December 31, 1977: Why would Ariola ally themselves with a Doncaster-based promotion company?

Amanda Lear’s ‘Blood And Honey’ (Ariola) has been a massive Euro-hit, following on perfectly from Baccara, and is doing well in the Disco Chart.  Evidently though it isn’t selling here or why else would Ariola ally themselves with a Doncaster-based promotion company to try to persuade disco DJ’s to change that situation.

Now it’s not as if this page didn’t review – indeed, predict success for – the record even before it came out here, but . . . for the past two weeks we have been inundated with potted reviews from disco DJ’s, all telling us what the bloody thing sounds like!  Great, fab, but what’s the point?

Evidently BADJA, the promotion company, masquerades as a free association for DJ’s, and doles out records to its members.  In doling out the Amanda Lear 12in (and also another Ariola single by Lynne Jones ‘Come Softly To Me’), BADJA asked all the recipients to write to this page with their comments about them.  Had they come out in the open and asked the DJ’s to send in Disco Charts containing the records they could have been accused of hype.  On the other hand those charts would have had to contain a dozen other records not necessarily issued by BADJA.

Amanda Lear’s is a good record which works well, and I use it myself.  It has every right to appear in disco charts – if those are a true representation of dancers’ reaction.  From the way this page is structured it should be obvious that we welcome correspondence from DJ’s which is then broken down to provide all the info that goes into each section of the page.  What were we meant to do with all the BADJA members’ comments?

It really ought to be the duty of any DJ on a record company mailing list to justify his position.  By submitting disco charts to Record Mirror regularly he can influence the whole country and not just his own piddling little venue.  But he should not just list all the freebies he’s received, regardless.

Also, please realise that while I enjoy getting letters they are wasted unless they contain specific news or a chart that can he used on this page, and an SAE if an answer is required.  End of lecture.  Happy New Year!

No New Spins this week.

No Hot Vinyl this week.  Continue reading “December 31, 1977: Why would Ariola ally themselves with a Doncaster-based promotion company?”

December 24, 1977: Philadelphia Classics, Chris Brown’s Hot Vinyl

Hottest import for several weeks has been the fantastic ‘Philadelphia Classics’ double album (US Philadelphia Int’l PZG 34940), selling here for about £5.50, which contains eight old disco monsters all completely remixed and stretched out into longer, fresher, brand new versions! Best bets seem to be the O’Jays’ ‘I Love Music’ (9:36) and ‘Love Train’ (6:14), Harold Melvin’s ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ (11:00) and ‘Bad Luck’ (8:00), and more by the Intruders, Three Degrees and MFSB.

Hot Vinyl

Chris Brown (the other one, from Pantiles and Frenchies) will be funking it up at the big Reading all-dayer on January 2 and is running coach parties there from Camberley, bookable on Guilford 37317.  His import tips are:

AL HUDSON: ‘If You Feel Like Dancing’ (ABC 12”)

JIMMY MCGRIFF: ‘Skyhawk’ / ‘Tailgunner’ (LRC LP cuts)

MANU DIBANGO: ‘Big Blow’ (Fiesta 12” – French import)  Continue reading “December 24, 1977: Philadelphia Classics, Chris Brown’s Hot Vinyl”

December 17, 1977: Canvey Gold Mine Revival #2, War, Trammps, Bob Marley, Mike Theodore Orchestra

New Spins

WAR: ‘Galaxy’ (MCA 339) (BNDA debut 1/14/78)
Spacey slow start to what becomes their best chunky beater since the similar ‘Me And Baby Brother’ – a monster!

TRAMMPS: ‘Love Per Hour’ (from LP ‘III’, Atlantic K 50425)
Probably the hottest of side one’s three typical tracks, while side two has slowies too.

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS: ‘Jamming’ (Island IPR 2005)
Wow – a longer, totally different dub version on limited 12in!  Continue reading “December 17, 1977: Canvey Gold Mine Revival #2, War, Trammps, Bob Marley, Mike Theodore Orchestra”

December 10, 1977: El Coco, Brass Construction, Odyssey, Sweet Sensation, Donna Summer

New Spins

EL COCO: ‘Cocomotion’ (Pye 7N 25761) (BNDA debut 8/20/77)
Already a disco smash on import alone, the smooth ‘n slick instrumental clapper makes a great gradual mix out of Chic.

BRASS CONSTRUCTION: ‘III’ LP (UA UAS 30124) (LP BNDA debut 12/3/77)
All tracks are good, being either funky fliers or soulful smoochers, with ‘We’, ‘Celebrate’ and ‘Get It Together’ the hotsies so far.  Nothing new, but what they do they do well!

ODYSSEY: ‘Native New Yorker’ (RCA PC 1129) (BNDA debut 8/27/77)
The prettily swaying sophisticated Dr. Buzzard-type hustler’s been 12-inched to help the growing buzz about it.  Continue reading “December 10, 1977: El Coco, Brass Construction, Odyssey, Sweet Sensation, Donna Summer”

December 3, 1977: more on “Eastern Soul”, Coachouse Rhythm Section, Showdown, Four Tops, John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett

East On Soul

Jim Higginson, one of the funky jocks at Spennymoor’s Top Hat in Co. Durham, explains a certain amount about the Eastern Soul phenomenon in the North East.

He notes that there is little demand for the old type of Northern Soul in the area’s established clubs, probably because its fans are too young to get in – although, he adds, the hardcore are obviously over 16.

What has happened, however, is that the modern New York disco sounds which Ian Levine spins over in Blackpool – and which are so controversial among Northern fans – are equally popular with funk in the Top Hat at least.

While of course funky records can be big elsewhere in Britain too, it remains strange that the ones which get reported as hits in the South East, East Anglia and East Midlands only seem to catch on in the North East and never further west.

Anyway, now that the Brighouse And Rastrick Brass Band are so big in the charts, the latest trend seems to be for clog dancing!  Let me know when that catches on with you!

Tea Break! Round Two

Ron Greenfield suggests we start asking jocks for their funny experiences; I suggest jocks should send in their favourite one-liner jokes, suitable for disco use.

Either way, Ron’s own amusing antic was during a gig in an old church hall with only one mains socket, where the vicar pulled the plug so he could boil a kettle… halfway through the evening!  Talk about a tea-break!

New Spins

COACHOUSE RHYTHM SECTION: ‘Nobody’s Got Time Pts. 1/2’ (Ice 3, via Anchor)
Already hot for some, Eddy Grant’s funkily jumping chanter is like an updated Equals, with synthetic backing.

SHOWDOWN: ‘Keep Doin’ It’ (State STAT 63)
Full – length 12” version of the happy bumper – Pity it’s so late.

FOUR TOPS: ‘For Your Love’ (ABC 4199)
UK recorded hustle revamp of The Yardbirds oldie, on 12” but not on their ‘The Show Must Go On’ LP (ABCL 5223), whose much better 7:04 title track has funky support.  Continue reading “December 3, 1977: more on “Eastern Soul”, Coachouse Rhythm Section, Showdown, Four Tops, John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett”