November 8, 1975: compilation LPs, Rod Stewart, KC & The Sunshine Band, Billy Butler, Hot Chocolate

I heard it on a compilation

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!

Add to these the superbly annotated and chronologically compiled double-LP of all the Stones’ Decca hits, ‘Rolled Gold – The Very Best Of The Rolling Stones’ (Decca ROST 1/2, out next week), and groaning ‘Barry White’s Greatest Hits’ (20th Century BTH 8000), then you should have enough to make DJ’s jump for joy!

New Spins

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.

KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND: ‘I’m So Crazy (‘Bout You)’ (Jay Boy BOY 101)
A lot less catchy than “uh-huh uh-huh”, this fast knocker could be good up North, while the slower stomp of ‘Boogie Shoes’ on the flip sounds more like a national hit. 

BILLY BUTLER: ‘Right Track’ (Epic EPC 2508)
Jerry’s brother Billy became a British legend as a result of this 1966 Northern beater (now in stereo).  We used to play it down South then, too, and will probably be doing so again soon!  A must for many.

HOT CHOCOLATE: ‘You Sexy Thing’ (Rak 221)
Effective disco rhythm even if the group isn’t everybody’s cuppa.

MAC & KATIE KISSOON: ‘I’m Just Dreaming’ (State STAT 15)
Innocuously MOR, complete with “dum dum dumby doo dum” chorus.  Yeccchh, but it’ll work!

TYMES: ‘God’s Gonna Punish You’ (RCA 2626)
MOR with a hustle rhythm, but it’s still MOR, more than anything else.  That’s the way the dollar tumbles.

COLOURS OF LOVE: ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’ (DJM DJS 625)
Like a blast from the past, this lush Phil Fenoulhet-arranged harmony crooner could be nice as a party closer.

KEVIN COYNE: ‘Lorna’ / ‘Let’s Have A Party’ (Virgin VS 126)
Now Kevin twists!  He also revives Elvis (and Wanda Jackson) on the flip!  A taste I confess to having acquired, he’s one of our most imaginative stylists, yet these could well spread from the rock crowds who’ll certainly dig him.

SUE THOMPSON: ‘Paper Tiger’ / ‘Big Mable Murphy’ (London HLE 10509)
A lot older than she sounds, Sue’s countrified Motown beat on her 1965 US hit may go up North, while her more recent razzamatazzy goodtime flip is OK MOR.

TINA CHARLES: ‘You Set My Heart On Fire’ (CBS 3415)
Already a US disco hit, Tina’s Biddu beater gets repromoted following all those recent shocking disclosures.  Funny how one of the hook lines here is “Fire!  Fire!”.  As hustlers go, it does.

JACKIE TRENT & TONY HATCH: ‘Mr. And Mrs.’ (Pye 7N 45490)
Slush, with obvious potential – even if only satirical! – for weddings.

LOVE TOGETHER: ‘The More You Say’ (Philips 6006482)
Pastiche job of all the New Seekers’ hits, thus quite jolly MOR – if you can stand the ghastly brightness!

ALVIN ROBINSON: ‘Down Home Girl’ (Charly CS 1002)
The earthy New Orleans 1964 original of the Stones’ track, it might be fun as a pre-announced romantic spot, dedicated “to the woman in your life”!

HOAGY LANDS: ‘The Next In Line’ (UK USA 14)
I’ve been offered small fortunes for my old stateside copy of this catchy Northern dancer, which has pop appeal thanks to its strong melody, femme backup and Del Shannon organ.  Hoagy, though hitless, sings up a storm on this, and also on ‘Friends And Lovers Don’t Go Together’ (UK USA 13), a simultaneously-released faster, messier raver of more specialist Northern appeal.

LINDA G. THOMPSON: ‘Ooh What A Night’ (Magnet MAG 46)
The chick from Silver Convention about whom many jocks have raved already, doing a modishly thumping chunky hustler that gets expanded (with a good edit for segues) on the 6:23 Part 2 flip.

Import Picks

O’JAYS: ‘I Love Music’ (Philadelphia Intl. ZS8 3577)
A two-parter from their new ‘Family Reunion’ LP, this Gamble & Huff hustler scudders and thumps its Norman Harris-arranged way along while Eddie and the guys get effortlessly impassioned about their love for the music.  I can see why it’s already a US disco monster, but as I love music too I prefer their earlier work from when they were real.

PAUL KELLY: ‘Get Sexy’ (Warner Bros. WBS 8120)
Folksy funk, funky folk – the opening is kinda Paul Simon rather than Kelly until this Paul starts sounding happy about the world’s oldest recreation, all to a delightfully bouncy beat that underpins the escalating jollity.  Cleverly constructed, it’s one hell of a production.

REFLECTIONS: ‘Love On Delivery (L.O.D.)’ (Capitol 4137)
Hoarse hollers and a Bert De Coteaux co-arranged hustle rhythm set the way for this to be a predictable but effective dancer, perked up by a busy bongo player.

EARLS: ‘Goin’ Uptown’ (Columbia 3-10225)
I guess these are the same white guys who did ‘Remember Then’ back in ’62, now doing an equally black-sounding funky catalogue of all the big disco stars’ names.  Bert “this is getting boring” De Coteaux co-arranged.  He’s come a long way since I knew him in his Adam Wade days.

dj hot line

“The Twist Is certainly having a revival”, sez Colin McLean (Aces Club, Hamilton), who got fantastic reaction to CHUBBY CHECKER after reading this page . . . who in this country has the rights to Chubby and the Cameo-Parkway material? In America it’s Allan Klein’s Abcko Industries.

Peter Grelg (Route 66 Disco, Plympton) Is another playing JOHN ASHER: Let’s Twist Again (Creole), while Colin King (The Blue Room, Sale) charts both John and Chubby.

Colin King and Les Aron (Farm Club, Bognor Regis) both tip the solo LINDA G. THOMPSON: Ooh What A Night (Magnet), with Les also charting her group SILVER CONVENTION: Fly Robin Fly (Magnet), as do Steve Day (Chingford), CJ Whyte (Birmingham), Willy Cash Untouchables Disco, Appleby), Doug “The Mug” Forbes (Klouds, Warwick) and R.J.R. Discos (Sutton), amongst others.

Jay Jay Sawers (Karloff’s, Irvine) infos though that his audiences demand the flip side, SILVER CONVENTION: I Like It (Magnet) . . . they segue together anyway on the album, hint hint.

DR MARIGOLD’S PRESCRIPTION: March Hare (Route) another tip from Les Aron . . . Steve Day opines that ELTON JOHN: Grow Some Funk Of Your Own (DJM) must be the next single to come from the album .. . he also joins Mark Rymann (South Wales clubs) in in tipping PAUL NICHOLAS: Shufflin’ Shoes (RSO).

HAZEL DEAN: Our Day Will Come (Decca) beats the lacklustre FRANKIE VALLI (Private Stock) for Jon Taylor (Crocker’s, Norwich) and Ray “Rosko” Robinson (Tiffany’s, Leciester), although Anthony Allan (Speakeasy, Wakefield) charts both, and joins Ray in tipping MARVELS: Lovers’ Concerto (Gull).

My tip for funksters Is the new album by THE UNDISPUTED TRUTH: Higher Than High (Tamla Motown).

Doctor John (Discotech, Telford) and CJ Whyte both join Les “Godfather” Spalne (Time Piece, Liverpool) in charting funky OHIO PLAYERS: Love Rollercoaster (Mercury).

Next Wednesday 12 November at the Lord Nelson In London’s Holloway Road I’ll be playing the hits from 1970, while Monday 10 at Albert’s Plum by South Kensington tube I’ll be playing solid rock ‘n’ pop oldies from late fifties / early sixties, so tell your friends! See ya . . .

star tip

THIS WEEK’S Star Tip comes from Graham Oldham (Asylum Disco, Cannock – covering Staffs / West Midlands).

He says: “We end all our gigs by playing one verse of a 1957 recording of God Save The Queen by SIR MALCOLM SARGENT, then fading in Time For Bed Said Zebedee from JASPER CARROT’s Magic Roundabout. It always goes down well with all age groups.”

Sounds good, Graham. I’ll be mentioning more ways of ending a gig quite soon.

UK Disco Top 20 – November 8, 1975

01 05 George McCrae – I Ain’t Lyin’ – Jay Boy
02 01 Drifters – There Goes My First Love – Bell
03 08 Trammps – Hold Back The Night – Buddah
04 02 Esther Phillips – What A Diff’rence A Day Makes – Kudu
05 11 Art Garfunkel – I Only Have Eyes For You – CBS
06 07 Natalie Cole – This Will Be – Capitol
07 09 Four Seasons – Who Loves You – Warner Bros.
08 20 Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – Change With The Times – Avco
09 04 Dee Clark – Ride A Wild Horse – Chelsea
10 13 Maxine Nightingale – Right Back Where We Started From – United Artists
11 06 Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug – Island
12 re George Benson – Supership – CTI
13 19 Gloria Gaynor – Do It Yourself – MGM
14 03 David Essex – Hold Me Close – CBS
15 10 People’s Choice – Do It Anyway You Wanna – Philadelphia Int’l
16 17 Hello – New York Groove – Bell
17 — Tina Charles – You Set My Heart On Fire – CBS
18 — Jim Capaldi – Love Hurts – Island
19 — Silver Convention – Fly Robin Fly – Magnet
20 15 Faith, Hope & Charity – To Each His Own – RCA

james’ top ten

1 WHY DID YOU DO IT Stretch (Anchor)
2 LOVE IS THE DRUG Roxy Muslc (Island)
3 LOVE HURTS Jim Capaldi (Island)
5 HOLD ME CLOSE David Essex (CBS)
6 FEELINGS Morris Albert (Decca)
7 IN THE MOOD Joe Bob’s Nashville Sound Company (US Capitol)

1 THIS OLD HEART OF MINE Rod Stewart (Riva)
2 RHINESTONE COWBOY Glen Campbell (Capitol)

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