August 28, 1976: Ohio Players, Brothers Johnson, Fatback Band, Tavares, Black Oak Arkansas

New Spins

OHIO PLAYERS: ‘Fire’ (Mercury 6167420)
From ’74 and a huge influence on Bowie’s ‘Fame’, this classic hunk of heavy funk has a great intro and lasting appeal.  ‘Skin Tight‘ flip’s a revival, too.

BROTHERS JOHNSON: ‘Get The Funk Out Ma Face’ (A&M AMS 7251) (Billboard chart debut 5/15/76)
Worth the wait, for the short album track is now padded out to six minutes for the single version!  The funkiest sound around and a smash.

FATBACK BAND: ‘Disco Crazy’ (from LP ‘Night Fever’, Spring 2391235) (mentioned in Billboard column 7/24/76)
Fast ‘n frantic leaper, already much bigger than ‘Night Fever’, which mixes nicely into the Ritchie Family.  Their ‘December 1963‘ is the other prime cut. 

TAVARES: ‘Don’t Take Away The Music’ (from LP ‘Sky High’, Capitol EST 11533) (mentioned in Billboard column 6/5/76, Billboard chart debut 6/19/76)
Tipped to follow ‘Heaven’, it’s another ultrabrite romper (somewhat faster) with a great catchy clapping hook.

BLACK OAK ARKANSAS: ‘Fistful Of Love’ (MCA 247)
Monotonously repetitive lyrics, underpinned by an amazingly authentic disco rhythm.  If Can can do it, why not BOA?

PANACHE: ‘Let There Be Drums’ (Paladin PAL 2)
Better than Bev Bevan’s other modern version of the Sandy Nelson classic drum opus, this has good phasing and other electronic effects.

ONE HUNDRED TON AND A FEATHER: ‘Don’t Forget Me When You’re On Your Island’ (UK 148)
Self-penned Continental-styled jollity by Jo King, far removed from any Tavares-type rip-offs, rushed out to catch the holiday season.

PUSSYCAT: ‘Mississippi’ (Sonet SON 2077)
Remember, all those happy holidaymakers are homeward bound, their ears ringing to the sound of this schmaltzy Euro-disco smash.

MARK RADICE: ‘If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em’ (from LP ‘Ain’t Nothin’ But A Party’, UA UAS 29976) (Billboard chart debut 7/31/76)
Young and white, Mark lives up to the title by being backed by Brass Construction, whose distinctive sound makes this funky clomper the album’s best bet.

COMMODORES: ‘Let’s Get Started’ (from LP ‘Hot On The Tracks’, Tamla Motown STML 12031) (mentioned in Billboard column 6/26/76, Billboard chart debut 7/10/76)
Slow-starting funky stuff reminiscent of BT Express’s ‘Can’t Stop Groovin” in its lively jiggling rhythm.  Other favoured (though much slower) cuts are ‘Thumpin’ Music‘ and ‘Fancy Dancer‘.

MANFRED MANN’S EARTH BAND: ‘Blinded By The Light’ (Bronze BRO 29)
‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’-type slowie with Queen touches, currently growing with rock and pop fans.

LINDA LEWIS: ‘This Time I’ll Be Sweeter’ (Arista 65)
Twee little smoocher, surprisingly popular in London.

JUNIOR MURVIN: ‘Police And Thieves’ (Island WIP 6316)
I prefer the great ‘Grumblin Dub‘ flip, but the sweet slow A-side vocal is getting big with rock fans.

KELLEE PATERSON: ‘I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby’ (Mint CHEW 10)
Whispering lady tease sends Barry’s blood pressure higher, but blows it once she starts singing.  Still fun for some!

VAN MCCOY: ‘Party’ (H&L 6105061)
Tedious thudder with fake British bits of talking, flipped by the hustling old ‘Love Is The Answer‘.

GROUP WITH NO NAME: ‘Baby Love (How Could You Leave Me)’ (Casablanca CBX 521)
High-spirited fast-slow-fast pop thumper, on an Elton and Kiki kick.

BRENDON: ‘Bad Time’ (UK 147)
Naggingly nice melody on a good pop disco thumper.

ATTITUDES: ‘Sweet Summer Music’ (Dark Horse AMS 5508)
‘Crystal Blue Persuasion’, seven years on – a beautiful light summery confection.  Mmmm, groovin’!

HELEN REDDY: ‘I Can’t Hear You No More’ (Capitol CL 15383)
Helen goes disco, huh?  She’s got the beat but her voice stays inflexibly the same.

UK Disco Top 20 – August 28, 1976

01 01 Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Rocket
02 02 Tavares – Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel – Capitol
03 03 David Dundas – Jeans On – Air
04 06 Jimmy James & The Vagabonds – Now Is The Time – Pye
05 04 Bee Gees – You Should Be Dancing – RSO
06 07 Johnny Wakelin – In Zaire – Pye
07 11 Chi-Lites – You Don’t Have To Go – Brunswick
08 05 KC & The Sunshine Band – Shake Your Booty – Jay Boy
09 09 Dr. Hook – A Little Bit More – Capitol
10 18 Jesse Green – Nice And Slow – EMI
11 08 Candi Staton – Young Hearts Run Free – Warner Bros.
12 12 Bryan Ferry – Extended Play (all cuts) – Island (EP)
13 NE Wings – Let ‘Em In – Parlophone
14 13 Lou Rawls – You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine – Philadelphia Int’l
15 10 Isley Brothers – Harvest For The World – Epic
16 16 Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel – Here Comes The Sun – EMI
17 14 Status Quo – Mystery Song – Vertigo
18 15 5000 Volts – Dr. Kiss Kiss – Philips
19 NE Detroit Spinners – Rubberband Man – Atlantic
20 NE Johnny “Guitar” Watson – I Need It – DJM
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#2 (mentioned in Billboard column 5/15/76, Billboard chart debut 5/22/76)
#5 (Billboard chart debut 7/10/76)
#6 (Billboard chart debut 1/15/77)
#8 (mentioned in Billboard column 7/17/76, Billboard chart debut 7/31/76)
#10 (mentioned in Billboard column 4/24/76, Billboard chart debut 5/1/76)
#11 (Billboard chart debut 4/17/76)
#14 (Billboard chart debut 5/22/76)
#19 (Billboard chart debut 8/7/76)
#20 (Billboard chart debut 9/25/76)

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

EDWIN STARR: ‘Accident’ (GTO)
JUDGE DREAD: ‘Viva Suspenders’ (Cactus)
DISCO DUB BAND: ‘For The Love Of Money’ (Movers) (mentioned in Billboard column 5/8/76)
SILVER PONY: ‘The Lonely Ranger’ (EMI)
HAMILTON BOHANNON: ‘Dance Your Ass Off’ (Brunswick) (Billboard chart debut 5/8/76)
RITCHIE FAMILY: ‘Best Disco In Town’ (Marlin LP cut – US import) (Billboard chart debut 7/10/76)
DARIO BALDAN BEMBO: ‘Aria’ (Fresh Air)
MILTON HENRY: ‘Gypsy Woman’ (Cactus)
JOHNNY RESTIVO: ‘The Shape I’m In’ (RCA)
HOT CHOCOLATE: ‘Heaven’ (Rak)
TOMMY HUNT: ‘Loving On The Losing Side’ (Spark)

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