July 23, 1983: Big Brother, Club House, Kenny Lynch, Galaxy, Sakhile

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

DAVE McALEER in a shock move fraught with political intrigue has left his own TMT label, but plans another disco-oriented logo in the near future . . . O’Jays ‘Put Our Heads Together‘ is on UK 12in this week, flipped by a remix of ‘Love Train’ (plus ‘A Letter To My Friends’) . . . Gladys Knight ‘Overtime’ has had what seems like a slower remix on US Columbia 12in . . . ‘In-Store Music’ promo cassettes when sent to DJs are indeed meant for in-car listening with the hope that the jock will then maybe buy or blag the records most likely to play in-club — and, the good news is, more jocks are needed to receive this free weekly music programme! – so send for an application form to Granville Williams, Midas Records, 104 Harley House, Upper Harley Street, London NW1 4PR . . . Paul Murphy’s jazz basement at Record Shack is running an “everything must go” clearout sale for the rest of July before restocking and starting anew . . . Steve Jerome shirtily sniffs that he produced/co-penned the Cold Hand Band ‘Tropicana‘ raved over last week (whoops, I didn’t read the small print . . . but at least my review wasn’t an old pals act!), while the Band themselves can be booked for gigs from August via the Ely-based agency of Jason West (0353-87755), who though still jocking himself is concentrating more now on representing big pro roadshows, video discos, dance troupes and bands (of which he always needs more) . . . Susie Barnes on Radio London has a slightly adult orientated line up of guests for her Friday night music ‘n’ chat show, and has recently started including at 10.45pm a disco DJ to feature six records that really get ’em going, her choice this week being myself (laying my mobile party as well as black disco selection) . . . ‘Ladies Man’ Orin Cozier appears to have launched his P’zazz Promotions by plugging Sergio Mendes for A&M — now if he could only tie up the IDS labels and maybe Motown, he really would be filling a need! . . . Noreen Allen in major moves at EMI now handles disco promotion for their US as well as domestic material . . . Theo Loyla in putting together some Phonogram promotion nights for ‘Flashdance’ (surely a hot property?) was amazed when Mecca greeted his proposed package by asking for payment of £100 per venue before he could give their punters free records and T-shirts — not surprisingly our outraged plugger clinched a deal with Rank Leisure instead! . . . Chris Brown & Johnnie Walker at Camberley Frenchies this Sunday (24) have a ‘Tootsie’ party where all boys must wear girls clothes, and vice versa (no admission unless in drag) . . . Martin Collins should be this fortnight’s guest of Joe Field & Mike Allin at Hemel Hempstead’s Whip & Collar on Thursday (21) . . . T-shirts ‘n’ stickers will doubtless be flying on Saturday (23) at Gravesend’s Woodville Halls what with Phil Allan, Gary Crowley, Mick Brown, Mike Lavelle and odd PAs . . . Phil Allan needn’t fear fingers on the pause button just so long as he at least continues to feature the London fusion chart at 1.45am every Sunday morning on Capital! . . . “DJ Froggy” voices a commercial for Jive’s current product (anything to get on radio?) . . . Steve Harvey never did reach New York, but in any case is negotiating to write and produce a song for Sharon Redd . . . Richard Jon Smith recently arrived at Heathrow after a trip back to Africa, only for immigration to tell him he had seven days to stay in the UK, (this despite his living here for two years) — needless to say he’s appealed, and so far is still here . . . Brooklyn Express are latest to cover ‘Do It Again/Billie Jean’ (a re-arrangement rather than soundalike), while on US Emergency 12in the Stevie Wonder-ish Otis Liggett has done a 113bpm funkification of Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’ . . . Wuf Ticket’s instrumental flip as anticipated has really exploded! . . . Mad Marx on holiday in Benidorm (where an old Butlins Redcoat mate was jocking over the road in the Bahamas Club) found that Spanish “cowboys” were flogging brand new British 12in releases for an unbelievable £17 as the discos were so desperate to get them . . . I continued exploring Britain last week in the sunny stunning Shropshire Hills . . . John Harris (Redruth) wants to identify a track heard in Spain at Calella’s Highwayman Club, which sung in English had a chorus “another night . . . say you’ll never leave me now” and verse “I’m all alone in the . . . / your lovin/music? / turns me on” . . . Mickey Lee & Laura B, jocking for the summer at Crete’s Bora Bora disco in Agios Nikolaos, had a Finn ask for ‘Killer’ by Jack Michaelson — obviously a Hee Bee Gee Bees fan, the fellah meant ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson! . . . Dave Needham, home in Leicester after two years of jocking all over Norway, says most DJs there are English and have done much to educate the natives away from Ottawan-type clappy music to the likes of Wham (except is there that much difference?!) . . . Steve Glover (Bournemouth Spats Mon/Thur, Enter Fri) predicts wally pop-disco will make a comeback spearheaded by KC and the Gibson Bros, as it’s bouncy and happy and puts people in a good mood — which is what discos should be all about . . . Brian Mason (Barnet) reckons now that hot weather, long evenings and holidays away are keeping people out of discos, it would be a good idea for some clubs to review their entry and drink prices just for this time of the year . . . Phil Andrews at Derby Chamilles, for instance, has 50p drinks/£1 cocktails every Thurs-Sunday, while Dave Smith at Mayfair’s Samanthas (next to Rockafellas late night eaterie off Regent Street) has 30p drinks until 11pm every Friday and a free concoction included Mon/Wed . . . Greg Parrott at Oxford Boodles is running foreign students nights Sun/Mon/Tues during the summer . . . Nicky King hosts a heat of the National Miss Wet Tee Shirt 1983 at Liverpool Cantril Farm’s Harvester disco on Aug 24, ladies can get entry forms from him at 24 Bolan Street, Liverpool, L13 6RE (or is this just a way of pulling well stacked birds, I wonder?!) . . . Andy Baker has taken over in and around Rhyl at Jollie Nites (Thur/Fri), The Orange Peel (Sun/Mon/Tues) and — pride of the North Wales Coast — the brand new Mirrors (Wed/Sun) — meanwhile in that same burgh, Adrian Martin is now minus a residency and will consider moving anywhere (on 0745-4572) as long as the wages are above 1960’s levels (“some clubs in North Wales still use ten bob notes!”) . . . Adrian Dunbar now boogies for the boys Wed-thru-Sun at Southampton Warehouse, leaving just Tuesday for Bournemouth’s redecorated Adams and its renamed “Hi Energy Dance Night” — which mixes Boys Town hits with Yello/Matt Fretton-type dance music (yeah, well it’s all pop music, innit?) . . . Gary Allen, resident boogier with the boys at Liverpool Concert Street, hates to be a bore but mentions everything seems to be a remix these days and at about 130bpm . . . Alan X (Langdon Kings Club) heard Hazell Dean singing Bacharach & David oldies on Radio 2’s ‘You And The Night And The Music’ — so that’s why her name was familiar! . . . Cosmic (Basildon New Yorker/Liberties) is after a copy of Francine McGee ‘Delirium‘ (not sure where in Essex his 555646 phone number belongs) . . . Big Phil Etgart (South Harrow) says consistently his biggest oldie is Willie Bobo ‘Always There‘, and a remix coupled with the original on 12in could clean up for CBS . . . Darryl Hayden omits the frequency but now jocks weekday afternoons for the 7am-midnight, 7 days a week new Richmond/Putney area Radio Thames West, a commercial pop station . . . Sutton’s Patches Disco Centre hint that Garrard’s deck-making equipment is alive and well and living in Brazil, so watch out for the turntables under an almost similar name . . . West Sussex jock Aaron Lewison White works under the name Andy Brown — snappier maybe, but less distinguished! . . . Trevor John Hughes (Telford), wide ranging in his taste as ever, currently charts at number one Ralph McTell ‘Kenny The Kangaroo‘ (MR) . . . Graham Gold (Mayfair Gullivers) can and does (continuously!) repeat his killer Kurtis Blow/Herbie Hancock synch — it’s a goodie . . . I, with mucho vari-speed synched Kurtis Blow out of Crown Heights Affair ‘Rock The World!!!’, while other useful tips include the scratch bit of Slim ‘It’s In The Mix’ chopped for a short burst before Herbie, and (though seemingly missed by all but me) Hurt ‘Em Bad ‘The Boxing Game‘ (US Profile 12in) is dynamite (with the bell before its vocal chopped on the last beat in a bar) out of ‘The Crown’ — oh, and The Rake ‘Street Justice’ has the same vocal sound as Fatback ‘Is This The Future?’ . . . Oliver Cheatham was dead unlucky not to top the Disco chart — if ever anything sounded like a certainty, that was him . . . hey, hey, hey, BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

BIG BROTHER: ‘Adventures In Success — The First Adventure‘ (Island IS12 120)
Scandalously ignored by Island’s pluggers yet a floor filling perfect synch with La Famille, this fascinating 99bpm 12in electro thudded rap uses a voice like some pre-recorded American commentary reciting a new ‘Desiderata’ as if re-written by Readers Digest! (‘Second Adventure’ flip).

CLUB HOUSE: ‘Do It Again/Billie Jean’ (Island 12IS 132)
Brilliant amalgamation of the Steely Dan/Michael Jackson bass lines and lyrics into a smash-bound 116½bpm 12in medley (at the original ‘Billie Jean’ BPM, with a less useful instrumental Club Version flip.

KENNY LYNCH: ‘Half The Days Gone And We Haven’t Earned A Penny’ LP (Satril SATLP 400)
20 years ago our veteran ‘Allcock & Brown’ telly star, OBE, successfully covered black hits of the day and now, unlikely though it may seem, he’s self-prod/penned an extremely creditable Al Jarreau-ish set that’s already burning up the airwaves in London! The Jarreau influence has finally given his voice its ideal vehicle, and with classy “name” backing he’s very impressive on such as the 113-113½bpm title track, (0-)112-113-112½bpm ‘Name Your Game‘, (0-)111-109-110-113½bpm ‘Another Groovy Saturday Night‘, 120(intro)-118-117bpm ‘Never Give Up On Love‘. And to think, I bought his ‘Puff (Up In Smoke)‘ in 1963! Continue reading “July 23, 1983: Big Brother, Club House, Kenny Lynch, Galaxy, Sakhile”

July 16, 1983: The Chi-Lites, The Rake, George Benson, Aretha Franklin, Skyy

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

JULIE ROBERTS, who was replaced by some dolly bird when the Funk Masters did Top Of The Pops, has her own ‘Fool For You‘ on white label prior to Bluebird release in a fortnight — John Rocca-prod/Steve Jerome-penned, it’s an attractive 109bpm rhythm box jerked summer tempo with good singing and sax, if a bit repetitive . . . Michael Lovesmith’s sinuous synth growled swaying summer tempoed 107bpm ‘Just Say The Word‘ is actually hitting first off his LP reviewed last week . . . PRT’s claim to the new Bohannon ‘Let’s Start The Dance III‘ has been disputed by ‘Let’s Start II Dance Again’ — owning London, who nipped repressed stock of their oldie into the shops . . . Club House, due on Island now, already has a less good Continental cover by Slingshot, while Pink Project have similarly blended ‘Billie Jean’ with ‘Jeopardy’! . . . The O’Jays imminent ‘Put Our Heads Together’ UK 12in flip was due to be a mixed oldies medley until axed by the US . . . Streetwave picked up the recent Blue Magic set to compile a 4-track 12in, and follow-up Ingram with ‘We Like To Do It‘ / ‘Groovin’ On A Groove‘ (no remix!) — Morgan Khan incidentally is plugging and advising Arista/West End black product . . . Our Price record shops stopped stocking imports and have been selling all they had left (up to current releases) at giveaway prices — hurry, as the word spread fast . . . Yellowman’s live Capital Radio concert (aired as it happened) was terrific: especially effective was the way he suddenly changed the mesmeric tension of his droning reggae raps by slipping into such oldies as ‘Mr Lonely’, ‘It’s Now Or Never’, even Teddy’s ‘Turn Out The Lights’ (not to forget a reggae singalong ‘Get Me To The Church On Time’!) — while DJ David Rodigan must have been chuffed the amount his surname got woven into lyrics! . . . Midas Records have revived a much tried idea, putting pay-for-play new (in this case, soul) releases onto promotional-only cassettes which are then distributed to shops, DJs, wine bars and the like for background play: called ‘In-Store Music’, the cassettes have a stronger selection than the Disco Mix Club previews and make great in-car listening! . . . I continued exploring sunny South-West Wales last week accompanied by cassettes of Bob Jones and Jeff Young at Oct ’81 Caister, and even lots of early Greg Edwards (sounding like Al Matthews, mmm-hmm!) . . . Al Matthews incidentally plays the fire chief in ‘Superman III’ . . . Aberystwyth University’s Malayan soul society president Nick Abdullah, now he’s on long vac, is bringing all his friends to Mayfair Gullivers — where last Friday he bumped into his better publicised oppo from Loughbrough University, Eddie Gee (both discovered they’re reading economics!) . . . Sunday seemed the weather to trek into Sussex to Stan & Jayne Barrett’s Sheffield Arms at Sheffield Park where the really elegant Music Room disco is extremely impressive — and much more is planned . . . Sunday star there Chris Hill, long the Funk Mafia godfather, now really is godfather to Paula ‘n’ Bob Geldof’s new little bundle of joy . . . Sho Pro big cheese Adrian Webb should note that even eye-witness Pete Tong reported on Chris Hill commandeering a bus to get punters back to their South of France flats safely through the darkened streets — and anyway, Ada, where did I say anyone had a horrid time there (apart from some battered wives!)? . . . Justin Lubbock should note that Canute himself gave me his record well ahead of any organised promotion (which I’ve yet to encounter, anyway!) . . . Jimmy Brown (Euston Travel) is selling one Technics SL 1400 quartz digital readout vari-speed deck on 01-688 2434 . . . London’s mixing Mastermind Roadshow learnt the hard way that in New York they like their mixers HOT! . . . Graham Gold at Gullys did (his words) “an unreal long running mix out of Kurtis Blow into Herbie Hancock — I’ll never be able to repeat it!” . . . Arrow ‘Hot-Hot-Hot’ has been massacred for 7in, editing out all the most catchy “olay olay” bits . . . Kitty Grant ‘Glad To Know You‘ is evidently now selling fast on remixed 12in — thanx for getting one to me (I don’t think), IDS! . . . Tania Maria is at London’s Dominion this Sunday (17) . . . Central Line producer Roy Carter looks amazingly like a younger version of the current Lou Rawls album sleeve photo! . . . David Grant methinks doth protest too much — he’s always on the defensive about his new look even on telly . . . War called their track ‘U-2’ after being amused to see the group U-2 with an album called ‘War’! . . . Walter Jackson, a polio victim since childhood whose crutches often featured in photographs, sadly died three weeks ago of a heart attack — debuting on OKeh in ’64 with much influence from Curtis Mayfield (who wrote for him), Walter stuck with regular producer Carl Davis through to his recent and ironically best known record here, ‘Touching In The Dark‘ . . . Attitude’s rapid rise and much album activity in the charts shows mainly what happens when Fred Dove services his WEA mailing list jocks . . . hey hey hey, LET’S KEEP COOL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

THE CHI-LITES: ‘Changing For You’ (R&B RBL 215)
Thankfully refusing to die despite overdue release here, this superb summer tempoed 101bpm swaying jogger goes great with ‘All Night Long’ etc and is ultra, ultra soulfully sung with a cool acappella harmony intro and punchy brief rap halfway, hopefully a Billy Griffin/Sunfire-style smash now it’s on 12in here with their chunkily jittering fun-filled funky 103bpm ‘Bottom’s Up‘ US hit as flip.

THE RAKE: ‘Street Justice’ (US Profile PRO-7024)
Charles Bronson’s ‘Death Wish’ movies set to music, this lyrically searing 110bpm 12in rapper overnight suddenly makes ‘The Crown’ sound silly and trite. Preaching the vigilante message, it’s a harrowing tale of a guy whose family gets violated and raped, so he swears “gotta meet the punks on the battle front — gotta beat the punks, street justice” as the courts have let the perpetrators walk free. Radio won’t like it, but this really does carry on ‘The Message.’

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Feel Like Making Love’ (Warner Bros W9551T)
His album’s smash, Roberta’s oldie gets a great subtle yet smacking 112bpm dance groove (much better than ‘Lady Love Me’) on 3-track 12in with — incredible surprise value! — the terrific flute ‘n’ scat 117bpm long instrumental import hit 12in-only version of Kashif’s ‘Inside Love (So Personal)‘, plus the gradually unfurling delicate 51/102bpm ‘Use Me‘. Possibly his biggest ever. Continue reading “July 16, 1983: The Chi-Lites, The Rake, George Benson, Aretha Franklin, Skyy”

July 9, 1983: Herbie Hancock, Michael Wycoff, Brass Construction, LaFleur, Bob Andy

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

HOT POP — Polydor and WEA will be merging worldwide in the next few months, this however is not the reason for last week’s unexpected appearance of Al Jarreau and Serge Ponsar on WEA International, as Al is signed direct to that label anyway and now gets properly identified, while Serge although black is actually French and an international signing in his own right . . . Island picked up the ultra-hot Italian-recorded Club House medley for rush release next week, and put out a remix of Gwen Guthrie ‘Hopscotch’ a week later — but confusingly follow it with a Larry Levan remix another two weeks after that (more fuss than the song warrants, I reckon) . . . Skratch Music’s new PRT-distributed Passion label is rushing out Electric Mind ‘Zwei‘, one of the best mixers of the moment . . . South African jazzers Sakhile’s eponymous ‘Sakhile‘ 99bpm hotsie is now on white label 12in prior to their album’s release next week on the new Jive Afrika logo . . . Phil Fearon & Galaxy get the moody advance white label treatment again for their new 120bpm ‘Wait Until Tonight (My Love)‘, which doesn’t have as good a beat or strong a hook as their hit . . . Y Records new NYC (New York Connection) label has licensed a whole bunch of rappers from Enjoy to put on a twin-pack album made up of two 4-track 12in singles next week . . . 21 Records here go back a release to ‘Space Cowboy‘ for the next Jonzun Crew 12in, presumably hoping for pop crossover success . . . New York Citi Peech Boys are currently in this country purely to do club gigs, and are still looking for suitable venues with enough stage space (book ’em on 01-221 6136 from Neil Brett at Wasted Talent) . . . David Emery, currently ferrying Helen Shapiro around Northern radio stations for his new Pacific Promotions service, still needs jocks in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and a few dolly birds for occasional promotional work persuading shop owners to put up posters, etc — plus, David wonders where all the vivacious out-going young people are in Middlesbrough, as a mate’s singing telegram service can’t find any there (call 0632 814001) . . . Oldham-born Tony Prince of Radio Luxembourg and Disco Mix Club fame has been made honorary president of the North West DJ Association and in that capacity heads home to speak at a NWDJA meeting this Sunday (10) in Oldham’s Belgrade Hotel, Manchester Street, at 2pm (free admission, non-members especially welcome) . . . Alan Coulthard’s featured megamix on July’s Disco Mix Club cassette is of Human League . . . Nick Heyward lookalike John Osborne starts weekly upfront hot funky vinyl at Bletchley Peaches this Wednesday (6) — which was yesterday for most people outside central London, but maybe he’ll get some commuters who bought RM for the train! — plus Nick sorry, John still has upfront Tuesdays at Ilford Room At The Top and joins David Rodigan ‘n’ Steve Walsh Sundays at Streatham Cats Whiskers . . . Nick Ratcliffe and Steve Walsh are currently teamed for the next few Tuesdays at Guildford Cinderellas Rockerfellas — and speaking of big Steve, it was he who at their Capital Radio recorded London concert introduced Mezzoforte as “possibly the best band to come out of Iceland”! (think about it) . . . Robbie Vincent is Martin John’s special guest this Thursday (7) at Croydon Laurels (ex-Scamps), the same night as Jeff Young joins Joe Field & Mike Allin to kick off Thursdays at Hemel Hempstead’s Whip & Collar . . . Paul & Robin Wheeler’s Jacksons Nightclub in Staines re-opens Thursday (alternative music), Friday (jazz-funk), Saturday (disco) in a triple-pronged ceremony . . . Tony ‘Flanger’ Glass now does Fridays at Rayleigh Croc’s, with 10 foot video screens and civilised sound equipment . . . “Disco is dead” says Shalamar singer Howard Hewett (the uncharismatic one without a haircut), who can’t have done badly out of disco before switching to pure pop — still, presumably now I won’t have to review any more of their boring records . . . Tavares play Watford Baileys from next Monday (11) for six nights . . . Heatwave’s Keith Wilder at Mayfair Gullivers last weekend was non-plussed by LaFleur’s remake of ‘Boogie Nights’, which he’d never heard of . . . Flash Gordon’s new Bedminster (Bristol) residency is spelt McLouds — which is why if the neighbours complain it’s all down to the name — while as you probably realised, Richard Jon Smith’s free megamedley cassette is with the first 5,000 of his new 12in . . . South Eastern Discotheque Association next year change their annual exhibition to a later date in June and at Gravesend’s Woodville Halls, tied in with a celebration of their tenth anniversary (don’t panic, you’ll get full info nearer the date!) . . . Bob Heather (Southampton Top Rank Ice Rink) mixes Forrest ‘Rock The Boat’/Man Parrish ‘Hip Hop’/Indeep ‘When Boys Talk’/’Last Night A DJ’/Toto Coelo ‘Milk From The Coconut‘ . . . Pete Haigh, mixing urban contemporary at (deep breath) Caton Scarthwaite Hall (Sun)/Standish Cassinellis (Thurs)/Heysham 42nd Street (Mon)/Standish Hartley Hall (Fri) — can’t he go back to being just Pete Haigh & Frenchie (Blackpool)? — wants to identify the UK white label of Night Moves ‘Trans Dance‘, a c.118bpm “great mixer with loads of current faves” . . . Tom Robinson is evidently re-recording the superb ‘War Baby’ for 12in . . . Mark Clark, nattering in the current Thames Valley DJA newsletter, is upset in his Mark One record shop by the DJs who stick to chart hits without buying anything new, no matter how hot it obviously sounds, concluding very realistically that they could improve their reputation no end if punters were able to remember that they first heard the next number one played by that particular disco . . . Tricky Dicky Scanes in his West End record shop natters to boys town jocks from around the country and reckons most think the use of Hot Tracks remixes of older faves is short sighted as well as selfish because punters can’t then buy what they hear — better tell that to the Disco Mix Club too! . . . Alan Jones has some side deals going with our Nightclub chart and so offers record tokens “out of the hat” as inducement to contributing jocks — however, the same address applies for all charts, and it’s only when he’s opened the envelopes that he divides the charts into the different types, so anyone stands a chance of winning . . . James Brown has remixed and extended ‘Bring It On . . . Bring It On’ for UK 12in pressings, making it sound much more tidy and useable (although I still think it’s a shame that only the current chart system has made this a hit when so many of his monster classics missed having a fair shot at the chart in the old days) . . . Diana Ross’s new ‘Ross’ LP is largely with the same team as on Donald Fagan’s ‘The Nightfly’, but not aimed at our market . . . Tom Wilson (Edinburgh Northumberland Hotel), evidently the marrying kind, is reminded by Central Line ‘Surprise Surprise’ of Funkapolitan ‘As The Time Goes By’ . . . TV-AM’s Saturday morning Space Watch slot last week had a mind-blowing sequence which in one continuous shot went ever-outwards from the open palm of a guy sunbathing in Chicago to the furthest reaches of space before zooming back and on into the guy’s hand until reaching the inner space of one of his atoms — what a video that would make! . . . I got my disco console plus two record boxes under the closed luggage lid of my Datsun Cherry 1.3GL hatchback, without putting the seats down, so yah-boo and sucks to you, Jim Kershaw! . . . PHEW, WHAT A SCORCHER!


HOT VINYL

HERBIE HANCOCK: ‘Rockit’ (US Columbia 44-03978)
The sensation of the weekend, the hottest record of the decade! You won’t believe it until you’ve heard it, but Herbie’s gone electrophonic with an incredibly powerful 111bpm 12in explosion co-produced by Material which began as an ultra-funky instrumental before Grand Mixer D.S.T. then took two copies and scratched them into the hottest pool of melted vinyl you’ll ever hear this or any heatwave. Phew!

MICHAEL WYCOFF: ‘(Do You Really Love Me) Tell Me Love’ (RCA RCAT 348)
Huge on import LP and now on UK 12in with its dead catchy hook sensibly added to the title, this Webster Lewis-produced brilliant classy 105-106bpm soul jogger after an acapella title chant intro builds cumulatively (through enough instrumental to let mixers vari-speed back up out of the slower Mary Jane Girls/Funk Masters/SOS Band/etc), ending up a real mind nagger . . . not a crossover maybe, but a soul must!

BRASS CONSTRUCTION: ‘We Can Work It Out’ (Capitol 12CL 299)
Hopefully not now too late on 12in, this infectious socking jittery 117-119-118-117-116-118bpm (acapella fade) groove in the ‘Movin’ tradition is their best since in fact that classic and to rekindle interest has a 2-track flip of last year’s sparser 117-118-119-120bpm ‘Do That Thang‘ and 1976’s speeding 126-127bpm ‘Ha Cha Cha (Funktion)‘. Continue reading “July 9, 1983: Herbie Hancock, Michael Wycoff, Brass Construction, LaFleur, Bob Andy”

July 2, 1983: Gary Byrd & The G.B. Experience, Aretha Franklin, Club House, Serge Ponsar, Lonnie Liston Smith

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CHI-LITES ‘Changing For You‘ has been picked up for UK 12in release by R&B . . . Aretha Franklin’s UK 12in of ‘Get It Right’ (due next week) has the instrumental flip plus her old ‘Jump To It’ . . . George Benson will evidently follow up here with ‘Feel Like Making Love‘ (sensible!), then ‘Inside Love (So Personal)‘ after that . . . Bluebird Records this coming month re-release Lonnie Liston Smith ‘Expansions‘ — which is inspired timing, as next week’s newie from Atmosfear, ‘What Do We Do‘ is basically ‘Expansions’ set to a 117bpm rhythm box instead of their old inconsistent drummer (and rumours of law suits are already flying!) . . . Steve Harvey, off to the States to negotiate deals for ‘Something Special’, tells me his follow-up will be “heavier and not so commercial maybe”, with Carol Kenyon and Billy Ocean amongst backup singers . . . Katie Kissoon has resurfaced on a mystery white label promoed Jive 12in, ‘You’re The One (You’re My Number One)‘, a Darryl Payne-produced formularized plodding creaky 119bpm lurcher with electronic handclaps and bass synth, in four versions . . . Ghanaian Band Kabbala, currently on a short tour, in a fortnight release ‘Yemo Osee (Rejoice)‘ on Red Flame — they’re at the Bracknell Jazz Festival this Sunday (3) . . . Leatherhead’s “all star garden party” last Saturday was in a field fifty times too big for the crowd who turned up, mainly comprised of Gary Crowley & Mick Brown punters who were happy to jump up and down to ‘Contact’, ‘Instant Replay’ and ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag’ while being showered with T-shirts and Capital stickers — which left a little knot of black funkateers in their midst defiantly trying to get down to some insufficiently amplified hard jazz on a ghetto blaster! . . . I had a good time, actually, with plenty of people to talk to, but if I hear ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ again I’ll scream! . . . Showstopper’s recent South of France trip turned out to be based in a half completed new town, with the disco miles away down unlit streets and hostile natives who still reckon we’re fighting Napoleon — and I do hear there was a certain amount of fighting between various husbands and wives in the DJ team, too! . . . US cable TV will soon step up play of black music videos via Black Entertainment Television (with four million national subscribers) and Warner Amex’s Qube system (in just five cities) — the more coverage they get, the more will be made, and available for club use here . . . New York record mixer/producer John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez is due to make his own recording debut on Streetwise . . . Keith Jonas (Sale) has again compiled a list of the top as yet unissued imports for the last three months (including this week), which in order are the Chi-Lites (due soon) Lavias, Advance (due soon), Leon Haywood, Tania Maria, Paul Simpson Connection, Charles Earland, Muscle Shoals Horns, Burgess Gardner, Vaughan Mason & Butch Dayo. Keith also reminds us the US group called Galaxy had an import album on Arista in 1979 containing the single ‘You And Me‘, plus Keith suggests as the fourth track on my hypothetical ‘Philly Hits’ 4-track 12in Jean Carn ‘Don’t Let It Go To Your Head‘ . . . I thought it had to be Jean Carn myself, but like Freddy (“a punter” from Marlow) I’d go for ‘Was That All It Was?‘ . . . Freddy incidentally wonders, “are companies promoting properly if songs like Gwen McCrae ‘Keep The Fire Burning‘ fail to sell?” — that was certainly one that got away . . . Tom Holland, back on the buns, is having fun rooting out material for his alternative soul Sunday midnight-2am show on Radio Horizon 94.4FM . . . I broke my annual diet after discovering Messrs Walls’ horribly addictive new big Feast — I wish they weren’t so good! . . . Warner Bros as a label in the States seems to be mutating into WEA, to judge from the brand new import by Serge Ponsar and UK release by Al Jarreau, both on WEA . . . Flash Gordon (who in an unguarded moment reveals he’s really called Gordon Viney!) now has a day job managing the Plastic Wax Records shop in Cheltenham Road, Bristol, but still jocks at a new local club in Bedminster called McClouds (if the neighbours complain it’s all down to the name!) — he also mutters that pluggers Eyes & Ears don’t seem to appreciate a bad record can’t be pushed in a club because the reaction is face to face . . . Cleveland Area DJ Association invites any bona fide DJ to join members at their meeting the first Sunday every month (ie: this Sunday 3) at 7.30pm in the Odd Fellow Arms, Thornaby . . . Mark Barker (Brighton) reckons Morgan Khan should try a one-off ‘Street Sounds’-style compilation of Boys Town hits, — he suggests Norma Lewis, Hazell Dean, Menage, American Fade, Sylvester, Bobby ‘O’ and more — which could actually be a surprisingly big seller as it’s all just pop music, but possibly more up Marvin Howell’s street at ERC? . . . Friday (1) is the grand final at Haringey Bolts of the National Gay Disco Dancing Championships 1983 . . . Soul To Soul do a funky get down (part 5) at Haverstock Hill’s Hampstead Country Club this Friday . . . Dundee’s Barracuda (great decor if it’s still like it used to be) this Sunday (3) has a Scotland & England jazz-funk alldayer (noon-midnight) with Bill Davidson, Bob Jeffries, John Courtney, Colin Curtis, Kev Edwards, Baz Williams, Alex Lowes . . . Boscombe’s Academy celebrates American Independence Day, July the 4th (Monday), with those well known Americans Central Line live (plus a £1000 motor boat raffle) . . . Tuesday (5) the mixing and rapping Mastermind Roadshow starts weekly at Soho Ronnie Scott’s Maze . . . Lyndon T & Gordon Mac funk it just around the corner at Jean Pierre’s in Soho’s Greek Street every Monday & Tuesday, £3 admission with first drink included, Tuesday cryptically dubbed ‘Flashdance Nite’ . . . Gary Raymond is now the sole DJ (that’s sole, not soul!) at Leicester Square’s Maximus Club, which should interest tourists . . . Dave Higgins is still after versatile jocks for Scottish “lounge” work, on Helensburgh (0436) 83261 . . . Chris Cole (Cranleigh) says a great mixer though not outstanding in its own right is Brilliant ‘Colours‘ (Risk 12in, via Rough Trade) — no, I haven’t had it . . . Roger Davis (Birmingham Boogies) is in luck, his club’s unobtainable monster sound has just been twin-packed as a US remix, the 122bpm ‘Kiss Me‘ by Tin Tin now packaged with the new 128bpm ‘Hold It‘ 12in (WEA X9763T) for pop fans . . . Mecca’s Nottingham regional director John De Holton reminisces in the current Mecca house-mag that in his days as head DJ at the Leeds Locarno, none other than Jimmy Savile OBE used to time all his records by a Beats Per Minute system . . . Pete Tong may be interested to know that Monk Higgins originally recorded ‘Who-Dun-It?‘ in 1966 on the St Lawrence label . . . Jim Kershaw (Sheffield), in our New Cars Section, is dead impressed by his new Vauxhall Nova SR 1.2 L Hatchback, £4,273 on the road, average 47.5mpg, appreciably cheaper and yet a size bigger than the BL Metro — and adds Jim, with a bumper level hatch and enough space for a standard size disco console and six boxes of records (presumably someone follows on a bike with the speakers?) . . . hey, hey, LET’S DRIVE CAREFULLY OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

GARY BYRD & THE G.B EXPERIENCE: ‘The Crown’ (US Wondirection 4507WG)
Produced, co-penned, played on and partly sung by Stevie Wonder, this marathon 10½ minute ‘Good Times’-type 108½bpm 12in rapper will obviously be huge and really trucks with a continuous lyric that makes out civilization as we know it actually began in a mythical black kingdom called Alkebu (yeah, say it loud, I’m Alkeban and I’m proud!), Stevie’s vocal halfway being retained on the instrumental flip.

ARETHA FRANKLIN: ‘Get It Right’ LP (Arista 205544)
Aretha’s latest Luther Vandross-produced set (largely co-penned by Luther with Marcus Miller) contains two strong dancers, the rolling beefy 120-121-123(break)-122-124bpm title track thunker already being on US 12in (with a new instrumental flip) but the real killer is the much cleaner 114(very start)-117½bpm ‘Every Girl (Wants My Guy)‘ strutting smacker. A sultry 0-41½-84bpm revival of The Temptations ‘I Wish It Would Rain‘ doesn’t really cut through on the floor, while other slowies include the jogging 97bpm ‘Pretender’, 102bpm ‘When You Love Me Like That’, and swaying 99bpm ‘I Got Your Love’.

CLUB HOUSE: ‘Do It Again medley with Billie Jean’ (Italian Many Records MN 501)
At the exact same 116½bpm 12in speed as Michael Jackson, this brilliant blending of his tune and the Steely Dan classic weaves the bass lines together and swaps vocals as it progresses (re-recorded, not the original versions of course). Likely to be a massive crossover smash, and the start of yet another medley trend! Continue reading “July 2, 1983: Gary Byrd & The G.B. Experience, Aretha Franklin, Club House, Serge Ponsar, Lonnie Liston Smith”

June 25, 1983: Isley Brothers, Mary Jane Girls, Victor Tavares, The O’Jays, “D” Train

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

SOUTH AFRICAN jazzers Sakhile somehow are tied in with Jive, who will release the thus far extremely hard to find ‘Sakhile‘ here — which is good news! . . . PRT picked up Lonnie Liston Smith, his album being due soon but ‘Never Too Late‘ on single even sooner . . . Aretha Franklin’s latest Luther Vandross-produced set is intended to be a simultaneous US and UK release on July 1, if Arista can ‘Get It Right‘ (the name of the album) . . . James Brown follows up his ‘Blues Brothers’ movie appearance in the new Dan Ackroyd flick, ‘Doctor Detroit’ — which explains why the 7in copy of Devo’s ‘Theme From Doctor Detroit‘ (MCA 822) is selling better than the 12in, as only the 7in flip features Mr Brown’s archetypal 125bpm ‘King Of Soul‘ (far better than his official new release!) . . . Phonogram’s ‘Wired For Clubs‘ compilation has finally surfaced, now so late it looks like an oldies album . . . I’ve done some gigs in my time but last Friday’s Grenadier Guards regimental ball was a mind blower: I was in an authentically decorated Arabian tent next to a Tudor palace amidst rolling parkland in the middle of West London, with Allan Bailey’s New Collection plus two other regimental dance bands playing simultaneously in the house, after 1,060 people had sat down at circular tables in the biggest tent I’ve ever seen (a 14 poler!) to eat fresh seafood (bits of crab, lobster, scallop, mackerel etc) and a whole not-so-baby chicken each . . . I went on until 6.30am (par for the course) after in fact the waltz from ‘Swan Lake’ had been even more of a show stopper than usual — in all the excitement (yes, I know it seems unlikely) a glass got emptied all over my console’s mains input and I had to cut short the ensuing Busby Berkley tap-dancing session as all the metal was giving me electric shocks for a while! . . . Honi Coles, veteran 1930’s tap dancer, won a Tony award as best actor in a musical for his role in ‘My One And Only’ on Broadway — back in the ’60s he used to compere the Thursday night amateur contest at Harlem’s Apollo . . . James Lewis, mixing for years, reckons he’s presenting the only soul/disco radio show in the whole of Wales — on University Radio Abertawe in Swansea, Saturday mornings 9-11am on 312m MW (if you park near the campus walls!): anyway, he’s after mailing list recognition and offers of proper radio or club gigs on 0792- 896928 . . . Greg Parrott (Oxford 730529) recently opened Oxford’s Boodles on Sunday afternoons 4-7pm for a kids disco and may still be looking for a DJ under 18 who’d like to use the club’s equipment and records at the gig . . . Martin John is trying to revitalise Croydon by funking Laurels (ex-Scamps) on Thursdays — Robbie Vincent guests on July 7 and live bands are planned eventually, but meanwhile Martin would like to hear from artists for PAs on 01-464 4719 . . . Southend’s Zero 6 gives free admission to everyone dressed for the beach at this Thursday’s (23) beach party . . . Trevor Hughes this week starts fortnightly Fridays (24) at Stirchley Studios (Telford), hoping to feature a mixture of funky vintages as not only “early funk” but even current Brass Construction, Kashif and Booker Newberry III are considered as Northern Newies locally . . . John DeSade now funks Bearsted’s Tudor House near Maidstone every Friday, promising plenty of PAs and promotions . . . Les Knott, still getting a great atmosphere Sundays, has added Fridays at Old Harlow Joseph’s — which you need to reach early to get in . . . Saturday (25) sees Greg Edwards, Robbie Vincent, Steve Walsh, Gary Crowley, Phil Allen, Mick Brown, Al Matthews plus Push, Midnite “live” and PAs including Galaxy at an ‘All-Star Garden Party’ in the grounds of Leatherhead Leisure Centre from 3pm-midnight — mmm-hmm, put my name on the gate, lads, I might come to that if it’s fine! . . . Paul James, regularly Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun at the Hamilton Club, moves across Birkenhead to Stairways Nightclub just next Wednesday (29) for a mixing session . . . Kelly has transported his ‘Midnight Motown Fandango’ to Bournemouth’s Academy on Friday nights for a few weeks — ie: he revives all the Motown oldies that Tommy Boy’s target audience is too young to remember! . . . Dave Chadwick currently just charts the hits at Catterick’s The Scorpion but reckons his weekly 1,500 punters are into upfront disco and futuristic so what about some mailing list recognition then? — yes, what about it indeed, sir? . . . Michael Wycoff’s US single is ‘There’s No Easy Way‘, penned by Richard Jon Smith . . . The SOS Band ‘Just Be Good To Me‘ (US Tabu) were due after my weekly import-buying visit to Rayners Lane (on 7in it sounded a good purposeful Y & P-ish jogger), while the Zapp-produced New Horizons LP (US Columbia) in ‘Reaching For New Horizons‘ has potentially another ‘Do You Really Want An Answer?’ . . . Neil Fincham (Edinburgh Mad Hatters Speakeasy) after much trial and error has decided that East Scotland’s best import stockist is The Other Record Shop at 46 High Street, Edinburgh (discounts for regular spenders) . . . Nick Davies was recently visited at Watford’s New Penny by George ‘n’ Andrew of Wham, with acetates of their LP from which the Latin flavoured next single ‘Club Tropicana‘ and a revival of the Miracles ‘Love Machine‘ stood out . . . Brother to Brother (Stanmore Chevaliers) say an all-time killer mix is the Jacksons ‘Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)’ into Mongo Santamaria ‘Watermelon Man’ (Tappan Zee 12in version presumably?), while Michael Jackson ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ synched at the unaccompanied “mama see mama sa, mama makossa” into the opening handclaps of Weeks & Co ‘Knock Knock’ kills John Dene (Dunstable Tiffany’s Sat/Sun, Harlow Tiffany’s Fri, Guildford Cinderella Rockerfellas Mon, open to offers for the other nights!) . . . ‘Street Sounds —Edition 4’ makes a mockery of the chart I supplied for the inner liner, and contains only the 7in edit of C.O.D./Brunson . . . Arrow ‘Hot Hot Hot’ turns out to be on Chrysalis AIR label, while last week Newtrament became Nutrament and Malaco came out as Malco (again) . . . Breakers are missing this week as there are hardly enough hot records to compile even a full Disco 85, and apart from a few fast sellers it seems overall soul sales are quiet too at the moment . . . Boys Town Disco chart movements slowed up again after the inclusion of some less than upfront new contributors — with such a small sample, if this is to be an up to date shopping list we do need to know about the newies as well as Norma Lewis, you guys! . . . Adrian Dunbar specifically on Wednesdays at Southampton Warehouse is getting buses of boys from all over the mid-South, but has already stopped Sundays at Birmingham Millionaires . . . Tricky Dicky at Stratford (East London) boys venue The Pigeons this Saturday (25) is puttin’ on The Ritz, who take it all off . . . I see 12 guys got expelled from my old school for smoking pot last week — in my day there, you were more likely to be given the shove for being caught with a woman! . . . hey, hey, LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

ISLEY BROTHERS: ‘Between The Sheets’ (Epic TA 3513)
Marvin Gaye/Mtume style sexually healing superb sensual 83bpm smoocher, their biggest import seller in ages as a 7in, now in the UK on 5-track 12in followed by its 84bpm instrumental and flipped by — not a medley, as previously misinformed — three separate oldies, the yowling guitar climaxed 34/69-75-77-78-74-79bpm ‘Summer Breeze’, ever accelerating 122-128bpm ‘That Lady (Parts 1 & 2)’ and ditto c.116(intro)-28-133-0bpm ‘Harvest For The World’.

MARY JANE GIRLS: ‘All Night Long’ (Gordy TMGT 1309)
Now here’s the hit from the Rick James Girls’ set … and if you can’t sing along to it already, you obviously haven’t been to a soul club since Easter! The next Sunfire/Billy Griffin, it’s a dynamite slinky sensuous 98bpm 12in groove with husky muttering and cooing over heartbeat bass before the sax finale — and this is where La Famille’s UK cover version will benefit, as stupidly there’s no instrumental flip!

VICTOR TAVARES: ‘Show Me’ (Malaco MAL 120010, via Pinnacle)
Extremely effective dead simple 110½bpm 12in smacker with chix-answered catchy title line chanting repetitive lyrics over a phased backbeat (instrumental flip), only ever about in eagerly sought limited numbers on import and now out here. Continue reading “June 25, 1983: Isley Brothers, Mary Jane Girls, Victor Tavares, The O’Jays, “D” Train”

June 18, 1983: Oliver Cheatham, Manhattans, Bohannon, Terri Wells, La Famille

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THIS WEEK Motown rush Mary Jane Girls ‘All Night Long’ on 12in ahead of schedule to counteract the cover by La Famile . . . Karen Young ‘You Don’t Know What You’ve Got‘ has been repressed on Firebird/Pinnacle (FLAME 40T) with the superior 124bpm import ‘Party Mix‘ as flip . . . Pagoda ‘Finders Keepers’ / ‘We’re Alright Tonight’ has been belatedly picked up by Chrysalis . . . Status IV does not have any Toney Lee spliced into it on UK pressings — who told me it did? — and also please note the ‘Street Sounds — Edition 4’ dealer price was quoted last week, you’ll have to pay a crippling £3.99! . . . Bermondsey Dun Cow resident Ron ‘Spider’ Baker in his quest for copyright-cleared video material now finds himself able to supply it himself, hour long tapes containing around 18 bands (mainly pop acts to start with) with a weekly charge to cover copyright fees, full details on 01-674 3301 . . . David Emery is launching his own Pacific Promotions independent plugging service for Scotland and the North East, covering radio plus wine bar and other listening-type DJs as well as just disco, with a few more really upfront product-breaking jocks needed from Edinburgh/Glasgow/Dundee/Perth/Teeside/Tyneside (no other areas) — apply to Avenue House, 31 Fern Avenue, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (0632 814001) . . . Carl Kingston, a veteran from 1977 of the Israel based The Voice Of Peace offshore commercial radio station, is now its UK representative and looking for experienced presenters (any Sunday pirates fancy a real life on the ocean wave?) — send audition tapes and CVs to Carl at 187 Chanterlands Avenue, Hull, North Humberside, HU5 3TL . . . Paul & Robin Wheelers Jacksons nightclub in Staines reopens with air-conditioning and new decor early next month in a three pronged celebration for which free (before 9.30pm) invitations are available on Staines 53193 to cover Thursday July 7 alternative music, Friday (8) jazz-funk, Sat (9) disco — take your pick! . . . Booker Newberry III is very apparent, though younger sounding, on Sweet Thunder’s 111bpm ‘Everybody’s Singin’ Love Songs‘ and — especially, though it’s less danceable — the ‘Sweet Thunder’ flip from ’78 (US Fantasy WMOT 12in) . . . Roger Davis (Birmingham Boogies) says following ‘Love Town’ the popularity of McFadden & Whitehead ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ has increased to the extent that what was always a floor-filling oldie, is now requested like a newie . . . Philadelphia International being about to wind up, or at any rate re-cycling old product at the moment, couldn’t CBS step in with a killer 4-track 12in containing McFadden & Whitehead, Billy Paul ‘Bring The Family Back’, O’Jays ‘I Love Music’ and — any suggestions? . . . ‘Philly’s Hits’ could clean up the ghetto right now, as there’s a whole new generation out there who missed ’em first time . . . Stateside Irene Cara is top Dance/Disco, Mtume top Black hit — and to avoid confusion with another act, Galaxy featuring Phil Fearon in the USA is listed as just Fearon . . . Nicky Holloway & Sean French this Thursday (16) kick off weekly jazz-soul at Watford Odeon Film Centre’s Gema’s (Sean had better keep clear of the Ponderosa if he wants to stay slim!) . . . Tony Simmons, at Luton Dance Centre every Thursday, starts Friday (17) spinning “sophisticated music” weekly at Luton Mirrors, in Doublets Nightclub . . . Brother To Brother at Stanmore Chevaliers this weekend feature northern visitors Baz Williams on Friday (17), Kev Edwards on Saturday (18) . . . Brian Mason as well as Saturdays at St Albans Adelaide Disco Wine Bar has added Mon/Tues/Wed with free admission those new nights . . . Sean Brett emphasises jazz at his Heywood Vickys (Sun)/Bury Peelers (Mon) gigs, and slips “some heavy tackle” into the commercial fund whenever possible at Rawtenstall’s The Royal (Thurs/Sat) . . . Guildford Cinderellas Rockerfellas has a midsummer Xmas Eve party next Wednesday (22) . . . I’m doing the Grenadier Guards regimental ball at Syon House this Friday, guest of honour the Colonel in Chief, HRH Prince Philip — now let’s face it, those are the sort of gigs to get! . . . Ray Carter “and friends” (considering who he produces these days there should be some surprises!) are at Mayfair Gullivers on Wednesday (22) . . . Miquel Brown finishes her boys town tour Thur (6) Oxford Coven, Fri (17) Bournemouth Cabaret, Sat (18) Southampton Magnum . . . Brighton Bolts returns to Sherrys this Sunday (19), except Sherrys is now called the Pink Coconut . . . Adrian Dunbar’s first boys town venture at Birmingham Millionaires went so well he’s now repeating the exercise every Sunday . . . I was exploring the sunny South Wales coast last Sunday and spotted a signpost to Boy’s Village — full of cottages, no doubt! . . . Alan Coulthard’s special mixes are of Wham and a late ’70s medley on the current Disco Mix Club cassette pack — Tony Prince says membership is now 360 and growing . . . Pete Haigh’s current “urban contemporary” fave on Thursdays at Standish Cassinelli’s is Yazoo’s “alternative B-side” ‘State Farm‘ . . . John Tracy (Sheffield) mixes Prince Charles ‘Jungle Stomp’/Sinnamon ‘Fierce Remix’/Shirley Lites/Freeez ‘I Dub You’ for a 20 minute floorfiller . . . The Jonzun Crew ‘We Are The Jonzun Crew‘ / Instrumental (US Tommy Boy 12in) has been slightly remixed . . . Labour’s Denis Healey amongst other indiscretions recently gave a whopping plug on telly to the Japanese Datsun Cherry, saying how much better value it is than the British Maestro — I have to agree, as since the end of April I’ve been driving a 3-door Cherry 1.3GL which with extra rust proofing, stereo and full year’s road fund all included cost £4,500 at Datsun Acton, gives me a hard-driving average 42.2mpg, and somehow feels like an expensive large car inside a small car’s body . . . Chris Ellis, a fellow Soul On Sound defector (he didn’t get paid anything!) really has landed in Corfu, where if you don’t want ‘Disco Bouzouki’ every other record the more soulful clubs are La Boum (Corfu Town), Atalaya (Dassia), Albatross (Ipsos), Spiros Disco (Paleokastritsa) . . . Paul Haig’s label Les Disques De Crepuscule translates as The Records Of Dusk — I happen to know as while growing up in Paris I was intrigued by the French title for Elvis Presley’s film ‘Love Me Tender’, ‘Le Chevalier Du Crepuscule’ (‘The Horseman Of The Dusk’ — although ‘Twilight Rider’ sounds less literal!) . . . Eyes & Ears Nicky McKenzie has now caught mailing list jocks ticking off on reaction forms that their local record shop is stocking a title that’s not yet been released — come on, there’s enough paperwork without having to worry about niggling details like that! . . . LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

OLIVER CHEATHAM: ‘Get Down Saturday Night’ (MCA MCAT 828)
Newly extended after the great rhythm break for UK 12in, this dynamite compulsive 116¾bpm soul trotter is simplicity itself with uncluttered lean beat and virtuoso vocal work combining into perfection. A smash!

MANHATTANS: ‘Crazy’ (US Columbia 44-03940)
Hotter than they’ve been for years, penned/produced by John Anderson & Steve Williams for Mighty M Productions this chunkily tripping 112½bpm 12in floater has soulful feathery vocal lightness and nice sax woven into a slick sparse modern tugging rhythm (instrumental flip).

BOHANNON: ‘Let’s Start The Dance III’ (US Compleat/Phase II CPD-204)
Oh well, with the hits drying up Hamilton B returns yet again to revamp his classic — and who’s complaining? Now remixed and overdubbed by Francois Kevorkian it’s still the basic hard driving original but given a brand new 120(intro)-119-118-119-118bpm 12in veneer, very different from ‘Let’s Start II Dance Again’, great out of ‘Zwei’. Continue reading “June 18, 1983: Oliver Cheatham, Manhattans, Bohannon, Terri Wells, La Famille”

June 11, 1983: Canute, George Benson, Michael Wycoff, Wickett, Electric Mind

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

ISLEY BROTHERS ‘Between The Sheets’ on UK 12in hopefully in a fortnight will have vocal and instrumental versions on the A-side, flipped by a medley of the old ‘Summer Breeze/That Lady/Harvest For The World’ — is that hot?! . . . Fatback’s fabulous ‘Is This The Future?’ is now on import 12in (US Spring SPR-12-411) in its original album form, flipped by a drastic remix which to accustomed ears ruins the track with sax spoiling the intro and all sorts of other groove disrupting stuff . . . Shalamar take their admiration of all things Anglo to ludicrous lengths on their ‘Dead Giveaway‘ newie, which is 149bpm pure pop and not disco or soul at all . . . Phonogram have put on promo only a Kool & The Gang ‘Ladies Night — ’83 Remix‘ to help plug the ‘Twice As Kool’ album — with a brand new intro and some “hey hey lady” additions it’s now a significantly different 113(intro)-110-111-112-115-112-115-114-117bpm . . . Polydor plan to release Advance in July — question is, will anyone even remember it then? . . . TMT have spiced into Status IV a bit of Toney Lee ‘Reach Up’ for 12in release soon — hopefully it’ll strengthen floor response as excellent vocals apart and chart placing notwithstanding, the beat at the moment doesn’t in honesty really grab ’em . . . Richard Jon Smith’s newie later this month will have a free cassette given with the first 5,000 copies, containing a 28:20-long medley of all his singles which I put together last week — ‘Baby’s Got Another/Stay With Me Tonight/Keep On Walkin’ Out That Door/Don’t Go Walkin’ Out That Door/She’s The Master (Of The Game)/This Is The Moment/Love Is What I’m After’ — the actual 4-track 12in being three versions of the 113bpm ‘She’s The Master (Of The Game)‘ (stupid title and, although it grew on me with familiarity, weakest of them all to my mind) plus the much stronger “ooh aah” punctuated 112¾bpm ‘Love Is What I’m After‘ (Jive JIVE T 38) . . . Alan Coulthard as you may have gathered has been busy creating special superstar megamixes for the now flourishing Disco Mix Club, brainchild of Tony Prince who actually quit his executive role at Radio Luxembourg to concentrate on this new concept, which as a recent advertisement revealed, supplies subscribing DJs/club managers (no general public allowed) with monthly packages of three cassettes and a good little DJ magazine, the cassettes (every individual track pre-cued by a jingle stab) divided up with one containing the Coulthard material — a superstar megamix (Michael Jackson, Imagination I’ve heard so far), a pop dance mix, and a funk disco floorfiller mix marathon — and then two containing a wide range of brand new dance records verbally identified by Prince: so, given a brace of cassette decks and your own microphone to cover any hiccups, you need never buy an actual record again! (details on 06286-63227) . . . I only recently was given the Disco Mix Club packs, and had held back on commenting about the scheme obviously until having the chance to judge it myself . . . Alan’s Michael Jackson mix was recently pressed in vinyl by CBS for distribution to record dealers as a promo only, one copy each, definitely not for sale — which seems pretty silly, as there’s guys out there forcing their grannies into white slavery to raise enough money to maybe bribe their local shop manager into slipping it under the counter (£50 is the oft quoted going offer, in fact)! . . . CBS’s distribution/pressing set up was on strike last week, causing aggro for record dealers and all the other CBS-distributed/pressed labels like Virgin and WEA — with shortages in the shops, a lot of hits will appear to dip in this week’s pop chart, and newies like I Level won’t even get started . . . Morgan Khan’s ‘Street Sounds — Edition 4‘ has been another worry for record dealers, as customers have stopped buying the featured singles while waiting for the budget priced album’s release — it’s got Sunfire ‘Young Free And Single’ / Mtume ‘Juicy Fruit’ / Gladys Knight ‘Overtime’ / “D” Train ‘Music’ / Maze ‘Love Is The Key’ / First Light ‘Daybreak’ / Class Action ‘Weekend’ / Forrest ‘Feel The Need’ / Luther Vandross ‘Sweetest One’ / Lenny White ‘Didn’t Know’ / Ingram ‘Groovin’ On A Groove’ / C.O.D. ‘Bottle/Smurf Megamix’ all full 12in versions, all for £2.43 (STSND 004) — could it be just too good for its own health? . . . Soul On Sound were still only paying me the same as when they started for my preview mix medleys and I decided for the amount of work involved it really wasn’t enough — so on the latest edition you’ll find a lot of rhythm breaks strung together by Xenon’s Peter Romer instead . . . Edgbaston’s Faces French club chain looks like adding two new venues later this year, and DJ boss Steve Dennis is checking out potential jocks by giving them guest spots at Faces — apply to him on 021-643 9433 weekday afternoons . . . Al Jarreau’s ‘Mornin’ video must’ve cost a fortune, he’s totally incorporated into a brand new but nostalgically old fashioned fully animated cartoon! . . . Tania Maria returns to London with her own group for a show at the Dominion on July 17 (box office 01-580 9562) . . . Chris Bangs revives the legendary Rio venue at Didcot Hadden Hill) this and every Friday now, promising a jazzy bias, aided by Gino . . . Martin Collins, Brother Louie, Ralph Tee & Shaun James get out the tackle this Friday too (10) at Aylesbury Civic Centre (Aston Hall), in aid of spina bifida . . . Fatman Graham Canter, now manager at Soho’s Le Beat Route, starts from this Friday selling all standard spirits for 50p a shot, all night every night! . . . Haringey Bolts annual National Gay Disco Dancing Championships currently through June has heats at boys town venues all over mainland Britain, culminating in the final at Bolts on July 1 . . . Miquel Brown meanwhile continues her boys town tour through Derby Gossips (Thur 9), Newcastle Rockshots (Fri), Edinburgh Fire Island (Sat), Birmingham Nightingales (Tues), Bristol Oasis (Wed), Oxford Coven (Thur 16) . . . Mary Wells is live at Mayfair Gullivers on Wednesday (15) . . . Millie Jackson on telly last week certainly showed fitting contempt for the candyfloss sentiments of ‘My Man A Sweet Man’, her only UK hit (for one week at 50 in 1972) — so why did she feel obliged to perform it (funny though her treatment was)? . . . I was watching at home, unfortunately with my mother, who kept saying “She isn’t black, I mean not really BLACK”, and “This isn’t soul music is it?” — no, not much, Ma! . . . Russ Winstanley has compiled a little ‘Wigan Casino Story’ booklet, available by post for 56p from him at Tiffanys, Standishgate, Wigan — or for 40p over the counter there at the allniter this Fnday (10) . . . North West DJ Association’s mobile-orientated disco exhibition is this Sunday (12) at Stockport’s Belgrade Hotel, Dialstone Lane, 11am-5pm . . . Maurice Bransfield of Moonfleet Records at 169 Clapham High Street, London SW4 infos that the recently mentioned Lee Lynch ‘Famous Shamus‘ is on Blue Angel (BA 001) and available from the shop’s huge stock of Irish records — they also do lotsa oldies, party stuff for mobiles, and all the current funk/dance stuff including imports . . . Huddersfield’s group called Galaxy have become Brazelia, with a self titled ‘Brazelia’ fast c.128bpm percussive instrumental samba flier on Broad Star 7in — however, Tony Monson on the radio said he had a 12in, so could someone get one to me please? . . . Paul Major, now ensconced at Hinckley Bubbles, has finally found an outlet for his voluminous jottings by turning them into a ‘Polly Promotions’ house mag for the Mecca disco chain . . . Gary Oldis dropped his Bee Jays nights in Darlington to concentrate on just the Bee Jays Country Club at Aycliffe . . . Cosmic seems increasingly busy with gigs now including three nights at Basildon New Yorker/Liberties, where for some reason he calls the Monday teen scene “Zit Night”! . . . Sean Brett, at Heywood Vickys every Sunday, has just added Mondays with Ricky Patrick at Bury Peelers . . . Kev Edwards & Baz Williams now soul Preston Clouds Tudor Room every Tuesday . . . Manchester’s Mike Shaft apparently hasn’t the necessary to launch his new mag ‘Groovin’ just now — or is that ‘NOW’? . . . Arthur Baker, hot New Yorker producer/mixer, turns out against probably most peoples mental image to be white, short, 26, with long dark hair and beard — not that there’s anything wrong with that! . . . Michael Jackson’s new 12in is not flipped by his original ‘Rock With You’ but disappointingly by The Jacksons’ live 121-120-0bpm version — which is OK in fact . . . Finis Henderson ‘School Girl’ ain’t as fast as all that (1125bpm printed last week!), it’s only 115bpm, while soul stars visiting Anglesey’s Minnies can probably double-up PAs at Bodelwydan Poppeys, 40 miles away (any week!) . . . 12in imports in the past fortnight that seemed less than essential were by Stone (be warned!), Skyy, Futura, Attitude, Brutus, Newcleus, Earons, Pamela Nivens, electro ones by Midnight Star, Private Sector, Brian & Zan, Little Toni Marsh, and an interesting sort of ‘Let’s Twist Again’ idea in the shape of Chase ‘Back To Funky Town‘ (US Central Park 12in) by ‘Funky Town’s original Lipps Inc producer; LP imports included soulful Anita Baker (Beverly Glen Music), GC Cameron (Malaco), plus disappointing Phyllis Hyman (Arista), predictable Chuck Mangione (US Columbia), duff One Two Three (Prelude), Strangers (Salsoul) . . . Gullivers resident Graham Gold about turns on I Level, he thinks the B-side is nice but this time rates the new A-side as “awful” — ooh, what will Pete Tong say? . . . Phil Mitchell at Newcastle Julies was surprised that visiting Harlem Globetrotters hadn’t even heard of Maze . . . Camberley’s Frenchies club incidentally had its 6th birthday last week . . . Midnite not surprisingly now want paying for PAs: while leaving a PA at Epping Forest Country Club a huge fight broke out in the car park and their van was badly damaged — and then at London’s Busbys new singer Carla suddenly realised that the dance troupe on stage were using her handbag as a prop, minus her purse and 50 quid . . . remember, LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!


HOT VINYL

CANUTE: ‘Turn It Up’ (Loose End Records LET 106, via MCA)
Linx’s one-time guitarist has an unusual husky sorta shouting vocal style which sounds distinctively different (slightly “D” Train) on an incredibly infectious pounding remorseless 118½bpm 12in smacker — all about turning up the music as loud as it’ll go in defiance of authority! — set to this great driving beat that just don’t quit, and which is more blatantly electronic on the (co-writer) Roy Hamilton-ish instrumental flip. This really struts!

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Feel Like Making Love’ (LP ‘In Your Eyes’ Warner Bros 92-3744-1)
The quality laden Arif Mardin-produced set starts with its immediate smash killer, Roberta’s classic taken at an easy 112bpm backbeat (great with Dick Smith ‘Sunny’), the other instant standout being the acappella harmony introed creamily thrumming 102bpm ‘Never Too Far To Fall‘ (with trick pause towards end), there being further news of the Kashif-penned speedy 117½bpm ‘Inside Love’ US single in the review below, while other cuts include the gently harmonised steadily ticking 105bpm ‘Love Will Come Again‘, lush old-style smoochy instrumental 0-68/34-0bpm ‘Being With You’, gradually unfurling delicate 103bpm ‘Use Me’, and a couple of Lionel Richie-ish pop radio ballads.

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Inside Love (So Personal)’ (US Warner Bros 0-20110)
Keeping tabs on Benson’s vinyl configurations gets harder! Here’s the Kashif-penned/co-produced US single now on 12in with — just for a change — a much extended dynamite tripping scat ‘n’ guitar filled 117bpm instrumental remix as A-side, flipped by the suddenly less effective LP length vocal version (plus of course ‘In Search Of A Dream’!). It’s hot! Continue reading “June 11, 1983: Canute, George Benson, Michael Wycoff, Wickett, Electric Mind”