June 18, 1977: Grapevine label, Slave, Steve Gibbons Band, Tavares, John O’Hara & The Playboys

Grapevine is a Northern-aimed new label set up by Kings Lynn importer John Anderson with RCA, and its first three releases are now out.

RICHARD “POPCORN” WYLIE ‘Rosemary What Happened’ (GRP 100) is an interesting near-muddle which keeps on driving through the clutter, and SOUL TWINS ‘Quick Change Artist’ (GRP 101) is a traditional Fred Smith/’Duck’-type stomper. Both are from ’67 and the Karen label, while STANLEY WOODRUFF & THE U.S. TRIO ‘What Took You So Long’ (GRP 102) is an attractive oddly-arranged churner of recent vintage. Cheers!

New Spins

SLAVE: ‘You And Me’ / ‘Son Of Slide’ (Cotillion K 10967)
Cleverly edited funky faves, like Brass Construction with added acid-rock guitar, both sides are big already.

STEVE GIBBONS BAND: ‘Tulane’ (Polydor 2058889)
Great energy-packed rocker, usually mixed by me into MC5’s ‘Back In The USA‘ (Atlantic LP). 

TAVARES: ‘One Step Away’ (Capitol CL 15930)
Back to the happy clapping for a lightweight romper.

JOHN O’HARA & THE PLAYBOYS: ‘Starsky And Hutch’ (President PT 465)
Strangely appealing old-fashioned slow jogger with reggae brass and hit prospects.

WURZELS: ‘Farmer Bill’s Cowman’ (EMI 2637)
‘I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman’ gets words and goes silly! Great MOR fun.

EMOTIONS: ‘Flowers’ (CBS 5364) (Billboard chart debut 10/30/76)
Divine girlie group swayer, a US soul smash for months.

LATIMORE: ‘Somethin’ ‘Bout ‘Cha’ (TK XB 2151)
Gorgeous sensuous groin-grinder, on 45 here at last.

O’JAYS: ‘Let’s Spend Some Time Together’ (Philadelphia Int’l PIR 5337)
Lovely sexy smoocher, much better than the fast plug side.

BOOTSY’S RUBBER BAND: ‘The Pinocchio Theory’ / ‘Psychoticbumpschool’ / ‘What’s A Telephone Bill‘ (Warner Bros. K 16964)
Specialist P-Funk jigglers (and a slowie) maxied on commercial 12-inch.

TORNADER: ‘Back Up (Hit It Again)’ (Polydor 2066801)
US hit chunky funker.

SHOWDOWN: ‘What’s Your Name’ (State STAT 52)
Powerfully arranged semi-slowie.

VARIATIONS: ‘Listen To the Falling Rain’ (Roots RTZ 3)
Jose Feliciano’s ‘Rain’ goes reggae again, rather usefully.

OSIBISA: ‘The Warrior’ (Bronze BRO 41) (Billboard chart debut 2/12/77)
Happy old pseudo-afro ‘Ipsi Tombi’ showbiz chanter.

LASO: ‘Another Star’ (MCA 302)
Stevie Wonder’s big New York hustler becomes a brassy Salsa instrumental.

PMSB: ‘Night Hustle’ (Bulldog BD 10)
Slick slow synthesizer theme with jittery beat and brass.

DEMIS ROUSSOS: ‘I Dig You’ (Philips DEMIS 2)
Jaunty disco ditty.

SKREWDRIVER: ‘You’re So Dumb’ (Chiswick S 11)
Should mix well with Sex Pistols!

NEIL SEDAKA: ‘Amarillo’ (Polydor 2058888)
Jolly MoR, skippable slow intro.

TACKLE ALL STARS: ‘Smooth Spooge’ (Tackle TAK 018)
Jamaican instrumental knees-up.

HANK THOMPSON: ‘Honky Tonk Girl’ (ABC 4180)
Yi-ha, it’s a real western swinger, y’all! Less MoR, the flip even bops a bit.

ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL: ‘My Baby Thinks She’s A Train’ (Capitol CL 15928)
Authentic slap-bass rockabilly bopper.

HEART: ‘Barracuda’ (Portrait PRT 5402)
Fleetwood Mac-ish messy rock throbber.

JULIA WILLIAMS: ‘Far Flung Stars’ (Safari SFR 5)
Sophisticated soul smoocher.

Hot Vinyl

Greg Davies (Stevenage Bo Jangles / Watford New Penny & Baileys) import tips:

GRACE JONES: ‘I Need A Man’ (Beam Junction 12″) (Billboard chart debut 4/9/77)
LE PAMPLEMOUSSE: ‘Get Your Boom Boom (Around The Room Room)‘ (AVI 12″) (Billboard chart debut 3/19/77)
DRAMATICS: ‘I Can’t Get Over You‘ (ABC)
SEAWIND: ‘Make Up Your Mind‘ (CTI) (mentioned in Billboard column 1/22/77)
SALSOUL ORCHESTRA: ‘Magic Bird Of Fire‘ (Salsoul 12″) (Billboard chart debut 5/7/77)

Mix Master

Brian Cardno (Berwick Tiffany’s/Caesar’s Palace) finds a useful segue is TONY ETORIA ‘I Can Prove It‘ (GTO) / BO & RUTH ‘You’re Gonna Get Next To Me‘ (EMI) / SHERMAN BROTHERS ‘Stoned In Love With You‘ (Magnet) – by which time there’s a relaxed dance mood that’s just right for T-CONNECTION ‘Do What You Wanna Do‘ (TK 12″), mixing near the end of the bongo break into D-R-U-M ‘Lalabye‘ (Ensign).

UK Disco Top 20 – June 18, 1977

01 01 Joe Tex – Ain’t Gonna Bump No More – Epic
02 02 Shalamar – Uptown Festival – Soul Train
03 03 Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up – Motown
04 05 Van McCoy – The Shuffle – H&L
05 08 Tony Etoria – I Can Prove It – GTO
06 16 Jacksons – Show You The Way To Go – Epic
07 14 Gladys Knight – Baby Don’t Change Your Mind – Buddah
08 12 Heatwave – Too Hot To Handle – GTO
09 04 Trammps – Disco Inferno – Atlantic
10 33 Rod Stewart – I Don’t Want To Talk About It – Riva
11 10 John Miles – Slow Down – Decca
12 06 Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke – Motown
13 09 10cc – Good Morning Judge – Mercury
14 13 Ruth Davis & Bo Kirkland – You’re Gonna Get Next To Me – EMI
15 23 Tavares – Whodunnit – Capitol
16 11 Bryan Ferry – Tokyo Joe – Polydor
17 28 Honky – Join The Party – Creole
18 NE Heatwave – Slip Your Disc – GTO
19 22 Carole Bayer Sager – You’re Moving Out Today – Elektra
20 NE Muppets – Mah Na Ma Na – Pye
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (Billboard chart debut 4/2/77)
#2 (Billboard chart debut 1/29/77)
#3 (Billboard chart debut 4/2/77)
#6 (Billboard chart debut 12/25/76)
#9 (mentioned in Billboard column 12/25/76, Billboard chart debut 1/15/77)
#11 (Billboard chart debut 3/12/77)
#12 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/16/76, Billboard chart debut 10/23/76)

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

T-CONNECTION: ‘Do What You Wanna Do’ (TK) (mentioned in Billboard column 2/19/77, Billboard chart debut 2/26/77)
DETROIT EMERALDS: ‘Feel The Need’ (Atlantic) (mentioned in Billboard column 8/7/76, Billboard chart debut 4/30/77)
DONNA SUMMER: ‘I Feel Love’ (GTO LP cut) (Billboard chart debut 5/28/77)
JENNIFER: ‘Do It For Me’ (Motown) (Billboard chart debut 6/4/77)
RAH BAND: ‘The Crunch’ (Good Earth)
JOHNNIE TAYLOR: ‘Who’s Making Love’ (Stax 12″)
JIMMY BO HORNE: ‘Get Happy’ (TK) (Billboard chart debut 3/19/77)
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: ‘If You Gonna Do It’ (TSOP) (mentioned in Billboard column 4/2/77)
D-R-U-M: ‘Lalabye’ (Ensign 12″)
BELLE EPOQUE: ‘Black Is Black’ (EMI – French import) (Billboard chart debut 4/2/77)
BACCARA: ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie’ (RCA – German import)
AMANDA LEAR: ‘Blood And Honey’ (Ariola – German import)
ARCHIE BELL & THE DRELLS: ‘Everybody Have A Good Time’ (Philadelphia Int’l)
CHOSEN FEW: ‘Thank You’ (Polydor)
GAP BAND: ‘Out Of The Blue’ (Tattoo)
DR. HOOK: ‘Walk Right In’ (Capitol)
COMMODORES: ‘Easy’ (Motown)
ROKOTTO: ‘Get Up And Dance Now’ (State)
EDDIE HOLMAN: ‘This Could Be A Night To Remember’ (Salsoul) (mentioned in Billboard column 3/19/77, Billboard chart debut 5/7/77)
DR. FEELGOOD: ‘Lights Out’ (UA)
HOT CHOCOLATE: ‘You Win Again’ (Rak)
BONNIE RAITT: ‘Runaway’ (Warner Bros.)

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