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. 

JIMMY LINDSAY: ‘Easy’ (Island WIP 6431)
Lovely hit-bound reggaefication of the Commodores’ slowie.

COMMODORES: ‘Too Hot Ta Trot’ / ‘Zoom’ (Motown 12 TMG 1096)
Hey, look-a here, Motown’s first ever commercially available UK 12in!

DUSTY SPRINGFIELD: ‘It Begins Again’ LP (Mercury 9109607) (‘That’s The Kind Of Love I’ve Got For You’ BNDA debut 3/11/78)
Mainly down-tempo set apart from a swinging ‘I Found Love With You’ and the heavily phased rhythm-rattling 5:06 ‘That’s The Kind Of Love I’ve Got For You’, which is also on promo-only 12in and already hitting discos.

MECO: ‘Theme From Close Encounters’ (RCA XB 1039) (BNDA debut 1/28/78)
Predictably obvious disco version, but possibly too ‘Star Wars’-like for pop sales.

TALKING HEADS: ‘Psycho Killer’ (Sire 6078610)
Superbly menacing new wave stutterer, now poised to hit.

TOBI LEGEND: ‘Time Will Pass You By’ (RK 1004)
Maxi-ed with Dean Parrish’s ‘I’m On My Way’ and Jimmy Radcliffe’s ‘Long After Tonight Is All Over’, the Wigan Casino’s traditional closing trio at all their northern soul all-nighters.

BIONIC BOOGIE: ‘Dance Little Dreamer’ / ‘Feel Like Dancing’ (Polydor 2066908) (BNDA debut 12/17/77)
Jittery little clapper and much better zingy fast flip, but the big disco hit album tracks like ‘Risky Changes’ aren’t due till April’s LP release.

DIANA ROSS: ‘Top Of The World’ (Motown TMG 1099) (BNDA debut 10/15/77)
Lovely lightweight cool skipper, possibly not meaty enough for discos.

HOT CHOCOLATE: Every 1’s A Winner’ (Rak 270)
Typical chunky slow lurcher.

LIPSTIQUE: ‘At The Discotheque’ LP (Ensign ENGY 002) (BNDA debut 4/15/78)
Determinedly zingy Euro-smash disco medleys, including Chubby Checker’s title track and ‘Mah-Nah-Mah-Nah / Disco’, masterminded with tongue-in-cheek by Chris “Not ‘Im Again” Hill.  Dig the Spaniels’ Goodnight Sweetheart’ outro!

WINSTON FRANCIS: ‘Sitting In The Park’ (Sunbeam SB 24)
Billy Stewart’s classic soul smoocher goes gently reggae rather well.

DILLINGER: ‘Mind Your Own Business’ (Magnum GUN 1004)
Great ethnic dub 3 track maxi.

FLASH: ‘Up Town Top Ranking’ (Polydor 2058992)
Rural-accented send-up by a dirty old yokel.

ENCHANTMENT: ‘Sunny Shine Feeling’ (UA UP 36353)
Happily churning squeaky Tamla-type romper.

JOE TEX: ‘Rub Down’ (Epic EPC 6068)
Rather laboured slow-starting stop-go bumper, useable without being a bitch.

JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY: ‘Gonna Give Her All The Love I’ve Got’ (Casablanca CAN 119)
Temptations oldie recreated – with Radio 1 appeal.

FLEETWOOD MAC: ‘Rhiannon’ (Warner Bros. K 14430)
Reissued cool rock chugger, a modern classic.

Hot Vinyl

Chris Brown (Camberley Frenchies) import tips:

FRANCINE MCGEE: ‘Feelin’ Good’ (RCA 12” – Canadian import)
KAY-GEES: ‘Kilowatt’ (De-Lite LP cut)
SINE: ‘Chimi’ (Prelude LP cut)
ALEC R. COSTANDINOS: ‘Romeo And Juliet’ (Casablanca LP cut) (BNDA debut 2/4/78)
MICHAEL ZAGER BAND: ‘Let’s All Chant’ (Private Stock LP cut) (BNDA debut 1/14/78)
JUGGY JONES: ‘Dance Groove’ (Jupiter LP cut)
JOE BISSO: ‘Love Somebody’ (Mercury LP cut – French import)
GROVER WASHINGTON: ‘Sausalito’ (Kudu LP cut)
LONNIE SMITH: ‘Funk Reaction’ (Groove Merchant LP cut)
And is yet another on the great CAMEO ‘It’s Serious’ (Chocolate City LP cut) (BNDA debut 2/18/78).

UK Disco Top 50 – February 18, 1978

01 03 Stargard – Which Way Is Up – MCA
02 02 Odyssey – Native New Yorker – RCA (12″)
03 01 Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking – Lightning
04 06 Heatwave – The Groove Line – GTO
05 04 Chic – Dance Dance Dance – Atlantic
06 05 War – Galaxy – MCA
07 07 Donna Summer – Love’s Unkind – GTO
08 11 Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive – RSO
09 08 Bob Marley & The Wailers – Jamming – Island
10 15 Eruption – I Can’t Stand The Rain – Atlantic
11 20 Darts – Come Back My Love – Magnet
12 10 Commodores – Too Hot Ta Trot / Zoom – Motown (12″)
13 32 ABBA – Take A Chance On Me – Epic
14 18 Rod Stewart – Hot Legs / I Was Only Joking – Riva
15 31 Earth, Wind & Fire – Fantasy – CBS
16 19 Bill Withers – Lovely Day – CBS
17 09 El Coco – Cocomotion – Pye
18 13 Baccara – Sorry I’m A Lady – RCA
19 40 Manu Dibango – Big Blow / Aloko Party – Decca
20 17 Roberta Kelly – Zodiacs – Oasis
21 24 Peter Brown – Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me – TK
22 NE Al Hudson – If You Feel Like Dancin’ – ABC (12″)
23 23 Brotherhood Of Man – Figaro – Pye
24 22 Raydio – Get Down / Jack And Jill – Arista
25 26 High Inergy – You Can’t Turn Me Off – Motown
26 14 T-Connection – On Fire – TK (12″)
27 25 Linda Clifford – From Now On – Curtom (12″)
28 NE Roy Ayers – Freaky Deaky – Polydor
29 12 People’s Choice – Jam, Jam, Jam – Philadelphia Int’l
30 NE B.T. Express – Shout It Out / Ride On It – EMI Int’l
31 34 Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Running Away – Polydor
32 RE Earth, Wind & Fire – Magic Mind – CBS
33 21 Rose Royce – Wishing On A Star – Whitfield
34 50 Cerrone – Supernature / Give Me Love – Atlantic (LP)
35 NE Eastside Connection – You’re So Right For Me – Creole (12″)
36 38 Andrea True Connection – What’s Your Name, What’s Your Number – Buddah
37 27 Kellee Patterson – If It Don’t Fit Don’t Force It – EMI
38 35 L.T.D. – Back In Love Again – A&M (12″)
39 43 Scott Fitzgerald & Yvonne Keeley – If I Had Words – UA
40 16 Lenny Williams – Choosing You – ABC (12″)
41 41 Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky – Jet
42 RE Freda Payne – Love Magnet – Capitol (12″)
43 NE Cameo – It’s Serious – Chocolate City [Imp]
44 NE Mandrill – Can You Get It – Arista (12″)
45 49 George Duke – Reach For It – Epic (LP)
46 NE Yellow Dog – Just One More Night – Virgin
47 RE Mastermind – Hustle Bus Stop – Prelude [Imp]
48 NE Tonight – Drummer Man – TDS
49 39 Samantha Sang – Emotion – Private Stock
50 30 Gene Farrow – Move Your Body – Magnet (12″)
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry
All titles are 7” singles unless noted otherwise

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (BNDA debut 1/7/78) / #2 (BNDA debut 8/27/77) / #5 (BNDA debut 9/24/77)
#6 (BNDA debut 1/14/78) / #7 (BNDA debut 5/28/77) / #8 (BNDA debut 1/7/78)
#10 (BNDA debut 2/4/78) / #17 (BNDA debut 8/20/77) / #20 (BNDA debut 8/27/77)
#21 (BNDA debut 4/23/77) / #26 (BNDA debut 11/5/77) / #27 (BNDA debut 12/10/77)
#31 (BNDA debut 9/24/77) / #34 (BNDA debut 11/26/77) / #35 (BNDA debut 11/12/77)
#36 (BNDA debut 11/12/77) / #38 (BNDA debut 10/22/77) / #40 (BNDA debut 7/30/77)
#42 (BNDA debut 11/26/77) / #43 (BNDA debut 2/18/78)

1 LE PAMPLEMOUSSE: ‘Le Spank’ (Pye) (BNDA debut 10/22/77)
2 LINDA RONSTADT: ‘Blue Bayou’ (Asylum 12”)
3 DOOLEY SILVERSPOON: ‘Mr. Deluxe’ (Seville)
4 PARLIAMENT: ‘Bop Gun’ (Casablanca)
5 MONTREAL SOUND: ‘Music’ (Creole 12”) (BNDA debut 8/13/77)
6 SHEILA & B. DEVOTION: ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ (Carrere 12”) (BNDA debut 2/11/78)
7 BLACKBYRDS: ‘Street Games’ (Fantasy)
8 SUPERCHARGE: ‘I Think I’m Gonna Fall (In Love)’ (Virgin 12”)
9 PATTIE BROOKS: ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ (Casablanca) (BNDA debut 9/24/77)
10 BILLY PRESTON: ‘Wide Stride’ (A&M LP cut)

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

REAL THING: ‘Whenever You Want My Love’ (Pye)
JIMMY LINDSAY: ‘Easy’ (Island)
LAMONT DOZIER: ‘Sight For Sore Eyes’ (Warner Bros.)
SHAKIN’ STEVENS: ‘Justine’ (Track)
JIMMY ONDO: ‘Faisons L’Amour’ (MCA)
ROSE ROYCE: ‘It Makes You Feel Like Dancin’’ / ‘Funk Factory’ (Whitfield LP cuts) (BNDA debut 9/24/77)
EDDIE & THE HOT RODS: ‘Quit This Town’ (Island)
BLONDIE: ‘Denis (Denee)’ (Chrysalis)
SOUTHROAD CONNECTION: ‘You Like It, We Love It’ (Mahogany 12” – US import) (BNDA debut 1/28/78)
BIONIC BOOGIE: ‘Risky Changes’ / ‘Boogie Boo’ (Polydor LP cuts – US import) (BNDA debut 12/17/77)
TUXEDO JUNCTION: ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ (Butterfly LP cut – US import) (BNDA debut 1/21/78)
CHARO: ‘Dance A Little Bit Closer’ (Salsoul) (BNDA debut 11/19/77)
PETULA CLARK: ‘I’m Not In Love’ (CBS)
CLAUDJA BARRY: ‘Johnny Johnny (Please Come Home)’ (Mercury) (BNDA debut 1/7/78)
BIG TWO: ‘Calico Suit’ (Lightning)
DONNA SUMMER: ‘Back In Love Again’ (GTO LP cut)
MILLIE JACKSON: ‘If You’re Not Back In Love By Monday’ (Spring)
LOU RAWLS: ‘Lady Love’ (Philadelphia Int’l)
BILLY PAUL: ‘Everybody’s Breaking Up’ (Philadelphia Int’l)
NATURALS: ‘Falling In Love Again’ (Magnum)
LEILA & CO: ‘Leila’ (Black Bear)
EQUALS: ‘Something Beautiful’ (Ice)
TITANIC: ‘Flashback’ (Barclay)
DAVID RUFFIN: ‘You’re My Peace Of Mind’ (Motown)
NAZARETH: ‘Gone Dead Train’ (Mountain)
ROXY MUSIC: ‘Do The Strand’ (Polydor 12”)

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