supplement — or am I wrong? . . . Al Matthews denies he’s offering a prize for anyone who accurately counts the number of times he goes “mmm-hmmm” on Capital’s soul show? . . . YES INDEEDY!


HOT VINYL

CHILL FAC-TORR: ‘Twist (Round ‘N’ Round)’ (US Philly World PWR-2010)
Already selling like crazy although tricky to introduce to dancers at first, this is nothing so much as a brilliant adaptation of Hank Ballard’s Chubby Checker popularised ‘The Twist’ (appropriately again on a Philadelphia label), stretched and spaced out into a still twist tempoed (and dead difficult to mix!) cool 183/91½bpm 12in jazz-funk framework, with the slow acappella started vocal side and instrumental flip both featuring some superb duetting saxes soaring, honking and squealing in stereo. A novelty pop smash if released here, it’s another haunting Johnny Chingas!

THE BAND A.K.A.: ‘Joy’ (Epic Streetwave EPC A13-3145)
Catchy enough singalong (and along and along) 114bpm 12in soul swayer takes a while before finally reaching the band’s strong point, their great sax, which for me makes the more instrumental flip a better bet — but, this now is followed by a horrendously clumsy segue (beats going all over the place!) into their old ‘Grace’. Truly awful, a simple edit from sax to sax would have been better — but then Streetwave’s Morgan Khan couldn’t care now as the label’s leaving CBS/Epic (Contd. next week).

KASHIF: ‘I Just Got To Have You (Lover Turn Me On)’ (Arista ARIST 12521)
Super producer Kashif actually has some vocal support from Evelyn King herself as they struggle valiantly not to sing the words of ‘Love Come Down’ to this spacious 117½bpm 12in cool burbler (instrumental flip), which sounds just as you’d expect. Continue reading “March 5, 1983: Chill Fac-torr, The Band A.K.A., Kashif, Jerry Knight, Glenn Jones”

February 26, 1983: Forrest, Prince Charles & The City Beat Band, Sunfire, Steve Arrington’s Hall Of Fame

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

GOOD NEWS for admirers of the now deceased Record Business trade paper’s disco coverage, its disco sales chart transfers uninterrupted to Music Week as of this week . . . Polydor picked up Man Parrish ‘Hip Hop’ for UK release in a fortnight (pity not sooner as surprisingly it’s slipping now) . . . PRT’s ‘It’s In The Mix‘ compilation LP due early March will include the great US-only remix of Imagination ‘Changes’, along with other obvious recent stuff from their various labels like Indeep, Brenda Taylor, William De Vaughn . . . Sandy Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms) had the word from Imagination’s Errol Kennedy that still ‘Heart And Soul’ is unscheduled for singles release — don’t they want to get out of their rut, or what? . . . Phonogram have revived the major Eddy Grant oldies on 3-track 12in (Mercury MERX 135), with the 123bpm ‘Do You Feel My Love?’, 137bpm ‘Living On The Frontline’, 137-138-0bpm ‘Frontline Symphony’ . . . Dick Morrissey’s new solo ‘After Dark’ LP (Coda CODA 2), a freewheeling jazz sax set recommended for listening (though I wish he hadn’t mucked up the theme from ‘Lou Grant’, which I’d dearly love someone to record straight), has in its cassette form been combined onto a single tape with his former sideman pianist John Critchinson’s ‘Summer Afternoon’, two sets for the price of one (Coda being the “acoustic jazz” outlet for Beggars Banquet) . . . Percy Sledge, ’60s ‘Percy!’ set on US Monument, as has his contemporary William Bell with a ‘Bad Time To Break Up‘ 7in on US Kat Family, both well soulful (as is the newer Lanier & Co’s set on US Larc), while also well worth checking by ’60s nostalgists is organist Jimmy McGriff’s swinging ‘The Groove’ LP on US Jam . . . Spandau Ballet manager Steve Dagger was recently telling me how New York City’s leading “urban contemporary” radio station, the black orientated WBLS, now concentrates on playing UK recorded electro-dance music (Human League/Yaz(oo)/ABC) and even has Chris Hill, against his better judgement, contributing features about this type of material — so it’s no wonder that all the black US acts are having to scramble aboard the electro bandwagon in order to survive . . . I have the theory that what’s caused ‘the split amongst funk fans’ here into electro and soul camps, black and white (although not of course as clearly defined as that), is a need to appear different: if the white fans were to get into electrophonic phunk there would not be enough musical difference to give them a tribal identity set apart from the herd who do follow Human League/Yazoo/ABC, hence they’ve turned back to traditional soul, whereas the black fans are different anyway as all can see, couldn’t give a damn, and are happy to get heavily into electrophonics — any comments? . . . Class Action’s featured vocalist Christine Wiltshire also sang the original version of ‘Weekend‘ by Patrick Adams Phreek . . . Level 42 fly out the Stateside way next week to record their next album produced by Earth, Wind & Fire’s Verdine White & Larry Dunn — is this necessarily a good move, we ask ourselves? . . . Elite and Challenge Records Andy Sojka is compiling a brand new mailing list of DJs playing any type of music: send him full details at 262 Holloway Road, London N7 (01-609 0168) . . . Greg Parrott has taken over as resident DJ/promotions manager at Oxford’s Boodles, trying to make Thursdays as upfront as possible and hoping to start a members only jazz-funk club on future Wednesdays, for which he’d like DJs with the right records to contact him on Oxford 730529 . . . Studiotek 2000 is a fully equipped DJ studio, also offering music mixdown facilities as well as a basic training course for mobile DJs, situated at 85 Alexandra Road in Farnborough (0252-519931) — studio time’s only £5 an hour for the next few weeks as an introductory offer . . . Donald ‘Shuggy’ Hughes (031-556 1836 days/031-228 3252 nights) is after promotions and artiste PAs for Edinburgh’s Coasters/Outer Limits . . . Soul On Sound’s Epping Forest Country Club alldayer on Sunday 6th March has admission by advance tickets at SOS-stocking record shops (SOS’s current issue came out a week late, incidentally this hiccup in my fortnightly preview mix schedule meaning that private engagements have prevented me thus far from recording the next issue’s mix, which I should have been doing even as I write at this moment) . . . Dr Soul’s Passion Pit downstairs at Mayfair’s Gullivers every Friday isn’t exactly the intended wall-to-wall “erection section” yet, but the barman’s been having trouble standing upright, anyway! . . . Frenchie & Colin Curtis didn’t start jazz-souling Blackpool Barons on the Friday they’d announced, but do start for sure this week (25) — and is it the declaration by Frenchie’s erstwhile partner, the now mixing-mad Pete Haigh (doing it Sundays at Caton’s Scarthwaite Hotel near Lancaster), that “Jazz-funk is dead — long live dance music!” which has hurried on the duo’s unexpected split? . . . Chris Hill & Colin Hudd’s “special” this Friday (25) is St Trinian’s fancy dress, while the following night (26) Tom Felton has a fancy dress Hollywood Ball at Leysdown Stage 3 . . . Chris Hill then starts his weekly “Sundays in the country” (27) at the Music Room in Sheffield Green’s Sheffield Arms, off the A275 in Sussex . . . Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson’s successor at Edgbaston’s Faces French, Jon Alsop has elbowed his predecessor’s gay-orientated music to concentrate more on futurist slanted electro and electrophonic phunk . . . Les Knott, at Harlow Bennys on Saturdays and packing Sundays at Old Harlow Josephs playing laid back jazz-soul, has his own weekly music column in the Harlow Gazette, which includes the area’s disco chart . . . Bill Robertson determinedly jazz-funks Fri/Sats at Bathgate Quincys, where a new light and sound system should just about be fitted by now, to prove that there’s soul in Central Scotland yet (ahh, but is there a Gallup chart return shop in Bathgate?) . . . Dave Rawlings has left Reading Rebecca’s for Saturdays at Basingstoke Martines and Tuesdays at Hook Gorse Cottage Country Club’s Gaslight Club . . . Phil Jay now funks Thursdays as well as Sundays at West Byfleet’s Carafino wine bar, plus Fridays at Guildford Staceys and Mondays at Godalming Carls wine bar . . . Gary Oldis, still based at Aycliffe Bee Jays, also funks Mondays at Darlington Bee Jays . . . Flash Gordon has returned to Bristol at the Princess Court Club and also does Thursdays at Reeves in the Brunel Suite, the latter as his own promotion . . . Martin Starr, back in Bristol too, funks Thurs/Fri/Sat with Nigel Hanson at Lourdes in Fairfax Street, Saturdays being most upfront . . . Loughborough Students Union Jazz-Funk Society stalwart Eddie Gee is doing fortnightly Thursdays at that town’s Adam & Eve club, tonight (24) should be the current one . . . Andy Hunter & Eon Irving funk Soho Ronnie Scott’s Maze on Thursdays . . . Liverpool’s ever willing Mike Davidson, another to criticize that city’s less than upfront radio soul shows, funks Cagneys Thurs-thru-Sun, the Mandarin Club Mon, the Dove Tues/Wed (doubling Tues at the Venue) — busy lad! . . . Ian Reading, still joined by Froggy on Fridays, advises you come early on Saturdays to Southend Zero 6 as it’s packed by 10.15pm . . . John ‘Nick’ Osborne, whose Ilford Room At The Top chart not surprisingly includes Marlena Shaw ‘More Room At The Top‘, is after a Wednesday night gig preferably outside the Ilford area (01-595 9549 days/01-478 5588 nights) . . . Atevis ‘CJ’ Craven, resident Fri/Sat at Edinburgh Annabels Rivera Suite, is after possibly another two or three nights playing anything, but soul/funk preferred (031-664 6795 early evenings) . . . Graham ‘Funky Scot’ Hunter and his Firefly Roadshow’s electronics technician partner V. Gregory (Basingstoke 770776 evenings) are looking for an agency handling both local and national gigs . . . Cosmic (Rayleigh Croc’s) recommends the band New Shoes, who play Sea Level/Spyro Gyra/Band AKA-type material, while Lance Nuttall (manager of Sayers Common Cinderellas) “strongly recommends” Animal Nightlife as a first rate live band . . . John Clancy (Gillingham), thrilled by the recent TVDJA night in Hounslow, writes: “It may sound daft, but as mobile jocks living outside London never get to meet the ‘big boys’, we only get to read about them” — and what with the likes of Steve Walsh, Graham Canter, Frank Smith (and myself!), there certainly were a few ‘big boys’ about that night! . . . Tressbonn Trashmore (Hythe Hotel Imperial every Saturday) was chuffed to hear Michael Aspel’s recently featured expert on names in some confusion over his own! . . . Al Dupres (Cardiff) has revived Earth, Wind & Fire ‘Fantasy’ because following its inclusion in the recently screened ‘Private Lessons’ flick it’s being regarded as a newie again . . . Mickey Lee, formerly of New Brighton Penny Farthing, Liverpool Odd Spot and most recently Whitehaven Village Inn, splits these shores next week for sunny Crete and the Bora Bora discotheque with his new protege Laura B, “one of the best female mixers in the business” (if Kenwood made a female mixer, could I have one for Christmas?!) . . . Fat Larry’s Band are this week at Watford Baileys . . . Madonna PA-ed at Charing Cross Heaven and were “wonderful”, to quote Ian Levine . . . West Surrey & Hants DJ Association have officially withdrawn from the DJ Federation, but can’t actually locate the DJF to tell them (WSHDJA membership details on 0483 68397), while one-time DJF big cheese Theo Loyla has surfaced as president of the Cleveland Area DJ Association (an honorary post of course — DJs in the North-East should still contact Graham Murray at 30 Pilkington Street, North Ormesby, Middlesbrough) . . . Theo Loyla, whose old Bridge Country Club residency was always packed (I never meant to suggest otherwise), has an interesting gimmick at his Charing Country Club gigs, his pre-’74 soul Mondays feature food in the restaurant at pre-’74 prices — and this policy now covers Fridays there as well, when he plays modern . . . I received a piece of wedding cake from someone in Romford — could that be from Mr & Mrs Howlett? . . . Larry & Mandy Foster (Ilford) recently had a baby Jade Holly Foster, Alan & Jill Taylor (Rhyl) had a second little son (bit tricky that one actually — though Jill’s fit now) . . . Steve Allen’s Discoasis record shop in Peterborough now supplies its disco sales chart to Hereward Radio . . . Rayners Lane Record & Disco Centre’s Andy Mann reports he was inundated with phone calls following my mention of the shop’s stock of Stone ‘Time’! . . . Nick Aravis (Romford Tudor Lodge/Hornchurch Daniels) recommends Chadwell Heath’s Jifs Records (the retitled old Tape Stop, opposite Whalebone Lane Library) for imports and cutouts . . . Kev Hill (Brentwood) finds the old Willis Beaver Hale ‘Let The Good Times Roll‘ from ’74 slots nicely between the likes of Goodie and the Gap Band (Phonogram’s Jeff Young incidently reports some DJs are finding the Gap Band too slow — are they crazy?) . . . Wuf Ticket ‘Ya Mama‘ as suspected works a treat out of ‘Outstanding’ (why more jocks haven’t picked up on it is a mystery), and Wish ‘Mr DJ (Instrumental)’ is indeed a killer out of Mahogany . . . YES INDEEDY!


MEZZOFORTE, THE jazz-funkers from Iceland, are now getting the sort of daytime radio play that should make their ‘Garden Party‘ dancefloor winner into a crossover hit. On their ‘Surprise Surprise’ LP (Steinar Ste LP02, via Pinnacle) they exhibit many influences — not so surprisingly, considering where they live — but the sheer quality of their musicianship allied to this familiarity is already making the set a big sell with the Shakatak market. More for listening rather than dancing, except in specialist jazz clubs, the album’s version of ‘Garden Party’ is preceded by the loosely starting then jaggedly explosive but brief 126-0bpm ‘Surprise‘ as a sort of introduction, seguing on out of a 33 second doodling lull into the hit track.


HOT VINYL

FORREST: ‘Rock The Boat’ (CBS A13-3163).
Already massive on import and now all set to go national in a huge way, this speeded up but in most respects very similar 114½bpm 12in remake of the Hues Corporation’s (106-107bpm) 1974 classic has a powerful pounding percussion break and all the pep that’s needed for pop crossover success. Initial CBS pressings sold out immediately last week, and in fact I’ve yet to get mine.

PRINCE CHARLES & THE CITY BEAT BAND: ‘Gang War’ LP (Greyhound Record Productions GRP LP 101).
The pretentious poser’s fave funk name of the moment, this Boston-based P-funker’s very George Clinton influenced debut set surfaced originally on import at a time when fast funk was out of favour here (although in the States then Michael Henderson ‘Wide Receiver‘ was a big black hit), after which its legendary status was built up by simple scarcity value as only a few were ever pressed by the subsequently defunct Solid Platinum label. Good but not THAT good, without all the anticipation this would be nowhere near so fashionable now, although certainly the whole of side two flows nicely through (most legendary of all) the 126-128bpm ‘In The Streets’, (now possibly stronger) 123bpm ‘Tight Jeans‘ and 124-123bpm ‘Gang War (or the Acid Funk syndrome)‘ being less substantial. Oh, there are some dirty(-ish) words too.

SUNFIRE: ‘Young, Free And Single’ (Warner Bros W 9897T).
Now not in fact coupled by ‘Step In The Light‘ (get ‘Street Sounds Edition 2’ for that!), this gently tugging soulful slow 90bpm yearner could possibly get daytime radio play following on from Billy Griffin’s breakthrough, and is on 3-track 12in with the heavy funk 102bpm ‘Feet‘ and less distinguished 119bpm ‘Shake Your Body‘. Continue reading “February 26, 1983: Forrest, Prince Charles & The City Beat Band, Sunfire, Steve Arrington’s Hall Of Fame”

February 19, 1983: Whispers, Wish, Jimmy Young, Chocolate Milk, Maxine Singleton

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

AMAZINGLY, ARIOLA in Britain passed on Forrest, letting CBS snap it up for rush release . . . PRT should consider editing all the phonetic countdown from Disco Connection ‘Rock Your Baby‘ and re-pushing it alongside the very similar ‘Rock The Boat’ . . . JFM and London’s other soul pirate stations are in their way delighted that they have one less legitimate rival on the air now that Greg Edwards has quit Capital (to be replaced by Al Matthews), though Robbie Vincent is less than happy about the way in which his Saturday lunchtime Radio London soul show is now thus shouldering alone the responsibility of previewing the weekend’s hot new tunes . . . I jocked at last Thursday’s British Record Industry Awards bash (never underestimate the hipness of record biz people — they finally got going to Eddy Grant, ‘Fame’ and all the wally wedding faves!), where Michael Jackson drew screams when accepting on behalf of Barbra Streisand, and Kim Wilde was charmingly tongue-tied (she later confessed to me a liking for Marvin Gaye while we were chatting) . . . Mayfair’s Gullivers downstairs every Friday is now Dr Soul’s Passion Pit — I’m playing wall to wall soul smoochers and mellow oldies, from Dinah Washington & Nat ‘King’ Cole to Major Harris & Barry White! . . . Morgan Khan’s renewed independent ambitions (details when the ink has dried!) have put back the zing in his thing and got his strut out the rut — yeah, ya gotta have panache to talk that trash! . . . Pete Stringfellow plans for his new venue at the old Talk Of The Town to feature a sort of electronic age update of the star-studded package tour stage show idea, plus spectacular lighting — to reveal more would only give other less visionary (and rich) club owners ideas . . . Nic Wakefield (Sidmouth Carina’s) now has a 20 minute spot playing import newies and a quick mix on Tom Arnold’s Devonair soul show, every Saturday 6-8pm 450/314m MW . . . Chris Dinnis (Exeter Boxes) reckons John Critchinson titled ‘La Pigalle’ after a Torquay club where he used to play . . . Paul Clark (Brighton Busbys) says apparently he was the first person at Holborn’s City Sounds record shop to buy Billy Griffin’s LP, on 6th June 1982 . . . Chris Hill & Colin Hudd kick off a series of special weekly events at Dartford Flicks this Friday with Fred Dove’s WEA video party . . . America’s snow storms stopped shipment of some expected imports last week, and delayed Luther Vandross’s flight to London by a day . . . Evelyn King, not only a ‘Coronation Street’ fan, seems healthily sexy! . . . DUB TIME!


HOT VINYL

WHISPERS: ‘Tonight’ (US Solar 0-67930).
Well worth the wait, a dynamite Jerry Knight-penned thrummingly resonant bass synth burbled see-sawing 114bpm 12in lurcher with very much a Kashif style of vocal melody (although identifiably still sung by the Whispers), an immediate monster floor filler!

WISH: ‘Mr. D.J.’ (US Blue 10013).
Not as gimmicky as Indeep but with similar hit prospects, the chix ‘n’ chaps sung sinuous 109-108-109bpm 12in thudder’s vocal side has that old ‘Ladies Night’ bass line behind a plea to play a song again (“I don’t remember what the name of it is”): however, good though that is, the absolute hard core killer is the 109bpm instrumental flip with great sax and a more exciting arrangement (likely to work well out of Mahogany).

JIMMY YOUNG: ‘Times Are Tight’ (US Delirium DM 922).
No, not Radio 2’s crooning DJ! The American Mr Young’s “hard times” vocal is perfectly acceptable but it’s the 120bpm 12in instrumental flip that’s the sizzler, a terrific solidly trucking jittery flowing groove along similar lines to some of the old classics of the “jazz-funk” era, designed to worm its way into your brain and make you work, baby, work! Continue reading “February 19, 1983: Whispers, Wish, Jimmy Young, Chocolate Milk, Maxine Singleton”