GIL SCOTT-HERON: ‘Johannesburg’ (Arista 23)
The originator of ‘In The Bottle’, Gil gets a subtle Kasandra-type groove going on this slinky slow funky chanter that’s gradually growing Stateside. Hypnotic stuff.
DONNA SUMMER: ‘Love To Love You Baby’ (GTO GT 17 – single; GTLP 008 – album)
Out here since March this Munich-made American’s pseudo-sexy monotonous thumper has just caught on big in US discos. Expanded to fill the whole of one side of the new album, her ‘Pillow Talk’-type cooing and moaning gets spread a bit thin but the Barry White-ish backing’s several shifts could well make her the toast of Britain too.
CHRIS HILL: ‘Renta Santa’ (Philips 6006491)
With a stroke of manic genius, the Canvey Island DJ has done a Dickie Goodman, cutting snippets out of hits by such Phonogram stars as the Stylistics, Moments, Alex Harvey, Ray Stevens, 10cc and 5000 Volts, and inserting them as the humorous answers to questions he asks of such as George Best, Edward Heath and tax exile Rod Bleep (the bleep is to prevent law suits, as the funniest part of the record concerns the mysterious rock star, Rod). Being British, this is far more topical than the unavailable US hits by Dickie Goodman, and it should be the novelty smash of the season. Oh yes, at the end he yells “oy, you bust me record” – and the “record – record – record” keeps repeating as it makes up the run-out groove!
★ JH PICK
DOOLEY SILVERSPOON: ‘Let Me Be The No. 1 (Love Of Your Life)’ (Parts 1 & 2) (Seville SEV 1020)
By far the strongest disco cut from his superb hustling LP, this romping and swirling Sonny Casella-produced example of the Sound Of New New York is hopefully the one to break him here like it’s doing in the States. If you dig this, get the even better Jeanne Burton: ‘Nobody Loves Me Like You Do’ (SEV 1010), which is what alerted me to S.O.N.N.Y. in the first place.
★ JH PICK
BAY CITY ROLLERS: ‘Money Honey’ (Bell 1461)
Heavy guitar, pounding disco rhythm and police-siren type noises make this their most useable to date.
★ JH PICK
What with Christmas and party time coming, there suddenly seem to be a lot of hits-crammed compilation albums being released. This should be good news, especially to newer jocks who may be short of material.
‘Atlantic Black Gold Volume 2’ (Atlantic K 50164) has recent disco hits by the Average White Band, Jimmy Castor, Ben E. King, Herbie Mann, Eddie Harris and Gene Page amongst its many goodies.
‘Golden Hour Of Stax Hits’ (Golden Hour GH 841) ranges from the full LP version of Isaac Hayes’s ‘Walk On By’ and ‘Theme From Shaft’ via the Dramatics’ ‘In The Rain’ and ‘Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get’ to Johnnie Taylor’s ‘Who’s Making Love’ and William Bell & Judy Clay’s ‘Private Number’. Some snip at Golden Hour prices, when you consider that also included are big ‘uns by Jean Knight, Booker T & The MGs, Frederick Knight and Mel & Tim!
‘Get Down With Spring – 14 Hunks Of Funk’ (Polydor 2482271) is a collection of material from the US Spring label, which may not have as strong an identity as the others – until maybe I mention some of the artists, that is? How’s about the Fatback Band (‘Yum Yum’, ‘Wicki Wacky’, ‘Keep On Steppin’’ included), Joe Simon, Garland Green and Millie Jackson? Less consistent in content, but that little lot deliver the goods.
The killer set for most will of course be the incredible ‘Motown Gold’ (Tamla Motown STML 12003), which ought to make big bread for the ailing company, even if it does only contain about half of the subtitled 18 greatest hits. With hits included like Marvin Gaye’s ‘Grapevine’, Four Tops’ ‘Reach Out’, Supremes’ ‘Baby Love’, Miracles’ ‘Tears Of A Clown’, Temptations’ ‘Just My Imagination’ and Stevie’s ‘Yester-Me’, who’s to quibble about Syreeta’s ‘Your Kiss Is Sweet’, Commodores’ ‘Machine Gun’ and Ross/Gaye’s ‘You Are Everything’ being less than the greatest? They’re about the only modern things, bar Mr. Wonder, that they’ve broken here in ages! Oh, and there’s more by such as Gladys Knight, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Jimmy Ruffin, Jr. Walker and Martha Reeves! Too much!
ROD STEWART: ‘This Old Heart Of Mine’ (Riva 1)
Slowed to an Al Green tempo and then huskily sung, the Isleys’ oldie makes a much better bet for discos than ‘Sailing’. Good for most audiences, too.
★ JH PICK
ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW: ‘Wide Eyed And Legless’ (A&M AMS 7202)
Beautifully subtle swaying sophisticated semi-slowie, my own fave of the week, and hopefully ideal for those more romantic moments!
★ JH PICK
JUAN CARLOS CALDERON: ‘Bandolero’ (CBS 2726)
From last year like ‘El Bimbo’ and now re-issued after European and US success, this semi-hustling instrumental has a catchy melody and paradoxically fashionable sound – plus some Spanish guitar to snare the oldsters. Useful, and could click.
★ JH PICK