March 27, 1976: Sparks, Peter Frampton, Bad Company, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Brass Construction


HANK MIZELL’S high chart placing has taken many people by surprise, although it was forecast by this page several weeks ago.

His ‘Jungle Rock’ has been selling at the rate of 20,000 copies in just London and the South-East alone!

The record meant nothing in the States when first issued on King in about 1959, and it only really came to attention when included on a Starday Nashville compilation LP called ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’, about four years ago.

It then appeared on a Dutch bootleg LP, this time two years ago, at which stage demand began to build for it via the Rock ‘n’ Roll disco circuit — where it was ideal for dancing the Bop.

Around the end of 1974 a British counterfeit copy of the King single became widely available and sold like crazy for £1.50, prompting at least three record companies to try. for the legitimate UK rights. Charly Records automatically acquired these through their catalogue deal with Shelby Singleton, current owner of King as well as Starday and Sun.

Prior to its issue by Charly, ‘Jungle Rock’ had become one of the most played records on Capital Radio’s ‘Cruising’ show, first being used two years ago on the London commercial station’s oldies programme. DJ Roger Scott was thus well disposed to it when it finally came out here, but even so was amazed when it went on to win his ‘People’s Choice’ vote – and then to  maintain a consistently high daily placing in his ‘Hitline’ phone-in feature.

The success of this relatively obscure Rock-a-Billy rarity has now naturally inspired other record companies to satisfy the previously unheeded demands of the Teddy Boy fraternity.

MCA are rushing out Don Woody’s ‘Barking Up The Wrong Tree‘ / ‘Cast Iron Arm’, President are pressing Chan Romero’s ‘Hippy Hippy Shake‘ / ‘My Little Lucy’, and Charly themselves are readying Warren Smith’s ‘Pink Cadillac And A Black Moustache‘. Chiswick (one of the earlier bidders for Hank Mizell) already have Vince Taylor’s ‘Brand New Cadillac‘ (available through Lightning, London, and Selectadisc, Nottingham), and also still available are Jerry Byrne’s ‘Lights Out‘ (Speciality) and Johnny Kidd’s ‘Shakin’ All Over’ (EMI).

New Spins

SPARKS: ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ (Island WP 6282)
Treated as a quaveringly sung full-blown emotional ballad, the Beatles’ old bubble-gummer is now worthy of Shirley Bassey and screamingly funny. Alternatively, it’s like Smokey Robinson with a head cold! Good short-term MoR.

PETER FRAMPTON: ‘Show Me The Way’ (A&M AMS 7218)
Out here already, here’s the Face of ’76 bending his guitar via a Talkbox connected with his mouth, thus producing an immediately grabbing sound that makes this happy toe-tapper a pure delight.

BAD COMPANY: ‘Run With The Pack’ (Island WIP 6263)
Title track of their album, it’s a medium paced thunker that drags through some slow bits which prevent it from being a total disco delight.  Continue reading “March 27, 1976: Sparks, Peter Frampton, Bad Company, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Brass Construction”

March 20, 1976: Biddu Orchestra, Michael Zager, George & Gwen McCrae, Andrea True Connection, Ted Heath

Go North Young Jock

SPECIAL DEMONSTRATIONS of video for discos will be amongst the star attractions at the NADJ-run Disco North exhibition in Liverpool this Monday and Tuesday, March 22/23.

TVL Distributors Ltd will be showing the CV3 “Super-Screen” video projection system, which beams giant colour television images onto the equivalent of a cinema screen – the type of system that was such a success at the recent Disco Forum In New York.

Disco North is being held at the Liverpool Centre Hotel, Lord Nelson Street, Liverpool L3 5UQ, and will be open between midday and 9.00 pm (9.30 pm on Tuesday), entrance is free to NADJ members and by pro gramme at 50p to the general public.

The grand opening ceremony will be performed at 1.00 pm on Monday by Phil Easton. DJ with Radio City, and other personalities from the Liverpool commercial station will be visiting the show (it is still uncertain if Radio City will be broadcasting live from their stand).

As well as the many major equipment manufacturers and suppliers who will be exhibiting their wares, most disco orientated record companies will be represented by their promotion people. Although only Atlantic and Creole have taken stands, the other companies’ pluggers will be making themselves conspicuous amongst the crowds and will be on the lookout for DJs on (and off?) their mailing lists.

Disco Mirror and Record Mirror & Disc will also have a stand, where I hope to be able to press flesh with anyone mug enough to come by and say “Hi”! So, see you there!

New Spins

BIDDU ORCHESTRA: ‘Rain Forest’ (Epic EPC 4084) (mentioned in Billboard column 4/17/76, Billboard chart debut 4/24/76)
Lushly arranged with sweeping strings and prodding brass, this beautiful almost Santana-ish rhythm throbber is an ever-evolving delight. I’ve been having great fun making it even longer by mixing two copies together. The flip will please many too, as its the much-demanded ‘Exodus’, an archetypal “disco” sound.

MICHAEL ZAGER & THE MOON BAND: ‘Do It With Feeling’ (London HLM 10521) (mentioned in Billboard column 11/22/75, Billboard chart debut 11/29/75)
Ex-Ten Wheel Drive, Zager gets a great funky chant thing going with a big bouncy beat.

GEORGE & GWEN MCCRAE: ‘Let’s Dance, Dance, Dance’ (President PR 451)
Standout cut from their album, this exuberant fast happy dancer is a stone gas that ends up by quoting from other disco hits.  Continue reading “March 20, 1976: Biddu Orchestra, Michael Zager, George & Gwen McCrae, Andrea True Connection, Ted Heath”

March 13, 1976: “Ease up before there’s a backlash”.


Something ultimately harmful seems to be happening – something that needs a warning before it gets totally out of control.

Over the last month or so, the disco market has become saturated with product. The type of music released on singles in this country has dramatically changed, so that material appealing to disco audiences now dominates. “Heavy” groups have practically vanished. MoR has become beatier, teenybopper acts and straight pop purveyors are less in evidence.

In America, which is in the throes of an enormous “disco” boom, this trend could be expected. In fact, it is amazing to see how few of the really big disco hits actually go on to make a sizeable impression on the national Top 100 there. Which is the point of my message here . . .

A hell of a lot of good disco records are coming out here – far too many! Very few of them are going on to the sort of success that they deserve. Disco DJs, radio programmers and even record reviewers are so swamped with potentially useful singles that they haven’t a chance of being able to break more than just a few.

OK, so record producers have discovered that a market exists which they can aim for when concocting their creations (and a surprisingly large number of the disco singles come from Britain and Europe). But, please fellows, ease up before you kill the goose that lays those golden eggs! A look at the British Top 50 shows that disco reaction can definitely make Pop hits, but another look also shows that there is only so much room for disco records.

Ease up before there’s a backlash, as is beginning to be the case in the States. In fact, ease up before it’s too late.

New Spins

BRASS CONSTRUCTION: ‘Movin’’ / ‘Changin’’ (from LP ‘Brass Construction’, UA UAS 29923) (LP mentioned in Billboard column 1/17/76, Billboard chart debut 1/24/76)
From possibly the biggest selling import album of all time, now out here, these two eight minute plus tracks are almost as unremittingly funky as they are when done live. Terrific!

THE ROYAL SHOW BAND: ‘The Hucklebuck’ (Irish EMI IEMI 5038)
A mind-reading plugger from EMI Ireland has sent me this re-issue of the Brendan Bowyer-led showband’s 1965 smash, an infectious party-type styling after Chubby Checker’s twisted treatment of the late ’40s dance tune.

FRANK SINATRA: ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ (Reprise K 14420)
Pity it’s the applause-riddled live ‘Main Event’ cut, but even so this is great quickstepping stuff. Continue reading “March 13, 1976: “Ease up before there’s a backlash”.”

March 6, 1976: Kevin Ayers, Mills Brothers, George Formby, Mighty Clouds Of Joy, Terry Webster

New Spins

KEVIN AYERS: ‘Falling In Love Again’ (Island WIP 6271)
Marlene Dietrich’s languid lilter (rousingly revived by Alan Price in 1970) now gets a flustering rhythm retread from husky-voiced Kevin (whose Lou Reed-like ‘Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes‘ is also out, on Harvest HAR 5107). MoR jocks on the lookout for another ‘Misty’ are sure to fall in love again!

MILLS BROTHERS: ‘Opus No. 1’ (MCA 235)
Excitingly brassy 1954 swinger, a well-proven must for Jitterbuggers.

GEORGE FORMBY: ‘The Window Cleaner’ (Columbia DB 8959)
Maxi-coupled with mirthful CHARLIE PENROSE’s ‘The Laughing Policeman’ (especially apt if your gig gets raided by the fuzz), this cheerful vintage silliness is useful nostalgic fun.  Continue reading “March 6, 1976: Kevin Ayers, Mills Brothers, George Formby, Mighty Clouds Of Joy, Terry Webster”