August 7, 1976: Judge Dread, Fatback Band, Silver Pony, Kay-Gees, Johnny “Guitar” Watson

Roger Squire has yet to confirm a new sponsor for the disco trade exhibition which was due to take place at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel next month, and has extended his provisional booking for the venue. The NADJ’s Ben Cree has evidently capitulated in his efforts to run a Disco ’76 show, but it appears that his offer to run the reconstituted exhibition has so far not been accepted. There is now a strong possibility that the show will be postponed until January, by which time the participating manufacturers may have formed themselves into a trade association or its equivalent.

New Spins

JUDGE DREAD: ‘Viva Suspenders’ (Cactus CT 31)
His best yet, a hilarious rewrite of – you guessed? – ‘Y Viva Espana’, full of all the original partytime jollity but now funny as well.  Immensely useful.

FATBACK BAND: ‘Night Fever’ (Spring 2066706) (mentioned in Billboard column 7/24/76, Billboard chart debut 8/7/76)
Still in hustling Spanish groove, this tearaway cymbal sizzler will get lots of attention despite being nothing very different.

SILVER PONY: ‘The Lonely Ranger’ (EMI INT 524)
Out next week but a disco sensation already, it’s the galloping William Tell theme so loved by arms-linked liggers, done synthetically with send-up voices.  A smash! 

KAY-GEES: ‘Waiting At The Bus Stop’ (Polydor 2001681)
Brass Construction-type funky chanter, strongest in its more instrumental Part 2 form, with emphasized synthetics and a good rap intro.

JOHNNY GUITAR WATSON: ‘I Need It’ (DJM DJS 10694) (Billboard chart debut 9/25/76)
Jazzily flowing funky thumper with smooth Stevie Wonder-ish multi-tracked vocal and class aura.

BARRY WHITE: ‘Baby, We Better Try To Get It Together’ (20th Century BTC 2298)
Nothing new, this slinkily thunking groaner is lead track to side two of his latest album.

THE BOTTOM LINE: ‘That’s The Way To Go’ (GTO GT 64) (Billboard chart debut 7/4/76)
Plopping hustle rhythms, brittle brass, shrill synthetics and some odd bits of soulful singing make for a good New York sound.  Funky flip too.

HOT BLOOD: ‘Soul Dracula’ (Creole CR 132)
Already in demand disco fodder from France, complete with plodding bump beat, silly instrumentation and fiendish chuckles.

AFRIC SIMONE: ‘Ramaya’ (Galaxy GY 103)
Out for months, this ‘Click Song’-type Afro chanter is now number one in Italy, where doubtless it’s making memories for many happy holidaymakers.  Be prepared!

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS: ‘Roots, Rock, Reggae’ (Island WIP 6309)
Throbbing pure reggae slowie, already very popular with the punters.

ASWAD: ‘Back To Africa’ (Island WIP 6312)
Lovely atmospheric reggae smoocher, also extremely popular.

MATUMBI: ‘After Tonight’ (Safari SFR 1)
And another lovely reggae slowie, with a distinctive guitar sound.

TINA CHARLES: ‘Dance Little Lady Dance’ (CBS 4480) (Billboard chart debut 10/23/76)
Thudding bass beats and a web of secondary rhythms behind the shrill-voiced Tina, but it may not be enough to alter radio’s antipathy to her off-key style.

SHARON FORRESTER: ‘Here Comes The Sun’ (Vulcan VUL 1011)
Popular reggae star squeakily warbling the Harrisong in catchily jogging slow style.

JOHNNY JONES & THE KING CASUALS: ‘Purple Haze’ (Cream CRM 5004)
Totally different treatment of the Hendrix tune, with both rock and R&B appeal, reminiscent of Rex Garvin.

THIN LIZZY: ‘Jailbreak’ (Vertigo 6059150)
The jailbirds are back in town, rocking hard and heavy.  Not to be confused with:

AC/DC: ‘Jailbreak’ (Atlantic K 10805)
Another song entirely, but possibly even heavier, with strong overtones of Them’s old ‘G-L-O-R-I-A’.

FLAMIN’ GROOVIES: ‘Don’t You Lie To Me’ (Sire 6198086)
Raunchy Rock ‘n Roll from modern underground heroes.

GEORGE CHANDLER: ‘One In A Million’ (RCA 2720)
Gentle soul smoocher in the old Main Ingredient style, arranged by Pip Williams.

PIONEERS: ‘Broken Man’ (Mercury 6198081)
A flip I missed, the instrumental B-side of this is a great little perkily plopping bouncer, unhinted at by the more mundane but still quite jolly plug side.

KRAKATOA: ‘Save Yourself’ (Polydor 2058780)
Unexpectedly funky B-side, a bit messy but worth checking in case.

JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY: ‘Do Your Thing’ (Casablanca CBX 520)
More disco than their current product, this Isaac Hayes grinder is from 1974.


UK Disco Top 20 – August 7, 1976

01 01 Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Rocket
02 03 Tavares – Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel – Capitol
03 02 Candi Staton – Young Hearts Run Free – Warner Bros.
04 15 David Dundas – Jeans On – Air
05 08 KC & The Sunshine Band – Shake Your Booty – Jay Boy
06 12 Jimmy James & The Vagabonds – Now Is The Time – Pye
07 NE Johnny Wakelin – In Zaire – Pye
08 06 Hundred Ton & A Feather – It Only Takes A Minute – UK
09 09 Ohio Players – Who’d She Coo – Mercury
10 04 Bryan Ferry – Let’s Stick Together – Island
11 07 War – Me And Baby Brother – Island
12 11 Dr. Hook – A Little Bit More – Capitol
13 19 Bee Gees – You Should Be Dancing – RSO
14 14 Isley Brothers – Harvest For The World – Epic
15 NE People’s Choice – Here We Go Again – Philadelphia Int’l
16 20 Manhattans – Kiss And Say Goodbye – CBS
17 13 James Brown – Get Up Offa That Thing – Polydor
18 NE B.T. Express – Can’t Stop Groovin’ – EMI Int’l
19 RE Dorothy Moore – Misty Blue – Contempo
20 NE Status Quo – Mystery Song – Vertigo
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#2 (mentioned in Billboard column 5/15/76, Billboard chart debut 5/22/76)
#3 (Billboard chart debut 4/17/76)
#5 (mentioned in Billboard column 7/17/76, Billboard chart debut 7/31/76)
#7 (Billboard chart debut 1/15/77)
#9 (Billboard chart debut 9/18/76)
#13 (Billboard chart debut 7/10/76)
#15 (Billboard chart debut 6/19/76)
#17 (Billboard chart debut 9/4/76)
#18 (Billboard chart debut 5/29/76)


Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

RITCHIE FAMILY: ‘Best Disco In Town’ (Marlin LP cut – US import) (Billboard chart debut 7/10/76)
UNDISPUTED TRUTH: ‘You + Me = Love’ (Whitfield – US import) (Billboard chart debut 7/24/76)
ARMADA ORCHESTRA: ‘The Love I Lost’ (Contempo)

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