November 25, 1978: Rahni Harris, Hi-Tension, Two Man Sound, DownTown Disco Party, Macho

Nowadays jocks are noting the number of beats per minute (BPM) for records which is great if you’re into US-style mixing – but as few DJ’s in this country are my own old way of indicating a records tempo could still be useful. Very early on I developed a shorthand system which depends on the relative sizes of letters in the alphabet – you can us anything really – so that I might mark a record sleeve like this: (Ds-)Ms-MFc . . . which means that the (skippable) intro is dead slow, graduating into medium slow before becoming a good solid stomper – that’s F for fast measured against an M that might just as well be a plain vertical line, except sometimes I put a V for very above it! The final small c meaning it ends cold, or f means it fades. So long as your system remains constant you can tell at a glance how each record is going to sound – especially useful for rarely-working mobiles.

Disco News

Thames Valley DJ Assn members meet at noon on Sunday (26) in Reading’s Caversham Road Fire Station to learn, not so surprisingly, about fire prevention and fighting . . . Satril Records’ new disco plugger is Greg Gregory of London Sundown fame, and he wants more jocks for his list (old applicants please reapply) at Satril House, 444 Finchley Road, London NW2 2HY . . . Phonogram are auditioning for an Orlons-type three gals/one guy oldies group in the Darts style: contact Annie Challis on 01-491-4600. Tricky Dicky’s Disco Music record shop at 391c Mile End Road (London E3, opposite Mile End tube) is open Mon/Thurs/Fri/Saturdays from noon till 8 pm and services regular DJ customers (including Chris Hill and Tom Holland) with really cheap prices (no minimum order); imports – LP £4.50, 12in 2.50/2.20, 7in 80p; UK – LP £3.50, 7in 70p . . . Chic and Ashford and Simpson hit the pop chart last week thanks to being issued without warning on UK 12in! Funkadelic’s US 12in promo was out after UK production had already begun, so only the LP-length version will be available here on their upcoming special 12in EP . . . Bunny Maloney ‘Baby I’ve Been Missing You’ is now on extended 12in (Gull GULS 65-12) but the dub last part isn’t very strong, while Shampoo ‘Harlem Hustle’ is also on 12in (Ensign ENY 1812) with the Chris Hill re-mix as A-side . . . DJM are coupling Village People ‘San Francisco’ / ‘Macho Man’ for belated 12in in face of Mercury’s ‘YMCA’ success . . . Gary Hirst and Paul Kassell’s Jewish Teenage Sunday Club has moved from the Sundown to London’s Global Village . . . Paul’s Carpenter and Clark funk Brighton’s new Bunnies in the Salisbury Hotel every Thurs/Fri/Saturday.

New Spins

RAHNI HARRIS & F.L.O.: ‘Six Million Steps’ (Mercury 9199956)
Gi-normous on import, the infectiously skipping instrumental driver is at last on full 5:56 12in here, but for some reason the weedy vocal version is A-side on the edited 7in (6007198) – don’t Phonogram have faith in our taste?

HI-TENSION: ‘Autumn Love’ / ‘Unspoken’ (Island WIP 6462)
Pleasant if less than mind-blowing soul slowie, totally overshadowed for most jocks by the more typical rhythm-rattling fast flip, which while maybe not total A-side quality is already packing dancefloors in London.

TWO MAN SOUND: ‘Que Tal America’ (Miracle M1-12) (BNDA debut 9/22/79)
Rushed out on Gull’s new Miracle disco logo (motto: ‘‘If it’s a hit, it’s a Miracle’’) just as the French import shows up, this fast funk-jazz Latin leaper hits such a great groove it should be huge – so get the 7:55 12in rather than the 3:40 7in.  Continue reading “November 25, 1978: Rahni Harris, Hi-Tension, Two Man Sound, DownTown Disco Party, Macho”

November 18, 1978: “What sort of action the relative (chart) positions indicate”

This week’s Disco Top 90 was compiled from the biggest sample of DJ contributors’ charts yet, so it seems an appropriate moment to explain just what sort of action the relative positions indicate. The number one, Dan Hartman, has 128 chart return jocks on it, while by the time one gets down to number 50 there are 26 DJ’s on that. From this place on the number of jocks becomes more important than the number of “chart points” that each title collects, although the points dictate the order in which titles with a similar number of DJ’s appear in the chart, whereas it’s the opposite in the Top 50. Down around position 90 the titles usually have about 10 DJ’s, then on through the Bubbling Under section in the DJ Hotline the last few titles have 4 DJ’s while the Hot Vinyl import-only section carries on down to just 2 DJ’s. The Bubbling Under section omits established Pop Top 30 hits (which everyone knows about) and titles that have already enjoyed a long run in the Disco Top 90; however, this week, the DJ Hotline also mentions the titles that would normally have been left out, as DJ support for even these lower reaches has been such that the chart could easily be expanded into an authoritative Top 180! Considering that Bubbling Under and Hot Vinyl each usually contain 25 titles, you’re actually getting a Disco Top 140 every week, anyway. I hope it’s useful, as it’s killing me to compile it! OK?

Disco News

Sally Ormsby has left her RCA disco promotion post to join Roger St Pierre Publicity and set up an independent disco promotion service called Sally O’s Funk Funktion: it will come as no surprise to find that the Olympic Runners are her first clients . . . Musique ‘In The Bush’ is now also on limited £1.29 12in (CBS 12-6791), with an 8:20 A-side version and remixed 7:36 flip – it’s been banned by several US radio stations, incidentally! . . . ELO ‘Sweet Talking Woman’ is on purple vinyl 12in, while Chanter Sisters is on imported German 12in promo and Rod Stewart is also on a 12in promo . . . Tasha Thomas will be on Atlantic 12in in January . . . Bob McGilpin ‘Superstar’ is due on Ember 12in, Barry White ‘Your Sweetness Is My Weakness’ / ‘Just The Way You Are’ is due on 20th Century white vinyl 12in, while EMI plan 12in promos next month for Macho and Gonzalez . . . Richard Ace, currently hot with ‘Stayin’ Alive’ on Blue Inc 12in (via WEA), could be bigger on import State Line 7in with his reggaefication of ‘You’re The One I Need (…That I Want)’! . . . Nigel Peterson has been replaced by Johnny Diamond as chairman of the Sussex Disco Assn but still handles membership applications at 92 Wick Street, Littlehampton, BN17 7JS . . . Rus Phillips, ever busy, now suggests that jocks might like to send him their nomination for Top Disco Record of the last five years so that he can compile a Top 100 Hall Of Fame, and as added inducement he’ll select three jocks at random who do and send ‘em a top LP and 12in of the moment: address entries to Rus at ‘Ere For Music, 626 Romford Road, Manor Park, London E12 5AD, before Nov 31 (closing date) . . . Peter J Reilly (Aldershot) suggests some old LP tracks suitable for the 45 rpm “speed-spin” thing: Caldera ‘Out Of The Blue’ (Capitol), Ramsey Lewis ‘Tobacco Road’ / ‘Oh Happy Day’ / ‘Them Changes’ (Chess) . . . David Emery funks Newcastle Scamps full time but is due for some gigs around Reading and Oxford late Nov/early Dec and wonders if there are any other dates going: he spins import jazz-funk, is quite cheap, and on 0632-813797 . . . Martin Starr/Malc Haynes/Larry Speed’s US Roadshow is doing so well funking Bristol Follies that they’re now there every Wed/Fri/Saturday . . . Colin Hudd, at Gravesend Wings every Tues/Friday and Canvey Goldmine every Thurs/Sunday, pleads for would-be Ian Moores not to keep coming down in the hope of his discovering them – one atrocious dancer is enough for him to manage! . . . Judge Dread has signed to EMI and issues a rude ‘Jingle Bells’ / ‘Hokey Cokey’ any day now . . be prepared! . . . Paul Anthony, recently featured with a reggae DJ Top Ten, has lost his Derby Cleopatra’s residency due to a music policy switch, so now needs an import-orientated new gig: offers to Paul at 178 Crewe Street, Derby, please.

New Spins

VILLAGE PEOPLE: ‘Y.M.C.A.’ (Mercury 919944) (BNDA debut 10/21/78)
Possibly the next Dan Hartman, on 4:47 12in or 3:30 7in (6007192), the already huge happy pop stomper is a gloriously catchy hymn of encouragement for young men to stay at the YMCA . . . but it gets really funny when you know about the group being gay, and what goes on at some notorious YMCA’s! Will the Beeb ban it?

SHALAMAR: ‘Take That To The Bank’ (RCA FC 1379)
Lovely little bright and breezy jiggler, big on import for ages, with an irresistibly catchy combination of bass and title lines, now on 6:04 12in or 3:14 7in.

FUNKADELIC: ‘One Nation Under A Groove’ (Warner Bros. K 17246) (BNDA debut 11/11/78)
Monster freak tempo funky clapper, huge on US 11:26 12in promo but here cut in two for 7in with 4:49 A-side and possibly stronger 5:16 part two.  Continue reading “November 18, 1978: “What sort of action the relative (chart) positions indicate””

November 11, 1978: Sylvester, Musique, Rod Stewart, Atlantic Starr, Chaka Khan

Disco News

EMI’s Licensed Repertoire Division’s disco department are holding a series of presentation evenings for record shops and DJ’s this month: already held this week have been nights in London, Birmingham and Liverpool, while all DJ’s are welcome to turn up between 8:40pm for Bristol Romeo’s & Juliet’s tonight (Thursday 9), Hull Romeo’s & Juliet’s next Wednesday (15), Newcastle Julie’s next Thursday (16) and Glasgow Rialto the following Monday (20) . . . Crown Heights Affair’s review last week was truncated: the full 6:27 12in ‘Say A Prayer For Two’ / 4:29 ‘I’m Gonna Love You Forever’ is on Mercury 9199918, while the edited 7in is 6168803 . . . Steel Pulse ‘Prediction’ is also on 4:52 12in (Island 12WIP 6461) . . . Ariola are rushing Chanson ‘Don’t Hold Back’ on 7in with a 12in later, and plan for Winners and Deborah Washington in January . . . Ronnie Jones ‘Groovin’’ is due soon on single, while Village People ‘YMCA’ is on both 7in and 12in next week . . . North East Essex DJ Assn challenge Colchester Embassy Suite to a charity football match this Sunday (12) at 2:30 on Shrub End Playing Field – NEEDJA need ya there! They’ve already got 34 members (contact Lew Wells, 51 Cowdray Avenue, Colchester) . . . Steve Allen starts a new Thursday funk night at Peterborough’s Cresset Leisure Centre, Bretton, tonight (9) . . .  Tom Wilson (Edinburgh Rutland) suggests a “slow spin” instead of the speed thing – evidently Alicia Bridges’s 7in at 33 1/3 rpm sounds a bit like the O’Jays! . . . I did a gig last week opposite Barry Neal of the Simon King Disco (01-330 3709): he’s got a good line in chat and spins the hits . . . DJs or groups needing cheap transport hire, or record companies wanting a mailing house and printing service, could well try CJ Ryman Management of 18 Broughton Street, London SW8 (01-622 2484), who hope especially to help the disco side of the business . . . Pye Records’ new disco plugger is June Wood, promoted to the position in house, so there may be hope for some of you yet! . . . Paul Clark now import funks Hove’s Inn Bar, Oriental Place, till late (2:00am) on Mon/Wed/Fridays while Gary Allan spins hits at Liverpool’s McMillians in Concert Street (by Comet, halfway up Bond Street), which is usually full by 11pm but he wants it known he’s there Thur/Fri/Saturdays . . . Manchester-based Dave Eagar “Beaver” is filling in the 4-6pm slot on Manx Radio, which with increased power on 219m MW now reaches parts of Scotland, Lancashire, Wales and Ireland . . . King Enri Yori (Peckham Red Bull) now informs that Third World’s import 12in is fetching £5 while the UK original gets £20 or more: however, Rus Phillips at Manor Park Broadway’s ‘Ere For Music (Saturdays) does the import for £2.99 . . . hello, Roger St. Pierre!

New Spins

SYLVESTER: ‘Dance (Disco Heat)’ (Fantasy FTC 163) (BNDA debut 7/8/78)
3:51 7in edit of the dynamite US 12in misses most of the latter’s best last part, when the rhythm pauses for freaky effects, but it still storms along.

MUSIQUE: ‘In The Bush’ (CBS 6791) (BNDA debut 7/29/78)
3:32 edit of the catchy fast LP pounder, with a new and considerably different 6:44 disco remix on the flip.

ROD STEWART: ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ (Riva 17) (BNDA debut 1/20/79)
Anything Bowie can do Rod can do too? It’s an excellent easy-paced mellotron-backed 5:28 disco chugger, bound to explode.  Continue reading “November 11, 1978: Sylvester, Musique, Rod Stewart, Atlantic Starr, Chaka Khan”

November 4, 1978: Mankind, Meco, Diana Ross & Michael Jackson, Donna McGhee, Crown Heights Affair

Disco News

This Saturday (4) at Edmonton’s Picketts Lock Sport Centre in North London there’s an all-day Teenage Soul Festival with lots of jolly attractions including Robbie Vincent, Greg Edwards, Roger Scott, Barry Lee Martin, Andy Bear and Froggy’s Roadshow, dance competitions and a soul walking contest, from 2 to 10:30 pm – details on 01 302 0815 . . . Chris Hill opens the new Whistles venue at Fleet Country Club this Sunday (5), returning every third week or so in rotation with other funksters . . . Steve Young spins brand new import funk every Friday at South Normanton’s Storthfield Country Club (M1 exit 28), with free admission and first drink for the next month to all Record Mirror carriers; he’s already getting a good crowd and would like to hear from disco acts into doing a PA there for promotion (call 01 455 6409) . . . Funk Wars: Owen Washington and Pete Tong walked into a minority-caused battle at Tunbridge Wells Elizabethan Barn the other Friday, which had been a good funk gig but will never see them again, while Chris Brown got attacked by a gang in the carpark near Southampton’s new Statline Disco Diner just after its opening and is now far from fit . . . I hear that other venues with a pack-‘em-in-regardless policy have been having aggro from non-funksters too . . . Happier scenes: Gary Hirst and Paul Kassell are having amazing success by packing the London Sundown in Charing Cross Road every Sunday with a special Jewish Teenage Sunday Club and then spinning terrific sounds . . . Andy Stinton, regular Sundown DJ for over three years and ex-disco plugger for Creole and DJM, packed his bags and split to Canada on Monday to jock at Toronto’s Harbour Castle Hilton prior to helping expand Bacchus International’s interests there; his Sundown replacement is Greg Gregory, disco plugger for Satril Records, with help on Saturdays from Phil Bishop . . . Fatman Graham Canter at Mayfair Gullivers has a warm-up jock now, Rudy Gilpin, who’d never jocked before but is now hotter than us on running New York-style mixes! . . . Nikki Peck is so busy now doubling at Chatham’s Pentagon Centre’s Van Dammes and Scamps that he needs a fill-in jazz-funk jock to give him nights off, and he’s also selling his £2,000 roadshow, so call him on Medway 573040.

New Spins

MANKIND: ‘Dr Who’ (Motor MTR 001/12)
The telly theme with a happily skipping fast Cerrone-style disco beat builds up the excitement nicely on 7:00 see-through vinyl 12in, or 4:15 7in.

MECO: ‘Themes From The Wizard Of Oz’ (RCA XB 1057) (BNDA debut 10/14/78)
‘Star Wars’-style pounding melody of ‘Over The Rainbow’, etc. – it’s certainly obvious enough!

DIANA ROSS & MICHAEL JACKSON: ‘Ease On Down The Road’ (MCA 396)
Over anxious and frantic treatment of Consumer Rapport’s old ‘Wiz’ song, overshadowed for many by the great instrumental Quincy Jones jazz-funk ‘Poppy Girls’ flip with an oh-so-familiar bass line!  Continue reading “November 4, 1978: Mankind, Meco, Diana Ross & Michael Jackson, Donna McGhee, Crown Heights Affair”