November 22, 1975: Chris Hill, Undisputed Truth, Leon Haywood, David Bowie, Fatback Band

New Spins

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!

UNDISPUTED TRUTH: ‘Higher Than High’ / ‘Spaced Out’ (Tamla Motown TMG 1014)

Strong intro impact and lotsa frantic freakiness on the A-side, but I prefer the slower flip, the incredibly sexy opening of which is totally toe-curling and useable on its own.

LEON HAYWOOD: ‘I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You’ (20th Century BTC 2228)
Edited from the even sexier LP cut, this slinky groin-grinder is like Barry White without the gruffness, and it features a moaning lady to help blood pressures boil!

DAVID BOWIE: ‘Golden Years’ (RCA 2640) (Billboard chart debut 1/17/76)
Bowie stays with his modern soul sound on a subdued funky rhythm bouncer which should go well with Roxy Music.

FATBACK BAND: ‘(Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop’ (Polydor 2066637)
Already Capital Radio’s People’s Choice, this bass-heavy lurching thumper is full of funk and has a nice catchy “don’t stop, don’t stop” hook towards the end.

CRISPY & CO: ‘Get It Together’ (Creole CR 114)
The guys who copied Sonny Casella’s production of ‘Brasil’ now have a funky dancer that’s all their own.  In keeping with Creole’s other current single, they even mention the word “twist”, although it’s otherwise Fatback Band / People’s Choice in sound!

PEOPLES CHOICE: ‘A Party Is A Groovy Thing’ (Philadelphia Intl. PIR 3815)
Functional funk with dated “party, party” chanting.  The raspingly-sung bluesy slow flip is a terrific soulful smoocher, like a ballsy Billy Paul.

LOCKS LEE: ‘What Can I Do’ (Atra 27)
Perennially popular with the West Indians, Donnie Elbert’s high-pitched 1957 hit here gets yet another – but decidedly superior – reggae reading that’s vocally similar to the original.  The Dreader Version on the flip even starts with a bit of ‘Cherry Pie’!

RONNIE WALKER: ‘Magic’s In The Air’ (Polydor 2066578)
Stylistics-style thumper with freaky synthetics, arr/cond/co-penned/prod by Vinnie Montana of MFSB, so it’s got the authentic Philly sound.

ZIPS: ‘Bye Bye Love’ (Rak 236)
Just what the world needs – an ‘Oh Boy / Don’t Be Cruel’ slowing-up of the Everlys’ oldie.

JACKIE MOORE: ‘Make Me Feel Like A Woman’ (RCA 2612)
Earthy intimacy sold with mucho soul.

GEORGE BAKER SELECTION: ‘Morning Sky’ (Warner Bros. K 16636)
‘White Dove Of Athens’?  Probably too similar to click.

ROY ETZEL: ‘Last Dance’ (Live Wire SON 4001)
Jolly German MOR instrumental.

BERRY STREET STATION: ‘Chocolate Sugar’ / ‘All I Want Is You’ (Crystal CR 7024)
Nicely dated organ funk, and soulful slow Sam & Dave-ish flip.

Old big band brass riff given reggae rhythm and a trendy title.

We’re gonna do the twist and it goes like this!

HEY, LET’S TWIST! All you do is this – hold your arms out straight and let your hips rotate!

Well, that’s what the lyrics of a JOEY DEE hit told you to do back in 1962. Other directions were more detailed, like these contemporary instructions:

“The basic motion of the Twist is a hip swivel.

1 Imagine you are holding an outstretched bath towel; get the towel going back and forth and you will have the Twist hip motion.

2 Place right foot back, toe pointing to the right, weight transferred on to this foot.

3 Keeping the knees towards each other, on the count of one, swivel right foot to the left, left hop turning to the left.

4 On the count of two, swivel right foot to the right, hip twisting to the right.

5 Repeat this movement six times to complete basic figure, then transfer weight on to the left foot and repeat Twist for eight more counts…”

Etc, etc. etc! Hopefully easier to understand are my Twistin’ hints.

Stand with left foot slightly to front, then to sway your knees together from side to side while swinging your bent arms in the opposite direction to your knees, all in time with the music.

Your feet need not move on the floor, although they’ll roll about inside your shoes, as the basic movement is to lean forwards on the left foot then back on the right, twisting with your knees and arms all the while.

If you have a partner, your bodies stay parallel when you dance facing each other.

Once you’ve got the motion, you can start getting acrobatic, doing full knee bends and spinning up and around in mid-air from a crouch.
Your feet can move about so that you dance on one leg, waving the other in the air, or wrap it around the leg you’re dancing on – then do a one-knee bend!

Chubby Checker’s way of twisting was on the balls of his feet, so that his heels slipped from side to side with the motion, and he windmilled his forearms (hands close together) in front of his face.

The movements can be jerky or smooth, slow or fast, with infinite scope for self expression.

In fact, the Twist can be every bit as energetic, acrobatic and inventive as its Northern Soul descendant! Plus, it keeps you slim!

…and whose version will you be doing it to?

ANOTHER CHART battle looms up. JOHN ASHER’S Let’s Twist Again (Creole CR 112), with Top Of The Pops and several weeks’ lead to its advantage, now faces the challenge of CHUBBY CHECKER’S original hit version (London HLU 10512), re-issued this week.

The odds would seem to be in CHUBBY’s favour – his is the verlon that everyone knows, it’s the one that BBC Radio 1 are evidently pushing, and it has his two time US chart-topping The Twist as an equally strong flip. But ASHER’s updated treatment should not be discounted. The decisive factor in the battle Iis likely to be the determination of the burgeoning Creole label.

The label’s recent chart success is based solely on its rapport with a network of key disco DJs, carefully nurtured by ace promotion executive Andy Stlnton (himself a disco DJ), who points out that few if any of Creole’s hits have been played by the BBC at all.

Stinton reckons that with the start the ASHER record already has, plus its more modern sound, and with the continued support of the discos, it could and should surprise everybody and win the battle.

Whichever wins, one thing’s for sure – everybody’s twistin’!

Noting an upsurge in its sales, RCA have re-activated SAM COOKE’s Twistin’ The Night Away (RCA 2093) – never actually deleted.

dj hot line

STRETCH: Why Did You Do It (Anchor) had to hit the charts before anyone went with it – why? Now having the hots for it are Mark Rymann (South Wales clubs), Steve Day (Chingford), Doug “The Mug” Forbes (Klouds, Warwick), Les Aron (Bali-Hai Farm Club, Bognor Regis), Tom Russell (Glasgow), Jay Jay Sawers (Hotel De Croft, Dairy), Tony Hadland (Reading), Ashley Eatly (Ferryslde, Dyfed), and The Sound Machine (Welwyn Garden City), amongst others.

Mark Rymann reports fantastic initial reaction to RONNIE WALKER: Magic’s In The Air (Polydor), tipped also by Steve Day and Ray “Rosko” Robinson, (Tiffany’s, Leicester).

Ray sez that R. & J. STONE: We Do It (RCA) is his fave slowie of the year, and is joined in charting CARL MALCOLM: Miss Wire Waist (UK) by Doug The Mug, who himself gets caught up in another list of Les Aron, Paul Roxy (South Normanton, Derbyshire), Charles Wright (Blastoff Disco, Felixstowe) and Dougall DJ (Kilsyth), all digging the IMPRESSIONS: First Impressions (Curtom) . . . Les Aron and Jon Taylor (Crocker’s, Norwich) are the first to tip WINNERS CIRCLE: Born A Star (Warners) . . . Tom Russell wonders when JIMMY BRISCOE: I Only Feel This Way (Nems) will hit, as it’s huge in Glasgow . . . after several lists of great oldies, Ron Watson (Nemesis Disco, Withington) winds up with SHA NA NA: Sea Cruise (Kama Sutra) as the one to beat ’em all . . . funky tips galore now – PEOPLES CHOICE: Boogie Down USA (Phila Int LP) from Ashley Eatly, FATBACK BAND: Boogie With the Fatback (Polydor LP) from The Sound Machine, O’JAYS: I Love Music (US Phila Int), FLOYD SMITH: I Just Can’t Give You Up (US Salsoul) and HOUSTON PERSON: Disco Sax (US Westbound) from C G Whyte (Birmingham), MANDRILL: Fence Walk (Polydor) and YOUNG SISTERS: Let’s Do The Latin Hustle (US Philips) from Les “Godfather” Spaine (Time Piece, Liverpool) . . . Paul Anthony (Walsall) hit picks MICHAEL JACKSON: Just A Little Bit Of You (Tamla), while Steve Ingram (DJ Enterprises, Weybridge) remains loyal to RUBY & THE ROMANTICS: Our Day Will Come (MCA) . . . Mike McLean (Strathdisco, Glasgow) has the EAGLES: Lyin’ Eyes (Asylum) at the top of his Students Union-voted chart, and he guarantees
the old SHOESTRING BAND: Thingumajig (CBS) will get the walls shaking . . .

star tip

THIS WEEK’s topical tip is from Charles Wright (Blastoff Stereo Disco, Felixstowe), who’s surprised that nobody so far has mentioned the extreme similarity of HELLO’s New York Groove to HAMILTON BOHANNON’s Disco Stomp.

Charles suggests playing Disco Stomp first and cutting in before the end to say, “I am now going to slow this down to 33 ⅓ and add a few words”, immediately bringing up NY Groove.

All the hip kids laugh, and it gives everyone something to think about!

UK Disco Top 20 – November 22, 1975

01 01 Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug – Island
02 02 George McCrae – I Ain’t Lyin’ – Jay Boy
03 03 Trammps – Hold Back The Night – Buddah
04 11 Maxine Nightingale – Right Back Where We Started From – United Artists
05 04 Jim Capaldi – Love Hurts – Island
06 — Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing – Rak
07 08 Hello – New York Groove – Bell
08 09 Drifters – There Goes My First Love – Bell
09 07 Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – Change With The Times – Avco
10 05 Esther Phillips – What A Diff’rence A Day Makes – Kudu
11 20 George Benson – Supership – CTI
12 19 Jigsaw – Sky High – Splash
13 — Stretch – Why Did You Do It – Anchor
14 re Silver Convention – Fly Robin Fly – Magnet
15 06 David Bowie – Space Oddity – RCA
16 12 Dee Clark – Ride A Wild Horse – Chelsea
17 16 Rod Stewart – This Old Heart Of Mine – Riva
18 — John Lennon – Imagine – Apple
19 re People’s Choice – Do It Anyway You Wanna – Philadelphia Int’l
20 re Art Garfunkel – I Only Have Eyes For You – CBS

james’ top ten

2 IN THE MOOD Joe Bob’s Nashville Sound Company (US Capitol)
5 RHINESTONE COWBOY Glen Campbell (Capitol)
7 HOLD ME CLOSE David Essex (CBS)
8 ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (UA)
9 LOVE HURTS Jim Capaldi (Island)
10 THIS OLD HEART OF MINE Rod Stewart (Riva)

2 SHAVING CREAM Benny Bell (Vanguard)
3 NO REGRETS Walker Brothers (GTO)

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