September 6, 1975: Z.Z. Hill, Persuasions, Ray Charles, Ray Stevens, Jim Reeves

This page is a special service to the many readers of Record Mirror & Disc who are either full or part-time DJs. We hope it’ll also be interesting to the general disco-goer. If you have any queries, please write.

States Picks

Z. Z. HILL: ‘I Created A Monster’ / ‘Steppin’ In The Shoes Of A Fool’ (UA UA-XW631-X)
Penned/produced by none other than Lamont Dozier, Zee Zee’s new R&B hit couples a heavily thumping, slow funker with an incredibly subtle bright jogger. The hit side is extremely powerful sounding and has some great stereo effects, but the flip is artistically in a far superior league, starting with very few elements meshing to do a lot and finishing with a lot doing something that sounds very simple. Maybe if UA get hip they’ll put this out here in a hurry, then you can hear what I mean.

PERSUASIONS: ‘One Thing On My Mind’ / ‘Darlin’’ (A&M 1698-8)
No longer singing acapella, the soulful Persuasions harmonize and emote to a Tymes-type backbeat and slick 1975 arrangement which doesn’t detract from their superb vocal interplay even if it does depersonalize them somewhat. Surprisingly, they manage to make the flip less soulful than the Beach Boys’ original, though.

RAY CHARLES: ‘Living For The City’ (Crossover 981)
It’s come full circle when Ray Charles feels he has to sing Stevie Wonder to gain credibility, as Little Stevie began his career by recording a tribute album to Ray. The result, an R&B hit, presents us with the interesting experience of hearing Ray duetting with himself in stereo, and delivering a raspingly breathed sermon-style rap about the roaches in the city. It’s kinda good, but why couldn’t he have written something comparable himself? 

New Spins

RAY STEVENS: ‘Lady Of Spain’ (from LP ‘Misty’, Janus 9109401)
Nothing equals ‘Misty’, but Ray’s similarly inventive reworking of Eddie Fisher’s 1952 smash comes close – he makes it sound like Fats Domino! From his Fats impersonation he graduates via a Hurricane Smith-style sax break to his own rapid-fire vocal delivery, and takes it all at a jolly lick that’ll be good MoR.

JIM REEVES: ‘You Belong To Me’ (RCA 2574)
Now to Jo Stafford’s 1952 smash, with its lovely “see the Pyramids along the Nile” opening line. Jim’s fans are legion still, and while not normally a disco artist he sounds just right for a smooch and a smash himself.

MAX ROMEO: ‘Wet Dream’ (Ocean OC 003)
Uh-oh, Max is back! What with ‘Fattie Bum-Bum’ and now this re-issue, the Beeb better start painting those signs saying “a record by Max Romeo”!

LEON HAYWOOD: ‘I Want A Do Something Freaky To You’ (from LP ‘Come And Get Yourself Some’, 20th Century BT 476)
Great title and great track to go with it. Starting with groans and instrumental, the purposefully rhythmic slowie builds through Leon’s singing to some fairly abandoned sexy gasping – sounds like the lady got herself some!

EXCITERS: ‘Reaching For The Best’ (20th Century BTC 1005)
In a poor Post-Bank Holiday weekend this spirited extremely fast Northern dancer sounds pretty good even down South! Honestly, if this were old, it would’ve been a classic years ago as the tempo is terrific with singing to match. Backing track flip’s just as strong.

BOBBY GOLDSBORO: ‘I Wrote A Song (Sing Along)’ (UA UP 36005)
Erk! If it hits, this inane “la-la-la-la” jolly bouncer will be lovely MoR fodder. Intro can be skipped for better impact.

NEW BIRTH: ‘Dream Merchant’ (Buddah BDS 434)
Fresh from topping the US R&B chart, this lurching slowie is like the Five Stairsteps meet the Delfonics on Jerry Butler’s front porch. OK, Mister?

CHI-LITES: ‘It’s Time For Love’ / ‘The Coldest Days Of My Life’ (Brunswick BR 25)
Since it’s so similar, how come the classic dead show flip isn’t the plug side? It’s got more atmosphere and magic than the good but sterile newer A-side.

ESTER BYRDE: ‘Touch Me – Take Me’ (Survival SUR 1)
Trinidadian Ester’s in The Black Mikado, which luckily doesn’t stop her making a lovely soulful slowie that’s full of delicate guitar, cooing chix, sensuous rapping and some beautiful singing. Quite a spine trigger in fact. Wail on!

HAMILTON, JOE FRANK & REYNOLDS: ‘Fallin’ In Love’ (Pye 7N 25690)
Wholesome romantic pop from the top of the US charts, which no doubt we’ll all be playing when it hits here. At least it’s sanitary, unlike my fave of the moment:

DAVID GEDDES: ‘Run Joey Run’ (Antic K 11520)
Which is a great teenage death disc in a long and undanceable tradition. Veteran readers will know what I mean, and should check it out.

BOB & HONEY BEE: ‘If Ever I Needed You’ (Instrumental) (Route RT 12)

UK Disco Top 20 – September 6, 1975

01 03 KC & The Sunshine Band – That’s The Way (I Like It) – Jay Boy
02 01 Stylistics – I Can’t Give You Anything – Avco
03 02 George McCrae – It’s Been So Long – Jay Boy
04 07 Rod Stewart – Sailing – Warner Bros.
05 08 Ritchie Family – Brazil – Polydor
06 NE Al Matthews – Fool – CBS
07 10 People’s Choice – Do It Anyway You Wanna – Philadelphia Int’l
08 11 Bimbo Jet – El Bimbo – EMI
09 09 Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – The Hustle – Avco
10 12 Bee Gees – Jive Talking – RSO
11 06 Typically Tropical – Barbados – Gull
12 NE Banzaii – Chinese Kung Fu – Contempo
13 NE Major Harris – Love Won’t Let Me Wait – Atlantic
14 NE Leroy Brown – One Woman Man – EMI
15 04 Linda Lewis – It’s In His Kiss – Arista
16 06 Moments – Dolly My Love – All Platinum
17 15 Gary Toms Empire – 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Blow Your Whistle – Epic
18 13 Biddu Orchestra – Summer Of ’42 – Epic
19 NE Mike Batt – Summertime City – Epic
20 19 Hello – New York Groove – Bell
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (mentioned in Billboard column 7/26/75, Billboard chart debut 9/13/75)
#2 (mentioned in Billboard column 5/24/75)
#5 (mentioned in Billboard column 7/5/75, Billboard chart debut 7/12/75)
#7 (mentioned in Billboard column 6/14/75, Billboard chart debut 7/5/75)
#8 (mentioned in Billboard column 5/3/75, Billboard chart debut 5/10/75)
#9 (Billboard chart debut 4/19/75)
#10 (Billboard chart debut 5/31/75)
#12 (mentioned in Billboard column 6/28/75, Billboard chart debut 7/5/75)
#15 (mentioned in Billboard column 5/31/75, Billboard chart debut 6/7/75)
#17 (mentioned in Billboard column 5/3/75, Billboard chart debut 5/10/75)
#18 (Billboard chart debut 9/6/75)

Songs mentioned in “Pre-Fade Links” (records played by specific DJs):

RALPH CARTER: ‘When You’re Young And In Love’ (Mercury) (mentioned in Billboard column 6/14/75, Billboard chart debut 7/5/75)
GEORGE BAKER SELECTION: ‘Paloma Blanca’ (Warner Bros.)
BOBBY MOORE: ‘Call Me Your Anything Man’ (Pye) (mentioned in Billboard column 3/8/75, Billboard chart debut 3/22/75)
JIMMY BO HORNE: ‘Gimme Some’ (RCA) (Billboard chart debut 7/12/75)
TAVARES: ‘It Only Takes A Minute’ (Capitol) (Billboard chart debut 7/26/75)
NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND: ‘(All I Have To Do Is) Dream’ (UA)
NATALIE COLE: ‘This Will Be’ (Capitol) (Billboard chart debut 9/13/75)
DR. FEELGOOD: ‘Back In The Night’ (UA)
HUSTLER: ‘Little People’ (Firefly/A&M)
B. T. EXPRESS: ‘Give It What You Got’ (Roadshow – US import) (mentioned in Billboard column 7/12/75, Billboard chart debut 9/13/75)
BILL HARRIS: ‘Uptown Saturday Night’ (Warner Bros.)
5000 VOLTS: ‘I’m On Fire’ (Philips) (mentioned in Billboard column 10/25/75, Billboard chart debut 12/6/75)
LOS BRAVOS: ‘Black Is Black’ (Decca) (mentioned as a good song to mix with ‘I’m On Fire’; interestingly, Tom noted the similarities between the two songs in his 10/25 column)

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