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

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. 

CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL: ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ (Fantasy FTC 128)
Dramatically edited from their marathon old album track to now match the Marvin Gaye length, which misses the point — the shambling album version was a nice extended groove (useful for DJs who wanted to take a walk!), but no way was it as punchy or concise as Marv.

BRASS CONSTRUCTION: ‘Movin” (UA UP 36090) (mentioned in Billboard column 1/17/76, Billboard chart debut 1/24/76)
The whole point about Brass Construction is that they just go on and on which means that you’ve GOT to get their album for the full-length version of this disco smash.

CARPENTERS: ‘There’s A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World)’ (A&M AMS 7219)
Herman’s Hermits oldie gets a typical light jogalong treatment that’s naturally just right for the old folks.

LES HUMPHRIES SINGERS: ‘Day After Day’ (Antic K 11525)
Immediately appealing Easy Listening quickstepper, with lovely melody and harmonies — it should have been the A-side.

SWEET BLINDNESS: ‘Cowboys To Girls’ (Quality QUPS 1)
The Canadian label bows in with a great new fast hustling treatment of the Intruders’ lovely oldie, which retains much of the original’s flavour thanx to the soulful group’s singing.

RODGER COLLINS: ‘You Sexy Sugar Plum (But I Like It)’ / ‘I’ll Be Here (When The Morning Comes)’ (Fantasy FTC 132)
Two goodies from the ‘She’s Looking Good’ guy, the top side having synthetics and panting while the slip features clucking chicken guitar, both with strong bouncy soul beats and Al Green-ish singing.

JOHNNIE TAYLOR: ‘Disco Lady’ (CBS 4044) (Billboard chart debut 3/20/76)
A US chart sensation, the ‘Who’s Making’ Love’ man’s biggest for years is surprisingly far removed from the current “disco” sound . . . which probably proves something. A subdued rhythm jiggler, really quite subtle.

KEITH NICHOLS: ‘Mardi Gras’ (EMI 2435)
Brassy goodtimey rumpty-trumpty Charleston-ish fun, from the new musical show. Good for MoR parties.

SPARROW: ‘House Of Swing’ (Bronze BRO 24)
With the blue lights shining on the swinging hips, here’s a slick harmony pastiche of all the Forties sounds you’ve come to know and love. Almost fantastic, but ultimately shallow.

SOUND 9418: ‘Stranger On The Shore’ / ‘Everyone’s Gone To The Moon’ (UK 127)
Pure Easy Listening, with steel guitar instead of clarinet, this once again goes into a reggae section — which while making it different, also messes up whatever groove the dancers are in. The even slower and lusher flipside reading is kept perfectly straight, for middle-aged smoochers!

PLUTO: ‘Ram Goat Liver’ (Opal PAL 8 / Trojan TR 7978)
Two labels, same record.  Older than ‘Dat’, dis is about a bus driver who eats the liver of a goat he’s run over, only to find it’s an aphrodisiac!

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS: ‘Mr. Brown’ (Trojan TR 7979)
Freaky deep toned organ and powerful wailing from the Wailers make this slow funker fairly remarkable.

CARRIE HAUGHTON: ‘Rock Me’ (Cactus CT 87)
Carrie’ll probably plead a speech defect, but the first few times she sings the title line it sounds more like another four-lettered word! Thus this gentle reggae slowie is sure to find fans.

WAR: ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends?’ (Island WIP 6289) (mentioned in Billboard column 4/26/75)
Slow-ish reggae rhythm changer, a bit boring.

STEPHANIE MILLS: ‘This Empty Place’ (Tamla Motown TMG 1020) (Billboard chart debut 11/29/75)
Bacharach & David review their early Dionne Warwick hit for the 16 year old ‘Wiz’ kid, who makes it a bluesy thumping cymbal schlurper.

UK Disco Top 20 – March 27, 1976

01 01 Tina Charles – I Love To Love – CBS
02 05 Billy Ocean – Love Really Hurts Without You – GTO
03 03 Fatback Band – Spanish Hustle – Polydor
04 02 Four Seasons – December 1963 – Warner Bros.
05 10 Barry White – You See The Trouble With Me – 20th Century
06 13 Gallagher & Lyle – I Wanna Stay With You – A&M
07 07 M. & O. Band – Let’s Do The Latin Hustle – Creole
08 RE Eddie Drennon & B.B.S. Unlimited – Let’s Do The Latin Hustle – Pye
09 08 Glitter Band – People Like You – Bell
10 09 20th Century Steel Band – We’ve Got To Work To Stay Together – UA
11 04 Stylistics – Funky Weekend – Avco
12 14 Brass Construction – Movin’ / Changin’ – UA
13 NE Pioneers – Feel The Rhythm – Philips
14 06 O’Jays – I Love Music – Philadelphia Int’l
15 NE Beatles – Yesterday – EMI
16 NE Rod Stewart – It’s All Over Now – Vertigo
17 NE Salsoul Orchestra – Tangerine – Epic
18 11 Status Quo – Rain – Vertigo
19 16 Trammps – Where The Happy People Go – Atlantic
20 NE Sailor – Girls, Girls, Girls – Epic
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (Billboard chart debut 3/13/76)
#2 (Billboard chart debut 4/3/76)
#3 (mentioned in Billboard column 12/20/75, Billboard chart debut 12/27/75)
#5 (Billboard chart debut 3/13/76)
#8 (Billboard chart debut 9/20/75)
#10 (mentioned in Billboard column 8/28/76)
#12 (mentioned in Billboard column 1/17/76, Billboard chart debut 1/24/76)
#14 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/11/75, Billboard chart debut 10/25/75)
#17 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/18/75, Billboard chart debut 11/8/75)
#19 (mentioned in Billboard column 11/8/75, Billboard chart debut 2/14/76)

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hot Line”:

BROTHERHOOD OF MAN: ‘Save Your Kisses For Me’ (Pye)
PIONEERS: ‘Feel The Rhythm’ (Philips)
CRYSTAL GRASS: ‘Let Me See You Gitcher Thing Off Baby’ (Philips) (mentioned in Billboard column 12/6/75, Billboard chart debut 1/3/76)

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