January 24, 1976: Chubby Checker, War, 5000 Volts, Country Joe McDonald, Neil Sedaka

New Spins

CHUBBY CHECKER: ‘(At The) Discotheque’ (London HLU 10515)
Originally flip of ‘Do The Freddie’ (which is consequently the only Checker hit I lack), this used to change hands amongst disco DJs at anything up to fifty quid . . . so there’ll be much gnashing of teeth now.  Chubby rhymes “discotheque” with “hey hey hey” as he adapts to a boogalooing 1965 Philly beat, which while far removed from ‘The Twist’ should still go down well up North.  Less rare, the double A side coupling is his duet with Dee Dee Sharp on ‘Slow Twistin”.  Also out is ‘Reggae My Way’ (20th Century BTC 2040), a 1973 mixture of steel drums, ‘Love Is Strange’, and not much actual reggae!

WAR: ‘Low Rider’ (Island WIP 6267) (mentioned in Billboard column 9/13/75)
Delayed by a new label deal, the funksters’ huge US hit is a well-proven disco smash which throbs and jumps along with more energy than anything since their great ‘Me And Baby Brother’.

5000 VOLTS: ‘Bye Love’ (Philips 6006501) (mentioned in Billboard column 2/7/76, Billboard chart debut 3/6/76)
Borrowing a bit from the TK sound, sizzling cymbals and long intro included, the guys and gal mix up their vocals more than before as they hustle along to an extremely pretty melody.  Gawd knows who’s actually singing! 

COUNTRY JOE MCDONALD: ‘Breakfast For Two’ (Fantasy FTC 123)
Joe’s dreamy slowie has lovely San Francisco harmonies and the same languid atmosphere as Steve Miller’s ‘The Joker’.  Not obvious, but well worth trying.

NEIL SEDAKA: ‘Breaking Up Is Hard To Do’ (Polydor 2058684)
Skip the snatch of his ’62 version and the dead slow bit, and start with the rhythm – then see how long it takes for people to twig that this is the oldie slowed down to a romantic smooch (which still sounds remarkably like ‘Since I Fell For You’!)

LITTLE TONY: ‘Shakin’ All Over’ (RCA 2688)
Minus his brothers, Italian Tony (who in fact did an early cover of Chan Romero’s ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’) now gets to grips with the Johnny Kidd classic, doing this new slower treatment with more power than another version by Cliff Bennett’s group, Shanghai (Thunderbird THE 104)

LLOYD PARKS: ‘Mafia’ (Cactus CT 75)
Only now filtering through to the pop crowds, Lloyd’s “me a mafia” grinder could well be as big as it was in reggae circles last year.

JUDY MOWATT: ‘Too Good For Me’ (Torpedo TOR 52)
Subtle sophisticated slowie, beautifully made and hopefully just right for late night smoochers.  My own fave of the week.

LOVE BITE: ‘Killer Jaws’ (Magnet MAG 53)
British girlie group with a basic disco beat.  I still reckon that ‘Super Jaws’ by Seven Seas is the best of these spin-offs.

JACKIE ROBINSON: ‘Moving Like A Superstar’ (Pye 7N 25700) (Billboard chart debut 3/20/76)
More German “soul”, evidently, with fast thump beat and chanting ladies.  Not bad of its type, it could be big.

CHRIS SPEDDING: ‘Jump In My Car’ (Rak 228)
Bouncy mid-tempo ‘Honky Tonk Woman’-type thing.

AL MATTHEWS: ‘Your Affair’ (CBS 3912)
Back in his ‘Fool’ groove on another Pierre Tubbs tune, Al sounds great again – although this song (already familiar to Capital Radio listeners) may be too similar to hit.

MYSTIC MOODS: ‘Honey Trippin’’ (Mint CHEW 3)
Nice smoothly chugging instrumental with fans aplenty, it could be another ‘Afternoon Of The Rhino’.

PAT WILLIAMS ORCHESTRA: ‘Police Story’ (Capitol CL 15844)
Reissued telly theme, a brassy sparse beater with possible Northern appeal.

BILLY OCEAN: ‘Love Really Hurts Without You’ (GTO GT 51) (Billboard chart debut 4/3/76)
Last time he sounded like the Drifters and now he shamelessly rips off the Four Tops.  Sugar pie, honey bunch!


UK Disco Top 20 – January 24, 1976

01 01 Fatback Band – Do The Bus Stop – Polydor
02 03 Sailor – Glass Of Champagne – Epic
03 05 Chubby Checker – Let’s Twist Again – London
04 08 Paul Davidson – Midnight Rider – Tropical
05 09 Miracles – Love Machine – Tamla Motown
06 07 David Bowie – Golden Years – RCA
07 02 Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing – Rak
08 NE Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby – GTO
09 12 Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody – EMI
10 11 Trammps – Hooked For Life – Atlantic
11 NE Gloria Gaynor – How High The Moon – MGM
12 16 Barry White – Let The Music Play – 20th Century
13 04 Impressions – First Impressions – Curtom
14 NE R & J Stone – We Do It – RCA
15 RE O’Jays – I Love Music – Philadelphia Int’l
16 10 Roxy Music – Both Ends Burning – Island
17 NE David Ruffin – Walk Away From Love – Tamla Motown
18 18 Chuck Jackson – I’ve Got The Need – All Platinum
19 NE A Wing & A Prayer Fife & Drum Corps – Baby Face – Atco (US import)
20 NE Martha Reeves – Jimmy Mack – Tamla Motown
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (mentioned in Billboard column 11/15/75, Billboard chart debut 11/22/75)
#5 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/4/75, Billboard chart debut 10/11/75)
#6 (Billboard chart debut 1/17/76)
#8 (mentioned in Billboard column 9/27/75, Billboard chart debut 10/4/75)
#10 (Billboard chart debut 8/16/75)
#11 (mentioned in Billboard column 8/23/75, Billboard chart debut 9/13/75)
#12 (mentioned in Billboard column 12/20/75, Billboard chart debut 3/13/76)
#15 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/11/75, Billboard chart debut 10/25/75)
#17 (Billboard chart debut 12/20/75)
#19 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/4/75, Billboard chart debut 10/11/75)


Songs mentioned in “DJ Hot Line”:

O’JAYS: ‘I Love Music’ (Philadelphia Int’l.) (mentioned in Billboard column 10/11/75, Billboard chart debut 10/25/75)
DAVID RUFFIN: ‘Walk Away From Love’ (Tamla Motown) (Billboard chart debut 12/20/75)
SOUND 9418: ‘In The Mood’ (UK)
TABOU COMBO: ‘New York City’ (Decca)
THE WHO: ‘Squeeze Box’ (Polydor)
DOOLEY SILVERSPOON: ‘Let Me Be The No. 1 (Love Of Your Life)’ (Seville) (mentioned in Billboard column 9/27/75, Billboard chart debut 10/18/75)
REAL MCCOY: ‘Twist And Shout’ (Route)

Next Week: Hammy goes to America!

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