April 1, 1978: “Saturday Night Fever is in danger of being over-sold to a public who won’t enjoy it.”

America’s blockbusting ‘Saturday Night Fever’ movie is in danger of being over-sold here to a public who won’t enjoy it.  A slice of life in the raw (with the language and actions to match), it’ll obviously appeal to the disco crowd here, but the ballyhoo surrounding its premiere might make mums and dads think it’s for them too.  It’s not!

Reviewed elsewhere, the less than sensational movie centres on a rather ordinary neighborhood disco in Brooklyn (rather like a Birdsnest here), and in fact the lavish £50,000 party after the premiere at a specially tarted-up Sundown was a lot more glamorous, New York disco-like – and fun!

However, the fever’s already spreading here (the Bee Gees’ ‘Night Fever’ LP track is unaccountably huge in southern Wales this week), with newspapers and TV shows all looking frantically for an English equivalent to the disco scene in the film.

ITV viewers at lunchtime this Sunday (2) can see the London Weekend Show’s investigation of the British funky “underground”, with Janet Street-Porter talking to disco personalities and Chris Hill (filmed at Camberley Frenchies) proving to all the moaners just why he deserves all the attention he gets on this page.  Catch it if you can!

As for ‘Saturday Night Fever’, don’t bother if you’ve already seen ‘Mean Streets’!  Strange, actually, that nobody from the disco world here was invited to the premiere – don’t RSO want to reach the grassroots level?


New Spins

CAMEO: ‘It’s Serious’ (Casablanca CANL 121) (BNDA debut 2/18/78)
Here it is, the smash Brass Construction-ish funky flier on limited 12in!

WAR: ‘Galaxy’ / ‘Hey Senorita’ (MCA 12MCA 359) (‘Galaxy’ BNDA debut 1/14/78)
Full length disco remixed 12in, flipped by the dull slow Latin-type follow-up.

STARGARD: ‘Which Way Is Up’ / ‘Love Is So Easy’ (MCA 12MCA 354) (‘Which Way Is Up’ BNDA debut 1/7/78)
Ditto, the follow-up flip being a dreary soul smoocher. 

JAN AKKERMAN: ‘Crackers’ (from LP ‘Jan Akkerman’, Atlantic K 50420)
Focus’s guitarist is an unexpected source for a currently hot jazz-funk groover (and some more typical, lovely, slowies).

LIPSTIQUE: ‘Venus’ (Ensign ENY 12)
Snappily pounding Euro revival of Shocking Blue’s old thudder.

WATSONIAN INSTITUTE: ‘Master Funk’ LP (DJM DJF 20529)
Title track and ‘The Funk If I Know’ are hot sophistofunk for this Johnny Guitar Watson-led group.

GARNET MIMMS: ‘Tail Snatcher’ (from LP ‘Has It All’, Arista SPART 1032)
The full 6:20 ‘What It Is’ joins this lower-key 5:38 funky flier and a zingy ‘Street Music’.

CHRIS REA: ‘Fool (If You Think It’s Over)’ (Magnet MAG 111)
Timmy Thomas-type rhythm box-backed classy white pop slowie, prettily atmospheric and could smash.

BARRY MANILOW: ‘Can’t Smile Without You’ (Arista ARIST 176)
Superb MoR swayer, could be the next Crystal Gayle!

GUY MARKS: ‘Loving You Has Made Me Bananas’ (ABC 4211)
Very silly 1968 send-up of ‘30s big band broadcasts long a personal fave, good for MoR fun.

RICHARD MYHILL: ‘It Takes Two To Tango’ (Mercury TANGO 1)
If you’ve not heard it, this gimmick square single has a disco styled tango-type tempo.

THE NATURALS: ‘Voyage To Atlantis’ (Ballistic GUN 101)
Isley Bros guitar meanderer done as superior reggae with great dub flip.

LORNA BENNETT: ‘Breakfast In Bed’ (Island WIP 6436)
Classic 1972 reggae swayer, but Scotty’s ‘Skank In Bed’ flip is even better.

WHIRLWIND: ‘Hang Loose’ (Chiswick NS 25)
Vibrant new UK version of Tommy Spurling’s rockabilly bopper.

JOHNNIE ALLAN: ‘Promised Land’ (Oval Stiff LOT 1)
Reissued great Cajun rocker from ‘74.

TROGGS: ‘Wild Thing’ / ‘With A Girl Like You’ (Lightning Old Gold LIG 1001)
Proto-punk from ‘67. Lightning have also re-pressed Keith West’s ‘Teenage Opera’ (EMI R5623) and Simon Dupree’s ‘Kites’ (EMI R5646) in limited editions at £1.

MAGGIE BELL: ‘Hazell’ (Swan Song SSK 19412)
Great gutsy rock theme from TV’s now departed private dick series.

TYRONE ASHLEY: ‘Looks Like Love Is Here To Stay’ (UA UP 36371)
Rather good melodic fast soul thumper from Ian Levine.

NETWORK: ‘Save Me, Save Me’ (Epic EPC 6150)
Rolling tuneful stamper, co-prod/penned by ubiquitous Barry Gibb.

BACCARA: ‘Darling’ (RCA PB 5561)
Instead of the hot ‘Koochie-Koo’ it’s more mewling Euro MoR.


UK Disco Top 70 – April 1, 1978

Owing to the Bank Holiday the Top 90 has had to be reduced to 70 this week.

01 02 Michael Zager Band – Let’s All Chant / Love Express – Private Stock 7″/12″
02 01 Eruption – I Can’t Stand The Rain – Atlantic 7″
03 07 Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is This Love – Island 7″
04 04 Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive – RSO 7″/LP
05 05 Manu Dibango – Big Blow – Decca 7″/French Fiesta 12″
06 06 Blondie – Denis (Denee) – Chrysalis 7″
07 11 Earth, Wind & Fire – Fantasy – CBS 7″
08 08 Donna Summer – Rumour Has It – Casablanca 7″
09 03 Stargard – Which Way Is Up – MCA 7″/LP/12″
10 09 Rose Royce – Wishing On A Star – Whitfield 7″
11 10 Darts – Come Back My Love – Magnet 7″
12 12 Sheila & B. Devotion – Singin’ In The Rain – Carrere 7″/12″
13 13 Roy Ayers – Freaky Deaky – Polydor 7″/LP
14 25 Chic – Everybody Dance – Atlantic 7″/LP/US 12″
15 34 Cerrone – Supernature – Atlantic 7″/LP
16 16 Hot Chocolate – Every 1’s A Winner – Rak 7″
17 26 Raydio – Jack And Jill / Get Down – Arista 7″
18 14 ABBA – Take A Chance On Me – Epic 7″
19 28 Francine McGee – Feelin’ Good – RCA 12″
20 22 Cameo – It’s Serious – Casablanca LP
21 24 Tavares – The Ghost Of Love / Bein’ With You – Capitol 7″/promo 12″
22 47 Gene Farrow – Move Your Body – Magnet 12″
23 29 Ripple – The Beat Goes On And On – US Salsoul 12″
24 17 Free – All Right Now – Island EP
25 19 Jimmy Lindsay – Easy – Island/Black Swan 12″
26 40 Ashford & Simpson – Don’t Cost You Nothin’ – Warner Bros. 7″/12″
27 18 Real Thing – Whenever You Want My Love – Pye 7″
28 49 Hi-Tension – Hi-Tension – Island 12″
29 15 Gene Page – Close Encounters Of The Third Kind – Arista 7″/12″
30 20 Andrea True Connection – What’s Your Name, What’s Your Number – Buddah 7″/US 12″
31 27 Kellee Patterson – If It Don’t Fit Don’t Force It – EMI Int’l 7″
32 32 Earth, Wind & Fire – Magic Mind – CBS LP
33 55 Charo – Dance A Little Bit Closer – Salsoul 7″/US 12″
34 35 Commodores – Brick House / I Feel Sanctified – Motown LP/promo 12″
35 77 Joe Sample – There Are Many Stops Along The Way – US ABC LP
36 31 War – Galaxy – MCA 7″/LP/US 12″
37 38 Yellow Dog – Just One More Night – Virgin 7″
38 48 Nick Lowe – I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass – Radar 7″
39 33 Lonnie Smith – Funk Reaction – TK 7″
40 61 Peter Brown – Dance With Me – TK LP
41 30 Brass Construction – We – UA 7″
42 60 George Benson – On Broadway – Warner Bros. 7″/12″
43 21 Commodores – Too Hot Ta Trot / Zoom – Motown 7″/12″
44 42 Gil Scott-Heron – The Bottle / Hello Sunday! Hello Road! – Arista 12″
45 NE Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights – EMI 7″
46 80 Evelyn “Champagne” King – Shame – US RCA 12″
47 59 Mary Wells – My Guy – Motown 7″
48 72 Steel Pulse – Ku Klux Klan – Island 7″/12″
49 44 Grover Washington Jr. – Sausalito – Kudu LP
50 23 Mandrill – Can You Get It / Funky Monkey – Arista 7″/12″/LP
51 39 Eastside Connection – You’re So Right For Me – Creole 7″/12″
52 56 Inner City Express – Shu’ Dig Dancin’ – Ebony 7″/12″
53 51 O’Jays – I Love Music / Love Train – Philadelphia Int’l 12″
54 66 Montana – A Dance Fantasy – US Atlantic 12″
55 50 Bionic Boogie – Dance Little Dreamer – Polydor 7″
56 NE Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street – UA 7″
57 53 Meco – Close Encounters – RCA 7″
58 63 Brooklyn Dreams – Music, Harmony And Rhythm – RCA 7″/promo 12″
59 52 Diana Ross – Your Love Is So Good For Me – Motown LP/US promo 12″
60 46 Bar-Kays – Let’s Have Some Fun – Mercury 7″/LP
61 43 Southroad Connection – You Like It, We Love It – US Mahogany 12″
62 45 Bionic Boogie – Risky Changes – US Polydor 7″/12″/LP
63 70 Raffaella Carra – Do It, Do It Again – Epic 7″
64 54 Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams – Emotions / Too Much, Too Little, Too Late – CBS 7″
65 57 Tee Cees – Disco Love Bite – DJM 7″/LP
66 78 Kay-Gees – Kilowatt Invasion – US De-Lite LP
67 36 Heatwave – The Groove Line – GTO 7″
68 41 Al Hudson – If You Feel Like Dancin’ – ABC 7″/12″
69 69 Bee Gees – Night Fever – RSO LP/promo EP
70 67 Bunny Sigler – Let Me Party With You – Salsoul 7″/12″
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (BNDA debut 1/14/78) / #2 (BNDA debut 2/4/78) / #4 (BNDA debut 1/7/78)
#8 (BNDA debut 11/12/77) / #9 (BNDA debut 1/7/78) / #12 (BNDA debut 2/11/78)
#14 (BNDA debut 12/3/77) / #15 (BNDA debut 11/26/77) / #20 (BNDA debut 2/18/78)
#23 (BNDA debut 1/28/78) / #26 (BNDA debut 1/28/78) / #30 (BNDA debut 11/12/77)
#33 (BNDA debut 11/19/77) / #34 (BNDA debut 4/16/77) / #36 (BNDA debut 1/14/78)
#40 (BNDA debut 1/7/78) / #41 (BNDA debut 12/3/77) / #46 (BNDA debut 10/1/77)
#51 (BNDA debut 11/12/77) / #54 (BNDA debut 2/18/78) / #55 (BNDA debut 12/17/77)
#57 (BNDA debut 1/28/78) / #58 (BNDA debut 4/8/78) / #59 (BNDA debut 10/15/77)
#61 (BNDA debut 1/28/78) / #62 (BNDA debut 12/17/77) / #69 (BNDA debut 1/7/78)
#70 (BNDA debut 1/14/78)


Songs mentioned in DJ Hotline:

METROPOLIS: ‘I Love New York’ (Salsoul 12” – US import) (BNDA debut 4/1/78)
MICHELLE: ‘Disco Dance’ (West End 12” – US import) (BNDA debut 11/5/77)
REGAL DEWY: ‘Love Music’ (RCA)
JOLLY BROTHERS: ‘Conscious Man’ (Magnum)
GEORGE K BAND: ‘Love Me’ (Private Stock)
FREDERICK KNIGHT: ‘I’ve Been Lonely For So Long’ (Stax)
LAMONT DOZIER: ‘Going Back To My Roots’ (Warner Bros.) (BNDA debut 5/28/77)
LIPSTIQUE: ‘Venus’ (Ensign)
SEEBACH BAND: ‘Apache’ / ‘Bubblesex’ (EMI – Danish import)
JOHN PAUL YOUNG: ‘Love Is In The Air’ (Ariola)
ANDREW GOLD: ‘Never Let Her Slip Away’ (Asylum)

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