May 15, 1976: “That makes it a disco record?!”

Two weeks ago I suggested that if records like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Music’, ‘Silver Star’ and ‘Fernando’ were being requested but not danced to, they did not deserve to be included in a disco chart.

DJ response was varied though fairly united as to the non-danceability of the records mentioned.  Only Steve Lloyd (SL Discos, Llanelli) found that his 16 to 19 year old audiences danced to the whole of the Queen and ABBA sides.

Stuart (Raquels, Wakefield) said “no, no, no” they don’t dance, and observed that the records mentioned were requested mainly by fellas who had no dress sense and were generally untidy – not the sort of guys that a girl would look at, let along dance with!  When ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was current he in fact refused to play it because he knew it would upset the people who were dancing.

“Dirty Harry” Park (Corner House, Heaton), Frank Wavish (De-Luxe Disco, Plympton) and Les Aron (Seagull Club, Selsey) play the popular non-dancers at the start (and sometimes at the end) of the evening, and having got them out of the way then get on with the real disco records.  But they don’t chart the non-dancers.

Ian Walton (Caesars Lodge, Nailsworth, Stroud) recommended making a diplomatic excuse about not playing the non-dance record requested (“Sorry, I broke it!”), and then playing something else by the same artist that is danceable.  Another way in his eyes is not to buy the dreaded record in the first place!  He finds that ‘Music’ is a good closing record if faded up from a slowie into the “classical” break and voiced-over before the final climax.

Predictably, the dancers’ angle was represented exclusively by some female fans of Freddy Mercury and Queen.  Elizabeth Fletcher (Egham) thinks ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is bliss and the ideal accompaniment for a lovely intimate smooch with a dishy male.  Kathleen Easton (Catford) finds it the most perfect accompaniment for free expression.  In fact, her idea of free expression is to rehearse for days to the music and then dance in a trance before three hundred college students, none of whom could dance to it at all.  That makes it a disco record?!

Yvonne Castle (Charlton) doesn’t request Queen because her local DJ won’t play it, but he does play the flip which she can dance to.  In any case she finds that she can dance to all these records just by “doing her own thing” regardless of tempo changes, which is as good an answer as any. 

New Spins

OSIBISA: ‘Dance The Body Music’ (Bronze BRO 26)
Easy going gentle paced semi-hustler, full of simple charm and hit appeal.

YVONNE FAIR: ‘Walk Out The Door If You Wanna’ (Tamla Motown TMG 1025)
Yvonne’s violently aggressive snarling stomper has instant impact and an exciting intro, yet oddly its US release in late ’74 was totally ignored, and even here it’s merely the B-side to a boring slowie.

RUFUS featuring CHAKA KHAN: ‘Dance Wit Me’ (ABC 4114)
Truly funky US soul smash, already big in the black clubs here.

THE BROTHERS JOHNSON: ‘Get The Funk Out Ma Face’ (from LP ‘Look Out For No. 1’, A&M AMLH 64597) (Billboard chart debut 5/15/76)
Much tipped by funky DJs, this staccato bumping chanter is indeed huge but as the only disco cut on the album (it’s only 2:27 at that) it’s hardly good value in this form.

DISCO DUB BAND: ‘For The Love Of Money’ (Movers MO 1) (mentioned in Billboard column 5/8/76)
Funkily leaping rhythm transforms the O’Jays’ oldie into an unrecognisable instrumental that’s a real mover!

LYDIA PENSE & COLD BLOOD: ‘We Came Down Here’ / ‘Cold Blood Smoking’ (ABC 4109)
An excitingly fast and funky flip side, with the most complex composer credits I’ve ever seen.

MARVIN GAYE: ‘I Want You’ (Tamla Motown TMG 1026) (Billboard chart debut 4/10/76)
Marv’s still getting it on in his sexy slow ‘What’s Going On’ style, which is just fine for smoochers!

JAY & THE TECHNIQUES: ‘Number One-derful’ (Polydor 2066648) (Billboard chart debut 1/31/76)
“Shoo wah doo wah wah”s and a pretty rhythm track start off a bright and cheerful hustler that producer Jerry Ross has filled with appeal.

THE ROYAL SHOW BAND: ‘The Hucklebuck’ (EMI 2459)
Now re-issued here as well as in Eire, this much-sought 1964 cover of Chubby Checker’s version of the late forties dance tune is brash, twistin’ fun for ravers everywhere. An MoR must.

BILLY LEE RILEY: ‘Flying Saucers Rock ‘N Roll’ (Charly CS1008)
Complete with young Jerry Lee Lewis on rockin’ piano, here’s Bill Lee’s revered 1957 Rockabilly romper, one of THE classic boppers, guaranteed hit with Teds and Rockers.

CREATIVE SOURCE: ‘Don’t Be Afraid (Take My Love)’ (Polydor 266680)
Fast churning rhythm and murky vocals make this a good bet for the North.

CAROL WOODS: ‘Heading Down Fools Road’ (20th Century BTC 1018)
Smoothly souled 100 mph stuff from Ian Levine, complete with backing track flip.

DORIS JONES: ‘He’s So Irreplaceable’ (NEMS NES 600)
Ditto as for Carol Woods.

THE FANTASTIC PUZZLES: ‘Come Back, Pts. 1 & 2’ (Right On RO 106) (Billboard chart debut 10/11/75)
Esoteric soulfulness for Northerners. Keep the faith now!

DONNA SUMMER: ‘Could It Be Magic’ (GTO GT 80) (mentioned in Billboard column 3/13/76, Billboard chart debut 3/27/76)
Ambiguous fast rhythm may be good up North.

FATBACK BAND: ‘Party Time’ (Polydor 2066682) (mentioned in Billboard column 12/20/75, Billboard chart debut 2/28/76)
Disappointingly dull chanter in their old street funk style, edited from the album.

MISTURA: ‘The Flasher’ (Route RT 30)
Booming bouncy bass and braying brass, much more than just reminiscent of ‘Street Dance’.

JOHNNY WAKELIN: ‘In Zaire’ (Pye 7N-45595) (Billboard chart debut 1/15/77)
Slowed-down Burundi Black-type percussion is making this Muhammed Ali tribute a current DJ pick.

THE MONSTARS: ‘Cumba Cumba’ (Aquarius AQ 2)
Continental jollity with hokey Afro chanting, possibly useable MOR.

B.B. SEATON: ‘Moon River’ (Virgin VS 146)
Pleasant reggaefication that’ll do if you can’t find the Jerry Butler/Danny Williams versions.

UK Disco Top 20 – May 15, 1976

01 01 Silver Convention – Get Up And Boogie – Magnet
02 03 Andrea True Connection – More, More, More – Buddah
03 02 Hank Mizell – Jungle Rock – Charly
04 09 Jimmy James – I’ll Go Where The Music Takes Me – Pye
05 16 Diana Ross – Love Hangover – Tamla Motown
06 08 Fox – S-S-S-Single Bed – GTO
07 NE Stylistics – Can’t Help Falling In Love – Avco
08 05 Hot Chocolate – Don’t Stop It Now – Rak
09 07 Brass Construction – Movin’ / Changin’ – United Artists
10 04 Barry White – You See The Trouble With Me – 20th Century
11 NE Harpo – Movie Star – DJM
12 06 Isaac Hayes – Disco Connection – ABC
13 17 Johnnie Taylor – Disco Lady – CBS
14 13 Rimshots – Do What You Feel – All Platinum
15 14 Brotherhood Of Man – Save Your Kisses For Me – Pye
16 10 Roger Collins – You Sexy Sugar Plum – Fantasy
17 12 Trammps – Where The Happy People Go – Atlantic
18 RE Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow – Warner Bros.
19 NE Sutherland Brothers & Quiver – Arms Of Mary – CBS
20 NE Tina Charles – Love Me Like A Lover – CBS
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

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

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

O’JAYS: ‘Livin’ For The Weekend’ (Philadelphia Int’l)
BABE RUTH: ‘Elusive’ (Capitol) (Billboard chart debut 11/29/75)
LEE GARRETT: ‘You’re My Everything’ (Chrysalis)
ROBIN SARSTEDT: ‘My Resistance Is Low’ (Decca)
PIONEERS: ‘Feel The Rhythm’ (Philips)
STRUTT: ‘Front Row Romeo’ (Brunswick LP cut – US import) (LP mentioned in Billboard column 4/3/76, Billboard chart debut 4/10/76)
UNDISPUTED TRUTH: ‘Boogie Bump Boogie’ (Gordy – US import)

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