July 30, 1977: Bruce Johnston, Philadelphia International All Stars, James Brown, George Benson, Muscles

New Spins

BRUCE JOHNSTON: ‘Pipeline’ (CBS 5514) (Billboard chart debut 7/16/77)
Dynamite disco retread of the Chantay’s old surfing instrumental, on 7-inch here in all its 6:50 power and glory.

PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL ALL STARS: ‘Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto’ (Philadelphia Int’l PIR 5451) (Billboard chart debut 7/23/77)
Superb funky chugger featuring Messrs Rawls, Paul, Bell, Pendergrass, Levert and Ms Sharp. Try mixing with Marv’s ‘Got To Give It Up’!

JAMES BROWN: ‘Honky Tonk’ (Polydor 2068834)
Specially lengthened happily whapping ’72 version of Bill Doggett’s instrumental classic, with similarly lengthened ‘Brother Rapp‘ flip.  Continue reading “July 30, 1977: Bruce Johnston, Philadelphia International All Stars, James Brown, George Benson, Muscles”

July 23, 1977: Space, Blonde On Blonde, Peter Gabriel, Yellow Dog, Four Seasons

New Spins

SPACE: ‘Magic Fly’ (Pye 7N 25746) (Billboard chart debut 6/4/77)
Donna Summer-like (though less shrill sounding) synthetic instrumental pounder, rushed out to beat import sales.

BLONDE ON BLONDE: ‘Subway’ (Chrysalis CHS 2158)
Pretty page 3 duo do the Bee Gees hustler surprisingly well – worth checking.

PETER GABRIEL: ‘Modern Love’ (Charisma CB 302)
Great chunky white rock funker, should go well with Bad Co, Roxy & Co.  Continue reading “July 23, 1977: Space, Blonde On Blonde, Peter Gabriel, Yellow Dog, Four Seasons”

July 16, 1977: Floaters, Shalamar, C.J. & Co, Grace Jones, Detroit Emeralds

Anchor Records’ set of 12-inch EPs on their ABC label – known as “+Fours” – feature 4 tracks each artist and cost 99p (normal price in 7-inch form though). The acts chosen are not very disco orientated, but useable tracks are JOE WALSH ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ / ‘Walk Away (Live)’ (ABE 12002), MAMAS & PAPAS ‘Dedicated To The One I Love’ / ‘California Dreamin’’ / ‘Monday Monday’ (ABE 12006), ALICE COOPER ‘Department Of Youth’ (ABE 12001).

Island Records have three reggae 12-inchers in their “Limited Edition” series – the freaky fast JUNIOR MURVIN ‘Tedious’ (IPR 2001), throbbing slow CONGOES ‘Congo Man’ (Black Swan BS 1) and cool bassy GEORGE FAITH ‘To Be A Lover’ c/w UPSETTERS ‘Rastaman Shuffle’ (BS 2).

New Spins

FLOATERS: ‘Float On’ (ABC 4187)
Much imported dreamy smoocher, 12-inched with elongated 11:49 and edited 4:13 sides. The last half of the long side is much stronger than the short singles version, which stupidly misses the catchy slow “Aquarius, Libra, Leo, Cancer” intro. A summertime smash!

SHALAMAR: ‘Uptown Festival’ LP (Soul Train FL 12289) (LP mentioned in Billboard column 4/23/77, LP Billboard chart debut 5/14/77)
For those without the 12-inch, here’s the full 8:52 version – plus a copy of the Jacksons’ great ’75 leaper, ‘Forever Came Today‘.

C.J. & CO.: ‘Devil’s Gun’ LP (Atlantic K 50380) (LP mentioned in Billboard column 4/16/77, LP Billboard chart debut 4/23/77)
The full 7:14 title track, similar 9:30 ‘We Got Our Own Thing‘ and 7:30 ‘Sure Can’t Go To The Moon‘ are hotter than a pistol!  Continue reading “July 16, 1977: Floaters, Shalamar, C.J. & Co, Grace Jones, Detroit Emeralds”

July 9, 1977: Lovers, NCCU, James Brown, Carrie Lucas, Isley Bros.

“Big deal” 12-inch EP mania seems to be sweeping the record biz, with Pye’s set of 4-track 12-inchers being followed by Anchor and Capitol – the latter of whom in fact started it off with their hit Tavares effort a few months back. Capitol’s new “Soul Special” promotion sees two more EPs, available on 7-inch at 70p or 12-inch at 99p – BUT, if you buy both at the same time and in the more expensive form, you also get for free a ten-track “Capitol Soul Special” sampler LP! This features such as Maze, Sun, Caldera, Inner Circle, Rance Allen and Freda Payne, while the EPs are by the Sylvers and Natalie Cole.

The Sylvers’ (CLX 102) has their current frantic Northern clapper, ‘High School Dance’, the mellower ‘Lovin’ You Is Like Lovin’ The Wind’, and the fast US smash and its Tavares-type follow-up from last year, ‘Boogie Fever’ and ‘Hot Line’.

Natalie Cole’s (CLX 101) also has a frantic newie, ‘Party Lights’, but the big attractions will be her jazzily clapping ‘This Will Be’, smoochy ‘Inseparable’ and funky ‘Sophisticated Lady’, all US hits.

New Spins

LOVERS: ‘Discomania’ (Epic EPC 5212) (mentioned in Billboard column 5/7/77, Billboard chart debut 5/14/77)
Here it is, the latest and possibly greatest disco medley! 12-inched, it combines tunes by Thelma Houston, Trammps. Ritchie Family, KC & The Sunshine Band, Vicki Sue Robinson and more (Boney M being substituted for Andrea True on the UK 7-inch edit). Cert smash!  Continue reading “July 9, 1977: Lovers, NCCU, James Brown, Carrie Lucas, Isley Bros.”

July 2, 1977: Philadelphia All-Stars, Cameo, Dells, Kelly Marie, Jacksons

Robbie Vincent and other import fans are currently raving about a punchy little platter by an all-star cast of Philadelphia International artists.  Due for release here soon (and already played on Robbie’s Radio 1 show), the group is called literally the Philadelphia All-Stars and they sing a slab of social commentary by Gamble and Huff, ‘Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto’.  Lou Rawls starts it conversationally over an infectiously chugging rift from MFSB before being joined with vocal support, and solos, from Dee Dee Sharp, Billy Paul, Archie Bell, Teddy Pendergrass and the O’Jays.  Some stars, huh?!?

New Spins

CAMEO: ‘Rigor Mortis’ (Casablanca CAN 106) (Billboard chart debut 2/19/77)
Import monster for months, the Fatback-ish funker’s now flip to the more obviously thudding ‘Post Mortem‘. Double ‘A’ dynamite!

DELLS: ‘Our Love’ (Mercury 6167526) (mentioned in Billboard column 4/2/77, Billboard chart debut 4/30/77)
Terrific Tavares-type infectious romper from a strong US LP.  Continue reading “July 2, 1977: Philadelphia All-Stars, Cameo, Dells, Kelly Marie, Jacksons”