November 19, 1977: “How many have noticed there may also be Eastern Soul?”

Everyone knows about Northern Soul and some say that there’s such a thing as Southern Soul – but how many have noticed there may also be Eastern Soul?  Since I started compiling the expanded Disco Charts for Record Mirror and Music Week, I’ve noticed a very definite trend for certain funky-type sounds to happen especially in London and the Southeast and up in the Northeast.  Many of them also get action between these areas, in East Anglia and up through the East Midlands.  Is this merely a coincidence?  Several record company promotion people have confirmed that they too have noticed this pattern of response to certain of their releases.  While the rest of the country’s discos tend to feature the more obvious pop material the jocks up the eastern side of the country certainly seem to be a lot funkier in their tastes.  There are of course many exceptions elsewhere, in Liverpool especially, but of those who contribute charts the funkiest DJ’s would appear to be from the east!

Current sounds that could be called Eastern Soul include Roy Ayers Ubiquity ‘Running Away’ (Polydor), Le Pamplemousse ‘Get Your Boom Boom Around The Room’ (Barclay), Village People ‘San Francisco’ (DJM), Fantastic Four ‘I Got To Have Your Love’ (Atlantic), Earth, Wind & Fire ‘Serpentine Fire’ (CBS), Lenny Williams ‘Choosing You’ (ABC LP), Diana Ross ‘Your Love Is So Good For Me’ (Motown LP) and even Rose Royce ‘It Makes You Feel Like Dancing’ (Whitfield LP).  Another whose high disco chart placing has been almost entirely due to the south and north east is Eddie Henderson ‘Say You Will’ (Capitol) which never had a single mention from any DJ west of Nottingham!

All this is not to malign DJ’s from elsewhere; rather, it questions why tastes up the eastern side of Britain should be so similar and so different.  North versus South is a geographical division that can be explained by sheer distance, but this is a less logical frontier.  Well, what do you make of it?  Whether DJ or disco dancer, let me know what you think.  And if you’re an outraged funky DJ from the west, you’ve only yourself to blame for the imbalance caused by your not sending in your weekly chart!

New Spins

LA BELLE EPOQUE: ‘Disco Sound’ (from LP ‘Miss Broadway’, Harvest SHSP 4074) (LP BNDA debut 6/18/77)
Even better than the 12in version, this side long continuous medley cuts up ‘Black Is Black’ between several other tunes, all with the same sound, so that the song as a separate track just doesn’t exist!

BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS: ‘Jamming’ (Island WIP 6410)
Superbly sensuous reggae, proved with the passage of time to be the ‘Exodus’ LP’s best track.

NITE SCHOOL: ‘Do You Speak French?’ (Ensign ENY 10)
Infectiously silly French lesson with a fast hustle beat, already un grand . . . comment s’appelle “hit”? 

DONNA SUMMER: ‘Rumour Has It’ / ‘I Love You’ (from LP ‘Once Upon A Time’, Casablanca CALD 5003) (BNDA debut 11/12/77)
Probably the best bets tor Britain from this four-sided gay fairytale concept, the more predictably Giorgio-type electronic tracks of which just aren’t up to ‘I Feel Love’.  Half the 16 songs are useable – the makings of a better single album?

HOT CHOCOLATE: ‘Put Your Love In Me’ (RAK 12 RAK 266)
Spacey semi-slow throbber with long intro, 12-inched but maybe not commercially.

CON FUNK SHUN: ‘Ffun’ (Mercury 6167597)
Huge funkily chugging chanter, now finally out here.

CRUSADERS: ‘Put It Where You Want It’ (ABC ABE 12013)
Truly classic old jazz-funk leaper on a ‘Plus Four’ 12in EP.

GRAHAM PARKER AND THE RUMOUR: ‘New York Shuffle’ (Vertigo 6059185)
Terrific frantic fast pile driver.

STEPHANIE DE SYKES: ‘Your Baby Is A Lady’ (DJM DJS 10816)
Great slinkily solid slowie from the voice behind so many Euro-disco hits.

BOZ SCAGGS: ‘Hollywood’ (CBS 5836)
Sweetly soulful slow disco chugger.

GIBSON BROTHERS: ‘Come To America’ (Polydor 2058938)
Gruffly jaunty simple Euro-smash with a fast Real Thing flavour, out at last on 12in.

HOMO SAPIENS: ‘Deuce’ (Contempo CS 2127)
Exciting Italian instrumental galloper, so much better than the dreary slow phonetic A-side.

CATS ‘N JAMMER KIDS: ‘Disco Drum’ (Ebony EYE 3)
Bohannon-ish slow pop drum thumper, a bit dated but could be big.

MICHAEL HOLLIDAY: ‘The Runaway Train’ (EMI 2722)
Classic kiddie – and party! – fun in ‘Nellie The Elephant’ style.

PIPKINS: ‘Gimme Dat Ding’ (Air CBS 2811)
Well-timed silly Charleston fun from 1970.

RAY O’SUNSHINE: ‘Happy Party Time’ (A.I. 281)
Jolly pub-type piano medley.

YVONNE BAKER: ‘You Didn’t Say A Word’ / BOBBY PARIS: ‘Night Owl’ (London HLU 10553)
James Bond-ish Northern stormer from ‘66 and a great ‘63 flier – wow!

SILVER CONVENTION: ‘The Boys From Liverpool’ (Magnet MAG 106)
Evidently the first Eurobeatle medley, out on import for ages, it’s a typically shrill hustler.

EASTBOUND EXPRESSWAY: ‘Cloudburst’ (Contempo CS 2122)
Sparse bass and strings-led Eddie Henderson-type tempo instrumental from Ian Levine.

PLEASURE: ‘Let’s Dance’ (Fantasy FTC 146)
Good funky DJ intro, flip of the trickily jiggling ‘Let Me Be The One’.

AV LEVY: ‘Big Bad John’ (Philips 5006599)
Freaky fast odd electronic revamp of Jimmy Dean’s oldie, same instrumentally as flip.

STARFIGHTERS: ‘Starfighter I To Starfighter II’ (Magnet MAG 107)
Twee little space romper with radio voices and a seasonal sting.

GEORGE MCCRAE: ‘Kiss Me (The Way I Like It)’ (TK TKR 6005) (BNDA debut 11/19/77)
Uh-huh, uh-huh, it’s the same old song.

CARL DOUGLAS: ‘Run Back’ (Pye 7N 46018)
Pop-slanted stomper with northern fans.

MILTON WRIGHT AND THE TERRA SHIRMA STRINGS: ‘The Gallop’ / ‘I Belong To You’ (Grapevine GRP 103)
Specialist northern instrumental/vocal sides.

MIKE POST: ‘The Rockford Files’ (MGM 2006521)
Disjointed TV theme with northern and possible MoR appeal.

MINK DEVILLE: ‘Cadillac Walk’ (Capitol CL 15952)
Great sleazy swamp rocker.

Sultry smoocher and an amazing sound effects flip.

CLODAGH RODGERS: ‘Save Me’ (Polydor 2058804)
Reissued almost Fleetwood Mac-style cool pop goodie.

LINDA RONSTADT: ‘It’s So Easy’ (Asylum K 13100)
Yet another Buddy Holly song gets her AOR (Adult Orientated Radio) formula.

Hot Vinyl

Fat Man Graham Canter (Mayfair Gullivers) had Stevie Wonder guesting in his DJ booth the other night, with Smokey Robinson and the Four Tops joining Stevie in a jam on stage!  His current hot import tips are:

MANDRILL: ‘Can You Get It (Suzie Caesar)’ / ‘Funky Monkey’ (Arista LP cuts)
BRASS CONSTRUCTION: ‘We’ / ‘Celebrate’ (UA LP cuts) (BNDA debut 12/3/77)
BILLY PRESTON: ‘Wide Stride’ (A&M)
FATBACK: ‘Master Booty’ (Spring) (BNDA debut 1/7/78)
DAVID OLIVER: ‘Ms.’ (Mercury LP cut)
RAY CHARLES: ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ (Atlantic LP cut)

UK Disco Top 50 – November 19, 1977

01 07 Tom Robinson Band – 2-4-6-8 Motorway – EMI
02 02 Belle Epoque – Black Is Black – Harvest (12″)
03 01 Baccara – Yes Sir I Can Boogie – RCA
04 09 Boney M – Belfast – Atlantic
05 12 Status Quo – Rockin’ All Over The World – Vertigo
06 04 Rokotto – Boogie On Up – State (12″)
07 06 Santa Esmeralda – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – Philips
08 11 Emotions – Best Of My Love – CBS
09 08 Lenny Williams – Shoo Doo Fu Fu Ooh – ABC
10 10 Commodores – Brick House / Sweet Love – Motown
11 03 Rose Royce – Do Your Dance – Whitfield (12″)
12 13 DBM – Discobeatlemania – Atlantic (12″)
13 05 Meco – Star Wars Theme – RCA
14 15 Tina Charles – Love Bug / Sweets For My Sweet – CBS (12″)
15 22 Darts – Daddy Cool – Magnet (12″)
16 23 Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Running Away – Polydor (LP)
17 NE Diana Ross – Gettin’ Ready For Love – Motown
18 36 Jacksons – Goin’ Places – Epic
19 24 Whispers – Make It With You – Soul Train (12″)
20 17 Smokie – Needles And Pins – Rak
21 45 Con Funk Shun – Ffun – Mercury
22 26 Rod Stewart – You’re In My Heart – Riva
23 14 Brick – Dusic – Bang
24 25 Billy Paul – Only The Strong Survive – Philadelphia Int’l
25 19 Rose Royce – It Makes You Feel Like Dancing – Whitfield (LP)
26 NE Showaddywaddy – Dancin’ Party – Arista
27 RE Showdown – Keep Doin’ It – State
28 41 Le Pamplemousse – Get Your Boom Boom – Barclay
29 16 Vicki Sue Robinson – Turn The Beat Around / Hold Tight – RCA (12″)
30 28 Village People – San Francisco / Hollywood / Fire Island – DJM (LP)
31 21 Ram Jam – Black Betty – Epic
32 38 Earth, Wind & Fire – Serpentine Fire – CBS
33 39 Eddie Henderson – Say You Will / Funk Surgeon – Capitol
34 NE Danny Williams – I Hate Hate – Ensign
35 18 Giorgio Moroder – From Here To Eternity / Too Hot To Handle – Oasis
36 NE Electric Light Orchestra – Turn To Stone – Jet
37 NE Nite School – Do You Speak French – Ensign
38 NE Dorothy Moore – I Believe You – CBS
39 49 Dooleys – Love Of My Life – GTO
40 31 Fantastic Four – Got To Have Your Love – Atlantic
41 32 Love & Kisses – I’ve Found Love – Barclay
42 42 Santana – She’s Not There – CBS
43 RE In Crowd – We Play Reggae – Cactus
44 29 Roxy Music – Virginia Plain – Polydor
45 43 J.J. Barnes – How Long – Contempo
46 50 Olympic Runners – Keep It Up – RCA (12″)
47 NE Jonathan Richman – Egyptian Reggae – Berserkley
48 27 L.T.D. – Back In Love Again – A&M
49 RE D.D. Sound – Shopping Baby – Mercury
50 48 Barry White – It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me – 20th Century
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry
All titles are 7” singles unless noted otherwise

Appeared in Billboard:
#2 (BNDA debut 6/18/77) / #7 (BNDA debut 9/3/77) / #8 (BNDA debut 6/11/77)
#10 (BNDA debut 4/16/77) / #11 (BNDA debut 9/24/77) / #13 (BNDA debut 7/23/77)
#16 (BNDA debut 9/24/77) / #18 (BNDA debut 12/3/77) / #19 (BNDA debut 7/23/77)
#25 (BNDA debut 9/24/77) / #28 (BNDA debut 3/26/77) / #29 (BNDA debut 7/9/77)
#30 (BNDA debut 7/30/77) / #35 (BNDA debut 8/6/77) / #40 (BNDA debut 9/24/77)
#41 (BNDA debut 6/11/77) / #46 (BNDA debut 11/12/77) / #48 (BNDA debut 10/22/77)
#49 (BNDA debut 7/16/77) / #50 (BNDA debut 8/27/77)

No Breakers this week.

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

LAURENT VOULZY: ‘Rockollection’ (RCA)
AMANDA LEAR: ‘Blood And Honey’ (Ariola)
CAFE CREME: ‘Unlimited Citations’ (Harvest)
GRACE JONES: ‘La Vie En Rose’ (Island) (BNDA debut 10/15/77)
MUNICH MACHINE: ‘Get On The Funk Train’ (Oasis LP cut) (BNDA debut 6/11/77)

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