February 25, 1978: “20 minutes playing time for 13 hours of humping gear and hanging about… oh well!”

After ABBA: The Album came ABBA: The Movie, and after ABBA: The Movie last Thursday night at London’s Cafe Royal there was ABBA: The Party. At this post-premiere celebration ABBA: The Group were awarded their latest batch of platinum albums, and a star-studded host of guests were entertained by the Pasadena Roof Orchestra and, at the very end, by yours truly. Aye, there’s the rub – I’d just come on at 1:15 am when I was told that the party was to end at 1:35! 20 minutes playing time for 13 hours of humping gear and hanging about . . . oh well!

Disco News

Salsoul Records, recently with RCA, are being re-launched in the UK by EMI on March 10th with an exciting release schedule of Charo’s ‘Dance A Little Bit Closer’, Anthony White’s ‘I Can’t Turn You Loose’ / ‘Block Party’, First Choice’s ‘Dr Love’ and – on limited 12in – Bunny Sigler’s ‘Let Me Party With You’. Also, EMI’s Licensed Label Division has a new disco promotion head in Steve Turner.

Steve Orme, recently RM’s sub-editor, and Stevenage Mecca jock Pete Banks have opened Sound Power Studios at 15 Town Square Chambers in Stevenage especially for DJs, with radio presentation courses costing £7.50 an hour.

Stephen Jaye (Nuneaton 387424 or 61182) needs go-go girls for regular work with his roadshow.

Finally, all French-speaking jocks interested in the Continental scene should get the great, lavishly produced French disco monthly magazine ‘Discobox’ whose subscription details are available from Discobox Service Abonnement, 11 Rue de Provence, Paris, France. Ca va?

New Spins

MICHAEL ZAGER BAND: ‘Let’s All Chant’ (Private Stock PVDD 1) (BNDA debut 1/14/78)
Dynamite US disco smash 7:05 12in, also a possibly even stronger 3:07 7in (PVT 143), it’s got lotsa trendy “oop oop” and other chants, an odd classical type break – and a good flip too! Look out, the ex-Ten Wheel Drive guy (no relation to Zager and Evans) could be the next Chic.

OLYMPIC RUNNERS: ‘Keepin’ It Up’ LP (RCA PL 25124) (‘Keep It Up’ BNDA debut 11/12/77)
The great ‘Keep It Up’, terrific gently jazzy ‘Solar Heat’ and hunky funky ‘Down To The Bone’ stand out on a superbly consistent disco LP.

MAINSTREET: ‘No Appointment Necessary’ (State STAT 74)
Billy Ocean-style happy old-fashioned singalong pop-soul churner, horribly commercial.  Continue reading “February 25, 1978: “20 minutes playing time for 13 hours of humping gear and hanging about… oh well!””

February 18, 1978: Philadelphia Classics, Bob Marley, Donna Summer, Jimmy Lindsay, Commodores

Brixton’s Clouds club was invaded by television cameras last Tuesday to record what promises to be but the first of several TV shows in 1978 that will revolve around a disco setting. However, although the smash US ‘Saturday Night Fever’ disco-set movie has inspired the other planned shows, this particular BBC 2 programme (possibly the pilot for a series) is a straight musical showcase that could just as well have been shot in a studio. The only difference is that the black kids outnumber the white in the dancing audience, and all the performers are black, too.

Called ‘Blackcurrent’ (ho ho), it features Billy Paul, the Real Thing, Desmond Dekker, and an excitingly young Brass Construction-ish band called High Tension. Capital Radio’s Soul Spectrum jock, Greg Edwards, is the compere. Unseen by the cameras but incongruously obvious at the taping, jammed as they were between the bar and the dance floor, a 15 piece orchestra of session musicians began by being in danger of demolishing the Musicians’ Union agreement against discos with one stroke – but, it must be said, by the time they’d got into the rhythm break in Billy Paul’s ‘Only The Strong Survive’, they were really cookin’!

Somehow the kids kept on dancing, and doubtless it’ll all sound (and look) all right on the night – which, incidentally, is next Friday, February 24, on BBC 2.

Hot Vinyl

VARIOUS: ‘Philadelphia Classics’ LP (Phil Int’l PIR 88274) (BNDA debut 1/7/78)
Here at last, the double album of elongated and remixed oldies, of which ‘I Love Music’, ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ and ‘Love Train’ have had most import action.

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS: ‘Is This Love’ (Island WIP 6420)
Typically good typical Marley, slinkier dub flip.

DONNA SUMMER: ‘Rumour Has It’ (Casablanca CAN 122) (BNDA debut 11/12/77)
Her newest LP’s most obvious – and already proven – disco hit, a fast sparse stomper.  Continue reading “February 18, 1978: Philadelphia Classics, Bob Marley, Donna Summer, Jimmy Lindsay, Commodores”

February 11, 1978: Blondie, George Duke, Peter Brown, Dooley Silverspoon, Cerrone

Easter Monday’s Reading all-dayer has had to change venue due to a new fire limit at the Top Rank. Billed as “the biggest soul disco in Europe” and with the registered trading name of the “National Soul Festival”, the funky all-dayer will now be held at Mecca’s Tiffanys in Purley, on the Brighton Road. In fact Purley Tiffanys will be the venue for all future festivals featuring DJ’s Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Greg Edwards and Chris Brown – so beware of imitations!

With a capacity of 3,000 and allegedly better food than the Top Rank, Purley will also have many stalls selling discs, T-shirts and the like. However, tickets now cost £2.25 in advance or £3.00 on the door (but are likely to be sold out long before the day), although tickets already bought for Reading are still valid for Purley at the old price.

Coach party discounts are available from Pete Matthews on Bracknell 21880. As last bank holiday’s festival was virtually the Nuremburg Rally of soul, this Easter you really had better be there or be square!

Hot Vinyl

BLONDIE: ‘Denis (Denee)’ (Chrysalis CHS 2204)
Dynamite revival of Randy & The Rainbows’ ‘Denise’ – their 1963 Four Seasons-ish original is on Philips 6146706 – but Blondie adds French bits and punk attack.

GEORGE DUKE: ‘Reach For It’ LP (Epic EPC 82216)
Superb full length 4:54 ultra-heavy slow funk title track is a US soul smash but unissued here on 45.

PETER BROWN: ‘Dance With Me’ (from LP ‘Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me’, TK TKR 82514) (BNDA debut 1/7/78)
Exceptionally good album includes the full length title track (in the US the LP title is ‘Fantasy Love Affair’), but this sparse funker is the brilliant new import hit track.  Continue reading “February 11, 1978: Blondie, George Duke, Peter Brown, Dooley Silverspoon, Cerrone”

February 4, 1978: Manu Dibango, Roy Ayers, Al Hudson, Billy Preston, Linda Clifford

Disco News

Ian Levine, Blackpool’s celebrated “New York” DJ/producer, seems to be handling discos promotion now for United Artists!  Both Arista and Chrysalis are revising their DJ mailing lists under new disco dept heads, too: send full work details to Tony Berry, Arista Disco Dept, 49 Upper Brook Street, London W1Y 2BT, and to Gill Watkins, Chrysalis Records, 12 Stratford Place, London W1N 9AF.

DJ Chris Archer’s gig at March Cromwells got gutted by fire recently so he’s helping Jon Taylor at Norwich Cromwells for the time being.

Capuchino from Bromley has won the audition to jock at Radhill’s plush Busby’s, Wednesday through Saturday. South Harrow Circles’ Tory Barnfield now has the prestigious post of musical director at Mayfair’s Saddle Room, the very first of the French-inspired “discotheques” to open in London just prior to the Twist boom.

Both the Strathclyde and South Eastern Disco Assns have had committee shakeups, with Mike McLean and Theo Loyla being voted chairman of their respective associations.

New Spins

MANU DIBANGO: ‘Big Blow’ / ‘Aloko Party’ (Decca FR 13755)
Already huge on import alone, it’s a happy fast Afro-funk-jazz leaper which may be too subtle for pop dancers but has funky fans freaking! 5:40 long on 7 in, with a new even faster flip.

ROY AYERS: ‘Freaky Deaky’ (Polydor 2006896)
War-like jerky fast funker, hot on the heels of ‘Running Away’ (possibly London’s biggest-ever non-hit disco smash?).

AL HUDSON & THE SOUL PARTNERS: ‘If You Feel like Dancin’’ (ABC 4203)
Great infectious funky chugger, due on 12 in next week, too!  Continue reading “February 4, 1978: Manu Dibango, Roy Ayers, Al Hudson, Billy Preston, Linda Clifford”