October 18, 1975: The Everly Brothers, The Tornados, The Goons, Harvey Smith, Van McCoy

New Spins

EVERLY BROTHERS: ‘Walk Right Back’ (Warner Bros. K 16613)
The original strutting 1961 smash, in stereo, now comes across as ideal MoR.

TORNADOS: ‘Telstar’ (Decca F 11494)
The original 1962 smash, freaky intro and all. Probably best for older crowds now, but try mixing it with such as ‘Silver Machine’ for effect!

GOONS: ‘Bloodnok’s Rock ‘N Roll Call’ (Decca F 13609)
The ‘Ying Tong Song”s original flip in 1956, this craziness doesn’t sustain its dance beat, but played near the end of a gig can be lots of fun nevertheless.  Goons freaks will even mime to it!

HARVEY SMITH: ‘True Love’ (Handkerchief HANKY 3)
Slush, of obvious interest to horsey crowds, it needs pre-announcing for best effect. A sensation at my last gig, when I followed it with Bing singing ‘Take Me Back To My Boots And Saddle’!

VAN McCOY: ‘Good Night, Baby’ (Avco 6105042)
A natural for the last smooch of the evening, this pretty slowie finds Van in fine voice. Why it isn’t the A-side instead of the awfully ordinary ‘Change With The Times’ I’ll never know.

MILLICAN & NESBITT: ‘Goodbye-ee’ (Pye 7N 45541)
Another perfect closer, this version of the Worthington E theme is the best of the two so far available.

DOOBIE BROTHERS: ‘Sweet Maxine’ (Warner Bros. K 16601)
Far from brilliant, but it’ll be good for rock-orientated pop crowds, especially coming out of a slowie.

JOHNNY CLARKE: ‘Stranger In Love’ (Lucky DL 5100)
One of several currently out by cool-singing Johnny, this gentle reggae throbber is lovely enough until you flip it for the version, which is a superb dub with incredible bass-heavy rhythm that just keeps on going. My fave of the week.

SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET: ‘Mendocino’ (Oval 1007)
1969 Bubblegum which, for sentimental reasons, I still carry regardless! Bright and happy enough to happen.

SON OF ALBATROS: ‘Africa’ (Decca FR 13605)
From Italy, this atmospheric echoing slow recitation has catchy chanting and sub-Moodies backing – plus a good funky flip called ‘Ha-Ri-Ah‘ – while an Americanised cover by Joe Pass (CBS 3670) gets more production gloss and an amended title, ‘Africa (Indian Summer)’.  The sort of thing that can catch on big, especially if Jo King does a cover too!

ROBERT PALMER: ‘Which Of Us Is The Fool’ (Island WIP 6250)
Lovely blue-eyed soul semi-slowie from a Robert Redford look-alike with typically tuff Island image.

WIGAN’S OVATION: ‘Super Love’ (Spark SRL 1133)
Joyously happy whomping stomping harmonies on this incredibly infectious cover-job of Leon Huff’s Philly dancer.

GLORIA GAYNOR: ‘(If You Want It) Do It Yourself’ (MGM 2006543)
Just one third of the continuous topside to her new album, this thumping DIY anthem seems to me to be rather dull and computerized – which means it’s got all the ingredients, though.

OHIO PLAYERS: ‘Love Rollercoaster’ (Mercury 6167225)
The Godfather’s fave, this freakily phasing funker’s got a heavily bumping rhythm and some of that ‘Yum Yum’ stuff.

PERFORMANCE: ‘Red Bullet’ (Polydor 2058649)
French instrumental with synthetic lead over hustling backing – could be useful.

SHABAM: ‘On The Planet Of The Apes’ (Pye 7N 45422)
Re-issue of last year’s Tommy James-type chugger – good bubblegum.

ALLAN CLARKE: ‘Born To Run’ (EMI 2352)
Unfashionable Allan’s got a cleaner disco mix than murkily mumblin’ Bruce Springsteen.

JOHNNY MATHIS: ‘Only You (And You Alone)’ (CBS 3673)
Lush ‘n easy reading of the Platters’ 1955 classic.

BROTHERS: ‘Are You Ready For This’ (RCA 2618)
Jon Taylor’s fave, this hustling instrumental’s got the usual strings, bass, and hi-hat formula with which, I for one am getting bored, effective though it may be for some.

TONY CHRISTIE: ‘Easy To Love’ (MCA 212)
Superb stereo arrangement and disco rhythm, wasted by weedy vocals.  Maybe richer DJs can re-equalise the vocals out?

DAVID CASSIDY: ‘Darlin’’ (RCA 2622)
Disjointed FX intro lifted from ‘Drag City’, then darlin’ Dimples turns in a fine blue-eyed souling of the Beach Boys’ tune that’ll go well once it’s a hit.

ANDY BOWN: ‘Supersonic’ (GM GMS 9039)
Noisy Sweet-type pop, from the TV show.

JIM CAPALDI: ‘Love Hurts’ (Island WIP 6246)
Classy interpretation of the Orbisong, with its steadily clopping rhythm it could go MOR.

★ JH PICK means a record that James Hamilton will play on his own gigs.  This is independent of whether or not the record will be a hit.

Import Picks

CRYSTAL GRASS: ‘Love To Dance This One With You’ (Polydor PD 15109)
The French instrumentalists haven’t got another ‘Crystal World’ here, but they still get a quite good if less subtle herky-jerky rhythm going.  It kinda hustles, and has some pronounced stereo effects.

PHILLY DEVOTIONS: ‘I Just Can’t Make It (Without You)’ (Columbia 3-10191)
Arr / Cond / Penned and Prod by John Davis, the guys’ lolloping new Philly group dancer has a 4:51 disco version mixed by the ubiquitous Tom Moulton, and it all sounds very happy.  Fast, it’s another that kinda hustles.

LATIMORE: ‘There’s A Red Neck In The Soul Band’ (Glades 1729)
Huge on the juke boxes, Benny Latimore’s blues bouncer has great lyrics all about a tall skinny white boy playing guitar in a black band.  The kid confesses that when he plays guitar he feels so soulful he has to wonder about his family tree!

GWEN McCRAE: ‘He Keeps Something Groovy Goin’ On’ (Cat 1999)
In fact the flip of her somewhat typical TK-type hit, ‘Love Insurance‘, this powerfully emoted slowie is the sort of soul that Gladys Knight could have been singing now if she hadn’t gone so commercial.  Less profitable maybe, but so nice!

Dig those mouldy oldies

AS MANY of you will have probably guessed, I tend to use many more oldies than current hits on my mobile disco gigs. (James’ Top Ten, at the bottom of the page, is always an accurate guide to the newies I’ve used most recently.)

Old singles of all types have not only instant nostalgia appeal in their favour but also less cluttered productions and louder presence than modern pressings, all of which makes them cut through much better on crowded floors. But where do you buy them?

Last week you were invited to send in for a list of oldies shops. Now, however, I realise that it would be far more useful if you could send in your own lists of shops, market stalls, deletion bins and the like which you have found good for disco oldies in your own area – that way, people from all over the UK will be helped, instead of just those in London.

In fact, the oldies shops that I use most often in London are:

The Vintage Record Centre, 91 Roman Way, London, N7 (over the Caledonian Road from the tube station) – mainly rock, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, with cheap oddities amongst the expensive rarities.

Rock On!, Stalls 1/2/3, Soho Open Market (the end of Gerrard Street) and also at 3, Kentish Town Road, London NW1 (Camden Town) – similar, with more punk rock, cajun and country albums. Rock On! have just published Rob Finnis’s definitive and well illustrated The Phll Spector Story – a must for all Spector Phreaks – at £1.25 (plus p and p) from the latter address.

Cheapo-Cheapo Records – or, more accurately, the stall outside it – Rupert Street Market (off Shaftesbury Avenue) – mainly funky and northern soul, black US oldies, some rock, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, plus a few oddities if you’re lucky, all fairly cheap.

These are all places which have bothered to concentrate on particular types of in-demand oldies, and consequently, they are more expensive than local corner shops with mixed singles in a chuck-out bin. But, the extra you pay is worth the time you save, as most of the searching will have been done for you.

Let’s hear about your sources for oldies-but-goodies!

dj hot line

Now it’s CHUBBY CHECKER: The Twist (Columbia) for Alex Henderson (Victoria Bars, Weymouth), while CHUBBY’s: Let’s Twist Again gets picked up by Colin Ring (Sale) – can the craze be catching on?!?

Renewed interest in that controversial Japanese-Afro-Funker, BLACK BLOOD: A.I.E. (A. Mwana) (Bradleys), from Jon Taylor (Crocker’s, Norwich), Anthony Allan (Speakeasy, Wakefield) and Theo Loyla (Banana Power, Bridge, Kent).

Anthony Allan also apologizes that R. B. FREEMAN: I’m Shaft (Avco) is getting bigger, and raves about MAXINE NIGHTINGALE: Right Back Where We Started From (UA), as does Ray “Rosko” Robinson (Tiffany’s, Leicester), who tips JOHN HOLT: I’d Love You To Want Me (Trojan LP) as well.

Theo Loyla is joined in digging BLUE MAGIC: Look Me Up (Atlantic) by Ian Love (Butterfly Discos, Irvine / Allisson’s Ayr).

Peter Greig (Route 66, Plympton) and Paul Anthony (Walsall) do their nut over JIM CAPALDI: Love Hurts (Island) and are joined by Mike McLean (Strathclyde University) in reporting reaction for GARY TOMS EMPIRE: Drive My Car (Epic).

Paul Anthony also tips EBONY, IVORY & JADE: Samson (CBS) and VAN McCOY: Good Night Baby (Avco), while Mike McLean adds that his University Union’s chart (see last week’s Star Tip) is now topped by BAD CO.: Feel Like Makin’ Love (Island).

Tony Hadland (Reading) has NEIL DIAMOND: Sweet Caroline (Uni) In his requests-compiled Quadrodisco Chart.

SEVEN SEAS: Super Jaws (Jay Boy) must be big, says Steve Day (Chingford), who opines that MFSB: T.L.C. (Tender Loving Care) (Phila Int) is the week’s best disco sound.

ROBERT PALMER: Pressure Drop (Island) a breaker for funky Lee “Godfather” Spalne (Time Piece, Liverpool).

Ashley Eatly (Ashley’s Disco, Ferryside, Dyfed) recommends the party-type instrumentals on JOHNNY HOWARD BAND: Dance Crazy (Contour LP) as great for MOR gigs.

TINA CHARLES: Set My Heart On Fire (CBS) finally on top for the Davis Bros. (Sound Machine, Welwyn Garden City), who also tip the import RHODES KIDS: Voo-Doo Magic (US GRC).

Next Wednesday 22 I’ll be playing all the hits from 1969 at the Lord Nelson in London’s Holloway Road, so let’s see your face in the place, huh?! Thanx.

star tip

Following on from Willy Coates’ recent tip about using ERUPTION: Let Me Take You Back In Time (RCA) to introduce Rock ‘n’ Roll oldies, here are some more suggestions.

Les Jones (Cardiff) uses just the intro of MOTT THE HOOPLE: The Golden Age Of Rock ‘N Roll (CBS), while Ashley Eatly (Second City Sound, Ferryslde, Dyfed) starts off with DANNY & THE JUNIORS: Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay (Probe).

In the same bag of course are THE EARLS: Remember Then (Atlantic), EDDIE COCHRAN: C’Mon Everybody (UA) and THE JOHN BARRY SEVEN: Hit And Miss (Parlophone), the latter being the Juke Box Jury theme.

Personally. I always follow DON McLEAN American Pie (UA) with BUDDY HOLLY: That’ll Be The The Day (Coral), cutting into his Oh Boy – after which there’s no holding ’em!

UK Disco Top 20 – October 18, 1975

01 01 David Essex – Hold Me Close – CBS
02 02 Drifters – There Goes My First Love – Bell
03 05 KC & The Sunshine Band – That’s The Way (I Like It) – Jay Boy
04 09 Dee Clark – Ride A Wild Horse – Chelsea
05 re Esther Phillips – What A Diff’rence A Day Makes – Kudu
06 03 5000 Volts – I’m On Fire – Philips
07 08 Natalie Cole – This Will Be – Capitol
08 04 Fatback Band – Yum Yum (Gimme Some) – Polydor
09 07 Four Seasons – Who Loves You – Warner Bros.
10 14 Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman, No Cry – Island
11 12 People’s Choice – Do It Anyway You Wanna – Philadelphia Int’l
12 re George Baker – Paloma Blanca – Warner Bros.
13 15 Chi-Lites – It’s Time For Love – Brunswick
14 19 Leroy Brown – One Woman Man – EMI
15 — Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug – Island
16 — Trammps – Hold Back The Night – Buddah
17 20 Al Matthews – Fool – CBS
18 re Ralph Carter – When You’re Young And In Love – Mercury
19 18 Faith, Hope & Charity – To Each His Own – RCA
20 — Dooley Silverspoon – As Long As You Know (Who You Are) – Seville

james’ top ten

2 LOVE IS THE DRUG Roxy Music (Island)
3 ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (UA)
4 IN THE MOOD Joe Bob’s Nashville Sound Company (US Capitol)
5 LOOKS, LOOKS, LOOKS Sparks (Island)
6 ISLAND GIRL Elton John (DJM)
7 I’M ON FlRE 9,000 Volts(Philips)
8 FEELINGS Morris Albert (Decca)
9 HOLD ME CLOSE David Essex (CBS)
10 THIS WILL BE Natalie Cole (Capitol)

1 TRUE LOVE Harvey Smith (Handkerchief)
3 42nd STREET Dick Powell (UA)

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