April 23, 1977: “12-inch singles are still getting a mixed response”

12-inch singles are still getting a mixed response, with several DJ’s making some pertinent points about them.

Stevie Quinn (Mallorca) cynically observes, “having 12-inch copies available at less than a quid does help sell a single which wouldn’t necessarily hit the chart.  For instance, it was only the 12-incher that finally sold Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’ to the public – the same goes for Undisputed Truth, Jacksons, Cerrone, and will also apply to T-Connection’s ‘Do What You Wanna Do’, which will sell like crazy once it’s out.”

Alan Farmer (Penicuik) reasons, “I play 12-inch 45’s if they are the full version of a tune – not the edited 7-inch version – and prefer that speed to 33rpm as there is a marked quality increase at the higher speed, and wider groove spacing.”  (Not always the case, actually, Alan!)  “Also to a lesser extent, the ego-tripping element comes into it.  For me, 12-inch rools – OK!”

Johnny King (Bristol) puts his case both for and against the 12-inchers.  For them, he says.  “They’re far superior in quality; when in colourful cardboard covers, they’re easier to find and better protected; they’re becoming a big talking point between the dancers at Scamps and myself, thus helping my customer liaison.”

Against them, Johnny adds, “They’re bulky to store in the limited space available at a residency, giving me less room for LP’s; they’re recorded at both 33 and 45, causing confusion and mistakes, and should be standardised to one or the other; they’re often longer than the commercial singles, making them useful once the tune is known, but too long to establish easily as a newie.”

Dave Porter (Liverpool), who started the ball rolling, has the final word again.  “Before the situation gets out of hand, 12-inchers should be reserved for special product or good quality disco material, not just anything.  Already the idea is being abused in the hope that poor material will be played by DJ’s just because it’s on 12-inch.  When mailing them out, record companies should send the DJ an ordinary 7-inch copy too, as this will remind him about the 12-incher stored in another box . . . and should be easier to keep as a subsequent oldie.”

This week’s 12-inch releases (promotional and commercial) include ELTON JOHN ‘Bite Your Lip (Get Up And Dance)’ (Rocket GUAD 1) – both long and edited versions, re-mixed by Tom Moulton! – AVERAGE WHITE BAND ‘Goin’ Home‘ (Atlantic SAM 76), J. VINCENT EDWARDS ‘Too Hot To Handle‘ (Pye 7N 45687), SERGIO MENDES ‘The Real Thing‘ / ORLEANS ‘Reach‘ (Elektra / Asylum SAM 77), OZO ‘Anambra‘ (DJM DJT 10764) – both long and edited.  All are at 45rpm.

New Spins

WILLIAM BELL: ‘If Sex Was All We Had’ (Mercury 6167424)
Dynamite sexy smoocher, flip to his Memphis-sound US smash ‘Tryin’ To Love Two‘.

DONNIE ELBERT: ‘What Do You Do’ (All Platinum 6146321)
Superb mellow groover, hidden as flip to the squeakily speeded-up Shirelles oldie ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’. 

RONI HILL: ‘You Keep Me Hanging On / Stop! In The Name Of Love’ (Creole CR 138) (Billboard chart debut 12/11/76)
Supremes oldies straightforwardly butted together for Shalamar fans.

BRAINSTORM: ‘Wake Up And Be Somebody’ (RCA PB 0811) (Billboard chart debut 2/26/77)
Slow-starting, punchy fast New York romper.

EARTH, WIND & FIRE: ‘Sing A Song’ (CBS 5198)
Jaunty funker flipped by the more powerful fast instrumental ‘Biyo‘, already an import hit.

FRANK SINATRA: ‘Night And Day’ (Reprise K 14475) (Billboard chart debut 5/28/77)
Whaat?  Frankie does the hustle . . . not very well, but usefully, as an interest-getting gimmick.

BOZ SCAGGS: ‘Lido Shuffle’ (CBS 5136)
Jerky rocker, not in his disco-groove but a hit where plugged.

MARTIN JAY: ‘1-2-3’ (DJM DJS 10767)
Funkyish fast update of Len Barry’s classic.

MAJOR LANCE: ‘Gimme Little Sign’ (Contempo CS 2117)
Brenton Wood remake with Northern appeal.

BRICK: ‘Music Matic’ (Bang 008)
More ponderous than ‘Dazz’, like a Jr. Walker slowie.

BOBBY PATTERSON: ‘I Got To Get Over’ (Contempo CS 2115)
Exciting funky jiggler loses impact.

VENTURES: ‘Theme From Starsky And Hutch’ (UA UP 36223)
Could be useful, though not a great dancer.

DETOURS: ‘It’s A Real Shame’ (MCA 292)
Mindless perky pap.

CLOVER: ‘Love Love’ (Vertigo 6059171)
Fast hustler with country backing.

IKE & TURNER KORNER: ‘Longest Running Disco In The World’ (Big Bear BB 7)
Over-forced gaiety, nothing to do with Ike & Tina.


D.J. Webster runs his Fabio’s Disco from Worrall (Sheffield 343577), and times all his different lighting effects in conjunction with this “monster starter mix” to get things going: MASS PRODUCTION ‘Welcome To Our World’ (Cotillion), cutting at instrumental into TAVARES ‘Don’t Take Away The Music’ (Capitol) / HEATWAVE ‘Boogie Nights’ (GTO) / TRAMMPS ‘Hold Back The Night’ (Buddah) / MAXINE NIGHTINGALE ‘Love Hit Me’ (UA) / TAVARES ‘Mighty Power Of Love’ (Capitol), fading on the “a-wow-oh” part into TAVARES ‘Whodunnit’ (Capitol).

UK Disco Top 20 – April 23, 1977

01 07 Boney M – Sunny – Atlantic
02 RE Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke – Motown
03 01 Heatwave – Boogie Nights – GTO
04 02 David Bowie – Sound And Vision – RCA
05 03 Brendon – Gimme Some – Magnet
06 12 Van McCoy – The Shuffle – H&L
07 05 ABBA – Knowing Me, Knowing You – Epic
08 09 Dead End Kids – Have I The Right – CBS
09 RE Honky – Join The Party – Creole
10 RE Fatback Band – Double Dutch – Spring
11 06 Manhattan Transfer – Chanson D’Amour – Atlantic
12 NE Martyn Ford Orchestra – Let Your Body Go Downtown – Mountain
13 11 Cerrone – Love In C Minor – Atlantic
14 20 Maxine Nightingale – Love Hit Me – UA
15 NE Leo Sayer – How Much Love – Chrysalis
16 04 Showaddywaddy – When – Arista
17 RE Mass Production – Welcome To Our World – Cotillion
18 RE Jimmy Bo Horne – Gimme Some – RCA
19 NE David Soul – Going In With My Eyes Open – Private Stock
20 NE Tavares – Whodunnit – Capitol
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/9/76, Billboard chart debut 11/20/76)
#2 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/16/76, Billboard chart debut 10/23/76)
#3 (Billboard chart debut 4/23/77)
#10 (Billboard chart debut 1/22/77)
#13 (Billboard chart debut 1/15/77)
#17 (Billboard chart debut 10/23/76)
#18 (Billboard chart debut 7/2/75)

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

GARNET MIMMS: ‘What It Is’ (Arista) (Billboard chart debut 3/26/77)
PEOPLES CHOICE: ‘Jam Jam Jam’ (Philadelphia Int’l)
BILLY PAUL: ‘Let ‘Em In’ (Philadelphia Int’l) (Billboard chart debut 1/22/77)
FAT LARRY’S BAND: ‘Center City’ (WMOT 12″) (mentioned in Billboard column 12/11/76, Billboard chart debut 1/15/77)
CAMEO: ‘Rigor Mortis’ (Casablanca – US import) (Billboard chart debut 2/19/77)
KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND: ‘I’m Your Boogie Man’ (TK) (Billboard chart debut 10/30/76)
CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIR: ‘Dancin” (Contempo) (Billboard chart debut 11/6/76)
HEATWAVE: ‘Too Hot To Handle’ (GTO LP cut)
RUTH DAVIS & BO KIRKLAND: ‘You’re Gonna Get Next To Me’ (Claridge LP cut – US import)
MARVIN GAYE: ‘Got To Give It Up’ (Motown LP cut) (Billboard chart debut 4/2/77)
TONY GREGORY: ‘Rock On (Dance On)’ (Contempo)
KOOL & THE GANG: ‘Super Band’ (Contempo)
EARL & THE STEAM TEAM: ‘Engine Of Love’ (MCA)
ROY AYERS: ‘Come Out And Play’ (Polydor)

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