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. 

MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY: ‘Mighty High’ (ABC 4102) (mentioned in Billboard column 11/22/75, Billboard chart debut 12/6/75)
Huge in US discos, terrific zest-filled performance and sizzling rhythm.

TERRY WEBSTER: ‘Angela’ (Satril SAT 105)
Truly dazzling evocation of the oldies-but-goodies vocal group sound, unexpectedly enough by the Rockin’ Berries’ resident impressionist! Stylistics/Four Seasons-type MoR/Pop semi-slowie.

DRIFTERS: ‘Hello Happiness’ (Bell 141)
Computerised jolliness.

STAMPEDERS: ‘Hit The Road Jack’ (Private Stock PVT 48)
Brilliant idea involving impressions of US TV hosts Wolfman Jack (Midnight Special) and Don Cornelius (Soul Train) woven into Ray Charles’s 1961 oldie.

BIG YOUTH: ‘Hit The Road Jack’ (Trojan TR 7977)
Much-imported great dreader than dread treatment of the same song.

TRAMMPS: ‘That’s Where The Happy People Go’ (Atlantic K 10703) (mentioned in Billboard column 11/8/75, Billboard chart debut 2/14/76)
Top disco hit in New York, where they’re having to import this UK-only single, it’s a spirited cymbal schlurping hustler with strong rhythm.

DOOLEY SILVERSPOON: ‘Game Players’ (Seville SEV 1022)
Picked by DJs from his great LP, this less adventurous British-originated fast churner is I suppose enough in the Billy Ocean bag to hit big here.

RHYTHM HERITAGE: ‘Theme From “S.W.A.T.”’ (ABC 4095) (Billboard chart debut 10/25/75)
SWAT are baaad mother . . . (shut yo’ mouth!). Torpid rhythm but quite a good melody line, and supposedly a million Americans can’t be wrong?

MEXICANOS: ‘Let’s Do The Latin Hustle’ / ‘Street Dance (Hustle)’ (Klik KL 614)
And another! Pared down to just rhythm and synthesizer the Drennon side is still surprisingly effective, while with brass and guitar the Fatback Band flip is even more powerful. Good value.

CRYSTAL GRASS: ‘Lemme See Ya Gitcher Thing Off, Baby’ / ‘Taj Mahal’ (Philips 6042635) (mentioned in Billboard column 12/6/75, Billboard chart debut 1/3/76)
Good hi-hat hustler, while the frantic flip (by Brazil’s Jorge Ben) is the official A-side.

SILVER CONVENTION: ‘Get Up And Boogie’ (Magnet MAG 55) (mentioned in Billboard column 2/14/76, Billboard chart debut 3/13/76)
Thudding rhythm track, the title line from the girls and “that’s right” from some guys. Uncompromisingly disco.

Clopping fast beat, Euro-Disco chix and a synthesizer replacing the undistinguished vocal on the flip. Yes, it’s the Sinatra tune!

MARTYN FORD ORCHESTRA: ‘Theme From “Gone With The Wind”’ / ‘Hustle Wit’ Every Muscle’ (Mountain TOP 7)
‘Tara’s Theme’ from the movie goes disco a bit messily, with a better Kay-Gees flip.

RON CARTER: ‘Anything Goes’ (Kudu 927) (mentioned in Billboard column 10/4/75, Billboard chart debut 2/7/76)
Jazz super-session veteran, bassist Carter may be the driving force but otherwise takes back seat to the hustle trim as Cole Porter goes disco.

TOGA: ‘More’ (State STAT 18) (Billboard chart debut 5/8/76)
The theme from ‘Mondo Cane’ goes disco too, quite pleasantly.

JASON SINCLAIR: ‘Tammy’ (Cactus CT 86)
Debbie Reynolds goes reggae, but very gently and so prettily that this is ideal MoR!

JOHNNY MATHIS: ‘Stardust’ (CBS 3913)
The DJ short version misses a boring long slow intro, and is lovely mushy smooch stuff.

SHARONETTES: ‘Broken Hearted Melody’ (Black Magic BM 113) (mentioned in Billboard column 6/5/76)
Sarah Vaughan’s pretty oldie given a taut churning rhythm that’s both modern and Northern. Instrumental flip.

HAMILTON BOHANNON: ‘Bohannon’s Beat’ (Brunswick BR 33) (mentioned in Billboard column 12/13/75, Billboard chart debut 1/17/76)
James Brown-type surface monotony over subtly shifting rhythm.

ISAAC HAYES MOVEMENT: ‘Disco Connection’ (ABC4100) (Billboard chart debut 1/24/76)
Fast synthetic rhythm and lots of electronic wizardry make for a pacey instrumental.

INNER STRENGTH: ‘The World Is A City’ (EMI 2412)
Temptations-type fast beater, impressive.

JOHN ASHER: ‘Twistin’ Party’ (Creole CR 117)
Chubby’s ‘Dancin’ Party’ (which should have been his own follow-up) quite amusingly updated.

DREAM EXPRESS: ‘Dream Express’ (EMI 2400)
Euro-Disco breeziness.

WILLIAM BELL: ‘Happy’ (Stax STXS 2038)
Joyful Northern noises.

ROSKO & THE ROSKETTES: ‘Hey Sah-Lo-Ney’ (MCA 226)
Sock it to me one time, UHHH!

Import Picks

THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND: ‘Texas’ (Kama Sutra KA 607)
Frantically fiddling Charlie’s breakneck hoedown may not be the most obvious disco choice, but at the right place (such as segued with ‘Bump Bounce Boogie’!) it should cause a riot. I hope it’s out here soon.

JOHNNIE TAYLOR: ‘Disco Lady’ (Columbia 3-10281) (Billboard chart debut 3/20/76)
Surprisingly subdued label debut by the ‘Who’s Making Love’ man, this low-key rhythm jiggler took off like a rocket as soon as it came out in the States. He’s a bumper, not a hustler.

HOSANNA: ‘Hipit’ (Calla CAST 12078GM) (Billboard chart debut 10/4/75)
Nice bouncy rhythm to a hit New York hustler, with vocal and instrumental disco sides.

BROWN SUGAR: ‘I’m Going Through Changes Now’ (Capitol P 4198) (mentioned in Billboard column 2/7/76, Billboard chart debut 2/28/76)
Arr/prod by Vince Montana, this girlie group combines elements of Diana Ross and the Three Degrees with a steadily hustling flow.

TODAY’S PEOPLE: ‘S.O.S. (All We Need Is Time For Love)’ (Gamma GA 5050) (Billboard chart debut 11/22/75)
A Canadian import with constantly ticking cymbal and lisping gals ‘n guys phonetically pronouncing the English lyrics.

UK Disco Top 20 – March 6, 1976

01 01 Tina Charles – I Love To Love – CBS
02 02 Four Seasons – December 1963 – Warner Bros.
03 04 O’Jays – I Love Music – Philadelphia Int’l
04 12 Stylistics – Funky Weekend – Avco
05 03 Miracles – Love Machine – Tamla Motown
06 15 Fatback Band – Spanish Hustle – Polydor
07 NE Evelyn Thomas – Weak Spot – 20th Century
08 RE Pluto Shervington – Dat – Opal
09 07 Yvonne Fair – It Should Have Been Me – Tamla Motown
10 NE Billy Ocean – Love Really Hurts Without You – GTO
11 NE Status Quo – Rain – Vertigo
12 RE Ralph Carter – Extra, Extra (Read All About It) – Mercury
13 09 A Wing & A Prayer Fife & Drum Corps – Baby Face – Atlantic
14 20 War – Low Rider – Island
15 06 Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby – GTO
16 11 Louis Jordan – Choo Choo Ch’Boogie – MCA
17 05 The Who – Squeeze Box – Polydor
18 17 L. J. Johnson – Your Magic Put A Spell On Me – Philips
19 18 Fire – Oh That’s My Man – Jay Boy
20 NE Brass Construction – Movin’ / Changin’ – United Artists
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

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

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hot Line”:

Softones: ‘That Old Black Magic’ (Avco) (Billboard chart debut 12/20/75)
20th Century Steel Band: ‘We’ve Got To Work To Stay Together’ (UA) (mentioned in Billboard column 8/28/76)
The Glitter Band: ‘Makes You Blind’ (Bell) (Billboard chart debut 8/21/76)
The Sunshine Band: ‘Rock Your Baby’ (Jay Boy) (Billboard chart debut 10/18/75)
M. & O. Band: ‘Let’s Do The Latin Hustle’ (Creole)
Salsoul Orchestra: ‘Tangerine’ (Epic) (mentioned in Billboard column 10/18/75, Billboard chart debut 11/8/75)
Earth, Wind & Fire: ‘Sing A Song’ (CBS) (mentioned in Billboard column 11/22/75, Billboard chart debut 12/6/75)
Champs Boys: ‘Tubular Bells’ (Vogue – French import) (mentioned in Billboard column 4/3/76, Billboard chart debut 4/24/76)
Andrea True Connection: ‘More, More, More’ (Buddah – US import) (mentioned in Billboard column 1/3/76, Billboard chart debut 1/17/76)
Billie Davis: ‘I’ve Been Loving Someone Else’ (UA)
Sylvers: ‘Boogie Fever’ (Capitol)
Elton John: ‘Grow Some Funk Of Your Own’ (DJM)
Toby: ‘So Good’ (Rak)
V.I.P. Connection: ‘Please Love Me Again’ (Creole)
Petula Clark: ‘Sailor’ (Pye)
Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance: ‘Don’t Try ‘N Change My Mind’ (Island)
Andy Fairweather-Low: ‘Champagne Melody’ (A&M)
The World Column: ‘So Is The Sun’ (Capitol)
Jackie Edwards: ‘I’m Still Waiting’ (Grounation)

Next week: Two versions of the same song hit the Top 20, and Hammy makes some comments on the amount of disco product being released…

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