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! 

GRACE JONES: ‘I Need a Man, Pts. 1 & 2’ (Polydor 2058898) (Billboard chart debut 4/9/77)
Lickety-split fast sizzler, a US monster for months.

DETROIT EMERALDS: ‘Feel The Need’ LP (Atlantic K 50372)
The long 7:03 hit 12-inch version is the best of a low-key set.

VAN MCCOY: ‘Spanish Boogie’ (H&L 6105083) (mentioned in Billboard column 3/22/75)
Latin hustle meets soul cha cha for a shuffle and bump, but it’s not that catchy.

BIDDU ORCHESTRA: ‘Soul Coaxing’ (Epic EPC 5416)
Raymond Lefevre does the Shuffle! Sounds good.

EXILE: ‘Try It On’ (Rak 242)
Great little pop tapper from last year, a near miss then.

ROBERT GORDON: ‘Red Hot’ (Private Stock PVT 94)
Memphis rock ‘n roll classic in a hard driving authentic treatment.

AUBREY CAGLE: ‘Come Along Little Girl’ (Starlite ST 45082)
Powerful rockabilly bopper from ’61, available at oldies stores.

SALSOUL ORCHESTRA: ‘Short Shorts’ (Salsoul SZ 2037)
Royal Teens’ ’58 chugger has Fonz appeal for summertime fun.

WILDFIRE: ‘Here Comes Sumner’ (Casablanca CAN 107)
Jerry Keller’s ’59 summer classic adapted for modern rock noises.

ROD STEWART: ‘Sweet Little Rock ‘N Roller’ (Mercury 616007)
Get it on to a 8-track maxi.

SHOWADDYWADDY: ‘You Got What It Takes’ (Arista 126)
Berry Gordy’s ’59 hit song for Mary Johnson/Johnny Kidd.

THE JAM: ‘Slow Down’ / ‘Batman Theme‘ (from LP ‘In The City’, Polydor 2383447)
Easy – and fun – for any rock/pop jock to use, while their newie is more pogo a-go-go, ‘All Around The World‘ (2058903).

THE RINGS: ‘I Wanna Be Free’ (Chiswick S 14)
‘You Really Got Me’-type fast riff, punked up rather well.

MINK DEVILLE: ‘Spanish Stroll’ (Capitol CLX 103)
New wave inventiveness, 12-inched for added impact.

CELIA & THE MUTATIONS: ‘Mony Mony’ (UA UP 86262)
Punk-ish copy of Shondells classic.

TED NUGENT: ‘Cat Scratch Fever’ (Epic EPC 5482)
Buzzing noisy rock chugger.

ERIC GALE: ‘Ginseng Woman’ LP (CBS 82058)
Superb subtle semi-slow title track by the jazz guitarist, with all-star support.

NINA SIMONE: ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ (from LP ‘The Finest Bethlehem’, BCP 6003)
Joyfully rolling piano swinger from ’58, still huge with older black crowds.

ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW: ‘Shimmie-Do-Wah-Sae’ (A&M AMS 7303)
Happy carnival-type conga-cum-samba sounds.

JIMMY BUFFETT: ‘Margaritaville’ (ABC 4179)
Mildly jaunty MoR, much plugged on radio so known by now.

CONNIE FRANCIS: ‘Vacation’ / ‘My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own‘ (Polydor 2066824)
1962 summertime fun, and MoR flip from ’60.

VERA LYNN & JORDANAIRES: ‘Who’s Sorry Now’ (EMI 2639)
Yi-ha! Good ultra-MoR quickstepper, cut in Nashville.

TINA RAINFORD: ‘Silver Bird’ (CBS 4489)
Abba-ish Euro smash from last year, now a US country hit.

CARLY SIMON: ‘Nobody Does It Better’ (Elektra K 12261)
Slow smoochy new James Bond song.

JOHNNIE TAYLOR: ‘Your Love Is Rated X’ (CBS 5358)
Lush smoocher.

JACKIE WILSON: ‘It Only Happens When I Look At You’ (Brunswick BR 43)
Lovely creamily rhythmic swayer, quality stuff!

BOBBY BLAND: ‘The Soul Of A Man’ (ABC 4186)
Bluesily soulful swayer.

TYRONE DAVIS: ‘This I Swear’ (CBS 5445)
Powerful cool pounder, typically Ty.

LIFE: ‘Cat’s Eyes’ (Philips 6006280)
Muddily churning organ instrumental from ’73.

MAXINE NIGHTINGALE: ‘Will You Be My Lover’ (UA UP 86288)
Messy fast Northern stomper.

JAMES WELLS: ‘My Days Are Numbered’ (Polydor 2058891)
More untidy Northern sounds.

SVENNE & LOTTA: ‘Extra Extra’ (Pye 7N 25744)
Continental crass copy of Ralph Carter’s stomper.

DETOURS: ‘Hideaway’ (MCA 306)
Bright and breezy old Choice Four song.

CHOICE FOUR: ‘You’re My Happiness’ (RCA PB 9066)
Van McCoy jogger from ’75.

DAVID RUFFIN: ‘I Can’t Stop The Rain’ (Motown TMG 1078)
Van McCoy-produced shuffler.

SILVER CONVENTION: ‘(There’s) Always Another Girl’ (Magnet MAG 95)
Shrilly vacant Euro pounder.

SIMONE: ‘Flattery’ (Spiral SPF 7007)
Perky ’76-style hustler.

SAHB: ‘Cheek To Cheek’ (Vertigo 6059173)
Muddily recorded (live), but that old MoR magic comes shining through.

THE RUMOUR: ‘Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me’ (Vertigo 6059174)
Duke Ellington’s romantic oldie updates grittily.

Hot Vinyl

Chris Hill (Ilford Lacy Lady) import tips:

SPACE: ‘Magic Fly’ / ‘Tango In Space‘ / ‘Carry On, Turn Me On‘ (Vogue LP cuts – French import) (Billboard chart debut 6/4/77)
ROY AYERS: ‘Running Away‘ (Polydor LP cut) (Billboard chart debut 9/24/77)
HANK CRAWFORD: ‘Tico Rico‘ (Kudu LP cut)
JOHNNY HAMMOND: ‘Lady Smooth‘ (Milestone LP cut)
TOUCH: ‘Me And You‘ / ‘Energizer‘ (Brunswick LP cut)

And UK tips:
ATTITUDES: ‘In A Stranger’s Arms‘ (Dark Horse LP cut)
STEVE WINWOOD: ‘Time Is Running Out‘ / ‘Penultimate Zone‘ (Island 12″)

Mix Master

Sterling Vann, at Green’s Geen’s Old Globe every Thurs/Fri/Saturday, has more mixes that sound great!  EMOTIONS ‘Flowers’ (CBS), mixing 20 seconds from end into DANNY WILLIAMS ‘Dancin’ Easy’ (Ensign); BO & RUTH ‘You’re Gonna Get Next To Me’ (EMI Int’l LP), mixing last instrumental break into JACKSONS ‘Show You The Way To Go’ (Epic); and DONNA SUMMER ‘I Feel Love’ (GTO), mixing last moog part into DENNIS COFFEY ‘Wings Of Fire’ (Atlantic LP), minus drums intro.  My own fave Donna mix is into C.J. & CO. ‘Devil’s Gun’ (Atlantic 12″).

UK Disco Top 20 – July 16, 1977

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

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

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

DANNY WILLIAMS: ‘Dancin’ Easy’ (Ensign)
NEW YORK PORT AUTHORITY: ‘I Got It’ (Invictus) (mentioned in Billboard column 5/7/77)
PETER BROWN: ‘Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me’ (TK) (Billboard chart debut 4/9/77)
PAUL NICHOLAS: ‘Heaven On The Seventh Floor’ (RSO)
D-R-U-M: ‘Lalabye’ (Ensign)
CARRIE LUCAS: ‘I Gotta Keep Dancin” (Soul Train) (Billboard chart debut 3/19/77)
GARY GLITTER: ‘A Little Boogie Woogie In The Back Of My Mind’ (Arista)
PHILADELPHIA ALL-STARS: ‘Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto’ (Philadelphia Int’l – US import) (Billboard chart debut 7/23/77)
SALSOUL ORCHESTRA: ‘Magic Bird Of Fire’ (Salsoul 12″ – US import) (Billboard chart debut 5/7/77)

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