SOUND 9418: ‘In The Mood’ (UK 121)
OK, here it is! Jonathan King has made the definitive disco version by taking the traditional old brassy approach, mixing it with the strings sounds from Joe Bob’s recent US treatment, and then – with the tempo staying the same throughout – throwing in a “disco” segment followed by a reggae section. Gimmicky, catchy and crazy as can be, it’s all such fun that it has to appeal to everyone! As I have an interest in the record I hope you’ll realize that my reviews are unbiased once you’ve heard it yourselves. The throwaway flip is called ‘Jimmy’s Theme‘ . . . I wonder why?
CREATION: ‘I Get The Fever’ (Black Magic BM 109)
This late 60s fast romper, also credited in its day to the Prophets, is a madly infectious vocal group chanter with a huge reputation up North. Out several times before, it’ll probably hit now on Black Magic. As flip there’s a similarly fast instrumental by Thom Bell and Bobby Martin called ‘Cheyenne’, credited to Promised Land.
GLORIA GAYNOR: ‘How High The Moon’ (MGM 2006558) (mentioned in Billboard column 8/23/75, Billboard chart debut 9/13/75)
Gloria gallops along to the S.O.N.N.Y. rhythm with hi-hats flying (not that Sonny Casella produces her), and if not too fast for dancers she should do better than last time with this formularized oldie.
FAITH, HOPE & CHARITY: ‘Just One Look’ (RCA 2632)
Van McCoy’s revival of Doris Troy’s 1963 classic now follows the ‘To Each His Own’ formula maybe just a little bit too closely to sound spontaneous. Still, it should do well in many discos and – increasingly important these days – the tune is very well known.
BABY FACE: ‘Baby Face (Latin Feel)’ (Pye 7N 45563)
The flip of a UK soundalike cover of the great Wing & A Prayer Fife & Drum Corps version, this is the same track but with overlaid Latin percussion which makes it different enough to stand on its own – or as a segue out of the original.
PERCY FAITH: ‘Summer Place ‘76’ (CBS 3820) (Billboard chart debut 11/1/75)
Still they’re coming, famous oldies squeezed into a disco formula. This time it’s the original hitmaker doing the squeezing, and Percy manages to make his lovely 1960 smash almost unrecognizable in the process. However, he makes it very disco ’76 and it should be useful.
DONALD BYRD: ‘Change (Makes You Want To Hustle)’ (Blue Note BNXW 7003) (mentioned in Billboard column 10/18/75, Billboard chart debut 11/1/75)
The Black Byrd goes blatantly disco with a funky chanter that features strings and things as well as a few Tijuana twiddles from his horn. The terrific rhythm should make it a club fave and his tour could help it go pop.
DALIDA: ‘J’Attendrai’ (Decca FR 13618)
After a long but luckily skippable intro, the veteran continental glamour gal eases into a disco tempo that really takes off when a great brass break erupts, enlivening everything. Sung in French and still more MoR than funk, it’ll be useful for some.
BYRON MCNAUGHTON & HIS ALL NEWS ORCHESTRA: ‘Right From The Shark’s Jaws (The Jaws Interview)’ (Route RT 23)
Dickie Goodman’s ‘Mr. Jaws’ cutup is still unavailable here, yet this inferior copy of the idea uses oldies by the Beach Boys, Robin Ward and newies by the Bee Gees and Harold Melvin to name but a few – and indeed it’s the wide range of material that makes it mildly interesting. Incongruously the ‘Jaws Jam’ flip is a straight-booting jazz instrumental, credited to The Chief.
THE MILESTONES FEAT. BUTCH BAKER: ‘The Joker’ / ‘Juicy Brucie’ (Black Magic BM 111)
Ultra-fast ‘I Can’t Help Myself’ rhythm and maniacal giggles spice up this rather nice Northern instrumental, while the chunkier flip is ‘Night Train’ in all but name.
VARIOUS ARTISTS: ‘Reggae Chartbusters ‘75’ (Cactus CTLP 114)
In a move worthy of K-Tel or Arcade, Cactus have scooped the compilation rights to the few reggae-type hits the Gull, Magnet and Pye have ever had (all labels totally unrelated to each other), and placed them with their own array of recent hits on this 12-track album of which the title is no misnomer. Thus it contains Typically Tropical’s ‘Barbados’ and The Diversions’ ‘Fatty Bum Bum’, Susan Cadogan’s ‘Hurt So Good’ and Johnny Wakelin’s ‘Black Superman’, alongside Desmond Dekker’s ‘Israelites’ and ‘Sing A Little Song’, Rupie Edwards’s ‘Leggo Skanga’ and ‘Ire Feelings’, Judge Dread’s ‘Je T’Aime’ and ‘Big 10’, and – the only ones that didn’t go pop – John Holt’s ‘Love Is Gone’ and Jason Sinclair’s ‘The End Of The World’.
NEGRIL: ‘Negril’ (Klik KLP 9005)
Negril is the name of the album and of the group, and the group is practically a supergroup at that, including such reggae stars as Peter Tosh, Family Man, Leslie Butler, Cedric Brooks and Joe Higgs, plus America’s Richard Tee. They make lovely lazy instrumental music which is perfect for the stoned but the main point of this review is that the lead track on side one is their treatment of ‘I Shot The Sheriff’. To put it simply – if I ever feel like letting the Wailers’ ‘Live At The Lyceum’ run on from ‘No Woman No Cry’ into ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, I don’t let it ‘cos these days I segue into this instead.
UK Disco Top 20 – January 10, 1976
01 01 Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing – Rak
02 04 Fatback Band – Do The Bus Stop – Polydor
03 03 Chubby Checker – Let’s Twist Again – London
04 06 David Bowie – Golden Years – RCA
05 02 Silver Convention – Fly Robin Fly – Magnet
06 05 Impressions – First Impressions – Curtom
07 RE Chuck Jackson – I’ve Got The Need – All Platinum
08 NE Miracles – Love Machine – Tamla Motown
09 12 Roxy Music – Both Ends Burning – Island
10 NE Trammps – Hooked For Life – Atlantic
11 NE Paul Davidson – Midnight Rider – Tropical
12 RE Tymes – God’s Gonna Punish You – RCA
13 15 Drifters – Can I Take You Home Little Girl – Bell
14 NE Chris Hill – Renta Santa – Philips
15 NE Barry White – Let The Music Play – 20th Century
16 08 Sailor – Glass Of Champagne – Epic
17 11 Sam Cooke – Twistin’ The Night Away – RCA
18 14 Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody – EMI
19 NE George & Gwen McCrae – I’ll Do The Rockin’ – President
20 NE Larry Page Orchestra – Volare – Penny Farthing
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry
Appeared in Billboard:
#2 (mentioned in Billboard column 11/15/75, Billboard chart debut 11/22/75)
#4 (Billboard chart debut 1/17/76)
#5 (mentioned in Billboard column 7/19/75, Billboard chart debut 8/2/75)
#8 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/4/75, Billboard chart debut 10/11/75)
#10 (Billboard chart debut 8/16/75)
#12 (mentioned in Billboard column 9/20/75)
#15 (mentioned in Billboard column 12/20/75, Billboard chart debut 3/13/76)
#19 (mentioned in Billboard column 12/6/75, Billboard chart debut 12/13/75)
Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:
SID PHILLIPS: ‘You Came A Long Way From St. Louis’ (HMV)
TED HEATH ORCHESTRA: ‘Opus One’ (Decca)
MILLS BROTHERS: ‘Opus One’ (Brunswick)
BABE RUTH: ‘Elusive’ (Capitol) (Billboard chart debut 11/29/75)
DE BLANC: ‘Oh No Not My Baby’ (Arista) (Billboard chart debut 12/27/75)
O’JAYS: ‘I Love Music’ (Philadelphia Intl. – LP cut) (mentioned in Billboard column 10/11/75, Billboard chart debut 10/25/75)
KENNETH MCKELLAR: ‘It’s A Long Way To Tipperary’ (Decca)
JOE LOSS: ‘Hokey Cokey’ (MfP)
ERNIE FIELDS: ‘In The Mood’ (London)
WING AND A PRAYER FIFE & DRUM CORPS: ‘Baby Face’ (Atlantic) (mentioned in Billboard column 10/4/75, Billboard chart debut 10/11/75)
DONNA SUMMER: ‘Love To Love You Baby’ (GTO) (mentioned in Billboard column 9/27/75, Billboard chart debut 10/4/75)
LEON HAYWOOD: ‘I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You’ (20th Century)