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! 

NCCU: ‘Bull City Party’ (UA UP 36270)
Much-imported fast funky chanter with happy James Brown-style “get up” lyrics – all reet!

JAMES BROWN: ‘Solid Gold‘ LP (Polydor 2679044)
30 classics from ’56 to now on a double album that’s so superbly packaged it must be seen to be believed.

CARRIE LUCAS: ‘I Gotta Keep Dancin” (Soul Train FB 0891) (Billboard chart debut 3/19/77)
US disco smash jaunty rhythm pounder by another Andrea True-type starlet.

ISLEY BROS: ‘Livin’ In The Life’ (from LP ‘Go For Your Guns’, Epic EPC 86027)
Excitingly driving clapper which continues, after a pause, as the instrumental title track. Full 5:33 ‘The Pride‘ is on it too.

MICHAEL MASSER & MANDRILL: ‘Ali Bom-Ba-Ye, Pts. 1 & 2’ (Arista 121)
Afro chanting and brassy rattling rhythms from Mohammad Ali’s ‘The Greatest’ movie, 12-inched with flashy photo label.

BRUCE JOHNSTON: ‘Pipeline’ (from LP ‘Going Public’, CBS 81854) (Billboard chart debut 7/16/77)
Amusingly blatant modern disco version of the Chantays’ classic ’63 surfing instrumental!

MERRILEE RUSH: ‘Save Me’ (UA UP 36272)
Clodagh Rogers’ catchy pop romper still sounds strong.

BROTHERS JOHNSON: ‘Strawberry Letter 23’ (from LP ‘Right On Time’, A&M AMLH 64644)
The full 4:58 jazz-soul slowie mixes beautifully into Side Effect’s ‘Keep That Same Old Feeling‘ (US Fantasy LP) while the P-funky title track‘s got DJ tips too.

RAMSEY LEWIS: ‘Spring High’ (from LP ‘Love Notes’, CBS 82024)
Prettily loping jazz instrumental by and with Stevie Wonder, sharing keyboards.

CRUSADERS: ‘Feel It’ (ABC 4183)
‘Superstition’-ish jazz-funk instrumental.

RONNIE LAWS: ‘Nuthin’ ‘Bout Nuthin” (from LP ‘Friends And Stranger’, UA UAG 30079)
Jiggly jazz-funk leaper with cooing chix behind the sax.

Hot Vinyl

Graham Canter (London Gullivers) wows ’em with WHISPERS: ‘Make It With You’ (Soul Train LP cut) (Billboard chart debut 7/23/77), his other import tips being:
NEW YORK COMMUNITY CHOIR: ‘Express Yourself‘ (RCA 12″) (Billboard chart debut 6/25/77)
JUPAR ORCHESTRA: ‘Funky Music‘ (Jupar)
SALSOUL ORCHESTRA: ‘Getaway‘ (Salsoul 12″) (Billboard chart debut 5/7/77)
LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY: ‘Hit And Run (remix)‘ (Gold Mind 12″) (Billboard chart debut 1/15/77)
ZZ HILL: ‘Love Is So Good When You’re Stealing It‘ (Columbia)
PHILADELPHIA ALL-STARS: ‘Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto‘ (Philadelphia Int’l) (Billboard chart debut 7/23/77)

UK Disco Top 20 – July 9, 1977

01 01 Jacksons – Show You The Way To Go – Epic
02 06 Hot Chocolate – So You Win Again – Rak
03 03 T-Connection – Do What You Wanna Do – TK
04 05 Gladys Knight – Baby Don’t Change Your Mind – Buddah
05 08 Tony Etoria – I Can Prove It – GTO
06 02 Joe Tex – Ain’t Gonna Bump No More – Epic
07 07 Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up – Motown
08 14 Boney M – Ma Baker – Atlantic
09 09 Ruth Davis & Bo Kirkland – You’re Gonna Get Next To Me – EMI
10 13 Detroit Emeralds – Feel The Need In Me – Atlantic
11 04 John Miles – Slow Down – Decca
12 10 Shalamar – Uptown Festival – Soul Train
13 15 Donna Summer – I Feel Love – GTO
14 11 Rah Band – The Crunch – Good Earth
15 NE C.J. & Company – Devil’s Gun – Atlantic
16 RE Trammps – Disco Inferno – Atlantic
17 NE Bob Marley – Exodus – Island
18 12 Van McCoy – The Shuffle – H&L
19 19 Heatwave – Too Hot To Handle – GTO
20 17 Fat Larry’s Band – Centre City – WMOT
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (Billboard chart debut 12/25/76)
#3 (mentioned in Billboard column 2/19/77, Billboard chart debut 2/26/77)
#6 (Billboard chart debut 4/2/77)
#7 (Billboard chart debut 4/2/77)
#8 (Billboard chart debut 8/6/77)
#10 (mentioned in Billboard column 8/7/76, Billboard chart debut 4/30/77)
#11 (Billboard chart debut 3/12/77)
#12 (Billboard chart debut 1/29/77)
#13 (Billboard chart debut 5/28/77)
#15 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/23/76, Billboard chart debut 4/23/77)
#16 (mentioned in Billboard column 12/25/76, Billboard chart debut 1/15/77)
#20 (mentioned in Billboard column 12/11/76, Billboard chart debut 1/15/77)

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

DANNY WILLIAMS: ‘Dancin’ Easy’ (Ensign)
SMOKEY ROBINSON: ‘Vitamin U’ (Motown) (Billboard chart debut 2/12/77)

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