September 4, 1976: Ritchie Family, Rick Dees, Dinah Washington, The Real Thing, Barrabas

New Spins

RITCHIE FAMILY: ‘The Best Disco In Town (Pts. 1 & 2)’ (Polydor 2058777) (Billboard chart debut 7/10/76)
Here it is, the great girlie group dancer that cleverly quotes key hook phrases and sounds from all the big disco by artists such as Silver Convention, O’Jays, BT Express and more.  Part 2’s got the best bits and the most impact.

RICK DEES & HIS CAST OF IDIOTS: ‘Disco Duck’ (RSO 2090204) (Billboard chart debut 9/11/76)
Silliness from a Memphis DJ, who invents a new dance craze and starts talking like Donald Duck!  Good novelty and a strong disco beat.

DINAH WASHINGTON: ‘September In The Rain’ (Mercury 6167419)
Actually a Spring record if you but listen to the words, it’s a lovely old romancer and great MoR.  The dead slow flip is her original ‘What A Diff’rence A Day Makes’. 

THE REAL THING: ‘Can’t Get By Without You’ (Pye 7N 45618)
Kinda like a vocal version of Love Unlimited’s ‘Love’s Theme’, it’s a sombre swayer that’s a sensation for many although dull to my ears.

BARRABAS: ‘It’ (Atlantic K 10816)
Euro-Funkers on a good slow bubbling chanter that’s big already.  The official plug side is ‘Desperately‘, a brighter jerky thudder with cooing chix.

BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE: ‘Takin’ Care Of Business’ (Mercury 6167425)
Neglected here since ’74, it’s a great whomping stomping churner that packs a powerful punch.

J.A.L.N. BAND: ‘Disco Music’ (Magnet MAG 73)
Unlike their classic ‘Street Dance’, this bass and percussion-driven fast bouncer has lyrics that’ll limit its appeal to discos only, which is a pity.  On a par with American funk bands, they’re worth seeing live.

CAROL DOUGLAS: ‘Midnight Love Affair’ (Midland International MID 2) (mentioned in Billboard column 7/31/76, Billboard chart debut 8/28/76)
Casually crooned gentle galloper in the ‘Young Hearts’ groove, with subtle appeal . . . and a fast Northern flip, ‘Crime Don’t Pay‘.

BOZ SCAGGS: ‘Lowdown’ (CBS 4563) (mentioned in Billboard column 4/3/76, Billboard chart debut 5/29/76)
Ex-Steve Miller Band, Boz is now big in the US discos with this relaxed mellow slow hustler.

CLIMAX BLUES BAND: ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ (BTM SBT 105)
Unexpectedly good disco jogger with a Stretch sort of feel and almost a ‘Jeans On’ beat.

JOHNNY FULLER: ‘Haunted House’ (Specialty SON 5017)
Lively fun from ’59 (the original version), with clucking guitar and ‘Jungle Rock’-type chances.

MILLIE JACKSON: ‘A House For Sale’ (Spring 2066713)
Steadily ticking soulful thumper, evidently popular up North, dominated for me by the great dead slow and ultra-soulful double-A coupling, ‘There You Are‘.

TED TAYLOR: ‘Steal Away’ (Contempo CS 29090)
Superbly soulful squawking of the Jimmy Hughes slowie, quite spine-tingling.

DAVID RUFFIN: ‘Discover Me’ (Tamla Motown TMG 1036) (Billboard chart debut 6/19/76)
Bright comes-and-goes hustler with that Van McCoy beat, now getting some DJ support.

CANDI STATON: ‘Destiny’ (Warner Bros. K 16806) (mentioned in Billboard column 6/26/76, Billboard chart debut 8/14/76)
Of her two other hit album tracks, this sounds less like ‘Young Hearts’ than does ‘Run To Me’, but is probably still too similar to generate real excitement.

LEE GARRETT: ‘Heart Be Still’ (Chrysalis CHS 2101) (mentioned in Billboard column 4/3/76)
Faster than ‘Everything’ but that now familiar feel, which may hold it back.

L.J. JOHNSON: ‘Ain’t No Values On Your Love’ (Mercury 6007110)
Slowing down to just 50 mph, LJ does the hustle.

COMMANDOS: ‘The Bump’ (Polydor 2058781)
Lacklustre rip-off – even copying the group’s name – of the Commodores’ old bumper.

GRAND FUNK RAILROAD: ‘Can You Do It’ (EMI INT 523)
Self-consciously punkoid stomper, produced by Frank Zappa.


UK Disco Top 20 – September 4, 1976

RM’s UK Disco Top 20 was unavailable at the time of going to press this week, so last week’s chart was repeated.  However, “previous week” rankings on next week’s chart correspond to this week’s real, unprinted ranking.  So it is possible to reconstruct most of this week’s real chart, which is as follows:

01 05 Bee Gees – You Should Be Dancing – RSO
02 01 Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Rocket
03 02 Tavares – Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel – Capitol
04 07 Chi-Lites – You Don’t Have To Go – Brunswick
05 04 Jimmy James & The Vagabonds – Now Is The Time – Pye
06 06 Johnny Wakelin – In Zaire – Pye
07 03 David Dundas – Jeans On – Air
08 08 KC & The Sunshine Band – Shake Your Booty – Jay Boy
09 13 Wings – Let ‘Em In – Parlophone
10 10 Jesse Green – Nice And Slow – EMI
11 12 Bryan Ferry – Extended Play (all cuts) – Island (EP)
13 NE Barry White – Baby We Better Try To Get It Together – 20th Century
15 19 Detroit Spinners – Rubberband Man – Atlantic
18 20 Johnny “Guitar” Watson – I Need It – DJM
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (Billboard chart debut 7/10/76)
#3 (mentioned in Billboard column 5/15/76, Billboard chart debut 5/22/76)
#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)
#15 (Billboard chart debut 8/7/76)
#18 (Billboard chart debut 9/25/76)


Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

JUNIOR MURVIN: ‘Police And Thieves’ (Island)
ADAM SURF & THE PEBBLE BEACH BAND: ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ (Paladin)
SILVER PONY: ‘The Lonely Ranger’ (EMI)
CAN: ‘I Want More’ (Virgin)
TEMPTATIONS: ‘I’m On Fire’ (Gordy LP cut – US import)
MADISON: ‘Let It Ring’ (Magnet)
KAY-GEES: ‘Waiting At The Bus Stop’ (Polydor)
BLUE MAGIC: ‘Freak-N-Stein’ (Atlantic)
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: ‘Movin’ In All Directions’ (Philadelphia Int’l LP cut) (Billboard chart debut 6/19/76)

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