GOOD LETTERS are coming in about the difference between mobile and club D-Jing . . . thanx!
Martin Peters (Worksop Tiffanys, Notts), a resident DJ who goes mobile on his night off from the club, has these sensible things to say: “One good thing about mobile work is you can give your best on mobile gigs – play your best records and crack all your best jokes – whereas in a club you tend to play the same discs because you know what music the customers like and expect you to play. In my disco it’s mainly Soul.”
A point that I’d like to raise here: club work probably keeps a DJ more flexible as he’s playing to much the same crowd all the time, while a mobile jock’s carefully worked out “party pieces” will seem fresh at every gig unless he’s on a very restricted circuit.
I’m afraid that some of my special record sequences have been the same for years . . . but then they do get requested in their own right! As he’s the first DJ to mention the more lunatic records that he uses to liven up his show, Martin’s choice is this week’s Hot Tip – and the best thing in his whole letter is what he says about his choice: “Some people might pull faces at these names, but to see your audience smile when you play ’em is fabulous.
From Martin Peters: FRANKIE HOWERD AND JUNE WHITFIELD’S comedy version of Je T’Aime (Pye); PETER SARSTEDT’s Take Off Your Clothes (UA); DICK EMERY’s comedy Conga-type You Are Awful (Pye); plus various tracks from Benny Hill’s Ernie LP (Columbia), which Martin says is a knockout. Now then, don’t pull faces!
LOOK, MA NO HANDS
NOTHING’S TOO good for the Disco Page, and to prove it the classy chassis pictured here could set you back by between £1800 and £5000, depending on the amount of luxury extras you want with it. A Rolls-Royce amongst Minis, this superb console’s most exciting gimmick is possibly its remote push – button start for all three record decks and tape deck. Definitely not a mobile unit, it’s designed for permanent use in clubs, pubs, liners and the like by BACCHUS International Discotheque Services of 30 Redan Street London W14 OAB (01 – 602 6292). The whole desk comprises such items as three Goldring Lenco GL78 turntables with Shure SC35C cartridges, AKG mike and cans, two 100 watt EMI PW101 power amps (driving two Tannoy 15inch. HPD 85 watt speakers), mixer with full pre-fade cueing on all inputs, standby mixer, switch panel for fifteen lighting effects (which are extra), controls for additional background music speakers, and built-in record storage for 100 albums and 600 singles. The storage bins are raked so that the sleeves can be found at a glance. Now, how much is your club manager prepared to spend on you?!
White Label Crazy
HARRY HASTINGS PALM BEACH ORCHESTRA: She’s A Great, Great Girl (Bell 1434)
Reggae jocks may guard their white label pressings but it’s not often you find an MoR jock hoarding his – but then, how often has an MoR jock anything to hide? Well, this one’s got something right now! It’s pretty safe to say that every mobile mixed-age party jock is going to be playing the hell out of this crazy little ditty before the summer is through . . . but they’re going to have to be kept in suspenders until it comes out in a few weeks, and I’ve got one of the only white labels in existence. Believe me, you don’t know what you’re missing’ More later. . .
ERUPTION: Let Me Take You Back In Time (RCA)
RM/RCA Soul Search winners, Capital Radio-sponsored Eruption get cymbal-slurping rhythmic drive and catchy title-line hook from New York’s Bert de Coteaux, who makes ’em sound like the Tymes or better.
INTIMATE STRANGERS: Love Sounds (Alaska ALA 1005)
Pillow Talk meets Je T’Aime and the label rightly boasts an “X” Certificate! Slow hi-hat tapping rhythm and gently heaving bass push the cooing and panting chix to a “wish you were here” climax. Instrumental flip minus groans.
THE REFLECTIONS: Three Steps From True Love (Capitol CL 15826) Reviewed last week as “Straight From The States”, this NY smash is out here already and should do well considering the rhythm track’s lifted straight from the Detroit Emeralds’ Feel The Need. Great screaming makes it different enough.
DR. FEELGOOD: Back In The Night (UA UP 35857)
Good old get it on and don’t forget to boogie-type Rock, sold with solid conviction and style. Elmore James lives!
GAVIN BARRETT: Oh Margaret (Bell 1427).
Guy with a great Rock ‘n Roll hiccup on a jaunty slow chugger that’s got enough impact to go Pop/MoR first time out.
ABBA: I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do (Epic EPC 3229)
Despite in-built yecchhh quotient, Abba sound like Connie Francis here with a lovely ’50s-style sax to add Hurricane Smith appeal and, besides it’s . . . er, big on the Continent. Nice MoR, honest!
NARVEL FELTS: Reconsider Me (ABC 4062)
Outsider and my rave of the week, Country-singing Narvel’s voice does tricks that ain’t human on this shuddering slowie once Souled by Johnny Adams. Reminiscent of Joe Hinton’s “Funny” and truly terrific.
Straight from the States
ARCHIE BELL & THE DRELLS: I Could Dance All Night (TSOP ZS84767)
A huge New York seller, Archie’s gentle but busy rhythm lolloper gets lovely mellow support from the Drells in fine Bunny Sigler-produced Philly form.
PHILLY DEVOTIONS: I Was A Lonely Man (Columbia 3-10143)
Flip of “We’re Gonna Make It“, a sweet slowie, this creamy clomper hustles along with pretty harmonies and is better than competent Philly.
HUDSON BROTHERS: Rendezvous (Rocket MCA 40417)
Pure and perfect Pop produced by Bernie Taupin with Bruce Johnston’s hand in the composing of this rolling Beach Boyish ditty with fairground organ and instant catchiness.
FRED & THE NEW J. B.’S: (It’s Not The Express) It’s The J. B ‘s Monaurail Part 1 (People PE 655)
Having taken off the Average Whites, Mister J. B. now attempts to copy the B T ‘s Express with turgidly disappointing results.
UK Disco Top 20 – July 12, 1975
01 01 Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – The Hustle – Avco
02 02 Hamilton Bohannon – Disco Stomp – Brunswick
03 05 Sister Sledge – Mama Never Told Me – Atlantic
04 03 10cc – I’m Not In Love – Mercury
05 15 Bee Gees – Jive Talkin’ – RSO
06 14 Chi-Lites – Have You Seen Her – Brunswick
07 04 Hot Chocolate – Disco Queen – Rak
08 NE Pete Wingfield – Eighteen With A Bullet – Island
09 17 Bimbo Jet – El Bimbo – EMI (Import)
10 08 Ray Stevens – Misty – Janus
11 06 Stylistics – Sing Baby Sing – Avco
12 NE Rimshots – 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Blow Your Whistle – All Platinum
13 NE Linda Carr & The Love Squad – Highwire – Chelsea
14 18 Gary Glitter – Doing Alright With The Boys – Bell
15 NE Gilbert O’Sullivan – I Don’t Love You But I Think I like You – MAM
16 11 Showaddywaddy – Three Steps To Heaven – Bell
17 NE Crystal Grass – Crystal World – Philips
18 NE Brian Hyland – Sealed With A Kiss – ABC
19 20 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Get Out (And Let Me Cry) – Route
20 12 (Tie) Wings – Listen To What The Man Said – Capitol
20 NE (Tie) The Biddu Orchestra – Summer Of ’42 – Epic
Hamilton Bohannon – Foot Stompin’ Music – Brunswick
Linda Lewis – It’s In His Kiss – Arista
Bobby Womack – Check It Out – United Artists
Hamilton’s Disco Top 10
1 Harry Hastings – She’s A Great Great Girl – Bell
2 Ray Stevens – Misty – Janus
3 Bimbo Jet – El Bimbo – Columbia
4 Pete Wingfield – Eighteen With A Bullet – Island
5 Lyn Paul – It Oughta Sell A Million – Polydor
6 Barry White – I’ll Do For You Anything You Want Me To – 20th Century
7 The Goodies – Black Pudding Bertha – Bradleys
8 Hamilton Bohannon – Foot Stompin’ Music – Brunswick
9 Status Quo – Roll Over Lay Down – Vertigo
10 Crown Heights Affair – Dreaming A Dream – De-Lite
Lynsey De Paul – Rhythm & Blue Jean Baby – Jet
Narvel Felts – Reconsider Me – ABC
Abba – I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do – Epic
DJ HOT LINE
. . . Anthony Allan (Speakeasy, Wakefield) reports his most about sides are El Bimbo and Eighteen With A Bullet, and he’s playing MAJOR LANCE: You’re Everything I Need (Pye) and SOUL FOX ORCH Thumb A Ride (Black Magic) – he’s obviously read this page! . . . very formal A. Henderson (Weymouth, Dorset) has FRIENDS OF DISTINCTION Grazing In The Grass (RCA) at the top of his well mixed chart . . . RIMSHOTS have definitely beaten GARY TOMS EMPIRE according to the DJs tho’ Mark Rymann (Porthcall, Mid-Glams) is riding both! . . . he also lists HEART & SOUL Make Sweet Love (State) . . . the album cover of the year has to be UFO Force It (Chrysalis), so pity the music isn’t up to it (geddit?) . . . can’t say I recognise LEROY BROWN One Woman Man (EMI), picked by Les Aron (Bognor Regis, Sussex) . . . WAR Why Can’t We Be Friends (UA) and PHILLY FLYERS L.O.V.E. (GM) do it for John Paul (Warley, West Midlands) . . . number one for Doctor John (Newport, Salop) is still LATIMORE Keep the Home Fire Burning (President) . . . re-released INCREDIBLE BONGO BAND Bongo Rock ’73 (DJM) gets feet stomping for Ian Pritchard (Margate, Kent) . . . ULTRA HIGH FREQUENCY didn’t quite make it but now it’s BLUE MAGIC We’re On The Right Track (Atco import) . . . all over the US Disco charts, JACKSON FIVE Forever Came Today is lead track of their impressive new goodie-filled Moving Violation LP (Tamla Motown) . . . dunno whether to believe it or not, but Peter Dunn (Haverford-west, Pembs) lists YOUNGER’S TARTAN Scottish Magic (Lyntone) – I’ll drink to that (and regularly do) so how come Messrs Lyntone haven’t sent me a copy? . . . Hic?
2 thoughts on “July 12, 1975: Harry Hastings Palm Beach Orchestra, Eruption, Intimate Strangers, The Reflections, Dr. Feelgood”
These old columns really are a snapshot in time that record the development of the disco/dance music scene in the UK during the 70s. In these early months it really is struggling to find it’s feet- mobile vs “club” jocks- resulting in a real clash of cultures and styles that deliver a strange hybrid chart. The new releases Hamilton reviews this week include some real dross with a smattering of superb early disco classics out of NYC & Philly. Archie Bell & the Drells reignited their chart career by signing to PIR and “I Could Dance all Night” would be the first of many superb disco/mainstream hits for them. The Reflections and Philly Devotions would remain virtually unknown to the UK general public. This style of sophisticated US soul/disco was rarely heard on BBC Radio 1 in 1975- Even Abba’s “I Do I Do I Do” didn’t make the R1 playlist and limped into the the top 4o. Comparing the UK Disco charts of 75 with the Billboard Disco listings is like chalk and cheese. The US chart was miles ahead in comparison to our “hand knitted” very parochial idiosyncratic list. Of course information about acts was limited- access to the music was restricted- many records never got a UK release or were rarely if ever heard on radio- never mind a dedicated soul/disco radio show anywhere outside London! As for TV appearances- you could forget that. The Musicians Union also had a stranglehold on the industry during the 70s with tight regulations regarding “foreign” music- recorded or live! Soul disco music fans were not well catered to as a result, it really was a form of censorship. Many of these great records would remain unknown to UK fans until the internet age and access to Youtube. Blogs and of course retail sites such as Amazon.
That Dick Emery record is one of those so bad it’s good things – it’s almost as if he was thinking along those lines when he made it.